Cigarettes in War and Peace

Can you name a film from the 1940s or 1950s where the actors did not smoke, sometimes throughout the movie? Probably not. Besides giving characters something to do with their hands, Hollywood considered smoking to be sophisticated and sexy. Thankfully, today, with greater awareness of the hazards of smoking, and noble efforts by the American Cancer Society, we see much less tapping of cigarette packs, … Continue reading Cigarettes in War and Peace

Precision Research: UFOs and Bombsights

What we know to be true about UFOs and Norden Bombsights In January 2021, the CIA released a trove of previously “secret” documents on unidentified flying objects. And then, as CIA representatives pushed their chairs back from the table, they claimed to have disclosed everything they have. But after looking at the videos about Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, most of us would say, “nothing to see … Continue reading Precision Research: UFOs and Bombsights

The Luck of the Draw. The Roll of the Dice.

At 0300 on June 25, 1943, a jeep crept quietly through the dark to one of the Niessen huts at Thorpe Abbotts airfield. The sergeant on board, entered, reached the bunk of Lt. Stanley O. Morrison placed a hand on Morrison’s shoulder and nudged him awake. Not that anyone in the barracks was asleep. Each of the dozen or more men lying on his own … Continue reading The Luck of the Draw. The Roll of the Dice.

In Their Own Words

“All in all I would like to be appreciated as a man” Recently Virginia Tech and the National Endowment for the Humanities launched a project to transcribe the handwritten comments of a thousands of soldiers who responded to a survey during and in the aftermath of World War II. The results were published in 1950 under the title The American Soldier, a four volume series by … Continue reading In Their Own Words

Like Minds — A WWII Reading List

By now I imagine and, having done my part, fervently hope, everyone knows 2020 is the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. If not, there’s one more opportunity to catch up on the events, the issues, and the ordinary and extraordinary people who lived through the war years. On August 30, the New York Times devoted its Book Review to books … Continue reading Like Minds — A WWII Reading List

The Last Airman to Die in WWII

From a even a quick glance at Anthony J. Marchione’s photo, the man’s youth is evident. He was a handsome young man, too, slightly built, all of five foot six and 125 pounds. He’d celebrated his twentieth birthday in Okinawa on August 12, 1945, an American airman in the prime of his life. Three days later, the Japanese surrendered. Six days later he was dead. … Continue reading The Last Airman to Die in WWII

The USS Indianapolis + 75 Years

Georgia Men Among the Crew of the Ill-fated USS Indianapolis in 1945 Seventy-five years ago, only minutes past midnight on July 30, 1945, the Imperial Japanese submarine I-58 launched two torpedoes in the dark waters of the south Pacific. They sped toward the USS Indianapolis striking her in the bow and at midship. The story of what transpired following the attack is well known to navy veterans and WWII historians and … Continue reading The USS Indianapolis + 75 Years

The Three-War Survivor’s League

Just over one thousand men. That’s how many veterans the Veterans Administration estimates still remain of the 72,000 who served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, according to an article by the Panama Herald in May 2019. One of the three-war-veterans was one-hundred-year-old US Air Force Col. Charles McGee (pictured above) who helped toss the coin for the 54th Super Bowl (and 100th NFL season) in … Continue reading The Three-War Survivor’s League

The King and the War

Despite a desire to serve their country in any capacity they could, at the start of the Second World War the military was reluctant to allow blacks to enlist. If they did enlist local draft boards often passed blacks over in favor of white recruits, resulting in fewer than 4,000 black troops and a mere dozen black officers in the ranks in late 1941. Eventually, … Continue reading The King and the War