Take a moment to remember,
Short post today. It is 7 December 2012 and as President Roosevelt told us it is a “Date that will live in infamy.”
Take a minute to consider how far we have progressed as two nations. Seventy-one years ago Japan and the United States entered into a horrible war for control of the Western Hemisphere. Five years later, millions of deaths and two atomic bombs later we entered into an uneasy peace.
This morning, I got into my Mitsubishi Endeavor and drove to the Barnes and Nobel to get some work done. Seventy years ago they were not a car company, they were an airplane company making the Mitsubishi Zero. An all-time great fighter and an airplane that lead directly to the deaths of thousands of American pilots.
I wonder if I will see my grandkids get into their Iraqi Truck or Afghanistan car? I doubt it but I am proud that we as a country enjoy close relations with Japan. They are a wonderful people and it is nice to have a friend in the world.
I have a friend from my Church, Bert C. When Pearl Harbor was attacked Bert and his brother joined up. Bert joined the Marines and went to the Pacific. His brother joined the Army and went to Europe. Both survived and are still alive today. Bert, was an airplane mechanic working on several different types of airplanes. He was assigned to VF-214 at Vella Lavella. For you historians, you knew where I am going. For the rest you might have heard of the Commander of the Black Sheep Squadron, Gregory “Pappy” Boyington. Yes, that guy!
Bert worked on the F4U Corsair and the C-47 Skytrain. As a crew chief, Bert flew and acted as the co-pilot even though he had no formal flight training and was one of the men who were chosen to check out the new pilots. This only happens during a time of war, real war not Iraq or Afghanistan.
One morning, Bert was awaken by his Gunny Sergeant. He had new orders, go fix a crashed C-47. So Bert got into an airplane, with all of his tools, parts, some water, rations and his Thompson machine gun. They flew to an island and dropped Bert off. Six weeks later they came back to get him.
Get that picture in your mind: He was alone, on an island that was not secured by either side and given an order to fix the crashed airplane. When they flew the airplane out, it went to the depot on another island (I don’t know where). After one day of servicing the engines, new oil things like that the airplane was put back into service. When it got on the line it was in the best flying condition of all the airplanes. Bert is just one of thousands stories of exceptional service. I would love to hear more stories from the greatest generation.
From → military