Friday, January 11, 2019

TheList 4898

The List 4898 TGB
To All,
I hope that your week has started well.
. This Day In Naval History
Jan. 8
1863—During the Civil War, the screw steam gunboats Sagamore and Tahoma capture blockade running ships with cargo of salt and cotton in Florida.
1945—Task Group 17.21, led by Cmdr. Charles E. Loughlin coordinates a submarine attack against a Japanese convoy off northwest coast of Formosa, sinking two freighters and a tanker and damaging three other ships.
1945—During the continuing Japanese aerial kamikaze attacks on the Lingayen Gulf invasion force, escort carriers Kitkun Bay (CVE 71) and Kadashan Bay (CVE 76) are damaged, as well as USS Callaway (APA-35).
1963—Destroyer Benjamin Stoddert (DDG 22) is launched. A veteran of the Vietnam War, she is decommissioned in Dec. 1991.
1983—Fast Attack Submarine USS City of Corpus Christi (SSN 705) is commissioned.
1994—Fast Attack Submarine USS Santa Fe (SSN 763) is commissioned.
Thanks to CHINFO
Executive Summary:
Today's top national headlines include an expected address to the nation tonight by President Trump regarding a wall at the U.S. southern border, the continued government shutdown, and the President's ability to declare a national emergency in order to fund construction of the wall. USS Fort McHenry visited the Romanian port Constanta in the Black Sea on Monday while the Russian frigate RFS Pytlivy 808 monitored the McHenry's movements reports USNI News. "USS Fort McHenry's transit into the Black Sea reaffirms our collective resolve to Black Sea security and enhances our strong relationships with our NATO allies and partners in the region," said Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti. USNI News also reports that an Indian Navy UH-3H helicopter landed on USS Anchorage in late December, marking the first such cross-decking between the U.S. and Indian navies. Additionally, the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) is disseminating videos, brochures, and other informative materials to help the private sector guard against growing threats from foreign intelligence entities and other adversaries.
Today in History January 8

The Treaty of Radzin ends a five year war between the Turks and the allied countries of Russia and Poland.

England, Austria, Saxony and the Netherlands form an alliance against Russia.

A rag-tag army under Andrew Jackson defeats the British on the fields of Chalmette in the Battle of New Orleans.

Prussian troops begin to bombard Paris during the Franco-Prussian War.

A coal mine explosion kills 100 in McAlister, Oklahoma.

The Boers attack the British in Ladysmith, South Africa, but are turned back.

A subway line opens linking the New York boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Great Britain begins rationing sugar, meat and butter.

President Harry S. Truman vows to stand by the Yalta accord on self-determination for the Balkans.

President Dwight Eisenhower proposes stripping convicted Communists of their U.S. citizenship.

President John F. Kennedy attends the unveiling of the Mona Lisa.

Ella T. Grasso becomes Governor of Connecticut, the first female governor in the US who did not come into office by succeeding her husband.

The United States advises the Shah to leave Iran.

AT&T agrees to divest 22 subdivisions as part of an antitrust agreement.

Valeri Polyakov, a Russian cosmonaut leaves earth, bound for the Mir space station; he will spend a record 437 days in space.

US President George W. Bush signs into law the No Child Left Behind Act, intended to improve America's educational system.

The largest passenger ship in history, the RMS Queen Mary 2, is christened by Queen Elizabeth II, granddaughter of Queen Mary.

An attempted assassination of Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords is part of a shooting spree in which Jared Lee Loughner kills 6 and wounds 13.
In answer to the CIA story yesterday
FROM A 30 year CIA veteran
Much of the alleged CIA stuff about Air America is complete and utter stuff.  Half the guys flying as contract pilots for the outfit had vivid imaginations.  Yes, there were a few of our actual employees as well as subsequent employees on the rolls but nothing like the stuff of which the rumours are made.  As for the corporate board takeovers briefly referenced, that is total and compete rubbish.  Suffice it to say that a few of us on your mailing are actual 30 year plus Agency senior officer retirees and we were actually at a level that we know what was real and what was not.
Thanks to Shadow …
I watched the film and once again was reminded of our friend, Col. John Verdi. The Marine Corps is famous for its' "characters". We seemed to be more tolerant of larger than life personalities than our sister services; Verdi is right up there as the most enigmatic, brilliant and dogmatic human being I have ever known. And I've known quite a few over my lifetime.
I first met Verdi when he was the Wing Safety Officer. He came down to the squadron one day to talk to me about my total gyro failure I had on a night cat shot. I thought it unusual for a full bird to be so curious with the heart stopper of a young Captain. The reason was the same thing happened to him after takeoff from Glenview. It was later that I got to know him so much better.
When Jim "Black" Lucas and I had Black Shadow Aviation… as Jim was retiring as the C.O. of MATSG at Cecil Field… we decided to take a little nostalgia tour back to Meridian where we first met, then down to Pensacola where our aviation careers began and back to Jacksonville. Before we left Black mentioned Verdi was now living outside Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Proposed we drop in on him on our way to Meridian and say hello. Jim knew Verdi better than I did and had kept up with him. I said it was O.K. with me and he called John to let him know we'd be coming by. It was a re-introduction to one of the most intriguing personalities I have ever known and a man we were both proud to call "Friend". John would spend a lot of time with us over the coming years.
What prompted this is the film starts out with the precursor of "Air America" and that was "CAT Airlines"… the CIA owned Airline in the 50's. The film pretty much describes the missions of this not so famous piece of aviation history. Verdi was recruited by CAT after his tour as an F9F pilot with the Marines in Korea, flying over 100 missions. He was in VMF-311 with Ted Williams and John Glenn and was a check pilot for both of them when they joined the squadron. Verdi was one of the CAT pilots flying missions into Dien Bien Phu in support of the beleaguered French Garrison surrounded there. At first they actually landed their C-119 Boxcars on a dirt strip, later as the Viet Minh surrounded the area with anti-aircraft emplacements, they resorted to air drops to re-supply the French. The film mentions the legendary "Earthquake McGoon" (James B. McGovern)… McGoon was shot down during an air drop over the French Fort. Verdi was on his wing and followed him down to the crash.
Black and I could tell a hundred stories about Verdi… from the leaflet drop over Hainan Airfield after the Chinese shot down an unarmed A-1 when it strayed into their ADIZ after leaving Cubi, enroute to Ranger (I believe). Incredible feat! But my favorite story involved Dien Bien Phu.
While they were still landing at the small airfield inside the perimeter… Verdi was approached by the French Commander. Seems they'd accumulated so many Viet Minh POW's, they were becoming a problem. He asked John if he could fly some out to Haiphong or Vinh? John asked how many and the Colonel said about 75 if possible? Verdi thought about it for a minute and said he would do it on two conditions. First he wanted a couple of armed guards and then he wanted the prisoners chained to three pallets… 25 to each. He also told the Colonel he wanted the rear clam shell doors removed from his plane and he'd pick them back up on his next trip.
Now Dien Bien Phu was surrounded by high ground… with a fairly high mountain range between it and the coast. The Colonel asked John, "Why the pallets… why not just chain them to the bulkheads in the plane". Verdi took the Colonel and pointed out the mountains between them and Haiphong and explained to him in blunt terms… "With that load if we lose an engine right after takeoff… there's no way we can clear those mountains… I plan to jettison the appropriate number of pallets to get us down to a weight where we can make it over the tops". The French commander was incredulous! "Surely you're joking… that's inhumane"? John looked at him and point blank told him there weren't enough Viet Minh in the world worth his life or that of his crew… "Damn right I'll jettison them! Can't clear the mountain if I don't".
First time John told the story he laughed and said… "Not even the Frogs would buy that"!   He took off empty.
John was probably the most memorable human being I've ever known… to this day I think about him all the time.
I case  you missed it and have 45 minutes to watch
More great history
Thanks to the Naval History and Heritage Command
H-Gram 024: Operation Cherryblossom: Victory in the Solomon Islands, November 1943 
27 December 2018 

Dawn on USS Saratoga's (CV-3) flight deck, during preparations for the air strike on Rabaul, 5 November 1943 (80-G-470943).
By the end of November 1943, U.S. and Allied forces were on the offensive against the Japanese in the southwest and central Pacific along three axes of attack.
In New Guinea, Allied forces under the command of General Douglas MacArthur, supported by the U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet, had completed the protracted capture of Salamaua and Lae, and were commencing a series of advances westward along the northern coast of New Guinea with the objective of reaching the Philippines to fulfill MacArthur's 1942 promise that he would return. (I will cover the New Guinea campaign in a future H-gram.)
In the Central Pacific, Admiral Chester Nimitz and the U.S. Fifth Fleet (under the command of Vice Admiral Raymond Spruance) commenced the drive for the Marianas and Japan by capturing Tarawa and Makin in the Gilbert Islands chain, in an operation code-named Galvanic. The bloody battle of Tarawa, and the high price the U.S. Marines paid to capture it (just over 1,000 killed) proved to be controversial at the time and in the years since, with a continuing debate over whether the atoll's capture was necessary or worth the cost. What is less well known was the high price the U.S. Navy paid for Galvanic, with the loss of the escort carrier Liscome Bay (CVE-56) with over 640 of her crew killed, including Rear Admiral Henry Mullinex and Mess Attendant 1st Class Doris Miller (the first African American to be awarded a Navy Cross, for his actions during the attack on Pearl Harbor). A turret explosion onboard the battleship Mississippi (BB-41) claimed the lives of 43 sailors. An additional 40 sailors were lost on the submarine Sculpin (SS-191), in which Captain John P. Cromwell chose to go down with the boat in order to keep his knowledge of "Ultra" intelligence from the Japanese. Cromwell was awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor. Fighter pilot Lieutenant Commander Edward "Butch" O'Hare, previously awarded a Medal of Honor, was lost in a night action over the Gilberts. (I will cover Operation Galvanic in detail in H-Gram 025.)
The third axis of attack, and the subject of this H-gram, was the culmination of the advance through the Solomon Islands chain by forces under the command of Admiral William F. Halsey, commander, U.S. Third Fleet: Operation Cherryblossom, the U.S. landings on Bougainville, the northernmost major island in the Solomons. This operation would bring land-based Allied airpower within 200 miles of the key Japanese stronghold of Rabaul, setting the stage for its subsequent encirclement and isolation.
Key (or at least interesting) events covered in H-gram attachment H-024-1 include:
The last combat operations by future President John F. Kennedy in extracting a force of U.S. Marines (including future three-star Victor Krulak) from a diversionary attack on the island of Choiseul.
The landings at Cape Torokina, Empress Augusta Bay, Bougainville, on 1 November 1943 by 14,000 U.S. Marines and over 400 U.S. Navy Seabees, including Carpenter Samuel J. Cox (my grandfather) and the immediate Japanese air counter-attacks.
The Battle of Empress Augusta Bay on the night of 1–2 November, in which a force of four U.S. light cruisers and eight destroyers under the command of Rear Admiral "Tip" Merrill defeated a Japanese force of two heavy cruisers, two light cruisers, and six destroyers. These were unsuccessfully attempting to attack the U.S. invasion force and replicate the Japanese success at the Battle of Savo Island during the landings at Guadalcanal in August 1942. This time, thanks to better use of radar, the use of combat information centers, improved tactics, and experience, the Japanese force was driven away with the loss of one light cruiser and one destroyer in exchange for one U.S. destroyer badly damaged. Vastly improved U.S. shipboard anti-aircraft capability decimated a major Japanese air strike the next morning.
The first U.S. carrier air strikes against Rabaul, on 5 November 1943. In response to the landings at Bougainville, the Japanese immediately deployed a powerful force of seven heavy cruisers to Rabaul, with the intent of attacking the U.S. beachhead, and for which the U.S. had no surface capability to match. Halsey boldly ordered the carriers Saratoga (CV-3) and Princeton (CVL-23) to attack the Japanese force in the harbor at Rabaul, by far the most heavily defended installation to be attacked by U.S. Navy carrier aircraft to that date in the war. The extremely audacious strike accomplished the objective of putting as many of the Japanese cruisers out of action as possible—all were damaged, four severely—rather than trying to sink some of them, forcing the cancellation of the Japanese operation and the withdrawal of their ships. This was carried out with astonishingly light casualties, thanks to innovative tactics and the introduction of the new F6F Hellcat fighter into major combat operations. This relatively unheralded attack is actually one of the most amazing in the history of U.S. naval aviation.
In the "First Air Battle of Guadalcanal," a large Japanese air counter-attack against the U.S. carriers following the strike on Rabaul instead struck a U.S. force of two amphibious craft and a PT-boat, which fought valiantly and escaped largely unscathed, downing several Japanese aircraft. The Japanese claimed a great, but imaginary, victory. The PT-boat skipper received a memorable congratulatory note from Rear Admiral Wilkinson, Third Fleet amphibious force commander) that concluded with "Fireplug Sprinkles Dog."
Second U.S. carrier strike on Rabaul on 11 November 1943. Saratoga and Princeton, joined by a second carrier group with the new Essex-class carriers Essex (CV-9) and Bunker Hill (CV-17) plus the light carrier Independence (CVL-22), launched a second massive strike on Rabaul. Poor weather, delay, and lack of targets made this attack less effective than the first one. Noteworthy was the combat debut of the new SB2C-1 Helldiver dive bomber, which performed very well. The Japanese countered with one of the largest anti-carrier strikes of the war, which achieved virtually nothing thanks to the new Hellcats (and F-4U Corsairs, temporarily embarked on Bunker Hill), and new U.S. shipboard radar and anti-aircraft defenses.
Following the carrier strikes on Rabaul, the Japanese were still able to conduct fairly large-scale air attacks against U.S. ships bringing reinforcements and supplies to Bougainville. These air attacks were mostly noteworthy for extravagant claims compared to minimal results, and heavy Japanese aircraft losses. Several U.S. cruisers were damaged in these attacks, and the fast destroyer transport McKean (DD-90/APD-5) was sunk with a significant number of her crew and Marine passengers. McKean had been the sole survivor of Transport Division 12, which had sustained the Marines ashore on Guadalcanal during the darkest days after the Battle of Savo Island in August 1942.
Battle of Cape St. George, 25 November 1943. A force of five U.S. destroyers, under the command of Captain (and future CNO) Arleigh Burke, engaged a force of five Japanese destroyers in a night action between Bougainville and Rabaul. With effective use of radar, combat information centers, and new and innovative tactics, Burke's destroyers sank three of the Japanese destroyers and damaged a fourth without receiving a single hit in return, and without losing a single man. This was the last major surface action of the Solomon Islands campaign that had begun with the landings at Guadalcanal, and was the culmination of an extremely bitter and ferocious contest between the U.S. Navy and the Imperial Japanese navy for control of the Solomons, during which losses were extremely high, and extraordinary valor was abundant—on both sides. In the end, though, the U.S. Navy could replace losses and the Japanese could not. New U.S. Cleveland-class light cruisers, Fletcher-class destroyers, Hellcats, Corsairs, new radars, combat information centers, new tactics, all coupled with hard-won experience, outclassed and overpowered the enemy
I will have the follow on to this in tomorrow's List
Thanks to Mud
    I'm putting you on to a good book, The Spy and the Traitor, by Ben Macintyre.  It is a great espionage story of the Cold War during the 1970's and 80's.  It is interesting and exciting; you won't want to put it down.  It involves a Russian who probably saved us from World War III.  This history will have you wondering what is going on today within MI6, KGB, PET, and the CIA.
Do you feel a draft? Israeli pilots land F-15 after canopy flies off
The new year isn't even a week old, but two Israeli airmen may have already pulled off the aviation feat of 2019.
Haaretz reported Monday that the pair of aviators from Israel's air force got a rude surprise on Jan. 2, when without warning, the canopy flew off their F-15. They were at 30,000 feet on a routine training mission, and had just taken off from the Tel Nof air base in central Israel, the Jerusalem Post reported.
The pilot and navigator were suddenly plunged into whipping winds, deafening noise and well-below freezing temperatures of minus 45 degrees Celsius, or minus 49 degrees Fahrenheit. Audio released by the Israel Defense Force, and posted by Haaretz, captures the sound of the canopy breaking off and the airmen's shouts before they quickly check on one another.
Yelling over the roar of the wind, the pilot, identified as Capt. Y, decided to try for an emergency landing at the nearest military airfield, Nevatim air base, instead of bailing out of the damaged fighter. The navigator, 1st Lt. R., is heard suggesting the pilot bring the speed down to 200 knots.
THANKS TO Mud and Tony
Might want to ad Chicago to the list?  TF

Subject: US State Dept -- Travel Advisories
    If you or someone you know is planning to do some traveling in the near future, you might want to send them this.  The travel map shown in the bottom site is particularly interesting.
- Mud
Where Have All The Real Combat Pilots Gone?
thanks to Ben 
Sad commentary!!!!
I wouldn't last 2 weeks in today's Navy
Rules were made to be broken, bars were built to be drained every night and refilled for the next day
The Beloved B Pat Schroder of Colorado 
Nixed the Clubs and drinking alcohol after the 
Tail Hook convention back in the last century  

Where Have All The Real Combat Pilots Gone?

Beginning with McNamara the powers that be decided to run the Air Force like an 8 to 5 business. Warrior leaders of General LeMay's stature were no longer to be found. The fundamental job of the military, "kill people and break things", became seriously hampered by "rules of engagement" whose guiding logic is political, not successful combat. I agree with the author. If and when the US military is defeated, it will be running the best Day Care centers in the world.

We used to go to the Officers Club or NCO Club Stag Bar on Friday afternoons to drink, smoke and swap lies with our comrades. Think about this when you read the rest of the letter below.

What happened to our Air Force/Marines/Army/Navy (our Military)?

Drinking then became frowned on. Smoking caused cancer and could "harm you." Stag bars became seen as 'sexist'. Gradually, our men quit patronizing their clubs because what happened in the club became fodder for a performance report. It was the same thing at the Airman's Club and the NCO and/or Top 3 clubs. Now we don't have separate clubs for the ranks.  (What ever happened to "familiarity breeds contempt"?)

Instead we have something called All Ranks Clubs or community clubs. They're open to men and women of all ranks from airman basic to general officer. Still, no one is there. Gee, I wonder why. The latest brilliant thought out of Washington is that the operators ("pilots?") flying remotely piloted aircraft in combat areas from their plush desk at duty stations in Nevada or Arizona should draw the same combat pay as those real world pilots actually on board a plane in a hostile environment.
More politically correct logic?

They say that RPV operators are subject to the same stress levels as the combat pilot actually flying in combat. ----- REALLY? you're bull-shi&&ing me?

Now that I've primed you a little, read on.

There are many who will agree with these sentiments, but they apply to more than just fighter pilots. Unfortunately, the ones with the guts to speak up or push for what they believe in are beaten down by the "system."

Where have all the real combat pilots gone?

Good Question.

Here is a rant from a retired fighter pilot that is worth reading:

It is rumored that our current Secretary of Defense recently asked the question, "Where are all the dynamic leaders like the one's of the past?" I can only assume, if that is true, that he was referring to Robin Olds, Jimmy Doolittle, Patton, Ike, Boyington, Nimitz, etc.?

Well, I've got the answer:

They were fired before they made major!

Our nation doesn't want those kinds of leaders anymore. Squadron commanders don't run squadrons and wing commanders don't run wings. They are managed by higher ranking dildos with other esoteric goals in mind.

Can you imagine someone today looking for a LEADER to execute that Doolittle Raid and suggesting that it be given to a dare-devil boozer - his only attributes: He had the respect of his men, an awesome ability to fly, and the organizational skills to put it all together?

If someone told me there was a chance in hell of selecting that man today, I would tell them they were either a liar or dumber than sh&&.

I find it ironic that the Air Force put Brigadier General Robin Olds on the cover of the company rag one month.

While it made me extremely proud to see his face, he wouldn't make it across any base in America (or overseas) without ten enlisted folks telling him to zip up his flight suit, get rid of the cigarette, and shave his mustache off.

I have a feeling that his response would be predictable and for that crime he would probably get a trip home and an Article 15. We have lost the war on rugged individualism and that, unfortunately, is what real pilots want to follow; not because they have to but because they respect leaders of that ilk. We've all run across that leader that made us proud to follow him because you wanted to be like him and make a difference. The individual who you would drag your testicles through glass for rather than disappoint him.

We better wake the hell up! We're asking our young men and women to go to really shi&&y places; some with unbearable climates, never have a drink, have little or no contact with the opposite sex, not look at magazines of a suggestive nature of any type, and adhere to ridiculous regs that require you to tuck your shirt into your PT uniform on the way to the porta-shi&&er at night, in a blinding dust storm, because it's a uniform.

These people we're sending to combat are some of the brightest I've met but they are looking for a little sanity, which they will only find on the outside if we don't get a friggin' clue. You can't continue asking people to live for months or years at a time acting like nuns and priests. Hell, even they get to have a beer.

Who are we afraid of offending? The guys that already hate us enough to strap C-4 to their own bodies and walk into a crowd of us? Think about it.

I'm extremely proud of our young men and women who continue to serve.

I'm also very in tune with what they are considering for the future and I've got news for whoever sits in the White House, Congress, and our so-called military leaders. Much talent has and will continue to hemorrhage from our services, because wanna-be warriors are tired of fighting on two fronts - - one with our enemies, another against our lack of common sense.

Take it or leave it - that's just the way it is, no. ifs, ands, or buts.


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