Tag Archives: WWII

A combination piece including two photos of Magdalena Leones and the Silver Star she earned.

YES, TEACHER, GRANDMA REALLY WAS A SOLDIER, SPY, GUERILLA, AND SILVER STAR RECIPIENT

As the story goes, when Corporal Magdalena “Maggie” Leones’ granddaughter wrote a report about her grandma for a school assignment, the teacher simply didn’t believe it. Believe what? Or, was the girl simply a grandchild with an overactive imagination? Prove it, the teacher told her. Prove it, Maggie’s granddaughter did. She brought the Silver Star […]

WWII glider in flight over California.

GLIDING INTO 2023, 70 YEARS TO THE DAY MILITARY GLIDERS SAILED OFF INTO RETIREMENT

As we glide into 2023, we pay tribute to the military glider – one of America’s silent weapons of World War II – that was removed from the U.S. Army’s air fleet on this day 70 years ago. Gliders were lightweight, engineless airplanes towed by cables into the skies by much bigger, motored aircraft, then […]

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day 2022, a black and white photo of the USS Shaw exploding during the attach on Pearl Harbor.

PEARL HARBOR REMEMBRANCE DAY: IMAGES LEFT TO TELL THE STORY ONCE THE FINAL VOICES GO SILENT

On Veterans Day last month, USS Arizona Navy veteran Lou Conter told a gathering in Grass Valley about the fateful events of December 7, 1941—the day the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service attacked Pearl Harbor. Of the 2,403 Americans killed, 1,177 were his Arizona shipmates. The attack also damaged or destroyed 19 ships including eight […]

A toddler wearing a yellow dress made from the fabric of a WWII parachute.

Parachute that Brought Supplies to American Pows Now Dressing up Display at Redding Veterans Home

A yellow toddler’s dress might be the last thing you’d expect to find showcased at a veterans home. Photographs, medals, battlefield souvenirs, or old newspaper clippings? Sure. But a little yellow silk dress? Yet, there is displayed in the Hall of Honor deep inside the Veterans Homes of California-Redding, on loan from the family of […]

SeaBees Can Do patch, Calvet logo and a 1940 enlistment poster showing an illustration of navy personnel setting rivets into steel.

SEABEES BUILDING BASES, ROADS, AIRSTRIPS, AND REPUTATION FOR PAST 80 YEARS

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor drew the United States officially into World War II, the Navy determined it would need to build bases, roads, and airstrips in combat zones – and at warp speed. But who would build them? Civilian contractors who built facilities at Wake Island were captured by Japanese soldiers 15 days […]

Resident veterans at the Ventura Veterans Home wearing their gold pins on red shirts.

‘RUPTURED DUCK’ HONORABLE DISCHARGE PINS FINDING LAPELS IN CALVET’S VETERANS HOMES

A few weeks ago, the Veterans Home of California-Ventura received a phone call from Lou Zayas, junior commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart chapter in Georgia. Zayas wanted to know the number of World War II veterans living at the Ventura Home. He wanted to send each one a “Ruptured Duck” lapel […]

Feature art for the two Millers story, head shots of the two Navy sailors by the name of Miller at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7.

80 YEARS AGO TODAY: THE UNIQUE STORIES OF TWO MEN NAMED MILLER AT PEARL HARBOR

Eighty years ago today, 360 Japanese warplanes attacked the United States’ Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, killing more than 2,400 Americans and wounding over 1,100 others in the most horrific assault on American soil to that point in the nation’s history. So many stories told and untold, among them the tale of two sailors moored […]

Poster art encompassing military personnel from WWII to present day.

NUMBERS OFFER PERSEPCTIVE ON VETERANS DAY IN THE GOLDEN STATE

As we celebrate Veterans Day, the numbers add up to the respect and appreciation our veterans deserve across the nation—and here in California. To sum it up: Veterans Day began as Armistice Day, to commemorate the armistice that began on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month (November 11, 1918) to […]

Man in cockpit of WWII Bi-plane.

THANKING WW II VETERANS FROM THE OPEN COCKPIT OF A BI-PLANE

NAPA – Bob Bischoff climbed into the front seat of a 1943 Boeing Stearman bi-plane earlier this week for a joyride over the Napa Valley’s vineyards and neighborhoods. Referring to pilot Andrew Lohmar, Bischoff said “He would turn like this,” then turned his hands downward as if an airplane. The 95-year-old U.S. Army veteran continued, […]

Photo of the USS Yorktown after it was hit by enemy fire.

BATTLE OF MIDWAY BEGAN 79 YEARS AGO TODAY, WITH USS YORKTOWN AMONG ITS MOST HALLOWED CASUALTIES

The USS Yorktown (CV5) rests beneath 16,650 feet of water in the Pacific Ocean, its name still, but barely, visible on the stern when famed oceanographer Robert Ballard located the wreckage in 1998. The carrier remains undisturbed as it has — and as it should — since sinking to the ocean floor three days after […]