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Monday, March 17, 2008

My Two Cents: Of Savagery and Civility

For the last couple of days, a poem has been stuck in my mind. It has interrupted the strains of Celtic music that are usually there on this day. It starts like this:

In prison cell I sadly sit,
A d__d crest-fallen chappie!
And own to you I feel a bit-
A little bit - unhappy!

It really ain't the place nor time
To reel off rhyming diction -
But yet we'll write a final rhyme
Whilst waiting cru-ci-fixion!
The metered echo in my head was not an unexpected event - yesterday, as I perused the headlines, I saw the predictable:

U.S. veterans, Japanese mark 1968 Vietnam massacre - Video

Survivors reflect 40 years after My Lai

My Lai. Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the incident that came to encapsulate Vietnam for the antiwar movement, and for a generation of Americans who lost their stomach for fighting Communists, for casualty counts, for war. Like it or not, My Lai was the best thing ever to happen to those who malign our troops and what they do - to the anti-troop crowd, My Lai was an unprecedented gift.

I've always been somewhat skeptical about the 'official' story around My Lai, especially given the context. There was tremendous pressure on the military to find someone guilty, to throw someone under the bus to make the raging crowds happy.

It's generally accepted that our troops crossed the line at My Lai. But my problem with the whole thing is that the judgment of My Lai comes completely out of context, and more often than not, the incident is viewed through eyes that have absolutely no frame of reference. Hindsight may be 20/20 in most cases, but not when you're working in the dark. Even now, so many years later, there are many, many unanswered questions about what happened - and why.

Vietnam, to be sure, was not the war that those who went there expected. When the Vietnam war happened, the generation who would serve there was accustomed to war being almost a rite of passage. Remember, there had been a war in this country virtually with every generation since its birth. If you were male, you grew up, you went to war, you came home. Sometimes you didn't, in which case you became immortalized as a hero.

But never had anyone gone to Vietnam. Those fighting the Japanese in the Pacific had seen a premonition of how that area of the world dealt with war. Korea gave another indication - or at least it would have, if this country had really been interested in looking at it all. It wasn't a pretty picture.

Although it wasn't always the war portrayed in "Hamburger Hill" and "Full Metal Jacket," Vietnam was a world of smothering heat, dense jungle, and invisible enemies for those who faced the worst of what it had to offer. Vietnam was a place where there were people lurking in the jungle who tortured and killed American troops. And worse, for Americans, it was hard to tell enemy from friend. Villagers who seemed friendly one moment could harbor the VC - sometimes under your very feet. Children with baskets might be carrying bombs. Yes, some of those who went to Vietnam never fired a shot. But some saw a far different war.

Sometimes, you couldn't even relax enough to count on the ground you walked on - the VC regularly employed booby traps - spiked pits, bamboo spikes hidden in the ground where American troops would dive for cover when fired upon - endless ingenious and horrible inventions. And mines. Lots of mines.

The infamous "Charlie Company" walked into My Lai after several weeks of losing friends to those mines. They were under the impression that My Lai - like so many other villages, harbored VC. They were ordered to eliminate a threat. They were angry. They were tired. And then they walked into a village, like many others, that might or might not harbor the enemy, or harbor those who harbored the enemy.

So much of the analysis of My Lai relies on hindsight. There turned out, officially, to be no VC in My Lai, so therefore it was an atrocity. Problem with all that is, no one could really be sure who was VC and who was not, most of the time. Even the estimates on My Lai dead vary so wildly as to be suspect. Estimates range from somewhere around 150 to over 500, with more 'official' numbers wandering between 350 to 400.

30 soldiers out of the 100 or so in Charlie Company were put on trial. 3o out of 100 in Charlie Company. Looks like a pretty big percentage - 30% of a unit accused of an atrocity. But let's look at some other numbers - 2.1 million Americans served in Vietnam. My Lai represents the behavior of .0014% of those who served - an incredibly small amount. How much energy is spent on that .0014% versus how much is spent on the honorable service of the other 99.9986%?

The problem lies in the ugliness of war. For the most part, if war can be spoon-fed to the general populous in manufactured film reels and staged pictures, if news can be delivered in brave victories and vanquished enemies that can be easily demonized in your average cartoon, we're happy to tolerate it. But when it gets ugly, the Western world doesn't want to think about it. Unfortunately, we seem to have this need to distance ourselves from the wars we wage. There's this need to set a line, to seize upon the stuff in war that doesn't look good on the cover of Time, and to prosecute so that we can say, "See? War may be uncivilized, but we're still civilized." War is bad, but we're not bad.

Every war has its trial, its villains from the winning side. The victors have to find those who will bear the cost of what we needed to do to win; those who will in essence shoulder the responsibility for the fact that when armies meet to settle things, people are killed and maimed. Vietnam had My Lai. Iraq had Abu Ghraib - the stupid behavior of a very few soldiers, who took some idiotic pictures. Since that didn't turn out to the torture-fest that would have satisfied the need to demonize someone on our side, the hunt went on. They almost got Lt. Ilario Pantano. And they almost got Haditha - a tale that has been falling apart from the start. Frighteningly, both could have gone far worse for the troops involved had it not been for a couple of factors that didn't exist during the My Lai circus - milbloggers and talk radio. This time, there was opposition to the lynch mob that always waits in the wings. Haditha is still open, and it is up to that opposition to remain vigilant.

What always throws me for a loop in these situations is that we are collectively so ready to view American troops as if they're something other than human. We're always so ready to forget that those "animals" at My Lai were, in some cases, barely out of high school. They were brothers, sons, fathers...they were ours. In another place, at another time, some of them might have been that nice kid next door.

I wonder what's more savage - the behavior of troops in war, who occasionally cross the line after they are pushed to their limits, or the behavior of the bloodthirsty mob of critics who clamor for the heads of the heroes that protect their freedoms? I think, and always have, that the latter is more reprehensible. Our Heroes display remarkable restraint when criticized, often enduring the attacks without a word.

No matter what "end" they decide -
Quick-lime or "b'iling ile," sir?
We'll do our best when crucified
To finish off in style, sir!
When troops cross the line, in the context of their jobs, they deserve help, not prosecution. I've got no problem with court martialling soldiers who rape innocent girls and kill their family to cover it up. I've got a real problem putting Marines on trial who are in a hostile area, have to make instant judgment calls, and almost certainly believed that they were doing what they needed to do.

Sadly, I think we are eager to try those who are involved in the darker, uglier side of war because it makes us feel better. We can send troops off to kill, and feel OK with it, as long as we make sure that we still have standards - that we haven't completely lost our humanity. How sad it is that we all can't just get along, but rather have to get dragged into the nastiness that is war.

But we bequeath a parting tip
For sound advice of such men,
Who come across in transport ship
To polish off the Dutchmen!

If you encounter any Boers
You really must not loot 'em!
And if you wish to leave these shores,

For pity's sake, DON'T SHOOT 'EM!!
Other cultures don't have that same limitation, that same need to justify, explain, and dress up a war. To many other cultures, it's real simple. The enemy is the enemy, and no one really cares what happens to them. I'm not saying that we should go that way. I just think that maybe we should be leaning a little towards our Heroes, rather than their critics, when there's a problem.

The most bizarre thing about the whole My Lai redux yesterday was the fact that another anniversary was all but ignored in the headlines. In addition to My Lai, survivors of another of history's darker moments were remembering, too.

Over this past weekend, survivors of the Krakow ghetto were marking the 65th anniversary of its "liquidation." Thousands upon thousands of Jews were killed outright or deported to Nazi death camps from the Krakow ghetto. Thousands upon thousands of lives were destroyed.
And if you'd earn a D.S.O.,
Why every British sinner
Should know the proper way to go

Let's toss a bumper down our throat, -
Before we pass to Heaven,
And toast: "The trim-set petticoat
We leave behind in Devon."
It's a far juicier story to make criminals out of heroes. Far better reading to watch the fall of someone on a pedestal than to focus on the truly evil. How much airplay has Spitzer gotten lately - and why? Because he was a man who had been held up as a moral crusader - a paragon of law and order. If he'd been a common thug, dalliances with prostitutes wouldn't have been big news. Paradoxically, common criminals get the benefit of their actions being judged by how they were raised, whether they were bullied, and any other excuse that society can make for them. But our Heroes? They have no such defenses, and there is no compassion for them in the rush to condemn their actions.

The Viet Cong regularly did unspeakable things to Vietnamese civilians. That didn't get much coverage yesterday. None, actually. But My Lai? Now there's a story.

Noting that yesterday was the anniversary of a Nazi horror wasn't going to get a lot of mileage, either - especially since looking at the Holocaust forces us to look at ourselves. The horrors of the death camps, like it or not, were well known to the Western world for years before American troops gaped in horror at what they saw in Nazi concentration camps - and no one really cared. All of that Europe stuff, for a long time, was seen as someone else's problem. Although the Nazis bear the responsibility for the Holocaust, the rest of the world has to look at its ambivalence, and that's not very comfortable. The true extent of the evil that played itself out in Europe obviously didn't teach us much, either, but that's a subject for a different time.

The big factor in the disparity of coverage, sadly, is that focusing on real villains doesn't play as well in the media as demonizing American troops does. That, to me, is also a crime. When it all boils down to it, I guess I wouldn't mind the My Lai coverage, if we actually tried to learn something from it, rather than using it as yet another excuse to paint American troops in the worst light possible.

Oh, that poem that has been running through my head for the last couple of days? It's noted, by its author, as "The Last Rhyme and Testament of Tony Lumpkin." It's official title is "Butchered to Make a Dutchman's Holiday." It was written by Harry "Breaker" Morant, another military man who became intimately familiar with the process of putting troops on trial to satisfy the hunger for civility.

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The Irish Brigade

"Who have never retreated from clash of spears"

In honor of St. Patrick's Day,
check out the history of the 69th Infantry...
the "Fighting 69th."

I am proud to be the descendent of one of this unit's brave Civil War heroes.

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DJIBOUTI JUMP - U.S. Air Force pararescuemen conduct a parachute training jump from an HC-130 aircraft over Djibouti, Africa, March 13, 2008. The airmen are assigned to the 82nd Search and Rescue Squadron from Moody Air Force Base, Ga. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jeremy T. Lock

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In Today's News - Monday, March 17, 2008

Quote of the Day
Far in foreign fields from Dunkirk to Belgrade
Lie the soldiers and chiefs of the Irish Brigade.

-- Thomas Osborne Davis, "Battle Eve of the Brigade"

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Cheney Makes Unexpected Visit to Iraq
Explosions Rock Iraq's Capital as McCain, Cheney Visit
Millions of Iraqis lack water, healthcare: Red Cross
McCain trip comes during Iraq milestones

Operation Enduring Freedom
Afghan Woman Runs Toward Olympics Despite Jeers, Potential Danger

Homeland Security / War on Terror / Hamas-Hezbollah Happenings
U.S. Missiles Hit Militant Hub in Pakistan, Restaurant Blast Wounds 4 FBI Agents

Fallen Heroes
US nears 4,000 dead in Iraq

Other Military News
U.S. and Russia seek way out of missile shield row
Gates cautious about Russia talks
U.N. and NATO troops clash with Serbs in Kosovo

Politics / Government
Obama Camp: What's Hill Hiding?
Obama's Church Fires Back Against Reports on Pastor
Clinton Library Builder Disappears Amid Audit
Paterson to Be Sworn in as New York Governor Today
Clinton struggles with loss of black support - Video
Obama, Clinton teams trade barbs
Audit: Bush barely trims FOIA backlog

Illegal Immigration / Border Control
Judge Slows Border Fence Progress, Orders Feds to Negotiate With Landowners
Rio Grande hand ferry evokes lost age on U.S. border

In the Courts / Crime and Punishment / Law and Order
Vegas Man Claims Ricin Poisoning
On Manson's Trail, Forensic Testing Suggests Possible New Grave Sites
12-Year-Old Boy Killed, Man Injured in SoCal Shooting
Search Unravels WWII Mystery of Australian Warship

Media in the Media / Bloggers in the News / Watching the Web
Google says Microsoft's Yahoo buy might hurt Internet

Science / Medicine and Health / Technology
Space Robot Flexes Arms for First Time
Spacewalkers to kit handyman robot with tools - Video
Pediatric allergies take toll on kids too
New drug holds promise for parasitic worm disease

Mother Nature
Atlanta Cleans Up After Killer Twister - PHOTOS - VIDEO
Snow Triggers Deadly 20-Vehicle Pileup in Arizona
Everest climbers prepare for ban

News from My Neck of the Woods
3 Missing After NYC Crane Collapse - VIDEO - PHOTOS

Naked Man Creates Havoc in Vandalism Spree in Pennsylvania

Other News of Note
Nepalese Police Arrest 30 Monks, Protestors - PHOTOS
Thais pressed armsdealer to go to U.S.: lawyer
China says using restraint to quell Tibet unrest - Video
Official: 16 dead in Tibet riots

Fox News
Fire Sale at Bear Stearns
JP Morgan buys collapsing firm for $2 a share
Investors Wonder: Who's Next?
Fed Cuts Discount Rate by Quarter Point to 3.25 Percent
Asian Markets Plunge; Oil Soars to New Record
Paulson: We'll 'Do What it Takes' to Stabilize Economy
Pakistan's New Parliament Holds First Session
UNC, Kansas, Memphis, UCLA Earn Top Hoop Seeds
Report: Paul Newman Seeing Oncologist
Mariah To Guest Judge American Idol

Bear execs lack golden parachutes as stock plan crunched
Landlords find deals in housing crisis
At least 11 die as boat capsizes off Guinea
French government sees no policy shift after vote
From stew to fashion accessory: A dog's life in China
New ladies' vodka gives Russian doctors a headache
Fed wades further into risky waters
Greenspan sees many casualties from crisis: report
Dollar's nosedive stirs joint intervention jitters - Video
Bristol-Myers weighs $7-9 billion baby food sale: report
International Paper buys Weyerhaeuser unit for $6 billion
No deal on Bank of Japan chief as deadline nears - Video
Siemens issues profit warning after projects audit
Bear and Fed set stage for rocky week
Oil hits record near $112 as dollar slumps
Gold up over 3 percent, briefly clears $1,030/oz
Bear Stearns fire sale sparks Europe share plunge
Dollar plumbs new troughs despite Fed action
PMI posts $1 billion quarterly loss
Bear Stearns crisis batters global stocks and dollar - Video
Japan stocks at 2 1/2 year closing low on yen
South Korean won suffers biggest fall in nearly 10 yrs
Activists target boards
Fed plan won't mark bottom

AP World News
No real surprise in tourney field
A royal performance for Tiger
Crowds hear 'Horton' hauling in $45M
No. 1 UNC edges Clemson for ACC crown
Investors await Bear impact, Fed meeting

News Blaze
Silver Lions Maintain Focus on Mission
PHOTOS: Celebrities visit Patriots
Iraq News
Read about Operations in Iraq
FOB Warhorse Memorial Photos

Afghan troops give aid to villagers
Afghan forces improve national communication flow
Police in Wasit gaining security responsibility
ANSF secure Khak-e Safid, Farah
International Women’s Day Brings Unity, Call for Peace

JKO provides training for those deployment-bound - podcast
More about Joint Knowledge Online Targeting school revising courses to prepare students - podcast
More about Joint Targeting School
SOCJFCOM continues to ready warfighters for global operations - podcast
More about SOCJFCOM

Multi-National Force - Iraq
IP Recruitment Drive in Arab Jabour Aims to Maintain Security Gains
CIC Soldiers Work Behind Scene to Protect Coalition Forces
ISOF Capture Suspected Leaders of Three Terrorist Cells
Girls’ School Gets Computers, Furnished Internet Center
Two terrorists killed, four detained as Coalition disrupts al-Qaeda networks
266 detainees released from Coalition custody
Coalition disrupts al-Qaeda networks throughout Iraq, 15 detained
Running a City in Southern Iraq
Cache discovery highlights continuing successes in Baqouba
MND-B Soldiers seize cache (Baghdad)

Commanders Cite Security Issues at House Hearing

Forces Capture Suspects, Weapons
Operation Pressures Extremists
Girls' School Gets Internet Center

Troops Disrupt Militant Operations

Military Sexual Assault Reports Remain Constant
Defense Department Releases Gender Survey

New Award Honors Military Mothers' Sacrifices

Airman’s Instincts Prevent Possible Explosion

Captain Talks About Marine Corps Pride

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar

Ansbach Aschaffenburg Berlin Berlin-Tempelhof Berlin/Schonefeld Bremerhaven
Darmstadt Frankfurt Frankfurt/Main Freiburg/Breisgau Garmisch
Garmisch-Partenkirchen Geilenkirchen Gelnhausen Giessen Kitzingen
Hanau Am Main Heidelberg Mainz Mannheim Nurnberg Stuttgart Trier
Wiesbaden Wurzburg


Agana Agana Heights Agat Andersen AFB Asan Barrigada

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

Kadena Air Base Okinawa Tokyo Yokohama

Today in History
0432 - St. Patrick, a bishop, is carried off to Ireland as a slave
0455 - Roman senator Petronius Maximus becomes Emperor
1521 - Ferdinand Magellan discovers the Philippines
1526 - French king François I freed from Spain
1537 - French troops invade Flanders
1580 - Prince Willem of Orange welcomed in Amsterdam
1658 - Pro-Charles II plot in England discovered
1672 - England declares war on Netherlands
1753 - 1st official St Patrick's Day
1755 - Transylvania Land Co buys Kentucky for $50,000 from a Cherokee chief
1756 - St. Patrick's Day 1st celebrated in NYC at Crown & Thistle Tavern
1757 - Prince Mas Saïd of Mataram surrenders to Mangkubumi in Java
1762 - 1st St. Patrick's Day parade in NYC
1766 - Britain repeals Stamp Act
1776 - British forces evacuate Boston to Nova Scotia during Revolutionary War
1800 - English warship Queen Charlotte catches fire; 700 die
1824 - England & Netherlands sign a trade agreement
1836 - Texas abolishes slavery
1845 - Bristol man, Henry Jones, patents self-raising flour
1845 - Rubber band patented by Stephen Perry of London
1861 - Italy declares independence; Kingdom of Italy proclaimed
1863 - Battle of Kelly's Ford, Virginia (211 casualities)
1868 - Postage stamp canceling machine patent issued
1884 - John Joseph Montgomery makes 1st glider flight, Otay CA
1886 - Carrollton Massacre, (Mississippi) 20 blacks killed
1891 - British Steamer Utopia sinks off Gibraltar, killing 574
1894 - US & China sign treaty preventing Chinese laborers from entering US
1898 - 1st practical submarine 1st submerges, New York NY (for 1 hour 40 minutes)
1899 - Windsor luxury hotel in NYC catches fire, 92 die
1905 - Eleanor Roosevelt marries FDR in New York
1906 - President Theodore Roosevelt uses term "muckraker"
1912 - Camp Fire Girls organization announced by Mrs. Luther Halsey Gulick
1917 - Tsar Nicolas II of Russia abdicates the throne
1921 - Lenin proclaims New Economic Politics; Sailors revolt in Kronstadt (thousands die)
1924 - Netherlands & USSR begin talks over USSR recognition; Sweden & USSR exchange diplomats
1926 - Dutch Calvinists oust Reverend J G Geelkerken over Genesis 3
1926 - Spain & Brazil prevent Germany joining League of Nations
1927 - US government doesn't sign league of Nations disarmament treaty
1931 - Stalin throws Krupskaya Lenin out of Central Committee
1932 - German police raid Hitler's Nazi-headquarter
1934 - Dollfuss, Mussolini & Gömbös sign Donau Pact (protocols of Rome)
1941 - National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC opens
1942 - Belzec Concentration Camp opens-30,000 Lublin Polish Jews transported; General Douglas MacArthur arrives in Australia to become supreme commander
1943 - Aldemarin (Ned) & Fort Cedar Lake (US) torpedoed & sinks
1945 - Allied ships bomb North-Sumatra
1950 - Belgian government of Eyskens resigns; Element 98 (Californium) announced
1951 - Government of Drees takes power
1957 - Ramon Magsaysay, President of Philippines, dies in a plane crash
1958 - Navy launches Vanguard 1 into orbit (2nd US), measures Earth shape
1959 - Australia & USSR restore diplomatic relations; Dalai Lama flees Tibet for India
1960 - Eisenhower forms anti-Castro-exile army under the CIA
1961 - South Africa leaves British Commonwealth
1963 - Elizabeth Ann Seton of New York beatified (canonized in 1975); Eruptions of Mount Agung, Bali, kills 1,500 Balinese
1966 - South Africa government bans Defense & Aid Fund; US sub locates missing H-bomb in Mediterranean
1970 - US casts their 1st UN Security Council veto (Support England)
1973 - Queen Elizabeth II opens new London Bridge; St. Patrick's Day marchers carry 14 coffins commemorating Bloody Sunday
1978 - Reds don green uniforms for St. Patrick's Day
1982 - 4 Dutch TV crew members shot dead in El Salvador
1986 - Haemers gang robs gold transport in Belgium of 35 million BF
1987 - IBM releases PC-DOS version 3.3
1988 - Iran says Iraq uses poison gas
1989 - Dorothy Cudahy is 1st female grand marshal of St. Patrick's Day Parade
1991 - USSR holds a referendum to determine if they should stay together; 9 of 15 Soviet representatives officially approve new union treaty
1992 - De Klerk wins a white only referendum; Islamic Jihad truck bombs Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina killing 29; Russian manned space craft TM-14, launches into orbit
1993 - 86 killed by bomb attack in Calcutta
1994 - Iran transport aircraft crashes in Azerbaijan (32 killed)
1995 - Sinn-Fein leader Gerry Adams visits White House; US approves 1st chicken pox vaccine, Varivax by Merck & Co

1473 - James IV, king of Scotland (1488-1513)
1777 - Roger Brooke Taney, 5th Chief Justice (Dred Scott decision)
1781 - Dominique J. de Eerens, Governor-General of Netherland Indies
1787 - George Simon Ohm, physicist (discovered Ohm's Law)
1804 - James Bridger, scout/fur trader/mountain man par excellence
1820 - Patrick Edward Connor, Union Brevet Major General
1828 - Patrick Ronayne Cleburne, Confederate Major General, the "Stonewall" of the West
1832 - Walter Quintin Gresham, Union Brevet Major General
1834 - Gottlieb Daimler, engineer/inventor/auto pioneer-designed 1st motorcycle
1873 - Chard Somerset, 1st woman Cabinet minister (1929-31); Margaret Bondfield, British Labour leader/1st woman cabinet member
1901 - Eisaku Sato premier of Japan (Nobel 1974)
1907 - Jan M.J. van Houtte, premier of Belgium (1952-54)
1909 - Patrick Reilly, British diplomat
1910 - Bayard Rustin, civil rights leader
1918 - Wilhelmus M.J. Russell, Dutch attorney/Member of 1st chamber (KVP/CDA)
1919 - Nat "King" Cole, singer (Unforgettable, Mona Lisa)
1930 - James Benson Irwin, Colonel USAF/astronaut (Apollo 15)
1936 - Thomas K. Mattingly II, Captain USN/astronaut (Apollo 16, STS-4, 51C)
1942 - John Wayne Gacy, Jr., serial killer (32 boys)
1955 - Cynthia McKinney (Representative-GA); Gary Sinise, actor (Apollo 13, Forrest Gump) (a great supporter of our Heroes)

0180 - Antonius Marcus Aurelius [Marcus Verus], Emperor of Rome, dies at 58
0461 - St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, dies in Saul (according to legend)
0659 - Gertrudis van Nijvel, saint/patron of travellers, dies at about 32
1040 - Harold, British King (1035-40)
1516 - Giuliano de' Medici, monarch of Florence, dies at 37
1649 - Gerardus Johannis Vossius [Gerrit Vos], Dutch regent, dies at 71
1653 - Johan van Galen, Admiral (battle of Livorno), dies in battle at 48
1704 - Menno baron van Coehoorn, fort builder/Coevorden/howitzer, dies at 63
1764 - George Parker, English astronomer
1796 - Pieter Paulus, lawyer/Dutch CEO (National Convention), dies at 41
1846 - Friedrich W. Bessel, German astronomer (Bessel Functions), dies at 61
1849 - Willem II Frederik GL, King of Netherlands (1840-49), dies at 56
1853 - Christian Doppler, physicist
1863 - John Pelham, Confederate artillery Major, dies in battle at 24
1891 - Napoleon J.K.P. Bonaparte, French prince/member National Convention, dies at 68
1898 - Blanche Kelso Bruce (Senator-MS, 1875-1881), dies in Washington, DC at 57
1906 - Carlos Calvo, Argentinian diplomat (Calvo Clause), dies at 82
1941 - Joachim Schepke, German commandant (U-100), dies in battle
1961 - Suzanna Salter, 1st US female mayor/temperance leader, dies at 101
1965 - Quentin Reynolds, newscaster (Its News to Me)/author (FBI), dies at 62
1982 - Hans ter Laag, Dutch sound technician / Jan Kuiper, Dutch news editor (IKON) / Joop Willemsen, Dutch cameraman / Koos Koster, Dutch newscaster (IKON), murdered in El Salvador
1992 - Grace Stafford Lantz, cartoon voice (Woody Woodpecker), dies at 87
1993 - Laadi Flici, Algerian MP, murdered
1996 - Thomas Enders, diplomat, dies at 64

Reported Missing in Action
Baldock, Frederick C., USN (PA); A4C shot down, released by DRV February, 1973 - retired as a Commander - alive as of 1998

Goeden, Gene William, USN (OR); A1H shot down, KIA, body not recovered

The following USN personnel reported MIA when their S2E disappeared over water - all reported Killed, body not recovered:
Barber, Thomas D. (CO); crewman

Benson, Lee D. (CA); co-pilot

Hubbs, Donald R. (NJ); pilot

Nightingale, Randall J. (IL); Antisubmarine Warfare Technician 2nd Class

The following US Army personnel reported MIA after their unit came under heavy fire - both presumed KIA:
Collazo, Raphael C. (CA); remains returned May, 1993

Ross, JLynn, Jr., (MI); remains ID'd June 1996

Also reported MIA this day in 1968:
Doss, Dale W., USN (VA); A6A shot down (bombardier/navigator, w/Shuman), released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Captain - alive and well as of 1998

Hensley, Thomas Truett, USAF (LA); F105D crashed, presumed Killed

Shuman, Edwin A., USN (MA); A6A shot down (pilot, w/Doss), released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Captain - alive and well as of 1998

Armistead, Steven R., USMC (CA); A6A shot down (w/Finney)

Dinan, David T. III, USAF (NJ); F105 shot down, ejected, believed KIA in landing

Finney, Charles E., USMC (MS); A6A shot down (w/Armistead), remains returned March, 2000

The following US Army personnel reported MIA when their UH1H was shot down:
Bauman, Richard L. (OH)

Dix, Craig M. (MI)

Hestand, James H. (OK); pilot, released by PRG February, 1973 - alive as: of 1998

Harris, Bobby G. (TX); KIA

Also reported MIA this day in 1971:
Lilly, Lawrence E., US Army (CA); A1G shot down, KIA, body not recovered

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