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Saturday, October 08, 2005

OVER THE PACIFIC -- A South Korean F-15K Eagle comes in for fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker on Oct. 4. The next generation F-15s are on their way to South Korea to make their debut at the Seoul Air Show. The South Korea Air Force purchased 40 fighters from Boeing for $4.2 billon. The Stratotanker is from the Hawaii Air National Guard's 203rd Air Refueling Squadron.

This Day in Military History - Heroes

Today marks two milestones in America's proud military heritage; you'll see both noted in today's History post, but I thought it was worth giving some attention to -

Eddie Rickenbacker
On this day in 1890, in Columbus, OH, Edward Rickenbacher was born. Later adding the middle name "Vernon," and changing the spelling of his last name, Rickenbacker was the third of eight children; his parents were Swiss immigrants. In order to support his family, Eddie lied about his age to be able to work. After a series of jobs that left him unhappy and unfulfilled, Rickenbacker finally began work in an auto company, eventually entering the world of auto racing. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in May, 1917.

Initially assigned as staff driver for General John Pershing, Eddie eventually got some high-ranking AEF friends to pull some strings, and he enlisted in the Air Corps. He was assigned to the 94th Aero Pursuit Squadron, the first all-American air squadron to see combat. It was the start of a career that would end with him becoming the USA's first "Flying Ace." By the end of WWI, Rickenbacker had scored 69 air victories, with the last occuring just one day before the war ended.

During WWII, Eddie toured US Army Air Corps training bases to bolster morale, impress pilots with the seriousness of their mission, and secretly examine the bases and training pilots received. His close connection with the world of auto racing continued, as did his love of aviation - Eddie and a flying buddy founded what would become Eastern Airlines.

To read more about Eddie Rickenbacker, click here.

Sergeant York
Alvin York's life began unremarkably - there was certainly nothing to indicate that he would eventually be referrred to as "the war’s biggest hero" (New York Times), or "the greatest civilian soldier" of World War I (General John J. Pershing). He was born in a one-room cabin on December 13, 1887, in Pall Mall, Tennessee, the third of eleven children. He earned a reputation as a hell-raiser, gambler, and drinker. All that changed one night when he was confronted by his mother one evening, asking him "Alvin, when are you going to be a man like your father and your grandfathers?" He stated that he never drank, gambled, or cussed since then.

In 1915, York says he was "saved" by the preaching of a local evangelist; in fact, he took his newfound faith so seriously that he quickly rose to become a church elder. When he was drafted, York faced a serious inner conflict - he even wrote "I don’t want to fight" on his draft form. He attempted to be exempted from the draft, but it failed. After "two whole days and a night" of prayer, York eventually decided that God would allow him to "answer the call of my country."

By the time his unit arrived in the Argonne Forest in October of 1918, York was a corporal. Although credited with the single-handed capture of more than 100 Germans, and the killing of several dozen more, York never claimed to have acted alone. And while the story was exaggerated, the reality is still the stuff of heroes.

On October 8, 1918, the plan was for York’s men to advance across a valley and take the two hills on the other side. But the Germans were dug into the hills with machine guns and one heck of a view of that valley. York and the other squad commanders knew that advancing across that valley with their limited number of men wasn't going to work - after all, there were only 17 of them. They decided to attempt a sneak attack from the rear, advancing around the German flank.

They surprised the Germans, but the machine guns took out nine men, including an officer. Corporal York, an expert shot, was now in charge.

According to York, "(T)hose machine guns were spitting fire and cutting down the undergrowth all around me something awful…. I didn’t have time to dodge behind a tree or dive into the brush, I didn’t even have time to kneel or lie down…. As soon as the machine guns opened fire on me, I began to exchange shots with them."

York killed so many Germans that a German Major, who had already been captured, reportedly told York, "If you don’t shoot any more I’ll make them surrender."

At that point, Corporal York and his remaining seven men walked their more than 80 prisoners back to American lines - York with his pistol to the German Major's back. Along the way, York made the Major give the surrender order to other enemy troops they met, and the line had grown to 132 by the time they reached the American lines.

York was given the Medal of Honor, and was also promoted to the rank of Sergeant.

After he got home, he was much in demand from people wanting his endorsement. York, who was not seeking celebrity, and in fact downplayed his actions in Argonne, felt that to do so would be "selling his uniform."

Read more about Sgt. Alvin York here and here.
VANTAGE POINT — U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Chuck Hipple cleans his weapon on a Stryker vehicle prior to providing an overwatch for U.S. Army soldiers and U.S. Marines searching for weapons caches and insurgents east of the Syrian border by the Euphrates River in Iraq, Oct. 1, 2005. Hipple is assigned to the 4th Battalion, 14th Cavalry, 2nd Platoon, Fort Wainwright, Alaska. Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Andy Dunaway

In Today's News - Saturday, October 8, 2005

Quote of the Day
"Security against defeat implies defensive tactics;
ability to defeat the enemy means taking the offensive."
-- Sun Tzu

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom


Operation Enduring Freedom
Afghanistan straddles stability and chaos

Homeland Security / War on Terror
Third Suspect Arrested
Video: City on Alert Bloomberg: Right Decision
Photo Essay: Please Open Your Bag, Ma'am

CIA Leak
'It Wasn't Me'
Rove to Testify Again on CIA Leak
Video: Judith Miller Testifies

Fox News
Major Quake Hits Pakistan, India, Afghanistan

Bye-Bye Bosox
IOC Chief Wants Armstrong Inquiry
La. Death Toll from Katrina Tops 1,000
New Orleans Mayor Proposes Gambling

Reuters: Top News
Scores feared trapped or killed after Pakistan quake
Bush predicts confirmation of Miers
Credibility issues over New York subway threat
Bush urges companies to produce bird flu vaccine
DeLay seeks dismissal of Texas charges

AP World News
Serb Paramilitaries Charged After Video
Explosions Kill Six Marines in Iraq
House GOP May Try to Weaken Detainee Rules
Indonesia Grapples With Terror Threat

The Seattle Times
New Orleans cops may have taken 200 cars
Washington Monument reopens after bomb threat
DeLay's lawyers allege prosecutorial misconduct
Study indicates vaccine prevents cervical cancer
Bush: U.S. Foiled at Least 10 Terror Plots

CJTF-HOA dedicates Mouloud school renovations
Photos: Weapons Cache Search (09/28/05) Pakistan's President Musharraf Visits Centcom (09/20/05) Bright Star 2005 (09/19/05) October Front Page Photos

Department of Defense
Intel from Raids Leads to Security Hike — Story
Coalition Forces Ready for Referendum — Story Video
Major Offensive Operations Continue in Iraq
Roadside Bomb Blasts Kill Six Marines in Iraq
General: Iraqi Forces 'Unbelievably Better' — Story Transcript Video
Insurgent Attacks Increase as Iraqi Elections Near
Iraqis, Coalition Beef Up Border Interdiction

Kirkuk Teachers, Students Get Supplies — Story
Paratroopers Train Afghan Troops on Artillery — Story
Joint U.S.-Afghan Patrol Combs Zormat Area — Story

Iraq Deployment a Family Affair — Story

'Stars for Stripes' Boosts Morale — Story
Crop Circle Maze Honors Troops
Auctions Support Memorial Fund

Hurricane Coverage
Iraq Transition of Power

Water Systems to Benefit 31,000
Academy Ready to Train Guards
U.S., Iraqis Committed to Security
Troop Killed; River Gate Continues
Photos: Operation River Gate
Iraq Reconstruction
Iraq Daily Update
Multinational Force Iraq
Eye on Iraq Update (pdf)

OEF Coalition Remains Strong
Officials Request Rules Change
Afghanistan Daily Update

Bush Maps Strategy for Victory
Bush: Iraq Central Front in War
Bush: Denounce Violent Extremism
Cheney Topic: War on Terrorism
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

System Supplies Troops Faster
National Guard, Reserve Update

Troops Remember Fallen Airman — Story

Al Azamiyah Al Basrah Al Hillah Al Karkh Al Kazimiyah Al Kut An Nasiriyah Baghdad Baqubah Mosul Najaf Nineveh Tall Kayf

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar


National Hurricane Center

Today in History
1604 - The supernova called "Kepler's Nova" is first sighted.
1775 - Officers decide to bar slaves and freed Blacks from the Continental Army.
1818 - Two English boxers are the first to use padded gloves.
1840 - The first Hawaiian constitution is proclaimed.
1860 - A telegraph line between Los Angeles and San Francisco opens.
1862 - At the Battle of Perryville (KY), a Confederate invasion is halted.
1871 - The Great Fire of Chicago kills 200, destroying miles of Chicago's buildings, along with the original Emancipation Proclamation.
1896 - Dow Jones starts reporting an average of industrial stocks.
1912 - The First Balkan War begins.
1918 - Sgt. Alvin York reportedly single-handedly kills 25 Germans, and captures 132.
1933 - In San Francisco, Coit Tower is dedicated as a monument to firefighters.
1934 - Bruno Hauptmann is indicted for the murder of Charles Lindbergh's infant son.
1939 - Germany annexes Western Poland.
1944 - "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" debuts on CBS radio (on Ozzie and Harriet's ninth wedding anniversary).
1945 - President Truman announces that atomic bomb technology has been shared with Britain and Canada.
1955 - The World's most powerful aircraft carrier, the USS Saratoga, is launched.
1957 - The Brooklyn Dodgers announce they are moving to Los Angeles; Turkish and Syrian border guards exchange fire.
1962 - Algeria is admitted as the 109th member of the U.N.; North Korea reports a 100% election turnout, and a 100% vote for the Workers' (Communist) Party.
1963 - The Sultan of Zanzibar cedes his mainland possessions to Kenya.
1964 - Gilroy Roberts becomes the first U.S. chief engraver to retire (the others died in office).
1970 - Soviet author Alexander Solzhenitsyn wins the Nobel Prize for Literature.
1978 - Kenneth Warby sets the world water speed record at 319.627 mph (514 kph).
1981 - President Reagan greets predecessors Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, and Richard Nixon before sending them to Egypt for Anwar Sadat's funeral.
1982 - Poland bans Solidarity.
1988 - A fire in Seattle's Space Needle causes evacuation, and causes $2,000 in damage.
1990 - Israeli police kill 17 Palestinian rioters.

1869 - J. Frank Duryea, inventor (first auto built and operated in the U.S.)
1890 - Eddie Rickenbacker, aviator - the "Ace of Aces" (WWI)
1895 - Juan Peron, Argentine President (1946-55, 1973-74)
1895 - King Zog I of Albania (1928-1939)
1916 - Spark Matsunaga (Sen-HI)
1920 - Frank Herbert, sci-fi writer (Dune)
1936 - David Carradine, actor (Kung-Fu, Boxcar Bertha, Young Guns)
1941 - Jesse Jackson, clergyman/presidential candidate
1943 - Chevy Chase, comedian/actor (SNL, Vacation, Fletch, Caddyshack)
1949 - Sigourney (Susan Alexandra) Weaver, actress (Alien, Working Girl)

1869 - Franklin Pierce 14th president of US, dies in Concord, NH
1944 - Wendell Lewis Willkie Republican politician, dies
1982 - Fernando Lamas actor/director, dies at 67 of cancer
1985 - Leon Klinghoffer, American tourist; hijackers of the Achille Lauro murder him and throw him overboard.

Reported Missing in Action
Denton, Manuel R., USN (TX); UH34D crashed (crewman, w/Ritchey), possible aircraft collision, Killed, body not recovered

Ritchey, Luther E., Jr., USMC (OH); UH34D crashed (pilot, w/Denton), possible aircraft collision, Killed, body not recovered

Wadsworth, Dean Amick, USAF (TX); T28 shot down, emains identified April, 1999

Feldhaus, John Anthony, USN (TN); A1H crashed, presumed Killed

Womack, Sammie N., US Army (VA); released February, 1967 - retired as a Staff Sgt - alive as of 1998

The following lost in the crash of an E1B on Monkey Mountain near Da Nang; bodies not recovered
Guerra, Raul A., USN (CA); journalist / passenger
Pineau, Roland R., USN (MI); crew
Roggow, Norman L., USN (IA); crew
Wolfe, Donald F., USN (MT); crew
Zissu, Andrew G., USN (NY); pilot

Altizer, Albert H., US Army (WV); Killed after the boat he was on overturned while crossing river, body not recovered

Watkins, Robert J., Jr., US Army (MD); AH1G crashed while returning from a mission (co-pilot); rescued on 10/13

Ott, William A., USAF (CA); RF4C shot down (pilot, w/Shay)

Shay, Donald E., Jr., USAF (MD);RF4C shot down (WSO, w/Ott)