Tag Archives: world war 2

December 7, 1941: Who Remembers Pearl Harbor?

Where did all the decades go? It happened 76 years ago! How many of us, including ex-swabbie me, who fought in World War 2 are still kicking? According to published stats, 16 million Americans served, and less than two million of the very old guys survive today.

At these times of remembrance, along with many other images, I recall watching street parades in the late 1930s. Marchers I saw included many World War 1 vets, then in their early 40s, and very, very old guys in their early 90s who served in the Civil War.

Of course, now as ancient as the former Union and Rebel vets, I understand that all wars are incredibly stupid. Basically, they’re started by limp old guys in fancy uniforms. They find reasons to start wars, then send healthy young teens out to kill each other. Meanwhile, munitions makers get rich and the old guys pin medals on each other.

Even more troubling is that if Japan had followed up the Pearl Harbor attack and won World War 2. Think of how terrible American life would be today! We’d all be forced to drive Japanese cars, buy their cheap toys, tv sets, smartphones, shoes and wear their clothing. Even worse, we’d have to go to their restaurants and eat sushi, tempura and okonomiyaki!

World Series: Grossly Inflated Tickets & Juiced Baseballs

There’s no joy in Dodgertown as the Astros win and go home with the loot. While the memory fades, I can’t help brooding about the average ticket price for the 7th game between Los Angeles and Houston Astros at Dodger Field. It was more than $1,700.

That was for spending two hours seated next to drunks and screamers while off in the far distance some guys hit balls and ran around the field. Of course, added on ticket prices were $100 parking, $25 hot dogs and $20 beer in small paper cups.

It all takes this old guy back to a game at Philly’s Shibe Park, when the Yankee star Joe DiMaggio set the season hitting streak record of 56 consecutive games. It was against the Athletics on July 17, 1941, and my big brother took me to the game. He was 19 and I was 15.

Within several months, on December 7, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. My brother was at the Army recruiting station the next day, and served in the Pacific. I had to wait until I hit 17 to enlist in the Navy, and also served in the Pacific and the Philippines.
And did I forget to mention that our day at the ball park cost 50¢ each for bleacher seat tickets, plus 5¢ per soda and hot dog? We didn’t need the parking lot because we had no car, and paid 7.5¢ for a Philly trolley car ride to the stadium. And nobody questioned whether Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio’s hits were with juiced baseballs.

112-Year-Old Woman Says Longevity = No Coffee

As the Pittsburgh PA senior celebrated her birthday, she claimed she never drinks the stuff. This 92-year-old youngster agrees. I’ve always hated the smell and taste of the dank liquid, and always avoid coffee. There was just one time I tried it way back during my World War II Navy days.

Aboard ship one cold night I had the dog watch on deck. That’s from midnight to 4 am, and I needed something warm to fight the chill. A mess cook brought me a steaming cup of black, no sugar coffee. I took a sip, gagged, then poured the rest of it over the side into the ocean.

Never touched the smelly stuff since. Hmm. Thinking now of how to celebrate my 112th birthday. Maybe with a steaming cup of hot chocolate.

70% Of American Teens Are Too Fat To Join Up

According to several recent beancounter research organizations, most blubber-assed kids in the U.S. today couldn’t qualify to serve in the Armed Forces. This fat fuss reminds an old sailor of the recruiting scene in World War 2.

Just hours after the Pearl Harbor attack by Japan in December 1941, millions of red-blooded teen boys rushed to recruiting stations to sign up. Additionally, those age 18 and above who weren’t so anxious to enlist knew they’d soon be drafted into the Army.

When I hit age 17 eight months after the Pearl Harbor attack, to avoid spending the war in an Army mud hole, I enlisted in the Navy. I remember some applicants in the recruiting station were turned town. They had heart murmurs, flat feet, thick glasses or other physical problems. I don’t recall any being sent home for being too fat.

However, updated WW2 statistics may reveal that many recruits with the most blubber were promoted to officer ranks. Then they served bravely through the war on their huge fat asses defending desks at the Pentagon in Washington DC.

Leyte, The Philippines: USS Indy Wreck Located

Several horrible events happened within only two weeks of the end of World War 2. Just after midnight on July 30, 1945, a Japanese submarine sank the American cruiser, USS Indianapolis, resulting in the deaths of nearly a thousand Navy men.

Before sailing for the Philippines, the Indy had delivered the first atomic bomb to the Pacific island of Tinian. On August 7, an American bomber from that island dropped it on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, resulting in more than 100,000 deaths.

To most people under age 90 today, this story is about as obscure as Admiral Nelson’s victory at Trafalgar or Captain John Paul Jones win over British ships. However, for me the Indy disaster evokes personal memories of 72 years ago.

Recent news reports that a scientific team found the Indy wreckage about a mile deep in the ocean, several miles off the coast of Leyte in the Philippines. In 1945, I was at the Navy base in the coastal port of Tacloban. When the news of the disaster came in to us, it was five days and nights after the sinking.

Unfortunately for the Indy crew, the torpedo had destroyed all the communications equipment, so no distress call went out, and the ship sank within minutes. Of the 1,200 crewmen aboard, about 300 were killed by the blasts. The others went into the shark-infested water, and by the time of rescue five days later, only 317 survived.

I was among the Navy guys at the Tacloban base who were assigned to help as the survivors were brought to camp on August 5. Many were in advanced states of exposure, sunburn, wounds and exhaustion.

The Hiroshima bomb was dropped on August 7. When the official Japanese offer to surrender came in on August 15, we were all grateful we had survived the war. The horrible irony of the story, of course, is that the Indy was sunk after delivering the bomb that won the war just days later.

Aw, Gee Whiz! Exhausted Justin Bieber Cancels Tour

Calling the reason for not continuing his Purpose World Tour as “unforeseen circumstances”, the boy singer apparently needs some rest and rehab time. Of course, jumping around and squawking for several hours every night can be very tiring.

Anyhow, Justin will still make multi-millions this year with other gigs and recordings. So, who cares about a bunch of teens who’ll be heartbroken and may not be able to get refunds for their $1,000 Bieber cancelled concert tickets?

It all brings back memories to this old guy of performances by other entertainers of note. The best of all, comedian Bob Hope never cancelled any of his thousands of wartime performances for GIs during World War 2, Korea and Vietnam. And many of them were in makeshift outdoor theaters where the threat of enemy gunfire was always present.

So, let’s just hope the Biebs will recover his voice and get back on the concert tour. We know he’s brave enough to face the perils of being mobbed by dangerous teens.

Is Donald Trump The Worst President Since….

Uh, wait a minute. How about some others who were not so great: Obama, Bush guys, Mr. and Mrs. Clinton, Nixon, Johnson, Hoover, er…maybe Chester A. Arthur. Anyhow, the current Trump fuss isn’t all about him. So, what’s so wrong with the Trump kids playing footsie with the Russkies? It isn’t the first time.

This old sailor remembers during World War 2, when the great Franklin D. Roosevelt sat down with friendly dictator Joe Stalin. We all cheered about what best buddies they were. Fighting allies against the evil Germans. And joined in helping the noble Chinese fight off the brutal Japanese.

Then, soon after the war, when haberdasher Harry Truman was president, things were quickly reversed. Our new pals, Germany and Japan, helped us stand up against the evil Russkies. Soon, in 1950, when North Korea invaded South Korea, we all knew the evil Russkie and Chinese Commies were their best buddies.

So, we got involved in a war that still hasn’t ended. Everyone is still frightened today, including the Chinese and Russkies, about a fat little North Korean dictator with a funny haircut. He’s now boasting he can send nuclear rockets to wipe out all the evil Americans.

Can anyone blame this very old and confused guy, who served in World War 2 and Korea, for not naming Donald Trump the worst? Our current leader of the free world will have to work very hard in screwing up to match those other guys.