Veterans Day 2020


Armistice was declared for the conflict of World War One on November 11, 1918. That day became celebrated as Armistice Day to commemorate WW1 Vets (Bless ’em All). Since that time, Armistice Day has evolved into Veterans Day to commemorate all American Veterans who have served in times of peace and war. Today is no exception and we resolve to honor those whose service has been given to our country.

Our family has a number of veterans in our lineage, some alive and some passed on. I did some genealogy work recently and discovered a number of ancestors who served. Several ancestors showed service in the Revolutionary War. Some were in the US Civil War (on both sides) and a few in the Spanish American War. My Grand Dad, Leonard, was in the Navy just after that war.

Verna’s Dad, Bill, served in the US Navy (Aviation) assigned to Patrol Squadron 26 as a crew member on the PB4 Privateer Aircraft with missions around the Mediterranean after WW2.

My Dad, Jack, was aboard the USS Brooklyn during WW2, sometimes in the African theater of operations and also in the Northern Mediterranean supporting Allied forces in Europe.

What is now the senior generation of veterans in our family consists of me. I was in Naval Aviation and served in the capacity of Radio Operator Crewman and Avionics Line Troubleshooter at the Naval Missile Center, Point Mugu, CA. Our mission was to provide airborne targets for the Pacific Missile Range. Those were some fun and interesting times not to mention somewhat risky working around whirling propellers and jet engine intakes and flying aboard some pretty vintage military aircraft. Think Lockheed P2V, Sikorsky SH34, Grumman S2F and various other Convair, Martin, Douglas and Lockheed Airplanes in support of RangeOps.

My two late brothers were also in the Navy; my older brother became an officer under a program where he got a college education at Purdue University in exchange for a career assignment as an Officer. My younger brother, like me, was in for a limited time and served as an Aviation Equipment Technician at NAS Miramar, near San Diego.

Both of my older brother’s kids were in the US Air Force; the older daughter became a linguistic translator for covert operations during the cold war, and his younger son worked as an air traffic controller who, incidentally, went on to make a career as ATC working for the FAA (and still does).

We’re proud of all our family, past and present, who served. We are equally proud of all service men and women that have served, are serving and will serve in the future. May God bless them now and forever, Amen.

For Veterans Day, Verna and I are going to celebrate here at home with a special dinner planned. We hope you have a happy and safe Veteran’s Day as well.

Remembering our Fallen


Memorial Day 2016

We pause to remember those that have sacrificed their lives in service to our country. From Lexington to Shiloh, from Iwo Jima to Luxembourg, from Seoul to Saigon and from Baghdad to Benghazi, we remember those who did not return alive. God bless them all.

Meanwhile, 69 Years Ago . . .

Enlistment DayI cannot remember the day this photo was taken. My Mother dressed me up in a sailor suit and took my picture with her little Kodak Brownie camera on the front lawn of our Long Beach, California home. I think I was about a year and a half old at the time. I think the little stuffed animal I was holding was named “Buster” by my Dad after he returned from his World War 2 US Naval deployment to the Mediterranean in 1945.

Of course, I enlisted in the US Navy in 1960 at the age of seventeen. It was in the Naval Reserve and I did not go on active duty until 1962. I was released from active duty in June of 1965 and discharged from the Naval Reserve in 1966 after a three-year hitch with the discharge rate of third-class petty officer.

I’m proud to say that I served in the United States Navy in the early 1960’s. When I joined, President Dwight D. Eisenhower was in the Oval Office. When I mustered out, it was after the Cuban Missile Crisis, after JFK had been assassinated, and while President Lyndon B. Johnson was busily escalating the war in Vietnam.

I went to Navy ‘A’ School in Memphis, Tennessee to be an avionics technician; after completion of school (I was first in my graduating class), I reported for duty to the U.S. Naval Missile Center, Point Mugu, California. When I first reported to the air station, I was assigned to a security infantry detail on the base – NEGDF (Naval Emergency Ground Defense Force). It was half intensive training and half security guard duty, complete with hard helmets, leggings and sidearms and M-1 Garand rifles.

After my security assignment was over, I was an air crew member, primarily as radar and radio operator for transport and patrol aircraft. I flew on missile test launch aircraft and also on other missions over the Pacific Missile Range. One mission transported a target remote operating platform to Holloman AFB, New Mexico in an old Douglas DC-4 (Navy R4D – Navy three seven two eight niner). When not on a mission, I worked in the avionics shop, maintaining the command’s aircraft communications and navigation gear.

I left active duty to work in aerospace and defense, but remained in the Inactive Naval Reserve until I was discharged.

Two Special Veterans

Note: We posted this item two years ago today. Verna and I remember our Dads, love them and miss them on this Veterans Day 2012.

dads.jpgThis Veterans Day, I would like to remember our two very special veterans. My Dad, Jack and Verna’s Dad, Bill. Both of them are gone now, but we remember and thank them for their service and for their devotion to their families.

The photos of Jack (left) and Bill were taken in 1944 and 2004, respectively.

Jack was aboard the USS Brooklyn, CL-40, from Casablanca for the east coast 17 November 1942. Between January and July 1943 The Brooklyn made three convoy escort voyages between the east coast and Casablanca and then steamed to the Mediterranean where she carried out screening and fire support duties during the invasion of Sicily.

On 15 August 1944 the USS Brooklyn furnished part of the heavy naval gunfire which preceded the landing of Allied troops on the coast of southern France. She remained on duty in the Mediterranean until 21 November 1944 when she departed Sicily for New York, arriving 30 November.

Bill, served in U.S. Naval Aviation. He was stationed at Gibraltar in 1948 where Navy Patrol Squadron 26 had a detachment in those days.

The Cold War was fully in progress, and Bill’s Squadron was right in the thick of it all. Bill was a flight crew member and flew missions on the Navy version of the old B24 – the PB4Y-2 ‘Privateer.’ He flew missions all over the Mediterranean, Europe, the North Atlantic Ocean and back to the US for logistics and repairs.

We’re proud of all of our veterans and salute them on this day. And we’re especially proud of our Dads.

Flag Day – Belated Post


I’m a few days late posting about Flag Day, but I will post this photo from last year. The image was taken in old downtown Wickenburg where the local American Legion Post placed these flags. The Post places roughly 300 flags on the main drags all around town. Click on the image to enlarge.

Pearl Harbor Day

Today, we honor the men and women who died in the attacks on Hawaii late in 1941. In the photograph below, the Officers and Crew line the flight deck of the USS Ronald Reagan, CVN-76, as they salute the war memorial at the resting place of the USS Arizona.

More than ever, we must honor our Veterans and those who serve today in the best military in the world. God Bless them in this holiday season and always.