Saturday, May 12, 2018

YOU ENTER GERMANY: Bloody Huertgen and the Siegfried Line

This is a good video especially, if you have an interest in WW2/European Theater of Operations. It is a little long, but worth it. Many do not realize that during this engagement that came to be known as "TheBattle of Hurtgen Forest", the United States lost almost as many men killed from September 19th-December 16th, 1944 as it did during the entire Vietnam War. It was a meat grinder.

H/T to Robert in Cullman

Saturdeyes by Reader Russ

Time For Me To Stop Scrolling MEME Images and Go Outside....

Friday, May 11, 2018

Friday Femme Fatale... Brought to to you by Paul Rodgers.....

Australia's Restrictive Gun Laws Working Nearly As Well As Chicago's

Many liberal concepts begin as well meaning "good intentions". I believe a large portion of those peoples who consider themselves liberals do not realize that they are being led or herded in a direction where the true agenda is much more sinister than the "rallying cry" they have chosen to "follow"  (i.e. gun control). I sincerely believe the people who are REALLY seek to disarm Americans (or any country for that matter) are people who have a vested interest in controlling and imposing their will upon those who are armed. People tend to be harder to load onto cattle cars or line up beside a ditch for that little brown spot in the back of the head when they have the means to kill their oppressors. Who is not for lower homicide and suicide rates? If one listens to the "MINISTRY OF PROPAGANDA" (aka MSM) long enough, one might be convinced that gun owning conservatives are not and are only blood thirsty-racist-deplorables. Commie-liberals are masters of the lie. They tell similar lies in regard to pollution and "clean drinking water".  Who in the hell is not for clean drinking water? According to liberals and the MSM, it is the evil capitalist business owner, whose only concern is profit, The image Commie-liberals want to project is that business owners will stop at nothing even if it means throwing strychnine and baby kittens into nearby streams to make a dollar. Wasn't it Goebbels who said "repeat a lie enough and it becomes the truth" (or something to that effect)? Using environmental laws and gun control are two tenants  of Communism. These two issues are used to manipulate and to control people. Of course there are others, but since we are discussing gun control, I will not go there today. Australians along with the inhabitants of many countries and cities have been lulled into believing that by surrendering or greatly curtailing the right for an individual to keep and bear arms murders, suicides and violent crimes can nearly be wiped out forever. This is not true in any society. As much as liberals and Communist want people to believe it, it doesn't make it so. Never surrender any firearms. Citizens without arms are subjects. 

The above video details the seven people slaughtered in Australia yesterday because the criminal who shot them did not obey the laws. It is the same in gun-free Chicago. Criminals (there is a reason that name has been bestowed upon the lawless) do not obey laws. "No Guns Allowed" signage doesn't stop gun violence. 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Head 'em up and move 'em out!

Everyone's favorite Jeannie on one of my favorite "western" television series. As one of the commentor's said, "it is like I Dream of Jeannie meets Bewitched that meets Rawhide".

Barbara stated the pilot for I Dream of Jeannie had already been shot when the above installment of Rawhide was made. In all she appeared on three times on the popular TV show.


Thursday Morning, and it ain't even the weekend yet.....

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

"It is funny you mentioned that Irish" (Bombers)

I ended up going down this rabbit hole Saturday night late. I was searching for information about a B-17 pilot from Alabama who was shot down over Romania in February of '45. He was the only survivor out of his ship.  His chute was on fire and he thought he was a "goner". As his chute disappeared and his velocity increased towards earth, death was not meant for him at that time. He landed in a sedimentation pond at the lower end of field and stuck up to his neck in mud. Before he could get out, the Germans were upon him. He was taken into captivity and moved twice in front of the advancing Russians. At the third camp he awoke one morning to find all the Germans gone and the gates open. Thinking it might be a trap, he and the other POWs stayed put until the Ruskies arrived. Two weeks later he was back in England. This is not the story I was looking for, but this is one HELLUVA story about some men that nursed a damaged ship 600 miles back to Italy using engine power to steer and eventually land the plane. 

The Saga of "Sweet Pea"
courtesy of
2nd Bomb Group Association History
"Defenders of Liberty"

Sweet Pea returned to Amendola Air Base in Foggia, Italy
and immediately upon landing came to a stop and collapsed
as you see it here.  The Flying Fortress was indeed a special plane.

These two photos are courtesy of

The 2nd Bomb Group
B-17 # 38078 on Mission 279
to Debrecen, Hungary
Marshalling Yards on
Sept. 21 1944

The Flight Crew Story
This raid produced one of the great flying fortress survival stories of the war.  2nd Lt Guy M Miller and crew of "Sweet Pea" were approaching the target when an 88mm anti-aircraft shell slammed into the plane's mid-section exploded, and nearly tore the Fortress in two.  Huge sections of the waist on both sides instantly disappeared, control cables were cut, electrical and communications systems went powerless and silent.  Half of the bombs fell out of the bomb bay, the lower turret was jammed with the gunner inside, and the explosion blew deadly debris in all directions.  The left waist gunner, Elmer H Buss was killed instantly.  The right waist gunner, James F. Maguire had multiple wounds but was saved by his back pack parachute serving as a flak suit, saving his life.  The tail gunner, S/Sgt James E Totty was mortally wounded and died on the airplane.  The radio operator, S/Sgt Anthony Ferrara was peppered like buckshot with shrapnel fragments in the chest.

The stunned crew started its battle for survival.  Lt Miller and his copilot, Lt Thomas M. Rybovich struggled for control of the airplane and begin assessing what they had left to do it with.  Most of the control cables were cut and his major control was through use of the engines which  miraculously, were undamaged.

Lt. Miller thought about ordering bail out but decided against that when he learned he had one dead, three wounded, and one stuck in the ball turret.  The wounded were gathered in the radio room for first aid.  The bombardier/gunner, S/Sgt Robert R Mullen came back from the nose section and helped Sgt Gerald McGuire, upper turret gunner, bring the mortally wounded S/Sgt Totty from the tail to the radio room.  McGuire did finally succeed in freeing Cpl William F Steuck from the ball turret.  Later it was learned that turret was resting on only three safety fingers which were all that kept the turret from falling out of the airplane with Steuck inside.  There were still six bombs hung up in the racks and Mullen climbed into the bomb bay and released them one by one with a screw driver.

Against seemingly impossible odds, Lts Miller and Rybovich now faced the reality of trying to nurse their mangled airplane and its battered crew across several hundred miles of enemy territory and almost 600 miles back to base. Navigator, 2nd Lt. Theodore Davich plotted a course and the pilots very gingerly set what was left of "Sweet Pea" on the long trek homeward.  (This account is set out in the book "Defenders of Liberty" but I thought  it such an outstanding achievement for this crew I would repeat it here.)

A First Hand Account of the Landing from Someone on the Ground
The story as told by Jack Botts, Radio Operator, 414th Sqdn, 97th BG, Amendola, Italy.
I was with the 97th BG, and we also had bombed the Debreczen target that day.  I was standing on top of our plane, swabbing out the top turret barrels, when somebody pointed off to the south.  There was this plane, making wide swings about 5 miles away, obviously trying to line up with our runways.  We couldn't see damage from that distance, but were curious because of the odd maneuvering and the distress flares being fired. 
The plane passed us about 100 yards away as it landed, and we all yelled in surprise at the big hole through its waist.  Four of us jumped into a jeep and drove over to where it stopped.  The tail wheel had collapsed about half way down the dirt runway (between a steel mat and an asphalt strip), causing the plane to ride to a stop on the ball turret. 
We arrived at the plane with several other jeeps just as the crew was getting out.  Somebody yelled that the ball gunner was still in the ball, so a couple other guys and I opened the turret and pulled out the gunner, who was in bad shape emotionally.  He had not been able to move the ball nor communicate with the rest of the crew.  One photo shows the turret hatch laying on the ground where it fell when we opened it. 
Another account that I read reported that the ball gunner had been freed from the ball on the way back from the target.  It's a small matter, but it still stands out in my mind after nearly 65 years.  My wife and I revisited Amendola in 1990 and the Italian air base that is there now was laid out much as it was way back then. 
That was one of the finest flying feats I had ever witnessed, since there were no tail controls in that plane.  We in the 97th always had a good relationship with those in the 2nd BG, and I wish all its surviving members well.   Best wishes to you.

The 2nd Bomb Group sheet metal and engineering crew
that put "Sweet Pea" back together.

Putting the final touches on the body work. Most of metal came from
parts of other Fortresses that had been junked.   Sweet Pea was returned
to duty and the original pilot, Lt Guy M. Miller took her up on her final
mission.  After that she was put into ferry service between Amendola and
Casablanca  (pictures compliments of former S/Sgt James Reiman)
The Ground Crew Story
                The story as told by S/Sgt James Reiman in an email received July 7, 2003
"A tough old bird flew again!  I was inducted into the service in Saginaw, Michigan March 1943.  After basic training it was off to sheet metal school 555 and then shipped overseas to Casablanca, North Africa for more training.  Several months later several of us from the 339th Air Service Squadron were sent to Amendola Air Field near Foggia, Italy.  We were immediately attached to the 2nd Bomb Group.  I was in sheet metal work repairing many B-17s.  On this day, September 21, 1944 the mission left our field early morning and after the mission was complete the main body of crews returned to our base on schedule as usual.  We could tell that certain planes did not make it back.  It had to have been about 2 hours later when we heard this lone B-17 with what sounded like engine trouble coming into our base.  We were working in our repair area near the third runway, a dirt runway which was built for emergency landings.   As I looked up at the B-17, the fuselage physically appeared to be swinging from side to side.  I couldn't help but think that the pilot and co-pilot were doing one heck of a job bringing her in.  They held her tail up off the ground as long as they could and the tail had not snapped off yet.  It came to a stop just a short distance from our work area.  Little did I know of the condition of the crew until later.  I walked over to look at the damage which was a lot of sheet metal work and said to myself, "God, you could drive a army jeep through the hole of the waist of that B-17".  It was resting on the ball turret under the B-17 as it collapsed  from lack of stability in the center area.  I examined the damage and realized that the only thing holding the plane together was the four metal struts on top and bottom of the fuselage.  They had to have been very weak from the trip and the explosion of the shell.

It was standard procedure that we work in pairs to complete our work as it would speed up completion time.  After we salvaged the parts, my partner, Emmett Shearer, of then Oakland, California, and myself repaired the plane.  Sweet Pea went back into service shortly after but only as a transport plane.  She had seen the last of combat by now.  I cannot remember how many days and hours we put into the repair, but the area of repair was a vital part of the aircraft and everything had to be done just right.  I do remember that Boeing considered it the most damaged B-17 that ever came back after being hit while on a mission.  Emmett said he saw a picture of it in Washington DC at the museum and also in the Boeing Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington.

To this day, I vividly remember the sight of Sweet Pea coming into the runway and what pride Emmett and I shared in completing what was told to us as an impossible task.  Today E. A. lives in Washington State and I still live in Michigan.  We can still recall those days and our comradeship throughout the war."

E. A. Shearer (left) and James Reiman (right) at Amendola.
Thanks to a lot men for your help in this story! And sspecially
Brian Reiman.  ( DFC

More photos and stories HERE.

Stunning Images Done By Howdi Colour Recovery......

  I happened upon this Facebook page last night. I know many of you will enjoy the images.


Stop over there for more images and descriptions^^^

Monday, May 7, 2018


Has Anyone Else Seen This TV Ad For Facebook?

  I rarely watch TV anymore. I find there is nothing interesting other than surfing through

the History Channel, Science or Weather and sometimes an occasional surf through the 

channels looking for an old movie.

 Last night, as I was scrolling through the crap, this ad came on and I stopped, saying 

out loud to no one in the room but  me,

 " You have got to be shitting me, a facebook ad, on TV?"

They must be hurting from the recent news about their Big Brother style surveillance.

A Social media company running TV ads.....