Tag: Coast Guard

Memory and Forgetfulness:Part 2

 

Seventy-five years ago, Operation Overlord was launched, opening a third land front in the strategic counteroffensive against Nazi Germany. The Germans were already reeling back from their high-water mark in the east (Stalingrad), and had squandered the cream of their veteran force in the Battle of Kursk during the summer of 1943. Predominantly American forces were slowly slugging their way up the length of Italy, where terrain favored competent defenders. It was finally time to open a western front with the sort of maneuver room found on the eastern front. We ought to pay tribute now, while there are still veterans of that great crusade with us.

The note here, dated July 5, was written by General Eisenhower, in case the D-Day landings failed. He praised “the troops, the air, and the navy,” and took total responsibility for the failure: “If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt, it is mine alone.” His message was ready for transmission to the Allied nations. Mercifully, it never needed to be sent.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are grateful to see Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson rebuke Jussie Smollett for perpetrating a hate crime hoax and damaging the reputation of the city. Johnson also blasted the media for ignoring serious issues while providing wall to wall coverage of Smollett. They’re also […]

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Aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Taney

 

u045901My father, who died in his seventies back in 1996, served during most of the Second World War aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Taney, now one of the half dozen ships preserved as floating museums in Baltimore Harbor. I only asked him about the War a few times. He just didn’t like to talk about it. He told a few funny stories readily enough — once when the Taney was in port in San Diego, he and a shipmate hopped from the deck onto the dock, then strolled off to spend the day enjoying themselves, but when they returned that evening they found that the tide had come in, lifting the deck far above their heads, and the only way they could get back aboard was by hauling themselves up the ratlines. But talk about combat? The warfare part of the War? All I ever got out of him was a story about Okinawa.

He was on deck one day as an American plane approached a nearby aircraft carrier, preparing to land. Although the Navy issued its pilots frequent new approach patterns, my father explained — they had to make it impossible for the Japanese to use captured American aircraft to stage kamikaze attacks — and this pilot was using the wrong pattern. How my father knew this, I can no longer recall — were all the ships able to listen in to a single radio frequency? — but he described a long several minutes as the entire American fleet seemed to freeze, silent, as the aircraft carrier signaled to the pilot again and again to correct his approach … and finally shot him down. “We never learned what had happened,” my father said, “but you couldn’t get the idea out of your mind that it was one of our guys who just got confused. It made us all sick to our stomachs.”

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Jonah Goldberg once wrote that he was invited by a group of geeks who had been plotting on how to hold out in a zombie invasion for years to join their group, that he told them, “I don’t mean to overly mock the role-playing game community, these are my people. But when the zombies come, I’d […]

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