Wednesday, March 11, 2020

The List 5237

The List 5237 TGB

To All,

A lot of history and some tidbits.



Today in Naval History

March 11

1778—During the American Revolution, the Continental frigate Boston captures the British ship Martha in the North Atlantic.

1941—President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease Act, which permits delivery of war materials to Allied Powers on credit or lease.

1942—Lt. John Bulkeley, commander of Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 3, helps Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Rear Adm. Francis W. Rockwell, as well as their families and others, escape the Philippines in motor torpedo boats PT 32, PT 34, PT 35, and PT 41. For this action, along with other operations in the Philippines during the start of World War II, he receives the Medal of Honor.

1945—The U.S. Navy begins use of LCVPs (Landing Craft, Personal Vehicles) to ferry troops across the Rhine River at Bad Neuenahr, Germany.

1845—George Bancroft takes office as the 17th Secretary of the Navy. Although he serves in that position only 18 months, he establishes the Naval Academy at Annapolis and encourages the growth and importance of the Naval Observatory.

1965—Operation Market Time (Coastal Patrol Force) patrols begin off the South Vietnam coast. The objective is to interdict enemy efforts moving supplies to South Vietnam by sea.

Thanks to CHINFO

Executive Summary:

• A civilian employee of the Navy at the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery’s Falls Church campus tested positive for COVID-19, reports Navy Times.

• Multiple outlets report that the Pentagon identified two Marines killed in Iraq on Sunday as Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Diego D. Pongo and Capt. Moises A. Navas.

• The Associated Press reports the Chinese Communist Party is waging a global Propaganda campaign to promote president Xi Jinping’s leadership of China’s Coronavirus outbreak.

This day in World History

We have a history expert in the List, Received this from Rattler yesterday after 5236 went out. The first time in 5236 issues of the List that someone found an error in the history notes I get from the “ëxperts”


Caesar crossed the Rubicon on 10 January 49 BC.

Just sayin,


0537 The Goths lay siege to Rome.

1649 The peace of Rueil is signed between the Frondeurs (rebels) and the French government.

1665 A new legal code is approved for the Dutch and English towns, guaranteeing religious observances unhindered.

1702 The Daily Courant, the first regular English newspaper is published.

1810The Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte is married by proxy to Archduchess Marie Louise.

1811 Ned Ludd leads a group of workers in a wild protest against mechanization.

1824 The U.S. War Department creates the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Seneca Indian Ely Parker becomes the first Indian to lead the Bureau.

1845 Seven hundred Maoris led by their chief, Hone-Heke, burn the small town of Kororareka in protest at the settlement of Maoriland by Europeans, in breach with the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi.

1861 A Confederate Convention is held in Montgomery, Ala., where the new constitution is adopted.

1863 Union troops under General Ulysess S. Grant give up their preparations to take Vicksburg after failing to pass Fort Pemberton, north of Vicksburg.

1865 Union General William Sherman and his forces occupy Fayetteville, N.C.

1888 A disastrous blizzard hits the northeastern United States. Some 400 people die, mainly from exposure.

1900 British Prime Minister Lord Salisbury rejects the peace overtures offered from Boer leader Paul Kruger.

1905 The Parisian subway is officially inaugurated.

1907 President Teddy Roosevelt induces California to revoke its anti-Japanese legislation.


First cases reported in deadly Spanish flu pandemic

1930 President Howard Taft becomes the first U.S. president to be buried in the National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.

1935 The German Air Force becomes an official organ of the Reich.

1941 President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorizes the Lend-Lease Act which authorizes the act of giving war supplies to the Allies.

1942 General Douglas MacArthur leaves Bataan for Australia.

1965 The American navy begins inspecting Vietnamese junks in hopes of ending arms smuggling to the South.

1966 Three men are convicted of the murder of Malcolm X.

1969 Levi-Strauss starts to sell bell-bottomed jeans.

1973 An FBI agent is shot at Wounded Knee in South Dakota.

1985 Mikhail Gorbachev is named the new Soviet leader.

1990 Lithuania declares its independence from the Soviet Union.


Executive Summary:

In today's news, US-Taliban talks end with progress, but no breakthrough according to the New York Times. In Venezuela, Secretary Pompeo pulls the remaining diplomats from the region. In Navy-related news, USNI News reported that the DON's $205.6 billion proposed budget seeks to push for lethal but “attributable” unmanned systems, and artificial intelligence to gain an edge against high-end rivals while trimming ships that do not meet great power competition demands. In the PACFLT AOR, 7th Fleet announced that the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), British Royal Navy and U.S. Navy will conduct their second trilateral anti-submarine warfare exercise this week, according to the Diplomat.

Today in History March 13


St. Felix begins his reign as Catholic Pope.


The 12th recorded passage of Halley's Comet occurs.


Hernando Cortez lands in what will become Mexico.


A statute is passed limiting the sale of slaves in the colony of Virginia.


Congress orders its European envoys to appeal to high-ranking foreign officers to send troops to reinforce the American army.


Astronomer William Herschel discovers the planet Uranus, which he names 'Georgium Sidus,' in honor of King George III.


Eli Whitney patents the cotton gin.


Jefferson Davis signs a bill authorizing slaves to be used as soldiers for the Confederacy.


The U.S. Senate begins the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson.


Czar Alexander II is assassinated when a bomb is thrown at him near his palace.


The Germans repel a British Expeditionary Force attack at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle in France.


Women are scheduled to march in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York due to a shortage of men.


A three-thousand-year-old archive is found in Jerusalem confirming biblical history.


Finland capitulates conditionally to Soviet terms, but maintains its independence.


Hitler issues an edict calling for an invasion of the Soviet Union.


Julia Flikke of the Nurse Corps becomes the first woman colonel in the U.S. Army.


Japanese forces end their attack on the American troops on Hill 700 in Bougainville.


Israel demands $1.5 billion in German reparations for the cost of caring for war refugees.


The FBI arrests Jimmy Hoffa on bribery charges.


China invites Soviet Premiere Nikita Khrushchev to visit Beijing.


Cambodia orders Hanoi and Viet Cong troops to get out.


The U.S. Senate votes 54-33 to restore the death penalty.


Arab nations decide to end the oil embargo on the United States.


The United States plans to send 15 Green Berets to El Salvador as military advisors.


Upon the death of Konstantin Chernenko, Mikhail Gorbachev becomes the new leader of the Soviet Union.


Exxon pays $1 billion in fines and costs for the clean-up of the Alaskan oil spill.




Japan’s Little-Known Second Surprise Attack on Hawaii.

Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor was a huge triumph for the Japanese Navy that nearly wiped out the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s battleships and most of Oahu’s air defenses. Just three months later, Japan planned another bombing raid on Hawaii using its newest long-range aircraft, the “flying boat” Kawanishi H8K. Soon after the attacks, Japanese war planners realized they had missed critical targets such as the shipyards, maintenance ships, and fuel reserve facilities. When America used the virtually untouched facilities to mobilize, the Japanese hoped to stymie the salvage effort with Operation K—a bombing raid using the H8K. “The H8Ks, with a 124-foot wingspan and a top speed of nearly 300 mph, took off from Wotje Atoll in the Marshall Islands on March 3 and set down in the calm waters of French Frigate Shoals about 560 miles northwest of Honolulu. There they were refueled by two waiting submarines. They then flew in the dark toward Oahu, each plane carrying four 550-pound bombs.” To find out what happened, read the article in the Stars & Stripes. Also read the blog The Plan to Attack Pearl Harbor—Again by Daniel Garas at The Sextant.



Military Milestones from Guilford Courthouse to Iraq by W. Thomas Smith Jr.


This Week in American Military History:

Mar. 14, 1951: United Nations forces under the command of U.S. Army Gen.

Matthew B. Ridgeway recapture Seoul, Korea.

Mar. 15, 1781: British Army forces under the command of Lt. Gen. Charles Cornwallis march toward a pyrrhic victory over Continental Army and militia forces commanded by Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Greene at Guilford Courthouse (near present-day Greensboro), N.C.

Once engaged, the two armies fight for less than two hours. Tactically, it ends in a victory for Cornwallis, who drives Greene’s forces from the field. But British losses are heavy.

Cornwallis will purportedly say, “I never saw such fighting since God made me. The Americans fought like demons.” When word of Guilford Courthouse reaches London, Parliamentarian Charles James Fox will declare: “Another such victory would ruin the British army!”

Cornwallis’ entire army will surrender to the combined American-French forces of Generals George Washington and Comte de Rochambeau at Yorktown, Virginia, Oct. 19, almost seven months to the day after Guilford Courthouse.

Mar. 15, 1916: As World War I rages in Europe, a U.S. Army expeditionary force under the command of Gen. John J. “Black Jack” Pershing crosses into Mexico in pursuit of the bandit, Pancho Villa.

Though Villa will not be captured (he will be assassinated in 1923), the expedition will serve as both a proving ground for new American weapons systems and a combat-campaign prep school for many of the officers and men destined for European fighting in 1918.

Pershing – nicknamed “Black Jack” because of his command of black soldiers in the late 19th century – will ultimately command the American Expeditionary Force in World War I.

Mar. 16, 1802: Pres. Thomas Jefferson signs into law the establishment of a corps of engineers, which “shall be stationed at West Point in the State of New York and shall constitute a Military Academy.” The United States Military Academy is born.

George Washington, Henry Knox, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and others “desiring to eliminate America's wartime reliance on foreign engineers and artillerists, [had] urged the creation of an institution devoted to the arts and sciences of warfare,” according to the official West Point website.

Mar. 16, 1945: Though Japanese resistance will continue for several more days, Iwo Jima is declared secure.

The following day, Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, commander-in-chief of the U.S.

Pacific Fleet, will issue his now-famous communiqué:

“The battle of Iwo [Jima] Island has been won. The United States Marines by their individual and collective courage have conquered a base which is as necessary to us in our continuing forward movement toward final victory as it was vital to the enemy in staving off ultimate defeat. … Among the Americans who served on Iwo Island, uncommon valor was a common virtue.”

Mar. 17, 1776: British forces under the command of Gen. Sir William Howe begin evacuating Boston after Howe reluctantly concludes that the American artillery positions atop Boston’s commanding Dorchester Heights are “impregnable.”

Mar. 18, 1945: Some 1,250 American bombers and their fighter escorts roar toward Berlin in one of the U.S. Army Air Forces’ “heaviest” bombing raids on the German capitol.

The Nazis are finished. In six weeks, Adolf Hitler will commit suicide.

Mar. 18, 1945: Adm. Marc A. Mitscher’s Fast Carrier “Task Force 58” begins a several-day series of attacks on Japanese bases at Kyushu, Honshu, and Shikoku in preparation for the forthcoming Okinawa campaign. The enemy will mount a counterattack, but with only moderate effect. Japanese losses of shore facilities, aircraft, and men will be heavy.

In less than two years, Mitscher will die of a heart attack. Adm. Arleigh Burke will remember him as “the preeminent carrier force commander in the world. A bulldog of a fighter, a strategist blessed with an uncanny ability to foresee his enemy's next move, and a lifelong searcher after truth and trout streams, he was above all else – perhaps above all other – a Naval aviator.”

Mar. 19, 1916: Four days after “Black Jack” Pershing crosses into Mexico, the U.S. Army’s 1st Aero Squadron under Capt. (future major general) Benjamin D. Foulois joins the hunt for Pancho Villa. Though Foulois’

aircraft will be used primarily for observation and delivery of dispatches, the squadron will be the first to test tactical air support of ground forces.

Today, the U.S. Air Force’s 1st Reconnaissance Squadron traces its lineage back to the 1st Aero Squadron.

Mar. 19, 2003: U.S. and coalition air and sea forces fire the opening shots in the invasion of Iraq.

Mar. 20, 1863: Confederate cavalry under the command of the famous – some might argue, infamous – Kentucky raider, Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan, strikes a sizeable Union reconnaissance force under Col. Albert S. Hall at Vaught’s Hill, Tennessee. Though outnumbered and surrounded, Hall’s hilltop position enables the colonel to beat back a series of attacks until Morgan – learning that Hall is to be reinforced with additional U.S. troops from Murfreesboro – is forced to disengage.

Though Vaught’s Hill was a defeat for Morgan, he was far from whipped. His colorful exploits will inspire Constance Fenimore Woolson, a grandniece of James Fenimore Cooper, to pen the lines:

“Morgan, Morgan the raider, and Morgan's terrible men, With bowie knives and pistols, are galloping up the glen."

Mar. 20, 1922: America’s first aircraft carrier, USS Langley, is commissioned at Norfolk, Virginia. Converted from the coaling ship USS Jupiter, Langley will see action in World War II. But she will be so badly damaged in an action off Java in 1942, her escorts will be forced to scuttle her.

Langley, the first of two so-named carriers, is named in honor of aviation scientist Samuel Pierpont Langley.

Mar. 20, 1942: U.S. Army Gen. Douglas McArthur – ordered by FDR to leave his besieged soldiers in the Philippines (where their capture is

inevitable) and make his way to Australia – delivers his famous “I shall return” speech. In April he will receive the Medal of Honor (as did his father, Arthur MacArthur, Jr., for heroism during the American Civil War).

McArthur will return to the Philippines in Oct. 1944.


Thanks to NHHC. Click on the Battle of the Sundra Strait below to learn more

U.S., Australian, Indonesian Sailors Commemorate WWII Battle of Sunda Strait

To commemorate the 77th anniversary of the Battle of Sunda Strait, Sailors from mine countermeasures ship USS Chief attended a wreath laying ceremony aboard Indonesian navy ship Kri Usman Harun, March 1. The ceremony honored the crews who lost their lives on USS Houston and HMAS Perth during the World War II battle. “It is important to remember the sacrifice of the Sailors that have gone before us to pay tribute to shipmates who have made the ultimate commitment while personifying the essence of duty,” said Lt. Cmdr. Fred Crayton, commanding officer of Chief. “It is events like the commemoration of the Battle of Sunda Strait that captures the fighting spirit and significance of Sailors who chose obligation over existence. These were heroes that embodied honor, courage, and commitment and who should always be remembered.” To learn more, read the article. Also read H-Gram 003: The Valor of the Asiatic Fleet, Lest We Forget at NHHC’s website, and Lost but not forgotten: Ocean relics of WWII battle that discusses efforts to preserve the wrecks.




Things You Might Not Know About Daylight Saving Time:

· Benjamin Franklin came up with the idea (but it was a joke in a satirical letter).

· The idea wasn’t taken seriously until 1907.

· Daylight Saving Time became law during World War I.

· It gained renewed popularity during the energy crisis 0f the ‘70s.

· It may actually be an energy waster.

· More sunlight equals more sales.

· Candy makers have a lot at stake, they lobbied heavily to ensure Halloween would be under DST.

· The number of accidents and heart attacks increases.

· But the rate of crime goes down.

· In the U.S., Arizona doesn’t observe Daylight Saving Time, but the Navajo Nation (parts of which are in three states) does. However, the Hopi Reservation, which is entirely surrounded by the Navajo Nation, doesn’t observe DST. In effect, there is a donut-shaped area of Arizona that does observe DST, but the “hole” in the center does not.

Thoughts on Daylight Saving Time:

· “I don’t mind going back to Daylight Saving Time. With inflation, the hour will be the only thing I’ve saved all year.” Victor Borge

· I actually don’t mind losing an hour to Daylight Saving Time because I chose the one where I go on the treadmill.

· Once again we are nearing the time where the clock in my car displays the correct time. This will take some getting used to.

· If we just stop saving all this daylight, we could end global warming forever.

· Trying to explain Daylight Saving Time to an awakened toddler takes way more than an hour.

· Arizona doesn’t participate in Daylight Saving Time because no one in Arizona knows how to reset a watch or clock.

· Daylight Saving is when everyone complains about losing one hour on Monday, like Sunday never even happened.

· Daylight Saving yields as much interest as my actual savings account.

· My heart goes out to the guys at Stonehenge who have to change the stones for Daylight Saving Time.

· If you think people will have a rough Monday because of Daylight Saving Time, wait until next week when Monday is the day after St. Patrick’s Day.

· I need some help. I just heard that the clocks go back this weekend. I can’t even remember where I got them from and I don’t have any receipts.

· Someone tell the genius of Daylight Saving Time that my child is now standing at the bus stop in the dark but going to bed while it is still light out.

· If it wasn’t for spring forward and fall back, I’d never do any exercise at all.

· For parents of small children, Daylight Saving Time is cruel and unusual punishment.

When told the reason for Daylight Saving Time, the old Indian said, “Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket.”


Thanks to Dr. Rich

March 10-11 in aviation history are speed days.

In 1948 – NACA test pilot Herbert Henry Hoover becomes the first civilian to fly faster than the speed of sound, reaching 703 mph (Mach 1.065) aboard the No. 2 Bell XS-1.

In 1956 – The British-built Fairey Delta 2 research aircraft flown by Lt Cdr Peter Twiss sets a new world airspeed record of 1,132 mph, becoming the first plane to exceed 1,000 mph in level flight. The new mark bests the previous record by 300 mph, set a year earlier by a North American F-100 Super Sabre.

In 1957 – The prototype Boeing 707 jet lands after a press demonstration flight from Seattle, Washington to Baltimore, Maryland during which it covers 2,350 miles in a record time of 3 hours 48 minutes, an average speed of 618 mph.

And this notable sunset:

In 1960 – The last flight by a United States Air Force-operated North American B-25 Mitchell takes place, when TB-25 J-25-NC, 44-30854, the last Mitchell in the U. S. Air Force inventory, lands at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, for preservation.

Thanks to Doctor Rich

Yeager won’t be happy w. this announcement (below) … or did he change his name …

Actually, I believe a North American test pilot, broke the sound barrier before Yeager … twice I think, before they forbid him to retract his gear during flights until Yeager flew the X-1 … sonic booms heard clearly at Happy Bottom before Yeager made the attempt ...




From the List archives. It just is worth repeating

Thanks to Chuck

Jacklyn H. Lucas, USMC - Medal Of Honor - You Just Ain't Gonna Believe this!! I verified!!

An AMAZING story.

Yet another WWII story I had not heard about….may we never exhaust our source of patriots like Lucas.

Jacklyn H. Lucas

Everyone with half a functioning brain knows that diving on a live hand grenade to save your friends is one of the single most selfless, balls-out heroic acts of valor that any human being can perform. It takes a special, rare kind of person to come face-to-face with his own destruction, resist every natural impulse of self-preservation, and unhesitatingly give themselves up in a final, purely selfless feat of bravery, trading in the most precious thing a human has to offer - their life - so that others might live.

It's such a paragon of ultimate selfless human sacrifice that nowadays it's the standard go-to analogy for everything from taking all the blame for a team-wide corporate screw-up to unselfishly talking up the homeliest girl at the bar while your buddy tries to hook up with her best friend. It's such a heroic testament to the will of the human spirit that more Medals of Honor and Victoria Crosses have been handed out for this single act than for any other deed in the history of combat.

Unfortunately, despite this being a universally-acknowledged feat of righteous heroic awesomeness, the fact that the entire action is over in three to five seconds combine with some horrifically-tragic consequences for the hero to make grenade-hopping a pretty tough subject to write a Badass of the Week article about.

Unless, of course, we're talking about Jack Lucas of the 1st Battalion, 26th Marines.

Because Jack Lucas jumped on not one but two grenades to save his friends.

And lived.

Jacklyn H. Lucas was born on Valentine's Day, 1928, in some rural town in North Carolina with a population so tiny that if everyone in the entire county showed up at UNC for a basketball game they probably couldn't sell out one section of the Dean Smith Center. Cursed with one of the most terrible first names in history, Jacklyn did the Boy Named Sue thing and spent his entire life training to be so ungodly hardcore that anyone who referred to him by any name other than Jack would end up forcibly swallowing their own genitalia, eventually enlisting as a cadet at Edwards Military Institute in Salemburg, NC.

Things were going fine for a while, but Jack's life changed pretty dramatically on December 7, 1941, when he got news that a super-secret ninja sneak-attack of Japanese fighter-bombers had just craterized the American battleship fleet at Pearl Harbor into a towering inferno of twisted metal.

He kind of took it personally.

So while Lucas' 13 year-old idiot classmates were all hanging around their school doing dipshit teenage-boy-stuff like slam-dunking M80s into public toilets and superglueing their friends' lockers shut, Lucas just got pissed. Like, super pissed. Like King Kong stopping by on the way home from work after a miserable day at the office only to find that the badass frozen yogurt place down the street is totally out of banana sherbet so he just snorts a line of PCP and goes Falling Down on everyone pissed. He stormed out of his military school (the first of many times he'd be listed AWOL in his professional career), went across the border to Virginia, bribed some notary public to swear he was 17, then hitched a ride to the nearest Marine Corps Recruiting Station, marched his hefty 5'8", 200-pound frame through the front door like he owned the place, forged his Mom's signature on enlistment paperwork, and shipped out to Parris Island for US Marine Corps Boot Camp.

At thirteen.

Lucas made it through the most intense basic training the United States military has to offer, was made a Marine at 14, and was subsequently assigned to work a crappy manual labor job as part of the Training Battalion on Parris Island.

Jack Lucas responded to this unsatisfactory posting by abandoning his station, hitching a ride to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, grabbing the first USMC officer he could find, and telling him there was a clerical error and he was supposed to be stationed on the front lines in a combat arms role.

They made him a truck driver at the Marine Corps base on Pearl Harbor.

Unsatisfied by his current status of "not blowing the shit out of the enemy at all corners wherever he could find them", and denied in all of his requests to transfer to a front-line infantry unit, Jack Lucas spend the next couple of years raising hell across Honolulu. He was arrested for starting a drunken bar fight. He was disciplined for going AWOL so he could head into town and meet girls. He was busted by a Military Policeman for walking through the barracks with a case of beer, then was subsequently arrested for punching that same Military Policeman in the face when that power-tripping asshole tried to take the beer away from him.

Tired of spending his nights in the brig and worried that the war was going to end without him every hoisting a rifle in battle, Lucas finally decided, screw it, I'm going to go to war and I don't give a shit who wants to stop me. He went down to the docks, snuck aboard a military transport ship headed for the front lines, then spent a month living off crumbs hiding from the crew because he was worried if they discovered him they'd ship his ass back to Hawaii for a court-martial.

Of the 40,000 Marines who hit the beach at Iwo Jima on or around February 20th, 1945, 17-year-old Private Jack Lucas of the 1st Battalion, 26th Marines, 5th Marine Division, was one of the only infantrymen who assaulted the beachhead without a weapon. He changed that pretty quickly. He grabbed one off a dead soldier in the surf, racked the slide, and charged into battle.

Rushing through the brutal, endless curtains of strafing machine gun and artillery fire that raked the beach, Lucas grabbed his newly-acquired weapon and charged ahead, undaunted by the explosions and bullets zipping all around. He ran ahead, reached the relative safety of the treeline, and fell in with a four-man fireteam that had already started working their way through the dense jungle, trying to clear out one of the most tenacious and ferociously-hardcore enemies the United States ever faced.

Lucas and his men were making their way through a ravine, fighting every step of the way, when suddenly some bad shit started to go down. It turned out that the Japanese had dug this ridiculously-intricate series of caverns and secret passages that ran through the entire island, so just as Lucas and his buddies thought they were going to launch their final assault on a Japanese machine gun nest, they came to the horrible realization that all 11 men in that pillbox had gone into a tunnel, crawled underneath them, and popped up directly behind the Marines. The Marines turned to fire, and in Jack Lucas' much-awaited first moments of real battle his first round went through the helmet of an enemy soldier, killing him on the spot.

His second round jammed in the rifle. I guess that's what happens with rifles you pick up in ankle-deep water on blood-soaked sandy beaches.

It was at this point that Jack Lucas saw the live hand grenade that had just landed at his feet. He threw his body on it without hesitation, screaming for the other Marines to take cover.

When a second enemy grenade landed within arms' reach, Lucas grabbed it and jammed it under his body as well.

The Type 97 Fragmentation Grenade is a 16-ounce metal ball stuffed with 65 grams of TNT and a 5 second timed-detonation mechanism. Now, a common misconception about hand grenades is that they create some huge fiery explosion that blows people into the next area code like they were launched out of a flaming death-catapult, then they proceed to ignite everything in the general vicinity up to and including the Earth's atmosphere. But, while the explosive power unleashed by a frag grenade is certainly not the sort of thing you want to wake up to every morning, what kills the majority of people isn't the bomb, but the flying bits of shrapnel. Basically, the explosion is just a catalyst that shatters the metal encapsulating the grenade and sends tens of thousands of tiny, razor-sharp metal splinters hurtling through the air in every direction, shredding anything in their wake, and killing or maiming anyone or anything within 100 to 150 feet. You ever wonder why some grenades look like pineapples? It's because when the bomb goes off each little section of the pineapple morphs into a bullet firing off into some random direction. It ain't pretty.

And Jack Lucas just had two of those little bastards blow up straight into his torso. Sure, his friends survived thanks to his heroism, but all that metal has to go somewhere, and where it went was straight into Lucas' body.

The rest of the Marine fire team, pumped-up by Lucas' bravery and the fact that they weren't currently all dead, proceeded to fight like demons and push the Japanese back, driving them from the position and capturing that sector.

When they came back to take the dog tags off of their fallen brother, they noticed that not only was Lucas alive, he was actually still conscious.

I don't want to go on the cart.

The true unsung heroes of Iwo Jima, the Navy Corpsmen, were called in on the spot, hauling the severely-screwed-up Lucas out of there on a stretcher while simultaneously using their .45 pistols to fight off a Japanese banzai counter-attack. They fought through the warzone, got Lucas to a hospital ship, and it took 21 surgeries for them to remove 250 pieces of shrapnel from every major organ in his body.

Seven months later, Jack Lucas personally walked up to Harry S. Truman and received his Medal of Honor in person. He'd already made a complete recovery.

He was six days past his seventeenth birthday, the youngest Marine to ever receive the award.

After the war, Lucas went home and fulfilled his promise to his mother to finish school, attending his first day of ninth grade with his Medal of Honor around his neck. He finished college, went on a USO speaking tour, was married three times, survived his second wife's attempt to hire a hitman to murder him (she hadn't got the message from the Japanese that this guy was impervious to conventional weapons), and then, at age 40, decided to get over his fear of heights by enlisting in the 82nd Airborne as a paratrooper.

On his first training jump, both parachutes failed to open. As his team leader astutely pointed out, "Jack was the last one out of the plane and the first one on the ground."

He fell 3,500 feet through the air without a parachute. He attempted a badass commando roll just as he was about to splat on the earth Wile E. Coyote style.

He not only lived, he walked away unscathed.

Two weeks later, he was back in the plane on his second training jump.

That one went better. Four years later he finished his tour as a Captain in the 82nd Airborne Division.

His adventures in miraculously surviving death now complete, he ran a successful business selling beef to people outside Washington, DC, wrote an appropriately-named autobiography titled Indestructible, met every president from Truman to Clinton, had his original Medal of Honor citation laid out in the hull of the USS Iwo Jima, and died in 2008 at the age of 80.

From cancer, of all things.

For more details: - Or GOOGLE him!



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