Apollo 15 Astronaut Al Worden passes

Former astronaut Alfred M. Worden, command module pilot on the Apollo 15 lunar landing, passed away March 18, 2020, in Texas.

“I’m deeply saddened to hear that Apollo astronaut Al Worden has passed away,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted about Worden. “Al was an American hero whose achievements in space and on Earth will never be forgotten. My prayers are with his family and friends.”

As command module pilot, Worden stayed in orbit while commander David Scott and lunar module pilot James B. Irwin explored the Moon’s Hadley Rille and Appennine Mountains. Apollo 15’s command module, dubbed Endeavour, was the first to have its own module of scientific instruments. During the flight back from the Moon, Worden made three spacewalks to retrieve film from cameras in the module. Altogether, Worden logged more than 295 hours in space.

“The thing that was most interesting to me was taking photographs of very faint objects with a special camera that I had on board,” Worden told Smithsonian Magazine in 2011. “These objects reflect sunlight, but it’s very, very weak and you can’t see it from [Earth]. There are several places between the Earth and the moon that are stable equilibrium points. And if that’s the case, there has to be a dust cloud there. I got pictures of that.”

Like other command module pilots, Worden stayed as busy as his colleagues on the surface. But he also took some time to enjoy the view.

“Every time I came around the moon I went to a window and watched the Earth rise and that was pretty unique.”

After retirement from active duty in 1975, Worden became President of Maris Worden Aerospace, Inc., and was Vice-President of BF Goodrich Aerospace Brecksville, Ohio, in addition to other positions within the aerospace and aviation industries. Worden wrote several books: a collection of poetry, “Hello Earth: Greetings from Endeavour” in 1974; a children’s book, “I Want to Know About a Flight to the Moon”, also in 1974; and a memoir, “Falling to Earth,” in 2011. His interest in educating children about space led to an appearance on “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood”.

Worden was born Feb. 7, 1932, in Jackson, Michigan, on February 7, 1932. He was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduating in 1955. He earned master of science degrees in astronautical/aeronautical engineering and instrumentation engineering from the University of Michigan in 1963. In 1971, the University of Michigan awarded him an honorary doctorate of science in astronautical engineering.

Before becoming an astronaut, Worden was an instructor at the Aerospace Research Pilots School. He had also served as a pilot and armament officer from March 1957 to May 1961 with the 95th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland.

Worden was one of 19 astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966. He served as a member of the astronaut support crew for Apollo 9 and as backup command module pilot for Apollo 12.

After leaving the astronaut corps, Worden moved to NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. He was the Senior Aerospace Scientist there from 1972-73, and then chief of the Systems Study Division until 1975.

 

‘Death Threats For Me And My Family’: Missouri Lawmaker Trying To Ban Drag Queens From Reading To Kids Says He’s Faced ‘Vitriol’ And ‘Hate’

Tar and Feathers‘™ are too good for whoever came up with the idea of letting children be exposed to this perversion, the perverts and their agenda behind it. Flogging might be where to start from.

A Missouri lawmaker said he has never experienced so much”vitriol” and “hate” as he has faced after introducing a bill against drag queens reading to children in public libraries.

Republican Missouri state Rep. Ben Baker’s bill, which seeks to ban Drag Queen Story Hour in public libraries, has been met with opposition from local librarians, the American Library Association, Drag Queen Story Hour defenders and LGBTQ proponents. More than 100 people gathered Saturday at a rally organized by drag queens to protest the bill at the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City.

The lawmaker told the Daily Caller News Foundation that he has received thousands of emails from people roused by the American Library Association’s political action committee “Every Library” and received death threats over social media.

The Bill: Parental Oversight Of Public Libraries Act

Baker’s January “Parental Oversight of Public Libraries Act” would strip government aid from libraries that allow minors to access “age-inappropriate sexual materials.” These materials include any description or representation of nudity, sexuality, sexual conduct or sadomasochistic abuse.

The bill also would require libraries to institute parental review boards elected by the community — none of whom would also be members of the public library. These parental review boards would determine whether any sexual material offered by the library is “age-inappropriate sexual material” and convene public hearings to help the community determine whether this material is suitable.

Library personnel who “willfully neglect,” willfully violate or refuse to follow these rules could be punished by a fine of up to $500 or imprisoned in the county jail for no more than a year.

What Is Drag Queen Story Hour?

Drag Queen Story Hours are “just what they sound like,” according to the Drag Queen Story Hour official website: drag queens reading to children.

The events are designed to be about 45 minutes long for children aged 3 to 8 years and intended to capture children’s imagination and help them explore gender fluidity through “glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models.”

The official Drag Queen Story Hour website boasts more than 45 independently operated chapters across the U.S., including in New York City, D.C. and Chicago, as well as two international chapters in Tokyo and in Berlin.

The American Library Association has also backed the movement and offers a plethora of resources on its website “to support libraries facing challenges.” A spokeswoman told the DCNF in a January statement that the ALA “strongly supports the rights of libraries to host whatever programming they decide fits the needs and interests of their communities.”

Backlash: ‘The Vitriol And The Hate’

Baker called the backlash that has stemmed from his bill “unprecedented,” and pointed out that media coverage of his bill has been mostly negative. Media outlets initially portrayed the legislation as a bill that seeks to ban “inappropriate books” rather than banning Drag Queen Story Hours from public libraries.

“We are deeply concerned by Missouri House Bill 2044, ‘Parental Oversight of Public Libraries Act,’” Every Library wrote in a statement after Baker introduced the bill. “It sets up quasi-governmental tribunals that circumvent the normal way libraries review materials challenges and imposes fines or jail time on librarians who violate the act. It’s a bad bill and needs to be stopped.”

“When you take on some of these issues that are controversial, the push back from media and from even the American Library Association, you know, was astounding,” Baker told the DCNF. “I got thousands of emails, I’ve had death threats for me and my family.”……….

USAF Gunship Crew Awarded Medals For Nine-Hour Battle With ISIS That Saved 15 Wounded In Afghanistan.

On the night of April 3-4, 2019, on a heavily-fortified mountainside near Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, a group of joint American special operations and coalition forces found themselves taking fire as casualties mounted after an improvised explosive device attack.

In need of assistance, the Special Tactics operators on the ground called for an AC-130U “Spooky” Gunship, (Callsign Spooky 41) who arrived to suppress the enemy located in close proximity to the group.

As the gunship fired down on the enemy, at times less than 140 meters from the group, three medical-evacuation helicopters hovered more than an hour to safely rescue all 15 patients. The enemy was not able to get a single shot off at the MEDEVAC helicopters, due to the precise airpower strikes of Spooky 41’s aircrew.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Jim Slife, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, presented two Distinguished Flying Crosses with “C” device and 12 Single Event Air Medals with “C” device to 4th Special Operations Squadron Airmen, March 2, 2020, here, for their actions in April.

“The most lethal part of any gunship is not the 25 mm, the 40 mm, or the 105 mm [weapons] sticking out of the side of this big beautiful airplane,” said Slife during the ceremony. “The most lethal part of the gunship is the crew.”……..

The AC-130U’s capability to track and engage several targets simultaneously with different levels of ordnance is an invaluable asset to special operations forces on the ground. It offers a 105 mm howitzer cannon, 40 mm Bofors cannon and a 25 mm GAU-12 Gatling cannon.

Iwo Jima warriors should never be forgotten

Of the 82 Medals of Honor awarded to Marines in WW2, 22 of them were awarded for this one battle. Another 4 were awarded to Navy Hospital Corpsmen (medics) attached to the Marine Corps. This was the first battle where the defending Japanese inflicted more casualties than they suffered although more Japanese died than U.S.

On Feb. 19, 1945, Iwo Jima, a small, sulfurous fumes-belching Western Pacific Island, was one of the few remaining roadblocks on the route to Japan. There the IJA (Imperial Japanese Army) troops — approximately 21,000 — quietly awaited the arrival of the U.S. Marines V Amphibious Corps. Void of vegetation and covered with countless century-old deposits of volcanic ash and sands, the island had been deliberately denuded by the IJA to give its invaders no vestige of hope or shelter.

In the Pacific theater of World War II, U.S. Marines hit the beach and charge over a dune on Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands Feb. 19, 1945, the start of one of the deadliest battles of the war against Japan.© Joe Rosenthal, AP 

In the Pacific theater of World War II, U.S. Marines hit the beach and charge over a dune on Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands Feb. 19, 1945, the start of one of the deadliest battles of the war against Japan.

Cavernous caves, some housing hundreds of combatants, and complex interconnecting tunnels in Mount Suribachi and smaller hills throughout the island were well-hidden, housing enemy emplacements of artillery, mortars and machine guns little bothered by bombardment from allied battleships and bombers.

Into this waiting, bated maelstrom, wave after wave of young Marines came ashore with hearts racing, with locked and loaded weapons at port, fearful of death or crippling wounds — but they came on, many to never walk again, many buried there and many leaving behind their shredded mortal remains scattered among the volcanic ashes. But they came on……..

The total casualties on Iwo Jima numbered 26,040 with 6,821 killed and 19,217 wounded.

We are at the end of the worst week of NASA history.
Every accident that took the lives of the crew and destroyed the vehicle took place in the space of one calendar week, of course separated by decades.

Monday, January 27th, was the 53rd anniversary of the 1967 fire in Apollo 1 that took the lives of Gus Grissom, Roger Chaffee and Ed White, during a full test on the pad.

The next day, January 28th, is the anniversary of the 1986 Challenger disaster when the main fuel tank exploded 73 seconds after launch.

And today, February 1, is the anniversary of the 2003 Columbia disaster during reentry when undetected damage to a wing during launch allowed hot plasma enter into the wing, burning through the internal structure until the wing tore off the shuttle and tore the vehicle apart.

Spaceflight is inherently a very risky undertaking, but from the records and investigations of these events a pattern emerged that NASA’s higher levels of management failed in the task of proper risk mitigation and letting Quality Assurance and Quality Control standards slide. One would think that after the first time that failure would have been permanently rectified, but bureaucraps being what they are, it wasn’t.

I was pleased to have ended my career working at a place where the standard in every section was:
“If there is a question, then there is no question. Whatever it takes do it.

Army Rangers Conducted the Most Successful Rescue Mission in U.S. History 75 Years Ago

After the end of the war when all the PW records could be correlated with the lists of the still missing in action, it was determined that a great uncle was one of those who had died on the Bataan Death March.

Seventy-five years ago a company of Army Rangers and Filipino guerrilla fighters conducted the most successful rescue mission in U.S. military history, freeing over 500 prisoners of war being held by the Japanese.

The raid took place at Cabanatuan prison camp, located about 65 miles north of Manila, in the Philippines.

Most of the POWs in the camp were survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March, which took place in the spring of 1942………

In early January 1945, U.S. forces landed on Luzon island and began the push toward Manila.

By this time, most of the American POWs had been transported back to Japan or Manchuria to work as slave laborers.

However, among those remaining were over 500 being held at Cabanatuan.

When one of MacArthur’s top generals, Sixth Army commander Gen. Walter Krueger, learned of the camp, he green-lit a mission to rescue the POWs, knowing they were in danger of being killed by the Japanese as American forces drew near……

Charlie Company of the 6th Ranger Battalion, beefed up with an extra platoon to be 120 strong, was chosen for the perilous mission to slip 30 miles behind enemy lines, undetected, liberate the camp and lead the POWs back to freedom.

They would be supported on the mission by 200 Philippine guerrilla fighters.

Opposing them would be approximately 250 Japanese guards and other troops housed at Cabanatuan, with nearly 1,000 Japanese soldiers positioned less than a mile from the camp.

Only four miles away, at Cabanatuan City, were an additional 9,000 Japanese forces……

Armed with intelligence provided by Filipino guerrillas and the 6th Army’s Alamo Scouts, Mucci and his men crossed into enemy-held territory on the morning of Jan. 28…….

The Rangers launched the raid of Cabanatuan on the evening of Jan. 30.

A P-61 Black Widow fighter plane flew low over the camp creating a diversion, so the U.S. troops could draw in close to the fence-line undetected.

Suddenly, at 7:44 p.m. local time, the night sky lit up with a fusillade of gunfire as Rangers took out the Japanese guards in their assigned sectors.

The Americans quickly broke through the front gate and fanned out into the camp.

The frenetic scene during the liberation was depicted in the 2005 film “The Great Raid.”

All the POWs were directed to go to the front gate if they could walk (or Rangers carried them). There, they were met and escorted to a nearby riverbed.

The most fragile among them were then loaded onto caraboa (ox) carts provided by the local Filipinos.

Meanwhile, less than a mile from Cabanatuan, 200 Philippine guerrillas under the leadership of Captain Juan Pajota held off nearly a thousand Japanese soldiers.

Pajota’s men managed to partially blow a bridge over the Cabu River, which ran between Cabanatuan and the Japanese forces, which prevented tanks and other heavy vehicles from crossing.

The liberated POWs, guarded by the Rangers and guerrillas, marched through the night toward the American lines, only encountering some light Japanese resistance along the way……..

 

New Hampshire dad chokes coyote to death after it attacks his son.

Yes, heroic, but – just me – I’d have used a gun.

A Kensington, N.H., man is being hailed as a hero after he strangled a coyote that had attacked his son, only two hours after the same coyote bit a woman, according to New Hampshire police.

“The coyote attacked a young child and the child’s dad went into protection mode and suffocated the coyote until it succumbed,” police wrote. “New Hampshire Fish and Game has the coyote and is taking it to be tested for rabies.”

The man was bitten in the struggle and received rabies’ shots, according to police.

Social media lit up with praise for the heroic father. Brittany Morgridge-Haslett wrote on Facebook, “I feel I need to meet this man! It would be an honor! Go dad!”

It all started around 10 a.m., when Kensington Police blasted out a warning about a coyote attack in town. A 62-year-old woman told police she and her two dogs had been attacked.

“The coyote was on her three-season porch and her two dogs had opened the sliding door and were attacked by the coyote,” police wrote on social media. “The two dogs retreated back into the house and the coyote attempted to get into the house. While the homeowner was fighting to keep the coyote out of the house she was bitten.”

The woman later received the first series of rabies shots at Exeter Hospital. Her two dogs were also treated and received a rabies’ booster shot.

Jack Wilson, Texas Church Shooting Hero: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Jack Wilson, the security volunteer who quickly shot the Texas church shooter at West Freeway Church of Christ, stopping him and likely saving many lives, is a former reserve deputy sheriff who was the long-time owner of a firearms training academy.

“I don’t feel like I killed an individual. I killed evil,” Wilson told reporters, according to Fox4 News. “I don’t see myself as a hero. I see myself as doing what needed to be done to take out the evil threat.” He fired a single shot. It was a head shot, and he says it was his round that killed the shooter. “I only fired one round. It was the only shot I had, which was a head shot.”

The gunman, now named as Keith Thomas Kinnunen, died at the scene after being shot; ……….

1. Wilson Declared That ‘Evil Does Exist in This World’ & Revealed He ‘Had to Take Out an Active Shooter in Church’

2. Wilson Was President of On Target Firearms Training Academy, Inc., a Gun Range That Burned Down in 2016

3. Wilson Is a Former Deputy Sheriff Who Negotiated Contracts for a Major Defense Company

4. Wilson Is a Donald Trump Supporter Who Believes the ‘Survival of the USA’ Will Be Determined by the 2020 Election

5. People Praised Wilson’s Quick-Thinking

Today in History, 22 December 1944, Bastogne Belgium

To the U.S.A. Commander of the encircled town of Bastogne.

The fortune of war is changing. This time the U.S.A. forces in and near Bastogne have been encircled by strong German armored units. More German armored units have crossed the river Our near Ortheuville, have taken Marche and reached St. Hubert by passing through Hompre-Sibret-Tillet. Libramont is in German hands.

There is only one possibility to save the encircled U.S.A. troops from total annihilation: that is the honourable surrender of the encircled town. In order to think it over a term of two hours will be granted beginning with the presentation of this note.

If this proposal should be rejected one German Artillery Corps and six heavy A. A. Battalions are ready to annihilate the U.S.A. troops in and near Bastogne. The order for firing will be given immediately after this two hours term.

All the serious civilian losses caused by this artillery fire would not correspond with the well-known American humanity.

The German Commander.

 

To the German Commander.

NUTS!

The American Commander.

U.S. Naval Academy graduate died relaying crucial information to first responders.

PENSACOLA, Fla. – A young graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, whose dream was to become a pilot, is being hailed a hero after he reportedly related crucial information about the identity of the Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola shooter to first responders, despite having been shot several times, a family member revealed.

Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, was confirmed as one of the three victims who were killed Friday morning when Saudi national Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani opened fire on a flight training program for foreign military personnel, Adam Watson revealed in a Facebook post.

In an interview to air Sunday with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said all three victims were Americans. Two were members of the U.S. Navy, a senior Pentagon official told Fox News.

Watson’s father Benjamin told USA Today that his son was the officer on deck at the time of the shooting and sustained at least five gunshot wounds before being able to make it out to relay important information about the shooter before succumbing to his injuries.

“Heavily wounded, he made his way out to flag down first responders and gave an accurate description of the shooter,” he told the outlet. “He died serving his country.”