Category History

JUST FOUR NAMES OF CALIFORNIA’S FALLEN NEEDED FOR VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL WALL OF FACES

Four faces, four photographs to go: Tommy R. Henderson, Los Angeles, U.S. Army John E. Magee, Los Angeles, U.S. Army Vernon P. Smith, Los Angeles, U.S. Navy Frank Spotwood Jr., San Francisco, U.S. Army The mission: To find their photos and submit them to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall’s virtual Wall of Faces. Ah, if […]

SPIRIT OF ’45 DAY CELEBRATIONS – IN SPIRIT ONLY

Each of the past several years, the Veterans Museum at Balboa Park in San Diego honored the area’s World War II veterans on its “Spirit of ’45 Day.” In 2010, Congress designated the second Sunday of August as a day to pay tribute to the men and women who comprised the “Greatest Generation” of Americans. […]

230th BIRTHDAY JUST “DUCKY” FOR VENTURA HOME’S ONLY COAST GUARD VETERAN RESIDENT

Pardon Richard “Ducky” Brace when he says there was no middle ground when it came to his service in the U.S. Coast Guard in the mid- to late-1960s: He was either hot or cold with it. Indeed, Brace stayed toasty warm down in the engine rooms where he served as an engineman for two years […]

THIS MONTHS FIRE ABOARD A SHIP IN SAN DIEGO HAS COMPANY: DISASTER ON USS FORRESTAL IN 1967

Earlier this month, a fire burned for five days injuring 63 people aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard at Naval Base San Diego. The blaze is under investigation to determine the cause. Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) are assisting with the probe, and questions remain as to whether the ship can […]

A VERY UN-CIVIL TIME IN CALIFORNIA’S SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY

A recent CalVet Connect Post commemorated the 158th anniversary of the day in 1862 when President Lincoln signed into law what became the U.S. military’s Medal of Honor. CalVet’s Medal of Honor Wall and its Medal of Honor Hall at headquarters in Sacramento include three recipients from California who fought in the Civil War. What […]

THE BLAST FELT ALL THE WAY TO NEVADA: PORT CHICAGO EXPLOSION KILLED 320 SAILORS IN 1944

“The Shot Heard ‘Round the World” at Concord, Massachusetts in 1775 led to the deaths of eight Americans and increased the already heavy tensions between the colonists and the British as the Revolutionary War approached. Most Americans learned about it in elementary school. Fast-forward to another blast not found in school textbooks. This one happened […]

TODAY MARKS 158th ANNIVERSARY OF AMERICA’S HIGHEST MILITARY HONOR

At the headquarters of the California Department of Veterans Affairs in Sacramento, the Medal of Honor Wall honors 173 Californians who received the nation’s highest military honor. Plaques honor many of them in the adjacent Medal of Honor Hall as well. “Our admiration and respect for the Californians, and to all others who received the […]

BLANCHFIELD A TRAILBLAZER FOR ALL WOMEN OFFICERS

More than 40,000 women currently serve as officers in the United States military, and they have Florence A. Blanchfield to thank for that. Why? Because 73 years ago today – and shortly after Congress passed the Army-Navy Nurses Act of 1947 she worked so hard to create – Blanchfield became the first permanent woman officer […]

EL SOLDADO

Those who vandalized the El Soldado statue at the State Capitol on July 4 reflected a lack of understanding as to what it represents. The statue, formally known as the California Mexican-American Veterans Memorial, honors Mexican-American soldiers who fought and died during World War II. “This simple monument was built by mothers, daughters, and families […]

THE WAR BEFORE THE WAR: U.S., GERMANS FOUGHT TO CONTROL NORTH ATLANTIC MONTHS AHEAD OF PEARL HARBOR ATTACK

Americans remember December 7, 1941, as the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, killed 2,403 U.S. military personnel, and drew the United States into World War II. It, without a doubt, is one of the most horrific and important dates in our nation’s 244-year history. However, other events reflect a much different and earlier timeline […]