Tagged: war

December 7th, 1941 – 75 years ago !

Yesterday, December 7, 1941–a date which will live in infamy–the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”
At 7:55 a.m. on a Sunday morning Hawaii time, a Japanese dive bomber bearing the red symbol of the Rising Sun of Japan on its wings appears out of the clouds above the island of Oahu. A swarm of 360 Japanese warplanes followed, descending on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in a ferocious assault. The surprise attack struck a critical blow against the U.S. Pacific fleet and drew the United States irrevocably into World War II. Read more »

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the Surrender, August 6, 9, 15, 1945

(Wikipedia)

From the pages of Pain and Purpose in the Pacific 

“At 2¦45 a.m., the morning of the 6th August 1945, the B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay commanded by Colonel Paul Tibbets Jr. of the 509th Composite Group, lifted off the 8,5oo foot long Runway Able of Tinian’s North Field for destination Hiroshima, Japan. Six and one half hours later Tibbets and the crew found their destination. From 31,600feet, with tail wind allowing a ground speed of 328 m.p.h., they dropped “Little Boy.” The nuclear bomb, weighing 9,700 pounds, measuring 129 inches in length, with a diameter of 31.5 inches, contained 137.5 pounds of Uranium 235. “After falling to an altitude of 800 feet, nuclear fission began in one fifteen-hundredth of a micro-second. The firebomb that erupted was thousands of degrees hotter than the surface of the sun. It melted granite and vaporized people leaving only their shadows on the few remaining buildings left standing in the city after the blast.”

“One painstakingly calculated report says that single bomb left 122,338 dead, or missing, 30,524 severely injured, and 48,606 slightly injured. Many of the injured would die of the injuries.”

“On August 9th, a second bomb, code named “Fat Man”, which was a 10,000 pound plutonium device and carried by the B-29, Bocks Car and piloted by Major Charles Sweeney, and co-pilot Lieutenant Fred Olivi, had as its primary target the city of Kokura, but bad weather forced the pilot to the alternate target of Nagasaki. On August 14th  a total of 741 B-29s bombed Japan. On August 15th the Japanese government surrendered without conditions. The invasion of the Japanese main islands was avoided. The strategy had proved to be right. ”

“However, in making that crucial decision, maybe as many as 125,000 or more Japanese civilians at Hiroshima, and at least 70,000 more at Nagasaki would die. Thousands more would suffer terribly. Read more »

Operation Iceberg, Love day, Easter, and April Fools!

2980562321_1_3_lLkoYYi6Happy Resurrection Day!!  That is the day we celebrate as I write this blog today March 27, 2016. This day is more commonly known as Easter.  71 years ago it was Easter April 1st, 1945. It was also “Love day” and April Fools day all at the same time. It was also the day to begin “OPERATION ICEBERG.” So what does an Iceberg have in common with Love, and Easter? Well certainly there was and is Love with the Resurrection,   but would it be the same in the operation of Fools? I mean – remember the Titanic and the iceberg? The ship was lost. Ships were also lost in this – Operation Iceberg.  Does April Fools day have a play here? I have an opinion that one group of men mentioned in this writing may have been deceived into thinking they were doing the right thing for their emperor, but maybe they had been fooled.  The one who was resurrected will be that judge. So what was the Operation Iceberg? The following will explain it.

OPERATION ICEBERG was about the battle for Okinawa.   “Love Day” was the name given to the 1st day of the landings. Those landings would commence at 0406 on April 1st, Love Day, which was also Easter Sunday and April Fools Day. It was that time on that special day that Admiral Turner announced “Land the Landing Force!”  Read the story in “Pain and Purpose in the Pacific.”  But first, here is a bit of the history. Read more »

KEEP THE SPIRIT OF ’45 ALIVE

USS MissouriKissFlagsKEEP THE SPIRIT OF 45 ALIVE IN 2015.
To do so is to preserve the legacy of the Greatest Generation, the men and women who served in WWII, including those on the home front. This year is the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

In 2010, Congress passed House Concurrent Resolution 226, supporting a national day of remembrance. The day to remember is August 14th, 1945. “We want to recapture the spirit of that generation and give a reminder of the fact that people today share DNA with those who achieved so much in 1945. This is the last chance to celebrate this spirit while there are still surviving men and women of this generation;” said Warren C. Hegg, “Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive’s” national supervisor.

Among the Spirit of ’45 Day activities are wreath-laying ceremonies, big-band swing dances, observances at professional sporting events, World War II aircraft flyovers, concerts, open houses at senior living communities, and “kiss-ins” to re-enact the famous victory kiss between a sailor and a nurse in New York City’s Times Square on Aug. 14,1945.

Jerry Yellin Fighter Pilot over Iwo JimaJerry Yellin vividly remembers Aug.14, 1945, the ¬ final day of World War II. While returning to Iwo Jima with fellow pilots after flying his P-51 Mustang on a strafing mission over Tokyo that day, Yellin said, “I found out that my wingman was killed.” Upon landing at Iwo Jima, he then learned that the war had ended just hours before, making his wingman, 1st Lt. Philip Schlamberg, one of the war’s ¬ final casualties.

Now, nearly 70 years later, Yellin wants the nation to remember Schlamberg and all those who sacrifi-ced so much to win the war. Yellin, an Air Force Association (AFA) member who turns 91 in February, has been travelling across the country as national spokesman for “Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive.”
I was privileged to meet and interview Jerry Yellin on a trip to Guam and on to Iwo Jima with the “Military Historical Tours” of Woodbridge, Virginia in 2010. His story is featured in my book “Pain and Purpose in the Pacific.” Read more »

Christmas Truce – 100 years ago in – WWI

It is nearly Christmas 2014. In war there usually isn’t a holiday, but 100 years ago in 1914 during WWI, Christmas Eve was celebrated between the British and the Germans. After the celebration, the battle continued. Watch this short video, and realize that although this is recorded as having happened only once, and may not happen again; it did happen once. Merry Christmas.

Pain and Purpose in the Pacific


Pain and Purpose in the Pacific book cover-1

Pain and Purpose in the Pacific: True Reports of War
Pain and Purpose in the Pacific offers a unique glimpse of Marines, Air Corps, Soldiers, and Sailors to include Coast Guard at war and the family and friends they leave behind. Bright bridges a historical look at World War II with vignettes of the realities of war, giving the reader a clear-eyed view of what it means to live and die in service of your country.

In Pain and Purpose in the Pacific: True Reports of War (published by Trafford Publishing), author Richard Carl Bright tells the stories of his uncle Carl Johnson, an American Marine who spent 30 months in the Pacific during WWII. As the United States Marine Corps fought costly campaigns in the Pacific, Carl saw bitter combat on the islands of Saipan, Tinian and Okinawa.

In this moving work, Bright, who lived for seven years on Saipan, puts a human face on the tragedies of war, ushering readers into the darkest pits of destruction (the pain) and into the brightest views of hope and redemption (the purpose). Bright traces his Uncle Carl’s travels during World War II, from his homeland in Minnesota to the battle-torn islands of the Pacific, all the way to Japan. Bright, a veteran of Vietnam, colors his prose with his personal experiences and observations by traveling to many of the Pacific locations, including Iwo Jima, the Marianas Islands, Peleliu and the Philippines. He also personally interviewed Carl’s Platoon Sergeant, Arthur Wells, who fought at Carl’s side. Read more »