Monday, February 19, 2018

Fw: TheList 4659

The List 4659
To All
I hope that you all had a great weekend.
This Day In Naval History – February 19, 2018
Feb. 19
1900—President William McKinley signs an Executive Order placing Tutuila (Samoa) and nearby islands under the Navy Department.
1942—The Japanese attack Darwin, Australia in the largest attack by a foreign power on that country. USS Peary (DD 226), as well as an Army transport and freighter sink in the raid, as well as a number of Australian and British vessels.
1942—The overnight Battle of Badoeng Strait begins when the allied naval force (ABDA) commanded by Dutch Rear Adm. W.F.M. Doorman engaged the Japanese in an attempt to stop the invasion force in Bali. USS Stewart (DE 238) is damaged.
1945—Following pre-invasion naval gunfire and aerial bombardment, U.S. Marines land on Iwo Jima, securing the island on March 16. Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz describes the invasion, from which 27 Medals of Honor are given, as one "where uncommon valor was a common virtue."
February 19
The revolt of Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, against King Henry IV, ends with his defeat and death at Bramham Moor.
Philip V of Spain makes his ceremonial entry into Madrid.
Vice President Aaron Burr is arrested in Alabama for treason. He is later found innocent.
Rescuers finally reach the ill-fated Donner Party in the Sierras.
Russian Tsar Alexander II abolishes serfdom.
Smallpox vaccination becomes obligatory in France.
The Austria-Hungary government decrees a mandatory two year military service.
British and French warships begin their attacks on the Turkish forts at the mouth of the Dardenelles, in an abortive expedition to seize the straits of Gallipoli.
American troops are recalled from the Mexican border.
The First Pan African Congress meets in Paris, France.
President Calvin Coolidge proposes the phasing out of inheritance tax.
Dr. Lane of Princeton estimates the earth's age at one billion years.
Port Darwin, on the northern coast of Australia, is bombed by the Japanese.
The U.S. Eighth Air Force and Royal Air Force begin "Big Week," a series of heavy bomber attacks against German aircraft production facilities.
Fourteen Vietnam War protesters are arrested for blocking the United Nations' doors in New York.
Robert F. Kennedy suggests the United States offer the Vietcong a role in governing South Vietnam.
Britain slashes welfare spending.
The U.S. State Department calls El Salvador a "textbook case" of a Communist plot.
New York Governor Mario Cuomo declares that he will not run for president in the next election.
The note on the history above did not seem adequate to describe what the
Marines did on Iwo Jima 73 years ago so I got more of the story from
Seamus' "All Hands"
Also remember that having that island and airfields saved thousands of air
crew who were flying missions to Japan and used it as an emergency field.
The Marine invasion of Iwo Jima (1st US attack on the Japanese Home
Islands) began on February 19, 1945.  It was known as Operation Detachment.
 The Marines were charged with the mission of capturing the airfields on
the island which up until that time had harried U.S. bombing missions to
Tokyo.  Once the bases were secured, they could then be used in the
impending invasion of the Japanese mainland.
B-24 Liberators flying from the Marianna's bombed the island for 74 days
prior to the invasion.  Naval ships consisting of 6 battleships, 5 cruisers
and many destroyers of Task Force 54 provided a 3 day pre-landing
bombardment.  Intelligence sources estimated that the island would fall in
a week's time.  Unfortunately, no one knew at the time that island had been
heavily fortified.  There were vast bunkers, hidden artillery and 11 miles
of interconnecting tunnels.
The battle produced some of the fiercest fighting in the Pacific Campaign
of WWII.  Besides the fortifications, the inhospitable terrain consisting
of volcanic ash made walking difficult and building foxholes for protection
impossible.  Night raids by the Japanese and hand-to-hand combat were
common occurrences.  The bunkers were connected to the tunnels in such a
way that even after the use of flamethrowers and grenades, the Japanese
soldiers were able to return to the bunkers and resume their fighting.  The
Marines literally won the 8 square mile island, inch by bloody inch.
Of the approximate 20,000 Japanese troops on the island, less than 1,000
were taken prisoner.  Most Japanese fought to the death or chose ritual
suicide instead of surrendering.
Of the 110,000 Marines and Navy Corpsman who took part in the battle, 6,821
were killed (this included over 300 Navy Corpsman) and 19,217 were wounded.
 The number of American casualties were greater than the total Allied
casualties at the Battle of Normandy on D-Day.
On March 26, 1945, the island of Iwo Jima was declared secure ... 37 days
after the battle began.  Henceforth, Iwo Jima would appear on the list in
Marine Corps history alongside such places as Belleau Woods, Chosin
Reservoir and Guadalcanal.
Twenty-seven Medal of Honor medals were awarded for actions during the
battle.  Of these, 14 were awarded posthumously.  Marines earned 22 of the
medals, Navy Corpsman earned 4 and a Naval officer from the USS LCI won the
other.  Of the total number of Medal of Honor medals awarded to Marines in
WWII, 27% of those were awarded to the Marines who fought on Iwo Jima.
By their victory, the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine Divisions and other units of
the Fifth Amphibious Corps have made an accounting to their country which
only history will be able to value fully.  Among the Americans who served
on Iwo Island, uncommon valor was a common virtue.   Admiral Chester W.
Nimitz, U.S. Navy
From the List archives
Thanks to Chuck
By Allen Ostrom
They could hear it before they could see it! Not all that unusual in those days as the personnel at Station 131 gathered around the tower and scattered hardstands to await the return of the B-17's sent out earlier that morning. First comes the far off rumble and drone of the Cyclones. Then a spec on the East Anglia horizon. Soon a small cluster indicating the lead squadron. Finally, the group. Then the counting. 1-2-3-4-5... But that would have been normal.
Today was different! It was too early for the group to return. "They're 20 minutes early. Can't be the 398th." They could hear it before they could see it! Something was coming home. But what?
All eyes turned toward the northeast, aligning with the main runway, each ground guy and stood-down airman straining to make out this "wail of a Banshee," as one called it. Not like a single B-17 with its characteristic deep roar of the engines blended with four thrashing propellers. This was a howl! Like a powerful wind blowing into a huge whistle. Then it came into view. It WAS a B-17!
Low and pointing her nose at the 6,000 foot runway, it appeared for all the world to be crawling toward the earth, screaming in protest. No need for the red flares. All who saw this Fort knew there was death aboard. "Look at that nose!" they said as all eyes stared in amazement as this single, shattered remnant of a once beautiful airplane glided in for an unrealistic "hot" landing. She took all the runway as the "Banshee" noise finally abated, and came to an inglorious stop in the mud just beyond the concrete runway.
Men and machines raced to the now silent and lonely aircraft. The ambulance and medical staff were there first. The fire truck... ground and air personnel... jeeps, truck, bikes... Out came one of the crew members from the waist door, then another. Strangely quiet. The scene was almost weird. Men stood by as if in shock, not knowing whether to sing or cry. Either would have been acceptable. The medics quietly made their way to the nose by way of the waist door as the remainder of the crew began exiting. And to answer the obvious question, "what happened?"
"What happened?" was easy to see. The nose was a scene of utter destruction. It was as though some giant aerial can opener had peeled the nose like an orange, relocating shreds of metal, plexiglas, wires and tubes on the cockpit windshield and even up to the top turret. The left cheek gun hung limp, like a broken arm. One man pointed to the crease in chin turret. No mistaking that mark! A German 88 anti-aircraft shell had exploded in the lap of the togglier. This would be George Abbott of Mt. Labanon, PA. He had been a waist gunner before training to take over the bombardier's role.
Still in the cockpit, physically and emotionally exhausted, were pilot Larry deLancey and co-pilot Phil Stahlman. Navigator Ray LeDoux finally tapped deLancey on the shoulder and suggested they get out. Engineer turret gunner Ben Ruckel already had made his way to the waist was exiting along with radio operator Wendell Reed, ball turret gunner Al Albro, waist gunner Russell Lachman and tail gunner Herbert Guild. Stahlman was flying his last scheduled mission as a replacement for regular co-pilot, Grady Cumbie. The latter had been hospitalized the day before with an ear problem. Lachman was also a "sub," filling in for Abbott in the waist.
DeLancey made it as far as the end of the runway, where he sat down with knees drawn up, arms crossed and head down. The ordeal was over, and now the drama was beginning a mental re-play. Then a strange scene took place. Group CO Col. Frank P. Hunter had arrived after viewing the landing from the tower and was about to approach DeLancey. He was physically restrained by flight surgeon Dr. Robert Sweet. "Colonel, that young man doesn't want to talk now. When he is ready you can talk to him, but for now leave him alone."
Sweet handed pills out to each crew member and told them to go to their huts and sleep. No dramatics, no cameras, no interviews. The crew would depart the next day for "flak leave" to shake off the stress. And then be expected back early in November. (Just in time to resume "normal" activities on a mission to Merseburg!)
Mission No. 98 from Nuthampstead had begun at 0400 that morning of October 15, 1944. It would be Cologne (again), led by CA pilots Robert Templeman of the 602nd, Frank Schofield of the 601st and Charles Khourie of the 603rd.
Tragedy and death appeared quickly and early that day. Templeman and pilot Bill Scott got the 602nd off at the scheduled 0630 hour, but at approximately 0645 Khouri and pilot Bill Meyran and their entire crew crashed on takeoff in the town of Anstey. All were killed. Schofield and Harold Stallcup followed successfully with the 601st, with DeLancey flying on their left wing in the lead element.
The ride to the target was routine, until the flak started becoming "unroutinely" accurate. "We were going through heavy flak on the bomb run," remembered DeLancey. "I felt the plane begin to lift as the bombs were dropped, then all of a sudden we were rocked by a violent explosion. My first thought - 'a bomb exploded in the bomb bay' - was immediately discarded as the top of the nose section peeled back over the cockpit blocking the forward view."
"It seemed like the whole world exploded in front of us," added Stahlman. "The instrument panel all but disintegrated and layers of quilted batting exploded in a million pieces. It was like a momentary snowstorm in the cockpit." It had been a direct hit in the nose. Killed instantly was the togglier, Abbott. Navigator LeDoux, only three feet behind Abbott, was knocked unconscious for a moment, but was miraculously was alive. Although stunned and bleeding, LeDoux made his way to the cockpit to find the two pilots struggling to maintain control of an airplane that by all rights should have been in its death plunge. LeDoux said there was nothing anyone could do for Abbott, while Ruckel opened the door to the bomb bay and signaled to the four crewman in the radio room that all was OK - for the time being.
The blast had torn away the top and much of the sides of the nose, depositing enough of the metal on the windshield to make it difficult for either of the pilots to see. "The instrument panel was torn loose and all the flight instruments were inoperative with the exception of the magnetic compass mounted in the panel above the windshield. And its accuracy was questionable. The radio and intercom were gone, the oxygen lines broken, and there was a ruptured hydraulic line under my rudder pedals," said DeLancey. All this complicated by the sub-zero temperature at 27,000 feet blasting into the cockpit.
"It was apparent that the damage was severe enough that we could not continue to fly in formation or at high altitude. My first concern was to avoid the other aircraft in the formation, and to get clear of the other planes in case we had to bail out. We eased out of formation, and at the same time removed our oxygen masks as they were collapsing on our faces as the tanks were empty." At this point the formation continued on its prescribed course for home - a long, slow turn southeast of Cologne and finally westward. DeLancey and Stahlman turned left, descending rapidly and hoping, they were heading west. (And also, not into the gun sights of German fighters.) Without maps and navigation aids, they had difficulty getting a fix. By this time they were down to 2,000 feet. "We finally agreed that we were over Belgium and were flying in a southwesterly direction," said the pilot.
"About this time a pair of P-51's showed up and flew a loose formation on us across Belgium. I often wondered what they thought as they looked at the mess up front." "We hit the coast right along the Belgium-Holland border, a bit farther north than we had estimated. Ray said we were just south of Walcheren Island." Still in an area of ground fighting, the plane received some small arms fire. This gesture was returned in kind by Albro, shooting from one of the waist guns. "We might have tried for one of the airfields in France, but having no maps this also was questionable. Besides, the controls and engines seemed to be OK, so I made the decision to try for home."
"Once over England, LeDoux soon picked up landmarks and gave me course corrections taking us directly to Nuthampstead. It was just a great bit of navigation. Ray just stood there on the flight deck and gave us the headings from memory." Nearing the field, Stahlman let the landing gear down. That was an assurance. But a check of the hydraulic pump sent another spray of oil to the cockpit floor. Probably no brakes! Nevertheless, a flare from Ruckel's pistol had to announce the "ready or not" landing. No "downwind leg" and "final approach" this time. Straight in! "The landing was strictly by guess and feel," said DeLancey. "Without instruments, I suspect I came in a little hot. Also, I had to lean to the left to see straight ahead. The landing was satisfactory, and I had sufficient braking to slow the plane down some. However, as I neared the taxiway, I could feel the brakes getting 'soft'.
I felt that losing control and blocking the taxiway would cause more problems than leaving the plane at the end of the runway." That consideration was for the rest of the group. Soon three squadrons of B-17's would be returning, and they didn't need a derelict airplane blocking the way to their respective hardstands.
Stahlman, supremely thankful that his career with the 398th had come to an end, soon returned home and in due course became a captain with Eastern Airlines. Retired in 1984, Stahlman said his final Eastern flight "was a bit more routine" than the one 40 years before.
DeLancey and LeDoux received decorations on December 11, 1944 for their parts in the October 15 drama. DeLancey was awarded the Silver Star for his "miraculous feat of flying skill and ability" on behalf of General Doolittle, CO of the Eighth Air Force. LeDoux for his "extraordinary navigation skill", received the Distinguished Flying Cross.
The photos below show the extensive damage to this crew's B-17

They must have had help from above to make it back to their base.
Thanks to Chuck
The last shot is incredible!
Check these wild ones out!
Thanks to John
This might possibly be the most amazing card trick you have EVER seen!  It was developed by the magician after the terrorist attacks in France.   Supposedly, he did this in front of Penn and Teller on TV and they just shook their heads in disbelief.  This is a truly must watch.
Item Number:1 Date: 02/19/2018 CHINA - IMAGES SHOW FIERY CROSS REEF MAY BE CHINESE INTEL/COMMUNICATIONS HUB (FEB 19/SCMP)  SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST -- China appears to be turning an artificial island in a contested area of the South China Sea into a base for intelligence operations, reports the South China Morning Post, citing the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C.   On Friday, the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at CSIS published their analysis of photos of the northeastern corner of Fiery Cross Reef. The reef is one of seven in the Spratly's that Beijing has turned into an island.   Based on photos released by the Philippine Daily Inquirer earlier this month, the think tank said that the Chinese government has built large air and naval bases on the island.   China denies accusations that it is militarizing the region.   At the northern end of the base, there appears to a 1.8-mile (3-km) runway, said the analysts. Hangars at the airbase could accommodate up to 24 combat aircraft.   Construction on the island also suggests the deployment of radar. The large communications and sensor array on Fiery Cross that was completed in 2017 suggests that it "might be serving as a signals intelligence or communications hub for Chinese forces in the area," the report says.   The move shows that China intends to exercise effective administrative control in the region, analysts said
  Item Number:4 Date: 02/19/2018 IRAN - TEHRAN STEPS UP CONFRONTATION WITH ISRAEL (FEB 19/NBC)  NBC NEWS -- A shift from covert to open conflict with Israel suggests that Tehran feels strong enough to confront and provoke its adversary, according to analysts cited by NBC News.   Clashes earlier this month involving an Iranian drone launched from Syria, followed by Israeli airstrikes, during which one of its F-16s was shot down, could signal an increased period of conflict.   Fighting between Iran and Israel has so far taken place under the radar or through proxies, such as the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.   Iran, Israel and Syria are likely to continue to test each other's boundaries as they each try to "define the rules of the new game," said Ofer Zalzberg, a Jerusalem-based analyst with the International Crisis Group.   The latest escalation demonstrates how the conflict in Syria has evolved into a broader contest among regional powers, said experts.   Efforts to test boundaries, such as Iran's drone flight, will be strongly answered by Israel, which aims to deter Tehran, said Meir Javedanfar, a professor of Iranian politics at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel.   Meanwhile, Syria has warned of "more surprises" if Israeli forces make additional incursions into its territory
Item Number:5 Date: 02/19/2018 IRAQ - WIVES OF SLAIN ISIS FIGHTERS SENTENCED UNDER ANTI-TERRORISM LAW (FEB 19/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- Twelve widows of slain fighters from the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS) have been sentenced in an Iraqi court, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar).   The Baghdad court handed down the sentences on Feb. 18. All were found guilty under Iraq's anti-terrorism law for committing, inciting, planning, financing or conspiring in acts of terrorism, as well as for entering the country illegally.   One woman, a Turk who admitted that she willingly traveled to Iraq to live in ISIS territory, was sentenced to death. The remaining 11 were given sentences of life imprisonment.   The other defendants claimed they tricked or forced to travel to Iraq.   The women, whose ages range from 20 to 50, mostly hailed from Turkey, with one Azeri woman. All were captured in the Iraqi cities of Mosul and Tal Afar after their husbands were killed fighting the government, reported Al Jazeera.   The women have one month to lodge an appeal, reported Agence France-Presse
Item Number:6 Date: 02/19/2018 MEXICO - MILITARY HELICOPTER CRASHES WHILE ASSESSING EARTHQUAKE DAMAGE. KILLING 14 (FEB 19/LAT)  LOS ANGELES TIMES -- At least 14 people were killed when a Mexican military helicopter crashed in the southern state of Oaxaca, reports the Los Angeles Times.   The UH-60 Black Hawk was surveying damage from an earthquake when it crashed on Feb. 16, reported Agence France-Presse. The 7.2 magnitude quake was centered in the state.   The Black Hawk was carrying Mexico's interior secretary and the state governor.   Those onboard survived, but 14 people on the ground were killed. At least 21 others were injured. Quake survivors had gathered in a field to spend the night away from damaged homes vulnerable to aftershocks.   The pilot was attempting to land nearby when he lost control about 100 feet above the ground, said Interior Secretary Alfonso Navarrete. The helicopter crashed directly onto several vehicles full of earthquake survivors, officials said
  Item Number:9 Date: 02/19/2018 NIGERIA - TRIPLE SUICIDE BOMBING IN NORTHERN MARKET KILLS 20 (FEB 19/NYT)  NEW YORK TIMES -- A coordinated suicide bombing at a market in northern Nigeria has killed at least 20 people, reports the New York Times.   Three suicide bombers launched the assault on Friday on the crowded fish market in Konduga, outside of Maiduguri, the largest city in the northeastern Borno state. The attackers were reportedly all female.   The victims were mostly women and children. More than 20 people were injured in the attacks.   There were no immediate claims of responsibility. The Boko Haram terrorist group is active in the region.   The attack occurred one day after the army placed a US$8,340 bounty on Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the group, reported the Daily Post (Nigeria).  
Item Number:10 Date: 02/19/2018 PHILIPPINES - POLICE NAB ALLEGED ISIS RECRUITER (FEB 19/PDI)  PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER -- Philippine security forces say they have arrested a foreign commander with the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group, reports the Philippine Daily Inquirer.   Fehmi Lassoued, a Tunisian, and Anabel Salipada, his Filipina girlfriend, were arrested in Manila near the U.S. Embassy last week, Philippine National Police Director General Ronald Dela Rosa said on Monday.   The pair were arrested on weapon and explosive charges, noted the Washington Post.   Their links to the group are now being investigated, Dela Rosa said. Lassoued is believed to have worked as a recruiter for ISIS, reported Reuters.   Lassoued is also believed to have been involved with an ISIS-linked group that occupied the southern city of Marawi last year, said police.   An unnamed foreign intelligence ally tipped off security forces to Lassoued's identity and activities, said Dela Rosa.   The accused is believed to have lived in Syria for several years. He reportedly entered the Philippines in 2016 on a false Tunisian passport
  Item Number:11 Date: 02/19/2018 RUSSIA - ISIS CLAIMS DEADLY ATTACK AT CHURCH IN DAGESTAN (FEB 19/TASS)  TASS -- A shooting at a church in Russia's Dagestan region killed at least five people and injured five others, reports Russia's official Tass news agency.   The gunman, armed with a hunting rifle, opened fire as parishioners were leaving the church on Sunday evening in the town of Kizlyar, near the border with Chechnya.   The Russian Investigative Committee's directorate for Dagestan identified the shooter as a 22-year-old local resident.   The attacker, who was not previously known to authorities, was shot dead by police when they arrived. Two officers were injured.   The attack was claimed by the Islamic State terrorist group through its Amaq news agency, reported the New York Times.   In 2015, ISIS said it set up a "franchise" in the region and has since claimed a number of attacks on police in Dagestan
  Item Number:12 Date: 02/19/2018 RUSSIA - MIG-35 PASSES FACTORY TRIALS (FEB 19/TASS)  TASS -- The MiG Aircraft Corp. in Russia says it has completed factory testing of the MiG-35 fighter jet, reports Russia's Tass news agency.   The trials, completed in December 2017, evaluated the aircraft's onboard radio-electronic equipment, sight and navigation equipment, radar, engines and other systems.   The MiG-35 can employ the full range of existing and future Russian and foreign weapons, said MiG officials.   The Russian Defense Ministry has plans to acquire MiG-35s under its arms program through 2020. A contract with the Russian air force might be finalized this year, said the officials
  Item Number:13 Date: 02/19/2018 SYRIA - TWO MAJOR REBEL GROUPS ANNOUNCE MERGER (FEB 19/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Two of the Syrian opposition's largest factions have announced a merger to head off a potential conflict with rival Al-Qaida affiliates, reports Agence France-Presse.   Ahrar al-Sham and the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement announced the formation of the Syrian Liberation Front on Sunday.   Ahrar al Sham commander Hassan Soufan will lead the group. Tawfiq Shahabuddin, the commander of the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement, will serve as deputy leader.   In a statement, the new group urged others fighting the Syrian government to follow their lead and join their ranks. The factions are broadly considered to be religiously hardline but not jihadist. They have a strong presence in northern Syria, along the border between the Aleppo and Idlib provinces.   The move is an attempt to form a viable alternative to the Al-Qaida-affiliated Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, which dominates much of northern Syria, analysts said
  Item Number:14 Date: 02/19/2018 TURKEY - 2 KILLED IN TRAINER PLANE CRASH (FEB 19/HUR)  HURRIYET -- Two Turkish air force personnel have been killed in a trainer crash in the western Izmir province, reports the Hurriyet Daily News (Istanbul).   The SF-260D trainer aircraft went down on Friday shortly after taking off from the Cigly/Izmir 2nd Main Jet Base, said a military statement.   The wreckage of the aircraft and the bodies of the two crewmembers were found about 2 miles (3 km) north of the airport, said the statement.   An investigation has been launched into the incident
  Item Number:16 Date: 02/19/2018 USA - NAVY ORDERS ADDITIONAL ELECTRONIC WARFARE SYSTEMS FROM GENERAL DYNAMICS (FEB 19/DOD)  DEPT. OF DEFENSE -- The Naval Sea Systems Command has awarded General Dynamics Mission Systems, Fairfax, Va., a contract for electronic warfare systems for surface ships, reports the Dept. of Defense.   The $12 million deal exercises options for Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block 1B3 full-rate production systems.   The system offers enhanced shipboard electronic warfare for early detection, analysis, threat-warning and protection from anti-ship missiles, said a Pentagon release on Feb. 15.   Work under the contract is scheduled to be completed by October 2019.

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