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AMERICAN WARRIORS-PAST AND PRESENT

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Vietnam Virtual Wall

I just became aware of this. Didn't know if you knew about it.

First click on a state. When it opens, scroll down to the city and the names will appear.

Then click on their names. It should show you a picture of the person, or at least their bio and medals.

This really is an amazing web site. Someone spent a lot of time and effort to create it.

I hope that everyone who receives this appreciates what those who served in Vietnam sacrificed for our country.

The link below is a virtual wall of all those lost during the Vietnam war

with the names, bio's and other information on our lost heroes.

Those who remember that timeframe, or perhaps lost friends or family can look them up on this site.

Pass the link on to others if you like.

http://www.virtualwall.org/iStates.htm

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Two hero's cleared and one to go...hip-hip-hurray....

AP

Military judge clears the second Navy SEAL charged in the beating of an Iraqi terror suspect in wake of the grisly killings of four American contractors.

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Jury Selection Begins in Navy SEAL Trial

NORFOLK,VA) A dispute over the translation of a recorded testimony from suspected terrorist Ahmed Hashim Abed has been resolved and jury selection has now begun in the trial of Navy SEAL Matthew McCabe, who is accused of punching Abed.

A jury of six Navy officers and enlisted personnel will be chosen. The process is expected to take no more than a few hours. After that, opening arguments will be heard before Captain Moira Modzelewski, the Judge Advocate General presiding over this court martial.

The controversy over the testimony began Monday. The defense team raised objections to the translation of an audio deposition given in Iraq by Ahmed Hashim Abed, the accused terrorist who claims he was beaten after being captured by McCabe and two other Navy SEALs. The two other SEALs were acquitted last month.

One civilian defense lawyer speaks Arabic and noticed the translator asking some of his own questions, not simply relaying to Abed the questions posed by attorney present during the deposition. This, he claimed, is in violation of the rules and provided an "unreliable and untrustworthy" deposition.

Abed even had to ask the translator to make the questions more clear. The judge agreed Monday to find another interpreter to review the audio tape.

Tuesday morning, the defense team filed a motion requesting a whole new deposition, which could have delayed the trial significantly. They argued, "This man [McCabe] could be found guilty based on an unreliable transcript."

The judge, however, denied the motion, finding that the review of the translation that she ordered yesterday is sufficient.

The first witnesses could appear this afternoon in a trial that might last three more days. McCabe is accused of punching Abed in the stomach after the Iraqi was arrested near Fallujah last September.

Monday, the defense filed a motion to dismiss the charges because of possible "undue command influence." The motion pointed to an appearance by Geraldo Rivera on FOX News' "The O'Reilly Factor" April 22nd in which Geraldo raised the possibility that Major General Charles Cleveland was pressured from higher-up in the chain of command to bring the charges against the Navy SEALs. (General Cleveland is in charge of all military special operation in Iraq and Afghanistan).

The judge denied that motion. Defense Attorney Neal Puckett said he's glad he got the issue out into the open so the judge and the public can consider whether the case might have been influenced in that way. The "Convening Authority" in a court martial (in this case General Cleveland) is supposed to be completely independent and make a decision on bringing charges based solely on the law and the facts.

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Great pics...thanks....

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Two Key Witnesses Testify in McCabe Trial...

NORFOLK - One of the government's two key witnesses testified Wednesday morning that he saw Navy SEAL Matthew McCabe deliver a "right punch to the chest" of his detainee, suspected terrorist Ahmed Hashim Abed. McCabe is facing a court martial in Norfolk, Virginia, charged with assault for the alleged incident last September in Iraq.

Petty Officer Third Class Kevin Demartino testified that when he came into the detention cell, three Navy SEALs were leaving. He testified that Abed had fallen from his chair to the floor after the assault and when Demartino lifted him up, he noticed blood coming from under Abed's hood.

Asked on cross examination why he said nothing at first about the alleged assault, he told the court "I had a choice of being in good graces with the Navy SEALs or being in good graces with God." Demartino admits he's guilty of dereliction of duty for not immediately reporting what he saw.

Abed is the alleged mastermind of the grisly attack on four Blackwater contractors who were ambushed and killed in Fallujah, Iraq in 2004. Their bodies were burned and dragged through the streets as crowds cheered. Two of the bodies were hanged from a bridge over the Euphrates River.

This is the second day of testimony in the case of McCabe, the 24-year old Navy SEAL from Perrysberg, Ohio. A seven member jury is hearing the case, presided over by a Judge Advocate General, Captain Moira Modelewski. Two other SEALs faced trial in Baghdad and were found not guilty last month. Demartino gave the same testimony in those earlier trials.

Abed's taped testimony was heard in open court Tuesday. He said he was handcuffed and blindfolded and placed on a chair in the holding cell. He claims he was hit on the back and shoulders and knocked to the floor. He says he was kicked in the stomach and sworn at when he was down. But he says he could only see one person's feet and legs under his hood and cannot identify his assailant.

The defense claims Al Qaeda detainees are trained to claim abuse and that Abed caused his own lip to bleed.

Abed testified in person in the previous two trials, but the defense in this case declined the opportunity to confront the accuser in court.

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Prosecution Rests in Navy SEAL Matthew McCabe’s Court Martial

NORFOLK -The prosecution has rested its case in the military trial of 24 year old Matthew McCabe, the Navy SEAL accused of assaulting a suspected terrorist he had helped capture last September in Iraq. Ahmed Hashim Abed, accused of killing four American contractors in Fallujah six years ago, claims he was beaten while in the custody of McCabe and two other Navy SEALs.

Earlier, as prosecutors called their witnesses, Navy Petty Officer Third Class Kevin Demartino, who is not a SEAL, testified that he saw McCabe deliver a "right punch to the chest" of his detainee.

Demartino was in charge of the detention facility where the disputed incident occurred, and was responsible for the prisoner's safety. He testified that after he witnessed the assault, three Navy SEALs left the detainee's cell. Demartino says Abed had fallen from his chair to the floor and there was blood coming from under the prisoner's hood.

A Navy commander who was in charge of all American forces in Fallujah at the time, also testified today. He says he noticed Abed's bloodied mouth the next morning and asked Demartino what had happened, but didn't get an answer.

Asked on cross examination why he said nothing at first about the alleged assault, Demartino told the court "I had a choice of being in good graces with the Navy SEALs or being in good graces with God." Demartino admits he's guilty of dereliction of duty for not immediately reporting what he saw.

Abed is the alleged mastermind of the grisly attack on four Blackwater contractors who were ambushed and killed in Fallujah, Iraq in 2004. Their bodies were burned and dragged through the streets as crowds cheered. Two of the bodies were hanged from a bridge over the Euphrates River.

This is the second day of testimony in the case of McCabe, the Navy SEAL from Perrysberg, Ohio. A seven member jury is hearing the case, presided over by a Judge Advocate General, Captain Moira Modelewski. Two other SEALs faced trial in Baghdad and were found not guilty last month. Demartino gave the same testimony in those earlier trials.

Abed's taped testimony was heard in open court Tuesday. He said he was handcuffed and blindfolded and placed on a chair in the holding cell. He claims he was hit on the back and shoulders and knocked to the floor. He says he was kicked in the stomach and sworn at while he was down. But he says he could only see one person's feet and legs from under his hood and cannot identify his assailant.

The defense claims Al Qaeda detainees are trained to claim abuse and that Abed caused his own lip to bleed.

Abed testified in person during the previous two trials, but the defense in this case declined the opportunity to confront the accuser in court. If McCabe's lawyers had wanted Abed to testify in person, the trial would have been held in Iraq, where Abed remains a prisoner of the Iraqi government.

In his testimony Wednesday, Petty Officer Demartino said two of the Navy SEALs in the holding cell at the time of the alleged assault basically told him not to worry about any injuries to Abed. On the witness stand, Demartino says he was told by Pettty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Keefe, "Don't feel bad for this guy." And, according to Demartino, Petty Officer 1st Class Julio Huertas said, "He's killed Americans." Keefe and Huertas are the two SEALs earlier acquitted in this case.

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Navy SEAL Found Not Guilty of Assaulting a Suspected Terroristpost-300-127319378183_thumb.jpg

A Virginia military jury found a Navy SEAL not guilty Thursday on all charges he punched an Iraqi suspected in the 2004 killings of four U.S. contractors in Fallujah.

"I'm really happy right now," Matthew McCabe, the Navy SEAL, told Fox News shortly after hearing the outcome of the court martial. "It's an amazing feeling. I'm on cloud nine right now."

McCabe, a special operations petty officer second class, called the proceedings "troubling at times," adding "having your career on the line is not an easy thing to handle.

McCabe was the third and final Navy SEAL to be prosecuted in the case. He had faced charges of assault, making a false official statement and dereliction of performance of duty for willfully failing to safeguard a detainee. McCabe was accused of punching last year is Ahmed Hashim Abed, the suspected mastermind of the grisly killings six years ago.

After the court martial, the 24-year-old from Perrysburg, Ohio, thanked the public for its continued support.

"It's been great everything they've done," he told Fox News. "But, don't worry about it anymore. We are putting this all behind us. It's done and over with. I'm going to try not to think about this ever again."

This follows four days of pre-trial motions, jury selection and testimony before a judge advocate general, Capt. Moira Modelewski, at naval station in Norfolk, Va.

Another one of the Navy SEALs charged, but acquitted in connection with the Abed case, Petty Officer First Class Julio Huertas, took the stand for the defense Thursday morning.

He said that he and the other two Navy SEALs, McCabe and Jonathan Keefe, did visit the detention facility where Abed was being held on the night of the alleged incident.

But, he insists, there was no assault. Huertas and Keefe were found not guilty last month in separate trials in Baghdad.

The defense called an oral surgeon Thursday who testified by phone from Baghdad. He said Abed might have bitten an ulcer on his lip, causing it to bleed. Defense attorneys hope this validates their position that no assault occurred and that Al Qaeda detainees are trained to injure themselves then claim abuse.

Earlier, after the prosecution and defense both rested their cases, prosecutors Thursday announced they needed time to present a rebuttal. They were basically trying to rehabilitate their key witness, Petty Officer 3rd Class Kevin Demartino, who claims he saw McCabe punch the prisoner in the stomach. Demartino’s character and credibility had been questioned by a string of defense witnesses Wednesday, many of them Navy SEALs. A rebuttal witness Thursday morning, Demartino’s former superior officer, called Demartino “one of my top sailors—I can depend on him for anything.”

Defense witnesses on Wednesday had painted a picture of Demartino as unstable, unreliable and, after the incident with Abed, “distraught.” According to testimony, Demartino was worried his career would be ruined because a prisoner claimed abuse on his watch, and that he would no longer have a chance for his dream job with the California Highway Patrol. This, the defense claims, gives Demartino a motive to lie.

Demartino did not immediately report the alleged assault to his superiors and admits to dereliction of duty. The defense suggested that since Demartino initially said nothing, then later described seeing McCabe punch Abed, he’s an unreliable witness.

The defense also continued throughout the court martial to cast doubt on the English translation of Abed’s audio-taped testimony, claiming it’s unreliable, which creates an element of doubt. As in civilian courts, a defendant—in this case McCabe--must be found not guilty if there’s a reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors.

Thursday afternoon, prosecutors suffered an apparent setback when a witness they called supported the defense position on disputed statements submitted in writing by two Navy SEALs in Iraq shortly after the alleged assault. The prosecution claimed the two SEALs, Jonathan Keefe and Matthew McCabe, colluded to get their stories straight, because their statements appeared to be identical. But the witness whose testimony backfired for the prosecution acknowledged the statements of two SEALs on the same mission often coincide.

Abed was captured in a surprise raid by the Navy SEALs in Fallujah, Iraq, in September of last year. The murders he’s accused of masterminding were a turning point in the Iraq war, galvanizing the U.S. military to launch a major offensive against the insurgents in Fallujah. The bodies of the four Americans were burning and dragged through the streets, and two of them were hanged from a bridge over the Euphrates River.

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God Bless the United States Navy, the SEALs, and common sense. - Terry

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A great story by an American hero...it's long so I'll post it in

several parts....

This is long but very interesting.

A bit of history: Aircraft #13 on the Doolittle Raid

Please read this hero's account of the raid on Tokyo in 1942.

This is the real story of real Americans and real sacrifice.

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.

We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream.

It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same."

~Ronald Reagan

A bit of history: Aircraft #13 on the Doolittle Raid ...part #1

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Wow, "Mac's" story is awe inspiring. Can you even imagine standing over that open hatch with your crew and jumping? Thanks for sharing it with me Gar! :thumbsupanim - Terry

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Great story...... The Story of the Hornet is pretty amazing too. It still floats in all it's glory and is available for anyone to tour.......

post-1252-127437060978_thumb.jpg

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Great pic Steve...where is she birthed at?...as big as she looks

she's small compared to the new ones now....wonder who's yellow

Vett that is parked there????

Can't leave out the ship of the present WH tenant....

USS BARACK OBAMA...

post-300-127437207931_thumb.jpg

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It's actually berthed in Oakland... the yeller one is mine

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An example of what hero's are made of....

WEST POINT, N.Y. -- Since a car bomb blinded Capt. Scott Smiley in Iraq, he has skied Vail, climbed Mount Rainier, earned his MBA, raised two young boys with his wife, won an Espy award and pulled himself up from faith-shaking depths.

Smiley, 30, has snagged attention for his big accomplishments. But the daily ones are telling, too, including the recent tour he gave of his staff's offices at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he plans to watch President Barack Obama address the Class of 2010 on Saturday.

Unable to see the path around the workers' cubicles, Smiley stepped forward with a joke to the camouflage-clad officers he was showing around: "I walk around, and when I hit things, I move," he said.

An aide trailing him said softly, "Turn right, sir," at a doorway. Smiley turned.

Smiley, of Pasco, Wash., is one of only a handful of soldiers who chose to remain on active duty after being blinded by fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, a practice that's rare but one that military officials say benefits both parties

Though unable to return to his old infantry duties in Iraq, Smiley has thrived in stateside postings such as his latest at West Point, from which he graduated in 2003. He now commands the Warrior Transition Unit at West Point for ailing or wounded soldiers.

Voice software allows Smiley to listen to e-mails, books and pamphlets. Aides help him navigate and tell him what order he's signing. It's a little like changing his son's diapers at home: He's fine as long as he knows where everything is.

His resiliency and energy helped him earn the 2007 Soldier of the Year commendation from the publication Army Times, as well as an ESPN Espy award in 2008 for best outdoor athlete.

He earned his master's of business administration at Duke University and has spoken to the Olympic and Duke teams coached by Mike Krzyzewski, a fellow West Point alum. He has a memoir coming out this year titled "Hope Unseen."

Smiley said he's not trying to prove anything with his exploits.

"In terms of getting an MBA, climbing Mount Rainier, it's what I always wanted to do," he said. "Why should I stop that?"

Smiley was injured April 6, 2005, six months into a deployment to Iraq. He led patrols through Mosul, a dangerous city where a too-high pile of garbage could be hiding explosives and the enemy blended in with the populace.

Sgt. 1st Class Mike Branham, who served as a squad leader under Smiley, said his fellow serviceman was a topflight officer, one who stood out for his deep Christian faith and detailed knowledge of his soldiers.

"He knew their names, he knew their wives' names, he knew their likes and dislikes," Branham said.

Smiley was leading a patrol in an armored Stryker vehicle when, from his perch in the forward hatch, he spotted a silver Opel that matched intelligence descriptions of a potential car bomb. The trunk appeared to be weighed down and the driver acted as though he didn't understand Smiley, who fired warning shots at the ground when it looked as if the driver was going to pull forward.

The driver raised his hands, and the car went up in a fireball.

Shrapnel tore through Smiley's left eye and lodged in his frontal brain lobe; another fragment the size of a pencil lead pierced his right eye.

Slumped unconscious in the Stryker hatch, Smiley was rushed to a medical center, where he briefly flatlined as friends prayed at his bedside.

Branham recalls, "I didn't think he was going to make it past that day at all."

He was left permanently blinded and temporarily paralyzed on his right side.

Stabilized and shipped stateside, Smiley struggled with his fate. He had vowed at his wedding to take care of his wife, Tiffany, and there she was, taking care of him. The exertion of wiggling his big toe required a three-hour nap.

He received his Purple Heart on his hospital bed. A video posted on YouTube of the ceremony shows his brother Neal struggling to maintain composure as he reads the citation. Smiley, looking beaten and uncomfortable in his bed, turns his head away.

"When I got to the hospital and I finally realized what happened, what my life was going to be like, I didn't believe in God. I questioned my faith. I questioned everything that was ever said to me before," Smiley said. "Because in my mind, why would God allow something like this to happen to me?"

Smiley credits his wife, family and faith for helping him accept his condition. Ultimately, he decided he didn't want to be like the Lt. Dan character played by Gary Sinise in "Forrest Gump," the officer who wants to be left to die when he loses his legs in Vietnam. He would push on. And if his path kept him in the Army, that was fine.

"I was totally prepared to get out," he said. "But still in the back of my mind, it was: 'I still have so much to give. I love serving my country."'

The Army says at least four other totally or partially blind soldiers have remained on active duty since Iraq and Afghanistan.

Capt. Ivan Castro lost his sight and suffered other serious injuries in a 2006 mortar attack in Iraq and is now stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C., with the Special Operations Recruiting Battalion. Castro, a 42-year-old who runs marathons and 50-mile races, appears to share some personality traits with Smiley -- and says he also felt he still had something to serve after being injured.

"I've been doing this for over 18 years," Castro, who was born in Hoboken, N.J., and grew up in Puerto Rico, said in a phone interview. "This is all I know. This is what I love. This is what I live for."

Castro's commander, Lt. Col. Fredrick Dummar, said the continued service by blind soldiers fits with the military philosophy that everyone has unique abilities and that "there's always somebody on the team that can accomplish a mission."

Smiley was at first posted at Accessions Command, which oversees recruiting, and later earned his MBA. He returned to West Point last year to teach and took command this year of the Warrior Transition Unit here this year. He lives on post with Tiffany and their two young boys. After the West Point graduation ceremony Saturday, he plans to pin lieutenant bars on one of the roughly 1,000 cadets who will become new Army officers.

Smiley conceded that he might have a better understanding of the ailing soldiers under his command but is quick to add that his overriding concern is maintaining Army standards -- for his soldiers and for himself.

"I still want to be the person I always wanted to be," he said.

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What ever happened to "lead by example"? Here's how...

The doctor had his TV on in his office when the news of the military base shootings at Ft. Hood , TX came on. The husband of one of his employees was stationed there.

He called her into his office and as he told her what had happened, she got a text message from her husband saying, "I am okay." Her cell phone rang right after she read the message. It was an ER nurse,” I’m the one who just sent you a text, not your husband. I thought it would be comforting but I was mistaken in doing so. I am sorry to tell you this, but your husband has been shot 4 times and he is in surgery."

The soldier's wife left Southern Clinic in Dothan , AL and drove all night to Ft.Hood. When she arrived, she found out her husband was out of surgery and would be OK. She rushed to his room and found that he already had visitors there to comfort him. He was just waking up and found his wife and the visitors by his side. The nurse took this picture.

post-300-12747080524_thumb.jpg

What? No news crews and cameras? This is how people with class respond and pay respect to those in uniform. I sent my cousin in Fayetteville , N.C. (Retired from Special Forces) that picture of Geo. W. visiting the wounded at Ft. Hood . I got this reply:

What is even better is the fact George W. Bush heard about Fort Hood, got in his car without any escort, apparently they did not have time to react, and drove to Fort Hood. He was stopped at the gate and the guard could not believe who he had just stopped. Bush only asks for directions to the hospital then drove on. The gate guard called that "The President is on Fort Hood and driving to the hospital."

The base went bananas looking for Obama. When they found it was Bush, they immediately offered escort. Bush simply told them to shut up and let him visit the wounded and the dependents of the dead.

He stayed at Fort Hood for over six hours, and was finally asked to leave by a message from the White House.

Obama flew in days later and held a "photo" session in a gym, and did not even go to the hospital.

All this I picked up from two soldiers here who happened to be at Fort Hood when it happened.

This Bush/Obama/Ft. Hood story is something that should be sent to every voter in the US . Those who wanted "change" certainly got it.

Someone, PLEASE, show me anything that will tell us that Obama has ANY respect for the country he leads! I'm looking for just a little sign of respect!

Jefferson asserted, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

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Pres Bush also tried to personally see each and every family of soldiers KIA....... no photo ops no press just a great CINC

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I had never even heard of North Platte before Gar. Excellent post! - Terry

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In 1973 an Italian submarine named Enrique Tazzoli was sold for a paltry

$100,000 as scrap metal. The submarine, given to the Italian Navy in 1953

was actually an incredible veteran of World War II service with a heritage

that never should have passed so unnoticed into the graveyards of the metal

recyclers. The U.S.S. Barb was a pioneer, paving the way for the first

submarine launched missiles and flying a battle flag unlike that of any

other ship. In addition to the Medal of Honor ribbon at the top of the flag

identifying the heroism of its captain, Commander Eugene "Lucky" Fluckey,

the bottom border of the flag bore the image of a Japanese locomotive. The

U.S.S. Barb was indeed, the submarine that "SANK A TRAIN! ".

July, 1945 (Guam) Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz looked across the desk at

Admiral Lockwood as he finished the personal briefing on U.S. war ships in

the vicinity of the northern coastal areas of Hokkaido, Japan. "Well,

Chester, there's only the Barb there, and probably no word until the patrol

is finished. You remember Gene Fluckey?" "Of course. I recommended him for

the Medal of Honor," Admiral Nimitz replied. "You surely pulled him from

command after he received it?"

July 18, 1945 (Patience Bay, Off the coast of Karafuto, Japan) It was after

4 A.M. and Commander Fluckey rubbed his eyes as he peered over the map

spread before him. It was the twelfth war patrol of the Barb, the fifth

under Commander Fluckey. He should have turned command over to another

skipper after four patrols, but had managed to strike a deal with Admiral

Lockwood to make one more trip with the men he cared for like a father,

should his fourth patrol be successful. Of course, no one suspected when he

had struck that deal prior to his fourth and what should have been his final

war patrol on the Barb, that Commander Fluckey's success would be so great

he would be awarded the Medal of Honor.

Commander Fluckey smiled as he remembered that patrol. "Lucky" Fluckey they

called him. On January 8th the Barb had emerged victorious from a running

two-hour night battle after sinking a large enemy ammunition ship. Two weeks

later in Mamkwan Harbor he found the "mother-lode"...more than 30 enemy

ships. In only 5 fathoms (30 feet) of water his crew had unleashed the sub's

forward torpedoes, then turned and fired four from the stern. As he pushed

the Barb to the full limit of its speed through the dangerous waters in a

daring withdrawal to the open sea, he recorded eight direct hits on six

enemy ships.! Then, on the return home he added yet another Japanese

freighter to the tally for the Barb's eleventh patrol, a score that exceeded

even the number of that patrol.

What could possibly be left for the Commander to accomplish who, just three

months earlier had been in Washington, DC to receive the Medal of Honor? He

smiled to himself as he looked again at the map showing the rail line that

ran along the enemy coastline. This final patrol had been promised as the

Barb's "graduation patrol" and he and his crew had cooked up an unusual

finale. Since the 8th of June they had harassed the enemy, destroying the

enemy supplies and coastal fortifications with the first submarine launched

rocket attacks. Now his crew was buzzing excitedly about bagging a train.

The rail line itself wouldn't be a problem. A shore patrol could go ashore

under cover of darkness to plant the explosives...one of the sub's 55-pound

scuttling charges. But this early morning Lucky Fluckey and his officers

were puzzling over how they could blow not only the rails, but also one of

the frequent trains that shuttled supplies to equip the Japanese war

machine. Such a daring feat could handicap the enemy's war effort for

several days, a week, perhaps even longer. It was a crazy idea, just the

kind of operation "Lucky" Fluckey had become famous...or infamous...for. But

no matter how crazy the idea might have sounded, the Barb's skipper would

not risk the lives of his men. Thus the problem... how to detonate the

charge at the moment the train passed, without endangering the life of a

shore party. PROBLEM? Not on Commander Fluckey's ship. His philosophy had

always been "We don't have problems, only solutions".

11:27 AM "Battle Stations!" No more time to seek solutions or to ponder

blowing up a train. The approach of a Japanese freighter with a frigate

escort demands traditional submarine warfare. By noon the frigate is laying

on the ocean floor in pieces and the Barb is in danger of becoming the

hunted.

6:07 PM Solutions! If you don't look for them, you'll never find them. And

even then, sometimes they arrive in the most unusual fashion. Cruising

slowly beneath the surface to evade the enemy plane now circling overhead,

the monotony is broken with an exciting new idea. Instead of having a

crewman on shore to trigger explosives to blow both rail and a passing

train, why not let the train BLOW ITSELF up. Billy Hatfield was excitedly

explaining how he had cracked nuts on the railroad tracks as a kid, placing

the nuts between two ties so the sagging of the rail under the weight of a

train would break them open. "Just like cracking walnuts," he! explained.

"To complete the circuit (detonating the 55-pound charge) we hook in a micro

switch ... between two ties. We don't set it off, the TRAIN does." Not only

did Hatfield have the plan, he wanted to be part of the volunteer shore

party.

The solution found, there was no shortage of volunteers, all that was needed

was the proper weather...a little cloud cover to darken the moon for the

mission ashore. Lucky Fluckey established his own criteria for the volunteer

party: ...No married men would be included, except for Hatfield, ...The

party would include members from each department, ...The opportunity would

be split between regular Navy and Navy Reserve sailors, ...At least half of

the men had to have been Boy Scouts, experienced in how to handle themselves

in medical emergencies and in the woods. FINALLY, "Lucky" Fluckey would lead

the saboteurs himself.

When the names of the 8 selected sailors was announced it was greeted with a

mixture of excitement and disappointment. Among the disappointed was

Commander Fluckey who surrendered his opportunity at the insistence of his

officers that "as commander he belonged with the Barb," coupled with the

threat from one that "I swear I'll send a message to ComSubPac if you

attempt this (joining the shore party himself)." Even a Japanese POW being

held on the Barb wanted to go, promising not to try to escape.

In the meantime, there would be no more harassment of Japanese shipping or

shore operations by the Barb until the train mission had been accomplished.

The crew would "lay low", prepare their equipment, train, and wait for the

weather.

July 22, 1945 (Patience Bay, off the coast of Karafuto, Japan) Patience Bay

was wearing thin the patience of Commander Fluckey and his innovative crew.

Everything was ready. In the four days the saboteurs had anxiously watched

the skies for cloud cover, the inventive crew of the Barb had built their

micro switch. When the need was posed for a pick and shovel to bury the

explosive charge and batteries, the Barb's engineers had cut up steel plates

in the lower flats of an engine room, then bent and welded them to create

the needed tools. The only things beyond their control were the

weather....and time. Only five days remained in the Barb's patrol.

Anxiously watching the skies, Commander Fluckey noticed plumes of cirrus

clouds, then white stratus capping the mountain peaks ashore. A cloud cover

was building to hide the three-quarters moon. This would be the night.

MIDNIGHT, July 23, 1945 The Barb had crept within 950 yards of the

shoreline. If it was somehow seen from the shore it would probably be

mistaken for a schooner or Japanese patrol boat. No one would suspect an

American submarine so close to shore or in such shallow water. Slowly the

small boats were lowered to the water and the 8 saboteurs began paddling

toward the enemy beach. Twenty-five minutes later they pulled the boats

ashore and walked on the surface of the Japanese homeland. Having lost their

points of navigation, the saboteurs landed near the backyard of a house.

Fortunately the residents had no dogs, though the sight of human AND dog's

tracks in the sand along the beach alerted the brave sailors to the

potential for unexpected danger.

Stumbling through noisy waist-high grasses, crossing a highway and then

stumbling into a 4-foot drainage ditch, the saboteurs made their way to the

railroad tracks. Three men were posted as guards, Markuson assigned to

examine a nearby water tower. The Barb's auxiliary man climbed the ladder,

then stopped in shock as he realized it was an enemy lookout tower....an

OCCUPIED tower. Fortunately the Japanese sentry was peacefully sleeping and

Markuson was able to quietly withdraw and warn his raiding party.

The news from Markuson caused the men digging the placement for the

explosive charge to continue their work more slowly and quietly. Suddenly,

from less than 80 yards away, an express train was bearing down on them. The

appearance was a surprise, it hadn't occurred to the crew during the

planning for the mission that there might be a night train. When at last it

passed, the brave but nervous sailors extracted themselves from the brush

into which they had leapt, to continue their task. Twenty minutes later the

holes had been dug and the explosives and batteries hidden beneath fresh

soil.

During planning for the mission the saboteurs had been told that, with the

explosives in place, all would retreat a safe distance while Hatfield made

the final connection. If the sailor who had once cracked walnuts on the

railroad tracks slipped during this final, dangerous procedure, his would be

the only life lost. On this night it was the only order the saboteurs

refused to obey, all of them peering anxiously over Hatfield's shoulder to

make sure he did it right. The men had come too far to be disappointed by a

switch failure.

1:32 A.M. Watching from the deck of the Barb, Commander Fluckey allowed

himself a sigh of relief as he noticed the flashlight signal from the beach

announcing the departure of the shore party. He had skillfully, and

daringly, guided the Barb within 600 yards of the enemy beach. There was

less than 6 feet of water beneath the sub's keel, but Fluckey wanted to be

close in case trouble arose and a daring rescue of his saboteurs became

necessary.

1:45 A.M. The two boats carrying his saboteurs were only halfway back to the

Barb when the sub's machine gunner yelled, "CAPTAIN! Another train coming up

the tracks!" The Commander grabbed a megaphone and yelled through the night,

"Paddle like the devil!", knowing full well that they wouldn't reach the

Barb before the train hit the micro switch.

1:47 A.M. The darkness was shattered by brilliant light and the roar of the

explosion. The boilers of the locomotive blew, shattered pieces of the

engine blowing 200 feet into the air. Behind it the cars began to accordion

into each other, bursting into flame and adding to the magnificent fireworks

display. Five minutes later the saboteurs were lifted to the deck by their

exuberant comrades as the Barb turned to slip back to safer waters. Moving

at only two knots, it would be a while before the Barb was into waters deep

enough to allow it to submerge. It was a moment to savor, the culmination of

teamwork, ingenuity and daring by the Commander and all his crew. "Lucky"

Fluckey's voice came over the intercom. "All hands below deck not absolutely

needed to maneuver the ship have permission to come topside." He didn't have

to repeat the invitation. Hatches sprang open as the proud sailors of the

Barb gathered on her decks to proudly watch the distant fireworks display.

The Barb had "sunk" a Japanese TRAIN!

On August 2, 1945 the Barb arrived at Midway, her twelfth war patrol

concluded. Meanwhile United States military commanders had pondered the

prospect of an armed assault on the Japanese homeland. Military tacticians

estimated such an invasion would cost more than a million American

casualties. Instead of such a costly armed offensive to end the war, on

August 6th the B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped a single atomic bomb on the

city of Hiroshima, Japan. A second such bomb, unleashed three days later on

Nagasaki, Japan, caused Japan to agree to surrender terms on August 15th. On

September 2, 1945 in Tokyo Harbor the documents ending the war in the

Pacific were signed.

The story of the saboteurs of the U.S.S. Barb is one of those unique, little

known stories of World War II. It becomes increasingly important when one

realizes that the 8 sailors who blew up the train at near Kashiho, Japan

conducted the ONLY GROUND COMBAT OPERATION on the Japanese "homeland" of

World War II. The eight saboteurs were: Paul Saunders, William Hatfield,

Francis Sever, Lawrence Newland, Edward Klinglesmith, James Richard, John

Markuson, William Walker.

Footnote: Eugene Bennett Fluckey retired from the Navy as a Rear Admiral,

and wears in addition to his Medal of Honor, FOUR Navy Crosses...a record of

awards unmatched! by any living American. In 1992 his own history of the

U.S.S. Barb was published in the award winning book, THUNDER BELOW. Over the

past several years proceeds from the sale of this exciting book have been

used by Admiral Fluckey to provide free reunions for the men who served him

aboard the Barb, and their wives.

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At a time when our president and other politicians tend to apologize for

our country's prior actions, here's a refresher on how some of our

former patriots handled negative comments about our country.

These

are good

JFK'S

Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, was in France in the early 60's when

DeGaule decided to pull out of NATO. DeGaule said he wanted all US

military out of France as soon as possible.

Rusk responded,

"Does that include those who are buried here?"

DeGuale

did not respond.

You

could have heard a pin drop.

When in England ,

at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the

Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of

'empire building' by George Bush.

He answered by saying,

"Over the years, the United States has sent many of

its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom

beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for

in return is enough to bury those that did not

return."

You

could have heard a pin drop.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There was a conference in France

where a number of international engineers

were taking part, including French and American. During a break,

one of the French engineers came back into the room saying, "Have you

heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft

carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he

intend to do, bomb them?"

A Boeing engineer

stood up and replied quietly: "Our carriers have three

hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are

nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to

shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to

feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand

gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a

dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and

from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships;

how many does France have?"

You

could have heard a pin drop.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A U.S. Navy Admiral

was attending a naval conference that included

Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French

Navies At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large

group of officers that included personnel from most of those countries.

Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a

French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many

languages, Americans learn only English. He then asked, "Why is it that

we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than

speaking French?"

Without hesitating,

the American Admiral replied, "Maybe it's because the

Brit's, Canadians, Aussie's and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't

have to speak German."

You

could have heard a pin drop.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AND

THIS STORY FITS RIGHT IN WITH THE ABOVE...

Robert Whiting,

an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane.

At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport

in his carry on.

"You

have been to France before, monsieur?" the customs officer asked

sarcastically.

Mr. Whiting

admitted that he had been to France

previously.

"Then

you should know enough to have your passport ready."

The American said,

"The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it."

"Impossible..

Americans always have to show their passports on arrival in France !"

The American senior

gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he

quietly explained, ''Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in

1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn't find a single Frenchmen

to show a passport to."

You

could have heard a pin drop.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If

you are proud to be an American, pass this on! If not, delete it..

I am proud to be of this land, AMERICA

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Day Japan Bombed Oregon

By: Norm Goyer

September 9, 1942, the I-25 class Japanese submarine was cruising in an easterly direction raising its periscope occasionally as it neared the United States Coastline. Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor less than a year ago and the Captain of the attack submarine knew that Americans were watching their coast line for ships and aircraft that might attack our country. Dawn was approaching; the first rays of the sun were flickering off the periscopes lens. Their mission; attack the west coast with incendiary bombs in hopes of starting a devastating forest fire. If this test run were successful, Japan had hopes of using their huge submarine fleet to attack the eastern end of the Panama Canal to slow down shipping from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The Japanese Navy had a large number of I-400 submarines under construction. Each capable of carrying three aircraft. Pilot Chief Warrant Officer Nobuo Fujita and his crewman Petty Officer Shoji Okuda were making last minute checks of their charts making sure they matched those of the submarine's navigator.

post-300-127730553996_thumb.jpg

The only plane ever to drop a bomb on the United States during WWII was this submarine based Glen.

September 9, 1942: Nebraska forestry student Keith V. Johnson was on duty atop a forest fire lookout tower between Gold's Beach and Brookings Oregon. Keith had memorized the silhouettes of Japanese long distance bombers and those of our own aircraft. He felt confident that he could spot and identify, friend or foe, almost immediately. It was cold on the coast this September morning , and quiet. The residents of the area were still in bed or preparing to head for work. Lumber was a large part of the industry in Brookings, just a few miles north of the California Oregon state lines.

post-300-127730574225_thumb.jpg

The aircraft carried two incendiary 168 pound bombs and a crew of two.

Aboard the submarine the Captain's voice boomed over the PA system, "Prepare to surface, aircrew report to your stations, wait for the open hatch signal" During training runs several subs were lost when hangar door were opened too soon and sea water rushed into the hangars and sank the boat with all hands lost. You could hear the change of sound as the bow of the I-25 broke from the depths, nosed over for its run on the surface. A loud bell signaled the "All Clear." The crew assigned to the single engine Yokosuki E14Ys float equipped observation and light attack aircraft sprang into action. They rolled the plane out its hangar built next to the conning tower. The wings and tail were unfolded, and several 176 pound incendiary bombs were attached to the hard points under the wings. This was a small two passenger float plane with a nine cylinder 340 hp radial engine. It was full daylight when the Captain ordered the aircraft to be placed on the catapult. Warrant Officer Fujita started the engine, let it warm up, checked the magnetos and oil pressure. There was a slight breeze blowing and the seas were calm. A perfect day to attack the United States of America. When the gauges were in the green the pilot signalked and the catapult launched the aircraft. After a short climb to altitude the pilot turned on a heading for the Oregon coast.

post-300-127730579783_thumb.jpg

The "Glen" was launched via catapult from a I-25 class Japanese submarine.

Johnson was sweeping the horizon but could see nothing, he went back to his duties as a forestry agent which was searching for any signs of a forest fire. The morning moved on. Every few minutes he would scan low, medium and high but nothing caught his eye.

The small Japanese float plane had climbed to several thousand feet of altitude for better visibility and to get above the coastal fog. The pilot had calculated land fall in a few minutes and right on schedule he could see the breakers flashing white as they hit the Oregon shores.

Johnson was about to put his binoculars down when something flashed in the sun just above the fog bank. It was unusual because in the past all air traffic had been flying up and down the coast, not aiming into the coast.

The pilot of the aircraft checked his course and alerted his observer to be on the lookout for a fire tower which was on the edge of the wooded area where they were supposed to drop their bombs. These airplanes carried very little fuel and all flights were in and out without any loitering. The plane reached the shore line and the pilot made a course correction 20 degrees to the north. The huge trees were easy to spot and certainly easy to hit with the bombs. The fog was very wispy by this time.

post-300-127730584453_thumb.jpg

Warrant Officer Fujita is shown with his Yokosuka E14Y (Glen) float plane prior to his flight.

Johnson watched in awe as the small floatplane with a red meat ball on the wings flew overhead, the plane was not a bomber and there was no way that it could have flown across the Pacific, Johnson could not understand what was happening. He locked onto the plane and followed it as it headed inland.

The pilot activated the release locks so that when he could pickled the bombs they would release. His instructions were simple, fly at 500 feet, drop the bombs into the trees and circle once to see if they had started any fires and then head back to the submarine.

Johnson could see the two bombs under the wing of the plane and knew that they would be dropped. He grabbed his communications radio and called the Forest Fire Headquarters informing them of what he was watching unfold.

The bombs tumbled from the small seaplane and impacted the forests, the pilot circled once and spotted fire around the impact point. He executed an 180 degree turn and headed back to the submarine. There was no air activity, the skies were clear. The small float plane lined up with the surfaced submarine and landed gently on the ocean, then taxied to the sub. A long boom swung out from the stern. His crewman caught the cable and hooked it into the pickup attached to the roll over cage between the cockpits. The plane was swung onto the deck, The plane's crew folded the wings and tail, pushed it into its hangar and secured the water tight doors. The I-25 submerged and headed back to Japan.

This event ,which caused no damage, marked the only time during World War II that an enemy plane had dropped bombs on the United States mainland. What the Japanese didn't count on was coastal fog, mist and heavy doses of rain made the forests so wet they simply would not catch fire.

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This Memorial Plaque is located in Brookings, Oregon at the site of the 1942 bombing

Fifty years later the Japanese pilot, who survived the war, would return to Oregon to help dedicate a historical plaque at the exact spot where his two bombs had impacted. The elderly pilot then donated his ceremonial sword as a gesture of peace and closure of the bombing of Oregon in 1942.

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