Tag Archives: WWII

79 YEARS AGO TODAY – AND SIX WEEKS BEFORE PEARL HARBOR ATTACK – FDR PUT COAST GUARD UNDER NAVY CONTROL

Six weeks before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent a not-so-subtle message indicating the United States was ramping up for war. On November 1, 1941 – 79 years ago today – he signed Executive Order 8929, which put the U.S. Coast Guard under the Navy’s control, a moved usually restricted to […]

HOW SEPTEMBER 2, 1945, BECAME ONE OF THE MOST MONUMENTAL DAYS IN HISTORY

Certainly, September 2, 1945, stands as one of the most monumental days in modern times, as judged by the number of monuments that followed. On this day 75 years ago, Japanese officials boarded the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, and signed the documents of surrender that ended World War II. Later that same day, […]

PATTON TOOK MESSINA 77 YEARS AGO TODAY, BUT FILM GOT IT WRONG: NO SMIRK, NO MONTGOMERY

It is one of the most memorable scenes of the 1970 Oscar-winning film “Patton.” British Field Marshall Bernard “Monty” Montgomery rolls into the Sicilian town of Messina, expecting to bask in the glory of the moment. Instead, he finds a smug U.S. General George S. Patton waiting to see the look on his face, having […]

NAVAJO CODE TALKERS DAY REMEMBERS THOSE WHO SAVED LIVES, VITAL TO WINNING WWII IN PACIFIC

In 1982, when President Reagan declared August 14 of each year Navajo Code Talkers Day, the recognition was long overdue. Not until 2000 did President Clinton sign the bill awarding the original 29 Code Talkers the Congressional Gold medals that President George W. Bush presented in July 2001. In total, there were 400 Navajo Code […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

FEWER THAN 1,000 AMERICAN D-DAY SURVIVORS REMAIN; A 95-YEAR-OLD MODESTAN IS AMONG THEM

Seventy-six years ago, on the morning of June 6, 1944, Charles Fenley and the crew of Landing Craft Tank (LCT) 528 landed at Normandy’s Utah Beach. By then, more than 21,000 Americans had stormed that beach, and 197 perished. Fenley and his LCT crew were fortunate, he told the Modesto Bee in 2017. “By the […]