Remains of 22 servicemen killed during WWII repatriated to U.S.

Welcome home brothers.

July 17 (UPI) — The remains of 22 servicemen killed on a Japanese-controlled island during World War II were repatriated to the United States Thursday, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency said.

“Today, we welcome home more than 20 American servicemen still unaccounted for from the battle of Tarawa during World War II,” said acting Secretary of Defense Richard V. Spencer in a statement. “We do not forget those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and it is our duty and obligation to return our missing home to their families and the nation. Thank you to everyone who took part in this repatriation.”

The remains were repatriated during an hour-long Honorable Carry Ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

According to the State Department, the servicemen were killed during the Battle of Tarawa, which was part of the larger Operation GALVANIC that commenced Nov. 20, 1943, to capture Japanese-held territory within the Gilbert Islands.

During the Battle of Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and 2,000 more were wounded over several days of fighting that “virtually annihilated” the Japanese on the Pacific Ocean island, the State Department said.

“Servicemen killed in action were buried where they fell, or placed in large trench burials constructed during and after the battle,” the department said. “These graves were typically marked with improvised markers, such as crosses made from sticks, or an up-turned rifle.”

Repatriation efforts were stymied by incomplete records and changes to the cemeteries following the battle that resulted in many of them being lost.

Efforts to repatriate remains of U.S. servicemen from the island have been ongoing since 1946, it said.

#Apollo11: The People Who Built Our Way To The Moon.

What Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins were able to do on this flight was because of a dream and a challenge.

Once upon a time, humans would never have thought of flying. Until the Wright Brothers took a gamble. That gamble led to the start of aviation and then it started people thinking of more impossible dreams …such as SPACE.

President John F. Kennedy challenged this nation and the world on May 25, 1961. His speech set our nation on its way to the moon. But it took a great number of resources and people to get us there.

“More than 400,000 people worked tirelessly to put astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins into space on a hot Florida day for the most famous space exploration mission in history, Apollo 11. After touchdown on July 20, 1969, Armstrong would spend just slightly more than 151 minutes walking around on the Moon’s surface, with Aldrin clocking in at 40 minutes less. For these men, July 16 was nothing short of extraordinary — and extraordinarily hectic.”

A year after his May 25th speech, JFK said the following:

“”We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.””

And it was hard. The Race to the Moon was something that had never been tried. Something new had to be designed to make this work.

In order to get men to the moon, first you had to get a man into orbit. What kind of craft was needed? A company in St. Louis, Missouri called McDonnell had an idea.

“Even before the Soviet Union launched Sputnikin 1957, James S. McDonnell tasked 45 engineers in St. Louis to start working on the first manned spaceship. That foresight made St. Louis ground zero for America’s first human spaceflight program, Project Mercury, and McDonnell manufactured 20 space capsules to send the first Americans – and chimpanzees – into space, and much of the simulation and training America’s first astronauts underwent happened in St. Louis. Through the Mercury program, America sent its first man to space, Alan Shepard, and John Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth in the Friendship 7 capsule, now on display at the Smithsonian alongside the Spirit of St. Louis.”

My family and I have a personal connection to this history. My grandfather, William R. Orthwein Jr.,  started with McDonnell in 1942 and stayed with the company until he retired in 1982.

How to get a man into space and then eventually to the moon? The McDonnell teams basically created something entirely new. The Mercury space capsule.

And it was indeed a team effort. In all the years my grandfather talked about his time at McDonnell Douglas, he always talked about the company’s accomplishments, never about himself. There was no “I” in team with him, nor with the many others at McDonnell that I’ve been fortunate to know. Instead all of them were as vested as everyone else in getting us into space and putting a man on the moon.

We owe our thanks to the Apollo 11 crew and to all the rocket ship builders. What they ALL did was a glorious triumph of human spirit and ingenuity that is unmatched to this day.

In Congress, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

What follows after that are the specifications of the grievances with the British government. Interesting in the historical sense of how things started, but more important today are these first words above which note the “first principles” on which our nation was founded on.

Unseen 9/11 photos bought at house clearance sale

We need to endevor to keep what happened from fading away into the mists of memory

Archivists who bought a stash of CDs at a house clearance sale found 2,400 photos of Ground Zero in New York taken following the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

They appear to have been taken by an as yet unidentified construction worker who helped to clear up the wreckage of the World Trade Center towers and surrounding area.

The CDs were in poor condition but the data was ultimately retrievable.

The archivists have uploaded the photos to Flickr.

The digital albums include images of Ground Zero itself taken both at ground level and from above, construction staff at work and the damaged interiors of the blocks surrounding the towers.

Nearly 3,000 people died when four hijacked airliners were crashed into the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.

Medal of Honor announced for soldier who fought through three floors of insurgents in Fallujah

RTWT. HooAH!

The president will award the Medal of Honor on June 25 to a soldier who fought through a nest of insurgents during the second Battle of Fallujah in 2004, the White House officially announced Monday.

Then-Staff Sgt. David G. Bellavia originally received the Silver Star for his actions, but his citation was revisited as part of a review of valor awards and determined worthy of the nation’s highest combat award.

The award will give Bellavia one of now seven Operation Iraqi Freedom Medals of Honor, and make him the only living recipient from the Iraq War.

During the battle, Bellavia single-handedly killed multiple insurgents, including one during hand-to-hand combat.

 

 

Why the world can thank American exceptionalism for successful D-Day.

General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower commanded the battle for Europe — and for the soul of Western civilization — that unfolded over France’s Cotentin Peninsula 75 years ago this morning.

But it was Henry Ford who won it.

For it was America’s Ford-inspired assembly lines — the nation’s vast industrial capacity — that pumped out the ships, planes, guns and gear that made victory in Normandy and beyond not only possible but virtually inevitable.

Nothing like D-Day had ever been seen before and never will be seen again — a righteous undertaking that probably would have been unnecessary had European leadership not quailed before Adolf Hitler’s malign rise in the 1930s.

But when the invasion came, it was awesome.

It has been said, often only half-jokingly, that on June 6, 1944, a man might have hopped across the English Channel on the decks of the 6,939 warships, landing craft and combat-support vessels arrayed before the five invasion beaches as the predawn fog lifted on that historic morning.

By June 6, Allied air forces had long since swept the Luftwaffe from the skies over Western Europe — no invasion would have been possible had they not done so — but 11,500 US and British warplanes went aloft on that day anyway, delivering some 17,000 tons of bombs and reducing key defensive strong points to smoldering ruins.

There were 1.5 million US soldiers stationed in England as the battle began; 156,000 US and British soldiers either crossed the beaches or parachuted into Normandy on the first day — the vanguard of armies of millions that would effectively clear France of Germans by early fall.

This outcome, in retrospect, was preordained, but it surely didn’t seem so on June 6. The Wehrmacht was legendarily ferocious in defense — and thus Eisenhower had prepared a terse statement acknowledging an invasion failure and taking full, personal responsibility for it.

Certainly, very heavy casualties were anticipated.

In the event, “Saving Private Ryan” notwithstanding, the D-Day butcher’s bill was relatively modest — with some 10,000 Allied soldiers killed, wounded or missing. There were 4,500 fatalities — 2,500 of whom were American — but it is no dishonor to Normandy veterans to note that this would have been considered a day off on the Eastern Front.

And it was, in very fundamental ways, the Eastern Front that was at issue on June 6. The Soviet Union had been hemorrhaging blood since Germany’s invasion three years earlier — and Joseph Stalin had been demanding a second front in Western Europe to take pressure off his gravely wounded nation almost as soon as Hitler declared war on the US on Dec. 11, 1941.

Marine recruit and other Colorado STEM school students helped disarm gunman

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

A U.S. Marine recruit and other teenagers rushed one of the shooters at a Colorado school, helping to disarm him, according to police and witnesses.

One of the students, Kendrick Castillo, 18, died while lunging at the shooter, according to a classmate at STEM School Highlands Ranch in a Denver suburb. Eight other students were injured in the shooting Tuesday.

Image: Kendrick Castillo was fatally shot at a STEM School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.
Kendrick Castillo was fatally shot at a STEM School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.John Castillo / via Facebook

“We’re going to hear about very heroic things that have taken place at the school,” Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said Wednesday.

Two suspects, both students, are in custody — Devon Erickson, 18, and a juvenile.

One of the teens involved in trying to take down one of the shooters was Brendan Bialy, a senior who is enrolled in the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program, the 8th Marine Corps District confirmed in a statement.

“Brendan’s courage and commitment to swiftly ending this tragic incident at the risk of his own safety is admirable and inspiring,” the 8th District Marines said.

Image: Brendan Bialy, a a poolee in the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program, helped subdue a shooter at the STEM School in Colorado.
Brendan Bialy, who is enrolled in the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program, helped subdue a shooter at the STEM School in Colorado.Brendan Bialy / via Instagram

“We are deeply saddened for the victims, families, friends, and community,” the Bialy family said in an emailed statement issued by lawyer Mark L. Bryant. “We’d like to commend the immediate response of law enforcement and assure all we are strong with the love of our families, community, friends, and every one sending concern, wishes, and strength. We will persevere.”

Senior Nui Giasolli told the “Today” show that she was in class when one of the gunmen, a classmate, entered and suddenly drew a gun.

“That’s when Kendrick lunged at him, and he shot Kendrick,” Giasolli said, “giving all of us enough time to get underneath our desks, to get ourselves safe, and to run across the room to escape.”

Giasolli thanked Bialy and the other students who rushed the shooter. They “were brave enough to bring him down so that all of us could escape and all of us could be reunited with our families.”

Meet the Army veteran and off-duty Border Patrol agent who chased the San Diego synagogue shooter.

When Jonathan Morales and Oscar Stewart heard the gunshots, they ran toward them.

The off-duty Border Patrol agent and an Iraq War Army veteran helped stop a suspected gunman who had opened fire at Chabad of Poway on Saturday in what authorities praised as an “act of courage.”

One person died and three more were injured in the hate-fueled attack during Passover services.

Stewart, 51, was in the back of the room when the shots rang out, he told reporters. The veteran said his military training kicked in.

“I ran to fire. That’s what I did. I didn’t plan it. I didn’t think about it. It’s just what I did,” he said.

Stewart said he started yelling expletives at the gunmen, who stopped shooting when he heard Stewart’s voice.

“Get down!” and “I’m going to kill you,” Stewart said he yelled.

According to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, the suspected gunman fled the synagogue to a nearby vehicle. Stewart was in close pursuit.

“Stewart caught up to the vehicle as the suspect was about to drive away,” the department said in a statement.

Stewart said he began punching the shooter’s window when Morales told him to get out of the way.

“He yelled, ‘Clear back, I have a gun,'” Stewart said. Then, Morales began firing.

The off-duty agent hit the car, but the gunman drove away, police said. Authorities later arrested John T. Earnest, 19, along Interstate 15. A rifle was found in the front passenger seat, police said.

“Mr. Stewart risked his life to stop the shooter and saved lives in the process,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement.


As Paul commented earlier, here’s another take on the bravery of the people in the synagog

Report from a member of the Poway Chabad Synagogue.

I’m sure that you’ve already heard about the shooting at the Chabad synagogue yesterday in Poway, CA. For those unfamiliar with Chabad, it is an orthodox Jewish movement engaged in outreach to other Jews, especially those who’ve gone adrift, so to speak.

Members of Chabad also tend towards the conservative end of the political spectrum, are often Republican and pro-Trump.

One of the members of the Poway congregation is a member of AR15.com, his screen name is “Drsalee” (he’s a dentist). He started a thread about the shooting yesterday and posted this comment on page 11 yesterday:

“This congregation is armed.

“Lori’s husband had a wheel gun hidden safely in a cabinet. Only a few congregants knew about it. The Rabbi is also armed.

“The perp parked out front, walked in the open front door. Shots were fired immediately, I’m not sure exactly who was hit first. The Rabbi had a few fingers shot off. Lori took one shot to the abdomen and died instantly.

“When husband heard the commotion, he retrieved the wheel gun and tossed it to the BP guy who was praying. There was another ex-military congregant accosted the perp, screaming at folks to get down. The perp panicked and ran to his car. The BP fired several shots into the car, blowing out the back window and possibly hitting a tire. The perp surrendered to local LA a mile down the road.

“The perp had multiple mags. A huge massacre was prevented by the presence of that wheel gun.”

Link: https://www.ar15.com/forums/general/Shooting-at-synagogue-in-Poway-CA/5-2215936/&page=11?fbclid=IwAR2yRuoFlR3pIR72hrOiKODwwIhAZbpb7Mt5LeMrYzJZCD7RBViTOencLpQ (Scroll down toward the bottom.)

[Here’s the first page of the AFRCOM thread]
https://www.ar15.com/forums/General/Shooting-at-synagogue-in-Poway-CA-pics-added-to-OP/5-2215936/?page=1

(Note: Wheel gun is slang for a revolver, for those who don’t know.)

Once again, the only thing that prevented a massacre was the presence of a good guy with a gun and the guts to use it. I am posting this because I doubt it’s going to be reported in the MSM. It goes against the narrative that guns aren’t useful for defense.

I also want to note that I’ve read the perp’s manifesto. Aside from being an antisemite, he’s also anti-Trump, largely because he sees Trump as pro-Jewish and a Zionist. So, before anyone claims this is a result of Trump encouraging antisemitism or racism, stuff it.

Honoring a legend: The last surviving Doolittle Tokyo Raider dies at 103

He almost made it to the 77th anniversary of the raid on April 19th.
Just consider that these men volunteered for a mission they knew had the high probability they wouldn’t survive and they just went and did it.
“Before the Doolittle raid, the U.S. knew nothing but defeat; After it, there was hope of victory.”

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — The last surviving member of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders, who helped strike the Japanese homeland after Pearl Harbor, has passed away.

Retired Lt. Col. Richard E. Cole passed away around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning at the age of 103, the president of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Association confirmed. His daughter Cindy Cole and son Richard Cole were by his side.

He was scheduled to make a public appearance at Dolphin Aviation but had to cancel his visit after he was hospitalized in San Antonio.

The World War II veteran lived on a ranch in Comfort, Texas.

Memorial services are expected to be announced soon at Randolph Air Force Base soon, and he will be interred with full honors at Arlington National Cemetery. There will also be a ceremony held in his honor at the National Air Force Museum.

Cole was Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle’s co-pilot in the No. 1 bomber during the 1942 Japanese air raids, the Air Force Times reports. The Doolittle Raid was the United State’s first operation to strike the Japanese homeland after Pearl Harbor.

“His silver goblet” will be “turned over to join his other seventy nine Raider comrades,” the president of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Association, Thomas Casey said in a statement to 10News.

Travis Atkins died smothering a suicide bomber’s blast in Iraq. Now he’ll receive the Medal of Honor.

It was always a wonderment among us old soldiers that so many young servicemembers were doing heroic deeds that were almost identical in previous conflicts and not receiving the recognition they seem to deserve. Ineptitude, or political correctness run amok lest we impugn moslems?

Army Sgt. Sand Aijo was in the gun turret of a Humvee in 2007 when he and his fellow soldiers rolled up on two suspicious men in Iraq’s “Triangle of Death.” They were in a place U.S. soldiers didn’t expect to find them, and so glassy-eyed and fidgety that Aijo charged his machine gun, he recalled.

Staff Sgt. Travis Atkins, their gruff but revered squad leader, stepped out of the Humvee and walked toward the first stranger. Then an Army medic stepped out of the back seat, moving toward the second.

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As Aijo tried to keep track of both soldiers, Atkins unexpectedly began grappling with the first Iraqi just a few feet away. Atkins slammed the man to the ground and threw himself on top of him.

“The thing that became confusing was that once they hit the ground, the way that Travis began positioning his body, it just seemed strange to me,” Aijo recalled. “That’s when the detonation happened.”

On Wednesday, Atkins, of Bozeman, Mont., posthumously will become the fifth U.S. service member to receive the nation’s highest award for combat valor, the Medal of Honor, for actions during the eight-year Iraq War. A member of the 10th Mountain Division of Fort Drum, N.Y., he is credited with saving the lives of Aijo and two other soldiers by smothering a suicide vest laced with grenades, worn by the man he body-slammed.

Atkins, 31, was nominated for the Medal of Honor by his battalion commander, now-retired Col. John Valledor. But the Army downgraded the award one level to a Distinguished Service Cross, presented to Atkins’s family in 2008.

The awarding of the still-prestigious Service Cross was part of a broader trend that frustrated many rank-and-file service members. With so much combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, they wondered, why had so few Medals of Honor been awarded?

The concerns caught the attention of Chuck Hagel, a defense secretary in the Obama administration who ordered a review of how the award was processed.

In 2016, his successor, Ashton B. Carter, directed the military to scrutinize more than 1,100 top valor cases in which the Medal of Honor was not awarded, including Atkins’s and that of Air Force Tech Sgt. John Chapman, who received the nation’s highest military decoration posthumously last August.

No living service member has received the Medal of Honor for actions in the Iraq War. Seventeen Americans have been awarded Medals of Honor for actions in Afghanistan, including four posthumous awards. It isn’t clear whether other upgrades are planned.

‘Multiple Men’ Were ‘Ready to Take a Bullet For Any Single One of Us,’ Says Woman Who Survived California Bar Slaughter

Those are real men, real heroes, not the current ‘soyboy’ metrosexual idiot that the proggies want young men to be.

Multiple men reportedly put their bodies on the line to protect patrons at the club in California where a gunman entered Wednesday night, killing 12 and reportedly taking his own life.

“While we were all dog-piled at the side, there were multiple men that got on their knees and pretty much blocked all of us with their backs towards the shooter, ready to take a bullet for any single one of us,” Teylor Whittler, woman who had been in the club during the shooting, said Thursday morning, via ABC News.

 

“And just the amount of people who made sure everyone got out OK or if they were out … they made sure, they went around to every single person around them and asked them if they were OK and if they needed a phone to call their family … just in general any way they could help. It was awesome,” she continued.