Veteran’s Day…

Veterans’ Day was originally called Armistice Day. This day was set aside to reflect and remember the sacrifices men and women made during World War I in order to ensure peace. This truce was signed on November 11th, 1918 at 11 A.M. after 5 years of fighting.

The first official celebration was on November 11th, 1919. In other countries it is known as Remembrance Day. It was not until after the Korean War in 1953 that President Eisenhower signed the bill that officially changed the name to Veterans’ Day. But even today, a moment of silence is observed at 11am to mark the truce that ended WWI.

To honor the veterans, I want to share with you an interesting story passed via the military side of the house…

Here’s an interesting story of Naval Aviation. “Point of interest… about 3 minutes 12 seconds into the clip,  here,  you will see an F6F Hellcat, it’s hydraulics shot away during a strafing run, pancake on the carrier deck and slew into the island.

A deckhand was crushed between the aircraft and the superstructure and killed. The number on the plane is 30.The lanky pilot sitting dazed in the cockpit is a gentleman named Andy Cowan. Sadly, he died in 2008 at age 88.

A friend of mine was able to attend his lecture in 2006 or 7, and got a copy of the presentation. He was amazed at the man’s memory and his emotions all these years later…

To this day he cannot recall this accident without a tear coming to his eye. Andy is a marvel. He has absolute total recall of those bygone days.He is regularly invited back to the Naval War College to give a powerpoint demonstration to the young fighter jocks of today’s Navy. They hang on his every word.

A living link to the past… to the days when you got up close and personal to kill the enemy.No over-the-horizon missile kills…

Andy was the longest serving Navy fighter pilot in WWII. He was on his shakedown cruise off Gitmo on December 7th, 1941. The carrier Ranger made flank speed to Norfolk and the pilots were transshipped to San Francisco by train, then sped to Hawaii by ship.

He saw Pearl not long after the sneak attack, and again is unable to speak of it… a horrible disaster. He immediately went aboard the Lexington and in the course of the war had 4 carriers shot out from under him as he fought in every major Pacific battle… Coral Sea , Midway, Battle of Santa Cruz, Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima … you name it. Credited with 4.5 kills, he flew with Butch O’Hare, Cmdr Thatch (inventor of the ‘Thatch Weave’), flew with high scoring ace David McCampbell… served under Admirals Nimitz, Bull Halsey…

He has studied the Japanese side of the Pacific War and is a recognized expert on their side of it. He can reel off the names of all their capital ships and admirals and battles from memory.Remarkable man… and still alive to tell the tale…”

And you’ve never heard of him…

Today, you can thank a Veteran for their service!


Veteran’s Day… — 9 Comments

  1. Hey Old NFO;

    We honor those that came before us and hopefully pass our lessons to the new generation.

  2. That video, the things that went on there, THAT is the reason to stand at the National Anthem alone, and every time the flag passes by

  3. Stories of men like him account in part for why I volunteered. Not that I did anything heroic, but I only hope the stories I relate inspire others to make a similar choice.

  4. We are free only because of the service, sacrifice and valor of our veterans – from Lexington Green up to the present moment. A pause for the cause/moment of silence is that very least that people can offer, though most don’t think much about it.

    I believe in a mandatory service draft. Two years. Military, emptying bed pans at rest homes, cleaning up dog sh-t in public parks, whatever. No conscientious objection. The nation will find something for those who are unfit to serve in the armed forces to do.

    I realize that it would be unpopular both for the Harvard-bound and for the young people needed at home. But it’s about obligation and work, and taking young people away from their comfort zone. Not forever. Two years. Or they can flee to Canada or Mexico (as felons).

  5. Have a look at this. It’s about John Waldron, commander of Torpedo Squadron 8: