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Posted in Images Military History

John Glenn: from MiG Killer to Oldest Man in Space

If you had to name the ten most-famous Americans ever, who would be on your list? Better yet: if you could go back in time with any of them and have a beer, who would you pick? John Glenn would have to be at the top of my list. He flew combat missions in World War II and Korea, flew alongside baseball great Ted Williams, was one of the original Mercury astronauts, the first American to orbit the earth, was a politician, ran for president, then became the oldest man in space. Man, wouldn’t you just kill to hear some of those stories?

The following pages feature historic photos of John H. Glenn Jr., some you might have seen, some you haven’t. Hopefully you enjoy reading this slideshow as much as we did writing it.

Maj. Glenn’s fighter took so much damage from enemy fire that his fellow aviators nicknamed him “Magnet Ass.” Here he stands in front of the F-86 Sabre which he used to kill three enemy MiG-15s. Between World War II and Korea, Glenn flew 149 combat missions and was hit 12 different times. On two occasions, his plane returned with over 250 holes.

Posted in Articles

GATEWAY TO THE ARMY ASSOCIATION HOSTS NOVEMBER FUNDRAISER

Event to raise money in support of Army-honoring park and visitor venues at Fort Jackson, S.C.

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The GATEWAY TO THE ARMY ASSOCIATION – a non-profit organization with a mission of designing, funding, and building Fort Jackson’s Centennial Park – will host its first-ever Centennial Park Fundraiser, Wed., Nov. 13 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a silent auction followed by a live auction at 7:00 p.m.

“This is going to be an exciting evening, a lot of fun, auctioning-off a lot of great items from parachute jumps to an autographed Clemson national championship football signed by Dabo Swinney,” says Gateway president and chairman Marty Wells, a retired U.S. Army command sergeant major. “Not to mention all the local celebrities and friends and supporters of the largest Army basic training facility in the nation; with all proceeds going toward Centennial Park on Fort Jackson.” Continue reading “GATEWAY TO THE ARMY ASSOCIATION HOSTS NOVEMBER FUNDRAISER”

Posted in Military History

29 October: Today in U.S. military history

Today’s post is in honor of Maj. Jeffrey R. Calero, who died of wounds sustained during a dismounted patrol in Kajaki, Afghanistan on this day in 2007. Calero, 34, was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Queens Village, N.Y.. He was a member of Company C’s Operational Detachment Alpha 2132, 1st Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and was serving on his second Afghan deployment.


1814: The wooden floating battery Demologos, the United States’ first steam-powered warship, is launched at New York City.

1942: Decimated by combat losses, malnutrition, and tropical diseases, the first soldiers of the Japanese garrison begin departing Guadalcanal.

1944: Three 442d Regimental Combat Team soldiers earn the Medal of Honor near Biffontaine, France on this day. Technician 5th Grade James K. Okubo, Pvt. Barney F. Hajiro, and Pvt. George T. Sakato (click the links to read their citations).

The all-Nisei (second-generation Japanese-American citizens) 442d RCT holds the distinction of being the most decorated unit in United States Armed Forces history.

Continue reading “29 October: Today in U.S. military history”

Posted in Military History

Twins earn Navy Cross in same battle

Leslie (top) and Paul Hansen volunteered to attack an enemy machine-gun position with their amtrak (similar to this LVT driving down the ramp), earning them the Navy Cross

You may never have heard of the Hansen brothers, but twins Paul and Leslie own the distinction of being the only twins to earn the Navy Cross. In fact, they fought side-by-side when they accomplished the feat.

On 26 December 1943, the First Marine Division poured onto the beaches of Cape Gloucester, New Britain. As the Marines worked their way into the jungle, the amtraks (amphibious tractors) of the 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion ferried in their ammunition and equipment. One of the first amtraks ashore was commanded by 23-year-old Philadelphia native Sgt. Robert J. Oswald Jr., with Pfc. Paul Hansen at the wheel and Pfc. Leslie Hansen manning a machinegun (both 20, from Bergen, N.Y.).

When heavy fire from Japanese pillboxes halted the Marine assault force attempting to capture the island’s airport, Oswald’s crew volunteered to destroy the enemy position. The job of charging the pillbox was dangerous enough, but onboard were tons of fuzes and 37-mm shells. Scores of enemy soldiers would be firing at a slow-moving, unarmored amphibious tractor loaded with explosives. Continue reading “Twins earn Navy Cross in same battle”

Posted in Images Military History

Disney artist at war

Gen. Douglas MacArthur (second from left) studies a relief map of Cape Gloucester with officers and staff before the 1st Marine Division lands on New Britain Island.

Before the United States entered World War II Richard “Dick” Kelsey worked for Walt Disney, having been an art director for Bambi, Fantasia, Dumbo, and Pinocchio animated films. Here he is as a Marine captain (far left), creator of the relief map MacArthur studies prior to the Cape Gloucester operation. Among Kelsey’s many other credits, he later helped write Alice in Wonderland and was even part of the Disneyland design team. Continue reading “Disney artist at war”