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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Fw: TheList 4717

The List 4717


To All
I hope that your week has started well.
Regards,
Skip
This Day In Naval History – May 8, 2018
May 8
1863—USS Flag, commanded by Cmdr. James H. Strong, captures schooner Amelia while attempting to run the blockade out of Charleston.
1911—Capt. Washington I. Chambers prepares the requisition for the first U.S. Navy airplane, the Triad A-1, marking the birth of Naval Aviation.
1919—Seaplane Division One, comprised of three NC flying boats, takes off from Naval Air Station, Rockaway, NY, for Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the first leg of a projected Transatlantic flight.
1942—The Battle of the Coral Sea ends with the Japanese retiring from the area and calling off the Port Moresby amphibious operation. During battle, SBDs from USS Lexington (CV 2) and USS Yorktown (CV 5) damage the Japanese carrier Shokaku and force her to retire.  
1945—The unconditional surrender of Germany was ratified by Allies in Berlin. This event is remembered as "V-E" Day!
1963 - Navy ships evacuate 2,279 civilians from Haiti during crisis.
1972 - U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aircraft mine Haiphong Harbor in North Vietnam.
 
 
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Thanks to CHINFO
Executive Summary:
Top national news includes hundreds of evacuations being ordered because of volcanic activity on Hawaii's Big Island; and FLOTUS Melania Trump rolling out "Be Best," a program focused on tackling opioid abuse, social media pressures and mental health issues among young people. USNI News reports that the HASC's FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act focuses on building readiness with a particular focus on aviation. Addressing the topic of aviation incidents, HASC member Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash) announced that he would submit a markup to the bill that would establish an independent National Commission on Military Aviation Safety. Navy Times reports the White House announced Monday that retired SEAL Britt Slabinski will receive the Medal of Honor later this month for his actions during 2002's Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan. Additionally, the San Diego Union Tribune reports that the Theodore Roosevelt CSG has returned home.
 
 
Today in History
May 8
1450
Jack Cade's Rebellion–Kentishmen revolt against King Henry VI.
1541
Hernando de Soto discovers the Mississippi River which he calls Rio de Espiritu Santo.
1559
An act of supremacy defines Queen Elizabeth I as the supreme governor of the church of England.
1794
The United States Post Office is established.
1846
The first major battle of the Mexican War is fought at Palo Alto, Texas.
1862
General 'Stonewall' Jackson repulses the Federals at the Battle of McDowell, in the Shenendoah Valley.
1864
Union troops arrive at Spotsylvania Court House to find the Confederates waiting for them.
1886
Atlanta pharmacist John Pemberton invents Coca Cola.
1895
China cedes Taiwan to Japan under Treaty of Shimonoseki.
1904
U.S. Marines land in Tangier, North Africa, to protect the Belgian legation.
1919
The first transatlantic flight by a navy seaplane takes-off.
1933
Mahatma Gandhi—actual name Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi—begins a hunger strike to protest British oppression in India.
1940
German commandos in Dutch uniforms cross the Dutch border to hold bridges for the advancing German army.
1942
The Battle of the Coral Sea between the Japanese Navy and the U.S. Navy ends.
1945
The final surrender of German forces is celebrated as VE (Victory Europe) day.
1952
Allied fighter-bombers stage the largest raid of the war on North Korea.
1958
President Dwight Eisenhower orders the National Guard out of Little Rock as Ernest Green becomes the first black to graduate from an Arkansas public school.
1967
Boxer Muhammad Ali is indicted for refusing induction in U.S. Army.
1984
The Soviet Union announces it will not participate in Summer Olympics planned for Los Angeles.
1995
Jacques Chirac is elected president of France.
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Thanks to Clyde and Bubbles for the Info on Admiral Bull. He was my CO On  USS Constellation.
'99

Lyle Franklin Bull (born April 8, 1938) was a rear admiral in the United States Navy. RADM Bull flew 237 Combat missions during 3 cruises to Vietnam. During a successful and harrowing single-ship mission into Hanoi, LT Bull was awarded the Navy Cross. He is an alumnus of Iowa State University. 

Years of service
1961–1998
Rank
Rear admiral (upper half)
Commands held
Commander, Carrier Strike Force Seventh Fleet / Carrier Group 5
Commander, Carrier Group 7
Commander, USS Constellation (CV 64)
Commander, USS San Jose (AFS 7)
Commander, Attack Squadron 128
Commander, Attack Squadron 196

His awards include the Navy Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, 19 Air Medals, several Navy Commendations, Unit Awards, Meritorious Service awards, and a medal from the Imperial Order of the Rising Sun from the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force.

RADM Bull passed away peacefully on 4 May 2018, at 20:17 in his Whidbey Island home, surrounded by his beloved wife, 4 sons, and 1 daughter in law. He is survived by his wife, Diana, his Brother Rich, and 4 sons: Ron, Vince, Bruce (Tacie) and Dell (Kari), along with 13 Grandchildren and 20 Great Grandchildren. His family was the most important thing to him on this earth, and trumped the truly outstanding legacy of service and leadership that he achieved in his 37 years of Naval Aviation service. The love for the men and women he served with and lead was a hallmark of this exceptional man. His love for country, the people he served, and most importantly his Family are the things that have now risen with him to reunite with his Savior, where Lyle looks down upon us all with love, and pride. Fair winds and following seas for your next set of adventures, Husband, Father, Grandfather and friend. We will always love you.

In lieu of flowers please send any donations to the Oak Harbor Lutheran Church, 1253 NW 2nd Ave, Oak Harbor, WA 98277 or Wounded Warriors Project at https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org.

Services will be held Saturday May 12th, 2:00 pm at the NAS Whidbey Base Chapel. All those attending are advised to enter through the Langley Gate. All guests must have Identification (Driver license, id, etc...).
 
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US Navy submarine statistics in WWII Thanks to Bill
WWII US Wolf Packs:  The Sailors of the submarine fleet comprised just 2 percent of the total of U.S. naval manpower, but their boats accounted for 55 percent of all Japanese shipping losses in the war. The 1,300 ships lost included 20 major naval combatants (8 carriers, 1 battleship, and 11 cruisers). Japanese shipping lost 5.5 million tons of cargo, with U.S. submarines accounting for almost 5 million tons. This exceeded the total sunk by the Navy's surface vessels, its carriers, and the U.S. Army Air Corps bombers combined.
 
 
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From the Archives
Thanks to Bob
VIETNAM --- 50 YEARS LATER, OUR GREATEST GENERATION.
 
Many will say that those who fought ,one year, WW11 from June 6,1944 to May 1945 made-up the greatest generation, granted casualties in WW11 were much higher, but the 10 years of Vietnam took a much higher toll on America and it's allies. We won both wars battles, but the scars of Vietnam remain until today, and in my opinion, no greater accolades should be bestowed on any veterans, than those of Vietnam. Unappreciated by the American public, betrayed by the American government's corrupt politicians, sent into battle with inferior weapons, AR-15, Laws anti armor, etc. Our soldiers never lost a battle. Despite these handicaps, this generation of soldiers were the best we ever fielded.
 
Watch this video, narrated by Sam Elliott.
 
 
In case you haven't seen this, it is a powerful tribute to our generation of Vietnam veterans.
 
Vietnam, 50 years later
 
 
SAM ELLIOTT
NARRATES THIS STIRRING VIDEO....
 
 
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A great story of one of the many rescues that the SAR helo crews performed in Vietnam.
With our thanks to THE Bear at http://www.rollingthunderremembered.com/
 
ROLLING THUNDER REMEMBERED… 8 MAY 1968… CHAMPION 406… "OH GOD, I'VE HAD IT."… THEN CAME BIG MOTHER 70…
May 8, 2018   Bear Taylor  
RIPPLE SALVO… #794… 8 MAY 1968 MESSAGE FROM VADM HORACE H. EPES, JR. to HELICOPTER COMBAT SUPPORT SQUADRON SEVEN… "For the second time in two days, our SAR forces have successfully rescued a downed aircrew under hostile fire. The recovery of the pilot of Champion 406 from deep within enemy territory in an unbelievable short time was the result of the prompt, cool and professional actions of the scene commander, the RESCAP, the downed pilot and most of all the intrepid crew of Big Mother 70. You have the admiration and appreciation of all for scoring on this tough one. WELL DONE. EPES."… THE STORY, but first….
GOOD MORNING… Day SEVEN HUNDRED NINETY-FOUR of a trip back through the years of the air war that was the principal bargaining chip in America's search for an honorable end to the Vietnam war…
8 MAY 1968… HEAD LINES from The New York Times on Wednesday, 8 May 1968…50 Years Ago Today…
THE WAR: Page 1: "FIRES SWEEPING SAIGON OUTSKIRTS AS FIGHTING EASES–THOUSANDS OF CIVILIANS FLEE TOWARD CENTER OF CITY–FOE'S CASUALTIES HIGH–Racetrack Battle Site–U.S. Command Believes the Enemy Has Been Unable to Reinforce Attackers"… "Flames swept along the southern and western edges of Saigon this morning as enemy forces renewed their rocket and mortar attacks on the capital. entire blocks were ablaze of smoldering and thousands of civilians were fleeing toward the heart of the city. although most of the fires were ignited by fresh outbreaks of fighting yesterday, some appeared to have been set by the rocket and mortar shells, which began falling at about 3 A.M. and continued to hit the city sporadically until dawn. Residential areas were hit with casualties….United States, Korean, and South Vietnamese forces say they have killed more than 1,500 enemy troops since Saturday in III Corps area, which includes Saigon. The allies continued to describe their casualties as light."…Page 4: "U.S. GENERAL SAYS FIGHTING IN A SHAU VALLEY FALLS SHORT OF EXPECTATIONS–Not As Extensive As Had Been Hoped"… "…Lieutenant General William Rosson, the Commander in South Vietnam's two northernmost provinces indicted th he considered the offensive a success because the large amount of enemy equipment and supplies that had been seized… Among the weapons and equipment found i the Ashau Valley have been Soviet-made antiaircraft guns , machine guns, mortars, rockets, rifles, flamethrowers, bulldozers, trucks an ammunition….The fighting in the rugged jungle valley about 25 miles west of here (Phu Bai) has generally been light and sporadic. General Rosson also disclosed that 121 Americans had been killed and 610 wounded in the A Shau campaign. The North Vietnamese losses  were said to be 654 killed."…
PEACE TALKS: Page 3: "GROUP FROM HANOI IN PARIS FOR TALKS–HIGH OFFICIAL AMONG THE 23 DELEGATES VOICES OPTIMISM ON PRELIMINARY SESSION."… "The second ranking member of the North Vietnamese delegation arrived from Hanoi today for the preliminary United States-North Vietnamese talks. Asked at Le Bourget Airport how he felt about the talks, Col. Ha Van Lao answered: 'I am optimistic.' He added only that he has come a few day ahead of the conference, due to start Friday or shortly thereafter. Colonel Lao, who flew in from Moscow aboard a Soviet airliner with 22 members of the North Vietnamese delegation, will be the advisor to the head of the delegation, former Foreign Minister Xuan Thuy."… Page 5: "THAI IS DOUBTFUL OF VIETNAM TALKS–PREMIER, HERE ON VISIT, SEES PEKING AS HANOI MENTOR"… "Thailand sees little hope for a real and lasting peace in Southeast Asia regardless of the outcome of talks between the United States and North Vietnam scheduled to begin in Paris this week, Premier Thanom Kittikachorn declared here (New York) yesterday."… MEANWHILE THE PRESIDENT WAS PREPPING THE AMERICAN DELEGATION AT THE WHITE HOUSE… Read the Notes of the meeting at:
Page 1: "KENNEDY WINS IN INDIANA–BRANIGIN LEADS McARTHY–NIXON DRAWS STRONG VOTE"… "Senator Robert F. Kennedy won his first Presidential test last night in the Indiana  primary. His margin in what appeared to be a heavy vote was smaller than many of his supporters had wished, but the New York Democrat describe himself as well pleased with the results. Senator McCarthy ran third behind Governor Roger D. Branigin, the Hoosier Favorite son. But the Minnesota share of the Vote, more than a quarter of the total, was hailed by his followers as a good showing…. "… Page 1: "LAUSCHE DEFEATED IN OHIO BY LABOR SUPPORTED JOHN GILLIGAN"… "Senator Frank J. Lausche, Ohio's vote-getter extraordinary for 46 years, met defeat yesterday in the Democratic primary in Ohio by John Gilligan. Cincinnati City Councilman and former House member."…
 
8 MAY 1968… OPERATION ROLLING THUNDER…New York Times (9 May reporting 8 May ops) Page 1: "In the air war, the military command reported that United States aircraft carried out 114 missions on Tuesday over southern North Vietnam and had destroyed or severely damaged 114 trucks, 13 bridges and five weapon sites… Vietnam: Air Losses" (Chris Hobson) There was one fixed wing aircraft lost in Southeast Asia on 8  May 1968… an A-4E of VA-56 embarked on USS Enterprise… See Ripple Salvo below…
SUMMARY OF ROLLING THUNDER LOSSES (KIA/MIA/POW) ON 8 MAY FOR THE FOUR YEARS OF THE OPERATION…
1965… COMMANDER JAMES DAVID LA HAYE, USN… (KIA)… CAPTAIN RUBEN CARL WISTRAND, USAF… (KIA)…
1966… 1LT JAMES EDWIN RAY, USAF… (KIA)…
1967… CAPTAIN MICHAEL K. McCUISTION, USAF… (POW)…  LTJG THOMAS JACK STEIMER, USN… (KIA)…
1968… NONE…
Humble Host flew #157… Led a division on armed recce with pods of Zunis Route IA south from Ha Tinh and followed another flight from Enterprise on a truck kill they got started…They got the trucks, we got the flak and the shooters… For first time, the intel brief included MIGs and SAMS possible in Route Pac II…
 
IPPLE SALVO… #794… This one is for HC-7… During the nearly six years the squadron's Detachment 110 was on duty 24/7 at Yankee Station and the Gulf of Tonkin. The "Sea Devils" rescued 263 downed  Navy aviators, including 29 from North Vietnam and 33 from the jungles of Laos. In addition, the squadron picked up another 7 Air Force aviators from the North and about 53 others from the Gulf… This is the story of one of those rescues. 8 May 1968: Champion 406, LT DENNY LAWRENCE…
LT DENNIS A. LAWRENCE was flying an A-4E of the VA-56 Champions embarked in USS ENTERPRISE and leading a section on an armed reconnaissance mission in Route Pack II. The flight found and attacked a small convoy of trucks 12 miles south of Ha Tinh with pods of 2.75 rockets. As LT LAWRENCE pulled off from his first run and climbing through 3,500-feet he was hit by ground fire. The engine began losing power, began vibrating and erupted on fire. LT LAWRENCE was forced to eject about 20 miles inland from the Gulf of Tonkin. He was rescued by the crew of BIG MOTHER 70.
BIG MOTHER 70 was a SH-3A and was backed up by an UH-2A, also in the area. The BM70 crew utilized M-16 rifles, a M-60 machine gun and a M-79 grenade launcher for the 41 minutes ingress and pick-up and the 20 minute egress over very hostile territory. BM70 was piloted by LT GARY D. McCONNELL and LTJG JOHN W. NICHOLS III. The crew was ATN-2 JOHN R. CULLIVAN and AX-3 ALAN K. NOBLES.
AX-3 ALAN NOBLES:  "We received a SAR alert while on the North SAR ship and proceeded until feet dry to the area where the pilot was believed to be–the flight was long. I recall a lot of radio chatter from RESCAP while scanning the deep and thick jungle below. The downed pilot radioed that he could hear us, then that we were closer and closer. We slowed almost to a hover (all hell broke loose) at that time still looking when the downed pilot said we were being fired upon from the right side of the aircraft and to spray the area. As I lay down several hundred rounds, the downed pilot radioed that my shell casings were falling directly on him as we were now directly above him. (Helo pilot could not get his M-16 to operate, crewman showed him that the safety was on) I still had no visual; the downed pilot had left his pistol with tracers on the ship. Somehow, we had left without our forest penetrator so I attempted to lower the sling through the canopy, after a few tries it made it through the tall (150-200 feet) trees. I added a tiedown chain for added weight. At that point, I continued to lay down suppressive fire waiting for the downed pilot to radio that he was hooked up and ready to the hoist. Nothing. Still nothing. Finally, he yelled that he was ready to come up. Apparently, by other accounts he was pressing the wrong button instead of the transmit button. ATN2 CULLIVAN hoisted him up as I continued suppressive fire. When the downed pilot was clear of the canopy (tops of the trees), I told our pilot to get out of there."   (From: "Young Crewmen: 10-Feet Tall and Bullet Proof")…
FROM the MAY 1968 issue of "The Big E," the USS ENTERPRISE monthly newsletter edited by the fleet's number 1 Public Affairs Officer NED CONGER … the first person story of LT DENNY LAWRENCE, CHAMPION 406…
"THEY'RE EITHER GOING TO GET ME OR PICK ME UP"
ED: When he drove down to make a rocket attack on a North Vietnamese storage area May 8, LT. Dennis A. Lawrence, an A-4E Skyhawk pilot for VA56, had no idea that within the next thirty minutes he was going to be as close to death as any man would ever want to come. After he was safely back aboard the "Big E" he had an unnerving story to tell…
"When I pulled up the engine started chugging," he remembered. "I started to head for the beach, but soon I realized that I'd never make it. I was losing altitude, so I turned back toward the mountains. I was in a thirty degree bank when the engine flamed out"
"Another pilot was with Lawrence when he was hit and stayed over him until he was rescued. 'There was a flash of fire around the aft section of the plane just forward of the tail assembly. The tail was about to wrench off, so I told Denny to eject.'
"When the planes started down," continued Lawrence, "I was hanging in the straps, so I reached down and pulled the secondary ejection handle–that ejection is some kind of ride! I was doing cartwheels in the air, and then felt what I thought was the seat separating and then a jolt when the chute opened. The jungle canopy was about two-hundred feet beneath me. As I came into it my chute caught in a tree and banged me up against it. I was left hanging about five feet from the ground. I released myself and fell into a mud bank on the side of a steep hill I started up the side of the hill when I heard a chipping noise. I went a little further and lay down beside a tree and saw a little Vietnamese about three hundred yards away. All he had on was a light blue shirt with no sleeves, shorts, and he was swinging a machete. I only had my survival knife. He was on top of the hill and I could only make him out every so often through the trees. It looked like he was heading down to where my plane was. i waited until he was gone and followed a small dry creek bed leading up to the top of the mountain.
"About three-quarters of the way to the top. I ran into a little camp. There it was with a beautiful lean-to and a died-out fire in the middle of a ten foot clearing. Maybe it belonged to the little guy I had seen earlier. I do not know. I just made a beeline right through the camp and into the woods on the other side. There were high vines all about the trees and I kept getting caught up in them. I did not think I had a chance because I could not find an area where the helo could come to pick me up. Everywhere I looked all I could see was trees.
"I could hear the planes above me, but I couldn't see a thing. I gave myself about a five per cent chance of being picked up. All of a sudden, I saw the sun coming through a spot in the jungle. There was a little hole about fifteen feet in diameter. When I got to the clear area. I just sat down. I put my feet out, put my back against the tree and held my radio. I figured, 'Well this is as far as I am going. I'm in a clear area. They're either going to get me or pick me up.' The North Vietnamese were getting closer. I could hear them hacking at the jungle a short distance away. They would not talk, they just hacked. It sounded like they were whistling back and forth. It might have been a bird but I think now that it was them, because I would hear it from one direction and then the other. I thought, 'Oh God, I've had it.' Then about two minutes later, I heard the helo. I could see that it was the 'Big Mother" because of the long shadow that was rippling over the trees not far away. It came right over me going about 100-knots and I yelled through my radio, 'Hey, you got me. You are right over me!' Then I heard firing on top of the hill. They were shooting at the helo. When it came over a second time and started hovering I could hear the North Vietnamese start yelling. I asked the helo pilot if he had me in sight and I saw him nod his head, and I said, 'Open up with the machine guns and spray the area.' Empty shells began to fall all around me."
"They lowered the sling, and it kept getting caught in the trees. I kept telling the helo to come right. Finally, the sling came down and blew into another tree. I grabbed it, twisted it off the tree and pulled it to me. I kept slipping down the hill, trying to hook the sling up and dropping my radio. When I finally got hooked up it was about six feet away. I wanted the helo to raise me, and I was trying to wave to him, but he would not start the cable, so I tried to scramble up the hill to my radio but the helo kept pushing me down
"Finally got the radio and told him to pull me up but he still wouldn't. I was pressing the receive button and he couldn't hear me. It must have been a minute or so before I realized what I was doing and he started pulling me up. The sling was twisted around a tree, and I just sort of went around the tree and up through the branches. When I got above the trees, it sounded like guns were going off everywhere, and I was just cringing, waiting for a bullet to come plowing through me."
The rescue was successful. Lawrence was quickly flown back to the ship by the SAR helo."… FIFTY YEARS AGO THIS DAY…
Humble Host is beholden to RON MILAM, HC-7 Historian. who compiled the above…
LT GARY D. McCONNELL, USN, was awarded the SILVER STAR, and the other three members of the Big Mother 70 crew the DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS for their extraordinary guts and skill on this deep penetration pickup…    oohrah…
"SO THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE"
Lest we forget….    Bear
 
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Children of THE GREATEST GENERATION
Born in the 1930s and early 40s, we exist as a very special age cohort. We are the Silent Generation.
We are the smallest number of children born since the  early 1900s. We are the "last ones."
We are the last generation, climbing out of the depression, who can remember the winds of war and the impact of a world at war which rattled the structure of our daily lives for years.
We are the last to remember ration books for everything from gas to sugar to shoes to stoves.
We saved tin foil and poured fat into tin cans.
We saw cars up on blocks because tires weren't available.
We can remember milk being delivered to our house early in the morning and placed in the "milk box" on the porch.
We are the last to see the gold stars in the front windows of our grieving neighbors whose sons died in the War.
We saw the 'boys' home from the war, build their little houses.
We are the last generation who spent childhood without television; instead, we imagined what we heard on the radio.
As we all like to brag, with no TV, we spent our childhood "playing outside".
We did play outside, and we did play on our own.
There was no little league..
There was no city playground for kids.
The lack of television in our early years meant, for most of us, that we had little real understanding of what the world was like.
On Saturday afternoons, the movies gave us newsreels of the war sandwiched in between westerns and cartoons.
Telephones were one to a house, often shared (party lines) and hung on the wall.
Computers were called calculators, they only added and were hand cranked; typewriters were driven by pounding fingers, throwing the carriage, and changing the ribbon.
The 'internet' and 'GOOGLE' were words that did not exist.
Newspapers and magazines were written for adults and the news was broadcast on our table radio in the evening by Gabriel Heatter.
As we grew up, the country was exploding with growth.
The G.I. Bill gave returning veterans the means to get an education and spurred colleges to grow.
VA loans fanned a housing boom.
Pent up demand coupled with new installment payment plans put factories to work.
New highways would bring jobs and mobility.
The veterans joined civic clubs and became active in politics.
The radio network expanded from 3 stations to thousands of stations.
Our parents were suddenly free from the confines of the depression and the war, and they threw themselves into exploring opportunities they had never imagined.
We weren't neglected, but we weren't today's all-consuming family focus.
They were glad we played by ourselves until the street lights came on.
They were busy discovering the post war world.
We entered a world of overflowing plenty and opportunity; a world where we were welcomed.
We enjoyed a luxury; we felt secure in our future.
Depression poverty was deep rooted.
Polio was still a crippler.
The Korean War was a dark presage in the early 50s and by mid-decade school children were ducking under desks for Air-Raid training.
Russia built the "Iron Curtain" and  China became Red China.
Eisenhower sent the first 'advisers' to Vietnam.
Castro set up camp in Cuba  and Khrushchev came to power in Russia.
We are the last generation to experience an interlude when there were no threats to our homeland.
We came of age in the 40s and 50s. The war was over and the cold war, terrorism, "global warming", and perpetual economic insecurity had yet to haunt life with unease.
Only our generation can remember both a time of great war, and a time when our world was secure and full of bright promise and plenty. We have lived through both.
We grew up at the best possible time, a time when the world was getting better. not worse.
We are the Silent Generation - "The Last Ones"
Most of us are either retired or deceased.  We feel privileged to have "lived in the best of times"!
Thanks  to Ben .
 
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Item Number:1 Date: 05/08/2018 AFGHANISTAN - 17 KILLED IN BLAST AT MOSQUE IN KHOST PROVINCE (MAY 08/TN)  TOLONEWS -- A bombing at a mosque in eastern Afghanistan has killed 17 people and injured at least 33, reports Tolo News (Afghanistan).   An improvised explosive device placed inside the building in Khost province detonated during afternoon prayers on Sunday, reported Reuters.   The mosque was functioning as a voter registration center in the run up to elections that are scheduled for October.   Since the start of voter registration on April 14, there have been seven attacks on election-related facilities across Afghanistan.   There were no immediate claims of responsibility. The Taliban militant group has warned against taking part in the elections and conducted other attacks against voting centers.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 05/08/2018 AFGHANISTAN - TALIBAN SUSPECTED IN KIDNAPPING OF INDIAN NATIONALS IN NORTH (MAY 08/TI)  TIMES OF INDIA -- Seven Indian nationals employed by Indian power company KEC were working in the Bagh-e-Shamal area of Baghlan's provincial capital Pul-e-Khomr when they were abducted on Sunday, reports the Times of India.   The group, traveling with an Afghan national driver, was allegedly taken by Taliban gunmen.   Local police said that the Taliban told them that they were holding the Indian group. However, a Taliban spokesman told the Times that he did not have any information on the kidnapping.  
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Item Number:4 Date: 05/08/2018 FRANCE - PARIS MOVES FORWARD WITH ATTACK HELO UPGRADES, NEW ATTACK SUB (MAY 08/DEFAERO)  DEFENSE-AEROSPACE -- The French armed forces minister has announced plans to modernize army attack helicopters and order a fifth Suffren-class nuclear-powered attack submarine, reports defense-aerospace.com.   The development of the Mk 3 standard for Tiger attack helicopters is being conducted with Germany under a 2017 agreement. The mid-life update will enable the aircraft to operate beyond 2040 and integrate future combat systems, said the armed forces ministry.   The purchase of the fifth Suffren-class attack submarine is in accordance with the 2019-2025 military programming law that requires the navy to maintain six nuclear attack subs.   The Suffren class will replace the French navy's Rubis-class boats. The lead submarine in the class is scheduled to be commissioned later this year
Item Number:5 Date: 05/08/2018 GERMANY - PARIS, BERLIN CONFIRM SUPPORT FOR IRAN DEAL (MAY 08/DEWELLE)  DEUTSCHE WELLE -- Senior French and German officials have reiterated that their governments will remain in the Iran deal regardless of a U.S. decision to pull out, reports Deutsche Welle.   "We don't think there is any justifiable reason to pull out of this agreement and we continue to make the case for it to our American friends," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Monday in Berlin after meeting with his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian.   It is clear that the agreement makes the world safer and cancelling it would ratchet up the risk of escalation, the minister said.   Maas said that Germany would deal with the decision if the U.S. decides to extricate itself from the deal. Berlin will continue to abide by it, he said.   "We are determined to save this deal because this accord safeguards against nuclear proliferation and is the right way to stop Iran getting a nuclear weapon," said Le Drian.   Iranian president Hassan Rouhani welcomed the announcement, saying that "getting rid of America's mischievous presence will be fine for Iran."   The Iran deal, also known as the JCPOA, requires the U.S. president to waive sanctions on Iran every three months.   President Donald Trump says he will not extend the sanctions waivers when they expire on May 12, unless the European signatories fix unspecified "flaws" with the agreement, noted Reuters.   In recent weeks, European leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have visited Washington in an effort to encourage Trump to remain in the deal.   Trump has indicated that he will announce a decision on Tuesday. He is expected to pull out of the deal, reported CNN.  
  Item Number:6 Date: 05/08/2018 IRAN - NEW INDIGENOUS SUBS, DESTROYERS TO JOIN FLEET (MAY 08/FARS)  FARS NEWS AGENCY -- The Iranian navy chief has announced that "a number" of new destroyers and submarines will soon enter service, reports Iran's semi-official Fars news agency.   The advanced Sahand destroyer is scheduled to be launched in the near future, Rear Adm. Hossein Khanzadi said on Sunday. Various defense systems are currently being installed in the destroyer, the admiral said.   Iran's naval industry has also begun working on a follow-on destroyer to Sahand, named Shiraz. The Iranian navy also added the Separ missile-launching corvette, which joined the fleet on Dec. 4, 2017
Item Number:7 Date: 05/08/2018 IRAQ - ISIS CLAIMS ASSASSINATION OF IRAQI POLITICIAN; OFFICIALS BLAME FAMILY DISPUTE (MAY 08/NATIONAL)  THE NATIONAL -- The Islamic State terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the assassination of an Iraqi politician, reports the National (Abu Dhabi).   On Sunday, gunmen shot and killed Faruq Zarzur Al Jubouri in his hometown of Qayyarah, 43 miles (70 km) south of Mosul in northern Iraq.   In a statement released on the messaging application Telegram on Monday, the terror group claimed responsibility for the assassination, saying that Jubouri was killed because he was an "atheist."   The Sunni Muslim was a member of former vice president of Iyad Allawi's Iraqi National Accord party.   Al Jubouri was the fifth Iraqi member of Parliament to die ahead of elections on May 12. This was believed to be the first instance of ISIS killing an Iraqi lawmaker, noted the National.   Local officials rejected the claim by ISIS, saying Al Jubouri's 18-year-old son had confessed to killing the lawmaker during a quarrel, reported Agence France-Presse.   ISIS has threatened to attack polling stations ahead of the elections, which are the first since Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over the terror group in December 2017
  Item Number:8 Date: 05/08/2018 ISRAEL - AIR FORCE WARPLANES STRIKE INCENDIARY KITE LAUNCHING SITE IN GAZA (MAY 08/TOI)  TIMES OF ISRAEL -- The Israeli military has attacked a site in the northern Gaza Strip that it says was used as a staging area for flying kites outfitted with combustible material into Israel, reports the Times of Israel.   The Israeli military blamed the Hamas terrorist group for the kites, which resulted in Sunday's attack, reported the Jerusalem Post.   Kites carrying containers filled with fuel, frequently including charcoal and sugar to ensure a slow burn, have been flying from Gaza over the past few weeks. The goal is to start fires within Israel.   Several large fires have been ignited by the kites. One of these, which was started on May 2, spread through dozens of acres of grasslands and agricultural fields in the largest blaze since the kites began to be used, officials said.   The Hamas military wing said in a statement that the site was a border observation post and that there were no injuries in the attack, reported Agence France-Presse.   An Israeli military spokeswoman said that the strike had no connection to an explosion in central Gaza on Saturday that killed six Hamas fighters. Such unexplained blasts have previously been attributed to the accidental detonation of explosive materials.   Separately, on Sunday, the Israeli military shot and killed three Palestinians trying to sabotage a border fence and enter Israel from the southern Gaza strip, reported CNN
Item Number:9 Date: 05/08/2018 NIGERIA - ARMY FREES 1,000 FROM BOKO HARAM CAPTIVITY (MAY 08/VANGUARD)  VANGUARD -- The Nigerian military says it has released more than 1,000 people who were held by the Boko Haram terrorist group, reports the Vanguard (Abuja).   Troops from the army's 22 Brigade rescued the hostages in the northeastern Borno state with the help of the multinational task force, a military spokesman said on Monday.   Rescue operations were conducted in a series of villages in Bama, about 40 miles (65 km) southeast of Maiduguri, the capital of the Borno state, according to an army statement. No time frame was given.   Women and children made up the majority of those rescued. There were also some young men forcibly recruited into the group, the spokesman said.   The hostages were freed after a week-long fight with Boko Haram, during which at least 50 militants were killed, an army spokesman told CNN.   The operation is part of Operation Lafiya Dole, the Nigerian military operation against Boko Haram
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Item Number:11 Date: 05/08/2018 SYRIA - REBELS, FAMILY MEMBERS BEGIN LEAVING HAMA UNDER DEAL WITH RUSSIA (MAY 08/NA)  NEW ARAB -- Syrian rebels have begun evacuating besieged areas in the central Hama province as part of a deal reached with Russian negotiators last week, reports the New Arab (London).   On Monday, hundreds of fighters from the Free Syrian Army rebel group and their families began boarding buses in the southern part of the province.   As part of the agreement, fighters handed over heavy weaponry and abandoned rebel-held areas in the extreme northern and southern parts of Hama.   The initial convoy of 62 buses carried fighters to Jarablus, where Syrian rebels are backed by Turkish troops, noted China's official Xinhua news agency, citing state media.   At least 2,800 rebels and family members were included in this most recent deal, reported Al Masdar News, citing government sources.   The evacuations were expected to continue into Tuesday.   Rebels feared that further resistance would result in a humanitarian catastrophe, with sieges similar to those experienced by Aleppo in 2016 and Eastern Ghouta more recently.   The government of Bashar Assad has consolidated its control of the capital region, with the last remaining area out of its control limited to a section of the Yarmouk refugee camp held by the Islamic State terrorist group.  
Item Number:12 Date: 05/08/2018 UNITED KINGDOM - ROYAL NAVY ACCEPTS DELIVERY OF UNMANNED MINESWEEPER (MAY 08/UKMOD)  U.K. MINISTRY OF DEFENSE -- Atlas Elektronik UK has delivered an unmanned minesweeping system to the British Royal Navy, reports the U.K. Ministry of Defense.   The defense ministry selected the Atlas Remote Combined Influence Minesweeping System (ARCIMS) in 2015, ordering a prototype under a 12.6 million pound (US$16.6 million) contract.   The autonomous vessel can detect modern digital mines. The sweeper system features a sense-and-avoid capability and could operate with other autonomous systems to clear mines, the ministry said.   The project also aims to demonstrate an unmanned mine-clearing system, with the broader goal of creating a network for various autonomous systems to collaborate.   The system will now undertake additional Royal Navy trials, said the ministry release
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Item Number:14 Date: 05/08/2018 USA - NAVY MAKES PLANS FOR AERIAL DRONE SQUADRON (MAY 08/NTIMES)  NAVY TIMES -- The U.S. Navy has announced plans to establish a new unit devoted to unmanned aircraft, reports the Navy Times.   Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two Four (UX-24) will be established at Webster Outlying Field, Md., in October.   The unit will be responsible for the research, development, testing and support of Navy and Marine Corps unmanned aircraft systems.   The Navy's current unmanned aerial vehicle efforts are led by Naval Test Wing Atlantic at NAS Patuxent River, Md.   The expansion of the aerial drone field led the service to determine that it needed a command solely for unmanned aviation.   The move follows a similar decision in 2017, when the Navy established a squadron to oversee all unmanned submersible platforms
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Item Number:16 Date: 05/08/2018 YEMEN - 6 DIE IN COALITION STRIKE ON PALACE (MAY 08/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- At least six people have been killed and 30 wounded in strikes on the Yemeni presidential palace in Sanaa, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar).   On Monday, jets from the Saudi-led coalition attacked the building, located in the busy Tahrir neighborhood, reported Reuters.   At least two explosions were heard, witnesses told Agence France-Presse.   The attack killed "first and second rank" Houthi leadership, said a spokesman for the coalition fighting the rebel group.   Two Houthi leaders, including Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, were in the palace at the time, according to Sky News Arabia (Abu Dhabi). The television channel did not say if they were killed or injured in the attack.   The palace, which formerly housed the elected head of government, has been used by Houthi rebels as an administrative center, housing both civilian and military members of the group. 
 
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