Tag Archives: WWII

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 […]

PUTTING MEMORIAL DAY INTO FOCUS AMID THE BLUR OF A 3-DAY WEEKEND

When Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968, it ultimately transformed three holidays and one day of remembrance – the latter being Memorial Day – into three-day weekends. The underlying reason? Travel, barbecues, picnics, and such all benefit the national, regional, and local economies. It became the unofficial start of the summer tourism […]

A HALL OF FAME CAREER WITH TWO WARS IN BETWEEN: TED WILLIAMS ENLISTED IN THE NAVY 79 YEARS AGO TODAY

Boston Red Sox great Ted Williams, arguably baseball’s greatest hitter of all time, enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve 79 years ago today. Williams, born and raised in San Diego, eventually became one of 37 Baseball Hall of Famers to serve during World War II, while 27 others fought in World War I. Eleven […]

A TRUE AMERICAN PATRIOT, MARLENE DIETRICH’S FIRST USO SHOW HAPPENED 77 YEARS AGO TODAY

On April 11 in 1944, German-born actress Marlene Dietrich staged the first of her many performances for United States troops serving overseas in a campaign that ultimately led the USO to call her “… one of the Most Patriotic Women in World War II.” Dietrich, who once publicly called Adolf Hitler an “idiot,” refused to […]

‘THE GREAT ESCAPE’ 77 YEARS AGO TODAY MORE THAN JUST A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES

On this day in 1944, 76 Allied prisoners of war escaped from the German camp Stalag Luft III. Their story would be told 19 years later in the American-made film, “The Great Escape,” which starred Steve McQueen and, by many accounts, embellished the role of the camp’s American POWs while still managing to stick to […]

HAPPY NEW YEAR, WITH A LOOK BACK AT HISTORIC EVENTS HAPPENING ON THAT DAY

We tend to think of New Year’s Day as one of parades, college football games, replacing last year’s wall calendar, and for those who reveled too much the night before a day of aspirin and ice packs. However, some very significant events happened on New Year’s day throughout American history. Here is a sampling to […]

SHINING LIGHT ON CALIFORNIA’S TWO JEWISH MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS AS HANUKKAH BEGINS

With eight days of Hanukkah – the Jewish Festival of Lights – beginning tonight, CalVet would like to salute the memories of the 18 known Jewish Medal of Honor recipients, two of whom were from California.  Their names grace the Medal of Honor Wall at CalVet Headquarters in downtown Sacramento, and their stories are worth […]

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, […]