#MilitaryMonday

Military thank you

In the USA, the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida has put together an exhibit to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II‬.

Nm1

Nm2

Nm3

Nm4

Nm5

Nm6

All of us probably know or knew someone who served during the war, so please mention below in the comments who your member of the Greatest Generation is.

For me, it was my paternal Grandparents. Grandad flew Lancaster bombers for the RAF that assaulted Nazi Germany, while, my Grandmother served in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force as a meteorologist.

My maternal Grandparents were also in the fight against the Axis powers, with Grandad serving as a US Navy pilot in the Pacific and Grandma was a WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service), Their official name was the U.S. Naval Reserve (Women’s Reserve), but the nickname as the WAVES stuck.

WAVES Recruiting poster. World War II brought the need for additional personnel. The US Navy organized to recruit women into a separate women's auxiliary, labeled Women Appointed for Voluntary Emergency Service (WAVES). WAVES served in varied positions around the continental U.S. and in Hawaii.

WAVES Recruiting poster.
World War II brought the need for additional personnel. The US Navy organized to recruit women into a separate women’s auxiliary, labeled Women Appointed for Voluntary Emergency Service (WAVES). WAVES served in varied positions around the continental U.S. and in Hawaii.

Just about everyone heeded the call to play their part, do their duty and contribute in some way. Endless thanks to the Greatest Generation and for those serving today in the cause of freedom!

Info: National Naval Aviation Museum

1750 Radford Blvd, Pensacola, FL 32506

(850) 452-3604

Crash

#WarriorWednesday: Battle of the Bulge at 70 in Photos

ww header

A patrol, growing when Lt. Thomas of a Cavalry reconnaissance squadron started across the snow with rifle grenades, attacks German snipers discovered on the outskirts of the newly captured town of Beffe, Belgium. Lt. Thomas was followed by volunteers consisting of members of his squadron, an infantry headquarters company and an infantry company. The attack was launched with with rifle fire, fragmentation rifle grenades, hand grenades, rifles, BARs, and bazooka company armed with machine guns and light mortars. Twelve Nazis were killed in the engagement. Here, can be seen part of the patrol advancing cautiously through the snow. (A Co., 1st Bn., 290th inf., 75th Div., B troop.) 1/7/45. 7th Corps, 4th Cav. Reconn. Sq.

A patrol, growing when Lt. Thomas of a Cavalry reconnaissance squadron started across the snow with rifle grenades, attacks German snipers discovered on the outskirts of the newly captured town of Beffe, Belgium. Lt. Thomas was followed by volunteers consisting of members of his squadron, an infantry headquarters company and an infantry company. The attack was launched with with rifle fire, fragmentation rifle grenades, hand grenades, rifles, BARs, and bazooka company armed with machine guns and light mortars. Twelve Nazis were killed in the engagement. Here, can be seen part of the patrol advancing cautiously through the snow. (A Co., 1st Bn., 290th inf., 75th Div., B troop.) 1/7/45. 7th Corps, 4th Cav. Reconn. Sq.

Tanks of the 4th Armd. Div., ready for action in the front lines. 8 January 1945. Bastogne, Belgium. Just 2 weeks earlier, on December 26, 1944, elements of the 4th Armored Division had broken through German lines to relieve the 101st Airborne and 10th Armored Divisions, surrounded and under siege in Bastogne.

Tanks of the 4th Armd. Div., ready for action in the front lines. 8 January 1945. Bastogne, Belgium.
Just 2 weeks earlier, on December 26, 1944, elements of the 4th Armored Division had broken through German lines to relieve the 101st Airborne and 10th Armored Divisions, surrounded and under siege in Bastogne.

The following 4 photos of an anti-aircraft emplacement outside Bastogne, Belgium are part of a collection compiled by staff at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Radiation Laboratory, known familiarly as the MIT Rad Lab. The word “radiation” was used in the Rad Lab’s name rather than “radar” to disguise the type of research being done.

Looking through quick sight before viewing through scope to determine marks on questionable aircraft flying near AA battery at Bastogne. The scope was captured from the Germans. National Archives Identifier: 6116625

Looking through quick sight before viewing through scope to determine marks on questionable aircraft flying near AA battery at Bastogne. The scope was captured from the Germans. National Archives Identifier: 6116625

Straw prevents remote control cables from freezing to ground on site of AA installation near Bastogne. National Archives Identifier: 6116627

Straw prevents remote control cables from freezing to ground on site of AA installation near Bastogne. National Archives Identifier: 6116627

Anti aircraft locator device, the M-7, is shown in operation outside Bastogne. Crew checks the readings. Device is safely emplaced behind sandbags. National Archives Identifier: 6116621

Anti aircraft locator device, the M-7, is shown in operation outside Bastogne. Crew checks the readings. Device is safely emplaced behind sandbags. National Archives Identifier: 6116621

Gun crew of the ‘Black Widow’, 90 mm anti aircraft gun dug in outside Bastogne, Belgium, about to fire at enemy plane sighted in area. Battery B 217th Bn (Radar) Bastogne. 1/11/1945.  National Archives Identifier: 6116622

Gun crew of the ‘Black Widow’, 90 mm anti aircraft gun dug in outside Bastogne, Belgium, about to fire at enemy plane sighted in area. Battery B 217th Bn (Radar) Bastogne. 1/11/1945. National Archives Identifier: 6116622

Chow is served to American Infantrymen on their way to La Roche, Belgium. 347th Infantry Regiment, 01/13/1945

Chow is served to American Infantrymen on their way to La Roche, Belgium. 347th Infantry Regiment, 01/13/1945

After holding a woodland position all night near Wiltz, Luxembourg, against German counter attack, three men of B Company, 101st Engineers, emerge for a rest., 01/14/1945

After holding a woodland position all night near Wiltz, Luxembourg, against German counter attack, three men of B Company, 101st Engineers, emerge for a rest., 01/14/1945

A German prisoner captured by the 16th Infantry Regiment, near Weywertz. Belgium., 1/15/1945

A German prisoner captured by the 16th Infantry Regiment, near Weywertz. Belgium., 1/15/1945

This burning home near Lmore, Belgium, drew a heavy barrage of enemy shellfire which wounded a Signal Corps photographer. 1/16/45.

This burning home near Lmore, Belgium, drew a heavy barrage of enemy shellfire which wounded a Signal Corps photographer. 1/16/45.

Tanks of the 42nd Armd. Bn., move into attack. 16 January 1945. Mabompre, Belgium.

Tanks of the 42nd Armd. Bn., move into attack. 16 January 1945. Mabompre, Belgium.

Members of the 30th Infantry Division crawl prone while crossing open terrain near Pont, Belgium. (Co. E, 2nd Bn.) 1/17/45

Members of the 30th Infantry Division crawl prone while crossing open terrain near Pont, Belgium. (Co. E, 2nd Bn.) 1/17/45

A view of the damage done in Houffalize, Belgium, by shelling. The town was retaken from the Germans by the 2nd Armored Division. FUSA, 1/18/45. National Archives Identifier: 12010159

A view of the damage done in Houffalize, Belgium, by shelling. The town was retaken from the Germans by the 2nd Armored Division. FUSA, 1/18/45. National Archives Identifier: 12010159

An American jeep enters the shell-torn town of Houffalize, Belgium, by the main road. The town was retaken from the Germans by the 2nd Armored Division. 1/18/45. National Archives Identifier: 12010160

An American jeep enters the shell-torn town of Houffalize, Belgium, by the main road. The town was retaken from the Germans by the 2nd Armored Division. 1/18/45. National Archives Identifier: 12010160

18

American soldiers of the 289th Infantry Regiment march along the snow-covered road on their way to cut off the Saint Vith-Houffalize road in Belgium., 1/24/1945

16

American infantrymen of an armored division march up a road southeast of Born, Belgium. Note the height of the snow bank on either side of the road. 1/22/45. Co. C, 23rd Armd. Inf, bn., 7th Armd.

15

American Infantrymen trudge through the snow as they march along the edge of a woods near Iveldingen, Belgium, in the drive to recapture St. Vith. (Hq. Co., 2nd Bn., FUSA) 1/20/45. 517th A/B Reg’t., 7th Arm’d. Div.

17

American soldiers of the 289th Infantry Regiment march along the snow-covered road on their way to cut off the Saint Vith-Houffalize road in Belgium., 1/24/1945

On the Web:

#MilitaryMonday: Battle of the Bulge at 70 – Newly Digitized Color Photos 

 

The Bloodiest Battle: The Battle of the Bulge Loomed Large 70 Winters Ago (PDF)

Crash

#MilitaryMonday: Battle of the Bulge at 70 – Newly Digitized Color Photos

MilitaryMondayHeader

St. Vith, Belgium was the scene of bitter fighting during the opening days of the Battle of the Bulge.  

Although the German assault was delayed by fierce resistance, American defenders were eventually forced to withdraw from the town on December 21, 1944.  A month later, as the Allied counter-attack rolled back German gains, St. Vith was re-liberated on January 23, 1945.

Recently digitized by the National Archives Still Pictures Branch, these color photographs from the U.S. Army Signal Corps show St. Vith and its surroundings in the days following its liberation.

This dug-in mortar emplacement near St. Vith, Belgium is manned by, left to right, Pvt. R.W. Fierde, Wyahoga Falls, Ohio; S/Sgt. Adam J. Celinca, Windsor, Conn., and T/Sgt. W.O. Thomas, Chicago.  24 Jan. 1945.  NARA ID 16730734

This dug-in mortar emplacement near St. Vith, Belgium is manned by, left to right, Pvt. R.W. Fierde, Wyahoga Falls, Ohio; S/Sgt. Adam J. Celinca, Windsor, Conn., and T/Sgt. W.O. Thomas, Chicago. 24 Jan. 1945.
NARA ID 16730734

American soldiers trudge through snow from Hunnange, Belgium to St. Vith. Soldiers are with Co. C., 23rd Armored Bn., of the 7th Armored Division. NARA ID 16730736

American soldiers trudge through snow from Hunnange, Belgium to St. Vith. Soldiers are with Co. C., 23rd Armored Bn., of the 7th Armored Division.
NARA ID 16730736

Snowsuited soldiers walk through the snow-covered streets of St. Vith, Belgium. These men are with Co. C, 48th Bn., 7th Armored Div. 24 Jan. 1945 NARA ID 16730733

Snowsuited soldiers walk through the snow-covered streets of St. Vith, Belgium. These men are with Co. C, 48th Bn., 7th Armored Div. 24 Jan. 1945
NARA ID 16730733

Lined up in a snow-covered field, near St. Vith, Belgium are these M-4 Sherman tanks of the 40th Tank Bn. NARA ID 16730735

Lined up in a snow-covered field, near St. Vith, Belgium are these M-4 Sherman tanks of the 40th Tank Bn.
NARA ID 16730735

A portion of the wreckage in St. Vith, Belgium, after units of the 7th Armored Division, took the town. NARA ID 16730732

A portion of the wreckage in St. Vith, Belgium, after units of the 7th Armored Division, took the town.
NARA ID 16730732

On the Web: The Bloodiest Battle: The Battle of the Bulge Loomed Large 70 Winters Ago (PDF)

Next: for Warrior Wednesday, more photos (black and white) of the Battle of the Bulge at 70

Crash

Sunday Reader: American Soldier’s Undeveloped World War II Film Discovered

rescued photos

Thirty-one rolls of film belonging to an unknown American WWII soldier were just recently developed – 70 years later.

About 70 years ago, an unknown soldier in WWII shot 31 rolls of film documenting his experiences during his service. Now, Levi Bettweiser, a collector and restorer of old and historical film, has discovered these photos and rescued them from being lost forever.

Bettweiser, who works with the Rescued Film Project, discovered the undeveloped film at an auction in Ohio. Some had been damaged by water and rust, so he wasn’t sure what to expect; “There is a large possibility that I might not recover a single image from any of these rolls of film;” he said. But the processing work, which he did in his own kitchen, paid off: “When I pulled the film that I had just developed out of my film development tank and look at them, I’m the very first person that has ever seen that picture.

Some of the images developed from the film rolls:

3 2 4 7 9 1 10 5 6 11 8

To see what this unknown soldier captured many years ago, watch the story behind this amazing find and the effort to preserve history.

Crash

Essay: The (Insane) Mind of Adolf Hitler

The Mind of Adolf Hitler contains a version of Walter C. Langer's wartime report on Hitler's personality plus additional material. Author: Walter C. Langer Subject: Adolf Hitler Publisher: Basic Books Publication date: 1972 ISBN: 0-465-04620-7 Dewey Decimal: 943.086/092/4B

The Mind of Adolf Hitler contains a version of Walter C. Langer’s wartime report on Hitler’s personality plus additional material.
Author: Walter C. Langer
Subject: Adolf Hitler
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 1972
ISBN: 0-465-04620-7
Dewey Decimal:
943.086/092/4B

The Mind of Adolf Hitler: The Secret Wartime Report, published in 1972, is based on a World War II report by psychoanalyst Walter C. Langer which probed the psychology of Adolf Hitler from the available information.

The original report was prepared for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and submitted in late 1943 or early 1944; it is officially entitled “A Psychological Analysis of Adolph Hitler: His Life and Legend”. The report is one of two psychoanalytic reports prepared for the OSS during the war in an attempt to assess Hitler’s personality; the other is “Analysis of the Personality of Adolph Hitler” by the psychologist Henry A. Murray who also contributed to Langer’s report. The report eventually became 1000 pages long.

The book contains not only a version of Langer’s original report but also a foreword by his brother, the historian William L. Langer who was Chief of Research and Analysis at the OSS during the war, an introduction by Langer himself, and an afterword by the psychoanalytic historian Robert G.L. Waite.

The report is notable for making several correct predictions about Hitler’s future:

  • As the war turns against him, his emotions will intensify and will have outbursts more frequently. His public appearances will become much rarer, because he’s unable to face a critical audience.
  • There might be an assassination attempt on him by the German aristocracy, the Wehrmacht officers or Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, because of his superhuman self-confidence in his military judgment.
  • There will be no surrender, capitulation, or peace negotiations. The course he will follow will almost certainly be the road to ideological immortality, resulting in the greatest vengeance on a world he despises.
  • From what we know of his psychology, the most likely possibility is that he will commit suicide in the event of defeat. It’s probably true he has an inordinate fear of death, but possibly being a psychopath he would undoubtedly weigh his options and perform the deed.

History of the Report

The wartime report was commissioned by the head of the OSS, General William J. “Wild Bill” Donovan. The research and investigation for it was done in collaboration with three other clinicians – Professor Henry A. Murray of the Harvard Psychological Clinic, Dr. Ernst Kris of the New School for Social Research, and Dr. Bertram D. Lewin of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute – as well as research associates.. Langer notes in his introduction to the book that one of the three essentially dropped out of the project because he was too busy with other work, but he gives no names. “He promised, however, to write down his views and conclusions and submit them … Unfortunately, not a word was ever received from him” although he did apparently confirm to Langer by telephone that he agreed with the diagnosis of Hitler’s perversion.

Historian Hans W. Gatzke and others have suggested that Langer borrowed extensively from prior work by Murray without properly crediting him, such as his lurid sexual analysis and his prediction of suicide; Langer has disputed some of the claims although the texts show similarities. In addition, similarities have been noted to perhaps the earliest published psychological profile of Hitler developed by Murray and influential psychologist Gordon Allport for Harvard seminars on ‘Civilian Morale’ (1941), intended to be distributed to private organisations throughout the US to prepare a consensus for war. The Harvard University Archives register stated that Murray started work on this profile in 1938 upon request from the Roosevelt administration.

The Langer report was classified as “Secret” by the OSS, but was eventually declassified in 1968. After receiving some encouragement from fellow scholars, particularly Professor Henderson Braddick of the Department of International Relations at Lehigh UniversityLanger decided to publish the report in book form. The original report is in the public domain and is available on the Internet on a number of sites. Numerous substantial unexplained differences were noted by Gatzke, however, between the report as published in 1972 and separate copy of the 1943/33 report. Gatzke writes “Recent correspondence with the publisher…has revealed that the original [OSS report] manuscript was changed and edited several times by Dr. Langer and others, both in 1943 and again before publication.

Content and conclusions

The report used many sources to profile Hitler, including a number of informants, including Hitler’s nephew, William Patrick Hitler, his family physician, Dr. Eduard Bloch, Ernst Hanfstaengl, Hermann Rauschning, Princess Stephanie von Hohenlohe, Otto Strasser, Friedlinde Wagner, and Kurt Ludecke. The so-called “Hitler Source Book” which was appended to the wartime report, ran over one thousand pages and was indexed against the report. The groundbreaking study was the pioneer of offender profiling and political psychology, today commonly used by many countries as part of assessing international relations.

In addition to predicting that if defeat for Germany was near, Hitler would most likely choose suicide, Langer’s report stated that Hitler was “probably impotent” as far as heterosexual relations were concerned and that there was a possibility that Hitler had participated in a homosexual relationship. The report stated that:

[t]he belief that Hitler is homosexual has probably developed (a) from the fact that he does show so many feminine characteristics, and (b) from the fact that there were so many homosexuals in the Party during the early days and many continue to occupy important positions. It is probably true that Hitler calls Foerster “Bubi”, which is a common nickname employed by homosexuals in addressing their partners. This alone, however, is not adequate proof that he has actually indulged in homosexual practices with Foerster, who is known to be a homosexual.

Langer’s report also concluded that Hitler loved pornography and masochistic sex, and in particular that he had “coprophagic tendencies or their milder manifestations” in his heterosexual relationships, and masochistically derived “sexual gratification from the act of having a woman urinate or defecate on him.”

According to Langer’s introduction to the 1972 publication, he and his fellow investigators made a preliminary conclusion from a “survey of the raw material” and “knowledge of Hitler’s actions as reported in the news” that Hitler “was, in all probability, a neurotic psychopath” (page 17). On page 126 the claim is slightly different, and in turn different from the statement in the scan of the original 1943/44 OSS report (page 127-128): “There was general [OSS: unanimous] agreement among the collaborators [OSS: four psychoanalysts who have studied the material] that Hitler is probably a neurotic psychopath [OSS:is an hysteric] bordering on schizophrenia [OSS adds: and not a paranoiac as is so frequently supposed].”

The report briefly mentions some claims that a Rothschild fathered Alois Hitler – Adolf’s father, who was illegitimate – when Hitler’s paternal grandmother, Maria Schicklgruber, supposedly worked as a house servant in Vienna, but concludes “it is not absolutely necessary to assume that he had Jewish blood in his veins in order to make a comprehensive picture of his character with its manifoid traits and sentiments. From a purely scientific point of view, therefore, it is sounder not to base our reconstruction on such slim evidence but to seek firmer foundations. Nevertheless, we can leave it as a possibility which requires further verification.”

There are numerous statements in the report that have proven, on further investigation, to be erroneous. The bibliography of the report contains close to 400 entries.

Purposes and Effects

The Langer report was ostensibly an objective analysis of the mind of Adolf Hitler and related aspects of his life and society, based on written material, interviews, psychoanalytic theory and clinical experience. The first words of the OSS report are: “This study is not propagandistic in any sense of the term. It represents an attempt to screen the wealth of contradictory, conflicting and unreliable material concerning Hitler into strata which will be helpful to the policy-makers and those who wish to frame a counter-propaganda.” The preface further asserts that despite the ‘extremely scant and spotty’ material for a psychological analysis, one was possible due to their informants knowing Hitler well and their descriptions agreeing relatively well with each other, combined with the writers’ own ‘clinical experience in dealing with individuals of a similar type’. Ernst Hanfstaengl has been noted as likely the main informant, a Harvard-educated German businessman who was an intimate of Adolf Hitler, who was interviewed for several weeks once returned to the US.

Others, however, have suggested that the analysis was intended to be useful for propaganda and ‘psychological warfare’. Respected historian and authority on the OSS, Bradley F Smith, states that Langer’s report was known in the OSS as the “spiced-up” version, and that the idea originally came from Fred Oechsner the chief of the London station of the OSS’s Morale Operations Branch.

In a review of The Mind of Adolf Hitler for The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, Martin Waugh concluded that Langer’s work is important “because of its value to the historian; because it was a ‘first’ for this country’s intelligence services; and because of the official recognition of psychoanalysis the assignment implied.” Historian Gatzke agrees that the original document is of historical interest, but not more due to the unreliability of its descriptions of the evidence and of its interpretations. Regarding the earlier Murray report which fed into the Langer report, psychiatrist Michael Stone states “There’s a whole lot of what we would now think of as psychobabble…”, including discredited psychoanalytic theories and psychiatric labels used in different ways to today. The dust jacket of the 1972 publication states: “What effect did this astounding secret document have on Allied war policy? That is not yet known. But in the words of Robert G.L. Waite, the distinguished historian [who wrote the afterword], Dr. Langer’s The Mind of Adolf Hitler is, in itself, “fascinating…a significant and suggestive interpretation which no serious student of Hitler will ignore.”.

References & Notes:

  1. The date of actual submission of the report to the OSS is difficult to determine. Langer’s reminiscence, contained in the introduction to the book, strongly implies that it was in the fall of 1943, around October 1. However, the 1969 letter from Professor Braddick, mentioned in the text, expressly refers to his review of the wartime report dated 1944.
  2. Langer’s rather amusing and self-effacing tale of how he came to be associated with Donovan and thereafter commissioned to head the Hitler study group – and how he came to write the report in a single draft that was delivered to OSS on the final day of Donovan’s deadline – is found in his Introduction to The Mind of Adolf Hitler. Donovan had a much simpler notion of what the report would look like. However, the psychoanalytic team conducted extensive research for months, following their scholarly and academic bent. Donovan, however, needed a quick result and eventually became exasperated at the delay and gave Langer an absolute deadline – much to Langer’s chagrin, since the team had not started writing the report at that time. As a consequence, Langer produced a single draft and submitted it. It was not reviewed by any of his collaborators. The Mind of Hitlerpp. 22-23.
  3. The three collaborators are identified on the title page of the wartime report, and in the online source paperlessarchives.com, under the topic ofAdolf Hitler – OSS and CIA Files
  4. The Mind of Adolf Hitler p. 20.
  5. Klara Hitler’s Son: Reading the Langer Report on Hitler’s Mind Spark, Clare L. Social Thought and Research, Volume 22, Number 1&2 (1999), pp. 113-137
  6. Love’s Story Told: A Life of Henry A. Murray Forrest Glen Robinson, Harvard University Press, 1 Jan 1992. From Page 276 and in end Footnote.
  7. Murray, Henry A.. Worksheets on Morale. Seminar in Psychological Problems of Morale. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University, ?1942
  8. Title page of the wartime report appearing online in the Nizkor Project reproduction.
  9. Letter to Langer dated 12 March 1969
  10. Walter C. Langer: A Psychologial Profile of Adolph Hitler. His Life and Legend. The report in original typewritten format is available online herevia the Nizkor Project
  11. Hitler and Psychohistory Hans W. Gatzke, The American Historical Review, Vol. 78, No. 2 (Apr., 1973), pp. 394-401
  12. ‘Section entitled Hitler’s Probable Behavior in the Future in the online version of the Report.
  13. The Mind of Adolf Hitler at p. 149.
  14. The issue of Hitler’s possible homosexuality continues to fascinate historians to this day. See the relatively recent work by German historian Machtan, solely devoted to this thesis: Machtan, Lothar (2002). The Hidden Hitler. Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-04309-7.
  15. The Mind of Adolf Hitler p. 149-50, 193. In his Introduction, Langer relates an anecdote: he was chatting with a colleague who asked about Hitler’s childhood. Langer spoke about it for a while, and the colleague announced that she now knew what Hitler’s perversion was. To his amazement, she had come to the same diagnosis. When he asked how she had performed this extraordinary feat, she related that it was based on her clinical experience in other cases.
  16. Langer further notes that “[H]e is not insane in the commonly accepted sense of the term, but a neurotic who lacks adequate inhibitions. He has not lost complete contact with the world about him and is striving to make some kind of psychological adjustment that will give him a feeling of security in his social group. It also means that there is a definite moral component in his character no matter how deeply it may be buried or how seriously it has been disturbed.” Separately page 246 of the original report states “Hitler may go insane. Hitler has many characteristics which border on the schizophrenic.”
  17. In The Mask of Sanity – 5th edition, 1988, Page 326, psychiatrist Hervey Cleckley notes that Langer’s use of the term ‘psychopath’ (as with other psychiatric terms) was probably in a different and much broader sense than later usage. He cites “Langer, Walter: The mind of Adolph Hitler, New York, 1972, Basic Books, Inc.” from which he also quotes “he was not insane but was emotionally sick and lacked normal inhibitions against antisocial behavior” – but these words do not appear on search of the 1972 Google book or the scan of the original 1943/44 report.
  18. In the Afterword by Waite, the book identifies some of the factual errors in the wartime report, such as (a) the statement that Hitler had a Jewish godfather in Vienna (in fact, there is no credible evidence to support this thesis), and (b) the claim that Hitler had long and dirty fingernails (he was in fact practically obsessive about hand washing). The report also states that Hitler’s half-sister Angela Raubal came to keep house for him in 1924 (Hitler was of course incarcerated at Landsberg for all of 1924 except for 20 December–31 December). The correct date is 1928, which began the relationship with Geli Raubal.
  19. Preface of 1943/44 scanned OSS report, signed Walter C Langer.
  20. The Shadow Warriors: OSS and the Origins of the CIA Bradley F Smith. Times Books. 1983
  21. Waugh, Martin. Review of The Mind of Adolf Hitler. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 43:124-133 (1974).
  22. Hitler as mass killer: A wartime analysis By Benedict Carey. New York Times. Published: Friday, April 1, 2005

Sources

On the Web: 

Langer, Walter C. – A Psychologial Analysis of Adolph Hitler His Life and Legend and Adolf Hitler Source Book materials The original Wartime Report to OSS as made publicly available. (the link to the report says Profile but the title in the actual document says Analysis).

Langer, Walter C. – A Psychological Analysis of Adolph Hitler His Life and Legend. Including summaries of the Source Book materials.The original Wartime Report to OSS as made publicly available. Reproduced from Nizkor but in one searchable PDF document.

Murray, Henry A. (1943) Analysis of the Personality of Adolph Hitler: With Predictions of His Future Behavior and Suggestions for Dealing with Him Now and After Germany’s Surrender at Donovan Nuremberg Trials Collection, Cornell University Law Library

Crash

Video:

#WarriorWednesday: The USS Indianapolis

USS Indianapolis (CA-35), a Portland class heavy cruiser of the United States Navy, was launched in 1931. She was flagship for Admiral Raymond Spruanc,e while he commanded the Fifth Fleet. The ship was sunk by Japanese torpedoes on July 30, 1945.

USS Indianapolis (CA-35), a Portland class heavy cruiser of the United States Navy, was launched in 1931. She was flagship for Admiral Raymond Spruance while he commanded the Fifth Fleet. The ship was sunk by Japanese torpedoes on July 30, 1945.

On July 30, 1945, the USS Indianapolis, with 1,196 Sailors and Marines aboard, was hit by two of six torpedoes fired by a Japanese submarine. The 610-foot-long heavy cruiser was chopped into three sections, all of which were sinking … But that’s just the beginning of the story….

Corporal Edgar Harrell was a Marine, a 20-year-old kid, who finished his watch on the USS Indianapolis at midnight July 29, 1945. It was unbearably hot, stifling down below where his berth was, so he got permission to make a pallet on deck, right under the barrels of the No. 1 forward turret.

Harrell had just dozed off.

And then, a few minutes into July 30, the world exploded.

USS Indianapolis survivor Edgar Harrell speaks about the suicide of USS Indianapolis Capt. Charles Butler McVay III, before the survivors were able to posthumously exonerated him. Harrell is the author of "Out of the Depth: An Unforgettable WWII Story of Survival, Courage, and the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis," and is one of the 36 living survivors from the sinking of the USS Indianapolis.

USS Indianapolis survivor Edgar Harrell speaks about the suicide of USS Indianapolis Capt. Charles Butler McVay III, before the survivors were able to posthumously exonerated him. Harrell is the author of “Out of the Depth: An Unforgettable WWII Story of Survival, Courage, and the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis,” and is one of the 36 living survivors from the sinking of the USS Indianapolis.

USS Indianapolis survivor Edgar Harrell stands next to a model of the USS Indianapolis from the Ft Benjamin Harrison State Park, 20th Century Museum of Modern Warfare.

USS Indianapolis survivor Edgar Harrell stands next to a model of the USS Indianapolis from the Ft Benjamin Harrison State Park, 20th Century Museum of Modern Warfare.

USS Indianapolis survivor Edgar Harrell points to his location on the deck of the ship, when it was struck by two Japanese torpedoes.

USS Indianapolis survivor Edgar Harrell points to his location on the deck of the ship, when it was struck by two Japanese torpedoes.

The USS Indianapolis, with 1,196 sailors and Marines aboard, was hit by two of six torpedoes fired by a Japanese submarine. The 610-foot-long heavy cruiser was chopped into three sections, all of which were sinking.

Metal groaned and twisted, water churned and rose, and men scrambled and screamed. Three-quarters of the crew would die in the disaster.

A Marine guard is shown under the turret of a gun on the deck of the USS Indianapolis. (Photo: Provided by Edgar Harrell)

A Marine guard is shown under the turret of a gun on the deck of the USS Indianapolis. (Photo: Provided by Edgar Harrell)

Some of the survivors of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis are shown on Guam waiting to be taken to the hospital. (Photo: Provided by Edgar Harrell)

Some of the survivors of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis are shown on Guam waiting to be taken to the hospital. (Photo: Provided by Edgar Harrell)

For years afterward, Harrell and his fellow survivors talked little — if at all — about what happened that night. And when some did, they were dismissed or ignored. But eventually, they not only talked, they hollered — to correct the historical record and to redeem the captain they revered but who got the official blame for the single worst loss of life at sea in the U.S. Navy’s history.

Edgar Harrell is shown as a 20-year-old U.S. Marine in 1945. Harrell, a survivor of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, wrote a memoir of his experiences, published in May 2014, titled "Out of the Depth: An Unforgettable WWII story of survival, courage and the sinking of the USS Indianapolis." (Photo: (Provided by Edgar Harrell.))

Edgar Harrell is shown as a 20-year-old U.S. Marine in 1945. Harrell, a survivor of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, wrote a memoir of his experiences, published in May 2014, titled “Out of the Depth: An Unforgettable WWII story of survival, courage and the sinking of the USS Indianapolis.” (Photo: (Provided by Edgar Harrell.))

One of the few left

This weekend, Harrell, who now lives in Tennessee, was among about a dozen of the remaining 36 survivors of the ship at a reunion in the city that gave the famed vessel its name. Harrell told his story, vivid with details and passion, insistent that it not be forgotten.

USS Indianapolis survivor Edgar Harrell,

USS Indianapolis survivor Edgar Harrell

He also has chronicled his story in his book, “Out of the Depths: An Unforgettable WWII Story of Survival, Courage, and the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis,” which Harrell republished in May after initially self-publishing it in 2005. Harrell’s story, like that of his shipmates, is one of harrowing survival and gruesome death, tremendous courage and painful betrayal, and, eventually, redemption, albeit posthumously for many.

That night, in the chaos, the young Harrell, originally from Kentucky, realized he didn’t have his drab brown kapok life jacket. He’d left it below. He spied some of the jackets on deck, but waited permission to take one. He also searched for his commanding officer, looking for orders on what to do next. They all waited for the official command to abandon ship. The order came, but really, it was a moot point.

Within 12 minutes, the USS Indianapolis sank. There were few lifeboats. Of the original crew, 900 men went into the water. Some had the life jackets, some didn’t, and most bobbed in the water like corks.

Some were severely burned from explosions, some had broken bones and cuts, most were covered with fuel oil loosed in the water as the ship broke into pieces.

Survivors of the tragic sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis came back to the United States aboard the escort carrier Hollandia. (Photo: US Navy)

Survivors of the tragic sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis came back to the United States aboard the escort carrier Hollandia. (Photo: US Navy)

How did he survive?

The gruesome and harrowing story of the next four days was little known in the years right after the war. Harrell didn’t talk about it, even privately, for the first few years. They didn’t have this label back then, but today, the 89-year-old knows he suffered from post-traumatic stress.

The men in the water faced relentless exposure to the sun, starvation, dehydration — surrounded by water, they had nothing to drink — and fatal saltwater poisoning if they gave in and tried to drink the ocean water. And then there were the sharks.

Harrell found himself in a group of about 80 men that first night, including another Marine, badly injured. Harrell held the man, keeping his head above water, but there was little else he could do.

“He basically died with me holding onto him,” Harrell said, lowering his eyes but pausing only slightly. He has told the story many times by now; he knows how to get through it.

“And that first morning, we had sharks.”

The men were bobbing in the water, trying to pack together, and fins would appear around them, Harrell recalled. But inevitably, a man would get separated from the group and float off.

“And then you hear a blood-curdling scream,” he said. “And then the body would go under, and then that life vest popped back up.”

Lt. Adrian Marks, a resident of Franklin, Georgia, was present at a major tragedy in the final moments of World War II. Piloting a PBY, he was largely responsible for the rescue of 56 survivors of the cruiser USS Indianapolis. Marks is seen here, fourth from right, with his crew. (Photo: US Navy)

Lt. Adrian Marks, a resident of Franklin, Georgia, was present at a major tragedy in the final moments of World War II. Piloting a PBY, he was largely responsible for the rescue of 56 survivors of the cruiser USS Indianapolis. Marks is seen here, fourth from right, with his crew. (Photo: US Navy)

No water to drink

The life vests, crude by today’s high-tech standards, would become water-logged and less effective as flotation devices, he recalled. The men figured out they could fashion vests in a way that allowed them to sit on them, sort of like inner tubes, allowing them to keep their heads above water if they maintained the effort, strength and discipline to stay balanced in a seated position.

The thirst and dehydration were unimaginable, Harrell said. Tongues swelled, lips split open and salt caked their eyes and faces as the briny ocean water dried in the sun. In desperation, some men drank the salty water, and those who resisted the impulse soon saw what happened to the brains of those who relented. It took only about an hour, Harrell said, before the hallucinations began for those men. Terrifying, final hallucinations.

By Day 3, only 17 of the original 80 who were with Harrell were still alive.

That day, his group spotted what looked like a small raft. A few sailors had found a few ammunition cans and potato or orange crates and figured out a way to lash them together. On the raft, they placed sodden life jackets, which they squeezed as dry as possible, like sponges, then allowed them to further air dry atop the crude raft. That way, they could trade out the jackets and buy themselves more time.

Also that day, Harrell saw another crate floating. He swam to it. Inside were potatoes — mostly rotten, but with some nutrition and moisture in them. He stuffed some in his pockets. He ate, peeling skin and the most rotten parts off with his teeth.

Photo of the presentation of the silver service to the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis on Dec. 3, 1932. The USS Indiana/USS Indianapolis Tiffany silver set is on display in the USS Indianapolis exhibit at the World War Memorial. The silver set was removed from the ship in port during a repair stop, before it was sent out to deliver the atomic bomb, and was sunk in the Philippine Sea by a Japanese submarine July 30, 1945 after delivering the bomb. Part of the collection will remain at the memorial, and some will go to the Indiana governor's residence. (Photo: U.S.S. Indianapolis exhibit)

Photo of the presentation of the silver service to the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis on Dec. 3, 1932. The USS Indiana/USS Indianapolis Tiffany silver set is on display in the USS Indianapolis exhibit at the World War Memorial. The silver set was removed from the ship in port during a repair stop, before it was sent out to deliver the atomic bomb, and was sunk in the Philippine Sea by a Japanese submarine July 30, 1945 after delivering the bomb. Part of the collection will remain at the memorial, and some will go to the Indiana governor’s residence. (Photo: U.S.S. Indianapolis exhibit)

Accidental discovery

It was on the fourth day that finally, and by accident, a U.S. military plane discovered “the boys” in the water, still with sharks all around. That plane couldn’t land in water, but summoned help. The pilot, Harrell recalled, didn’t even know if the bobbing heads he saw were American or Japanese. It didn’t matter. A sea plane and rescue vessels were dispatched.

In all, 317 men were plucked from the ocean. They were moved from emergency to longer-term hospitals. It took years to recover. Harrell was in hospitals for months, a stay extended when his appendix burst and his body was riddled with infection. In those early days of penicillin, Harrell received 11.8 million units of the new antibiotic over 29 days — he remembers it, to the unit, to the day.

And then, the young man basically went home, stopping in Chicago in early 1946 to be discharged from the Marines and in 1947 marrying the pretty brunette who had promised to wait for him. Friday, together in Indianapolis, Edgar and Ola Harrell celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary last week.

The USS Indianapolis’ mission was top secret — few of the crew knew that it was delivering to the island of Tinian key parts and enriched uranium for the atomic bomb used at Hiroshima. After completing that mission, the ship stopped off in Guam and was then sent to Leyte Gulf to prepare for a likely invasion of Japan. En route to the Philippines, disaster struck.

The north face of the USS Indianapolis Memorial, located on the Downtown Canal. Indianapolis. The monument lists the final crew and passenger on the World War II cruiser, which sank just after transporting the first atomic bomb in 1945.

The north face of the USS Indianapolis Memorial, located on the Downtown Canal. Indianapolis. The monument lists the final crew and passenger on the World War II cruiser, which sank just after transporting the first atomic bomb in 1945.

Postwar redemption

As the years unfolded, Harrell and other survivors became angry — that their ship was sent out without a protective destroyer escort, that a cable intercepted before the USS Indianapolis took off from Guam said an attack submarine was in its path but that information wasn’t relayed to the ship, that the celebratory transmission about the sinking from the Japanese submarine to Tokyo was intercepted but didn’t trigger a rescue effort, and that the skipper of the USS Indianapolis, Capt. Charles Butler McVay III, was held accountable and court-martialed even though critical information had been withheld from him.

“They just sent us into harm’s way,” Harrell says, in a booming voice and with vehemence. “It was a miscarriage of justice!”

The goal of many of the surviving USS Indianapolis crew was to un-write the inaccurate chronicles of their ship, and to correct the record of McVay.

“We wanted our good captain exonerated,” Harrell said.

On Oct. 30, 2000, they got their wish, when McVay was posthumously exonerated by Congress and President Bill Clinton. It was a victory for the USS Indianapolis survivors, but too late for McVay. He committed suicide in 1968.

Harrell and many of his fellow survivors went on with their lives, drawing strength from their faith, family and friends. Forgiveness came — last year, Harrell held on his lap the great-granddaughter of Mochitsura Hashimoto, the commander of the Japanese submarine I-58 that sank the USS Indianapolis. The baby smiled at him; Harrell had tears in his eyes.

One weekend not so long ago, Edgar and Ola Harrell attended a survivors reunion and memorial service with their son, grandson and great-grandson, in the embrace of a few remaining survivors and their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Now, Harrell said, the important thing is that the story is told. The true story.

Crash

Saturday Reader: Anne Frank’s Final Diary Entry

Anne_Frank

I’ve always loved her optimism, in the face of all evil. She’s always inspired me: Not only for that but because she. Never. Gave. Up…

Seventy years ago, Anne Frank made her final diary entry from her hiding place in Amsterdam on Aug. 1, 1944.

Anne lived in the Secret Annex at 263 Prinsengracht with her family for two years during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II, documenting her life faithfully in her diary during that time. In her last entry, Anne was introspective and wondered about how people would perceive her.

“I’m afraid that people who know me as I usually am will discover I have another side, a better and finer side. I’m afraid they’ll mock me, think I’m ridiculous and sentimental and not take me seriously,” she wrote.

“I’m used to not being taken seriously, but only the ‘lighthearted’ Anne is used to it and can put up with it: the ‘deeper’ Anne is too weak.”

Three days later on Aug. 4, the SS, working on a tip from an informer who has never been identified, raided the hiding place. All eight people in hiding were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Anne Frank died at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany from typhus in March 1945.

Her father, Otto, was the only person from the hiding place to survive. He returned to Amsterdam and recovered Anne’s diary, which he published for the first time in the Netherlands on June 25, 1947.

Since then, Anne’s diary has inspired films and stage performances. The diary has been translated into at least 67 languages and more than 30 million copies have been sold, according to the Anne Frank Center USA.

Crash

#ThrowbackThursday: Battle of the Philippine Sea – June 1944 – US Scores Major Victory against Japanese

marianasturkeyshoot

On this day in 1944, in what would become known as the “Marianas Turkey Shoot”, U.S. carrier-based fighters decimate the Japanese Fleet with only a minimum of losses in the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

The security of the Marianas Islands, in the western Pacific, were vital to Japan, which had air bases on Saipan, Tinian, and Guam. U.S. troops were already battling the Japanese on Saipan, having landed there on the 15th. Any further intrusion would leave the Philippine Islands, and Japan itself, vulnerable to U.S. attack.

The U.S. Fifth Fleet, commanded by Admiral Raymond Spruance, was on its way west from the Marshall Islands as backup for the invasion of Saipan and the rest of the Marianas. But Japanese Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo decided to challenge the American fleet, ordering 430 of his planes, launched from aircraft carriers, to attack.

In what became the greatest carrier battle of the war, the United States, having already picked up the Japanese craft on radar, proceeded to shoot down more than 300 aircraft and sink two Japanese aircraft carriers, losing only 29 of their own planes in the process. It was described in the aftermath as a “turkey shoot”.

Admiral Ozawa, believing his missing planes had landed at their Guam air base, maintained his position in the Philippine Sea, allowing for a second attack of U.S. carrier-based fighter planes, this time commanded by Admiral Mitscher, to shoot down an additional 65 Japanese planes and sink another carrier. In total, the Japanese lost 480 aircraft, three-quarters of its total, not to mention most of its crews. American domination of the Marianas was now a foregone conclusion.

Not long after this battle at sea, U.S. Marine divisions penetrated farther into the island of Saipan. Two Japanese commanders on the island, Admiral Nagumo and General Saito, both committed suicide in an attempt to rally the remaining Japanese forces. It succeeded: Those forces also committed a virtual suicide as they attacked the Americans’ lines, losing 26,000 men compared with 3,500 lost by the United States. Within another month, the islands of Tinian and Guam were also captured by the United States.

The Japanese government of Premier Hideki Tojo resigned in disgrace at this stunning defeat, in what many have described as the turning point of the war in the Pacific.

On the Web:  WW II Battle of the Philippine Sea in Color – Video

Philippine Sea: June 19 – 20, 1944 – USS Enterprise CV-6

Great Marianas Turkey Shoot Timeline

Crash

#WarriorWednesday: LTJG George Bush, USNR, WWII

LTJG George H.W. Bush, the US Navy's youngest pilot during WWII.

LTJG George H.W. Bush, the US Navy’s youngest pilot during WWII.

Upon hearing of the Pearl Harbor attack, while a student at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, George Bush decided he wanted to join the Navy to become an aviator.

Six months after college graduation, he enlisted in the Navy on his 18th birthday and began preflight training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After completing the 10-month course, he was commissioned as an ensign in the US Naval Reserve on 9 June 1943, several days before his 19th birthday; making him the youngest naval aviator then.

After finishing flight training, he was assigned to Torpedo Squadron (VT-51) as photographic officer in September 1943. As part of Air Group 51, his squadron was based on USS San Jacinto in the spring of 1944.San Jacinto was part of Task Force 58 that participated in operations against Marcus and Wake Islands in May, and then in the Marianas during June. On 19 June, the task force triumphed in one of the largest air battles of the war. During the return of his aircraft from the mission, Ensign Bush’s aircraft made a forced water landing. The destroyer, USS Clarence K. Bronson, rescued the crew, but the plane was lost. On 25 July, Ensign Bush and another pilot received credit for sinking a small cargo ship.

LTJG G. H. W. Bush, World War II US Navy Aviator

LTJG G. H. W. Bush, World War II US Navy Aviator

After Bush was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade on 1 August, San Jacinto commenced operations against the Japanese in the Bonin Islands. On 2 September 1944, Bush piloted one of four aircraft from VT-51 that attacked the Japanese installations on Chi Chi Jima. For this mission his crew included Radioman Second Class John Delaney, and Lieutenant Junior Grade William White, USNR, who substituted for Bush’s regular gunner. During their attack, four TBM Avengers from VT-51 encountered intense antiaircraft fire.

While starting the attack, Bush’s aircraft was hit and his engine caught on fire. He completed his attack and released the bombs over his target scoring several damaging hits. With his engine on fire, Bush flew several miles from the island, where he and one other crew member on the TBM Avenger bailed out of the aircraft. However, the other man’s chute did not open and he fell to his death. It was never determined which man bailed out with Bush. Both Delaney and White were killed in action.

While Bush anxiously waited four hours in his inflated raft, several fighters circled protectively overhead until he was rescued by the lifeguard submarine, USS Finback. For this action, Bush received the Distinguished Flying Cross. During the month he remained on Finback, Bush participated in the rescue of other pilots.

Subsequently, Bush returned to San Jacinto in November 1944 and participated in operations in the Philippines. When San Jacinto returned to Guam, the squadron, which had suffered 50 percent casualties of its pilots, was replaced and sent to the United States. Throughout 1944, he had flown 58 combat missions for which he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals, and the Presidential Unit Citation awarded San Jacinto.

ghwb3

Because of his valuable combat experience, Bush was reassigned to Norfolk and put in a training wing for new torpedo pilots. Later, he was assigned as a naval aviator in a new torpedo squadron, VT-153. With the surrender of Japan, he was honorably discharged in September 1945 and then entered Yale University.

The young pilot who grew up to serve his country in so many other ways as CIA Director, Vice President and President of the United States, celebrated his 90th birthday last week by parachuting out of a plane.

We should all strive to be that cool.

Former Lieutenant George Herbert Walker Bush, US Naval Reserve
Transcript Of Naval Service

12 June 1924 Born in Milton, Massachusetts
13 June 1942 Enlisted in US Naval Reserve
5 August 1942 Reported for Active Duty
8 June 1943 Honorably Discharged
9 June 1943 Ensign, US Naval Reserve and continued on Active Duty
1 August 1944 Lieutenant (junior grade)
18 September 1945 Released from Active Duty under honorable conditions
16 November 1948 Lieutenant
24 October 1955 Resignation accepted under honorable conditions

SHIPS AND STATIONS

US Naval Air Station,
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (Instrn)
June 1943 – August 1943
Naval Air Operational
Training Command
Carrier Qualification Training Unit
US Naval Air Station, Glenview, Ill. (Instrn)
August 1943 – August 1943
Air Force, US Atlantic Fleet,
US Naval Air Station, Norfolk, Va. (Instrn)
August 1943 – September 1943
Carrier Aircraft Service 21
(Instrn)
September 1943 – September 1943
Torpedo Squadron 51 (Naval Aviator) September 1943 – December 1943
Air Force, US Atlantic Fleet,
US Naval
Air Station, Norfolk, Va.
December 1944 – February 1945
Torpedo Squadron 97 February 1945 – March 1945
Torpedo Squadron 153(Naval Aviator) March 1945 – September 1945
Headquarters, FIFTH Naval District September 1945 – September 1945

Ships named for President George H. W. Bush:
U.S.S. George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) – commissioned 10 January 2009

On the Web: 

Flyboys: A True Story of Courage

Chichi-jima

Crash

George Bush In World War II: Bibliography

Alcorn, Mike. “Naval Museum Displays Plane Once Flown by President Bush.” Gosport Spotlight (26 June 1992): 3.

“A Boy Goes to War: Fifty Years Ago WWII Began. Probably the Last U.S. President to Fight In It Looks Back.” Life 12, No.l0 (Sep.1989): 70-72, 74-76.

Cagle, M.W. “George Bush, Naval Aviator.” Air Power History 37, no. 1 (Spring 1990): 9-18.

Christman, Timothy J. “Vice President Bush Calls WW II Experience Sobering.” Naval Aviation News 67 (Mar.-Apr. 1985): 12-15.

Furgurson, Ernest B. “Bush, Once Navy’s Youngest Pilot, Reminisces on Service During War II.” Navy Times 35, no.4 (11 Nov. 1985): 6, 29, 34, 85.

“Bush’s War”. Washingtonian 20, no.11 (Aug. 1985): 132-35, 166-67.

Hyams, Joe. Flight of the Avenger: George Bush at War. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1991. Note: This book contains an acknowledgement section, but no formal bibliography.

Mazzarella, Daniel A., ” History Rode a Trenton-Made Parachute: Lt. Bush Bailed Out of a Burning Plane 45 Years Ago.” Trenton NJ Times (3 Sep. 1989): BB6ff.

Stinnett, Robert B., George Bush: His World War II Years. Missoula MT: Pictorial Histories Publishing, 1991. Note: Footnoted, with an extensive bibliography of published books and archival materials relating to the USS San Jacinto and Air Group 51.

#MilitaryMonday: 70 years ago, Ernie Pyle Dispatches from Normandy

ep1

June 12, 1944 – Due to a last-minute alteration in the arrangements, I didn’t arrive on the beachhead until the morning after D-day, after our first wave of assault troops had hit the shore.

By the time we got here the beaches had been taken and the fighting had moved a couple of miles inland. All that remained on the beach was some sniping and artillery fire, and the occasional startling blast of a mine geysering brown sand into the air. That plus a gigantic and pitiful litter of wreckage along miles of shoreline.

Submerged tanks and overturned boats and burned trucks and shell-shattered jeeps and sad little personal belongings were strewn all over these bitter sands. That plus the bodies of soldiers lying in rows covered with blankets, the toes of their shoes sticking up in a line as though on drill. And other bodies, uncollected, still sprawling grotesquely in the sand or half hidden by the high grass beyond the beach.

That plus an intense, grim determination of work-weary men to get this chaotic beach organized and get all the vital supplies and the reinforcements moving more rapidly over it from the stacked-up ships standing in droves out to sea.

In this column I want to tell you what the opening of the second front in this one sector entailed, so that you can know and appreciate and forever be humbly grateful to those both dead and alive who did it for you.

ep2

June 16, 1944 – I took a walk along the historic coast of Normandy in the country of France.

It was a lovely day for strolling along the seashore. Men were sleeping on the sand, some of them sleeping forever. Men were floating in the water, but they didn’t know they were in the water, for they were dead.

On the beach lay, expended, sufficient men and mechanism for a small war. They were gone forever now. And yet we could afford it.

We could afford it because we were on, we had our toehold, and behind us there were such enormous replacements for this wreckage on the beach that you could hardly conceive of their sum total. Men and equipment were flowing from England in such a gigantic stream that it made the waste on the beachhead seem like nothing at all, really nothing at all.

ep3

June 17, 1944 – In the preceding column we told about the D-day wreckage among our machines of war that were expended in taking one of the Normandy beaches.

But there is another and more human litter. It extends in a thin little line, just like a high-water mark, for miles along the beach. This is the strewn personal gear, gear that will never be needed again, of those who fought and died to give us our entrance into Europe.

Here in a jumbled row for mile on mile are soldiers’ packs. Here are socks and shoe polish, sewing kits, diaries, Bibles and hand grenades. Here are the latest letters from home, with the address on each one neatly razored out – one of the security precautions enforced before the boys embarked.

Here are toothbrushes and razors, and snapshots of families back home staring up at you from the sand. Here are pocketbooks, metal mirrors, extra trousers, and bloody, abandoned shoes. Here are broken-handled shovels, and portable radios smashed almost beyond recognition, and mine detectors twisted and ruined.

Here are torn pistol belts and canvas water buckets, first-aid kits and jumbled heaps of lifebelts. I picked up a pocket Bible with a soldier’s name in it, and put it in my jacket. I carried it half a mile or so and then put it back down on the beach. I don’t know why I picked it up, or why I put it back down.

Soldiers carry strange things ashore with them. In every invasion you’ll find at least one soldier hitting the beach at H-hour with a banjo slung over his shoulder. The most ironic piece of equipment marking our beach – this beach of first despair, then victory – is a tennis racket that some soldier had brought along. It lies lonesomely on the sand, clamped in its rack, not a string broken.

Two of the most dominant items in the beach refuse are cigarets and writing paper. Each soldier was issued a carton of cigarets just before he started. Today these cartons by the thousand, water-soaked and spilled out, mark the line of our first savage blow.

Writing paper and air-mail envelopes come second. The boys had intended to do a lot of writing in France. Letters that would have filled those blank, abandoned pages.

Always there are dogs in every invasion. There is a dog still on the beach today, still pitifully looking for his masters.

He stays at the water’s edge, near a boat that lies twisted and half sunk at the water line. He barks appealingly to every soldier who approaches, trots eagerly along with him for a few feet, and then, sensing himself unwanted in all this haste, runs back to wait in vain for his own people at his own empty boat.

ep4

Such horrible sacrifice was not in vain. Rest in Peace with eternal thanks from grateful people everywhere who love Freedom.

On the Web: Read Ernie Pyle’s columns in their entirety.

Crash

Momdeavor

In pursuit of discovering beauty in my daily adventure of being a mom of nine

JustPene

Behind every strong woman, are all the other women that came before!

Brother's Campfire

Gather 'round and hear a tale...

words and music and stories

Let's recollect our emotions in tranquillity

James A. Best- Author

My blog is just meandering thoughts to grab your attention

julienne.red

Delicious recipes, step-by-step photos.

MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Hearth Witch

Spiritual Writings and Services

Ailish Sinclair

Stories and photos from Scotland

Jennaleloup's Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

PR Gumbo

A zesty blend of real life mixed with the principles of public relations

Fotent's Blog

El repós de l'Internauta

milsurpwriter

History and Other Points of Interest

Musings on

the State of Art

Motivation & Environment

Motivation, Self-help, Environment, Futuristic Science & Technology, Technical Drawing with Engineering Graphics, GOD, and Spirituality

STRAIGHT LINE LOGIC

Never underestimate the power of a question

Streetsister

Conversations with Street People

Lili Coffin's World of Wine

Featuring the best wine, travel and food of California.

jonoshmono's Blog

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

HarsH ReaLiTy

A Good Blog is Hard to Find

Querida bitácora

Bitácora personal Lynsus

The Virtual Statesman

The Independent & Engaging Political Commentator

Wholesome & Delicious

food recipes, organic fields of joy

Welcome To Forex Snapshot

The Trading Advice You Need To Succeed

Jonathan McCallum

Photography & Video

Chris Martin Writes

Sowing Seeds for the Kingdom

Appetites Abroad

Travel tips and planning services for wine and culinary enthusiasts.

Working Mom Inspiration

inspiration and resources for the working Mom

Logical Quotes

cycling, photography, graphic design, military, history, astronomy, flora & fauna, art, travel, science, faith, patriotism, politics, food, et cetera.

ELLIS NELSON BOOKS

young adult, middle grade, children's books

Camela Glory

Fashion Photographer|spiritual Person| GOD is the Creator

Dem Bones

Jettahlily008's Word Press Blog

Artist- Ted Giffin - Musician

Forum for Display + Critique of His Creative Works

Keene Short

Writing \\ Research \\ Photography