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#31


Plane that led Normandy invasion discovered, restored




 

 

Plane that led Normandy invasion discovered, restored

 

This Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, photo shows a C-47 called "That's All, Brother," that was discovered and currently being restored at Basler Turbo Conversions in Oshkosh, Wis. The plane carried the first paratroopers who stormed the beaches of Normandy during World War II. The group, Commemorative Air Force, started a campaign to restore the relic with hopes to fly the aircraft over Normandy in 2019 for the 75th anniversary of D-Day.(WLUK/Alex Ronallo, via AP)


 

 

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OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — A plane that led the invasion of Normandy during World War II has been saved from a junkyard and is being carefully restored in Wisconsin.


The C-47, called "That's All, Brother," carried the first paratroopers who were dropped behind German lines at Normandy. The aircraft led the more than 800 other C-47s also carrying paratroopers.


The plane was lost for 70 years and was accidentally discovered by an Air Force historian at the Basler Turbo Conversions junkyard in Oshkosh in 2015, WLUK-TV reported . The historian was researching Col. John Donalson, the man who flew the plane on D-Day.


 

"The airplane is much more than an aircraft. It's a time machine," said Keegan Chetwynd, the curator for the Commemorative Air Force, a nonprofit that works to preserve aircraft.


The group started a campaign to restore the aircraft, raising about $380,000 in 30 days, Chetwynd said. Employees at Basler have spent more than 22,000 hours restoring "That's All, Brother" to former glory.


"(It) provides that tangible connection for the next generation of people so that they know, when they read it in a history book, that it was real," Chetwynd said.


 

Workers tested out "That's All, Brother's" engines for the first time in a decade on Thursday. Despite a hydraulic leak, the test was a major achievement, Chetwynd said. Crews will test the engines again today.


Their hope is to fly the aircraft over Normandy in 2019 for the 75th anniversary of D-Day.


 

"That's kind of why the rush is on and why we're doing all of this in the dead of winter in Wisconsin," Chetwynd said.


The aircraft is expected to conduct a European tour in 2019 and then will likely return to the U.S. to resume regular operations.


 



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#32

Ah, gotta show this to my hubby! Thanks for posting.

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
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#33


US Army hero dog during WWII receives posthumous medal




 

 

US Army hero dog during WWII receives posthumous medal

 

The Dickin Medal, worn by Military working dog Ayron who received the PDSA Dickin Medal, the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross, on Chips' behalf, in London, Monday, Jan. 15, 2018. Chips was a US Army dog who protected the lives of his platoon during the invasion of Sicily in 1943. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)


 

 

LONDON (AP) — A U.S. Army dog that attacked a machine-gun nest during World War II was posthumously awarded Britain's highest honor for animal bravery on Monday.


Chips, a German shepherd-husky cross, was awarded the Dickin Medal for actions during a 1943 beach landing in Sicily. According to the U.S. soldiers, Chips raced into an Italian machine-gun nest, attacking an enemy soldier by the throat and pulling the gun from its mount.


The medal was awarded by veterinary charity PDSA in a ceremony at the Churchill War Rooms in London. The honor was accepted by 76-year-old John Wren of Southold, New York, whose father donated Chips to the war effort in 1942.


 

Lt. Col. Alan Throop, who attended on behalf of the U.S. Army, said that shortly after the battle Chips was recommended for the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star and the Purple Heart. The awards were later rescinded because army policy didn't allow animals to receive medals.


Chips suffered scalp wounds and powder burns in the battle but survived the war, returning to his owners in Pleasantville, New York.


The medal was awarded on the 75th anniversary of the Casablanca Conference, at which British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt plotted wartime strategy. Chips served as a sentry at the conference and met both leaders.


 

"It has taken over seven decades, but Chips can now finally take his place in the history books as one of the most heroic dogs to serve with the U.S. Army," PDSA director general Jan McLoughlin said.


Since 1943, the Dickin Medal has recognized gallantry by animals serving with the military, police or rescue services. Recipients include 33 dogs, 32 messenger pigeons, four horses and a cat.


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#34

Very cool!  

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
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#35


A WWII aircraft carrier was lost in the battle for Australia. A tech billionaire just found it.



 

 
 

 

By Kristine Phillips March 6 at 4:09 PM Email the author 

The first torpedo hit the USS Lexington’s port side at about 11 a.m. on the last day of the Battle of the Coral Sea, a critical point in the United States’ war against Japan. Within minutes, another torpedo struck, followed by three bombs from Japanese dive bombers.


Fires raged, but they were under control two hours later. Still, the consecutive hits from the Japanese navy would eventually spell the end of the aircraft carrier known as Lady Lex. Fuel tanks from underneath were ruptured, causing an explosion that shook the warship. Capt. Frederick C. Sherman ordered his men up to the flight deck.


By 5 p.m., he yelled, “Abandon ship!”


Men jumped into the warm water and were immediately rescued by nearby cruisers and destroyers. Sherman and his executive officer,  Cmdr. M.T. Seligman, were the last ones to leave before Lady Lex sank into the Coral Sea on May 8, 1942, the end of the four-day naval battle between Allied forces from the United States and Australia, and the Imperial Japanese Navy. A little more than 200 crew members died — part of the price the United States paid to help protect its ally, Australia, from Japan during World War II.


About 2,770 survived, including Wags, the captain’s dog.


The remains of Lady Lex would stay undiscovered on the floor of the Coral Sea for the next 76 years — until they were found by a billionaire who spends some of his fortune finding the lost wreckage of previous wars. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen on Monday announced the discovery of the USS Lexington about 500 miles off the eastern coast of Australia, two miles below the surface of the Coral Sea.


[ ‘We knew the ship was doomed’: USS Indianapolis survivor recalls four days in shark-filled sea ]


“To pay tribute to the USS Lexington and the brave men that served on her is an honor,” Allen said. “As Americans, all of us owe a debt of gratitude to everyone who served and who continue to serve our country for their courage, persistence and sacrifice.”


Allen, a Seattle-based entrepreneur and philanthropist who also invests in environmental causes, had bought a 250-foot research vessel called R/V Petrel and retrofitted it with state-of-the-art equipment capable of diving 3½ miles deep, according to his website. Allen has used the vessel in expeditions that led to the discovery of several historic warships and artifacts.


The USS Indianapolis was discovered on the bottom of the Philippine Sea in August, more than 70 years after a Japanese submarine fired six torpedoes toward the 610-foot heavy cruiser, causing it to break in pieces. About 800 of the nearly 1,200 crew members made it off the ship before it sank, but many died of dehydration, shark attacks and starvation as they floated helplessly in shark-infested waters for four days.


Last year, President Trump paid tribute to the veterans who served during the Battle of the Coral Sea, which the Defense Department describes as a “crucial turning point in the war against Imperial Japan in the Pacific.”


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Wreckage from the USS Lexington, a World War II aircraft carrier that sank on May 8, 1942. A team led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen found the wreckage on March 4. (Paul Allen via Agence France-Presse)

“In those Pacific waters, we forged iron bonds between our countries. Few peoples in the world share ties in history, affection and culture like the Americans and Australians. Those ties are sealed with the blood of our grandfathers and fathers and those same ties are now the priceless heritage we celebrate so beautifully tonight,” Trump said during the May speech.


The Battle of the Coral Sea, which lasted from May 4 to May 8, 1942, came at an unsettling time for the United States, Australia and their allies. Allied forces had been experiencing mounting defeats, while the Japanese military had been continually succeeding, beginning with the attack on Pearl Harbor months earlier. In Australia, people had begun to expect an imminent invasion by Japan.


By April 1942, Australia had become a target for the Japanese. Leaders of Japan’s navy had begun devising ways to capture Port Moresby and the islands of Tulagi, New Caledonia, Fiji and Samoa — located east and northeast of Australia — partly to cut off communications with the United States and leave it vulnerable to Japanese invasion.


[ Unsealed 75 years after the Battle of Midway: New details of an alarming WWII press leak ]


Occupying Papua New Guinea’s Port Moresby under a plan known as Operation MO would “provide the Imperial Japanese Navy with a secure operating base on Australia’s northern doorstep,” according to the Royal Australian Navy. The planning dragged on until the middle of April, when carrier-launched U.S. bombers led by Jimmy Doolittle attacked the Japanese home islands. The attacks, though minimal, gave Operation MO a renewed sense of urgency.


The military forces behind Operation MO included an armada of destroyers, cruisers, aircraft carriers and submarines. The U.S. Navy had received signal intelligence on Japan’s intentions, but that “was barely enough advantage for the fleet to take on and force the Japanese to retreat,” according to the Defense Department.


Japan managed to capture Tulagi, which is part of the Solomon Islands, east of Papua New Guinea, on May 3. The Battle of the Coral Sea raged for the next four days. In the end, both the Japanese and the Allies portrayed themselves as victors, though both sides suffered severe losses.


“In a sense they are both right,” according to the Royal Australian Navy.


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Wreckage from the USS Lexington, a World War II aircraft carrier that sank on May 8, 1942. A team led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen found the wreckage on March 4. (Paul Allen)

The Americans lost more ships than the Japanese. But the Allies prevented Japan from capturing Port Moresby — its main objective. By the time the USS Lexington was sunk on May 8, Japanese forces were not in a position to keep advancing. Their aircraft carrier Shoho had been sunk. A second carrier, Shokaku, had been severely damaged, while a third, Zuikaku, was low on fuel. Adm. Shigeyoshi Inouye, leader of Operation MO, decided to postpone the invasion of Port Moresby.


Many say that if it were not for the damage the Japanese forces suffered, the Americans would not have defeated them in the next battle a month later. The Battle of Midway, which raged from June 4 to June 7, 1942, resulted in the deaths of about 360 Americans — compared with more than 3,000 Japanese casualties.


Historians Jonathan B. Parshall and Anthony P. Tully described the American assault on the Japanese fleet as “the single most decisive aerial attack in naval history.” The Battle of Midway — arguably because of the Battle of the Coral Sea — helped turn the tide of war in the Pacific theater.


Michael E. Ruane contributed to this report.  


 

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#36

 

 

 

 


The five Sullivan brothers, serving together, were killed in World War II. Their ship was just found.



 

 
 

 

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr. March 20 at 3:54 PM Email the author

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An underwater video image courtesy of Paul Allen shows wreckage from the USS Juneau, a U.S. Navy ship sunk by Japanese torpedoes 76 years ago and found in the South Pacific.  (Paul Allen via AP)

Thomas Sullivan was getting ready for work in Waterloo, Iowa, when three men in Navy uniforms walked up to his front door.


“I have some news for you about your boys,” one of the officers said, according to an excerpt of the conversation in the Red State blog.


All five of Sullivan’s sons had enlisted in the U.S. Navy after the Pearl Harbor attack, and on that January morning in 1943, he wanted to know which one wasn’t coming home.


“All five,” the officer said.


The Sullivan brothers — George, Madison, Albert, Francis and Joseph, who was also known as “Red” — were already famous for insisting on serving together.


They were honored 11 months after a Japanese torpedo sank their ship, the USS Juneau, in the southwestern Pacific. Some called their deaths the greatest sacrifice of the greatest generation. Others said their story was exploited by a U.S. government desperate to get a nation to accept the sacrifices of war.


Either way, people across the country pored over the Sullivan brothers’ story, examining the smallest details of their lives, their service, their violent deaths.


But one thing has remained hidden until now:


Their final resting place.


A team funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen recently discovered the wreckage of the USS Juneau 2.6 miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, near the Solomon Islands.


For years, Allen’s team has been combing the Pacific for ships that sank decades ago.


The team has used advanced technology such as side-scan sonar and submersible drones to locate several ships, including the USS Indianapolis and the USS Ward.




But finding the final resting place of the USS Juneau connected their endeavor with a part of U.S. history that still reverberates today in both memory and policy.


The Sullivan brothers have been memorialized with a museum wing, a school and two Navy ships. And the brothers’ deaths led to “sole survivor” policies, which exempt people who have lost a family member from the draft or military service. They were the subject of a 1944 war movie, “The Fighting Sullivans.”


It all began with an emotional Sunday dinner in 1941.


The brothers had heard about the attack on Pearl Harbor over the radio during dinner on Dec. 7, 1941, according to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. Their thoughts immediately turned to Bill Ball, a friend stationed in Hawaii who, they later learned, died in the attack. The Sullivan brothers, all in their 20s, wanted to take up the fight.


[ The savage fight for Guadalcanal: Jungle, crocodiles and snipers during World War II ]


The Navy at first balked at their request to serve on the same ship but ultimately relented.


“I was talking to an ensign the other day,” Red Sullivan wrote a friend, according to the Courier. “From the way he talked, all five of us brothers are going to get on the same ship. I wish the rest of you guys could go along.”


That ship was the USS Juneau: a ship that carried nearly 700 men and was almost as new to the war effort as Red Sullivan was. It was commissioned about a year before it sank.


The USS Juneau specialized in defending other vessels from warplanes. It performed patrol and escort duties in the North Atlantic and Caribbean and then was dispatched to the Pacific, where it was involved in several battles, including the naval battles of Guadalcanal.  In its final battle, it served as part of a protective screen for cargo vessels and transports as U.S. forces tried to keep their grip on the Pacific foothold.


The Juneau held its own during fierce, nighttime fighting.


But it was badly damaged by a torpedo during the costly American victory. (In total during the naval battles near Guadalcanal, American and Japanese forces lost two dozen ships apiece). Badly listing to one side, it limped away with other ships.


But the Japanese submarine I-26 was lurking nearby. One of its torpedoes missed the USS San Francisco but struck the USS Juneau near where it had been previously hit — and near the compartment where munitions were stored.


The rest happened in a flash, according to declassified documents obtained by the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier:


I saw the spot where the Juneau had been. The only thing visible was tremendous clouds of grey and black smoke. … The men told me that the Juneau appeared to explode instantaneously and appeared to break in two, both segments of which sunk in 20 seconds. … The signalman on the bridge of the Helena was in the process of taking a message from the Juneau and had his glass trained on the signalman of that ship and reports that the signalman was blown at least 30 feet in the air.


Three of the Sullivans died in that initial blast. Two made it into life rafts but died in the ensuing days at sea, waiting for rescue.


In death, they went from being a famous footnote to national heroes. Their mother christened a new destroyer with the Sullivan name, and the U.S. government alluded to the family’s sacrifice when asking people to buy war bonds.


The appeal was both simple and effective: The Sullivan family gave so much. Can the rest of us pitch in, too?


As one woman told the Associated Press, according to a recounting of the Sullivans’ story: “And now I wonder how the sugar and coffee hoarders feel.”

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#37

Thanks for sharing this with all of us. Sad as always of course, but glad to hear this has been found.

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
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#38


WWII wreck USS Helena discovered by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's crew



 

The USS Helena is the latest wreck to be discovered by Paul Allen's expedition team (Navigea Ltd, R/V Petrel)


The USS Helena is the latest wreck to be discovered by Paul Allen's expedition team (Navigea Ltd, R/V Petrel)


A team led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has found the wreck of the USS Helena in the Pacific, almost 75 years after it was sunk by Japanese torpedoes.


The World War II wreck was recently located off the Solomon Islands by crew aboard the Research Vessel (R/V) Petrel, according to a statement.


The St. Louis-class cruiser was sunk by three Japanese torpedoes during the Battle of Kula Gulf in July 1943. In all, more than 730 of the Helena's crew of 900 survived the sinking.


 

WRECK OF THE USS JUNEAU, FAMOUS FOR THE DEATHS OF THE 5 SULLIVAN BROTHERS, DISCOVERED IN PACIFIC


USSHelena2

The USS Helena was located on March 23, 2018 (Navigea Ltd, R/V Petrel)


The wreckage of the Helena was found March 23, 2018, about a half mile (860 meters) below the surface of the New Georgia Sound. The team identified the light cruiser by the number 50 on its side and by comparing the wreck to the USS Helena's schematics.


Expeditions led by Allen have discovered a host of historic military shipwrecks, such as the USS Lexington, which was located last month, 76 years after it was lost in the Battle of the Coral Sea. Shortly after finding the Lexington, Allen’s team found the wreck of the USS Juneau, which was sunk by a Japanese torpedo and lost 687 sailors in 1942.


Last year, Allen’s crew found the long-lost wreck of the USS Indianapolis in the Philippine Sea. The sinking of the Indianapolis, which delivered the Hiroshima bomb in 1945 and is mentioned in the movie "Jaws," resulted in the greatest single loss of life at sea in the U.S. Navy’s history. Of 1,196 crew aboard the heavy cruiser, only 317 survived.


HUGE WORLD WAR II SHIPWRECK RAISED FROM THE DEPTHS IN MASSIVE SALVAGE OPERATION


USSHelena3

The USS Helena is the latest wreck to be discovered by Paul Allen's expedition team (Navigea Ltd, R/V Petrel)


Naval personnel in Sri Lanka recently raised a massive World War II shipwreck from the bottom of a harbor 75 years after the British merchant vessel was sunk following an attack by Japanese forces.


The Associated Press and Fox News’ Christopher Carbone contributed to this article. Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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#39

So many wonderful discoveries as of late!

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Reply
#40


WWII Soldier’s Widow to Accept Medal of Honor for Late Husband




WASHINGTON --


The widow of a World War II soldier will accept the Medal of Honor for her husband at the White House tomorrow, 22 years after his family began efforts to upgrade the soldier’s Distinguished Service Cross.


 
A widow holds a WWII-era photo of her husband.

Pauline Conner holds the photo of her late husband, Army 1st Lt. Garlin Murl Conner, at her home in Clinton County, Ky. She will accept the Medal of Honor on her late husband's behalf at the White House, June 26, 2018. Lt. Conner passed away in 1998 at age 79. DoD photo by Joe Lacdan

 


Army First Lt. Garlin M. Conner’s widow, Pauline Conner, was joined today in a Pentagon press briefing by Army Maj. Gen. Leopoldo Quintas, commanding general, 3rd Infantry Division; Erik Villard, historian, Center for Military History; and Luther Conner, a cousin of Garlin Conner and attorney who was involved in fighting for the soldier’s Medal of Honor recognition.


Pauline, 89, of Albany, Kentucky, will accept the honor on behalf of her husband, who died 20 years ago at age 79. He was drafted March 1, 1941, and assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division’s 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment.


First Lt. Garlin Conner spent 28 months on the front lines in eight campaigns in the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater, participated in four amphibious assault landings, was wounded seven times and earned a battlefield commission. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, four Silver Stars and the French Croix de Guerre for his actions in Italy and France. He also received a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts.


Battlefield Commission


On June 28, 1944, shortly after earning his second Silver Star medal, Conner received a battlefield commission to second lieutenant. Six months later, on Dec. 29, 1944, he was promoted to first lieutenant. While in Houssen, France, he received a serious hip injury, but he slipped away from the hospital to rejoin his unit shortly before the battle that would see him earn the Medal of Honor.


On Jan. 24, 1945, as German formations converged on the 3rd Battalion’s position, Conner voluntarily ran to the front lines to serve as a spotter, uncoiling telephone line to communicate with the infantry as he ran to direct friendly artillery on the advancing enemy forces. He found little refuge in a shallow ditch, Villard said.


Video Player



 

 



 

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VIDEO | 06:43Garlin Conner: 'Called artillery on his own position'

 


With rounds impacting all around him, Conner calmly directed multiple fire missions onto the force of 600 German infantry troops, six Mark VI tanks and tank destroyers, adjusting round after round of artillery from his prone position, according to an Army website.


Resolved to Die


For three hours, he remained in a prone position, enduring the repeated onslaught of German infantry which, at one point, advanced to within 5 yards of his position. When the Germans mounted an all-out attack to overrun the American lines and his location, Conner ordered his artillery to concentrate on his own position, “resolved to die if necessary to halt the enemy,” according to his Distinguished Service Cross citation.


Ignoring the friendly artillery shells blanketing his position and exploding within mere feet, Conner continued to direct artillery fire on the enemy assault swarming around him until the German attack was finally shattered and broken. By his incredible heroism and disregard for his own life, Conner stopped the enemy advance. The artillery he expertly directed while under constant enemy fire killed about 50 German soldiers and wounded at least 100 more, preventing heavy casualties in his battalion, Army officials said.


As an intelligence officer, historian Villard pointed out, it was no longer his job to put himself between U.S. troops and the onslaught of German fighters, but he unselfishly did so.


Villard also said it’s been suggested that Conner is the second-highest awarded service member following Audie Murphy.


“On behalf of every soldier in the 3rd Infantry Division and their families, we are proud and pleased to have a soldier from the division -- a dogface soldier -- receive the nation's highest award for valor,” Quintas said.


Haunting Reminders


Once Conner was out of the Army and returned home to the family farm in Kentucky, he never spoke of that day in France, his widow Pauline said. But she knew that it haunted him.


Noting that post-traumatic stress disorder was not a recognized diagnosis until several wars later, Pauline said she knew her husband suffered from the disorder.


“If anybody had PTSD, he did,” she said, describing his frequent nightmares, but, she added, he wouldn’t talk about what happened that day in January.


On accepting the Medal of Honor tomorrow for her deceased husband tomorrow at the White House, Pauline said, “It’s something that should have been done during his lifetime,” adding that it was an honor for her to accept the medal for him.


She said Conner -- who she married when she was 16 -- was a good and humble person. “He was my hero. I loved him very much and I’m so thankful I get to see [the medal being bestowed] in my lifetime,” Pauline said.


 

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