Category Archives: military

…and then there was one.

35C6062A00000578-0-image-a-3_1467192174496Just one surviving Doolittle Raider:

The final salute: Last surviving member of historic 1942 Doolittle bombing raid on Japan that avenged Pearl Harbor bids farewell to his comrade-at-arms

The final Doolittle Raider, who was one of 80 fliers to take off on the first bombing attack of mainland Japan following Pearl Harbor, attended the funeral of his last remaining comrade-in-arms.

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Richard ‘Dick’ Cole, from Comfort, Texas, is now the last of the brave airmen who took off from the USS Hornet on April 18, 1942.

He stood beside his comrade, and friend retired Staff Sergeant David Johnathan Thatcher, who died in Missoula hospital in Montana last week. The 94-year-old former airman suffered a stroke before dying.

Academia delenda est

A retired general, already at an academic think tank, gets rejected for a position at a Chiraq-area university.  Their excuse?  You’re not going to believe it:

Suicide by Self-Importance

Of all the displays of political myopia and intolerance in the American academy over the past several years, this story may be the most astonishing: Students and faculty at Northwestern University have forced Karl Eikenberry—a retired three-star general and fellow at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies—to withdraw his appointment as head of a new global affairs institute on the Evanston campus on the grounds that he is a “career military officer.” 

The Washington Post‘s report on the story contains a truly remarkable, and telling, quote from one student involved in the crusade against the general (who has contributed to this magazine):

“An ex-U.S. general will likely think about international politics in terms of war and from the perspective of the U.S.’s interests, and the research agenda will be negatively skewed as a result,” wrote Charles Clarke, a Northwestern graduate student and one of the petition’s backers. “Instead, why not appoint someone who will encourage research that is less belligerent and tainted by U.S. bias?

WTF? Over?

After 70 years, B-17 gunner revisits Britain – and dies quietly there

He figured he’d RTB one last time, but didn’t quite make it:

After 70 years, B-17 gunner revisits Britain – and dies quietly there

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Melvin Rector long carried Britain in his heart after he helped defend it during World War II, but 70 years passed without him stepping foot in the country.

The 94-year-old finally decided to leave his home in Barefoot Bay, Fla., to visit Britain earlier this month. The National World War II Museum in New Orleans conducts a travel program through which interested parties can visit certain sites of the war. He signed up for one, in hopes of visiting the Royal Air Force station Snetterton Heath, in Norfolk.

He served there with the 96th Bomb Group in 1945 as a radio operator and gunner on B-17 Flying Fortress bombers, flying eight combat missions over Germany during the spring of the war’s final year. On four of these missions, his plane came under heavy fire. One almost proved catastrophic, and the plane returned to base with holes dotting its wings.


On May 6, Rector stepped foot on British soil for the first time in 71 years. The group first visited RAF Uxbridge in the London borough of Hillingdon.

Rector toured Battle of Britain Bunker, an underground command center where fighter airplane operations were directed during D-Day. After climbing back into the sunlight, he told Jowers he felt dizzy. She grabbed one of his arms, and a stranger grabbed the other.

There, just outside the bunker where Winston Churchill famously said, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few,” Rector died quietly.

“He walked out of that bunker like his tour was done,” Jowers said.

Read the whole thing…he got quite the sendoff before returning home.

We are through the looking glass

This is why you don’t elect a “community organizer” to do the President’s job:

France Manages a Feat Obama Never Could — Successfully Locating Raqqa on a Pilot’s Map

Twenty bombs dropped on the ISIS/Daesh capital city of Raqqa — the biggest airstrike on Syria in the war, which is hardly surprising, since up ’til now Obama’s been the quarterback.

Caption: Ten French fighter jets drop twenty bombs on Raqqa the stronghold [of ISIS]

Nice nighttime afterburner takeoff here. :-)


Because nothing is ever the JEF*’s fault

With regard to this:

what-exactly-would-you-say-you-do-hereOur Gutless President: Hey Don’t Blame Me For the Special Forces Soldier Who Died; That Was Someone Else’s Call

Like I said, the only good news I’ve read in the war in a while.

So of course Obama had nothing to do with it.


  • JEF: Jug-Eared Fuck

No more Dambuster pilots

05Munro1-web-articleInlineThe last one passed a couple of days ago.  Their mission was to knock out dams with a specially-developed bomb that had to be dropped from only about 60 feet up…kinda close to the deck to be flying, especially when you’re flying a heavy bomber with no terrain-following capability because it’s World War II and such things hadn’t yet been invented.

Part of a generation that’s disappearing at an ever-faster rate:

CDR Salamander: Fullbore Friday

On the night of May 16, 1943, a squadron of bombers set out from Britain to conduct strikes against heavily fortified dams in the Ruhr Valley of Germany, using bombs that bounced on the water before exploding. Of the 133 crew members who started the mission, only 77 returned.

The last surviving pilot of those who came back was John Leslie Munro, who died Tuesday at 96 in Auckland, New Zealand.

His death, announced by the New Zealand Bomber Command Association on its Facebook page, elicited tributes from around the world, including in Britain and in his native New Zealand, for his role in the daring “Dambusters” mission that struck at the industrial heartland of the Nazi war effort and lifted Allied morale.

Mr. Munro, who was known as Les, was part of the Royal Air Force’s 617 squadron, which was assigned to destroy three dams with specially designed bombs shaped like cylinders that had to be dropped from about 60 feet.

Be on the lookout

Keep your head on a swivel for hajjis looking to do you harm:

“Middle Eastern males” approach troops’ family members

According to CBS News the FBI is warning law enforcement that “middle eastern men” have approached family of servicemembers in Colorado and Wyoming seeking to obtain personal information through intimidation:

In one case last May the wife of a military member was approached in front of her home by two Middle Eastern males. The men stated that she was the wife of a U.S. interrogator. When she denied their claims the men laughed. The two men left the area in a dark-colored, four-door sedan with two other Middle Eastern males in the vehicle.

USS Gabrielle Giffords Christened As First Gun-Free Warship

giffords-750x400They really shouldn’t give the brass ideas like this…they might make them reality:

USS Gabrielle Giffords Christened As First Gun-Free Warship

Designed to hold a core crew of 40 sailors, the Independence-class littoral combat ship has been stripped bare of its Mk 110 57-millimeter gun, all four of its Mk2 .50-cal machine guns, its Evolved SeaRAM 11 cell missile launcher, and its entire cache of small arms, which are typically issued to boarding teams and watch standers.

“Having this mighty warship be 100% gun-free not only helps to honor its heroic namesake, Gabby Giffords, but it also helps the Navy to steer clear of promoting a culture of violence,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, who reportedly lobbied hard to get Congress and the Secretary of Defense on board with leaving the Navy’s newest addition to the fleet completely defenseless.