#MilitaryMonday

Military thank you

Military Monday is a weekly feature honoring the Military of the United States and its Allies.

1959, the ‪#US Navy‬ and the US Postal Service deliver the first official missile mail when USS Barbero (SS 317) fires a Regulus I missile with 3,000 letters 100 miles east of Jacksonville, Fla., to Mayport, Fla.

Letter carrier Noble Upperman places the first guided missile letters in his mail bag as other postal officials look on. Postmaster General Arthur E. Summerfield is to the right of Upperman holding the bag. The Regulus Missile fired from USS Barbero (SS-317) landed at Mayport, Florida. US Navy Photo Collection

Letter carrier Noble Upperman places the first guided missile letters in his mail bag as other postal officials look on. Postmaster General Arthur E. Summerfield is to the right of Upperman holding the bag. The Regulus Missile fired from USS Barbero (SS-317) landed at Mayport, Florida. US Navy Photo Collection

Reporters and photographers patiently wait the removal of the first Missile Mail from Regulus. The missile was fired from USS Barbero (SS-317) and landed Mayport, Florida. US Navy Photo Collection

Reporters and photographers patiently wait the removal of the first Missile Mail from Regulus. The missile was fired from USS Barbero (SS-317) and landed Mayport, Florida. US Navy Photo Collection

USS Barbero (SS 317) underway during the late 1950s with Regulus Missile. US Navy Photo Collection.

USS Barbero (SS 317) underway during the late 1950s with Regulus Missile. US Navy Photo Collection.

Philatelic Cover from USS Barbero (SS 317) commemorating the first Missile Mail. The missile was fired from USS Barbero (SS 317) and landed in Mayport, Florida. Courtesy of the National Postal Museum, Smithsonian.

Philatelic Cover from USS Barbero (SS 317) commemorating the first Missile Mail. The missile was fired from USS Barbero (SS 317) and landed in Mayport, Florida. Courtesy of the National Postal Museum, Smithsonian.

1944, the construction of artificial harbors and sheltered anchorages, also known as Mulberries, begins off the Normandy coast. The artificial harbors were required as the Germans continued to control port cities for the most of the remaining month.

Normandy Invasion, June 1944. "Phoenix" caissons being emplaced as breakwaters for a "Mulberry" artificial harbor off the Normandy invasion beaches, 14 June 1944. Photograph credited to SHAEF-OSS. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Normandy Invasion, June 1944. “Phoenix” caissons being emplaced as breakwaters for a “Mulberry” artificial harbor off the Normandy invasion beaches, 14 June 1944. Photograph credited to SHAEF-OSS.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

The End of Mulberry "A" Dwight C. Shepler #161 Watercolor, 1944 88-199-FI Below the bluff of the Omaha beachhead, the twisted relic of the fabulous artificial harbor of Mulberry filled the sea. The row of concrete caissons paralleling the shore finally disintegrated on the third day of the great storm of June 19-22, 1944, letting the seas though to break up the floating piers.

The End of Mulberry “A”
Dwight C. Shepler #161
Watercolor, 1944
88-199-FI
Below the bluff of the Omaha beachhead, the twisted relic of the fabulous artificial harbor of Mulberry filled the sea. The row of concrete caissons paralleling the shore finally disintegrated on the third day of the great storm of June 19-22, 1944, letting the seas though to break up the floating piers.

Normandy Invasion, June 1944. "SeaBee" mobile repair shop on a large pontoon, used to support the "Mulberry" artificial harbor off the Normandy beachhead in mid-1944. Note the "USS 'Can-Do'" emblem, tent, quonset hut, tattered U.S. Ensign and Jeep on the pontoon, plus crowd of shipping in the distance. Photograph was released for publication on 27 December 1944, in preparation for the "SeaBees" third anniversary onj 28 December. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Normandy Invasion, June 1944. “SeaBee” mobile repair shop on a large pontoon, used to support the “Mulberry” artificial harbor off the Normandy beachhead in mid-1944. Note the “USS ‘Can-Do'” emblem, tent, quonset hut, tattered U.S. Ensign and Jeep on the pontoon, plus crowd of shipping in the distance. Photograph was released for publication on 27 December 1944, in preparation for the “SeaBees” third anniversary onj 28 December. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Mulberry at Work
Dwight C. Shepler #159
Watercolor, June 1944.

Worth noting: the Royal Navy’s constructors insisted that all planned fastenings and moorings be completed and tested before moving crgo. The SeaBees and their CEC engineering staff insisted the specs were way over-engineered and did enough to get cargo moving ashore. The storms of June 19 destroyed the Omaha Beach Mulberry, leaving the British one at Arromanches to take the load. The American Mulberry was destroyed and hundreds of ships and thousands of supplies sunk by fierce storms in a few weeks after D-Day. The British Mulberry was heavily damaged.

1944, the Allied forces land troops on Normandy beaches for the largest amphibious landing in history — Operation Overlord (D-Day) — beginning the march eastward to defeat Germany and ultimately destroy the Nazi regime on May 7, 1945.

Assault Wave Cox'n Dwight C. Shepler #141a Watercolor, 1944 88-199-EN The landing craft coxswain was the symbol and fiber of the amphibious force. Exposed to enemy fire as he steered his craft to shore, the lives of thirty-six infantrymen in his small LCVP were his responsibility. If he failed in his mission of landing these troops, the strategy of admirals went for naught; the bombardment of a naval force alone could never gain a foothold on the hostile and contested shore. Prairie boy or city lad, the coxswain became a paragon of courageous determination and seamanship.

Assault Wave Cox’n
Dwight C. Shepler #141a
Watercolor, 1944
88-199-EN
The landing craft coxswain was the symbol and fiber of the amphibious force. Exposed to enemy fire as he steered his craft to shore, the lives of thirty-six infantrymen in his small LCVP were his responsibility. If he failed in his mission of landing these troops, the strategy of admirals went for naught; the bombardment of a naval force alone could never gain a foothold on the hostile and contested shore. Prairie boy or city lad, the coxswain became a paragon of courageous determination and seamanship.

Normandy Invasion, June 1944. Troops in an LCVP landing craft approaching "Omaha" Beach on "D-Day", 6 June 1944. Note helmet netting; faint "No Smoking" sign on the LCVP's ramp; and M1903 rifles and M1 carbines carried by some of these men. This photograph was taken from the same LCVP as Photo # SC 189986. Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

Normandy Invasion, June 1944. Troops in an LCVP landing craft approaching “Omaha” Beach on “D-Day”, 6 June 1944. Note helmet netting; faint “No Smoking” sign on the LCVP’s ramp; and M1903 rifles and M1 carbines carried by some of these men. This photograph was taken from the same LCVP as Photo # SC 189986. Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

The Tough Beach Dwight C. Shepler #147 Watercolor, June 1944 88-199-EU This is what the Allied forces in Normandy called the Omaha beachhead. All day the landing waves suffered terrible attrition from the stubborn, enfilade German fire which raked the shore. A coast studded with beach and underwater obstacles, mines, and German fortified positions and pillboxes, it proved deadly to many American soldiers and sailors on June 6, 1944.

The Tough Beach
Dwight C. Shepler #147
Watercolor, June 1944
88-199-EU
This is what the Allied forces in Normandy called the Omaha beachhead. All day the landing waves suffered terrible attrition from the stubborn, enfilade German fire which raked the shore. A coast studded with beach and underwater obstacles, mines, and German fortified positions and pillboxes, it proved deadly to many American soldiers and sailors on June 6, 1944.

Normandy Invasion, June 1944. Landing ships putting cargo ashore on one of the invasion beaches, at low tide during the first days of the operation, June 1944. Among identifiable ships present are USS LST-532 (in the center of the view); USS LST-262 (3rd LST from right); USS LST-310 (2nd LST from right); USS LST-533 (partially visible at far right); and USS LST-524. Note barrage balloons overhead and Army "half-track" convoy forming up on the beach. Photograph from the U.S. Coast Guard Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

Normandy Invasion, June 1944. Landing ships putting cargo ashore on one of the invasion beaches, at low tide during the first days of the operation, June 1944. Among identifiable ships present are USS LST-532 (in the center of the view); USS LST-262 (3rd LST from right); USS LST-310 (2nd LST from right); USS LST-533 (partially visible at far right); and USS LST-524. Note barrage balloons overhead and Army “half-track” convoy forming up on the beach. Photograph from the U.S. Coast Guard Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

90 percent of combat aviators who served at the Battle of Midway earned their wings through Navy Reserve Aviation programs.

After completing training, Naval Aviation‬ Cadets served three years on active duty before being commissioned as Ensigns in the US Navy Reserve. These U.S. Navy Reserve pilots became the nucleus of the U.S. Naval Air Forces that would fight in WWII‬.

Naval Reserve Aviation Cadets receive navigation instruction in front of a Vought OS2U aircraft, circa 1942-43. Note four varieties of uniform worn by the cadets, including khaki working uniforms with flight cap and parachute, aviation working "greens," service dress "white" and service dress "blues." Instructor is wearing a fleece-lined leather flight suite. ( US National Archives 80-G-K-16145)

Naval Reserve Aviation Cadets receive navigation instruction in front of a Vought OS2U aircraft, circa 1942-43. Note four varieties of uniform worn by the cadets, including khaki working uniforms with flight cap and parachute, aviation working “greens,” service dress “white” and service dress “blues.” Instructor is wearing a fleece-lined leather flight suite. ( US National Archives 80-G-K-16145)

Martin BM-1, of VT-1S, take off over the stern of the USS Lexington (CV 2) on May 17, 1934.  USN Photo Collection.

Martin BM-1, of VT-1S, take off over the stern of the USS Lexington (CV 2) on May 17, 1934. USN Photo Collection.

Stearman N2s-3 "Kaydet" training planes on the flight line during World War II.  (US National Archives 80-G-K14044)

Stearman N2s-3 “Kaydet” training planes on the flight line during World War II. (US National Archives 80-G-K14044)

Floyd Bennett Field NY Reserve Squadron Aircraft, 1932.  USN Photo Collection.

Floyd Bennett Field NY Reserve Squadron Aircraft, 1932. USN Photo Collection.

The Battle of Midway begins in 1942. The battle is a decisive win for the U.S, bringing an end to Japanese naval superiority in the Pacific.

Battle of Midway, June 1942. Ensign George H. Gay at Pearl Harbor Naval Hospital, with a nurse and a copy of the "Honolulu Star-Bulletin" newspaper featuring accounts of the battle. He was the only survivor of the 4 June 1942 Torpedo Squadron Eight (VT-8) TBD torpedo plane attack on the Japanese carrier force. Gay's book "Sole Survivor" indicates that the date of this photograph is probably 7 June 1942, following an operation to repair his injured left hand and a meeting with Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, U.S. National Archives Collection.

Battle of Midway, June 1942. Ensign George H. Gay at Pearl Harbor Naval Hospital, with a nurse and a copy of the “Honolulu Star-Bulletin” newspaper featuring accounts of the battle. He was the only survivor of the 4 June 1942 Torpedo Squadron Eight (VT-8) TBD torpedo plane attack on the Japanese carrier force.
Gay’s book “Sole Survivor” indicates that the date of this photograph is probably 7 June 1942, following an operation to repair his injured left hand and a meeting with Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, U.S. National Archives Collection.

The Battle of Midway Robert Benny #7 Oil on Canvas, circa 1943

The Battle of Midway
Robert Benny #7
Oil on Canvas, circa 1943

Air Attack on Japanese Carriers Griffith Baily Coale #31 Charcoal & pastel, circa 1942

Air Attack on Japanese Carriers
Griffith Baily Coale #31
Charcoal & pastel, circa 1942

Battle of Midway, June 1942. Diorama by Norman Bel Geddes, depicting the explosion of depth charges from USS Hammann (DD-412) as she sank alongside USS Yorktown (CV-5) during the afternoon of 6 June 1942. Both ships were torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-168 while Hammann was assisting with the salvage of Yorktown. USS Vireo (AT-144) is shown at left, coming back to pick up survivors, as destroyers head off to search for the submarine. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Battle of Midway, June 1942. Diorama by Norman Bel Geddes, depicting the explosion of depth charges from USS Hammann (DD-412) as she sank alongside USS Yorktown (CV-5) during the afternoon of 6 June 1942. Both ships were torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-168 while Hammann was assisting with the salvage of Yorktown. USS Vireo (AT-144) is shown at left, coming back to pick up survivors, as destroyers head off to search for the submarine.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

1934, USS Ranger (CV 4), the first U.S. Navy ship designed from the keel up as a carrier, is commissioned at Norfolk, Va. During WWII‬, she participates in Operation Torch and Operation Leader.

USS Ranger (CV 4) underway in Hampton Roads, Va., 18 August 1942. Note partially lowered after elevator and flight deck identification letters "R N G R" still visible just ahead of the ramp. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives

USS Ranger (CV 4) underway in Hampton Roads, Va., 18 August 1942. Note partially lowered after elevator and flight deck identification letters “R N G R” still visible just ahead of the ramp. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives

Grumman F3F-1 Fighters of Fighting Squadron Four (VF-4) from USS Ranger (CV 4) In flight over the Southern California coast. Photo is dated January 1939. Plane in the foreground is Bureau # 0261. Original photograph is in the collections of the Aviation History Branch, Naval Historical Center.

Grumman F3F-1 Fighters of Fighting Squadron Four (VF-4) from USS Ranger (CV 4) In flight over the Southern California coast. Photo is dated January 1939. Plane in the foreground is Bureau # 0261. Original photograph is in the collections of the Aviation History Branch, Naval Historical Center.

Sailors stripping ship aboard USS Ranger (CV 4), in anticipation of action off Morocco, circa early November 1942. Paint has been chipped from the bulkheads and overheads as a precaution against fire. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Sailors stripping ship aboard USS Ranger (CV 4), in anticipation of action off Morocco, circa early November 1942. Paint has been chipped from the bulkheads and overheads as a precaution against fire. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

North Africa Operation, November 1942 - testing machine guns of Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat fighters aboard USS Ranger (CV 4), while en route from the U.S. to North African waters, circa early November 1942. Note the special markings used during this operation, with a yellow ring painted around the national insignia on aircraft fuselages. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

North Africa Operation, November 1942 – testing machine guns of Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat fighters aboard USS Ranger (CV 4), while en route from the U.S. to North African waters, circa early November 1942. Note the special markings used during this operation, with a yellow ring painted around the national insignia on aircraft fuselages. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

"Battle of Midway, 3 June 1942" by Claudus Rodolfo, Oil Painting This painting shows a lone Japanese airplane downed in front of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier. The artist took liberties in many aspects of this painting. He claims that this image shows June 3, 1942; however, the battle did not begin until June 4. Also, the aircraft carrier in the image is USS Yorktown (CV 10), but that particular Yorktown was built in 1943 and is currently on display as a museum ship at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, South Carolina. USS Yorktown (CV 5) was the ship lost at the Battle of Midway.

“Battle of Midway, 3 June 1942” by Claudus Rodolfo, Oil Painting
This painting shows a lone Japanese airplane downed in front of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier.
The artist took liberties in many aspects of this painting. He claims that this image shows June 3, 1942; however, the battle did not begin until June 4. Also, the aircraft carrier in the image is USS Yorktown (CV 10), but that particular Yorktown was built in 1943 and is currently on display as a museum ship at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, South Carolina. USS Yorktown (CV 5) was the ship lost at the Battle of Midway.

1917, during ‪‎WWI‬, USS Jupiter (AC 3), transports the first contingent of U.S. ‪‎Naval Aviators‬, the First Naval Aeronautical Detachment, to Pauillac, France. The men are commanded by Lt. Kenneth Whiting. USS Jupiter is later converted into the Navy’s first aircraft carrier USS Langley (CV 1).

Five of the U.S. Navy's early aviators, at Pensacola, Fla. Circa 1915-1916

Five of the U.S. Navy’s early aviators, at Pensacola, Fla. Circa 1915-1916

USS Jupiter (Fuel Ship # 3). Off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 16 October 1913. USN Photo Collection

USS Jupiter (Fuel Ship # 3). Off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 16 October 1913. USN Photo Collection

US Naval Air Station, Pauillac, France. U.S. Navy sailors working on extending the railroad for the A&R Shop, circa WWI. USN Photo Collection.

US Naval Air Station, Pauillac, France. U.S. Navy sailors working on extending the railroad for the A&R Shop, circa WWI. USN Photo Collection.

US Naval Air Station, Pauillac, France, Barracks, Warehouses, and offices, circa WWI. NHHC Photograph Collection, L-File, US Naval Air Stations, Overseas.

US Naval Air Station, Pauillac, France, Barracks, Warehouses, and offices, circa WWI. NHHC Photograph Collection, L-File, US Naval Air Stations, Overseas.

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D-Day at 74: In Their Own Words

Saturday, June 6, is the 71st anniversary of the US, British, Canadian and Australian invasion of Normandy, France.

Wednesday, June 6, is the 74th anniversary of the US, British, Canadian and Australian invasion of Normandy, France.

“The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers in arms on other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.”

— Excerpt from Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s message to Normandy invasion troops the night before D-Day.

By sea and by air they descended on a 50-mile stretch of German-fortified French coastline, 74 years ago today.

Wearing the uniforms of a dozen Allied nations, some 175,000 young men risked it all in one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history. That first day alone, an estimated 46,000 would never see home again. But such was the cost of freedom.

World War II veteran Dick Ramsey who was a 19-year-old gunner on the USS Nevada off the shore of Utah beach on D-Day.

World War II veteran Dick Ramsey who was a 19-year-old gunner on the USS Nevada off the shore of Utah beach on D-Day.

The Battle of Normandy would be the beginning of the end of World War II in Europe. On Aug. 25, Paris was liberated. The following spring, Germany surrendered. Eyewitness accounts of D-Day grow ever more precious, with an estimated 500-plus World War II veterans dying every day.

World War II veteran Alexander Eckmann who participated in the D-Day invasion.

World War II veteran Alexander Eckmann who participated in the D-Day invasion.

For the 70th anniversary of the invasion in 2014, writers and historians gathered the memories of 10 men who were there, from bombardiers to seamen to privates trapped on those beaches burnished in memory: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword.

Here are some of their stories:

‘You were scared stiff to move’ 

A child of the Bronx who joined the National Guard in the fall of 1940, when he was still 15 years old, Martin Painkin landed on Omaha Beach early on the morning of D-Day with the Army’s 2nd Ranger Battalion. He received a Silver Star for gallantry for his actions June 6-9 and a Purple Heart for wounds received in action on June 7. Now 89, living in Riviera Beach, he recalled those days with writer Staci Sturrock.

“It was like a slaughter. It really was,” says Martin Painkin from his wheelchair at the VA’s Community Living Center.

‘There were literally thousands of bodies’

A state champion swimmer from Hammond, Ind., Walter Gumula was an 18-year-old Navy frogman among the first waves of troops landing on Omaha Beach on June 6. Now 88, and living in Port Salerno, he recounted his D-Day exploits.

Their mission was secret.

‘Nobody learns anything’

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Lenny Scatturo was a 21-year-old gunner’s mate third class on the USS Ancon, flagship for the forces that landed on Omaha Beach. Today, at 91, he lives in West Palm Beach.

From the deck of his landing craft control boat, Lenny Scatturo watched helplessly as 10 amphibious tanks succumbed to the six-foot swells of the English Channel, long before they neared Omaha Beach.

‘I wonder how those guys lived through D-Day’

A Hoboken, N.J., native, Charlie Meyer was a B-17 bombardier with the 388th Bomb Group. He completed 34 missions over France and Germany in 1944, including two on D-Day. Now 95, and living in Greenacres;

The B-17 crew received strict orders before departing Knettishall, England, in the pre-dawn darkness of D-Day: “No aborts on this mission.”

‘There was a lot of sweat, a lot of cursing’

Dick Ramsey was a 19-year-old Navy seaman on the USS Nevada, which bombarded German installations at Utah beach. Today, the 89-year-old Ramsey lives in Port St. Lucie, where he shared his memories.

Dick Ramsey’s job at Utah beach was delivering hot steel retribution.

‘I was struck by the smell of dead bodies’

Solis ‘Sol’ Kaslow was a 19-year-old from Philadelphia, serving as a quartermaster aboard PT 508 on D-Day. Now 89, and living in Palm Beach Gardens, he talked about his memories.

Hours before their most important mission began, the 13 men aboard PT 508 bowed their heads and talked to God.

‘A shock to see Americans floating face up’

A Long Island native, Alexander “Al” Eckmann was a sergeant in U.S. Army counterintelligence on D-Day. He was assigned to land on Utah Beach with the VII Corps of the Army. Now 89, and living in Juno Beach.

Sgt. Al Eckmann dangles from a rope ladder on the side of a U.S. Coast Guard cutter, trying to focus on the spotter’s voice through deafening blasts from the nearby USS Texas.

‘What we saw that day you will never see again’

Kal Lewis was drafted the day he graduated from high school in Passaic, N.J. At 19, he was among the waves of combat engineers who invaded Utah beach. The youngest of 14 children, he was one of five brothers who served in World War II. At 89, he lives in Wellington.:

German shells were exploding overhead as 19-year-old Kal Lewis stepped off the landing craft and into rough water up to his neck.

‘There were bodies floating everywhere’

On D-Day, John Edmunds was 19 years old, a seaman in the Royal Canadian Navy from Burlington, Ontario. His mission: A helmsman on an escort ship leading cargo ships to the Normandy shore of Juno Beach. Today, 89, a retiree in West Palm Beach.

Seaman John Edmunds of the Royal Canadian Navy finds only a cloudless day and clear sea as he stands at the helm of the armored escort ship HMCS Drumheller, his captain barking down orders from the bridge: “Port, two degrees!”

‘It was difficult firing on our country’

Parisian Rene Cerisoles served on a French light cruiser under U.S. command off Omaha Beach. Now 89, and living in Palm Beach Gardens.

As the Montcalm pulled into position off Omaha Beach that June morning in 1944, chief petty officer Rene Cerisoles found himself looking at a familiar shoreline.

Map of the air plan for the Allied landing in Normandy.

Map of the air plan for the Allied landing in Normandy.

74 years ago, more than 150,000 brave men participated in the D-Day invasion on the beaches of Normandy. They were American, they were Canadian, they were British; and they were united under one goal — to save Europe.

Nearly 5,000 men lost their lives that day, their sacrifice helped defeat the Nazis and is seared in the hearts of millions. Now, seven decades later, people will look back at that momentous day that marked the beginning of the end of World War II.

Dday

Thanks to all the Allies, men and women, officer and enlisted, the buried and the survivors. God bless them all.

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#DDay71: June 5, 1944

DDay Normandy

‪#‎HonorTheFallen‬ ‪#‎HonorTheSurvivors‬ ‪#‎RememberDDay‬ #DDay71

June 5th, 1944 – the Allies prepare for D-Day.

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On this day in 1944, more than 1,000 British bombers drop 5,000 tons of bombs on German gun batteries placed at the Normandy assault area, while 3,000 Allied ships cross the English Channel in preparation for the invasion of Normandy — D-Day.

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The day of the invasion of occupied France had been postponed repeatedly since May, mostly because of bad weather and the enormous tactical obstacles involved. Finally, despite less than ideal weather conditions—or perhaps because of them—General Eisenhower decided on June 5 to set the next day as D-Day, the launch of the largest amphibious operation in history.

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Ike knew that the Germans would be expecting postponements beyond the sixth, precisely because weather conditions were still poor….

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#RedFriday: WWII Veterans Receive French Legion of Honor Medals

French Legion of Honor medals. The medal is the highest French distinction.

French Legion of Honor medals. The medal is the highest French distinction.

Six World War II veterans were honored with French Legion of Honor medals. The medal is the highest French distinction.

The medals were bestowed upon the veterans by French Consul General Gregor Trumel. A ceremony was held on Thursday at The National WWII Museum in New Orleans.

The Legion of Honor Medal was created by Napoleon in 1802 to acknowledge services rendered to France by persons of exceptional merit and accomplishments. French representatives expressed their gratitude and appreciation for their contribution to the liberation of France during World War II.

Medals were bestowed upon:

  • Mr. Ralph J. Bertheaud (Posthumous),
  • Mr. Louis Bradley(Plaquemines Parish, LA),
  • Mr. Aubrey H. Covington (Metairie, LA),
  • Mr. Leonard J. Kuckelman (Atchison County, KS),
  • Mr. Ubert J. Labat Jr (Slidell, LA),
  • and Mr. Lampton C. Terrel (Bush, LA),

The six were named Chevaliers de la Légion d’honneur, Knights in the order of the Legion of Honor.

Last month: Charles Bruns recipient of French Legion of Honor

Charles ‘Chick’ Bruns

Charles ‘Chick’ Bruns

WWII Veteran Charles ‘Chick’ Bruns of Champaign IL was selected and appointed to the rank of Knight of the Legion of Honor, France’s highest distinction. Through this award, the French government pays tribute to the soldiers who did so much for France 70 years ago.

Charles Bruns served with the 3rd Division, 10th Engineer Battalion throughout WWII and was active during the invasions of North Africa, Sicily, Italy and Southern France. He ended military service in August, 1945 at the rank of Technical Sargent. During his service, Chick kept a diary, took photographs and collected postcards. This along with the letters he wrote home to his parents is being shared in the most complete daily account of a solider during WWII on the Website: 70yearsago.com

Presented by Vincent Floreani, Consul General de France a Chicago, “you gave your youth to France and the French people. Many of your fellow soldiers did not return but they remain in our hearts”. The French National Order of the Legion of Honor is an order of distinction first established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802. American recipients include Generals Dwight D. Eisenhower and Douglas MacArthur and Admiral Michael Mullen. Today there are approximately 93,000 Legion of Honor recipients.

American veterans like Chick who risked their lives during World War II and who fought on French territory qualify to be decorated as Knights of the Legion of Honor. Veterans must have fought in one of the four main campaigns of the Liberation of France: Normandy, Provence, Ardennes, or Northern France.

Veteran Charles F. wrote a diary during the second world war which is now being published by his son. He served in North Africa and Europe until the war ended.  John Bruns, his son, has re-purposed the diary into a website called http://www.70yearsago.com . The website is updated daily.

He argues that it is his father who is blogging from the past.

Chick Bruns, 94 used to sell clothes at Joseph Kuhn & Co in downtown Champaign before he volunteered to join U.S. Army.

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Sacred Sunday: 11th Century Romanesque Murals in France

Unknown Romanesque Painter, French (active around 1220) Christ in Majesty, circa 1220, fresco, Former Benedictine Abbey, Lavaudieu, France

Unknown Romanesque Painter, French (active around 1220)
Christ in Majesty, circa 1220, fresco,
Former Benedictine Abbey, Lavaudieu, France

Church walls and ceilings were decorated extensively in France during the 11th and 12th centuries. Composed mainly of scenes from the Bible, the aim of this mural painting was to inform the mostly illiterate church congregation, and serve as a form of devotion. French Romanesque murals were characterized by more abstract, dynamic and animated imagery than elsewhere in Europe. The best site for such pictorial works is the abbey church of Saint-Savin sur-Gartempe. When it comes to Romanesque painting in France, apart from Touraine and the neighboring provinces, Maine, Anjou, Poitou, Berry and Orleans, which comprise a particularly favored region, we must mention three other important zones: Burgundy, Auvergne and Roussillon.

As has been suggested by the art scholar Duprat, French Romanesque painting can be conveniently divided into four groups, which differ essentially in manner: the fresco paintings of the west, with subdued color on a light background; the bright paintings on blue background found chiefly in Bugundy and in the south-east; the paintings of Auvergne, with their dark background, and the Catalan paintings of the Eastern Pyrenees. Of course this division is valid only in its broad lines, and we can find paintings with light backgrounds in Auvergne and Burgundy. In any case, many works cannot be attached to any particular school or group.

01gartem

Interior view of the nave
c. 1100
Fresco
Abbey Church, Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe

Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe is the oldest hall church of the Poitou region in France. Its choir and transept dates back to between 1060 and 1085 and the nave to between 1095 and 1115. The high colonnades of the central nave are spanned by a barrel vault. The extensive remnants of the original painting on the piers and the vault give a clear idea of the lively character of Romanesque churches.

02gartem

Interior view of the nave
c. 1100
Fresco
Abbey Church, Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe

03gartem

Fresco cycle
c. 1100
Fresco
Abbey Church, Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe

The fresco cycle in the vault of the monastery church of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe narrates stories from the Old Testament in a rather confusing sequence. The artist had the task of representing the story of Moses, from the creation of the world until his death, and it had to be told by means of selected and exegetically representative scenes which were to be distributed all over the vaulted ceiling. As a result, the story of the Bible turns into a concise account of the history of civilization of the medieval world.

04gartem

The Creation of Adam and Eve
c. 1100
Fresco
Abbey Church, Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe

When establishing the narrative composition, priority was given to the arrangement of narrative events rather than to the continuous narrative flow.  One of the scenes depicts the creation of the first human couple. It is the only scene in the cycle which contains events that unfold in chronological succession but are represented in a unified pictorial space.

God the Father is seen bending over the reclining Adam and removing one of his ribs. Then Adam is depicted standing upright next to his creator, listening to his admonitions and winking at Eve. Eve, who has her back turned to the tree of knowledge, turns round and together with her husband leaves the Garden of Eden after the Fall of Man.

05gartem

The Building of the Tower of Babel
c. 1100
Fresco
Abbey Church, Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe

Popular subjects, such as the building of the Tower of Babel, were made to stand out in spectacular fashion. The scene depicting the building of the Tower of Babel even turns into a kind of visual instruction in the state of the medieval building trade: the rough-hewn ashlar blocks are carried along on men’s shoulders.

Holding an angle-iron in his right hand, we see an architect standing on the tower, about to take up a stone which somebody is handing to him. A mason in the foreground is taking mortar out of a bucket. next to the bucket there is a cable which used to pull up the container. Then, suddenly, God the Father makes his appearance in order to punish the worker’s actions with the confusion of tongues.

06gartem

Noah’s Ark
c. 1100
Fresco
Abbey Church, Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe

This fresco belongs to a Noah cycle related in eight episodes in the context of an Old Testament series extending over the vault of the former Benedictine monastery church. A New testament sequence adorns the presbytery and galleries, and further frescoes are in the vestibule and the crypt. The superb series of paintings on the barrel vaulting were executed in one session by at least four artists. The remaining groups of works were apparently the responsibility of a single, leading artist in each case.

Noah's Ark (detail) c. 1100 Fresco Abbey Church, Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe

Noah’s Ark (detail)
c. 1100
Fresco
Abbey Church, Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe

The fresco cycle in the vault of the monastery church of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe narrates stories from the Old Testament in a rather confusing sequence. When establishing the narrative composition, priority was given to the arrangement of narrative events rather than to the continuous narrative flow.

Thus, popular subjects, such as Noah’s Ark, were made to stand out in spectacular fashion. As was common in the Middle Ages, the artist who created this picture showed the ark as a lateral elevation. Judging by its hull, the ark is a Viking ship with a stem fortified by monsters, and a three-story superstructure and small wheel-house just as described in the Bible. Animals look out through the round-arched windows, and Noah’s family crouch above.

13berze

Spandrel figure
c. 1100
Fresco
Château des Moines, Berzé-la-Ville

(Above and below) There are wonderful wall paintings in the Cluniac chapel of Château des Moines at Berzé-la-Ville, near Cluny. The chapel contains the tomb of Abbot Hugh of Cluny (1049-1109) who designed the programme of the mural paintings of highly peculiar iconography. These paintings represent the best surviving examples of the art of Cluny.

14berze

Martyrdom of Blasius
c. 1100
Fresco
Château des Moines, Berzé-la-Ville

15isere

Martyrdom of Blasius
c. 1100
Fresco
Château des Moines, Berzé-la-Ville

The apses and convent chapel on the upper level of the northern transept of the abbey church of Saint-Chef, east of Lyon, converted in 1056, contain remnants of what was surely once extensive fresco work. The paintings in the chapel were freed of later painting in 1967, and, though damaged, are in a quite good state of preservation. In the small apse niche one can see a depiction of Christ in his glory, surrounded by angels and the symbols of the Evangelists.

Sts Savinus and Cyprian are tortured c. 1100 Fresco Crypt, Abbey Church, Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe

Sts Savinus and Cyprian are tortured
c. 1100
Fresco
Crypt, Abbey Church, Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe

The church of St Savin-sur-Gartempe, some thirty miles east of Poitiers, contains the most extensive cycle of Romanesque wall-paintings in France. Those in the crypt represent scenes from the lives of the two patron saints of the church, Sts Savinus and Cyprian. They were believed to be two fifth-century Christian converts who lived in northern Italy. Persecuted for their faith they fled to a location on the Gartempe river in France, where they were put to death. Their relics were discovered in the ninth century and are preserved in the crypt of the church.

Scene of Martyrdom (detail of Sts Savinus and Cyprian are tortured c. 1100 Fresco Abbey Church, Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe

Scene of Martyrdom
(detail of Sts Savinus and Cyprian are tortured
c. 1100
Fresco
Abbey Church, Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe

The lower church of the abbey church was dedicated to Sts Savin and Cyprien. On the walls of the crypt the Last Judgment and scenes from the martyrdom of the saints are represented.

Traditio Legis 1100s Wall painting Priory, Berzé-La-Ville

Traditio Legis
1100s
Wall painting
Priory, Berzé-La-Ville

The early twelfth-century wall-painting in the apse of the chapel of the summer retreat of the abbots of Cluny at Berzé-la-Ville – probably a replica of one originally found in the apse of the now-destroyed abbey church of Cluny III – has as its unusual theme the Twelve Apostles combined with the Traditio Legis. In this Christ grants to St Peter the authority to govern the Church, symbolized by the handing over of a scroll; thus Peter is identified as the precursor of the popes.

The wall-painting is dominated by the figure of Christ in Majesty in a mandorla. He hands St Peter a scroll granting him authority to govern the church, and is surrounded by the Twelve Apostles. The style of the wall-painting is characteristic of that in Rome and southern Italy at the beginning of the twelfth century, and exhibits the strong influence of Byzantine painting.

Christ in Majesty c. 1100 Fresco, height c. 400 cm Château des Moines, Berzé-la-Ville

Christ in Majesty
c. 1100
Fresco, height c. 400 cm
Château des Moines, Berzé-la-Ville

In the apse of Cluniac chapel of Château des Moines at Berzé-la-Ville, near Cluny, Christ is enthroned as omnipotent ruler of the world. To the right, the arm of this imposing figure extends beyond the luminous sphere to pass the scroll of the law to St Peter, who is accompanied by other apostles and four further saints.

Christ in Majesty (detail) c. 1100 Fresco, height c. 400 cm Château des Moines, Berzé-la-Ville

Christ in Majesty (detail)
c. 1100
Fresco, height c. 400 cm
Château des Moines, Berzé-la-Ville

The chapel of the priory of Saint-Gilles at Montoire was entirely covered with paintings of which the only ones that remain today are those of the original apse, painted in fresco with additions in distemper and encaustic, and those of the transept apses and two apsidioles. This chapel, which is very beautiful despite the many mutilations it has undergone through the centuries, once had Ronsard for its abbot (Pierre de Ronsard, 1524 – 1585, was a French poet and “prince of poets” – as his own generation in France called him).

It is periodically endangered by the sudden rising of the River Loire. The damp has completely unstuck the ground of the paintings at the base of the walls, particularly as the river’s successive floodings have buried these more than a yard deep. The Biblical art of Saint-Gilles presents an exceptional and very striking spectacle. Christ figures in the three apses and on the vault of the triumphal arch; in the center apse we see him teaching, in the south apse handing the keys to St. Peter, in the west apse sending the Holy Spirit to his apostles.

Carolingian influence is obvious, especially in the paintings of the triumphal arch, where Christ, in a medallion, is shown crowning the Virtues which have defeated the Vices. Near Montoire, the church of Saint-Jacques-des-Guerets – at Troo is also at the mercy of the River Loire’s water levels. On the north wall of the choir, on two registers, are the Massacre of the Innocents and the Nativity. On the left of the axial window, a touching Crucifixion with the Virgin and St. John at the foot of the cross, which is black and green with a yellow border. In the embrasure of the window, the Finger of God, St. George and St. Augustine. On the south wall we see Pride overthrown and Anger piercing itself with a sword. Further on, Paradise, with a great figure of St. Peter, then the martyrdom of St. James, the legend of St. Nicholas and finally the Raising of Lazarus.

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#WarriorWednesday

ww header

1951 : Two F-9F Panther's dump fuel alongside the USS Princeton CV-37 off the Korean coast It was safer and easier to land without the excess fuel - a criteria called "Maximum Landing Weight"

1951 : Two F-9F Panther’s dump fuel alongside the USS Princeton CV-37 off the Korean coast
It was safer and easier to land without the excess fuel – a criteria called “Maximum Landing Weight”

An Irish Guards machine-gun team in 1914 during the beginning of World War 1. Not a single one of these men pictured here survived the war.

An Irish Guards machine-gun team in 1914 during the beginning of World War 1.
Not a single one of these men pictured here survived the war.

Jan 1944 : Portrait of 28 year old Soviet Army tank commander Captain M. S. Smirnov during the Battle of the Korsun After suffering a direct hit by an enemy shell, killing several crewmates, Smirnov was still able to crush three enemy anti-tank guns and kill over 20 German combatants. Cpt. Smirnov would be killed six months later in Latvia during the Battle of Daugavpils on 29 July 1944.

Jan 1944 : Portrait of 28 year old Soviet Army tank commander Captain M. S. Smirnov during the Battle of the Korsun
After suffering a direct hit by an enemy shell, killing several crewmates, Smirnov was still able to crush three enemy anti-tank guns and kill over 20 German combatants.
Cpt. Smirnov would be killed six months later in Latvia during the Battle of Daugavpils on 29 July 1944.

1918 : A wounded AIF soldier receives an affectionate welcome home kiss after WWI, Sydney, Australia

1918 : A wounded AIF soldier receives an affectionate welcome home kiss after WWI, Sydney, Australia

Juana Galán was known for beating Napoleon’s troops out of her village during the Battle of Valdepeñas in June, 1808. There weren’t enough men to defend the village from invading French.  Juana, 21, immediately rallied all of the women in the village. When the French troops marched in, the women dumped boiling oil on top of them. One version has it that she smashed in the heads of the soldiers with her cast-iron stew-pan. The French never returned.

Juana Galán was known for beating Napoleon’s troops out of her village during the Battle of Valdepeñas in June, 1808. There weren’t enough men to defend the village from invading French.
Juana, 21, immediately rallied all of the women in the village. When the French troops marched in, the women dumped boiling oil on top of them. One version has it that she smashed in the heads of the soldiers with her cast-iron stew-pan. The French never returned.

Boston Corbett, the mad hatter.. Thomas P. "Boston" Corbett (1832 – presumed dead 1894) was an American Union Army soldier who shot and killed Abraham Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth. Corbett was born in London, England. His family emigrated to New York City in 1840. He became a hatter in Troy, New York. It has been suggested that the fumes of mercury used in the hatter's trade caused Corbett's later mental problems. Corbett married, but his wife died in childbirth. Following her death, he moved to Boston, and continued working as a hatter. He was confronted by a street preacher one night and his message persuaded him to join the Methodist Episcopal Church, which he did, subsequently changing his name to Boston, the name of the city where he was converted. In an attempt to imitate Jesus, he began to wear his hair very long. On July 16, 1858, in order to avoid the temptation of prostitutes, Corbett castrated himself with a pair of scissors. He then ate a meal and went to a prayer meeting before he sought medical treatment. In April 1861, early in the American Civil War, Corbett enlisted as a private in Company I of the New York Militia.Then on April 24, 1865, he was sent to apprehend John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of Abraham Lincoln, who was still at large.  Two days later the regiment surrounded Booth and his accomplice, David Herold, in a tobacco barn on the Virginia farm of Richard Garrett. Herold surrendered, but Booth refused to give himself up. The barn was set on fire in an attempt to force him out into the open, but Booth remained inside. Corbett was positioned near a large crack in the barn wall. Corbett claimed in an 1878 interview that he saw Booth aim his carbine. At that point, Corbett shot Booth with his Colt revolver despite Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton's orders that Booth should be taken alive. Eyewitness Lieutenant Edward Doherty, the officer in charge of the soldiers who captured Booth and Herold, stated that "the bullet struck Booth in the back of the head, about an inch below the spot where his shot had entered the head of Mr. Lincoln." Booth's spinal cord was severed, and he died two hours later. Corbett was immediately arrested for violation of his orders, but Stanton later had the charges dropped. Stanton remarked, "The rebel is dead. The patriot lives." Corbett received his share of the reward money, amounting to $1,653.84 (equivalent to $25,000 in 2014). In his official statement, Corbett claimed he shot Booth because he thought Lincoln's assassin was preparing to use his weapons. This was contradicted by the other witnesses. When asked later why he did it, Corbett answered that "Providence directed me". After his discharge from the army in August 1865, Corbett went back to work as a hatter, first in Boston, later in Connecticut, and by 1870 in New Jersey. His life was marked by increasingly erratic behavior. In 1875, he threatened several men with a pistol at a soldiers' reunion in Caldwell, Ohio. In 1878, he moved to Concordia, Kansas. In 1887, because of his fame as Booth's killer, Corbett was appointed assistant doorkeeper of the Kansas House of Representatives in Topeka. One day he overheard a conversation in which the legislature's opening prayer was mocked. He jumped to his feet and brandished a revolver. No one was hurt, but Corbett was arrested and sent to the Topeka Asylum for the Insane. On May 26, 1888, he escaped from the asylum. He went to Neodesha, Kansas, and stayed briefly with Richard Thatcher, whom he had met when they were both prisoners of war. When he left, he told Thatcher he was going to Mexico. His "madness" may have been the result of exposure to mercury. Rather than going to Mexico, Corbett is believed to have settled in a cabin he built in the forests near Hinckley, in Pine County in eastern Minnesota. He is believed to have died in the Great Hinckley Fire of September 1, 1894. Although there is no proof, the name "Thomas Corbett" does appear on the list of dead and missing.

Boston Corbett, the mad hatter..
Thomas P. “Boston” Corbett (1832 – presumed dead 1894) was an American Union Army soldier who shot and killed Abraham Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth.
Corbett was born in London, England. His family emigrated to New York City in 1840. He became a hatter in Troy, New York. It has been suggested that the fumes of mercury used in the hatter’s trade caused Corbett’s later mental problems.
Corbett married, but his wife died in childbirth. Following her death, he moved to Boston, and continued working as a hatter. He was confronted by a street preacher one night and his message persuaded him to join the Methodist Episcopal Church, which he did, subsequently changing his name to Boston, the name of the city where he was converted. In an attempt to imitate Jesus, he began to wear his hair very long. On July 16, 1858, in order to avoid the temptation of prostitutes, Corbett castrated himself with a pair of scissors. He then ate a meal and went to a prayer meeting before he sought medical treatment.
In April 1861, early in the American Civil War, Corbett enlisted as a private in Company I of the New York Militia.Then on April 24, 1865, he was sent to apprehend John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of Abraham Lincoln, who was still at large.
Two days later the regiment surrounded Booth and his accomplice, David Herold, in a tobacco barn on the Virginia farm of Richard Garrett. Herold surrendered, but Booth refused to give himself up. The barn was set on fire in an attempt to force him out into the open, but Booth remained inside. Corbett was positioned near a large crack in the barn wall. Corbett claimed in an 1878 interview that he saw Booth aim his carbine. At that point, Corbett shot Booth with his Colt revolver despite Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton’s orders that Booth should be taken alive. Eyewitness Lieutenant Edward Doherty, the officer in charge of the soldiers who captured Booth and Herold, stated that “the bullet struck Booth in the back of the head, about an inch below the spot where his shot had entered the head of Mr. Lincoln.” Booth’s spinal cord was severed, and he died two hours later.
Corbett was immediately arrested for violation of his orders, but Stanton later had the charges dropped. Stanton remarked, “The rebel is dead. The patriot lives.” Corbett received his share of the reward money, amounting to $1,653.84 (equivalent to $25,000 in 2014).
In his official statement, Corbett claimed he shot Booth because he thought Lincoln’s assassin was preparing to use his weapons. This was contradicted by the other witnesses. When asked later why he did it, Corbett answered that “Providence directed me”.
After his discharge from the army in August 1865, Corbett went back to work as a hatter, first in Boston, later in Connecticut, and by 1870 in New Jersey. His life was marked by increasingly erratic behavior. In 1875, he threatened several men with a pistol at a soldiers’ reunion in Caldwell, Ohio. In 1878, he moved to Concordia, Kansas.
In 1887, because of his fame as Booth’s killer, Corbett was appointed assistant doorkeeper of the Kansas House of Representatives in Topeka. One day he overheard a conversation in which the legislature’s opening prayer was mocked. He jumped to his feet and brandished a revolver. No one was hurt, but Corbett was arrested and sent to the Topeka Asylum for the Insane. On May 26, 1888, he escaped from the asylum. He went to Neodesha, Kansas, and stayed briefly with Richard Thatcher, whom he had met when they were both prisoners of war. When he left, he told Thatcher he was going to Mexico. His “madness” may have been the result of exposure to mercury.
Rather than going to Mexico, Corbett is believed to have settled in a cabin he built in the forests near Hinckley, in Pine County in eastern Minnesota. He is believed to have died in the Great Hinckley Fire of September 1, 1894. Although there is no proof, the name “Thomas Corbett” does appear on the list of dead and missing.

1940: A Canadian soldier searches for mines during an exercise in England.

1940: A Canadian soldier searches for mines during an exercise in England.

Oct 1944 : The commander of a Soviet infantry battalion, Major Romanenko (seated, center), tells Serbian civilians about the military affairs of a very young scout, 13 year old Corporal Vitya Zhavoronok (left), Vojvodina, Yugoslavia (Serbia) In 1941 Vitya joined a partisan unit. In 1943 he voluntarily entered one of the Red Army units. For participation in the battles with fascists he was awarded the Order of the Red Star.

Oct 1944 : The commander of a Soviet infantry battalion, Major Romanenko (seated, center), tells Serbian civilians about the military affairs of a very young scout, 13 year old Corporal Vitya Zhavoronok (left), Vojvodina, Yugoslavia (Serbia)
In 1941 Vitya joined a partisan unit. In 1943 he voluntarily entered one of the Red Army units. For participation in the battles with fascists he was awarded the Order of the Red Star.

1955 : West Berlin policemen and East German Volkspolizei face each other across the border after a young girl managed to cross the border into West Berlin

1955 : West Berlin policemen and East German Volkspolizei face each other across the border after a young girl managed to cross the border into West Berlin

The only known photograph of a black Union soldier with his family, c. 1863-65.

The only known photograph of a black Union soldier with his family, c. 1863-65.

June 1945 : Brazilian soldiers of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force (Força Expedicionária Brasileira, or, FEB) return home aboard the Pedro II following the Allied victory of the Italian Campaign.  The FEB was an expeditionary force of about 25,700 men and women arranged by the Brazilian Army and Air Force to fight alongside the Allied forces in the Mediterranean Theater of the war. Brazil was the only Allied independent South American nation to send troops to fight in the war. The BEF fought in Italy from September 1944 to May 1945

June 1945 : Brazilian soldiers of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force (Força Expedicionária Brasileira, or, FEB) return home aboard the Pedro II following the Allied victory of the Italian Campaign.
The FEB was an expeditionary force of about 25,700 men and women arranged by the Brazilian Army and Air Force to fight alongside the Allied forces in the Mediterranean Theater of the war.
Brazil was the only Allied independent South American nation to send troops to fight in the war. The BEF fought in Italy from September 1944 to May 1945

Walter Ernest O'Neil Yeo (20 October 1890 – 1960) was a sailor during World War I, and is thought to be the first person to benefit from advanced plastic surgery, namely a skin flap. Yeo was wounded on 31 May 1916, during the Battle of Jutland, while manning the guns aboard the battleship HMS Warspite. He sustained terrible facial injuries, including the loss of upper and lower eyelids. Walter went through several procedures, which were considered a great success in the pioneering field of what will come to be known as 'plastic surgery'.  Walter married Ada Edwards in 1914 in Plymouth, Devon. They had two daughters: Lilian Evelyn Yeo, born 21 October 1914 in Plymouth, and Doreen Y. Yeo, born in 1919. Walter Yeo died in his birth town, Plymouth, where he had spent the majority of his life, in 1960.

Walter Ernest O’Neil Yeo (20 October 1890 – 1960) was a sailor during World War I, and is thought to be the first person to benefit from advanced plastic surgery, namely a skin flap.
Yeo was wounded on 31 May 1916, during the Battle of Jutland, while manning the guns aboard the battleship HMS Warspite. He sustained terrible facial injuries, including the loss of upper and lower eyelids.
Walter went through several procedures, which were considered a great success in the pioneering field of what will come to be known as ‘plastic surgery’.
Walter married Ada Edwards in 1914 in Plymouth, Devon. They had two daughters: Lilian Evelyn Yeo, born 21 October 1914 in Plymouth, and Doreen Y. Yeo, born in 1919. Walter Yeo died in his birth town, Plymouth, where he had spent the majority of his life, in 1960.

June 1944 : Canadian soldiers storming Juno Beach, Courseulles-sur-Mer, France

June 1944 : Canadian soldiers storming Juno Beach, Courseulles-sur-Mer, France

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#MilitaryMonday: Allied POW Monopoly and Other Images

monopoly

“Monopoly” board games helped thousands of Allied POWs escape German camps.

Germany allowed the Red Cross to send care packages to POWs(not Russians/Polish) and among the items that could to be sent were board games. Special Monopoly boxes were created that contained items to help the prisoners escape:

– German, French, and Italian money currency was hidden within the Monopoly money.

– A metal file, hidden within the board.

– A small compass hidden in a play piece

– Silk maps of the prison and it’s location hidden inside the hotel pieces.

Military Monday Images:

Jimmy Stewart and his father Alexander Stewart in front of the family hardware store in September 1945. Jimmy was expected to continue his father's business, which had been in the family for three generations. Jimmy however had other plans.  Despite his movie career, he remained in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, retiring as a Brigadier General.

Jimmy Stewart and his father Alexander Stewart in front of the family hardware store in September 1945. Jimmy was expected to continue his father’s business, which had been in the family for three generations. Jimmy however had other plans.
Despite his movie career, he remained in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, retiring as a Brigadier General.

July 1944 : Odette Billy teaches correct French pronunciation to T/5 Mel. White Harlan, Iowa (left) and M.P. Pvt. William Barrs, Rt5, (Dublin), in Isigny, France

July 1944 : Odette Billy teaches correct French pronunciation to T/5 Mel. White Harlan, Iowa (left) and M.P. Pvt. William Barrs, Rt5, (Dublin), in Isigny, France

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July 1943 : British soldiers are warmly greeted by Italian children during the Allied Invasion of Sicily, Province of Syracuse, Italy.

Dec 1944 : American soldiers watch a B-29 Superfortress heavy bomber take off from the now Allied controlled island of Saipan in the Pacific. Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands

Dec 1944 : American soldiers watch a B-29 Superfortress heavy bomber take off from the now Allied controlled island of Saipan in the Pacific. Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands

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USS Long Island (ACV-1) underway with a mixed cargo of planes and stores, 25 May 1943. Planes include F4F’s, SBD’s and TBF’s. National Archives photograph, 80-G-83216.

1917 : A very young member of the Irish Guards, pictured at Waterford Barracks with the regiment's mascot, an Irish Wolfhound named Leitrim Boy.  Leitrim Boy was born on Tuesday, 12 November 1907, and was 9 years old when this photo was taken.

1917 : A very young member of the Irish Guards, pictured at Waterford Barracks with the regiment’s mascot, an Irish Wolfhound named Leitrim Boy.
Leitrim Boy was born on Tuesday, 12 November 1907, and was 9 years old when this photo was taken.

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July 1944 : Royal Air Force, 2nd Tactical Air Force Wing Commander J E Johnson, leader of No. 144 (Canadian) Wing RAF, rests on the the wing of his Supermarine Spitfire Mark IX with his Labrador retriever Sally, between sorties at B2/Bazenville, Normandy

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July 1944: A French woman prays for lost loved ones in a church following the Battle of Cherbourg, Lower Normandy, France. The Battle of Cherbourg was part of the larger Battle of Normandy and was fought immediately after the successful Allied landings.

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Oct 1944 : An American Dive Bomber Curtiss Helldiver from 7-th bombardment Squadron after a crash landing on the USS Hancock

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French partisans celebrate taking of Marseille with ‘V’ for Victory Sign.” Note the American soldiers are celebrating with the US flag hanging from the bridge. U.S. Army Signal Corps photograph, from the collection of The National WWII Museum.

An armed French partisan emotionally embraces 2nd Lt Jack Willis of Kingston, Iowa, whom he found uninjured after he shot at the officer mistaking an advance Yank armored spearhead for retreating Germans.  U.S. Army Signal Corps photograph, from the collection of The National WWII Museum.

An armed French partisan emotionally embraces 2nd Lt Jack Willis of Kingston, Iowa, whom he found uninjured after he shot at the officer mistaking an advance Yank armored spearhead for retreating Germans.
U.S. Army Signal Corps photograph, from the collection of The National WWII Museum.

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August 1945 : A young Filipino Resistance fighter poses with a flag of the United States Army Forces in the Far East following the routing of Japanese occupying forces from her province, Central Luzon, Philippines. Tarlac was recaptured piece by piece by combined Filipino and American troops together with the recognized Filipino guerrilla fighters against the Japanese Imperial forces.

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1973 : Operation Homecoming; the return of 591 prisoners of war held by North Vietnam back to American soil.

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Aug 8, 1944, France. Grave of American pilot, w/rounds from a 50cal machine gun of his P-47 Thunderbolt

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Lyudmila Mikhailivna Pavlichenko was the most successful & feared woman sniper of World War Two.

After moving to Kiev with her family at the age of 14, she became a metal grinder at the Kiev Arsenal factory. When Nazi Germany invaded Russia during Operation Barbarossa in 1941 the 24 year old Pavlichenko was studying history at the Kiev University, she was one of the first volunteers at the recruiting office and she requested service in the infantry.

The recruitment officer looked bewilderingly at her, Lyudmila Pavlichenko was quite a beautiful young woman with stylish clothes and a trendy hairstyle, she told the recruiter that she wished to join an active infantry unit and to carry a rifle. The recruiter apparently gave her a warm hearted look and smiled saying that perhaps she should join the field nurse unit instead. Pavlichenko became one of 2,000 female snipers in the Red Army, as Russia utilized women in warfare with almost the same manner as they did men, this is something that never happened in the west and is unfamiliar to westerners.

Pavlichenko officially confirmed German kills amounted to a total of 309, this amazing figure also included 36 German snipers…one of whom had himself notched over 500 Soviet kills after she retrieved his detailed log book after killing him. She also killed many high ranking German Officers, everyone who she shot and killed knew nothing about it, as their deaths were so fast.

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June 1945: German SS guards, exhausted from their forced labour clearing the bodies of the dead, are allowed a brief rest by British soldiers but are forced to take it by lying face down in one of the empty mass graves. Bergen-Belsen, Nnorthern Germany

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Dick Winters and Easy Company (Band of Brothers) at the Eagle’s Nest, Hitler’s residence.

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April 1945 Members of the Royal Australian Air Force squadron of Beaufighters, Scotland.

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October 1941 : A fond farewell for this little boy from a guardsman who is returning to duty after leave, London station. The little boy seems to have forgotten his trousers in the excitement of the moment.

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1944 : A British nurse assisting a wounded Allied Soldier and a Stug III Tank laying on the side after heavy bombing, France.

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1941 : Filipino women of the first Women Guerrilla corps practicing at a rifle range in Manila, Philippines.

1943 : Róża Maria Goździewska (nickname the "little nurse") - outside the field hospital of the Koszta Company, wearing a Polish emblem and red cross armband during Warsaw Uprising, Poland Roza was 8 years old at the time of the uprising and lived to tell the tale. She died in France in 1989, at the age of 53.

1943 : Róża Maria Goździewska (nickname the “little nurse”) – outside the field hospital of the Koszta Company, wearing a Polish emblem and red cross armband during Warsaw Uprising, Poland
Roza was 8 years old at the time of the uprising and lived to tell the tale. She died in France in 1989, at the age of 53.

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Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk fighters of the American Volunteer Group during World War II.

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Result of the American bombardment of Naha, Okinawa, Japan, on June 13, 1945.

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