Saturday, February 27, 2010

War Journal - Feb. 28, 1945

Bombed bridge at Dillenburg again today. It was PFF-very little flak and an easy mission.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

War Journal - Feb. 25, 1945

Today's mission was extremely long. Bombed a bridge between Herborn and Dillenburg - about 35 miles NE of Koblenz. We drew a little front line flak near Trier but none over the target. Made three bomb runs but still missed the target. We were in the air 4:35 minutes - only had 50 gals. gas left when we landed.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

War Journal - Feb. 24, 1945

Edwards, Santos and Foil

Had an easy mission today for a change. Dropped incendiaries on the town of Viersen - light flak & no fighters - (NW Dusseldorf).

Monday, February 22, 2010

War Journal - Feb. 23, 1945

Pappas went on a mission without us today. Lt. Cox & seven others were killed from a direct hit on the bomb run. Maxwell was injured.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

War Journal - Feb. 22, 1945

PRO photo made following low level mission. (This photo was used in a newspaper article about Dad being able to use his guns for strafing.)

Today we had the thrill of pulling the 1st successful low level mission in the ETO from B-26's. Bombed the small rail junct. of Lang Gons from 8000 ft. then dove to house top level to strafe the rail junction at Butzbach, both about 25 miles north of Frankfurt. Received weak flak on both missions. Two ships crashed and blew up on takeoff killing one officer. During the strafing Col Smith (our CO Sqdn) was shot down-killing himself and 7 others. On the bomb run Kiel accidentally released our bombs early but 5 out of the 8 made direct hits on the target. Maj. Sebille led our flight. Our ground speed was approx 360MPH when we strafed. It was quite a thrill but twice would be too much! Maj. Sebille is our new temp CO. The two flights from this squadron was the only ones that strafed-the others circled above and waited. For the first time in ten missions one of my guns jammed-right when I needed it most. Some new crews came in yesterday & some old ones leave for the States tomorrow. With few exceptions this makes us the veterans of the best known and leading B-26 Sqdn & group in the ETO.

War Journal - Feb. 21, 1945

Three friends just returned from a mission.

Bombed a bridge over the Weser River near the town of Bad Oeynhausen, Germany. Visual mission - moderate flak - one hole in our ship but two Purple Hearts in our flight. It was another penetration to the maximum of our range - 4:30 hrs. I was air sick again due to 1 1/2 hrs continual evasive action. Just Pap, Ed & I flew on our crew today - with Lt. Sorrenson in our newly assigned 802 "Pappy Pram". It was its 125 mission. Got a good look at Belgium, Holland & Rhur Valley. Saw one huge formation of B-17's - approx 300 to 400 in it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

War Journal - Feb. 15, 1945

Results of mid-air collision. Propeller from another plane ripped through about 8ft of this wing. The plane flew 400 miles like this. Strange is the one on the wing.

Got back here late last night. Our squadrons made two missions while we were gone yesterday. Lost two ships yesterday but the crew from one is known to be safe. Today two more ships were lost. Pappas & Kiel flew with other crews today. Pappas' ship got about 35 holes in it. Lee's ship (with Kiel) was hit over the target but are believed to be safe somewhere - we will know tomorrow. The other ship went down over the target in flames. Three of my best friends were in it. - Martin, Singe & Lanston. Four chutes were seen to open - so maybe they are PW's. We are on alert to go out tomorrow but so many ships are shot up it may be impossible.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Garbage Can

So much is going on in Washington that I found it necessary to issue another Garbage Can posting.

1. During the past few days it has been snowing in the nation's capitol. "Non-essential" federal employees were told to stay home. 240,000 accepted the offer to not go to work. By their own admission, almost a quarter of a million government employees (just in Washington) considered themselves to be "non-essential". If the average cost, to we the people, is $50,000 for each one of them, we the people could save $12,000,000,000 each year by eliminating their non-essential positions. At the same time, there would be 240,000 less bureaucrats messing with our lives. (Did you ever notice that cRats applies to DemocRats as well as bureaucRats?)

2. BO has proposed a spending "freeze" for next year for "non-essential" expenses. As the irony is obvious with the use of that phrase, I will refrain further comment. It is noted that the 2007 budget was $2.7 trillion. The 2010 budget is $3.9 trillion which includes a deficit of $1.6 trillion.

3. Evidently, there are nine Toyota plants in America. They employ hundreds of thousands of workers. Four of the governors who have Toyota plants in their states have written to the BO administration and asked them to stop bashing Toyota.

4. Some good, more local news. Now that Janet Nappy is no longer our governor and we have a iCan in office, Governor Brewer has just pulled Arizona out of the coalition of southwest states whose purpose is to fight global warming and greenhouse gas emissions.

5. Michelle Obama has apparently referred to her two girls as being fat. That has got to help how they feel about themselves. I thought BO had placed his daughters as "off limits" for public comment and photos. I guess he forgot to tell his wife that she should not make them the poster children for her new program on childhood obesity. My humble opinion - MO better not look in a mirror.

6. A group of North American Muslim leaders has issued a statement that proclaims that it is against their religion and considered to be against their standards of modesty for a Muslim to be required to pass through the airport security scanning machines. Now that Arab women are being trained for suicide bombing missions and with the recent news that explosives are being used as breast implants on these same women, it just seems to me that respecting this "religion of peace" request might be a little over the top. Not only does this open all of us up to potential terrorism from unscreened passengers, if they give in to this, but it would also give BO a claim to "jobs created" by the vendors at the airports doing "rent-a-berka".

War Journal - Feb. 13, 1945

88 mm flak damage.
Direct hit by a burst of flak in the nose - Johnny Strange received a purple heart for this.

On Feb 13 we pulled our 15th mission & it was suppose to be a rough one with our deepest penetration of any B-26. It was to Iserlohn, Germany about 50 miles east of Dusseldorf. We were in Germany more than two hours with the whole mission over 4 1/2 hours. It was a very easy mission actually with light Flak & no fighters as expected. Our generators were bad all the way - our Gee Box out part of the time - and one prop locked at 2400 on the bomb run. We did a lot of sweating getting out of Germany and was nearly out of gas when we reached France again. Made an emergency landing on an advanced fighter strip 11 miles from Metz near a small town of Jarny. Stayed in Jarny that night and had to get a new prop motor sent over from our field. Purchased me a German Mauser rifle for 1000f from one of the guys.

(This journal entry was actually the first part of the 2/15 entry. Since it was dated, I have posted it on that date.)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Nothing to Win

We all know the saying, "nothing to lose". The iCan'ts in Congress are in a position, right now, with nothing to win.

With growing public opposition to BO's and the cRats Healthcare plan(s), with division even between the House and Senate versions, with the inability to keep the cRat majority's votes all lined up, and finally with the election of Scott Brown (R)-Massachusetts to a Senate seat previously held by a cRat; the steam-roller process is sunk in the mud. Without some major change or shift of some sort, the current plan to have the federal government take over the nation's health care system and also gain a sizable amount of control in each of our lives, is dead.

As good of news as that is, the battle is not over. We heard various cRats making statements about the demise of Healthcare legislation, but behind the scenes, BO and the cRat leaders are still scheming as to how to resurrect this 2,000 page bill that is on life-support.

I have to hand it to them, they came up with a pretty diabolical proposition. BO has called for a bipartisan summit on Healthcare. He said that he wants to sit down with the iCan'ts (not the word he used) and hear their ideas. He wants to work out the differences in the plans and he still wants to get this monster legislation passed.

Why do I believe this is such a clever move on his part? The media and the Left are constantly calling the Right, "partisan", as if that is something bad. The Right is always being accused of not working with the Left and just being "the party of 'No'". BO has repeatedly announced that the iCan'ts only stand in the way of progress and do not have a plan of their own to present.

The iCan'ts easily get their feelings hurt and do not like any labels from the cRats. So, instead of being proud of standing up with a loud "NO", they seem to be tempted to "reach across the aisle".

There is danger in being sucked into this "bipartisan summit" debate. First, if the iCan'ts just say "no", it will further support the Left's claim that the Right refuses to work with them or have a solution. If they say yes, they will attend, there are other pitfalls. Second, if they resist (as they should) taking any claim to any portion of the Healthcare bill, they again set themselves up for criticism for not compromising. Third, if they offer compromises to improve the bill, they will be expected to then vote for passage of the legislation. If they have input in the wording, then the cRats can legitimately claim it is a bipartisan bill and the Left would not have to shoulder full blame for its contents come election time.

The Left can see that we the people do not want any part of this legislation. They are seeing the fallout in the voting booth over the past couple months. They do not want the voters to be able to only blame them come November.

Right now, the iCan'ts have been acting like iCans. They have to stand their ground and make sure they do not leave any fingerprints on that legislation. We the people want that bill to die a quick death and never see the light of day again. We do not want a compromised version that has been made "not quite as bad" due to their input.

Stay away from any association with this process of passing Healthcare. "Just say, No!" If they will do that, come November, we will just say "Yes!"


By: Mike Foil
So, what's a girl want,
February the 14th day?
Is it rhyme or song
Or her name in a melody?
Could the answer be found
In twelve roses that are red,
Or maybe a dinner and dance
For an evening instead?
Is the answer hidden
Within a Hallmark card,
Or having her name in lights
On a baseball scoreboard?
Maybe what is perfect
Lies in diamonds and gold.
You can't go wrong with chocolate,
Or so I've been told.
So, I finally asked her,
What will show her my love?
Oh you silly fellow,
It's all of the above!

Monday, February 8, 2010

War Supplement

Pappas and Edwards ready for a mission.

I recently had a conversation with Dad where some items about his experiences in WWII were discussed. I thought I would pass these items along to you.

Most of you have heard of the famous B-26, "Flak Bait". It is the plane that hangs in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. It became the B-26 that had the most missions flown. It so happens that Flak Bait was flying out of the same air field in France where Dad was stationed. As it was common for someone from one crew to fly with members of another crew from time to time, Dad believes that he did make one mission in Flak Bait. At that time, this was just another plane and had not gained special status.

Dad told me that he kept himself in good physical shape. He knew that if he were to ever be shot down over enemy territory and if he survived, he would have to put considerable distance between him and where he came down within a very short period of time. If not able to do that, capture or worse was almost a certainty. He felt like he could run a few miles in the first half hour and then trot all day long. If an airman were to make it back to France, he could attempt to contact the French underground who would work to return you to American forces. He said that this process could take months but that the French were very good at this job.

He said that when a plane would be shot down, the crews that returned to base would never hear what happened to anyone one that missing crew. They would not know if they died, were captured, escaped or were wounded. If they made it back to friendly territory, they were not sent back to their base, but were usually sent home. In thinking about this, my only conclusion as to why this was policy would be that if the crews never heard, they could always imagine the best for their missing buddies.

When flying missions, only the pilot could communicate with other planes and this they did on a very limited basis. When using the radios to talk back and forth, the Germans could pick up the transmissions. To communicate within the plane, an intercom system was used with the crew using throat microphones. These fit against the front/sides of the throat and picked up vibrations. It was too loud in the plane to use regular microphones.

On a B-26, the tail gunner sat on a small bench to operate his two 50-Cal. guns. There was one waist gunner who could use guns on either side of the plane as needed. The waist gunner would sit between the two guns. Dad said that the waist gunner on his plane had a serious fear of being hit through the bottom of the plane. So, he got an extra flak vest and sat on it. Each member of the crew wore flak vests which consisted of small bars of steel held together so that it would be flexible. As you can see in some of the photos I have posted, they wore a parachute harness, but not the parachute. The chutes were to bulky to wear all the time. They were kept nearby and each man was supposed to grab it and clip it onto the harness in case they were going down.

And, as a teaser, stay tuned to the blog as there are some amazing days in Pappys Pram coming up during the rest of this month.

Garbage Can

The Garbage Can is a collection of political crap from the past few days. Dig in...

1. After BO gave the State of the Union address, our dear Keith Oberman from MSNBC, stated that BO has to be one of the 1,000 smartest people in America. He was not sure where BO might land in that number, but he has to be in the top 1,000.

2. BO has submitted his new budget for the next fiscal year. You may have heard that it includes the plan to scrap the NASA manned-space program, the return of the US sending a man back to the moon, the planned production of the next generation of Space Shuttles. Instead of NASA proceeding, he wants the US to pay private companies for giving our Astronauts a ride to space. He then wants NASA to become an organization to monitor global warming. This seems to fit right in with his claims of "saving or creating jobs". How many jobs will be lost if he follows through on this hair-brained plan?

3. The terrorists are getting more creative in suicide bombings. First we had the "shoe-bomber" and now we all have to take our shoes off at the airport screening. Recently, we had the "underwear bomber" (what will we have to remove for that screening?). Now, we are being told that they have recruited females as suicide bombers as they are less likely to attract attention or be physically searched. To conceal the explosives, they are being implanted in the breasts, just like an augmentation procedure. Remember, we are dealing with those in the "religion of peace".

4. An older news story recently gained attention, again. In late 2008, the cRats proposed in Congress that the government confiscate all private retirement accounts and place their control under the Social Security Administrator.

5. The Federal Government has given a grant of $3.9 million to a liberal group, which is not surprising. This group is to use the money to create a video game for the purpose of helping public school teachers instruct children (ages 9-14) in morality. While playing the game, each child will be in control of a virtual character (VC) that represents them self. The VC will be presented with opportunities to buy and use drugs and have sex. The hope is that kids will make the right choice and "just say NO!" No need to worry, all kids playing video games always make wise and moral decisions for the characters they are playing. That is why the violent games are such duds on the store shelves.

6. The cRat media are making a bid deal over Sarah Palin having a couple notes written on the palm of her hand for her speech to the Tea Party Convention last Saturday night. They are using this as a way to attack her intelligence. As always, they do not think things through and failed to see how they were setting up BO. He cannot even speak to 6th graders without a TelePrompter. Palin, knowing they are now watching to see if she has notes on her hand, wrote "Hi, Mom" for them to notice.

How is that "hope" and "change" working for you?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mom in wagon and Aunt June standing.
Mom, Uncle John and Aunt June

Mike, Mom, Ron, Grandma Starr with Mike

Saturday, February 6, 2010

War Journal - Feb. 7, 1945

White mud on me from working on runway.
Pappas doing his "share" of the work.

Officers and enlisted men working on the runway.

Five days ago an inspecting General condemned our landing strip. The recent thaw completely undermined our field. The choice of either moving or fixing this one was given us so we are fixing this one. Every man (officer & EM) has been slinging a pick & shovel on a 24 hour basis ever since. Ships should be able to land & takeoff tomorrow again.

(From photo album - February 5, 1945 - Beauvais, France - Our runway contained more than ninety bomb craters. In three months 93 planes crashed on this runway. Here we are rebuilding it.)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Black History Month

As most of you are aware, February is the government sanctioned and approved month for celebrating racism. Yes, racism; not the overcoming of racism.

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. would not have approved and I believe would have been outspoken against "Black History Month". MLK had a dream that we, as a country, would get beyond black and white - that the color of a person's skin would not determine good or bad about them. He looked forward to our only judgement being about the person himself, what is his character?

The very essence of Black History Month flies in the face of overcoming racism. By it's nature, it is designed to keep race, especially black against white, as a front-line issue. As long as we continue to have segregated celebrations, colleges, chamber of commerces, etc.; we will continue to promote racism.

Racism is not just bad when it is white supremacy, it is also bad when it is black supremacy. The skin-heads, Nazis and KKK are on the same level as the Black Panthers, the Weather Underground and Malcolm-X. Both extremes are wrong and both are racist. Racism is the belief that one race should not be on the same level as the others, whether above or below. To believe that blacks belong on a lower level than whites or the opposite, that black-power rules, is racism.

In our country, when white people promote an exclusively white organization or event, they can expect a knock on the door by the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). The next thing they know, they are in court trying to defend their racist policies. But, when black people promote an exclusively black organization or event, there is a double-standard and nothing happens. Why? One reason is the same as was brought up during the last presidential campaign - "white guilt". Evidently, there are those in positions of power and authority that believe the white people have something to feel bad about as it relates to blacks and for that reason, we should allow the blacks to have racist policies that blacks would not allow whites to have. In some strange and twisted logic, that is supposed to make things better.

There is one other explanation for no one doing anything about things such as Black History Month, the National Black Chamber of Commerce, the NAACP, etc.; and that would be that we do not care. We do not believe that we have to sue someone every time they promote the people in their race or defend exclusively their own race.

Either way, the segregation of such things based on race will never help solve the lingering issue of racism. Blacks do not like being excluded from "white-only" country clubs and they shouldn't. But, they do not seem to have a problem with black-only clubs or colleges.

We are racist or we are not. It is not just racism when whites discriminate against blacks, it is racism when blacks exclude whites. It is racism to have Black History Month just as it would be to have White History Month. It would be racist to have a Chamber of Commerce to promote the businesses of only white people, so why is the opposite acceptable? It should not be!

For some reason in this country, the concept is promoted that only whites can be racist and when other races do what whites are not allowed to do, it is acceptable. When the pendulum swings from one side to the other, we have not solved the issue of racism. Until it settles at the mid-point, where neither side has advantage and neither side desires advantage, we will not get past this. Racism will end when race, of any color or nationality, ceases to be an issue or a means for self-promotion. Until African-Americans become Americans (period), racism will continue.

Blacks should be protesting against Black History Month (whites cannot do that because it would just be seen as racism). They should be demanding that it be changed to American History Month where the good and bad of our history is taught about the various groups of people who have come together to make America what it is today. In each and every stage of American history there have been men and women of all colors play prominent roles - just as there have been the same doing terrible things against their fellow Americans.

We, as a nation, have recently elected a black president. If you opposed him during the campaign or his policies since he took office, you were labeled as being racist. No one wanted to point out that it is racist to be for President Obama because he is a black man.

We must get beyond the color of skin and see deeper into the soul of the person. I believe that a strong majority of Americans are not racist and that the racist beliefs of the minority are not acceptable to the majority. Yet, it is the outspoken minority that gets the attention. We will continue to have this discussion until the blacks tell Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to stay home and mind their own business.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Do the Math!

As Congress goes back to work, after their well deserved Christmas break, they will need to pass legislation to raise the ceiling for the national debt. Unless they do this, they would have to stop borrowing and spending. Right now, our government averages spending around $10 billion per day - yep, that is $10,000,000,000 each and every day.

A brief history of the debt ceiling:
1996 - $5.5 trillion
March 2006 - $9 T
October 2008 - $10 T
February 2009 - $12.1 T
Now they want to raise it to around $14.3 trillion.

When Obama took office the debt was at $10.6 trillion.

So, how much is $14,300,000,000,000 ($14.3 trillion)? It amounts to approximately $43,000 for every man, woman and child in our country. That is your share of the national debt. Whatever portion of that number that you do not pay off in your lifetime will be passed on to the next generation for them to pay their share and the rest of your share.

If you spent one million dollars each day (which is $11.57 per second), it would take 2.74 years to spend one billion dollars.

If you spent one BILLION dollars each day, it would take 39.18 years to spend the new debt ceiling of $14,300,000,000,000. It would take 39,000 years at the rate of one million dollars per day.

The circumference of the Earth, at the equator, is 24,900 miles. It would take 262,944,000 dollar bills, end-to-end, to reach around the world. Our new national debt would reach around the world 54,384 times. Dollars stacked on top of each other, flat, require about 250 to be one inch thick. That means that this stack of dollar bills that reaches around the earth would be approximately eighteen feet tall.

Are you mad yet?

President Obama just released his requested budget for the next fiscal year. He anticipates spending 3.8 trillion dollars during the coming year with $1.6 trillion of that being unfunded by projected revenues. In his speech he warned us that we all need to not spend more than our means. In other words, Obama wants us to be more careful with our spending so we will have more for him to spend. He does not seem to mind that 40% of his budget is beyond his projected revenue income for the year. It is also noted that his projected revenue includes around $650 billion from the currently unpassed legislation of "Cap and Trade". So, if that does not get passed, it would mean that around $2.2 trillion would be unfunded by revenue - over 50%.

Washington has not got the message. They are completely out of control. They think nothing of spending another $100 billion here and there.

Are you mad yet?

The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi uses a jet for her travel. She is not catching a ride on a military jet, she has assigned to her a corporate type of jet for her use. I just heard that her travel costs for last year were $2,100,000. We pay for that! It included over $100,000 in catering food and adult beverages. It was also reported that we paid for trips across the country for her kids and grandkids, where she was not with them. It was also reported that she made 31 trips where relatives went with her.

Are you mad yet?

Our "public servants" appear to feel entitled to live like royalty, at our expense.

I am mad! Are you mad yet?