Crash Course Blog Notes

A number of regular features will be taking an intermittent month off in July because of my cycling schedule. They will return without interruption in August. At the same time, I am for the most part off of social networking for the same reason in July, but hope to post when I can – both in social media and the blog when time permits and when I can’t be quiet about something.

Thanks very much for visiting and for continually reading Crash Course!

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#RedFriday: Warrior Games

As continued from this week’s Warrior Wednesday…

red friday

Warrior Games: Sunday Cycling

Team Army tandem cyclists cross the finish line together outside Lejeune Hall at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., on Sunday, June 21, 2015.  Mike Morones

Team Army tandem cyclists cross the finish line together outside Lejeune Hall at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., on Sunday, June 21, 2015. Mike Morones

Navy's Javier Rodriguez competes in the handcycle event at the 2015 Warrior Games outside Lejeune Hall at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., on Sunday, June 21, 2015.  Mike Morones

Navy’s Javier Rodriguez competes in the handcycle event at the 2015 Warrior Games outside Lejeune Hall at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., on Sunday, June 21, 2015. Mike Morones

Team Navy's Adrian Mohammed, left, and Team Army's Anthony Atemon compete in the tandem cycling event during the 2015 Warrior Games outside Lejeune Hall at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., on Sunday, June 21, 2015.

Team Navy’s Adrian Mohammed, left, and Team Army’s Anthony Atemon compete in the tandem cycling event during the 2015 Warrior Games outside Lejeune Hall at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., on Sunday, June 21, 2015.

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The British Armed Force’s Danielle Hampson-Carroll takes a spill during cycling at Marine Corps Base Quantico on June 21, 2015 during the 2015 Warrior Games. Jennifer Milbrett

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Cyclists pass through Marine Corps Base Quantico on June 21, 2015 during the 2015 Warrior Games. Jennifer Milbrett

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Team Army’s Andy McCaffrey competes in the cycling event during the 2015 Warrior Games outside Lejeune Hall at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., on Sunday, June 21, 2015.

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Team Army’s Matthew Mueller and Team Navy’s Adrian Mohammed, right, compete in the tandem cycling event during the 2015 Warrior Games outside Lejeune Hall at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., on Sunday, June 21, 2015.

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Adm. Michelle J. Howard cheers on Navy cyclists at the finish line at Marine Corps Base Quantico on July 21, 2015 during the 2015 Warrior Games. Jennifer Milbrett

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Team UK’s Andrew Perrin leads the pack in the upright cycling competition during the 2015 Warrior Games outside Lejeune Hall at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., on Sunday, June 21, 2015.

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National Guard Capt. Steven Bortle celebrates crossing the finish line in the upright cycling event during the 2015 Warrior Games outside Lejeune Hall at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., on Sunday, June 21, 2015.

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Cyclists from Team Marine pass through Marine Corps Base Quantico on June 21, 2015 during the 2015 Warrior Games.

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British Army veteran Darren Carew competes in the cycling event during the 2015 Warrior Games outside Lejeune Hall at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., on Sunday, June 21, 2015.

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Team SOCOM’s Israel Del Toro cycles the course on Marine Corps Base Quantico on June 21, 2015 during the 2015 Warrior Games. Jennifer Milbrett

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Athletes compete in the cycling events during the 2015 Warrior Games outside Lejeune Hall at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., on Sunday, June 21, 2015.

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Team Marine recumbent cyclists, from left, Jenae Piper, Gabrielle Graves-Wake and Jauntianne Saleigh cross the finish line together outside Lejeune Hall at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., on Sunday, June 21, 2015.

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Spectators watch the sky as the USSOCOM Parachute Demonstration Team brings in the first set of medals to be awarded following the cycling events during the 2015 Warrior Games outside Lejeune Hall at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., on Sunday, June 21, 2015.

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Chip Bowlin of the USSOCOM Parachute Demonstration Team brings in the first set of medals to be awarded following the cycling events during the 2015 Warrior Games outside Lejeune Hall at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., on Sunday, June 21, 2015.

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Athletes and spectators watch as USSOCOM para commandos drop in with the first set of medals for the cycling events during the 2015 Warrior Games outside Lejeune Hall at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., on Sunday, June 21, 2015.

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Team UK’s Danielle Hampson-Carroll competes in the handcycle event at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., on Sunday, June 21, 2015.

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Admiral Michelle J. Howard takes the first three medals to be presented during the 2015 Warrior Games from Chip Bowlin of the USSOCOM Parachute Demonstration Team brings prior to the cycling medal ceremony aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico.

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Team Air Force sings the Air Force song during the medal ceremony after cycling at the 2015 Warrior Games outside Lejeune Hall at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., on Sunday, June 21, 2015.

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Retired Marine Cpl. Chuck Sketch celebrates after receiving his medal following the cycling events during the 2015 Warrior Games outside Lejeune Hall at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., on Sunday, June 21, 2015.

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Athletes compete in the cycling events during the 2015 Warrior Games outside Lejeune Hall at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., on Sunday, June 21, 2015.

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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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#RedFriday: USS Kearsarge (CV-33, later CVA-33 and CVS-33), 1946-1974

USS Kearsarge (CV-33) In a harbor during the later 1940s, with her crew paraded on the flight deck for inspection. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

USS Kearsarge (CV-33)
In a harbor during the later 1940s, with her crew paraded on the flight deck for inspection.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Red Friday honors and stands behind the members of the United States Military and wishes for their safe return home.

In October 1958, the USS Kearsarge took on a new assignment as a support aircraft carrier CVS 33.

The USS Kearsarge, a 27,100-ton Ticonderoga class aircraft carrier, was built at the New York Navy Yard. She was commissioned in March 1946 and spent her first year of service in training operations in the western Atlantic and Caribbean. During the later 1940s, Kearsarge made two trips to Europe, the first a summer 1947 midshipmen training cruise and the second a mid-1948 deployment to the Mediterranean Sea. In early 1950, the carrier was transferred to the west coast, where she decommissioned in June for extensive modernization work.

USS Kearsarge (CVA-33) With two AJ "Savage" heavy attack aircraft on her flight deck, following her SCB-27A modernization, circa 1952-55. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

USS Kearsarge (CVA-33)
With two AJ “Savage” heavy attack aircraft on her flight deck, following her SCB-27A modernization, circa 1952-55.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Recommissioned in February 1952, Kearsarge now had a stronger flight deck, new island and many other changes to her appearance and capabilities. She made a Korean War combat cruise in September 1952 – February 1953, during which time she was reclassified as an attack aircraft carrier and redesignated CVA-33.

Two A-4C "Skyhawk" aircraft, of Attack Squadron 146 (VA-146) Fly past USS Kearsarge (CVS-33), 12 August 1964. These planes, from USS Constellation (CVA-64), are Bureau #s 149551 and 149570. Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

Two A-4C “Skyhawk” aircraft,
of Attack Squadron 146 (VA-146)
Fly past USS Kearsarge (CVS-33), 12 August 1964.
These planes, from USS Constellation (CVA-64), are Bureau #s 149551 and 149570.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

From mid-1953 to 1958,Kearsarge had regular tours of duty with the Seventh Fleet in the Far East. Her 1955 deployment included supporting the Nationalist Chinese evacuation of the Tachen Islands. The carrier was again modernized in 1956-57, receiving an angled flight deck and enclosed “hurricane” bow to better equip her to operate high-performance aircraft.

USS Kearsarge (CVS-33) At sea, 12 December 1965. She has nine A-4 attack jets on her flight deck, as well as one S-2 anti-submarine plane. Photographed by PH3 Michael D. Stearns. Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

USS Kearsarge (CVS-33)
At sea, 12 December 1965. She has nine A-4 attack jets on her flight deck, as well as one S-2 anti-submarine plane.
Photographed by PH3 Michael D. Stearns.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

Kearsarge was assigned a new role in October 1958, becoming an antisubmarine warfare (ASW) support aircraft carrier, with the new designation CVS-33. In that capacity, she operated ASW fixed-wing airplanes and helicopters to protect the fleet against the threat of hostile underwater attack.

USS Kearsarge (CVS-33) Underway in Hawaiian waters, 5 July 1966, with S-2 and E-1B airplanes and SH-3 helicopters on her flight deck. Photographed by Ph1(AC) R. Sheffield. Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

USS Kearsarge (CVS-33)
Underway in Hawaiian waters, 5 July 1966, with S-2 and E-1B airplanes and SH-3 helicopters on her flight deck.
Photographed by Ph1(AC) R. Sheffield.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

Regular Seventh Fleet deployments continued through the late 1950s and the 1960s, including indirect involvement in the Vietnam Conflict. In 1962 and 1963, Kearsarge carried out a new mission, serving as recovery ship for the orbital flights of astronauts Walter Schirra and Gordon Cooper. Made redundant by the general fleet drawdown of the late 1960s and early 1970s, USS Kearsarge was decommissioned in February 1970. Following three years in the Reserve Fleet, she was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register in May 1973 and sold for scrapping in February 1974.

USS Kearsarge (CVS-33) Underway in the Pacific Ocean, 5 December 1968. Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

USS Kearsarge (CVS-33)
Underway in the Pacific Ocean, 5 December 1968.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

USS Kearsarge (CV-33) Sikorski HO3S-1 helicopter in flight over the carrier's flight deck, during Operation "Frigid", November 1948. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

USS Kearsarge (CV-33)
Sikorski HO3S-1 helicopter in flight over the carrier’s flight deck, during Operation “Frigid”, November 1948.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

USS Kearsarge (CVA-33) Crewmen cleaning mess trays at the mess decks dumpster station, circa the late 1950s. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

USS Kearsarge (CVA-33)
Crewmen cleaning mess trays at the mess decks dumpster station, circa the late 1950s.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

"Sigma 7" Project "Mercury" Space Capsule Is towed toward USS Kearsarge (CVS-33) for pickup, after its orbital flight with astronaut (Commander, USN) Walter Schirra on board, 16 October 1962. Note rescue swimmer on the capsule's flotation collar, and a Kearsarge 26-foot motor whaleboat standing by. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

“Sigma 7” Project “Mercury” Space Capsule
Is towed toward USS Kearsarge (CVS-33) for pickup, after its orbital flight with astronaut (Commander, USN) Walter Schirra on board, 16 October 1962.
Note rescue swimmer on the capsule’s flotation collar, and a Kearsarge 26-foot motor whaleboat standing by.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Sikorski SH-3A "Sea King" helicopters, of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Six (HS-6) Lift off from the flight deck of USS Kearsarge (CVS-33) as she enters Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 27 June 1967. The USS Arizona Memorial is in the distance. Helicopter at left is Bureau # 152124. Photographed by PH3 B.L. Kleckner. Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

Sikorski SH-3A “Sea King” helicopters,
of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Six (HS-6)
Lift off from the flight deck of USS Kearsarge (CVS-33) as she enters Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 27 June 1967. The USS Arizona Memorial is in the distance.
Helicopter at left is Bureau # 152124.
Photographed by PH3 B.L. Kleckner.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

USS Kearsarge (CVA-33) Decommissioning party salutes the colors, as Kearsarge goes out of commission for the last time, at Long Beach, California, 13 February 1970. Those present are (from left to right): Captain Frederick W. Zigler, USN, Commanding Officer, Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility; Rear Admiral Norman C. Gillette, USN, Commander Anti-Submarine Warfare Group Three; Rear Admiral William T. Rassieur, USN(Retired), former Commanding Officer of the ship; Captain Leonard M. Nearman, USN, ship's Commanding Officer; and Mr. C.E. (Gene) Gallman, representing the Mayor of Long Beach. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

USS Kearsarge (CVA-33)
Decommissioning party salutes the colors, as Kearsarge goes out of commission for the last time, at Long Beach, California, 13 February 1970.
Those present are (from left to right):
Captain Frederick W. Zigler, USN, Commanding Officer, Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility;
Rear Admiral Norman C. Gillette, USN, Commander Anti-Submarine Warfare Group Three;
Rear Admiral William T. Rassieur, USN(Retired), former Commanding Officer of the ship;
Captain Leonard M. Nearman, USN, ship’s Commanding Officer; and
Mr. C.E. (Gene) Gallman, representing the Mayor of Long Beach.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

RedFriday graphic Crash