Sunday, September 2, 2007

Oldest Military Blogger on D Day Minus 5 days

I left England on June 1,1944 on the Liberty ship, SS George E. Pickett.
This was the third dry run we thought,so the speech we got before we went aboard, by some nameless General, was taken in stride.
After being under sail for 12 hours we started to consider the possibility
of this, being the real thing.The following day still moving around in the Channel or off the coast of Brest more vessels joined our group.We kept moving together.A convoy without any visible Naval escort. We all stayed on deck as much as we could because it was extremely hot below.
All the hatches were covered but we finally found that our cargo was composed of Sherman tanks, Jeeps with trailers, filled with gear, DUKWs piled high with rope cargo nets, two and a half ton trucks with canvas covers tied down and thousands of 5 gallon Jerry cans filled with gasoline.
You asked me for something to chew on. Well, it looks like I may have bitten off more than I can chew on at this moment.
Give me a day or two till, I get my shit together.
It turns out that the General with no name turned out to be Ike, who I wouldn't know from a hole in the ground, and later realized it was he, when his picture was in the Stars and Stripes.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

D day minus 5 Hours

In the afternoon on the 3rd of June, many more vessels could be seen and an occasional Destroyer raced by. We were called for a briefing on deck and we found that sections of Infantry from the 90th Division were our shipmates.The briefing was about cutting off the Cherbourg Peninsula with an initial assault from the NW and then one from the opposite side of the peninsular.These forces would join in the middle and then move toward the town of Cherbourg. Historically, some of this occurred, evidently the fierce weather on June 5th may have made some of this cumbersome. We were getting seriously bored.We played cards,shot craps, wrestled, slept and ate when we could keep it down.Dusk on the 3rd we were under full sail. I didn't know where I was but from the suns position I thought we were sailing South East.With daylight on th 4th there were hundreds of ships in view but as the day wore on foggy weather, or man made fog, the storm closed in.That night, in a storm tossed sea very few could sleep.Someone was sobbing and crying in my sleeping area.I climbed down into the engine room stairwell and the sound of the boilers and pumps hammered me to doze off.The tossing of the Pickett continued for most of the morning of the 5th and then it cleared as it got dark. Suddenly the sky was full of tracers. Full of heavy Naval fire. everyone on deck realized, tomorrow we go.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

D Day on The S.S.George E. Pickett

Oh yes. They knew we were coming. The 82nd Airborne had been dropped the day before. They fought their way back to the beach.They did not know that the landings would be delayed because of a little bad weather. I'll bet they were outraged beyond anything I could imagine,
wondering how they were supposed to hold their objectives without the backup they had been promised, to be right behind them. Waiting for the sound of bugles signifying that the Calvary was en route, to the rescue.
To say the least,they were upset. They were tired.They were lucky.
Let me explain where I'm going with this.
People get killed in wars.
Soldiers get killed in war.
We are not trained to see the whole picture.
Our superior officers tell us that we are a small link in the whole chain ,of what the fighting is all about. Don't get negative thoughts regarding your orders.Why are we going to do this,this way,when it seems so much easier to do it that way? It's not exactly like
they issue a rain check to some outdoor activity and everyone is inconvenienced for a few days.
This activity has men's lives in the
balance.We should not have delayed the landings and sacrificed those men of the 82nd,101st, without a chance of relief as they expected.Somehow I suspect that the delayed landings came about because of some bad inteligence,at the last moments of this operation.
I suppose the early jumpers were told to hold their objective and we would get to them as soon as we can.
Just as these Divisions carried out their orders without question, we would have done the same and gone ashore on the 5th, in the storm, because we trained to respond to our orders without question and because we were immortal.
Men who have never been in a combat situation may think about death, but not about their own.
You cannot realize or perceive your own death,that only happens to someone else.
Combat changes that.
One day you understand.
A guy could get killed out here.
When you've seen enough bodies of friends or enemies, you stop running for cover when there is shelling from 88s, you get scared of getting out of your foxhole because one of your skittish neighbors is quick on the trigger.You start thinking a little differently.Your existence depends on how good the guy next to you in the field is. He and the others who are still alive, start thinking pretty much the same way. Don't worry about yourself so much, just watch out for your fellowmen, because they are the only thing that is keeping you alive.
Here we are, more than 60 years after this event and I defy you to tell me how many casualties the pre-D day invaders suffered. I'm sure that this figure is best kept with the overall population of American and Allied losses.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

D Day.First Light.

D Day. First light revealed, an LCT nestled up against the S.S.Pickett on the port side,amidships,next to the No.2 hatch. No.2 is the largest hatch on a Liberty ship and contained the heaviest units. The booms on No.2 are rated for 50 tonnes, so the order was to place our tank cargo aboard the LCT along side. The Landing Craft Tank, can deliver its freight by dropping its ramp like bow, right on the beach and tanks are driven off, each with its own driver,one after the other.During the loading process we were taking fire from shore and the bridge of the LCT was hit by an 88 shell from a German gun.We found out later that a Naval Lt.on the bridge was decapitated. The crew was replaced and the LCT cast off,beach bound.The empty spot was taken immediately by another vessel.The action on the starboard side was used for offloading, fuel, ammo and Infantry into LCVPs.(Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel). The SS Morgan went down by the stern, 200 yards off our port side,as the daylight increased and it got lighter. My outfit went ashore via an LCVP coxswain who was out in the open at all times. He brought us safely to the beach without incident, then he dropped the ramp, and we debarked in waist deep water.As soon as we were ashore he backed off the beach to get another load.We landed on Utah beach. 10 hours later I returned to the Pickett to help finish unloading the ship and get our gear. The Naval bombardment destroyed almost every fortification on shore.The Atlantic Wall where we landed, was a myth. Fortunately for my outfit, we were put ashore 1000 yards northwest of our initially assigned area, and it was very lightly defended.
There is a Film called "A Walk in the Sun", with Dana Andrews and John Ireland to name a few of the stars,that comes to mind. John Ireland writes letters to his sister about his well being, after the invasion of an island off Italy. All through the movie, he writes or narrates letters to her, optimistically not knowing, if they will ever be read .
Their mission is to take a well fortified farm house which is serving as an observation post. Completing their assignment, after a huge loss of life, John Ireland's character under a shade tree, paper and pencil in hand,he grimly muses about the contents of a letter to his sister at the close of the film .
"Dear Sis,
Today we took a farm house. It was so easy."

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Classification: Limited Service !

Classification: Limited Service: 4A
I was drafted on February 1943.
On a very cold morning in New York, I left home, alone, with 4 handkerchiefs in the breast pocket of my overcoat. A subway ride later, I arrived at the Selective Service staging area for our departure to Camp Upton.
After two days of being outfitted with gear, I was introduced to the Kitchen Patrol, that is,K.P., and became a repetitive practitioner at the sink, washing pots and pans.
After a week, it was off to Fort Dix and Orientation, in becoming a soldier in the U.S.Army.
Ten cold mornings later, sleeping in tents, I was shipped out to Indiantown Gap, Penn.
My assignment was to a Port Company.
What's a Port Company, you ask ?
Every one in our camp asked the same question.
A Port Company is, a Special Service unit, that is responsible for delivering supplies to servicemen, to support their physical needs for well being, the necessary equipment, to do battle, feed and clothe them properly and to keep their moral at the highest level.
So what are we doing in Indiantown Gap, Penn.?
Except for the four Port Battalions, Indiantown Gap, is a virtual deserted area, some 20 miles east of Harrisburg, Penn.. There are 4 Port Companies in a Battalion and each company has roughly 220 men, a Major  in charge of each Battalion and a  Full Colonel is in charge of the base.
Our job was to unload Ships.
Who are the men picked for this duty, you ask?

They were the dregs of the draftees.
Many Officers were from OCS, (Officers Candidate School )
without the basic knowledge and the training,
for teaching the complicated logistics of, supply and demand .
We all learned all about these, at the same time.
The hard way.

Really, I can only speak for myself.And maybe a few others.
Lots of military personal are going to be offended when they read this section of my Blog.
When I was drafted, my Classification was 4A.
I was listed as Limited Service!
My eyesight was 20/400 and with corrective lenses they were 20/30. Without glasses the Big E on the top of the eye chart was blurred . Legally blind without spectacles.
My right knee was injured in High School and had lost 30% of its motion. I walked with a limp and could not pedal a bicycle because of the knee restriction.
Limited Service !
So, I assume, I was in a company of peers !
Officers and Enlisted men !
"Limited Service" .

You tell me!
How in your greatest fantasy, did we wind up, on the
Beaches of Normandy on H Hour on D Day ?
Talk about provocative?
Read on, as I try to unveil this conundrum.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Meanwhile, Back on The Beach,

We returned to the Beach after unloading the S.S.Pickett and were assigned to an area of our Battalion's jurisdiction, told to dig foxholes
in the soft sand and chow down because rampant rumours of
German paratroopers had been dropped behind our advancing
Infantry and were heading for the Beach.
Dug our foxholes,skipped chow and found ourselves facing inland
till daybreak, Carbines at the ready, with our backs to the Channel.
Come morning,we were glad to board DUKWs and head out to bring in supplies from another ship in very rough waters.
When we returned to the shore, my foxhole became a haven away from all the tumult. I went right to sleep.
The paratroopers never materialized
probably because of all the Armor that came ashore that day.
That night we were shelled or bombed by aircraft-I never found out.
What I did find out was that we lost 17 members of our Battalion
because they had dug their foxholes too deep and the sand caved in,
smothering them.Many had narrow escapes and had to be dug out.
We went out in the morning to work a shift, unloading gasoline
and found out about the casualties when the crew, who came to relieve
us, gave us the bad news.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Our Mess on the Beach

I use this tongue in cheek title, because there was no building or housing
for the troop to eat their meals on the beach, for at least 3 weeks.
We ate near the chow line where we could empty our food waste into a barrel, wash our mess kit and canteen cup in another barrel, refresh our canteen with water, and go about our duties.
When we dressed for duty, we had some necessary apparel besides clothing.
We wore our leggings, our garrison belt, our inflatable
life saver belt, our carbine and our mess kit.
Leggings were worn around the calf and ankle to protect
against injury from sharp object or bramble in the field.
We had Orders, to wear leggings, when we went out to unload
cargo from vessels. We followed these Orders until we became aware
that many men drowned when their DUKWs capsized in rough seas and were pulled down by their leggings, which were made of heavy canvas, laced on, and impossible to remove in the water unless
you could cut them off.
Our Garrison belts on the other hand had a multitude of steel eyelets
capable of supporting various items.
A small canvas pouch with a supply
of a wound treating antibiotic called Sulfanilamide.
An extra pouched clip of ammunition for the Carbine
One could attach a 45 side arm holster and a 45 automatic as some
Officers were issued.
A canteen and canteen cup combo in a canvas carrier, was always suspended from our garrison belt full of water.
In the first few hours on the secured beach, large water containers were available to everyone and instructed to keep their canteens full. These containers were treated with iodine to prevent contamination.
The Garrison Belt had a quick release gizmo, so there was no problem, to get rid of it, if one was in trouble.
The Carbine, (rifle) had a sling and was always slung over the shoulder
with its stock at shoulder height, barrel pointing down.
Finally our Mess Kit.
I don't know if it is one word or two words but here is the physical appearance of this essential piece of General Issue (G.I.)Equipment.
The utensils,comprised of a fork and spoon, a 10"X 5"oval pan about an inch and a half deep ,hinged at one end, with an 180 degree handle, one inch wide, 10 inches long with the ability to support the pan, like a pan handle at one end, and fold over the pan to take up less room.
This Mess Kit Handle, slipped through and over our Garrison Belt,
folded in half but unable to lock closed, clanged against the pan with every motion that the wearer made.
You could hear us walking down to the DUKWs on the beach, through
the soft sands a half mile away.
We carried spoons in our breast pockets, tucked between our cigarette pack and the cellophane wrapper the pack came with.
No one went anywhere without their spoon, until we got a mess hall.
When we ate on the beach,we lined up,mess kit in one hand,canteen cup in the other,we had removed our leggings,but carried a slung carbine ,still wearing our garrison belt, with the canteen, open, with it's screw cap cover hanging by a tiny chain, ready to receive fresh water.
We ate on the beach in this manner for almost 3 weeks.
No shelter except the one we could devise out of any flotsam or jettison
we could find to make our foxhole more habitable
For 8 days the weather got more and more furious. We worked 16 hour shifts every day and spent very few hours ashore.
We carried K Ration aboard ship and found various ways to prepare them. Traded chocolate bars with the Merchant Mariners for fresh fruit
and cooked soups on the steam winches.
Then disaster.
4 days of squalls and the inability to go out and get supplies.
Many drowning deaths because of attempts to navigate out, to unload precious cargo's of gasoline, and 75 mm shells for tank ammunition, and stuff like, Sealed Orders.
Finally, orders came to shut down all off loading activity.
We existed on the beach on K Rations to conserve food,
dug our foxholes deeper, used shelter halves to cover them, lashed down with timber drift wood.
I found a U shaped piece, of a downed Mosquito Bomber,that was part of a door, to hold down my nylon shelter half over my foxhole.
Fortunately,the sand absorbed all the rain and there was very little flooding for us. My heart went out to the GIs stuck inland.
On the fifth day we were ordered out in very heavy seas with 12 foot
That day,against orders,I decided not to wear legging any longer.
When we got to the side of the Liberty, she had cargo nets hung over
the side. We jumped one at a time, from the DUKW,at the top of the wave toward the nets and quickly climbing as fast as we could to avoid the
rising DUKW on top of the next cresting wave.
The Liberty Ship was not anchored.
She was underway,against the tide the entire time we were boarding.
She was loaded to the Plimsoll Mark (a maximum load line on a ships hull to indicate her capacity) and her screws were below the waterline, but we knew,they were spinning.
It took hours to get 28 of us aboard.
14 men from each DUKW.
The two drivers and their crew men were the best example
of unsung heroes in a war, where heroes are determined
by the enemy deaths.
They unloaded one at a time.
The empty one waiting in case one of our company
fell into the water or was crushed by the rising vehicle they had just left.
When the second DUKW was empty ,they both left together to return
to the beach.
The Beach was now, out of sight.
The best wishes for God Speed and safety from every man in our company, Liberty Ship sailors and Officers, all were leaning over the railing, shouting down to them, good luck and thank you for an heroic job.
They waved back.
Smiling and joyful.
As if the way back, was a walk in the park.
They turned and headed into the fog on their compass heading.
We were at least 5 or 6 miles out in the channel.
The fog had settled in and we knew they would have a very rough, blind voyage home by compass, in 12 foot seas .....
I never knew the name of the Liberty Ship or it's commendable Master.
I never found out if the 4 soldiers,in their little amphibious vehicle, ever
got back to the beach alive.
I did find out that heroes,are not always connected to an enemy body count they amassed.
These 4 men, are some of the real unsung heroes you never hear about.
I can still see their smiling faces before they turned and hunkered
down to the arduous trip back,with water sloshing into the empty
Ironically, we were aboard the Liberty Ship for 2 days without a having a single Amphibious Vessel come out to us to unload her, because the weather had become more severe.
In hindsight, the heroic efforts of the DUKW crews that delivered us to their objective was fruitless.
The negative feasibility, of attempting to unload supplies could have been the turning point of the success of the D Day landings.
After the 2nd day aboard, the skies cleared a bit, and our supply ship proceeded to the beach, anchored, and we were able to deliver her precious cargo.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

My Memory is Good but------

I am encouraged by the many responses that have been coming in
so I have started showing my e-mail address on this site..
A contribution from you, along memory lane, would jog my memory further, to introduce some new subjects, long forgotten by most, about
stuff that is important to us.
Don't miss my post below Titled, DUKWs and Barrage Balloons

Monday, July 23, 2007

Wikapedia on DUKWs

There can never be too much description on an unseen object.
Therefore I am entering this information on DUKWs from
Wikapedia that does the job more accurately than I could ever imagine.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search Click on this Link to see a DUKW.

6.5 t (14,320 lb)
31 ft
8 ft 2 in
8 ft 10 in w/o ring mount
Primary armament
provision for an MG mount
GMC 6-cylinder 269 cid91.5 hp
14 hp/tonne
wheels, 6x6
Operational range
354 km (road), 80 km (water)
50 mph, water 6 mph


DUKW for the Boston Duck Tour
The DUKW (popularly pronounced DUCK) is a six-wheel-drive amphibious truck that was originally designed inside General Motors Corporation during World War II for transporting goods and troops over land and water and for use approaching and crossing beaches in amphibious attacks.
Service history
Post-War use
7 External links
The DUKW was designed by Rod Stephens Jr. of Sparkman & Stephens Inc. yacht designers, Dennis Puleston, a British deep water sailor, and Frank W. Speir, an ROTC Lieutenant out of MIT. Developed by the National Defense Research Committee and the Office of Scientific Research and Development, it was initially rejected by the armed services. When a United States Coast Guard patrol craft ran aground on a sandbar near Provincetown, Massachusetts, an experimental DUKW happened to be in the area for a demonstration scheduled to take place a few days later. Winds up to 60 knots (110 km/h), rain, and heavy surf prevented conventional craft from rescuing the seven stranded Coast Guardsmen, but the DUKW had no trouble, and the military opposition melted. The DUKW would later prove its seaworthiness by crossing the English Channel.
The DUKW prototype was built around the cab over engine six-wheel-drive military truck GMC ACKWX (a COE version of the GMC CCKW), with the addition of a watertight hull and a propeller. The final production design was based on the CCKW. The vehicle was built by the GMC division of General Motors (called Yellow Truck and Coach at the beginning of the war). It was powered by a GMC Straight-6 engine of 270 in³ (4.416 L). The DUKW weighed 7.5 tons and operated at 6.4 mph (10 km/h) on water and 50-55 mph (80 km/h) on land. It was 31 feet (9.3 m) long, 8.25 feet (2.4 m) wide, and 8.8 feet (2.6 m) high with the folding-canvas top up. More than 21,000 were manufactured. It was not an armored vehicle, being plated with sheet steel between 1/16" and 1/8" thick to minimize weight. A high capacity bilge pump system kept the DUKW afloat if the thin hull was breached by holes up to a couple inches in diameter.
The DUKW was the first vehicle to allow the driver to vary the tire pressure from inside the cab, an accomplishment of Speir's device. The tires could be fully inflated for hard surfaces such as roads and less inflated for softer surfaces—especially beach sand. This added to the DUKW's great versatility as an amphibious vehicle. This feature is now standard on many military vehicles.
The designation as a DUKW is not a military pun - the name comes from the terminology used for military vehicles in World War II; the D indicates a vehicle designed in 1942, the U meant "utility (amphibious)", the K indicated all-wheel drive and the W indicated two powered rear axles. Although technically a misnomer, DUKWs are often referred to as duck boats. Another popular nickname was old magoo or simply magoo. Though the origin of this term remains unknown, it probably refers to the odd shape of the vehicle.
The DUKW was used in landings in the Pacific, in North Africa, and on the D-Day beaches of Normandy. With the enemy holding all available ports, DUKWs carried 18 million tons of supplies ashore in the 90 days following the landing.
"Original Wisconsin Duck" in Wisconsin Dells
In the latter '40s and throughout the '50s, while Speir, now Project Engineer for the Army's Amphibious Warfare Program, worked on 'bigger and better' Amphibious vehicles such as the 'Super Duck,' the 'Drake' and the mammoth BARC (Barge, Amphibious, Resupply, Cargo), a good many DUKWs were surplussed and put to good use as amphibious rescue vehicles by fire departments and even, coming full circle, by various Coast Guard stations.
Several were used by abalone fisherman of San Luis Obispo County California to take their catch right off the boats and directly to market, neatly combining the two steps of off-loading onto smaller craft, and then transferring to trucks once they reached the beach.
Many DUKWs are still in use, as well as modern, purpose-built, amphibious tour buses, primarily as tourist transport in harbor and river cities, such as Washington, Memphis, Boston, London, and Singapore - see article Ride the ducks. Duck tours, whether using actual DUKWs or modern amphibious tour buses, are generally very liberally spiced with humor, with drivers frequently wearing outlandish hats and/or costumes, and onboard PA systems frequently outfitted with humorous sound effects.
The Boston Red Sox celebrated their 2004 World Series victory with a parade of 17 DUKWs carrying members of the team over land and across the Charles River. The Seafair Pirates in Seattle use a DUKW modified to look like a Spanish Galleon as their primary means of amphibious transport.
Whenever a natural disaster or an emergency situation occurs, DUKW's are well equipped for the land and water rescue efforts. One particular duck built in 1945 was loaned to a fire department during the Great Flood of 1993 and in 2005, the vehicle spent 10 days rescuing survivors from Hurricane Katrina. The DUKW maneuvered through flood waters, transporting victims from their rooftops to helicopter pads setup throughout New Orleans.

Thanks for all the inquiries.
I hope this will be the last of "Yeah, but what is a DUKW?"

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

DuKWs and Barrage Balloons

The Amphibious Truck. (DUKW)
The DUKW was used in landings on the D-Day beaches of Normandy.American crews in DUKWs,carried 18 million tons of supplies ashore in the first 90 days after the initial assault.This is more tonnage than all the combined British Services brought ashore for the remainder of the year.This is an important statistic because the British spent more than 2 years building The Mullbury Harbors, most of them destroyed by the weather or lost by shameful handling with a dear cost of lives. Some of the DUKWs  specifications were;
Weight 6 Ton (12,000 lbs) Length about 30 feet. Width 8 ft Height 8 ft with a crew of 2.
Built by GMC it has a range of 350 km (road), 70 km (water) Speed 50 mph on land...and 7 to 9 Knots in the water.
When a United States Coast Guard patrol craft ran aground on a sandbar a few years before the war, it stranded seven Coast guardsmen near Provincetown, Massachusetts.
A new experimental DUKW happened to be in the area.
Winds up to 60 knots (110 km/h), rain, and heavy surf prevented conventional craft from rescuing the Coast Guardsmen, but the DUKW had no trouble. The DUKW would later prove its seaworthiness by crossing the English Channel.
The DUKW prototype was built around the GMC,six-wheel-drive military truck, with the addition of a watertight hull and a propeller. The vehicle was built by the GMC division of General Motors at the beginning of the war. It was powered by a Straight-6 engine.
More than 21,000 were manufactured. It was not an armored vehicle, being plated with sheet steel between 1/16" and 1/8" thick to minimize weight. A high capacity bilge pump system kept the DUKW afloat if the thin hull was breached by holes up to a couple inches in diameter.
The DUKW was the first vehicle to allow the driver to vary the tire pressure from inside the cab. The tires could be fully inflated for hard surfaces such as roads and less inflated for softer surfaces—especially beach sand. This added to the DUKW's great versatility as an amphibious vehicle. This feature is now standard on many military vehicles.
During the initial landings, most Liberty Ships and almost every large vessel, had a barrage balloon, overhead, suspended by a steel cable some 3 to 4 hundred feet in the air above it.
These huge balloons were about 40 feet long and were supposed to deter low flying enemy aircraft.
Fortunately, the absence of enemy aircraft can be attributed to the excellent results of the U.S and the Royal Air Forces.
These balloons were overhead for the few days before and at the beginning of the storms but they quickly disappeared after the first
3 weeks. They were winched in and discarded.
New vessels coming to the beach after then, no longer sported Barrage Balloons

Sunday, June 17, 2007

A Candid Report in September.

A candid report by American top General

Top General says his Iraq report will be candid Sun. Jun 17, 1:54 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
The top U.S. commander in Iraq said on Sunday he will have a good idea in September how well the troop increase has worked and will be able to provide a forthright report to the policy makers in Washington.
"We can provide a reasonable snapshot of the situation at that time and how things have gone in the surge, both in the security and then in the political and economic arenas," Gen. David Petraeus said on "Fox News Sunday."
President George W. Bush has said Petraeus' September report would be important in deciding the future of U.S. involvement in Iraq, but some in his administration have started to play down its significance to relieve some of the anticipation among members of Congress.
Petraeus made clear he thought it was important to give the president and Congress "some sense of the implications of the various courses of action that might be under discussion at that point in time."
"We all need to have very clear eyes about what can happen, what the implications of various options are and, again, just to assess those correctly," he said.
Democrats in Congress have used the September report as a benchmark for re-evaluating Bush's Iraq policy. Some Republicans also have indicated they might push for a change based on what Petraeus says.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said most senators in his party think September is the critical point.
"The proper time to really make a serious evaluation of the direction we ought to head is in September," McConnell said on CBS' "Face the Nation."
Last week, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada created a bit of a storm by suggesting Petraeus might water down his report to relieve some of the pressure on Bush.
After complaints by Republicans, Reid said he had high regard for Petraeus but hoped that he would be "a little more candid with us" when releasing his report.
Petraeus said his report would be candid and will allow the policy makers to determine the course ahead.
"We'll provide a snapshot of where we are at that time and it will be a forthright assessment of what we have achieved and what we haven't achieved," he said.
The U.S. ambassador to Baghdad, Ryan Crocker, said while Petraeus was giving the security and military report, he would provide the political and economic outlook.
"What we'll do is we will come back and jointly we will give an honest, forthright assessment," Crocker told NBC's "Meet the Press."

This News report was copied from my Yahoo Home page,June 17,2007 at 11:29.My question is, at the beginning of September or the end of September?It should be evident to most that it will be made at the end of September. That would be a few weeks before election day.

Candid? My guess is that the General will be replaced,fired,retired or forgotten, while this spin, on being candid continues. By the time September 30th rolls around, everyone will be so excited with the upcoming election, most people will have forgotten about this article. Except me! And you!

Monday, June 11, 2007

63rd D Day Anniversary

Last week was the 63rd anniversary of the D Day Landings, in France.
I find it sad, that we have learned so little, about the great sacrifices of the young and eager men and women, in the war to end all wars.
Sacrificing is not always, to die for a cause, or being mortally wounded and dying of those wounds many months later when they have dropped off the radar.This is certainly much more than anyone expects of them. We hope they will return victorious and minimize their hardships so the next generation of gladiators will go blindly, into a full of adventure frolic, without fear and with the sense of immortality, oozing from every pore, into the cauldron. That is, until the day, one of their illusions is shattered by the sight of one unidentifiable corpse. That is when the adventure turns to reality. "My God ...Someone can get killed here"
A man jumps off a bridge in Oshkosh and the media gives his story
three columns , two pictures and 8 minutes of air time.
Eight servicemen are killed by a roadside bomb and a comment is made
two days later or not at all. Their body count is simply added to the monthly total.
We are so happy to read about our servicemen returning.We seem to keep forgetting how many are not.
Yesterday I wrote something about sacrifices. I digressed for a few lines and today, June 12th, I would like to get back to that subject.
Judge Judy Comes on at 4PM and the 5 o'clock news follows on the Fox network on channel 8. A lot of local news,weather, 7 children in a house fire, the PGA, baseball, the issue of "illegal immigrant rights", a mountain climber with an injured ankle stranded on a mount rescued by a ski patrol of 30 on the west coast, three seals returned to the L.I.Sound waters from Mystic, Connecticut. All this followed by the 6:00 pm news and from 6:30 to 7:00 pm Charles Gibson, with world news and national coverage. This 2 hours of "News Babel" did not contain one minute of what happened in Iraq. My point being, National Guardsmen enlist in this fine service for many reasons, none of which, is to go to some foreign overseas country to save and protect America. These men and women are sacrificing their lives, their children's welfare, their parents, and their spouses hopes and concerns. As a result of the Guardsman's absence, their families suffer greatly...causing them financial hardships, foreclosures on homes and the constant threat of death to their loved ones. Surely, when they sit looking for news in front of their T.V. and none is forthcoming, they must think that the world has forgotten them.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Incidentals to D Day

Incidentals to D Day, are important to me and should certainly be of necessary knowledge to the rest of us. There are some facts that are givens, and never mentioned.These facts are lost.Here are a few that I intend to save for us.
My Company, had a rainbow like arc, painted in bright royal blue, a 3/4 inch wide stripe, in the shape of ,the top half of a circle ,with a 7 inch diameter, and open at the base,on the front of our steel helmets. I never researched the the origin of the colors that were used but the 90th Division personnel had a yellowish, red stripe.therefore assuming them to be other than Brigade, Regimental or Army Corp identity. Some others on the beach had light blue, white, green or shades of red.
Officers had their Bars, Leafs, Eagles and Stars painted in White under this singular,upside down cup shape. These Commissioned IDs were hurriedly removed as soon as it was found to be detrimental to ones health.In addition, many Officers removed all their Brass insignia or wore them under their jackets,making saluting , almost improper. I never found out what the designated colors meant. I'm sure they were important to someone. My C.O. once said in passing, that if there was one thing he would like to know before he got out was, why the Stripe at all, when it had no meaning to anybody.

A few days before going up the gangplank of the SS Pickett we were issued Life Preserver Belts. What is unique about these belts is their adaptability. We found ourselves using them for everything except for "life saving".These contraptions, came in so handy, that in hindsight,
I have to smile whenever they come to mind. Their composition was a soft rubber and cloth combination with two parallel inflatable compartments 48 inches long and approximately 5 inches wide. The thickness being less than one inch made them very transportable.
They were fastened on ones waist, with an adjustable buckle and a couple of snaps.Inside an opening at one end of its length was a devise that punctured a couple of C.O. cartridges. When the carbon dioxide cylinders released their contents, the gas inflated the belt. It became extremely buoyant .Presto! A Life Preserver .
These CO cartridges and the belts could only be used once and then the whole thing was discarded.
That is, until necessity became the mother of invention.
Medics started using them, for making wounded more comfortable while and after they were treated. Even as they waited for transport, the belts added warmth for the injured men who were on the beach.
I recall,later on,there were trucks picking up the discards.These belts made, excellent pillows, and mattresses, and great cushioning in the bottom of your foxhole when you had an extended stay.
At this moment I need a breather.
I would like to get back to the main subject of the landings, if I may.
Bear with me for a few days and my experience at H Hour on June 6th will follow.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

re: "Paths of Glory" & "Private Ryan"

Thought about it for a short time, and posted the following in these broken segments, as I collected my feelings and memory of a this film, from a long while back.
I will not try to give a review of the Tom Hanks or the other characters performances, because I don't have the credentials for evaluating these.
I can just mention the movie was tolerable and very shallow with development of the Ryan character when they finally found him.
Why didn't Ryan tell us he was interested in finding out how this whole
effort came about and why, in detail.
How he felt, before he decided to sacrifice himself.
With his death, the mission was aborted, and enabled the movie to end on a patriotic note.
Personally, I like "Paths of Glory" with Kirk Douglas.
Made in 1957, about the antics of the French Brass and their relationship to their enlisted men in W.W.I. This feature is closer to the truth about
how wars are really fought, with guile, hidden culpability, and spin.
Only the bottom line in focus. Whatever went wrong, I wasn't at fault.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

" Private Ryan" Premise

"Private Ryan" was well done and a a little too high minded for for a war story.
After all, "stop what you are doing, Captain, take this detail and find this individual",so that we can console a grieving mother from more grief. Huh!High minded ? This guy they wanted, was not some Congressman's son. Just a man,son of a Gold star mother of which, there were thousands of.
I know it was done with the Sullivan brothers in the Navy when some idiot put all 4 brothers on the same ship that went down.
But that's the Navy,not the Army. It would have to be fictitious fiction to happen in the Army. I cannot imagine the repercussions if one was to ask for this type of request. It took them 5 weeks to find my Paybook. I think I'm getting the hang of this, Miselaineous.

Opinion on "Saving Private Ryan"

Private Ryan started off on the wrong foot for me because the plot concerned the preservation of some GI by some high "mucky muck"
in the Pentagon, for some high morality reason.
Immediately after the Captain and his detail get their assignment,
they are beyond the Allied front lines and plodding though an open field, with a full view of a wooded area 100 or so feet behind them in the camera shot, when they stop to get their bearings.
The Vertical White Stripe, painted on the back of every Officer's helmet, was the target of the day for the local sniper. Enlisted men, a Horizontal Stripe. They all still had stripes, even after they found Ryan,months later, when they got to the bridge.
We scraped off the paint at our first opportunity. Officers first, then us.

Positive aspect of "Private Ryan".

The easy going attitude of the combat veterans with their superiors
was interesting to me because of its reality.
First name basis and no saluting was essential for direct communication without making you feel like a whipped dog who was being punished for not doing anything wrong. We took our orders and carried them out,from
guys we trusted with our lives at times, and these guys knew we were dependable to a fault.
I can't tell you anything about the bloody landing on Omaha Beach
depicted in the movie, but some people think it was,too bloody.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Blog misconception

When I opened this Blog, I thought this was a way for me to inform
the curious about my experience.
I've been told that this is not how a blog works.

It seems that I should post something provocative to get a visitor
into some kind of dialogue of his or her choice.

If I knew how to do that, I would be publishing a book.
So, here I am.
How about flying our flags at half mast, all over the country, every day,
till the end of hostilities,for the brave men and women who die in Iraq
every single day!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Blog Reasoning

I created this Blog simply because I could.
I am very proud in acquiring minimal computer skills at my age and would like to share some of my old "fuddy duddy" views with anyone
willing to listen.
Hopefully I can hold the interest of any prospective Blogger, digging
for a look at the last 75 years of my opinion or recollection.

Important Issues

Important issues I would like to discuss are the following.Though not necessarily in the order of my concerned interests.
They are;
Political Spin
Media speculation on factual data.
Military corrosion,
Woman's rights,
American decline in manufacturing,

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

First response

Now, I have received my very first successful posted comment.
A lot of serious questions have been asked, that require a lot of serious answers
I want this Blog to be a place that Veterans and the public, find answers
to this historical event of the Utah Beach landings as perceived by one who was there.Your questions are welcomed and my response will be quickly, honestly and accurately reported.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Daily Visit

Made up my mind to visit my Blog every day
just to say hello.
All comments and requests for information
will be dealt with immediately .
Have not dealt with my own Profile yet but it is due soon.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Welcome to this site today and feel free to communicate with me 24/7.
I will answer any reasonable inquiry.