Hmmm…

Another one you WON’T see on the MSM- A friend working mids at CSG USAFE (Ramstein), and three nights ago the Ramstein command post sent out a notice that the west gate of Ramstein was closed and the entire west side of the base was of limits due to a “special event”.

The Lt (ell-tee) on duty with my friend looked up from the DVD movie she was watching and mused, “Hmmmm, I wonder what it could be, maybe it’s the musical group that’s going to play at the officer’s club later this week.

My friend responded with, “ell-tee, a big blue-and-white 747 with United States of America painted on the side, landed here this evening, and is parked waaaaaaaaayyyy off in the corner, and the “president” is visiting Europe to trash America. Do you think that just maybe it might be his airplane and he is making a quick dash up to Landstuhl for some PR photos with injured
soldiers before running off to france???”

The ell-tee responded with, “Oh, yeah, you might be right”, then went back to watching her movie.

My friend said the event was kept very low key, no one was told the Lightbringer was on Ramstein or at Landstuhl, and NO one was allowed to see him or any of his gang; My thought- This was a pretty tacky way to do things; and once again a slam at the Military.

I was in the military for a long time, and I don’t recall one time when we weren’t told the President was in the area – of course he’s only brave when he can stand in front of a teleprompter and run his big mouth to trash America.

Apparently his visit with Angela Merkel didn’t go so well either.

On a different note- Finally got out of Japan, so a couple of points- On landing in Narita, we had to stay in our seats until the “nurses” in bio-hazard suits came onboard and looked at each passenger, and questioned some who had the mis-fortune to cough at the wrong time…

We had to fill out papers about where we were staying, and REALLY go through health screening lines prior to C&I (First time I have EVER seen those desks manned). Then to clear C&I, you had to have a piece of paper that said you had been through “Quarantine”.


Once we cleared C&I, I was amazed at how empty Narita was, again I have NEVER seen that few people there!

Coming out of Narita yesterday, I was talking to a businessman in the Red Carpet, he was telling me about a neighbor who finally bought an apartment in Tokyo for $2million, AND had to pay $167,000 for a PARKING SPACE!!! It is now required that you have proof of a parking space to buy a car in Japan!

Talk about Big Brother…

Off to NORCAL to sneak a couple of days with the kids… 🙂

D-Day, from a different perspective…

Gleaves Class Destroyer- This particular one is the USS McCook. See below for more…


We all know of the heroism of the Troops that hit the beaches on D-Day, June 6. What many people don’t realize is the Navy, in the form of Destroyers, were providing covering fire and taking the shore batteries from basically point blank (4000 yards and less) range to try to put them out of action and save the troops lives.


Three particular Destroyers stand out- The USS Corry, DD-463, which was the lead Destroyer, and was actually sunk by counter-battery fire from the shore. HERE is a link to her story, with an interview by Edward R. Murrow of the Commanding Officer, LCDR Hoffman.

Another is USS Fitch, DD-462, she was also on the line and was doing the same thing as Corry. The Fitch actually came to the rescue of the Corry personnel, saving many of them, in addition to continuing to counter-battery against the Germans on the shore. HERE is a link to their deck log. Interesting reading, to put it mildly!

Lastly the USS McCook, DD-496. McCook departed with Destroyer Squadron 18 (DesRon 18) and ships of Assault Force “O” for the coast of France. Early 6 June, she arrived in the Baie de la Seine and at 03:20 commenced bombardment of the beaches and waterfront of the Pointe du HocVierville-sur-Mer area. By 06:16 she had neutralized her assigned targets (three pillboxes, 13 machine gun nests and three shore guns) and had begun to take on targets of opportunity. By the end of the day, she had added to her score seven pillboxes, eight gun emplacements and ten stone houses, in which enemy machine guns and snipers had been placed.

One of the things McCook did was take out the batteries at the top of Pointe du Hoc, allowing 2nd Ranger Battalion to actually make the climb.

I know this is not the standard D-Day post, but I wanted to take a little bit of a different tack than what you normally see…

Thanks for stopping by and reading!

Midway…

67 years ago today, the battle for Midway Island took place. Most Americans at the time didn’t even know where or what Midway Island was.


Midway Atoll was and is a speck in the Middle of the Northern Pacific that consists of three islands, Midway, Spit and East. Midway and East both had runways built to support the war effort and Pan Am had built up Midway.

Only those few who could afford the price of an international plane ticket had ever visited, courtesy of Pan Am and the Clipper Flying Boats that landed at Midway for gas and overnight stops at the “Gooneyville Lodge” as the Pan Am House was called.

This is the reprint from the All Hands of Aug 1942.

In June 1942, a month after the decisive U.S. victory in the Coral Sea, Japan was dealt a fatal blow at Midway Island-a blow that would turn the course of World War II in favor of the Allies. In August 1942 ALL HANDS, then known as the Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin, published the following account of the Battle of Midway-the beginning of the end of the fight in the Pacific.

Early in June, near the island of Midway, about 1100 miles to the west of Pearl Harbor, units of our Army, Navy, and Marine Corps joined action with a strong Japanese Invasion fleet which was approaching our Midway outpost.

At about 9 a.m., June 3, Navy Patrol planes reported a strong force of enemy ships about 700 miles off Midway, proceeding eastward. Nine U.S. Army B-17 Flying Fortresses based on Midway immediately were ordered to intercept and attack the approaching enemy. The Japanese force was approaching in five columns and was composed of many cruisers, transports, cargo vessels, and other escort ships. The Army bombers scored hits on one cruiser and one transport. Both ships were severely damaged and left burning.

About dawn on June 4, several groups of Army medium and heavy bombers and U.S. Marine Corps dive bombers and torpedo planes took to the air from Midway to attack the approaching enemy. Four Army torpedo bombers attacked two enemy aircraft carriers through a heavy screen of enemy fighter protection and a curtain of anti-aircraft fire. One torpedo hit on a carrier is believed to have been made. Two of the four bombers failed to return.

Six Marine Corps torpedo planes attacked the enemy force in the face of heavy odds. It is believed this group scored one hit on an enemy ship. Only one of the six planes returned to its base.

Sixteen Marine Corps dive bombers attacked and scored three hits on a carrier, which is to have been the Soryu. Only half of the attacking planes returned. Another group of 11 Marine Corps dive bombers made a later attack on enemy ships and reported two bomb hits on an enemy battleship, which was left smoking and listing.

A group of 16 U.S. Army Flying Fortresses carried out high-level bombing attacks, according three hits on enemy carriers. One carrier was left smoking heavily.

Shortly after the Marine Corps planes had left Midway, the island itself was attacked by a large group of carrier-based enemy planes. They were engaged by a badly out-numbered Marine Corps fighter force, which met the enemy in the air as he arrived. These defending fighters, aided by anti-aircraft batteries, shot down at least 40 of the enemy planes. As the result, the material damage to shore installations, though serious, was not disabling. No plane was caught grounded at Midway.

Meanwhile, U.S. Naval forces afloat were being brought into position. Our carrier-based aircraft were launched and were proceeding to the spot where the enemy’s previous course and speed would have placed him had he chosen to continue the assault. Unaware of the enemy’s of course, one group of Navy fighters and dive bombers searched along the reported track to the southeast until shortage of gas forced them to abandon the search. Some were forced down at sea when they ran out of gas. Most were later rescued.

A different flight composed of fighters, dive bombers, and torpedo planes concluded that the enemy was retreating. Fifteen torpedo planes from this group, located the enemy westward and proceeded to attack at once without protection or assistance of any kind. Although some hits were reported by radio, and although some enemy fighters were shot down, the total damage inflicted in this attack may never be known. None of the 15 planes returned. The sole survivor of the 30 officers was Ensign G.H. Gay Jr., who scored one torpedo hit on an enemy carrier before he was shot down.

Other torpedo planes proceeded to press the attack after the enemy had been located. In spite of heavy losses during these attacks, the torpedo planes engaged the attention of the enemy fighters and anti-aircraft batteries to such a degree that our dive bombers were able to drop bomb after bomb on the enemy ships without serious interference. Navy dive bombers scored many hits and inflicted upon the enemy the following damage:

The Kaga, Akagi, and Soryu, aircraft carriers, were severely damaged. Gasoline in planes caught on their flight decks ignited, starting fires which burned until each carrier had sunk. Two battleships were hit. One was left burning fiercely. One destroyer was hit and is believed to have sunk.

Shortly after this battle, a force of about 36 enemy planes from the damaged carrier Hiryu attacked the U.S. aircraft carrierYorktown and her escorts. Eleven of 18 Japanese bombers in this group were shot down before their bombs were dropped. Seven got through our fighter protection. Of the seven, one was disintegrated by a surface ship’s anti-aircraft fire; a second dropped its bomb load into the sea and plunged in after it; while a third was torn to shreds by machine gun fire from U.S. fighter planes. Four enemy bombers escaped after scoring three hits.

Shortly afterward, 12 to 15 enemy torpedo planes escorted by fighters attacked Yorktown. Five succeeded in launching torpedoes, but were destroyed as they attempted to escape. Yorktown was hit and put out of action. The damage caused a list which rendered her flight deck useless. Her aircraft, however, continued operating from other U.S. carriers.

While this attack on Yorktown was in progress, some of her own planes located the carrier Hiryu in company with battleships, cruisers, and destroyers. Our carrier planes immediately attacked this newly-located force. Hiryu was hit repeatedly and left blazing from stem to stern. She sank the following morning. Two of the enemy battleships were pounded severely by bombs and a heavy cruiser was damaged severely.

During the same afternoon (June 4), a U.S. submarine scored three torpedo hits on the smoking carrier Soryu as the enemy was attempting to take her into tow. Soryu sank during the night.

Just before sunset (June 4) U.S. Army bombers delivered a heavy bomb attack on the crippled and burning ships. Three hits were scored on a damaged carrier (probably Akagi); one hit was scored on a large ship; one hit on a cruiser was left burning; and one destroyer was believed sunk.

By sundown on June 4 the United States forces had gained mastery of the air in the region of Midway.

At dawn (June 5) our forces were marshalling their strength for further assaults against the enemy fleets which by now had separated into several groups, all in full retreat.

In the afternoon of June 5, Army Flying Fortresses attacked enemy cruisers again and scored three direct hits upon one heavy cruiser. One the return ship, one of these planes was lost; a second was forced down at sea 15 miles from the Midway. All except one of the crew of the second plane were rescued. Early on June 6 an air search discovered two groups of enemy ships, each containing cruisers and destroyers.

Between 9:30 and 10:00 a.m., U.S. carrier planes attacked one group which contained the heavy cruisers Mikuma and Mogamiand three destroyers. At least two bomb hits were scored on each Japanese cruiser. One of these destroyers was sunk.

The attacks were carried on until 5:30p.m. Mikuma was sunk shortly after noon. Mogami was gutted and subsequently sunk. Another enemy cruiser and a destroyer also were hit during these series of attacks.

It was during this afternoon (June 6) that the U.S. destroyer Hammann was torpedoed and sunk by an enemy submarine. Most of her crew were rescued.

Repeated attempts were made to contact the remainder of the Japanese invasion fleet but without success. The battle was over.

The following is a recapitulation of the damage inflicted upon the enemy during the battle of Midway.

Four Japanese aircraft carriers, the Kaga, Akagi, Soryu, and Hiryu were sunk. Three battleships were damaged by bomb and torpedo hits, one severely. Two heavy cruisers, Mogami and Mikuma were sunk. Three others were damaged, one or two severely. One light cruiser was damaged. Three destroyers were sunk and several others were damaged by bombs. At least three transports or auxiliary ships were damaged, and one or more sunk.

The Battle of Midway was a complex and widespread action involving a number of engagements lasting more than three days and nights. Even our active participants in the numerous attacks and counter-attacks are unable to give an accurate account of the damage inflicted by any group in the many individual and unified attacks of our Army, Navy, and Marine Corps personnel.

Note that NOTHING was said about the code breakers, nor their work, as at the time that was still Top Secret. CDR Rochefort and his folks at Hypo had broken JN-25 which was the Japanese code, and the translated phrase “AF is short of water” was the clue that ADM Nimitz needed to move the Pacific Fleet. Sadly, he could not reinforce Midway itself (nor could they later reinforce Guam) for fear of giving away the fact they knew the attacks were coming.

I have been very lucky that during my Navy career, I actually got to Midway Island and was able to walk the ground both on Midway and East Island (which is basically as it was left in 1945).

It literally sent chills down my back to know that I was on the same land that was one of the first turning points in the war against Japan.

I have also seen the actual debriefing chart used to debrief ADM Nimitz after the battle occurred. That chart hangs in the Flag Cabin at Makalapa, HI across from ADM Nimitz desk. It also includes both US and Japanese movements, and the HYPO code information extracted from JN-25.

There will be a wreath laying at the Navy Memorial in DC today 4 June, between 2-3 pm. ADM Roughead the CNO and Gen. Amos the Asst. Commandant of the Marine Corps will be the speakers. This IS open to the public!

HERE is a link to the Navy site on Midway and the battle, please take a few minutes to go and read/listen to the stories…

Thank you for supporting our Veterans and our troops today!

What the Frack???

The Lightbringer is NOW “proud” of his Muslim heritage as he goes to apologize once again (kiss ass) to the Middle Eastern Countries??? Ah… didn’t he spend the ENTIRE campaign saying he was NOT a Muslim and was a Christian???


Now we have THIS quote from a senior administration official yesterday, after they finally admitted they have been emphasizing “certain elements” of the Lightbringer’s background- “The background is appropriate in this speech, it partially opens the door to dialogue. I don’t think there’s any question he has a unique background that has value.”


And in an interview on French TV, the Lightbringer said the “US is one of the most populous Muslim Countries”??? Somebody needs to learn how to fact check… Only THREE countries have lower populations than our 2%, Brazil, Argentina and Australia! Here’s the reference

Another concern, what is the speech he is giving in Egypt, with specific invites sent to Muslim Brotherhood, going to do to relations with Israel? Especially since Hamas was started by the Muslim Brotherhood in 1987 after the first Intifada and, as we all know, is rather violent??? Here’s the reference

One thing’s for damn sure- There won’t be any “truth” told in any of these speeches by the Lightbringer! The only dynamic is going to be negative for the USA!

In other notes- I made the mistake of going out to dinner with some Japanese Officers the other night. My ONLY excuse was I was tired from flying in, and just didn’t think that one through… Or at least far enough through to realize I was about to do something REALLY dumb…

We went out to a nice Japanese restaurant (everybody paid a portion of the bill), and I let them order for everybody (mistake #1), I didn’t pay a lot of attention to what was delivered and the descriptions (mistake #2, and not being fluent in Japanese didn’t help), and not being a little more forceful in asking what we were eating (mistake #3, I didn’t want to offend).

What, you may ask, has me even talking about it? How about horse meat and chicken liver sashimi, with horse fat ‘cheese’ accompaniments? Now remember sashimi means raw!!!

Hell I don’t even like COOKED horse meat, I don’t care how many French sauces you pour over it…

I managed to choke down enough to be polite, then excused myself as soon as I could pleading tiredness. I found a Mickey D’s on the way back and at least got something recognizable to eat…

And crashed, and woke up at 0330 and couldn’t get back to sleep… sigh…

Travel is SO much fun… NOT…

Something Old, Something New…


Well, today was take a PHD to the range day…

One of my project scientists decided he wanted to go shooting, so I invited him out to the range. Now he IS both a mathematician and an acoustician, so he’s a pretty smart cookie, and actually has pretty good common sense and people skills…

Anyhoo, we met up at FRGC, and spent about 20 minutes going over the four rules, next we went down to the rifle range, and I brought out the M-4 to let him try that, and see what his skill set was. I checked the zero on the TA-31 and it looked good, so I had him do a dry fire load, then gave him a Barney Fife mag and let him load, trip the bolt, and fire a round. He did all those well, so I let him have a 30 rounder of 55gr to shoot off. He didn’t do too badly at 100 yards off the bench, but he was complaining all the shots seeming to be going high left. Now I thought it might have been the difference with my eyes/zero and his eyes/aim point, but that wasn’t true.
The interesting part, if you look at the 100 yard target below, is the rounds inside the orange square are 69gr shot offhand. The rounds to the upper left are 55 gr shot offhand with the same aimpoint!
I’ve never encountered this before, so any comments are appreciated. The ONLY thing I can think of, is the 55gr are “flying” differently…
Since he was doing pretty good, I brought out the “old” gun- 1962 Winchester Model 94 in 30-30. I put a couple down range to check the sights, drew up a sight picture for the Buckhorn sight for him, and he at least hit the paper 🙂
His parting comment was, “This is NOT as easy as it looks on TV!” I just grinned…
Then it was off to the pistol range.
I started him on the old Ruger .22 with the same drill, dry fire, a Barney Fife, and once he was comfortable, he shot a couple of magazines. Next up was the Python, I started him on .38 spl to see how he managed the recoil and flinching, and no problems, so about a half a box of .38 later I brought out the .357 ammo. THAT got his attention! 🙂
Next up was my carry pistol, C&S 1911, again same drill and let him shoot about half a box of practice ammo, then I gave him a mag of Hydroshocks. After the first round he looked over at me with the funniest expression, like whatthehellisthis??? He finished the mag and I let him finish the box of practice ammo. He did pretty well with both, but on the last mag I could really see he was starting to flinch/anticipate the recoil, so I called a halt at that point.
I shot a cylinder of .357 and a couple of mags of .45 and we called it a day.
On yeah, one funny note- While we were up at the rifle range, a couple of guys were sighting in/testing a 300 Whisper. They had the full setup including the Chrono, load sheets, et al. Since he was curious, we walked over during one of the cold range periods, and got to talking to the guys. Remember I said this guy is a PHD right? He starts asking questions like bullet coefficient, muzzle velocity, etc. and starts doing the math OFF THE TOP OF HIS HEAD!!! We all pretty much had the old deer in the headlights look when he started that… funny thing was, he was pretty much dead on with what the bullets were doing…
As we were leaving, I asked him if his wrist was hurting, he said it was and wanted to know why- Recoil my friend, recoil… 🙂
On the way back, he was asking for recommendations for pistols, so I “think” it was a pretty productive day!

You’d do anything to help your kids, right???

Go over to Ambulance Driver’s and read this POST. It appears Chris and Melody Byrne of the Anarchangel are the same as you and I, and they’ve been fighting a lengthy, tedious and horribly expensive international custody battle for several years now, and the bills are coming due. They’re offering up a cookbook for donations, so if you can spare it, go help them out…

From little acorns…

Okayyyy… I’m tired of the political crap, so a little aviation history…

Not necessarily correctly time sequenced, but an intriguing story never the less.

From NAA retiree’s newsletter, author D.S Scott.

Enjoy a trip back in time and wonder at what was accomplished. Quite frankly, as an aviation nut for most of my life, I’m flabbergasted at not only the humble beginnings, but the back and forth moves by some of the major players. I was lucky enough to meet Ed Heinemann at the Naval Aviation Museum back in the 70’s; he was very interesting to talk to…

In aviation history, decades before geeks and nerds altered our way of life, young and gutsy aviation pioneers changed the world with their wood sticks, bailing wire, canvas and aluminum.

How many of you know that in 1910, mighty Martin Marietta got its start in an abandoned California church? That’s where Glenn L. Martin with his amazing mother Minta Martin and their mechanic Roy Beal constructed a fragile biplane that Glenn taught himself to fly.

It has often been told how Douglas Aircraft started operations in 1920 in a barbershop’s backroom on L.A. ‘s Pico Boulevard . Interestingly, the barber-shop is still operating.

The Lockheed Company built the first of their famous Vegas’ in 1927 inside a building currently used by Victory Cleaners at 1040 Sycamore in Hollywood.

In 1922, Claude Ryan, a 24 year old military reserve pilot, was getting his hair cut in San Diego, when the barber mentioned that the ‘town’s aviator’ was in jail for smuggling Chinese illegals up from Mexico. Claude found out that if he replaced the pilot ‘sitting in the pokey,’ that he would be able to lease the town’s airfield for $50 a month – BUT he also needed to agree to fly North and East – BUT not South!

Northrop’s original location was an obscure So California hotel. It was available because the police had raided the hotel and found that its steady residents were money-minded gals entertaining transitory male hotel guests.

Glenn Martin built his first airplane in a vacant church, before he moved to a vacant apricot cannery in Santa Ana . He was a showman and he traveled the county fair and air meet circuit as an exhibitionist aviator. From his exhibition proceeds, Glenn was able to pay his factory workers and purchase the necessary wood, linen and wire. His mother, Minta and two men ran the factory while Glenn risked his neck and gadded about the country. One of his workers was 22-year old Donald Douglas [who WAS the entire engineering department]. A Santa Monica youngster named Larry Bell [later founded Bell Aircraft] ran the shop.

Another part of Glenn Martin’s business was a flying school with several planes based at Griffith Park , and a seaplane operation on the edge of Watts . His instructors taught a rich young man named Bill Boeing to fly. Then, Boeing bought one of Glenn Martin’s seaplanes and had it shipped back to his home in Seattle At the same time, Bill Boeing hired away Glenn’s personal mechanic. Later, after Boeing’s seaplane crashed in Puget Sound , he placed an order to Martin for replacement parts.

Still chafing from having his best mechanic ‘swiped,’ [a trick he later often used himself] Martin decided to take his sweet time and allowed Bill Boeing to ‘stew’ for a while. Bill Boeing wasn’t one to ‘stew’ and he began fabricating his own aircraft parts, an activity that morphed into constructing entire airplanes.

A former small shipyard nicknamed ‘Red Barn’ became Boeing Aircraft’s first home. Soon, a couple of airplanes were being built inside, each of them having a remarkable resemblance to Glenn Martin’s airplanes .. that, interestingly, had its own remarkable resemblance to Glenn Curtiss’ airplanes.

A few years later, when the Great depression intervened and Boeing couldn’t sell enough airplanes to pay his bills, he diversified into custom built speed boats and furniture for his wealthy friends.

After WWI, a bunch of sharpies from Wall Street gained control of the Wright Brothers Co in Dayton and the Martin Company in L.A. and ‘stuck them’ together as the Wright-Martin Company.

Wright-Martin began building an obsolete biplane design with a foreign Hispano-Suiza engine. Angered because he had been out maneuvered with a bad idea, Martin walked out taking Larry Bell and key employees with him.

From the deep wallet of a wealthy baseball mogul, Martin was able to establish a new factory. Then his good luck continued, when the future aviation legend Donald Douglas, who Glenn persuaded to join his team. Quickly emerging from the team’s efforts was the Martin Bomber, the Martin MB-1.

Although too late to enter WWI, the Martin bomber showed its superiority when Billy Mitchell made everyone mad at him by sinking several captured German battleships and cruisers.

In Cleveland, a young fellow called ‘Dutch’ Kindelberger joined Martin as an engineer. Later, as the leader of North American Aviation, Dutch became justifiably well-known.

Flashing back to 1920, Donald Douglas had saved $60,000, returned to L. A. and rented a barbershop’s rear room and loft space in a carpenter’s shop nearby. There he constructed a classic passenger airplane called the Douglas Cloudster.

A couple of years later, Claude Ryan bought the Cloudster and used it to make daily flights between San Diego and Los Angeles . This gave Ryan the distinction of being the first owner/operator of Douglas transports. Claude Ryan later custom built Charles Lindbergh’s ‘ride’ to fame in the flying fuel tank christened: The Spirit of St. Louis .

In 1922, Donald Douglas won a contract from the Navy to build several torpedo carrying aircraft. While driving through Santa Monica ‘s wilderness, Douglas noticed an abandoned, barn-like movie studio. He stopped his roadster and prowled around. That abandoned studio became Douglas Aircraft’s first real factory.

With the $120,000 contract in his hand, Donald Douglas could afford to hire one or two more engineers. My brother Gordon Scott had been schooled in the little known science of aviation at England ‘s Fairey Aviation, so he hired Gordon.

My first association with the early aviation pioneers occurred when I paid my brother a visit at his new work place. Gordon was outside on a ladder washing windows. He was the youngest engineer. Windows were dirty. And Douglas Aircraft Company had no money to pay janitors.

Gordon introduced me to a towhead guy called Jack Northrop, and another chap named Jerry Vultee. Jack Northrop had moved over from Lockheed Aircraft. And all of them worked together on the Douglas Aircraft’s world cruiser designs. While working in his home after work and on weekends, Jack designed a wonderfully advanced streamlined airplane. When Allan Loughead [Lock-heed] found a wealthy investor willing to finance Northrop’s new airplane, he linked up with Allan. Together, they leased a Hollywood workshop and constructed the Lockheed Vega. It was sensational with its clean lines and high performance. Soon Amelia Earhart and others flew the Vega and broke many of aviation’s world records.

I had the distinct pleasure of spending time with Ed Heinemann who later designed the AD, A3D and A4D. He told me how my Dad would fly out to Palmdale with an experimental aircraft they were both working on. They would fly it around for a few hops and come up with some fixes. After having airframe changes fabricated in a nearby machine shop, they would hop it again to see if they had gotten the desired results. If it worked out, Mr. Heinemann would institute the changes on the aircraft’s factory assembly line. No money swapped hands!

In May 1927, Lindbergh flew to Paris and triggered a bedlam where everyone was trying to fly everywhere. Before the first Lockheed Vega was built, William Randolph Hearst had already paid for it and had it entered in an air race from the California Coast to Honolulu . In June 1927, my brother Gordon left Douglas Aircraft to become Jack Northrop’s assistant at Lockheed. While there, he managed to get himself hired as the navigator on Hearst’s Vega. The race was a disaster and ten lives were lost. The Vega and my brother vanished. A black cloud hung heavily over the little shop. However, Hubert Wilkins, later to become Sir Hubert Wilkins, took Vega #2 and made a successful polar flight from Alaska to Norway . A string of successful flights after that placed Lockheed in aviation’s forefront.

I went to work for Lockheed as it 26th employee shortly after the disaster and I worked on the Vega. It was made almost entirely of wood and I quickly become a half-assed carpenter.

At this time, General Motors had acquired North American consisting of Fokker Aircraft, Pitcairn Aviation [later Eastern Airlines] and Sperry Gyroscope and hired Dutch Kindelberger away from Douglas to run it Dutch moved the entire operation to L.A. where Dutch and his engineers came up with the P-51 Mustang.

Interestingly, just a handful of young men played roles affecting the lives of all Americans ….. as it initiated the Southern California metamorphosis, from a semi-desert with orange groves and celluloid, into a dynamic complex, supporting millions.

Although this technological explosion had startling humble beginnings, taking root as acorns in – a barber shop’s back room – a vacant church – and an abandoned cannery – but came to fruition as mighty oaks.

The Fix is In…


Well, Sotomajor will be confirmed if you believe the LWLs…

They are already crowing about having TWO premptive cards to play, the race card AND the gender card. From what I’m hearing inside the beltway, it’s already started…

Also, plan on hearing a lot about “snippets”, “half-sentences”, “out of context”, and other buzz words as the dems machine cranks up to derail any and all opposition to Sotomajor. Although I haven’t seen it, one of the LWLs that works in the office was talking to one of her friends about a “team” email she had gotten and how, “Everybody just has to stay on message to make sure nobody can counter without feeling the pain in the media, and especially push hard with any Hispanic friends to get them up in arms if there is any negative media.”

What happened to selecting the best person for the job based on, oh something novel, LIKE QUALIFICATIONS???

I predict this will go ugly early in the media, driven by the left, to shut off ANY questions… sigh…

Oh @#$^&…

Well, I guess everyone has heard Sonia Sotomayor has been nominated as the replacement for Souter on SCOTUS

All this has done is reaffirm, at least in my mind, the Lightbringer doesn’t care a flip about the Constitution and is simply trying to stack the deck as much as he can! She is an average Judge, no really tough cases (she wouldn’t even hear the Reverse Discrimination case by Ricci et al over the firefighter promotions, which is now at SCOTUS), she is definitely anti-gun, anti-2A, and is going to get confirmed anyway because the Dems have enough votes to put her on the court without any problems…

BUT, she is female, Hispanic, Liberal, and has a sob story background- That puts all the checks in the box for the Obamabots, so who cares whether or not she is really the best candidate? They sure as hell don’t!

You can go HERE and read some of her statements and see the video of HER view of what the appeals courts do. You can go over to Texas Fred and read his post with leads to other posts/blogs.

Folks, this is, in my opinion, the first shot across the bows of the silent majority. I think the Obamabots are going to see what they can get away with on this one… How far they can push the envelope, how well the dems actually perform to get her on the SCOTUS, and prime the pump because the Lightbringer thinks he’ll get to do this again and again…

I’m writing my Congresscritters, asking them to look at qualifications and agendas of this woman, because I STRONGLY believe she will hurt the US more than help it…

What you do is up to each of you, but I simply ask you to consider whether you really want someone like this interpreting/making your laws for the next 20-30 years…

Or would you rather have someone like Justice Diane Wood? If you want a female, why not get one of the best? sigh…

Banging head on soapbox now…

Memorial Day…


/Toast/- Absent Comrades! /Toast/