The Military

Out of WWII

   Like most young men of my generation I was faced with military service when I became eligible for the draft in the early '60s.  Almost everyone I'd known, had been in the Army, Navy or Air Force.  My best friend had joined the Marines.  I'd always been interested in the military.  They got to play with such neat things.  Airplanes, tanks and warships had an almost mystical appeal to a young boy.  Later I realized that I'd probably have to go through the military, more as a rite of passage than as some great adventure.  It turned out to be both.  I was drafted in 1966, just as the war in Vietnam (and the anti war movement) was heating up.  While in I was given the opportunity to fly, something I'd always wanted to do.  But there was a price to pay for this gift of wings.  I was expected to fly in "Sunny South East Asia," better known as Vietnam.  I did it and I'm not sorry I did.  But like almost every vet I've ever know, I don't think I'd like to do it again.

one of "my" four M113's

A 90 mm recoilless rifle kicks up dust

I've soloed in an OH-23

OH23d on Final

Some of the boys of the 155AHC RVN

Nose art on a Falcon gun ship

My one "Ride" in a Uh1-C

Goofy Grape and a
Dustoff at Duc Lop

Some Thoughts on Military History
    At one time or another much of America's (and the world's) attention has been centered on the military.  Millions of lives have been lost in the clash of arms.  Some of the most horrible and at the same time some of the bravest acts of mankind have been carried out under military operations.  Millions and millions of dollars have been given to the winning of wars.

    But as time passes history is re-written.  Villains become heroes and heroes become villains.  In my correspondence over the years, two such cases came to hand.  First,  the attempt to "prove" that FDR knew of the impending attack on Pearl Harbor, but did nothing about it.  Second, the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan.

    As to the first, I did a lot of research, and turned up some amazing things.  For example there are many myths I was taught while growing up, such as America was a peaceful nation, completely unprepared for the war.  In reality America was preparing for war BEFORE  Pearl Harbor, and could have been at war almost a year before the raid.

If you'd like to see some of the things I found
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    As to the A bombing of Japan, most Americans have no idea of the conduct of the air war and why the Atomic bombs were just one more weapon  in that war.  The atomic bombs, themselves, were terrible because of the little effort expended in the air raids (If you don't count the millions spent on their development).  Only one plane destroyed much of a city.  But the truth is, we had ALREADY destroyed most cities in Japan by the time the bombs were dropped.

    After the atomic bombs were dropped and a bombing pause was put into affect.  But it was deemed that the Japanese leadership was dragging it's feet so Gen. LeMay was given the go ahead to continue to destroy anything that even vaguely looked like a target.   Had there been no bombs, Hiroshima and Nagasaki would surly have been destroyed long before they were.

    Here's some of the information I found when I looked into the conduct of the air war over Japan in 1944 and 1945.

Airwar, Japan
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If you'd like to see additional information Here are a few links that I've found interesting.  This is by no means a complete list.  Nor do I claim that it's editorial content is balanced.

Library of Congress Search Page
access to LC's catalog and those at many other Institutions

Military/Info Publishing
Specializing in Historical Military Technology

History of the 155 Assault Helicopter Company
This was my company during the Vietnam war

United states Air force Museum
at Wright Peterson Air force base

Naval Historical Center
The United States Navy's online service.

The Army Historical Foundation
Army history

For years America believed in coastal artillery as the means of keeping us safe.  Here are a few sites.

The Fort MacArthur Museum
Battery Osgood-Farley Historic Site

TR 435-227
TR 435-227, Training Regulation on the M1920 Railway Gun, dated March 18, 1933

USN Railway Gun Photos
Our contribution to world war I