Saturday, June 7, 2014

OMB 70th D Day Celebration

Promised I'd be back and 'I'm Here".

Very proud and Happy to be here to welcome you all to
my 89th something posting, in of more than 7 years of Blogging.

This 70th Anniversary of this important day in World Civility,
born through the efforts of a War to End All Wars, is to be
humbly compared with today's perception of wars and their reality.

Who Cares !
Life goes on !
Whatsallthefussabout !

Fortunately, some of us still do care.

Thought you would like to see a picture of our outfit, the
301st Port Company, taken at Indiantown Gap, PA,
in 1943, after Basic Training.
Graciously,sent to me by Bill and his wife, Pam..
Bill's Father, Frank Wroblewski is Seventh from the right, seated in the first row.

301st Port Company Indian Town Gap, PA 1943

Left to Right, Meredith, Me and Portnoy Front Row Seated

Robert Laurence Binyon wrote from and about WWI until he died on
March 10, month after I arrived at Camp Upton to be oriented
in the  Army before Basic training.
I found his stuff fascinating and scary.
My Favorite scary one, was "The Fallen",
which I've referred too, on occasion...
I would like to remember this day with
some of his verse of remembrance.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young. 

Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow. 

They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted, 

They fell with their faces to the foe. 

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: 

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. 

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, 

We will remember them. 

Thank Pal, Thanks

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

OMB On Memorial Day 2014

A little late in the day to publish but, after a great movie I was inspired.

I live alone and have people coming to my home,from a well known Medical Agency, seven days a week,  to help me with some personal chores and to deal with my physical insufficiency
This past Friday, I was notified by this service agency, that today was a national holiday to Honor our Military Service men and women and no one would be able to help  me Monday. May 26, Memorial Day...
I thought this was humorous and pathetic and to get me over my displeasure, I mellowed out with
good things to say to them,  the first chance got......

Spent the day scrounging around for things to do, like naps, TV, crossword puzzles...and more naps.
While watching the movie,"The Story of G.I. Joe ",a phone call from my Daughter wishing me, her very  best Wishes and her Love, was my inspiration at the film ending with a tribute to the fallen heroes of our Military .
The Movie, Robert Mitchum and Burgess Meredith hook up with the 18 Infantry in North Africa,
island hopping to Italy and finally to Casino. Burgess portrays the roll of Ernie Pyle, a Pulitzer Prize
War Correspondent who lived in the turmoil of the 18th Infantry and its GI's ....
He writes and finishes the Film with ...

This is our War
And we carry it from one battleground to another
Until it's over
And we win it.
I hope we can rejoice with the Victory
But Humbly....and all together we will try,                      
Try out of the memory of our anguish,
To assemble our broken world
Into a pattern, so fair, so firm,
That another Great War can never again be possible
And for those beneath the wooden crosses,
There is nothing we can do except.
To pause and murmur,
"Thanks Pal, Thanks"

Until Next Time, I Thank you for Your Service.

Monday, November 11, 2013

OMB Honors Service Served..

November 11, 2013.

Today, We Honor the Memory of Those who have Fallen in the Service
of Their Country, and Those who Survived the Ordeal and Passed On.

May They Rest in Peace.

Today, I join you in Honoring the Military Servicemen and Women
who are representing the United States, Serving all over the World
and here at Home. My Best Wishes for their Safety and Early
Homecoming from the U.S. or Abroad ..

I know many of you may look Quizzically at my excessive Capitalization.
Hey .....It's the Way I Feel About It !

Thank You For Your Service.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

OMB attends Wings of Freedom tour.

The Wings of Freedom tour visited nearby Oxford Airport this weekend.   A wonderful display of vintage WWII aircraft.  Here are some photos.

To view videos of the P51 Mustang landing, taxi and take off click on the links below:

P51 Mustang Landing

P51 Mustang Taxi in

P51 Mustang Taxi out

P51 Mustanf Take off

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Oldest Military Blogger Recalls a DREAM

Oldest Military Blogger Reflects.

A Comment two days ago on my Blog, prompts
me to re-title this posting ...
My Father Loves Me. 

After finishing my Basic Training at Indiantown Gap PA,
and having settled into my new Quarters with the 301st
Port Co., an event took place, that at the time, was very
uplifting for my morale.
My Father,who had gone to work on the West Coast for
Kaiser Shipyards, constructing Liberty Ships for the
Maritime Commission as an overhead welder, impulsively
dropped in to visit me.
In an interval between shipbuilding, that day, on a train 
bound for New York from Washington State, my Father 
got off at the Harrisburg, PA. stop, some 20 odd miles 
from, Indiantown Gap.
The Camp Service Bus gave him a lift from the Station
to the Gap.
He left after having Dinner in our mess hall but regretted
being unable to stay because he was anxious to be
on his way home to my Mother and 5 of my siblings.

Many  years later, waking from a Dream, I walked into
my kitchen at Four A.M.,sat down in my underwear
at the kitchen table, and composed the following
recollection of the dream and what it revealed to me,
less it be lost forever..The Revelation?.
My Father Loves Me!
On Feb. 14th 1995, I had an insight that was quite
remarkable to me, that after 52 years I realized that
My Father Loved Me ....Very Much!
It was the late afternoon of Oct. 1943...I was in the
Army, stationed in Indiantown Gap PA....An Orderly
came to tell me that my Father was on the Base and
the Orderly had been instructed to bring me to
Battalion Headquarters in his Jeep. 
Civilians had to be detained for security reasons until
a uniformed escort could be provided 
to accompany them... on the base...
It was explained to me, that the visitor was with 
Master Sergeant, Charles Hart, awaiting my 
arrival at the Sergeant's office.
During the ride, I had the most agonizing thoughts. 
Trying to understand the reason for this unexpected 
and unusual circumstance, of allowing, visitors 
for G.I's, who were only permitted on weekends.
The remainder of the ride was short, and when 
we arrived, we were told that the First Sergeant 
had taken my Father to the Mess Hall and we were 
to meet them there.
As I turned to look toward the Mess Hall, from where
I stood I could see the the enlisted men's Chow Line, 
some 200 feet away and outstanding, was the dark 
blue outfit among the olive drab in the line, restlessly waiting.
The brown fedora and the blue figure's posture, identified
his person as my Pop...and as I ran toward him....he turned
to see where the shouting was coming from and saw me
running...he left the line and came in my direction.
When we met there was a very awkward moment, of
no embrace, no hugging or kissing......just some macho
back slapping and hand shaking..and I remember, that
wonderful smile on his face, announcing to me that he
was not a bearer of bad news.
The thing of it is, for over 50 years until tonight's
Dream, I didn't make any sense out of the look in his eyes.
Until this realization in my awaking... 
I remembered those eyes ...
They saw me with sparkling admiration and good humor, 
tearful pride and concern, a careful appraisal
from head to toe and with what I understand now, 
as Much Love......
The kind of Love I hope my Children can see and
apprise, when they notice me looking at them, today.
The kind of look I had seen, in my Mother's eyes,
many times, knowing what that admiration was all
Strangely, I never equated that thought
with my Dad.
Evidently, We do get Wise as we Age.
I still have the original hand scripted page from 1995,
on a yellow legal pad.
I share this with you now because I was 21 years
of age then, without the awareness of all that was
going on around me....occupied with my own trials
and tribulations.
I knew innately, that my father loved me, but the vivid
dream gave me the intellectual wisdom of his feelings
toward me.
When you get Home, Love your families.
To Love is to Give.
Expect nothing in return and you will never be disappointed.
You get Love only when it is Given without reservation.
Some day, you will realize, you were getting It back in Triplicate,
but hopefully, you were not too busy, to notice..,

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Oldest Military Blogger! "I'm Here!"

Stephen Sondheim celebrated his 80th
Birthday, Live on PBS,  with a review
of his canon of work on Broadway, at
Lincoln Center, in New York.
At 84,Elaine Strich closed the show in song,
with a sock performance of "I'm Here",
bringing down the house with a standing
ovation to lyrics like.....
"I've seen good times and bum times.
And I'm Here"..
Stephen Sondheim,took the stage,
addressed the audience
while standing in front of the
entire Company of Players, stating...
"Alice Roosevelt, once said,
'First you're Young.
Then, you're Middle aged.
Then you're Wonderful!"

So, after 3 months of good days
and bum days, keeping me from my Blog...
I"m 90
I'm Cool!
I'm Here!
And I'm Wonderful!

Come Home, Safe and Sound and
Every day should be, Memorial Day,
Remember All of Those,
Less Fortunate.

Thank you for your Service.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

OMB Celebrates D Day

Oldest Military Blogger Celebrates D Day.
“What Soldiers Do”, a shoddy book was released giving references of criminality by 
soldiers stationed in France during WWII.
Unfortunately, or was it intentionally, the week of the release corresponds
with the Memorial Day period of 2013..
A despicable time to release this trashy title to humiliate Service Persons.
Soldiers know what they do better than anybody..
More than 2 million American Servicemen in Europe, away
from their family and loved ones, mostly in England, later in France,
but earlier in Africa, and Italy, some for more than two years
Very busy keeping it together for Duty in WWII.
War is not a palatable commodity.
The opposing combatants,maybe, are sometimes,
all Morally Right, in their own way.
The winners and losers kill their enemy and themselves.
What’s moral about that.
War is bad.
Some Soldiers are bad .
They do bad things.
These Soldiers have lost their Morals.
The civilians complain to the Authorities
The Soldiers are punished.
More than 60, almost 70 years later, a Historian published
a book condemning all soldiers for what
they did in France because of a letter written in 1945,
by the Mayor of Le Havre, after the liberation of his Country.
How soon we forget.
We must remember the tens of thousands of lives
lost in the war in France, fighting for that Liberty.
That’s what that weekend is really about.
A Department of Veterans Affairs reports, at the end of World War II, there were 16 million veterans. Today, there are about 1 million. 
By 2036, it is estimated there will be no living veterans of World War II.

Thank you for your Service in any branch of the Military.
Thank you for your Service in any War, here or abroad...
Only soldiers know best, what soldiers do.
As to the 70th Anniversary of D Day on Normandy, I personally
have some business I  have to take care of then ,so I’ll stick around.
Welcome Home.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

OMB Celebration !

A couple of weeks ago, I Celebrated my 90th Birthday
with Family and Friends...
 I am Here.....
Today, I Celebrate, a most favorite Holiday of mine with you.
My very best wishes and good health, for a Very Merry Christmas and
A Happy New Year to All my Followers and Readers.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Oldest Military Blogger Recalls Armistice Day 1932.
Veterans of the World War, Living and Fallen Remembered.
The War to end all Wars did not have a number after it'
Less than 25 years later, we started to call it, WWI.

I was ten.
Attending my senior semester of Elementary School.
P.S.4 was located on the south side of Rivington Street
of the lower east side of Manhattan.
Class 6B was a home room where students did not move from
room to room to change subjects of study.
Miss Kennedy was the Home Room Teacher of Class 6B.
All our teachers were addressed as, Miss
We had no male teachers in the building.
Hoover was the President, the Country was in a state of Depression,
 and I lived three Blocks from the school.
Walking distance.
There was no School Transportation other than High School.
Armistice Day was a regular school day..
All our Classes participated in their Home Room.
At 11 A.M. on November the 11th, the school bell rang to announce
two minutes of silence, with each student's head lowered,
onto their folded arms, on their desktop.
The Church bells from the street sounded, at a solemn toll
for those 2 minutes.
Miss Kennedy sobbed and wept, openly.
At the end of classes that day,Miss Kennedy, an heiress to the
McCormick and Kennedy Trucking Fortune, got into her
chauffeur driven Rolls Royce parked at the front gate of the school,
and I walked home.      

Thursday, June 7, 2012

OMB Old Soldiers Never Die

Senior  Citizens who are also Veterans,
find this special day to remember how 
fortunate we are, again, this year.
I know how swiftly  some of us mature
while we are in Service, some take 
much longer.
My maturity in the Service, came with
a Court Martial and a rude awakening.
During the next 30 months, I became a 
Senior minded individual. 
I started to think like my Dad and started
to drink like my Grandfather...sparingly 
and rarely to excess.
I became aware of my friends and Family...
Where was this whole picture going to take us.
Who was gonna make it...  besides me?
That was where my Maturity Faltered.
I, was never out of the equation of survival.
That turning point came to fruition after the
I had become a Senior Citizen in my Twenties.
I was recognized by my Peers in the Military as,
"An Old Soldier"

In 1943 when I began my Military Career,
the Army had a pecking order for us,. those
Draftees and Newbee Enlistees  ....
The Career Army Personel, kept us at arms length
until we proved our worth..
After all, they were the older soldiers and 
they had a right to demand our respect for
their experience and guidance.
The division was clear.
The old Army, training the "new army"
These guys, were already, "old soldiers"

Which brings me to 1951 . 

I remember watching
The TV National Broadcast of General
Douglas MacArthur, who made his farewell  
address to the U.S. Congress after being recalled 
from Korea, by President Harry S. Truman.
His speech, made History, with the most
famous quote....

 "Old Soldiers Never Die, They Just Fade Away" .

Of course he was referring to himself but 
I could"t  help feel he was talking about 
"the old Army of World War l "
Well now.
I hope you don't think of me being partial
to old folks but I think we should never forget 
any Service person regardless of their age or 
length of Service, and let them fade away.
They have earned our everlasting respect
and Memory.   

I borrowed  this poem , a tribute to the
98th Bomber Group from a Blog I follow..
The Charley-Boy Chronicles
 A WW ll  pilot's story
 posted by Elizabeth Bacher a couple
of  months ago.
Can't get it out of my mind.
Sharing it with you.

High Flight

"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
and danced the skies,
on laughter- silvered wings;

Sunward, I've climbed, and joined,
the tumbling mirth, of sun- split clouds.
Done a hundred things,
you have not dreamed of,
wheeled and soared,
swung high in the sunlit silence.
Hov'ring  there,
I've chased the shouting wind along,
flung my eager craft,
through the footless halls of air.

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the wind swept heights,
with easy grace,
where never lark or eagle flew.

with silent, lifting mind,
I've trod the high, untrespassed,
sanctity of space,
I put out my hand,
and touched,
the face of God."
Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee   Jr.                                                       
No. 412 Squadron, RCAF
Killed December 11, 1941

OMB.1st Special Brigade Monument Pictures on Utah Beach

Oldest Military Blogger Posts some Pictures he promised....
It seems that, some promises are more difficult to keep.
Forgive the Quality, think of the effort.
Let me know what you think

This Monument on the Utah Beach is almost 30 feet in height and in
some other pictures I posted, our 6 foot seven, First Sergeant Harte,
is standing next to the Pylon at the very top.

The Pylon atop the Monument Dedicated to The First Engineer Special Brigade Memorial and the Service Units that landed on Utah Beach , on H Hour, D Day, on June 6th, 1944.

The front of the Monument on Utah Beach with the Engraved, Bronze, Dedication, Plate, to those lost from the Service Units that are listed in the previous Picture.

A Studio Picture, only not enough contrast to give you an idea how
good looking I could have been.

Standing in the back, on the left is Portnoy, Center, is Schultsy,
Sorry ....Know who the one on the right is, like I know my own name,
but can't recall right now.. It'll come to me!

In the front row, Okie on the left and West Virginia on the right.
Ginny, was from Wheeling, West Virginia, and sharp as a tack.
All Good Soldiers, to have at your side.

The Two grinning Savages in front of the destroyed Pillbox, facing the Channel on
Utah Beach are, Solomon Fein, Sgt.Finnegan on the left
and George E. Gable, Sgt. Okie on the right side of the picture.

Private First Class Anglin, from Peoria, Illinois standing in front of the 301st Company Jeep
when we got to Cherbourg, France....Finally, Housed With Bunk Beds and Mattresses, months after the Assault on Utah.

Okie on the right,and I sitting on our travel gear before we departed on
one of our Train Duties, guarding 40 and eighters, with special cargos,
into the freight yards, outside of Paris.

First Sergeant Harte, of the 301st Port Company...All 6 foot seven of him.
He and I, Jeeped from Cherbourg, to Liege, to visit my
brother, Moishe, in the Hospital when he got Trench Foot, serving with the
80th Infantry Division, at Bastone.
The shoulder patch insignia with the machine gun carried by an Eagle,
is the Amphibious Engineer official symbol.
The Seahorse symbol was worn on our First Class Uniform under the right
pocket of our Eisenhower Jacket .

You can really appreciate the size of a "pillbox", when you see one with with a dozen men
surrounding the area around one destroyed on the Beach.
I recognize a few of the men, by their posture and their attitude standing there.
A few by the hair comb and facial shape and contours, but I would be guessing,
except for the man on the bottom right, is Bob Marcott from Oak Park Ill.