MEMORIAL DAY: A DAY FOR TRUMPETS!

HONORING ALL WHO SERVED IN THE ARMED FORCES

SEMPER FIDELIS

Today, let us bow our heads, and close our eyes in remembrance of our heroes, who courageously fought and never returned, and those who continue to sacrifice for our country.

THE AGE OF SELFRIDGES!

 

THE POWER OF IMAGINEERING

THE MAGNIFICENT FACADE TOWERS ABOVE THE HISTORICAL SELFRIDGES DEPARTMENT STORE IN LONDON, ENGLAND.

TEXAS: THE LONE STAR STATE!

It’s Friday, and I’m taking care of the last minute details before my computer is placed on a long, long trailer, along with 73 boxes, and very little furniture on Saturday, December 28th, for the journey to Texas. After living in Los Angeles for 27 years, I’m looking forward to returning to my home state, and starting a new life. I’m already missing California’s great weather.

May all of your wishes come true this holiday season, and Happy New Year!

ASHE’

PEARL HARBOR: DORIE MILLER!

 

ABOVE AND BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY

Miller was born on October 12, 1919 to Connery and Henrietta Miller.  He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on September 16, 1939, where he became a Mess Attendant, Third Class, one of the few ratings then open to African Americans.  After his training at the Naval Training Station in Norfolk, Virginia, he was assigned to the ammunition ship Pyro, but on January 2, 1940, he was transferred to the battleship West Virginia, where he became the main cook.

On December 7, 1941, Miller awoke at 0600.  After serving breakfast in the mess hall, he proceeded to start his daily duties of collecting laundry.  At 0757, the first of nine torpedoes was launched and hit the West Virginia.  Miller ran immediately to his battle station, an antiaircraft battery magazine amidship, and discovered the blast from the torpedo had destroyed it.

Miller was ordered by a commanding officer to assist him in loading the unmanned #1 and #2, Browning .50 caliber anti-aircraft machine guns.  Although, Miller was unfamiliar with the weapons, he learned quickly, and began firing the starboard gun until it ran out of ammunition.

He was noted for his bravery, and one of the first heroes of World War II, during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  He was the first African American honored with the third highest award, the Navy Cross.

On May 15, 1943, Miller was appointed as a Petty Officer, Ship’s Cook, Third Class, at Puget Sound Navy Yard, and on June 1st, he reported for duty on the escort carrier Liscome Bay.  After training in Hawaii, the Liscome Bay took part in the Battle of Makin Island, beginning November 20th.  On November 24th, the ship was struck in the stern by a torpedo from a Japanese submarine 1-175.

The ship sank within minutes after the aircraft bomb magazine detonated.  Only 272 crew members survived, out of over 900, but Miller was not among them.  He was presumed dead, and two years after his heroic actions at Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1943, Miller’s parents were informed that their son was Missing in Action.

UNITED STATES NAVY: THE SULLIVAN BROTHERS!

 

The Sullivans were an Irish Catholic, American family living in Waterloo, Iowa.  Thomas and Alleta Sullivan had six children named George Thomas, Francis Henry, Joseph Eugene, Madison Abel, Albert Leo, and Theresa.

The Sullivan brothers enlisted in the United States Navy on January 3, 1942, with the stipulation that they serve together.  The Navy enforced a strict policy of separating siblings.  However, in this case, the rule was not strictly enforced and the Navy Department granted official permission for the boys to serve together aboard the USS Juneau, a light cruiser.

On the early morning of November 13, 1942, while sailing across the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific, the USS Juneau was struck by a Japanese torpedo and forced to withdraw, and left the Solomon Islands with other surviving US warships from battle.  While leaving, the Juneau was struck for the second time by a Japanese submarine.  The Juneau exploded and quickly sank.

All five brothers were lost at sea, and their parents were notified by a lieutenant commander, a doctor and a chief petty officer on January 12, 1943.  The Sullivan brothers were national heroes, and President Roosevelt sent a letter of condolence, and Pope Pius XII sent a silver religious medal and rosary with his message of regret to Tom and Alleta Sullivan, parents of the five brothers.

On behalf of the war effort, Thomas and Alleta Sullivan appeared for speaking engagements at war plants and shipyards, and later Alleta participated in the launching of a Destroyer named after her sons, USS The Sullivans.

The Sullivans were not the only brothers to die on a ship.  The Borgstrom brothers perished within a few months of each other, two years later.  Therefore, as a result of the Sullivans’ death, the U.S. War Department adopted the Sole Survivor Policy, a set of U.S. military regulations designed to protect members of a family from the draft or combat duty if they have already lost family members in military service.

The 1944 biographical film, The Fighting Sullivans, starring Anne Baxter is worth watching!

THE MILITARY AND HOLLYWOOD!

The relationship between the Military and Hollywood has served each side’s needs for many years.

UNITED SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS (USO)

During World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt received requests from six civilian organizations to create a social entity to motivate, boast morale and provide recreational services for men in the armed forces. President Roosevelt founded the USO in 1941, and served as honorary chairman.

The USO was aided by non-USO groups for fundraising, and opened centers and clubs around the world to serve as a home away from home for GIs.  It was a place for free breakfast, entertainment, socializing or, to sit quietly and write letters to loved ones back home.

In 1942, CBS started a weekly radio variety show called Stagedoor Canteen.  However, in 1943, United Artists, MGM, 20th Century Fox and RKO Studios joined the effort and released films starring some of its highest paid stars. From 1941 to 1947, the USO centers and clubs presented more than 400,000 performances.

In today’s language, the USO was actually a huge social network for military personnel, civilians and movie stars.

WOMEN IN THE USO

The USO centers and clubs recruited attractive female volunteers to serve snacks and refreshments, dance and talk with GIs.  Famous entertainers such as Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and Rita Hayworth traveled over a million miles to entertain the troops.

HONORING MR. BOB HOPE

In 1941, Bob Hope began his legendary contribution to GIs, and it ended with his final Christmas show in 1990 during Operation Desert Shield.  In 1996, he was honored for his enormous contribution to the USO, as the first and honorary veteran of the United States Armed Forces.

Mr. Hope, thanks for the memories!

VETERAN’S DAY!

 

SALUTE TO AMERICA’S VETERANS

In honor of our heroes, who have sacrificed and served throughout the past, present and future of our nation’s history to protect our freedom, as well as the freedom of others with valor and gallantry in action, throughout the day and twilight hours.

Thank you again for your service!

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