Saturday, April 27, 2013

Honor Flight send off in San Antonio

Veterans were honored with a surprise "military parade" inside of the San Antonio airport before their flight to Washington D.C. to visit the World War II memorial.  Current members of the military participated and were able to interact with the veterans and share stories.

April 27, 1941 - Greece surrenders

Athens is occupied by German troops. Greece surrenders.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Camp Lejeune's World War II Day

World War II and the Iwo Jima Battle veterans had their photo taken at Onslow Beach aboard Camp Lejeune Thursday. The retired Marines came to see the static displays of vehicles and some modern weapons.
Chuck Beckley/The Daily News

Hats off to Camp Lejeune for bringing a group of veterans together to honor them and show them modern weapons and vehicles.
“It’s an honor to say thank you to the greatest generation. You did a great job at setting the standard for Marines and sailors today. We stand on your shoulders.” - Brig. Gen. James Lukeman, the commanding officer of the 2nd Marine Division.
 Reading the article, it is easy to see the respect goes both ways.  Veterans are thankful for our current volunteer forces protecting us.  Active duty members are soaking up the stories the veterans tell them.

“They laid the foundation for today’s military. Their blood, sweat and tears led us to be the fighting force we are today. [When they are gone] their stories will be hearsay rather than by word of mouth which will be sad.”
Read the entire article here:
http://www.jdnews.com/news/military/base-holds-world-war-ii-commemoration-1.132774

April 26, 1941 - Rommel goes into Egypt

Rommel attacks the Gazala defence line and crosses into Egypt; Tobruk continues to hold.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Middle School Assignment Promotes Anti-American View of World War II

This falls under the category of "Don't get me started..."  I make no attempt to hide my pride in being the son of an American World War II veteran.  Patriotism was not something forced on us as children, but the actions and deeds of our parents were enough to point us in the right direction.  Love of God, family and our country were just part of life.

April 25, 1941 - Allies face two separate defeats

Erwin Rommel (The Desert Fox) wins an important victory at Halfaya Pass, close to the Egyptian border.
Axis forces defeat commonwealth forces at Thermopylae after Australian general George Vasey staunchly claims that they will not be beaten.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

World War II Memorial - Washington, D.C.

I have had the good fortune to visit the WWII Memorial twice. Once with my wife, and once alone. The first time, it was part of our "itinerary" in looking at all of the memorials, which was a great tour.  By the time we made it to the WWII Memorial, it was getting dark and I was only able to get a few decent photos.  The Korean War and Vietnam memorials are very much worth the time and effort as well.

April 24, 1945 - Heinrich Himmler offers surrender

Ignoring the orders of Adolf Hitler, Himmler makes a secret surrender offer to the Allies, provided that the Red Army is not involved. The offer is rejected; when Hitler hears of Himmler's betrayal, he orders him shot.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

World War II veteran honored

John Leather was part of the 17th Airborne Division that saw action in the Battle of the Bulge and Operation Varsity.  He was honored for his service at The Static Line All Airborne Awards Festival, which recognizes war heroes from America’s airborne units.

Mr. John Leather
By Kevin G. Gilbert

Mr. Leather was turned down by the Marine Corps and Navy because he had flat feet.  However, in 1943, he was drafted by the Army, and as he put it, "... they took anyone who was warm and breathing."  Volunteering for paratrooper duty, he earned his wings just after the D-Day invasion took place.

He has an amazing story (like all veterans) and it is well worth the read.

The entire article can be found here :

April 23, 1941 - Greek government evacuates to Crete

Greek government is evacuated to Crete, which Churchill is determined to defend.

Monday, April 22, 2013

France honors Utah World War II soldier for role in D-Day

Mike Kladis accepted the French Legion of Honour medal this past Saturday.  I never tire of reading about members of The Greatest Generation being recognized for their honorable service.

(Kim Raff | The Salt Lake Tribune) Mike Kladis, 91, is awarded the Legion of Honour, for his service in the Army liberating France during World War II, by (left) Marie-Helene Glon, of the Honorary Consul of France, at the Masonic Lodge in Salt Lake City on April 20, 2013. This award is France's highest honor.


Story by By Kristen Moulton | The Salt Lake Tribune
Read the entire article here : 

April 22, 1944 - U.S. Navy attack Japanese forces at New Guinea

American navy planes carry out widespread attacks in New Guinea. US troops land at Hollandia and Aitape in northern New Guinea. Japanese forces in New Guinea will now be cut off.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Veteran Spotlight : Don Wardell fought both Germans and Japanese during World War II

"I had to go."

It is amazing to think how many WWII veterans have a multitude of stories of their experiences.  As mentioned on the article, some probably took their stories with them when they passed away.  This is just one of those veterans and thank goodness he is sharing his story, because he has some amazing history.  Mr. Wardell is 90 years old, and from the quotes in the article and the video is obviously still sharp as a tack.  The reporter notes his "Welcome aboard!" as he welcomes visitors into his house; his personality must fill a room.
Don Wardell, 90, of Willoughby, served in the Navy and fought both the Germans and Japanese during World War II. He had no doubts about eventual victory. "I knew we were going to win, 'cause we're America, right?" he says.


April 21. 1941 - Greek soldiers surrender in Albania

With their retreat cut off by the German advance, 223,000 Greek soldiers in Albania surrender.