Friday, December 22, 2017

TheList 4618

The List 4618


To All
I hope your week has been going well. Christmas eve in two days.
Regards,
Skip
This Day In Naval History - December 22
Dec. 22
1775—Congress commissions the first naval officers: Commander-in-Chief of the Fleet Esek Hopkins; captains Dudley Saltonstall, Abraham Whipple, Nicolas Biddle, and John Hopkins; and 13 lieutenants including John Paul Jones.
1841—The Navy's first ocean-going side-wheel steam ship, the Mississippi, is commissioned at Philadelphia, PA.
1942—Sue Dauser takes the oath of office as Superintendent of Navy Nurse Corps, becoming the first woman with the relative rank of captain in U.S. Navy. She is promoted to the rank of captain Feb. 26, 1944.
1942—Aboard USS Silversides (SS 236), Pharmacist's Mate 1st Class Thomas A. Moore performs an emergency appendectomy on Fireman 3rd Class George M. Platter while the submarine is submerged and on war patrol in the Solomon Islands. Platter returned to duty within a few days of the operation. 
 
1944 - Commissioning of first 2 African-American WAVES officers, Harriet Ida Pickens and Frances F. Wills.
1960—HS-3 and HU-2 helicopters, operating from USS Valley Forge, rescue 28 men from oiler SS Pine Ridge breaking up in heavy seas off Cape Hatteras, NC. 
Dec. 23
1803—The schooner Enterprise, commanded by Lt. Stephen Decatur, captures the Turkish ketch Mastico with a cargo of female slaves as it is sailing from Tripoli to Constantinople under Turkish colors and without passports. Renamed Intrepid, the former Mastico is taken into U.S. service.
1826—Capt. Thomas Catesby Jones of the sloop-of-war Peacock and King Kamehameha negotiate the first treaty between Hawaii and a foreign power.
1910—Lt. Theodore G. Ellyson becomes the first naval officer sent to flight training when he was ordered to report to the Glenn H. Curtiss Aviation Camp at North Island, San Diego, CA.
1944—USS Blenny (SS 324), despite an escort vessel close by, sinks the Japanese merchant tanker Kenzui Maru off San Fernando, Luzon, Philippines.
1968—The Sailors of USS Pueblo (AGER 2) are repatriated following their release by the North Korean government. The crew had been captured off Wonson on Jan. 23, 1968. 
 
December 22
1135
Stephen of Blois is crowned the king of England.
1775
Esek Hopkins takes command of the Continental Navy -- a total of seven ships.
1807
Congress passes the Embargo Act, which halts all trading completely. It is hoped that the act will keep the United States out of the European Wars.
1829
The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad opens the first passenger railway line.
1918
The last of the food restrictions, enforced because of the shortages during World War I, are lifted.
1929
Soviet troops leave Manchuria after a truce is reached with the Chinese over the Eastern Railway dispute.
1941
Japanese troops make an amphibious landing on the coast of Lingayen Gulf on Luzon, the Philippines.
1942
The Soviets drive German troops back 15 miles at the Don River.
1944
During the Battle of the Bulge, General Anthony McAuliffe responds to a German surrender request with a one word answer: "Nuts!"
1945
The United States recognizes Tito's government in Yugoslavia.
1965
The EF-105F Wild Weasel makes its first kill over Vietnam.
1966
The United States announces the allocation of 900,000 tons of grain to fight the famine in India.
1989
The Romanian government of Nicolae Ceausescu is overthrown, ending 42 years of communist rule.
1989
The division of East and West Germany effectively ends when the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin reopens for the first time in nearly 30 years.
1992
What became known as the Archives of Terror are discovered in a police station near the capital of Paraguay. The records detail tens of thousands of Latin Americans who had been secretly imprisoned, tortured and / or killed by the security services of several South American governments.
1997
Hussein Farrah Aidid relinquishes his disputed title of President of Somalia, an important step toward reconciliation in the country.
2001
President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, takes over an interim government.
2001
A passenger on American Airlines Flight 63 from Paris, Richard Reid, unsuccessfully attempts to destroy the plane in flight by igniting explosives he'd hidden in his shoes.
2008
Some 1.1 billion gallons of coal fly ash slurry flood part of Tennessee after an ash dike breaks at a solid waste containment area in Roane County, in the eastern part of the state.
2010
US President Barack Obama signs a law officially repealing the 17-year-old policy known as "Don't ask, don't tell"; the new law permits homosexuals to serve openly in the US military.
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Thanks to Dave
Skip,
I used to wonder about these wonderful "feel good" stories........I know that one of them was factual.
.
.  I saw this story about the "Big Wheel" in Indiana and it really hit a nerve.......the owner, "granny" was the owner of the big wheel and the mother of my real estate partner.  She would visit in San Diego a couple of times a year.  This was one of the many stories she would tell us and that was way back in the late 70's.  Her name out here was "grand prix granny" because of her speeding habit.  This was not the only good deed that came out of that truck stop.
 
Dave Russell
     In September 1960, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies and just 75 cents in my pocket. Their father was gone. The boys ranged from three months to seven years; their sister was two. Their Dad had never been much more than a presence they feared. Whenever they heard his tires crunch on the gravel driveway they would scramble to hide under their beds. He did manage to leave 15 dollars a week to buy groceries.
     Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings, but no food either. If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana at that time, I certainly knew nothing about it. I scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new and then put on my best homemade dress. I loaded them into the rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to find a job.
     The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our small town.  No luck. The kids stayed, crammed into the car and tried to be quiet while I tried to convince whoever would listen that I was willing to learn or do anything. I had to have a job. Still no luck.
     The last place we went to, just a few miles out of town, was an old Root Beer Barrel drive-in that had been converted to a truck stop. It was called the Big Wheel. An old lady named Granny owned the place and she peeked out of the window from time to time at all those kids. She needed someone on the graveyard shift, 11 at night until seven in the morning. She paid 65 cents an hour and I could start that night.
     I raced home and called the teenager down the street that baby-sat for people. I bargained with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night. She could arrive with her pajamas on and the kids would already be asleep. This seemed like a good arrangement to her, so we made a deal.  That night when and the little ones and I knelt to say our prayers we all thanked God for finding Mommy a job. And so I started at the Big Wheel.
     When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and sent her home with one dollar of my tip money-fully half of what I averaged every night.  As the weeks went by, heating bills added another strain to my meager wage. The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons and began to leak. I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again every morning before I could go home.
     One bleak fall morning, I dragged myself to the car to go home and found four tires in the back seat.  New tires!  There was no note, no nothing, just those beautiful brand new tires.  Had angels taken up residence in Indiana? I wondered.  I made a deal with the owner of the local service station.   In exchange for his mounting the new tires, I would cleanup his office. I remember it took me a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for him to do the tires.
     I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn't enough.  Christmas was coming and I knew there would be no money for toys for the kids. I found a can of red paint and started repairing and painting some old toys. Then I hid them in the basement so there would be something for Santa to deliver on Christmas morning.  Clothes were a worry too.  I was sewing patches on top of patches on the boys' pants and soon they would be too far gone to repair.
     On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in the Big Wheel.   These were the truckers, Les, Frank, and Jim, and a state trooper named Joe.  A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the Legion and were dropping nickels in the pinball machine. The regulars all just sat around and talked through the wee hours of the morning and then left to get home before the sun came up.
     When it was time for me to go home at seven o'clock on Christmas morning I hurried to the car. I was hoping the kids wouldn't wake up before I managed to get home and get the presents from the basement and place them under the tree.  (We had cut down a small cedar tree by the side of the road down by the dump.) It was still dark and I couldn't see much, but there appeared to be some dark shadows in the car-or was that just a trick of the night?   Something certainly looked different, but it was hard to tell what.
     When I reached the car I peered warily in to one of the side winders. Then my jaw dropped in amazement. My old battered Chevy was full-full to the top with boxes of all shapes and sizes.  I quickly opened the driver's side door, scrambled inside and kneeled in the front facing the back seat.  Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top box. Inside was a whole case of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10! I looked inside another box:  It was full of shirts to go with the jeans. Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes: There were candy and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries.  There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables and potatoes. There was pudding and Jell-O and cookies, pie filling and flour. There was a whole bag of laundry supplies and cleaning items.  And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful little doll.
      As I drove back through empty streets as the sun slowly rose on the most amazing Christmas Day of my life, I was sobbing with gratitude.  And I will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones that precious morning.  Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long-ago December. And they all hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop.
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Subject: To the German Commander: NUTS! 
Reply-To: info@contact.americanveteranscenter.org
This holiday season, please keep in mind all those who have defended us, in previous generations and those who stand ready today. It is thanks to their sacrifices and gallant feats of arms that we are able to truly make for ourselves a Merry Christmas.
 
Dear Robert,

In December of 1944, 73 years ago, Allied forces were immersed in one of the most epic battles of the Second World War.

At the time, it was becoming clear that the Germans would not win the war on the Western Front. In hopes of saving his 'Thousand-Year Reich,' Adolf Hitler launched a major offensive through the Ardennes region of Northwestern Europe.

It was the last major German offensive of the war, becoming known as The Battle of the Bulge.

The main German objective was to seize the port of Antwerp, dividing the British and American forces. Key to advancing on Antwerp would be the seizing of the road network that converged on the small eastern Belgian town of Bastogne. Take Bastogne, and the Germans stood a chance of winning the battle, and turning the momentum of the war. Thus, the American paratroopers defending Bastogne had to hold the town – at all costs.

Surrounding the American forces at Bastogne, the Germans sent officers to the Allied lines under a white flag of truce and a message demanding the Americans' surrender. When told of the German delegation's arrival, the acting commander of the 101st Airborne Division, General Anthony McAuliffe, first believed the Germans had intended to surrender to the Americans. When told that, in fact, the Germans were demanding the Americans' surrender, McAuliffe exclaimed, "Us surrender? Aw, nuts!"

Realizing that a reply was in order – one that decidedly rejected the Germans' demand of surrender – McAuliffe asked his staff for suggestions. The 101st Airborne Division's operations officer, then-Lt. Colonel Harry W.O. Kinnard chimed in that McAuliffe's initial reaction would be tough to beat. The men nodded in agreement, and the following message was drafted:
To the German Commander,

N U T S !

The American Commander"

Inspired by his men's spirit and defiance, General McAuliffe tasked Lt. Colonel Kinnard with drafting a Christmas message for the division. It read, in part:
"What's merry about all this, you ask? We're fighting, it's cold, we aren't home. All true, but what has the proud Eagle Division accomplished with its worthy comrades of the 10th Armored Division, the 705th Tank Destroyer Battalion and all the rest? Just this: We have stopped cold everything that has been thrown at us from the North, East, South and West....How effectively this was done will be written in history; not alone in our Division's glorious history but in World history."

The message continued:
"Allied Troops are counterattacking in force. We continue to hold Bastogne. By holding Bastogne we assure the success of the Allied Armies...

We are giving our country and our loved ones at home a worthy Christmas present and being privileged to take part in this gallant feat of arms are truly making for ourselves a Merry Christmas."

A witness to one of the great moments of audacious defiance of World War II, General Harry Kinnard shared the story of Christmas, 1944 with the American Veterans Center prior to his passing several years ago. Please take a moment to listen to the story of 'NUTS!' and the famed Christmas message of 1944, as told by Lieutenant General Harry W.O. Kinnard.

As we enjoy the holidays among family and friends, let us not forget those who, 73 years ago, spent their Christmas in the snow of Bastogne, determined to hold the town at all costs and ensure that by Christmas, 1945, the world would be at peace.

This holiday season, please keep in mind all those who have defended us, in previous generations and those who stand ready today. It is thanks to their sacrifices and gallant feats of arms that we are able to truly make for ourselves a Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

James C. Roberts
President & Founder

http://paracom.paramountcommunication.com/cimages/c3fbd13196c6f0baa91e073cdd29489c/donate.png
 
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Item Number:1 Date: 12/22/2017 AFGHANISTAN - POLICE KILLED IN KANDAHAR IN SUICIDE CAR BOMB ATTACK (DEC 22/TN)  TOLONEWS -- At least six police officers have been killed in a suicide car bombing in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province, reports TOLO News (Afghanistan).   The attacker drove his explosive-laden Humvee into a police headquarters in Maiwand district early Friday, said the province's police chief.   Police fired on the vehicle as it tried to enter the compound but could not stop it from breaching its defenses, a source told China's Xinhua news agency.   Deutsche Presse Agentur noted that seven others had been injured and that the number of reported casualties might increase.   The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 12/22/2017 AUSTRALIA - SUPER HORNETS TO END STRIKES AGAINST ISIS, HEAD HOME SOON, SAYS PAYNE (DEC 22/GUARDIAN)  GUARDIAN -- Defense Minister Marise Payne has announced that Australia will stop its airstrikes in the Middle East and withdraw some of its forces, reports the Guardian (U.K.).   Six F/A-18F Super Hornet strike fighters will soon be returning home, Payne told reporters in Sydney on Friday.   This does not mean the end of Canberra's commitment to Iraq, said Payne.   Wedgetail surveillance and refueling aircraft – the Australian name for the E-7A early warning and control aircraft - will continue to provide support, as well as a Special Operations Task Group, she said.   A withdrawal date was not immediately announced. Australia has been part of the international effort against ISIS since 2014, noted Reuters.  
 Item Number:3 Date: 12/22/2017 CHINA - AFGHANISTAN, PAKISTAN, CHINA READY FOR TRIPARTITE MEETING IN BEIJING (DEC 22/GEONEWS)  GEO NEWS -- The foreign ministers of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan plan to meet in Beijing on Dec. 26 to discuss security and development issues, reports Geo News (Pakistan).   This will be the first such meeting since the three countries agreed to create a trilateral dialogue mechanism in June, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Dec. 21.   The agenda includes mutual trust and reconciliation, development and connectivity, security cooperation and counterterrorism, she said.   The goal is to promote trilateral cooperation, strengthen peace and stability in the region and reduce tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan, the spokeswoman said, as cited by Xinhua, China's state news agency.  
  Item Number:4 Date: 12/22/2017 CUBA - RAUL CASTRO NOW TO REMAIN UNTIL APRIL (DEC 22/BL)  BLOOMBERG -- A Castro will stay in power in Cuba for a least a bit longer than planned, reports Bloomberg.   According to an official statement published in Granma, the ruling Communist Party's newspaper on Thursday, President Raul Castro will remain in power until at least April 19.   Elections for a new legislator and the president of the Councils of State and Ministers, Castro's current position, are supposed to be held at the same time.   The transition was originally slated for February.   Destruction from the category five Hurricane Irma forced the vote to be pushed back, said the statement.   Raul replaced his brother Fidel in 2008. In 1959, Fidel Castro led a revolution into Havana and declared himself Cuba's "Maximum Leader
.  
Item Number:7 Date: 12/22/2017 KAZAKHSTAN - MANGYSTAU MISSILE SHIP ENTERS SERVICE (DEC 22/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- The Kazakh navy has commissioned a new missile ship, reports Interfax-AVN (Russia).   The Mangystau officially joined the navy in a ceremony on Dec. 20 in Kazakhstan's western region of Mangystau for which the ship is named. The region borders the Caspian Sea.   The vessel was built at the Zenit plant in Uralsk in the West Kazakhstan region and launched on April 25, 2017.   The Mangystau displaces 240 metric tons and is 137 ft 2 in (41.8 m) long with a beam of 25 ft 7 in (7.8 m). The ship has a top speed of 30 knots and a range of 1,200 nm, noted the Strategy 2050 website (Kazakhstan).  
  Item Number:8 Date: 12/22/2017 NORWAY - DEFENSE MATERIEL AGENCY SIGNS CONTRACT FOR S. KOREAN K9 SELF-PROPELLED HOWITZERS (DEC 22/YON)  YONHAP -- The Norwegian government has decided to buy two dozen self-propelled howitzers from South Korea, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   The US$226.3 million deal inked by the Norwegian Defense Materiel Agency with Hanwha Land Systems covers 24 K9 Thunder howitzers and six K10 ammunition resupply vehicles, noted Canada's Global News.   Deliveries are expected to begin in 2019 and conclude in 2021, reported Defense News.   The K9 best met the army's requirements compared to similar offerings from France and Germany, said Norwegian officials.   This deal represents the first major upgrade of Norway's artillery since the 1960s, noted Russia's Sputnik news agency.   This is the third export contract finalized for the K9 this year, said manufacturer Hanwha. Finland previously ordered 48 howitzers and India 100.   Norway also represents the first export sale of the K10 resupply vehicle, said the South Korean firm.   The K9s will replace the M109A3GNM howitzers currently in Norwegian service.  
  Item Number:12 Date: 12/22/2017 TURKEY - 15 SENIOR MILITARY OFFICERS CAUGHT IN GOVERNMENT PROBE (DEC 22/ANADOLU)  ANADOLU NEWS AGENCY -- Turkish police have detained 15 senior military officers in an operation targeting supporters of exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, reports the state-run Anadolu Agency (Turkey).   The operation was held in nine provinces across the country the news agency said Friday, citing a security official.   The domestic Hurriyet Daily News said the suspects included seven colonels and nine lieutenant colonels from the gendarmerie.   Ankara is probing those seen as linked to last year's attempted coup. The government has accused Gulen, who lives in exile in Pennsylvania, and his supporters of orchestrating the attempt.  
  Item Number:15 Date: 12/22/2017 USA - ARMY AWARDS CONTRACT TO BUILD FULL-RATE PRODUCTION HOWITZERS (DEC 22/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- The U.S. Army has awarded BAE Systems a contract to build the full-rate production version of a self-propelled howitzer and companion ammunition carrier vehicles, reports Defense News.   Announced Thursday, the deal covers 48 M109A7 self-propelled howitzers and 48 companion M992A3 ammunition carrier vehicles as part of the low-rate initial production. There is an option to buy 60 full-rate production vehicles annually for the next three years.   If options are exercised, the contract could be worth up to $1.7 billion, the company's vice president said.   The initial operational test and evaluation is slated for the first quarter of 2018.   BAE Systems has already delivered 37 howitzers and 36 ammunition carriers, noted the company.  
  Item Number:17 Date: 12/22/2017 USA - NETWORKING CAPABILITIES EXPECTED TO MAKE NAVY JETS MORE LETHAL (DEC 22/NATINT)  NATIONAL INTEREST -- The U.S. Navy has demonstrated in testing that advanced airborne data links will significantly improve the capabilities of carrier-based strike and electronic attack jets, reports the National Interest (Washington, D.C.).   During the service's Netted Sensors 2017 (NS17) fleet experiment in August, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter and EA-18G electronic attack jet crews employed the Tactical Targeting Network Technology (TTNT) data link to enable new capabilities, the publication reported earlier this week.   These included a common tactical picture; multi-ship electronic surveillance; Growler manned-unmanned teaming with the DASH-X/REMEDY unmanned system; and network-centric collaborative targeting technologies.   The new capabilities will gradually enter fleet service through several software upgrades for both aircraft types, said officials.   The common tactical picture allows pilots to see more of the battle space by sharing their sensor tracks with those from other aircraft, improving overall situational awareness, said a Naval Air Systems Command release.   The Growler is at the heart of the network-centric collaborative targeting effort, which is intended to help the carrier air wing to defeat advanced surface-to-air missile threats, such as the Russian-made S-400.   The TTNT data link enables these capabilities with its significantly greater bandwidth and range compared to the standard Link 16
Item Number:18 Date: 12/22/2017 USA - TRUMP ADMINISTRATION STOPS PLAN TO SURVEY DEFENSE COMPANIES; RESTARTING STILL POSSIBLE (DEC 22/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- The Trump administration has halted, at least for now, its plans to survey hundreds of defense firms to identify perceived strengths and weaknesses in the industry, reports Defense News.   The assessment of defense-industrial capabilities will now rely on data the government already collects, rather than what is supplied by the various companies, the Pentagon said Thursday.   The plan proved difficult to implement without being too invasive, among other concerns, said government and industry sources.   Such a survey could occur in a later phase of the assessment, said a Pentagon spokesman.   Responding to an executive order by President Trump, more than a dozen working groups across government have been studying the industry to find potential gaps. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is expected to present the results in April.  
  Item Number:19 Date: 12/22/2017 YEMEN - HOUTHI COMMANDER IN CUSTODY, SAYS ARMY (DEC 22/GULF)  GULF NEWS -- The Yemeni army says its forces have detained a senior leader of the Houthi rebel group, reports Gulf News (Dubai).   Government forces on the "Hamak front" between Ibb and Dhaleh provinces "captured" militia chief Hussein al-Houthi and three of his assistants, reported the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), officials said Thursday.   The army said on Thursday that Huesse, originally from Saada, and the others were scouting the area when they were caught, reported Al Arabiya (Dubai). They were said to be in a regular vehicle and wearing civilian clothing.   The commander is reported to be close to the Houthis' charismatic leader, Abdel Malik al-Houthi
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