Oregon Local and Selected International History News for 2004

Robert Patrick Concannon

PA-30 Coxswain on Omaha Beach on D-day died December 28, 2004.

In the movie "Saving Private Ryan" you see PA-30 exploding, but in reality PA-31 is the one that actually was blown up on D-Day. PA-30 was his landing craft used by the Rangers to storm the beach in Normandy at 6:36 AM.

He was interviewed locally here in Portland talking about that part of the movie when it was initially shown in the theatres.

He was also in charge of landings at Casablanca (Operation Torch - Invasion of North Africa on November 8, 1942), Sicily (Scoglitte - Operation Husky) in July of 1943 and at Salerno in August of 1943 before going to England with Operation Overlord.

After Overlord, he went back to the Mediterranean with Operation Anvil, the invasion of Southern France in August of 1944.

The War Department then moved his unit to the Pacific where he participated in the invasion of Okinawa plus other operations in the Philippines and finally to Sasebo Naval base in Japan.

He earned 6 bronze stars.

During the 50th Anniversary of D-Day he was one of 150 people who was attended breakfast with President Clinton off the coast of Normandy.

Model Show

The Northwest Scale Modelers Show will be held on Feb 19-20 in the Great Gallery at Seattle's Museum of Flight.

Also in February on the 5th will be "The Tuskegee Experience." Two members will be on hand to discuss this World War II "experiment" by the Army Air Corps (which turned into the Army Air Force in 1942.)

Glenn Miller Story - Continued

A few years ago there was a TV and newspaper articles concerning the disappearance of 1940s band leader Glenn Miller in July of 1944.

At that time, an RAF bombardier claimed he saw a Norseman in the salvo zone where bombers dropped bombs on aborted missions.

Now, Neil Griffiths, has confirmed that it is true. He examined original documents and found that the time and place does work out.

From: http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/comment.cfm?id=1418322004

Oldest Canadian Veteran Dies at 108

Alice Strike died in December in Nova Scotia.

She was born in 1896 at Godalming, England. When World War One erupted she enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps, where she worked as a pay clerk.

She met her Canadian husband during the war and the moved to Canada.

George Russell Barber

George Barber died at 90 years of age in Whitter California in December 2004.

He was one of 4 chaplains who landed at Omaha Beach on D-Day, 6 June 1944, with the 1st Infantry Division.

There is a movie clip showing a chaplain giving comfort to the wounded on D-Day and that was him.

Dr Willey - RAF Surgeon at Tangmere during Battle Of Britain

Dr Willey, MBE, DSO, of RAF 601 Squadron at Tangmere, after his award.Dr Willey died in Egremont, England, in December of 2004 at the age of 92.

After getting his degree he volunteered for the RAF in 1940 and was posted to Tangmere with 601 Squadron. Tangmere, which is on the English Channel coast, 100 miles or so south-southwest of London, and treated the wounded after an attack by the Luftwaffe on the airbase on 16 August 1940.

During the attack he had part of a chimney fall on him where a bomb exploded between his building and a hanger. After the Luftwaffe left he was the only doctor on the base and started treating the wounded.

As ambulances arrived with the wounded one of his patients turned out to be Billy Fiske. Fiske was one of the few American pilots fighting for Britain in the RAF. He had crash-landed on the airfield during the raid. Dr Willey administered painkillers, but
could do little else for Fiske. Fiske died shortly after being transported to a hospital and became the first American
fatality of the War. [The Americans did not have to give up their citizenship in a deal worked out with Britain.]

In 1941 he was posted to Singapore just in time to be there in time for the garrison to surrender. He joined those who did not want to surrender and helped arrange transport for those wanting to get away. He was captured and then sent to the camps along the Burma-Thailand railway being constructed by the Japanese.

He survived the camps (16,000 others did not). He testified after the war pointing out both Japanese who were cruel, and those that were not. He was never sick during his time in the camps.

At some camps the Japanese officers actually followed his advice and the numbers of POWs who died there was below the rate at the other camps.

For his work he was awarded the MBE (Member of the British Empire.)

See http://www.whitehaven-news.co.uk/people/viewarticle.asp?id=164735 for more.

Trainer of Comanche Code Talkers

Major Gen. Hugh F. Foster Jr., who trained Comanche code talkers for the Army in World War II, died at the age of 86 on December 13, 2004.

Jinx of the 15th AF

Harvey Miller,84, of O'Fallon Illinois, died in December 2004. As a gunner in B-24s he was dubbed "The Jinx of the 15th Air Force" due to him being shot down six times.

He lived a dual live as a combat photographer and door gunner flying in Consolidated B-24 Liberators out of Italy.

Harvey Miller's on his first four missions he was rewarded with being shot down twice. Once bailing and once with the plane making a forced landing peppered with 75 bullet holes.

The New York Times newspaper is the company that dubbed him "the Jinx of the 15th Air Force." After that, various crews refused to fly with him. Upon seeing his name on the roster they would let him fly as long as he answered correctly to their question: "Just so you're not Jinx Miller." Miller went on to fly 27 missions.

Bored of working long hours as a clerk, Harvey enlisted in January 1941 and volunteered to fly in the USAAF.

The Distinguished Flying Cross, two Purple Hearts, and 10 other medals were awarded to him as a result of his service during World War Two.

He worked in the Defense Department for 31 years before retiring.

Gold Train Deal

At the end of World War II a train full of gold, paintings, gems and other valuables was found by the Americans, and taken to the US.

Part of the "loot" was sold off to pay for relocation of people in Europe, the rest was kept.

This was all loot taken from Hungary by NAZI Germany from the Jews who were rounded up and shipped to concentration camps within a two month period.

A settlement was finally reached. The US Government had tried to avoid paying out any money by citing statue of limitations on claims.

Germany Pays Russians

On December 20, 2004, the Mutual Understanding and Reconciliation Foundation, a Russian counterpart of Germany's Memory, Responsibility and the Future fund of Germany.

Around 67,000 Russian Citizens will collect around 92 million Euros in compensation.

This money is for those who suffered directly as a Result of National Socialism, not due to operations during the "Great Patriotic War" as it is known in Russia.

Russia Germany War Loot Claims

Russia also looted from Germany at the end of the War. Some was authorized, and they still own those items, however any items that was looted without express orders has gone to court by German descendents in order to get them back.

One item is a Ruben, "Tristan and Lucretia", taken from a Sanssouci Palace near Potsdam that belongs to the Weiss family. A Russian bought it from another Russian years ago and claims to be the legitimate owner.

Some two million books, one million pieces of artwork, and three kilometers of artifacts Germany believes to be in Russian hands.

Aerial Recon Archives Now Online

http://www.evidenceincamera.co.uk/ is the web site where you can look up aerial reconnaissance photos taken by the RAF during World War II. It was announced a while ago and has finally gotten online with images.

The RAF took over 5 million photos during the war.

It will cost you to download images. 10 and up per image.

Prince Bernhard of Netherlands Died Wednesday December 1, 2004

The father of the Netherlands Queen Beatrix died at age of 93 at Utrech University Medical Hospital.

During the Second World War he flew combat missions out of England.

He greatly assisted in rebuilding the Netherlands after the war.

Emil Eschenburg an Officer of "The Devil's Brigade" in WWII Dies

Retired Army Brig. Gen. Emil Eschenburg, one of the few remaining members of an elite World War II force that inspired the 1968 film “The Devil’s Brigade,” died November 17, 2004 in Helena Montana. He was 88.

Enlisting from Michigan, Eschenburg was selected to join the U.S.-Canadian First Special Service Force when it was activated in 1942.

Deployed first in the Aleutians, then sent to Italy, they earned their moniker from the Germans who called the 1,800-man force “Black Devils” because of their shoe polish blackened faces.

The capture of German-held hilltop Monte la Difensa along a highway that led to Rome inspired Robert H. Adleman to write a novel upon which the movie by Andrew V. McLaglen’s “The Devil’s Brigade,” starring William Holden and Cliff Robertson was based.

At the end of WWII Eschenburg was a brigadier general and served in Vietnam as assistant commander of the 101st Airborne Division.

He earned 115 military decorations, including the Purple Heart, before retiring in 1970.

A 'Dickin' Medal for Bravery by a Carrier Pigeon to be Auctioned Off

The Dickin medal was awarded to Commando in 1945 for evading German snipers and falcons stationed on the French coast. On the legs of pigeons were metal canisters with coded messages. He flew throughout 1942.

The Dickin was established in 1943 by Maria Dickin, founder of the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals, who worked for the British Government during war.

It is the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.

A British army dog Buster won this bronze metal in 2003 for duty in Iraq.

US Army Gets to Keep Paintings by Adolf Hitler

At the end of World War II the U.S. Army brought back lots of war booty (legally) and some of dubious providence. Four paintings done by Hitler before and during the First World War, was discovered in a castle where they were being stored after the war ended. Justified in taking them away as a way to de-Nazify Germany, they are now stored - NEVER SEEN - in a government storage facility in Alexandria, Virginia.

The castle owners, German photographer Heinrich Hoffmann Sr., sued to try and get them back along with a few million photographs also confiscated (and also stored somewhere). The U.S. Supreme court rules against him in Hoffmann v. U.S., case no. 04-425 in late November 2004.

"Band Of Brothers" member Earl McClung at BPA Headquarters November 19

On November. 19, 9 to 11 a.m., Portland headquarters, 911 building GSA auditorium. A program by Billy Frank Jr. and Earl McClung will be held with the theme of Native American foods.

Earl McClung is a member of the Colville Tribe, and is one of only 15 members living today of the original 147 members of the "Band of Brothers." The Band consisted of the members of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division that served in World War II. Historian Stephen Ambrose wrote a book about the unit, and Stephen Spielberg and Tom Hanks made a 10-part TV miniseries by the same name in 2001-2002.

Think About 2005 History Travel Plans Now

If you want to go on a trip that is history oriented think about it now.

I received a flyer from a local Portland Travel agency (Kelly N-I Travel Inc.; 6352 SW Capitol Hwy; Portland, OR 97239 (503) 244-1159) about their 2005 tour "D-Day to Berlin" of 12 days departing the US on June 16. Reservations required by January 7, 2005.

This tour is in conjunction with The History Channel and Collette Vacations.

P-47 Thunderbolt Pilot's Reunion Set for May 5-8, 2005

Closer to home, the FINAL P-47 pilot reunion will be held in Seattle at the South Center Doubletree hotel May 5-8.

POC for this will be Staryl Austin, 236 Kevin Way SE, Salem, Oregon 97036; Phone 503-363-2508.

Pearson Air Museum Hanger Dance

On November 6th Pearson Air Museum will be holding their annual Hanger Dance.

Phone (360) 694-7026 for ticket information.

Also on Nov 6 The Evergreen Museum is holding THEIR dance. So you have a choice. Evergreen prices:

$20 per member, $25 per non-member.

Prizes for Best Costume: Military, Flapper and Gangster (Roaring 20s theme remember!).

Call 503-434-4007 to reserve at Evergreen in McMinnville.

WW II Fighting in Bagdad

WW I and WW II saw fighting in the Middle East. I ran across this story while trying to find out about British actions in Iraq during WW II because I saw a story about a WW II British graveyard that had been systematically destroyed over the past 40 years and was being restored by a US Army soldier.


Memphis Belle Flying Off to a New Location

The Air Force is moving the Belle to U.S. Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio, by the end of October 2004. After years of neglect in Memphis Tenn, then a few years of attempting to restore the Boeing B-17F of the 91st BG(H) (flown during the war out of the pre-World War II RAF base at Bassingbourne England) to prevent it from being moved and even building a new building to house it, the 16 year long drama was finally played out with the Air Force taking it back to their own museum.

The Air Force kept title to the a/c and let it stay in Memphis on conditions that the aircraft would never be flown but kept airworthy. The flying part was easy to avoid since they never kept the aircraft airworthy.

It was in the scrap yard in 1946 awaiting destruction when it was found by WW-II veterans and brought to Memphis.

Pilot Capt Robert Morgan named the plane in honor of Margaret Polk, his Memphis sweetheart at the time (he never married her).

Artist Tony Starzer painted the picture onto the plane's nose.

The Boeing built B-17F "Flying Fortress" was the first to be recognized by the Army Air Force as completing 25 missions over Europe in World War II in the spring of 1943.

A few controversies exist about the 8th and bombing missions.

"Just as the 8th takes the credit for the first heavy bomber mission over occupied Europe, it was in fact, the Halverson Project with a June 1942 strike on Ploesti, Romania." - George Welsh

Other 8th AF aircraft have, after extensive research, been found to have completed 25 missions just before the Belle but the combination of needing the whole crew and aircraft to complete the missions at the same time, the needs of having reporters and film cameramen there to record the missions and especially the last mission, which only worked out for the "Memphis Belle."

The Book by Morgan himself The 1990 movie version The WWII 1943 documentary

2nd Annual Evergreen Museum Hall of Fame Induction

On Sunday October 24th from 1 to 3 PM will be the 2004 Oregon Hall of Honor Induction ceremony. Don Malarkey, one of the original trooper from the 101st Airborne Division from WWII who was portrayed in the series "Band of Brothers" will be the key note speaker for this event.

Desserts and beverages will be there for people attending. $15 members, $20 non-members. RSVP by Oct 15th to 503-434-4185 or e-mail lyndell.baker@sprucegoose.org

New Book out on Australian Reporter 'Morrison of Peking'

A new book "The Man Who Died Twice" was published in September (?) of 2004 which documents the career of China correspondent George Ernest Morrison. The book written by Peter Thompson and Robert Macklin out of Australia was published by Allen & Unwin for $32.95 Australian dollars.

A prior book "Morrison of Peking" by Cyril Pearl came out in 1971. A very different perspective of the Boxer rebellion can be found by reading "Reilly's Battery" by Monro MacCloskey

which is an account of an artillery unit dispatched from the Philippines by the US as part of the relief column to Peking in 1900.


Colonel Bogey March

"‘Colonel Bogey’ march was composed by Lieutenant F J Ricketts, a military bandmaster who was director of music for the Royal Marines at Plymouth. Because at that time Service personnel were not encouraged to have professional lives. Ricketts published ‘Colonel Bogey’ and his other compositions under the pseudonym Kenneth Alford." See the complete Bridge on the River Kwai article to learn more about the song and the bridge.

One of the Oldest Surviving WW-I Female Veterans Dies in Texas

Navy veteran Marie Odee Johnson died Sept. 25, officials said in a news release. She was the only female World War I veteran in North Texas, they said.

World War II Rocket Bombs Exposed in Florida

The September 2004 hurricane season in Florida churned up sand along a few rivers and beaches that exposed munitions left over from WW II rusting in the sunshine. Volusia, Brevard and Indian River counties were used in World War II for amphibious landing exercises. Tank obstacles and other military gear have been uncovered as well. Army, Navy, Marines all used sections of the US for live fire exercises and in Florida they discovered a few late war rocket assisted 500 pound iron bombs on the beaches. They were still live.

These bombs used rockets to accelerate them a few seconds before impact to allow for enhanced armor piercing of ships and bunkers.

Soft sand, just like the fields in Belgium from WWI, sometimes was too soft to set off the armor piercing designed detonator in the noses of bombs.

Meanwhile in Baltimore

A 4,500 lb iron bomb was found during cleanup in Baltimore's Canton neighborhood.

Official recognition for the Most number of Family Serving in Military at One Time

On Monday, October 4, 2004 in Waltham (no idea what state) the local city honored the eight Bardsley brothers who simultaneously served in the U.S. Army during World War II. All eight went in, and all eight returned - some with Purple Hearts and other medals. Theodore "Heck" Bardsley provided humor over the years by stating that, "I didn't join (voluntarily), I was invited to tour Europe, at no cost to me, by President Roosevelt."

Military historians have verified that the Bardsley family provided the highest number of immediate family members ever to fight in the U.S. military at any one time.

Oregon Veteran Dies at 108

Locally in the Northwest, William J. Lake, a World War I veteran, has died at the age of 108. He died in Yakima , Washington on Saturday June 19, 2004, a few weeks before his 109th birthday.

After joining in 1917 he was assigned to the 346th Machine Gun Battalion as an gun ammunition transporter. He fought in the Argonne Forest Offensive in France and Belgium in the winter of 1917/1918.

Airmen Memorial in Kovarska Czech Republic

Based on a report by Staff Sgt. Jeff Hamm, 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs, in the Air Force Link magazine.

On September 11, 1944 the 100th Bomb Group (H) - "The Bloody 100th" was attacked by German fighters and lost 14 out of 36 planes the group put up. Of the 12 B-17s in one squadron that took off from Thorpe Abbots in the UK (they have a great museum there) all 12 were shot down. The memorial is quite different since it honors both the Americans and the German pilots who participated in the air battle so men from both sides show up at the memorial every year.

The local school is named after Staff Sgt. John C. Kluttz because his aircraft crashed into the town's school during the battle. No kids were hurt since they were all out in the fields watching the air battle.Six of the 14 Flying Fortresses shot down crashed around Kovarska.

The 100 BG (H) is now the 100th Air Refueling Wing based at RAF Mildenhall, England.

Memorial to the USS Robalo

Jim Brenan spearheaded and completed the installation in September of 2004 a monument to the 81 crew members of the World War II submarine USS Robalo. The monument is in Fargo North Dakota and is to honor all 87 citizens of ND who lost their life while on submarines.

A few of the significant sailors: Capt. Joseph E. Enright of Bismarck, was the CO of the USS Archerfish, which sunk the Japanese aircraft carrier Shinano on Nov. 29, 1944 with a spread of 6 torpedoes of which 5 hit. At 75,000 tons, is the largest ship ever sunk by a submarine.

Lt. Cmdr. Verne L. Skjonsby of Hickson was executive officer on the USS Wahoo, lost with all hands off the Japanese island of Honshu on Oct. 11, 1943. The Wahoo had confirmed sinkings of 17 ships before it was lost. The best book to read is "Wake of the Wahoo" written by an officer who was on the 2nd through the 6th patrol before being transferred out.

Lt. Cmdr. Harold "Hal" Wright of Antler was damage control officer on the USS Salmon. This boat was the most heavily damaged U.S. submarine to return to port. (On par with the U-505 which had that distinction in the German Kriegsmarine). Unable to dive, the Salmon motored across 8000 miles of the Pacific Ocean into San Francisco where the Navy scrapped her as un-repairable.

Oregon Dedicates Medal of Honor Memorial on September 18

A new memorial dedicated to the Oregonians who have been awarded the Medal of Honor (MOH) by Congress will be unveiled September 18th in Salem, Oregon.

The design has a plaque for each of the 13 men from Oregon so honored through the years.

It also incorporates a general memorial to all veterans.

SDB "Dauntless" On Display at Midway Airport

The SBD, which was recovered from Lake Michigan in 1991, actually participated in the battle. The trainee pilot ditched the plane while on a training mission.

It is on display in the airport's "A" concourse at Chicago's Midway airport which is named in honor of the battle (O'Hare is named after a Navy pilot Butch O'Hare who earned the Medal of Honor in 1943).

Frederic Russel Theriault US Navy Code Breaker

During the 2nd World War Frederic Theriault was hired to unscramble jumbled JN25 - Japanese Naval Code number 25 - messages that had been intercepted but had been garbled and thus not only encrypted but mis-recorded. He had put down on a job application that he liked cryptograms and crossword puzzles.

He degree from U of Massachusetts was in food technology.

He wrote a memoir in 1999.

After the war he worked at NSA till he retired in 1977.

British SOE sent agents into WWII Netherlands knowing they would be Captured?

According to recent reports, material released after being closed for 60 years due to the Official Secrets Act of the UK, material has been seen that suggests that SOE knew the whole Dutch network had been taken over by the German counter-intelligence unit but sent agents there anyway. Usually the Germans were on the ground waiting as they parachuted into the landing zone, or arrested them after the Lysander had taken off to return to England.

This is well known since the book of Leo Marks, "Between Silk and Cyanide" came out in 1999. In his book Leo, who came up with the "one time sheets" to keep radio messages from being broken by the Germans, wrote that it was very hard for him to brief agents going into Holland since he knew that the Germans had been capturing agents within days of being sent in. Leo Marks died in January of 2001.

The German operation for running the compromised Dutch SOE network was "Englandspiel" - The English Game.

Figuring out that the whole resistance network had been compromised was very easy to deduce since NO agent sent into Holland EVER returned to England. Unlike those sent to other European countries.

B-17 Recovery In Labradore, Canada

Don Brooks of Douglas, Ga.is working on recovering a B-17 that ditched in 1947 on Dyke Lake. Resting in 20 feet of fresh water the B-17, except for the tail which broke off and has not been located, will be raised and shipped down to Georgia for restoration.

There are 12 flying B-17s and around 40 in static condition left out of the 12,000+ a/c built.

Bf 109 Recovery in Holland

Substantial parts of Messerschmitt 109 G-6 Wr# 15678 have been recovered from a marsh in the Netherlands. The JG54 machine, which was being flown by high-scoring ace Oberleutnant Eugine-Ludwig Zweigart, was shot down on July 27th 1943, by a 118 Squadron Spitfire Mk Vb.

Although wounded, Zweigart managed to bail out and parachuted to safety. The Messerschmitt came down in a large marsh, losing it's wings on impact, but the rest of the machine plunged deep into the soft mud.

Sixty years later, a new Dutch aviation archaeology group called DARE, received permission to excavate the crash site, which is located in a remote part of a bird sanctuary. Due to the location, all the necessary equipment had to be transported by a small boat which made it impossible to bring in heavy salvage gear. This meant the project had to be dug out by hand.

Only hours into the first dig, the engine was discovered and the rest of the wreckage became accessible. It turned out that the Messerschmitt survived in much larger segments than had first been thought.

The tail section, still showing it's markings, was soon recovered and after weeks of work, all of the machine was raised - it has turned out to be one of the most complete World War Two wrecks found in Dutch soil. So much has been salvaged that the group believes the Bf 109 could be restored to static condition, work that will take at least four years.

Since early July, the project has been on public display in the recently opened 'Atlantic Wall Museum' at Noordwijk aan Zee, a popular holiday resort on the popular Dutch north coast. Although the museum is small, it hopes to grow in size and fill a series of large former German bunkers that were part of the Atlantic Wall.


Modern board wargames have been around since 1958 when Avalon Hill came out with their first wargame and AHIKS - International Wargaming Society - has been around since the early 1960s. The Kommandeur is their monthly newsletter. Computer gaming is nice, but face to face across a game board fighting Spartans with your Greek hoplites or trying to get your platoon of Crusader tanks past a battery of 88 outside Tobruk has a whole different feel. I still have 110 board games and if a choice between computer version and a FTF version I still prefer FTF (face to face).

Want To Revise History?

The annual World Board gaming Championships will be held August 3-8 in Hunt Valley Maryland. Visit www.boardgamers.org to sign up. You must register before July 24th of 2004.

One interesting aspect of T-shirts at this convention is that you can design your own and have it printed with your own game box covers. See www.lostbattalion.com for info about t-shirts.

Hurricane Dug Up under Water Main in London

On May 31 2004 British archaeologists dug up parts of a Battle of Britain Hurricane fighter that crashed after downing a German bomber near Buckingham Palace.

Archaeologist Christopher Bennett said the plane's engine and control panel were recovered during excavations in Buckingham Palace Road. He has been researching this particular crash for over 12 years.

On September 15, 1940, pilot Ray Holmes spotted the German Dornier bomber flying toward the center of London. Out of ammunition Holmes flew his Hurricane into the German plane slicing off the bomber's tail then parachuted out of his plane before it hit Buckingham Palace Road. The Dornier crashed into part of Victoria Station.

Pilot officer Holmes, 89, was present as the engine was lifted to ground level.

"Well it's such a mess that it is hard to realize that it came out of the airplane." he told a Channel 5 TV show documenting the dig.

Other parts recovered include the plane's wooden tail fin, fuselage and a section of hydraulic pipe.

What is left of the plane will be housed permanently in London's Imperial War Museum.

Col. Robert Morgan Died on Armed Forces Day

Captain Robert Morgan, the pilot of the "Memphis Belle" whose B-17F aircraft was the first to be officially recognized as completing 25 combat missions over Europe between November 7, 1942 to May 17, 1943, died after surgery on May 15, 2004. Full details on the web site http://www.memphis-belle.com/

Col (Then Capt) Robert Morgan of the Memphis Belle B-17 at Oregon Convention Center


Collings Foundation NW B-17 and B-24 Tour

A Boeing B-17 and B-24 will be in the Northwest during June and July at various airfields.

For a complete schedule list of locations see their site at http://www.collingsfoundation.org

US Civil War Reenactment at McIver Park Oregon April 2004

Posted photographs of a Civil War Re-Enactment that occurs annually at McIver Park here in Oregon the last week of April. I took three rolls of film and the first roll is now posted. They also stage others over July 4 weekend at Willamette Mission State Park 8 miles North of Salem and over Labor Day at Fort Stevens State Park by Astoria.

Guide To Aircraft Museums Published

I have purchased his guides since the late 70s. Michael Blaugher; 124 East Foster Parkway; Ft Wayne, IN 46806-1730 publishes a book to find out about Aircraft Museums and aircraft parked around the US and Canada. You can get it at: www.aircraftmuseums.com

Highly recommended.

Japanese Plane landed on Ni'inhaul after Pearl Harbor Attack

According to an article in the March 29th issue of Kauai Island Newspaper a Zero landed on Ni‘ihau island, located just west of Kauai, which was designated as an emergency airfield to the Japanese pilots attacking Pearl Harbor, and this Zero landed intact. The pilot was still alive and when locals went to investigate they exchanged gunfire and killed the pilot, and one was wounded in return but the Navy never bothered to go back and recover the intact A6M Zero!

"Benjamin Kanahele, a Hawaiian who lived on Ni‘ihau, was shot three times before he and his wife killed the pilot, and he was later awarded the Purple Heart and the Presidential Medal of Merit for his heroism."

Navy Wants Back Rare WWII Brewster Corsair

According to an article in the Twin Cities Pioneer Press newspaper March 27, 2004, the United States Navy, after abandoning and leaving it to rot in a swamp in North Carolina 1944, wants it back and has gotten the US Justice Department to sue Lex Cralley who legally owns the Brewster built F3A-1 Corsair. Brewster built only 735 versions of it and this is the only one known in existence. This is similar to other aircraft recoveries where the Navy, Air Force, Army knows of an aircraft, refuses to recover it, a private person does, then they sue them to get ownership after it has been recovered / restored.

This likely relates to how government accounting works: no budget to buy and restore, but there is money in the budget to sue so they wait till someone has done all the work then they can sue and use that "pot" of money to get the aircraft and circumvent the budgeting constraints put on them due to arcane and stupid accounting rules the Federal Government runs under.

American Fighter Aces Reunion Seattle, Washington June 4 through June 7

This year the AFA is having their reunion in the Pacific Northwest at the DoubleTree Inn, Seattle Airport and The Museum of Flight.

It happens to co-inside with the D-Day anniversary too.

Reservation information and schedule can be downloaded in the Reunion 2004 Announcement ( MS Word format).

Purple Heart Memorial At McMinnville Museum

The Military Order of the Purple Heart dedicated a memorial right outside the Evergreen Aviation Museum. You can contact the organization thru Robert Haltiner at 503-657-7085.

Aerial Recon Photos Going Online

A UK Web site, Aerial Reconnaissance Archives, is going to put onto their site all the World War II photos that were taken by the UK — some 5 million — so they can be viewed and downloaded.

This is being done by The Aerial Reconnaissance Archives (TARA) out of Keele University.

The quality should be very good since negatives were usually 8x10 inch in size. Sometimes they were 4" wide strips.

It will be interesting if they also put up the ones taken in stereo. Once of the big advantages that the UK / US had was they they did extensive stereo photo picture taking reconnaissance flights so to better see in 3D what was happening on the ground some 6 miles below the aircraft that took the images.


One of the newest trends in movie making is using re-enactors when needing large scale military combat scenes. Saving Private Ryan, Gettysburg are two notable popular recent movies that used extensive private citizens, and their equipment, when filming scenes.

In the Northwest the local group that is organized is Northwest Historical Association http://www.nwha.org/

They have re-enactments scheduled throughout the year.

Bill in US House and Senate for Col. Rex T. Barber

Rep Greg Walden, R-Or, introduced a bill in the US House of Representatives that would waive the statue of limitations on awarding the Medal of Honor so that it can be awarded to Col Barber for shooting down Japanese Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto on April 18, 1943.

Major John Mitchell led the mission that flew 50' above the water 400 miles (to avoid Japanese radar) from Guadalcanal to just off the coast of New Guinea where they intercepted the two "Betty" bombers and four Zero escorts. Rex Barber, with zeros coming in behind him, was able to damage the Betty from behind in two passes and force it to crash in the jungle. He then attacked a second Betty bomber on the way back to rejoin the squadron which he also saw go down. He had 104 bullet holes in his a/c upon landing.

Rex and Lt. Lamphier, who claimed to have also shot down the plane carrying the Admiral, were each awarded 1/2 credit much later. (Post combat report analysis, stories and descriptions of the attack by both, interviews with the surviving Japanese pilots and crew members and plane wreckage visits, have pretty much proved that Lamphier did not shoot down the bomber, but appeals through the military has been blocked by the Air Force which has refused to reopen the combat victory awards panel.)

Senator Ron Wyden, R-Or, and Gordon Smith, R-Or, introduced the bill in the Senate.

Rex Barber was born in Culver, Oregon and retired to Bend Oregon where he died in 2001.