Snapshot 1945… America at Iwo Jima – a melting pot forged in blood…

August 26, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The following snapshot comes from the Minneapolis Sunday Tribune, dated April 22, 1945, which shouts of America as the world’s melting pot in a thousand words… and perhaps a million drops of blood.

Snapshot 1914 – the first warship passes through the Panama Canal…

June 25, 2019 by · 2 Comments 

The following snapshot comes from the Boston Evening Transcript dated August 18, 1914, which announces the first-ever warship making its way through the Panama Canal. Quite historic.

 

They Put It In Print (1938)… Martin Niemöller…

May 28, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.” (Martin Niemöller)

The Christian Science Monitor for March 4, 1938 reports Reverend Martin Niemöller has been sent off to a Nazi concentration camp.

 

 

Snapshot 1934… Adolf Hitler declares he will not go to war!

March 12, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The following snapshot comes from the Chicago Daily Tribune dated August 6, 1934, which features Adolf Hitler’s Declaration that “War Means Ruin…Will Fight Only If Attacked.” At least he got the 1st part right.

 

Great Headlines Speak For Themselves… the Hindenburg tragedy!

August 11, 2016 by · 2 Comments 

The best headlines need no commentary. Such is the case with the NEW YORK AMERICAN, May 7, 1937: “HINDENBURG EXPLODES AT LAKEHURST; 35 DEAD“:Blog-8-11-2016-Hindenburg

Don’t believe everything you read… Hitler rise to power unlikely!

July 14, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

One of my favorite quotes regarding the internet, but whose founding warning-principle is rooted in print media is:

“The problem with internet quotes is that you can’t always depend on their accuracy.” -Abraham Lincoln, 1864

Blog-7-14-2016-HitlerYou simply cannot believe everything you read, hear, and in some cases, see. In most instances the misinformation is at least somewhat unintentional. However, sometimes even the well-intended get it wrong – including the so-called experts. Such is the case with a report in the August 16, 1932 edition of the New York Times. The heading in question reads: “Hitler Dictatorship In Reich Held Unlikely“. Just to be sure the heading would not be misinterpreted, a segment of the corresponding text states: “…the probability of Adolph Hitler and the National Socialists gaining power in Germany was not strong…” Let’s just say Frederick J. E. Woodbridge, an esteemed professor of American History at the University of Berlin, was a bit off the mark.

 

The put it in print… Killing them with kindness?

July 11, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The August 15, 1945 “Evening Standard” newspaper from London, on the day they reported the surrender of Japan to end World War II, included an extract from a Reuter’s message quoting Admiral Halsey on the end of the war: “…Looks like the war is over. Cease firing, but if you see any enemy planes in the air shoot them down in a friendly fashion.”Blog-7-11-2016-The-Halsey-Touch

The Attack on Pearl Harbor… Great Headlines Speak For Themselves…

February 18, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The best headlines need no commentary. Such is the case with the HONOLULU STAR BULLETIN – 1st Extra! printed on December 7, 1941:Blog-12-14-2016-Pearl-Harbor-Attack

The Last Surviving Veterans Who Served at Pearl Harbor…

October 22, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Collecting World War II era newspapers covering significant events continues to be popular among collectors, even though the number of WWII veterans continues to decline. Authentic issues of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reporting the Pearl Harbor tragedy certainly stand above them all. It is with this in mind we are pleased to post the following article compliments of Francisco Mesa.

The Last Surviving Veterans Who Served at Pearl Harbor

As the years roll by, the list of surviving US veterans of WWII who served at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese Navy attacked the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet inevitably becomes shorter. And with the Pearl Harbor survivors well past their late 80s and some passing even the ripe-old century mark, their numbers are dwindling rapidly all over the US. Last year, just about 2,000 survivors were thought to be around, still.

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

On December 7, 2014, the US President Barrack Obama designated December 7 as the National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Four veterans of the remaining 9 USS Arizona survivors gathered at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center on December 7, 2014, for a meeting of USS Arizona survivors. The veterans were greeted by music and military salutes from the US Navy Band. Later, they viewed a live feed of an underwater dive beside USS Arizona’s sunken hull that still holds over 900 bodies. For the veterans, each return to Pearl Harbor brings back intense and, sometimes, painful memories.

USS Arizona Reunion Association’s Last Gathering at Hawaii

Although it was the last formal survivor gathering of the erstwhile USS Arizona Reunion Association at Hawaii, the veterans said they still intend to get together—if not in Hawaii, somewhere in the US. Louis Conter, 93, felt he still had some time, and he’d come back to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center regardless of who else makes it.

Donald Stratton, USS Arizona Survivor

Donald Stratton, 92, of Colorado is another USS Arizona survivor. Don Stratton had been manning the Anti-Aircraft gun batteries. He remained at his battle station on the ship’s port side until the last possible moment. He endured 65 percent burns and a one-year hospitalization. Stratton was medically discharged from the US Navy but re-enlisted a year later. He said that the good Lord saved a precious few from the USS Arizona.

John Anderson, USS Arizona Survivor

John Anderson, 97, was ordered off the USS Arizona, but he wasn’t willing to leave behind his twin brother, Delbert. Although Anderson was forced into a boat and packed off to the safer Ford Island, he returned in an empty boat and rescued three shipmates. Sadly, he didn’t find his brother. Anderson recalled that he had just attended church services that day and had been heading to breakfast when someone warned that the Japanese planes were coming.

Anderson Recalls the Harrowing Experience

Anderson remembers lying in a bomb-blast crater on Ford Island after the surprise attack. He had picked up a rifle and two bandoliers of ammunition and started firing at Japanese aircraft. Anderson had hunkered there through that night with another sailor. In the morning, a passing Marine patrol informed him that survivors of the USS Arizona had to gather at the dock nearby to facilitate a head count. Anderson remembers everyone he saw having rags around their heads. He clearly recalls bandages covered their arms and their skin had been scorched, and their hair had been burned off.

Lauren Bruner, USS Arizona Survivor

Lauren Bruner, 94, had been alongside Don Stratton manning his battle station. There were four others as well. Bruner had escaped from the fiery, sinking battleship by shimmying across a rope that dangled 60 feet above Pearl Harbor’s waters. Bruner had been standing just 70 feet from the spot the torpedo bomb had exploded at the USS Arizona’s forward magazine. He suffered almost 75 percent burns. But that didn’t deter him. Bruner and his comrades were intent on fighting back. There was only one thing that hampered them … they just had to survive the next few moments. So, after catching the attention of one sailor aboard the warship moored alongside their own, a rope stretching almost 100 feet was thrown across.

The Sailors’ Great Escape from the Burning USS Arizona

All the 6 men made the painful—all of them had suffered serious burns—hand-over-hand escape. They had dangled 60 feet in the air as huge flames rising from the oily harbor had burned their skin even more. Bruner had been the second last to leave USS Arizona. Alvin Dvorak, the last one to escape over the rope, had been the one that caught the attention of the sailor on the USS Vestal. Unfortunately, Dvorak succumbed after spending 17 days in the hospital. He had suffered 84 percent burns. Lauren Bruner considers Alvin Dvorak to be the true hero of their great escape. Bruner spent the next seven months in the hospital and returned to the Pacific theater.

Conclusion

Although the survivors of Pearl Harbor are in their early or mid 90s, they can recall the Japanese sneak attack vividly. Many of the survivors fondly hope to live long enough to attend the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor strike in Hawaii on December 7, 2016.

If you are ever visit Hawaii, there are several Pearl Harbor tours that range from just a couple hours to a full day. There are still droplets of oil coming out of the sunken battleship USS Arizona. Also, there are hundreds of people still entombed within the sunken battleship. It is said that the droplets of oil represent the crying of the fallen men and women. And when the droplets of oil stop, the crying will stop.

© Francisco Meza

They put it in print… Nazi generals attempt an escape to Japan…

July 27, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

World War II created a countless number of stories of heroism, sorrow, courage, and intrigue, many of which will never be known save for just  a few.

Blog-7-27-2015-Nazi-GeneralsThe “The Detroit Free Press” of May 17, 1945 reported one such event which would surprise many historians today. Its headline notes: “Seize U-Boat Taking Key Nazis To Japan” with a subhead: “Luftwaffe Chiefs Captured at Sea“. This was just 10 days after the surrender of Germany, and less than 3 months before Japan would surrender to end World War II.  The related article mentions in part: “A 1,600 ton Nazi U-boat, presumably attempting to escape to Japan, surrendered to destroyer-escorts of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet…Aboard were 3 major general of the Luftwaffe and two dead Japanese, who had committed hara-kiri…”.

To this day few know of the attempt of Nazi generals to seek refuge in Japan, yet it was a front page headline in Detroit at the time.

Ironically, the photo shown is actually of the capture/surrender of the infamous U-505, an event which had occurred in June of 1944, but was not announced/released until the previous day.

A movie in the making?

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