Saturday, June 30, 2018

TheList 4757

The List 4757     TGB
To All,
I hope that you all have a great weekend.
This day in Naval History
June 29
1860—The steamer USS Mystic, commanded by William E. LeRoy, captures the slaver, Thomas Achorn at Kabenda, Africa and sends her to New York.
1862—During the Civil War, the steam sloop USS Susquehanna, commanded by Cmdr. R.B. Hitchcock, captures the blockade-running British steamer HMS Anna near Mobile, AL.
1871—Capt. Charles F. Hall's arctic expedition sails from New York on USS Polaris. Aiming for the North Pole, USS Polaris reaches 82° 11' N, 61° W. latitude, then the furthest point north reached by a vessel.
1950—USS Juneau (CLAA 119) and USS De Haven (DD 727) fire the first naval shore bombardment of the Korean War in the vicinity of Samchock, Korea.
June 30
1815—In the last naval action of the War of 1812, the sloop of war, USS Peacock, commanded by Capt. Lewis Warrington, comes across the British cruiser HMS Nautilus in the Straits of Sunda. The cruiser's crew informed Capt. Warrington of the Treaty of Ghent. Suspicious, he wants Nautilus to strike colors. Refusing to do so, Peacock broadsides her, killing or wounding 15. Boarding the vessel, Capt. Warrington discovers the treaty is true and releases HMS Nautilus and repairs the ship.
1942—USS Plunger (SS 179) sinks Japanese freighter No.5 Unkai Maru off the China coast near Shanghai.
1943—In Operation Toenails, Task Force 31, commanded by Rear Adm. Richmond K. Turner, lands the New Georgian Occupation Force, consisting of the U.S. Army's 172nd Infantry, 43rd Division on Rendova Island. Task Force 31 is supported by land-based aircraft and destroyer gunfire. The troops land without opposition.
1945—USS Baya (SS 318) and USS Capitaine (SS 336) attack the Japanese Makassar to Surabaya convoy MASU 705 and engage escorting submarine (Ch 5) and later sink cargo vessel Bandai Maru.
1951—A group of stranded Japanese soldiers who refuse to believe World War II ended in 1945, surrender to USS Cocopa (ATF 101) on Anatahan Island in the northern Marianas.
July 1
1801—Commodore Richard Dale's squadron arrives at Gibraltar for the protection of American interests and to strike at the Barbary Pirates in the Mediterranean. Squadron ships were USS President, USS Philadelphia, USS Essex, and USS Enterprise, arrive five days earlier.
1850—The Naval School at Annapolis, MD, is renamed the U.S. Naval Academy and adopts a four-year course of study. Also on this date, Commander Cornelius K. Stribling becomes the first Superintendent of the Naval Academy and serves until the fall of 1853.
1911—Designer Glenn Curtiss makes the first flight in the Navy's first aircraft, Curtiss A 1, at Lake Keuka, NY, and prepares Lt. Theodore G. Ellyson, the first Naval Aviator, for his two A 1 solo flights.
1918—USS Covington (No. 1409) is torpedoed by German submarine (U 86) and sinks the next day while in tow. Of the 776 onboard, all but six are saved.
1931—USS Constitution is re-commissioned after a four-year, nearly $1 million restoration.  On July 2nd, the ship and crew began a three-year, three-coast tour of the U.S., visiting 76 ports and hosting 4.6 million people; the tour, known as the "National Cruise," is intended to thank U.S. citizens who supported "Old Ironsides'" restoration.
1946—The atmospheric nuclear weapon test, Able, is detonated during Operation Crossroads at the Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands.
1972—Rear Adm. Samuel L. Gravely Jr., becomes the first African-American to achieve flag rank in the U.S. Navy.
1995—USS Whirlwind (PC 11) is commissioned in Memphis, TN. The 11th Cyclone-class patrol craft is currently homeported in Manama, Bahrain. 
Executive Summary:
In national news headlines today, media reports state that law enforcement officials have identified the man suspected of opening fire and killing at least five people in the newsroom of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md. Fleet Master Chief Russell Smith addressed the Navy's enlisted leadership in a written statement Thursday after temporarily assuming the duties of the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy. Stars and Stripes reports that the 25-nation RIMPAC exercise has begun. "This entire exercise is about nations cooperating for peace, stability, security and a free and open Indo-Pacific region," said Adm. John Aquilino, addressing reporters. Additionally, Under Secretary of the Navy Mr. Thomas Modly writes that our audit efforts go far beyond a financial exercise to assure the Congress we know how we are spending the taxpayers' money. Rather, it is a vital enterprise tool to enable our naval forces to execute America's maritime strategy in this century and beyond.
History June 29

Ferdinand III of Castile and Leon take Cordoba in Spain.

Massachusetts declares itself an independent commonwealth.

The British parliament passes the Townshend Revenue Act, levying taxes on America.

Union forces, falling back from Richmond, fight at the Battle of Savage's Station.

France annexes Tahiti.

Professor Frederick Treves performs the first appendectomy in England.

The British government officially protests Belgian atrocities in the Congo.

Russian troops intervene as riots erupt in ports all over the country, leaving many ships looted.

The Ukraine proclaims independence from Russia.

An earthquake ravages Santa Barbara, California.

Fascists in Rome add an hour to the work day in an economic efficiency measure.

Siam's army seizes Bangkok and announces an end to the absolute monarchy.

Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado, and Olympic National Park, Washington, are founded.

President Harry S. Truman authorizes a sea blockade of Korea.

The United States invites the Soviet Union to the Korean peace talks on a ship in Wonsan Harbor.

The Soviet Union sends tanks to Poznan, Poland, to put down anti-Communist demonstrations.

The U.S. Air Force bombs fuel storage facilities near Hanoi, North Vietnam.

Israel removes barricades, re-unifying Jerusalem.

U.S. troops pull out of Cambodia.

Israel invades Lebanon.
Thanks to THE General -
Robbie  Risner, recently mentioned in RT memories, prompted thoughts of an article I wrote following his funeral. See below.
He was one of the best.
Robbie Risner, R.I.P.
Charles G. Boyd
Though I had long known of Robbie Risner, fighter pilot extraordinaire, Korean War ace, first living recipient of the Air Force Cross recently featured on the cover of Time magazine, I did not actually know him. But when I heard his whispered voice under a rusty steel door in a prison cellblock called "Heartbreak Hotel," I knew instantly who it was, and I felt, at some mystical level, oddly comforted. Yesterday, standing beside his casket at Arlington National Cemetery to pay my final respects, though sad, I again felt comforted. There was something about this man's presence, even in death, that was reassuring.
James Robinson Risner was a man of humble origins, son of an Arkansas sharecropper, educated at secondary school level, not particularly ambitious, a common man save for two things: He could fly the hell out of an airplane; and, under terribly difficult circumstances as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, he rose to a level of heroic leadership matched by few men in American military history.
Raised in a religious family, Risner made his first critical life choice between attending Bible College or joining the Army Air Forces during World War II. When he passed the tough entrance exam for pilot training by one point, he took it as a vector from God, and his future aloft was set.
Flying came easily to the gifted trainee, which led to a coveted assignment flying fighters after graduation. But Robbie's repeated requests for combat duty were ignored by the Army's personnel system, and he spent the rest of the war defending the Panama Canal.
Postwar peace and return to civilian life brought mundane employment for Risner as an auto mechanic, a service station manager and a short stint running a service garage. What mattered to him was the chance to fly P-51s with the Oklahoma Air National Guard, a path that would continue leading toward his destiny.
It was the Korean War that put Robbie Risner's name on the map of aerial warriors of that era, and became what he described decades later as the most gratifying period of his life. He finagled his way out of his recalled Guard unit into a front line air combat Group equipped with the best aircraft of the period, and paid back the favor by shooting down 8 MIGs. He also pulled off other incredible feats of airmanship. He once pushed the damaged and fuel-starved plane of his wingman with the nose of his own aircraft out of hostile skies into friendly territory for a safe bailout. That is the stuff of which legends are made.
While the Korean War may have been Risner's favorite period, it was by no means the most consequential in the lives of others. It would take another war, and an extraordinary set of circumstances for that to occur.
As storm clouds gathered over Southeast Asia in 1964, Risner arrived in the region, as if on cue, to take command of a fighter-bomber squadron in preparation for the larger war nearly everyone saw coming. Air warfare over North Vietnam began in earnest in February 1965, and for Risner ended on September 16 of that same year. Between those dates he flew 55 combat missions wreaking havoc on targets the length and breadth of the country. He was shot down by ground fire once (but not captured), received the Air Force Cross and made the cover of Time. He became in the eyes of others in the business one of two things: the perfect role model, or just plain crazy. All, however, held him in awe.
Then, in the most unlikely circumstances, came true greatness. Sometimes in history a man emerges whom no one saw coming, one who rises to the awful challenge of crisis leadership when others are faltering, and provides exactly the right strength of character, calming influence, and credible guidance out of the morass. But first he must earn the respect and commitment of his subordinates by demonstrating a personal willingness to assume any risk, physical or moral, that he might later ask of his followers.
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was one such a man. A shy young professor with a speech impediment who taught modern languages at Bowdoin College before volunteering for Union service in the Civil War, who lacked even basic military knowledge. But he schooled himself quickly to a remarkable level of competency, helping to raise and later command the 20th Maine. Fate placed Chamberlain and the 20th Maine on Gettysburg's crucial high ground on July 2, 1863, ground that both sides needed for victory on the following day. Against long odds, the Maine regiment repelled multiple assaults by Confederate forces. Then, out of ammunition, with only bayonets left, a wounded Chamberlain with saber swinging inspired the counterattack that saved Little Round Top, making possible the next day's Union victory-and, eventually, victory in the war itself.
Ernest Shackleton also comes to mind. A competent British seaman with a taste for adventure, but with no prior demonstration of compelling leadership, Shackleton's handling of a disaster-ridden Antarctic expedition in the early 20th century unquestionably rises to a level of near-incredible leadership. With half of his expedition stranded on one side of the continent, and the other half imprisoned on a tiny barren island after their ship was crushed by massive ice convulsions, rescue seemed out of the question. Unwilling to give up or to let his crew do so, Shackleton set out in a 20-foot wooden life boat salvaged from the doomed mother ship across 800 miles of violent seas to a whaling station on South Georgia Island. Fifteen days later, after surviving hurricane force seas that sank a 500-ton ship in his vicinity, he reached his objective, then organized and led rescue operations to save his men in both locations.
Robinson Risner earned a place along side these and other unexpected giants of history. Following being shot down a second time and then captured, his arrival in the old French dungeons of Hanoi began the trial of his life, but also the leadership role that would be his legacy. It didn't take long for his captors to realize who they had, for they obviously read Time magazine, too. They told Risner there were only three people they would rather have as a captive: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara or Dean Rusk. For the next 7½ years Robbie absorbed levels of torture and abuse those three could likely never have grasped, let alone endured.
At the time of Robbie's capture there were 27 other Americans incarcerated in Hanoi, separated from each other, all doing their best to abide by the Code of Conduct for American Fighting Men. Once Risner determined that he was the Senior Ranking Office, he began to put structure and guidance into the POWs' lives, a sense of order and community, the very thing their captors were trying desperately to prevent. He would pay a terrible price for that leadership when the guards would catch him communicating, but they couldn't stop him. No matter how brutal the beatings, the next day he would be at it again.
In the early days he was generally held in that small cell block mentioned earlier, and since most new prisoners were held there temporarily, after initial interrogation and torture sessions, Risner used brief moments of guard absence to "induct" new men into his POW command. His message to me as I lay on the floor of my cell, straining to hear his every word, remain burned into my brain even now, almost 48 years later: He told me his name, and asked mine and my rank. Then he said: "You must learn the tap code, and here's how it works...memorize it, and practice it, it's vital." And he added: "Eat everything they give you, no matter how disgusting; it'll keep you alive. You've just been tortured, and that's not the end of it; resist to the limits of your sanity, or to permanent physical damage. You'll know when you get there." And he concluded: "And pray; if you haven't been, start. We're going to get through this, and I'll see you when it's over."
Later on as the POW organization grew, and prisoners were taken to other prisons throughout the country, Risner's guidance would expand and continue to spread. Always it would make sense, be crisp and to the point. It was never threatening, always gentle and optimistic, like a loving father giving guidance to his son. Yet all he did remained in a military framework, based on the core principle that we were fighting men with a code of honor that must be upheld.
Risner became the inspiration for all of us confused and scared young men in a very hostile environment. He was a guiding presence, a behavior yardstick, and he managed to achieve this without direct contact. He somehow conveyed in a bizarre, tap code communication system what was the right thing to do in order to survive with dignity and honor. None of us quite measured up to his standard, most likely. But there is no doubt in my mind that every last one of us stood taller in his shadow, tougher in our resistance, and came home better men as a result.
May God bless you Robbie Risner, and may you rest in peace.
Published on: January 24, 2014
Charles G. Boyd (Gen. USAF-Ret.), POW, 22 April 1966 - 12 Feb. 1973
Thanks to Carl
(What a way to go is an understatement!!  At 81, probably the number 1 preferred way to go out—years earlier would have been number 2!!)
Heart Attack While Hang-gliding, My Father Just Checked Out While Soaring the Skies Thousands of Feet High
Posted by Erin Elizabeth | Jun 29, 2018

My father, Bill, just shy of his 81st birthday, was one of the most experienced hang-glider pilots for 40 long years. Though he had flown around the world, Dad was flying high above his home town of Chicago for about an hour, when he appears to have had a cardiac event/arrest (according to coroner's initial findings), and his dear friend and buddies, flying up there in nearby hang-gliders (and coroner), felt that he'd already passed over in the air, well before his faithful hang-glider carried his body slowly and gently back to planet earth. There's no motor on these babies, and once he passed over, he was no longer flying his hang-glider, but his glider flew his body back to us.
He ascended while he descended, if you catch my drift…
The glider did what the news said were "slow lazy circles" and landed in a soybean field (probably GMO), but better than a highway, a house, or country road; no one was harmed, and Dad was already soaring home long before he reached the ground, which brings us all comfort.
Heck, even friends and family said what a way to go…
As someone said to me today; Bill was a hero to so many hang-glider pilots still soaring those skies and jumping off mountains in his eighties, but now, after pulling this off? Now he'll be a legend.
With our thanks to THE Bear at  
Thanks to  Rick
Thoughts worth pondering
This is without question the best advice you are going to get today. Maybe for the year!
Whether we wear a $300 or $30 watch - - - they both tell the same time.
Whether we carry a $300 or $30 wallet/handbag - - - the amount of money inside is the same.
Whether we drink a bottle of $300 or $30 or $3 wine - - - the hangover is the same.
Whether the house we live in is 300 or 3,000 or 30,000 sq. ft. - - - the loneliness is the same.
And we realize our true inner happiness does not come from the material things of this world.
Whether we fly first or economy class, if the plane goes down - - - we go down with it. Whether we fly first or economy class, if the plane reaches its destination - - - everyone arrives at the same time.
Therefore . . . we should realize that when we have mates, buddies and old friends, brothers and sisters, with whom we can chat, laugh, talk, sing, talk about north-south-east-west or heaven and earth -- that is true happiness!
Six Undeniable Facts of Life
1. Don't educate your children to be rich. Educate them to be happy, so when they grow up they will know the value of things, not the price.
2. Best wise words: "Eat your food as your medicines. Otherwise you have to eat medicines as your food."
3. The one who loves you will never leave you because, even if there are 100 reasons to give up, he or she will find one reason to hold on.
4. There is a big difference between a human being and being human. Only a few folks really understand that.
5. You are loved when you are born. You will be loved when you die. In between, you have to manage!
6. If you just want to walk fast, walk alone; but, if you want to walk far, walk together!
Six Best Doctors in the World
1. Sunlight
2. Rest
3. Exercise
4. Diet
5. Self Confidence
6. Friends

And, finally:

The nicest place to be is in someone's thoughts, the safest place to be is in someone's prayers,
and the very best place to be the hands of God.
  Item Number:11 Date: 06/29/2018 RUSSIA - DRAWDOWN OF FORCES FROM SYRIA CONTINUES, SAYS PUTIN (JUN 29/TASS)  TASS -- The Russian government says it has withdrawn more than 20 aircraft and 1,000 military personnel from Syria, reports Russia's Tass news agency.   "Over the past several days, 13 planes, 14 helicopters and 1,140 personnel have been pulled out," Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.   The drawdown was a continuation of that begun in December 2017, he noted during a speech to recent military academy graduates at the Kremlin.   In a statement, the Russian military confirmed the withdrawal of two Ka-52 Alligator helicopters, reported Agence France-Presse.   The Admiral Grigorovich-class frigate Admiral Essen is also returning to its home port of Sevastopol, having completed its mission in the Mediterranean, the Black Sea Fleet said on Thursday.   The drawdown comes as Russian ally Syria increases pressure on rebel groups in the southwest. The area had been protected under a cease-fire agreement between Jordan, Russia and the U.S. Washington has said it will not enforce it and Moscow has resumed airstrikes in the region.   Russian air support and strikes have been crucial in the Syrian government's ground advances.    
Item Number:14 Date: 06/29/2018 USA - JOINT AIR-TO-GROUND MISSILE APPROVED FOR LOW-RATE PRODUCTION (JUN 29/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- Lockheed Martin has been authorized to launch low-rate production for the Army's newest air-to-ground missile, reports Defense News.   The Defense Acquisition Board has approved the Joint Air-To-Ground Missile (JAGM) for low-rate production, Lockheed said in a release on Wednesday.   Under the initial production phase, Lockheed is slated to deliver 2,631 missiles, Army program officials told the newspaper.   During testing, the JAGM demonstrated more than 95 percent reliability. Initial problems, such as cyber vulnerabilities, missed targets and live warhead failures, have been corrected.   The JAGM, featuring a new dual-mode seeker and guidance system, is expected to replace the Lockheed Hellfire missiles.   The semi-active laser and millimeter-wave radar sensors enable the weapon to hit stationary and moving targets on land or sea in bad weather or obscured conditions.   The missile has been qualified to fire from the AH-64E Apache and the AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters. It is expected to be qualified with a number of additional platforms, including unmanned aerial vehicles.   The army expects to declare initial operational capability in early 2019.   Operational testing in support of full-rate production will begin in fiscal 2019, with a production decision review to follow between March and September 2020.  
  Item Number:15 Date: 06/29/2018 USA - LAWMAKERS MULLING $1 BILLION MISSILE DEFENSE RADAR IN HAWAII (JUN 29/SPUTNIK)  SPUTNIK -- The U.S. military is considering installing a missile defense radar system in Hawaii, reports Russia's Sputnik news agency.   The $1 billion system would detect and identify any warheads on long-range ballistic missiles fired from North Korea and headed toward Hawaii and other U.S. states, said officials on Tuesday. The system can differentiate between warheads and decoys.   The system would relay targeting data to ground-based interceptors (GBI) stationed in Alaska that could shoot down the missiles.   The radar would be 30 feet to 50 feet (9 m to 15 m) wide and 60 feet to 80 feet (18 m to 24 m) tall.   The military is considering two possible locations for the radar on the north shore of Oahu.   Lawmakers have authorized a $61 million budget for planning, but have not yet allocated funding for construction.   The move is in response to North Korean missile and nuclear weapon improvements, experts said.  
  Item Number:16 Date: 06/29/2018 USA - PENTAGON AWARDS PAIR OF CONTRACTS FOR BUNKER-BUSTER WARHEADS (JUN 29/DOD)  DEPT. OF DEFENSE -- The U.S. Dept. of Defense has announced two contracts for the production of BLU-137/B penetrator warheads.   Superior Forge and Steel Corp., Lima, Ohio, and A. Finkl & Sons Co., Chicago, Ill., were each awarded an indefinite/delivery, indefinite-quantity contract to produce 300 bomb bodies during the first year, with options for up to 3,500 bomb bodies over the following four years, said a Pentagon release on Wednesday.   The contract with Superior Forge and Steel has a maximum potential value of $477 million, while the deal with A. Finkl & Sons has a maximum value of $420 million.   Work on both contracts is expected to be completed by May 3, 2020.   The BLU-137/B is set to replace the Air Force's BLU-109/B bunker-buster bomb. The warhead is only compatible with a modified Joint Direct Attack Munition GPS guidance kit, including a new tail assembly, reported the War Zone last year.

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