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Prof. Boerner's Explorations

Thoughts and Essays that explore the world of Technology, Computers, Photography, History and Family.

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Tag: Aircraft Carrier

Written by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumb_

Again the temps here in River City dipped close to freezing. In our neighborhood, the low was about 36 degrees, but at the nearby March Reserve Air Force Base, they apparently dipped down into the mid 20s. That’s cold! Today, we are expecting a high of about 63, a full ten degrees less than yesterday. We are also going to have the rain clouds roll in. Tonight the low is supposed to get down to 37 here.

Manzanar_Flag

What’s more, there is a rain storm heading our way. It’s supposed to hit us after midnight. The weather people predict that this will be a real “soaker”; the low will sit off the coast where it can pick up water from the sea and drop it in the LA Basic. The recent showers have only been enough to get us a little wet. But this storm could deliver over an inch of rain. The local mountains, like Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead, will get up to sixteen inches of fresh snow to go with their man-made snow. The skiers and snowboarders should be thrilled. BTW, for those of you in the mid-west who see “real” snow storms, this may seem strange, but here in SoCal the mountain resorts depend on man-made snow more than that delivered by Mother Nature!

I look forward to seeing some great snow-capped mountains throughout the San Gabriel and San Bernardino ranges on Tuesday morning. I want to get out and get some photos of that scene. If I do, I’ll be posting them on my page. In the meantime, we have prepared the back yard for the coming storm. My old scooter is under cover of both the patio and a tarp. The furniture has been repositioned so as to be out of the rain. Bring it on.

But we are more fortunate than those who live in the areas of the San Gabriel Valley hit so hard by the winds a week ago. Most of them have now had their electricity restored and they are no longer freezing (figuratively, at least) in their homes. The downed trees have been, by and large, removed from their cars, houses and power lines. But the city workers have piled up the cut limbs along roadways awaiting later pickup by city crews.

Some of it could be used as firewood, of course, but much of it comes from trees that are not very good for burning in family fireplaces. Therefore, they sit along the roads along with the debris from the cutting process — sawdust, small branches, leaves, etc. These will be swept into the storm drains and catch basins during a heavy rain such as we’re expecting tonight and tomorrow. So, let’s just hope that the city crews can get things cleaned up enough to avoid flooding those residents hit so hard by the initial wind damage. Let’s all keep them in our prayers…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1898 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Internment (Camps):

    

“You know, I grew up in two American internment camps, and at that time I was very young.”
— George Takei

“I was six months old at the time that I was taken, with my mother and father, from Sacramento, California, and placed in internment camps in the United States.”
— Robert Matsui

“February 19, 1942, is the year in which Executive Order 9066 was signed, and this was the order that called for the exclusion and internment of all Japanese Americans living on the west coast during World War II.”
— Xavier Becerra

“I spent my boyhood behind the barbed wire fences of American internment camps and that part of my life is something that I wanted to share with more people.”
— George Takei

    
Note:
Today we are attending to one of the aftermath effects of the Pearl Harbor attack that is not among America’s Proudest Moments: The Imprisonment of Japanese-American citizens because of their ethnic heritage. The were removed from their communities, sent to the desert, and punished for their genetics. For a first-hand photographic account of their plight, see Ansel Adams, Born Free and Equal: The Story of Loyal Japanese Americans (1893343057)
    

    
Thinking about the Japanese American Internment Camps…

    

But on to the primary focus of the day. Over the last several days we have discussed the reaction of FDR and the Congress to the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. A formal declaration of war was issued on the eighth and our forces were being mobilized. On this day, the eleventh, the European Axis Powers (Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy) declared war on the United States; we were finally joining the forces of Britain and the Soviets in their fight against the Axis. So, like Germany, we were embarking on a two-front war. The partial mobilization that had started as part of the Lend-Lease Act would now become a full-blown manufacturing operation that would make the difference in the war.

But today we look more specifically at the racist and discriminatory treatment directed at the Japanese American population, especially those living along the Pacific Coast. Some of the consequences of the Pearl Harbor damage came about because of the fear that the Japanese population on the Hawaiian Islands were committed to the Japanese Empire and its Emperor, Hirohito.  While some of the approximately 150,000 Japanese living on the islands were no doubt spies for the Japanese military, most were American citizens loyal to their adopted country. Many were born in the U.S., the nisei (first generation) or sansei (second generation) individuals. A few were issei, those not born in this country and ineligible for U.S. citizenship.

Tokio_Kid_SayThe ships in Pearl Harbor and the planes at the various air bases, such as Hickam Field, were tightly paced for security from feared attacks by Japanese saboteurs. These attacks were not expected were expected from Japanese residents of the Hawaiian Islands, not from planes coming in from into the Pearl Harbor from aircraft carriers off the north coast of Hawaii. Because the threat was expected from within, so the ships were clustered around Ford Island in Pearl and the aircraft on the Army Air Force bases such as Hickam Field were clustered in small groups on the field.

When the Japanese planes swept into the harbor, these tightly-packed ships and aircraft became easy targets for the bombs and torpedoes. A majority of our loses of men and equipment were due to the anticipation of the attack from Japanese saboteurs on the islands, not from four aircraft carriers that had traversed the Pacific to launch the surprise attack on that fateful Sunday morning.

Following the declaration of war against the Empire of Japan, the prejudges of the American military and civilian leaders against the Japanese population flourished among these leaders. These prejudices had been escalating, especially on the west coast, since the early 1900s. In 1905, California, the home of over 90% of the Japanese Americans, passed the “anti-miscegenation” law that outlawed the marriage between Caucasians and “Mongolians” (those from East Asia). Students in many communities like San Francisco were transferred to schools within the local Chinatown. In fact, in 1924, an “Oriental Exclusion Law” blocked Japanese immigrants from gaining U.S. citizenship. Thus, the actions at the start of our war with Japan came from a long period of resentment and discrimination against the Japanese.

Not unlike the Jews in Germany during the 1930s, the Japanese had become successful businessmen and farmers throughout California. They had become excellent farmers who out-produced their American neighbors. These American farmers welcomed the war as an opportunity to remove their Japanese American neighbors from their lands so they could take them over. In the cities, both civilian and military leaders had the same fear of Japanese sabotage as was found in pre-Pearl Harbor Hawaii. While the FBI had found little evidence of such collaboration with the Japanese forces, either via direct contact or through radio links, there was a great fear on the west coast that the Japanese could attack the coast at any moment.

This led FDR to issue Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. This order created “military areas” from which any person could be excluded. These exclusion orders were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1944. In the meantime, they were used as a pretense to remove the Japanese Americans, by force if necessary, from an area within 100 miles of the Pacific Ocean. When some voluntarily removed themselves further inland, this area was extended further. The order was used to force all Japanese, American citizens or not, to “Relocation Camps” which were generally located in interior, inhospitable regions of the west. It is interesting that while this order applied equally to the Hawaiian Islands, only about 1,500 of the Japanese population (out of 150,000) were interned in internment (“concentration”) camps. On the west coast, about 127,000 Japanese lived in the states along the Pacific Ocean. At least 50% of these were place in the Internment Camps like Manzanar in the Owens Valley of eastern California. This discrepancy reflects the discrimination against the Japanese that was rampant in California.

JapaneseAmericanGrocer1942So much for the basic facts of the situation. Our country has had a long history of mistreatment of minority, non-Caucasian populations. We can start with the early Native American groups encountered by the early settlers, the Trail of Tears during the Indian Removal period under President Jackson, the whole slavery issue of the African American populations and, of course, the Indian Wars in the West during the post-Civil War period. The discrimination against the immigrants from Asia who came to this country to help build the railroads, work in the mines, and grow the crops in the San Joaquin Valley of California found fertile ground in California, which had the majority of these immigrants. So the assignment of the Japanese to Internment Camps was just a continuation of that pattern of discrimination against those groups who looked or acted different from the dominant population.

I called these Internment Camps “concentration” camps with intent, since that is the language used in governmental records on the process. But let us not confuse these camps with those death camps in Nazi Germany or the camps operated by the Japanese throughout their territory of East Asia. Our camps did not try to starve the occupants. They were allowed to build adequate, though not luxurious, shelters for themselves as well as cultivate the ground. But they were deprived of their civil rights, property and most of their possessions. They were falsely accused of a lack of loyalty to their adopted (or native) country. We did them a dishonor that was finally recognized by Ronald Reagan in 1988. But by then the damage had been done!

In fact, the 442nd Infantry Battalion was an all-Nisei unit who fought valiantly during World War II in Europe and became the most decorated unit in the Army. (See my blog posting about this unit at: http://www.boerner.net/jboerner/?p=20766 .) We need to take another look at this sad period of our nations history…

    
Photo of the Day:

    
Again, I want to leave you with a positive vision to carry you through the day.  The photo was made by Ansel Adams at the Manzanar Internment Camp in the Owens Valley of California. This area had been a rich agricultural area before Los Angeles “stole” the water from the Owens River in the early 1900s to fuel the growth of the LA Basin. Those Japanese settled here made an adequate life for themselves until they were released at the end of the war. The valley is beautiful, but not as hospitable as those homes that they had been forced to abandon. Let us remember this sad part in our nation’s history and vow never to repeat it again…
    

_Manzanar Internment Camp, Ansel Adams

Tom Kobayashi, Landscape, Manzanar Relocation Center, California
Photograph & Copyrighted by Ansel Adams.

    

Copyright©2011 • All Rights Reserved

         

References

    

Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Wikipedia: Japanese American Internment…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_American_internment

Prof. Boerner’s Explorations: Pearl Harbor: The Interment of the Japanese-Americans…
http://www.boerner.net/jboerner/?p=5491

Brainy Quote: Internment (Camps) Quotes…
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/internment.html

Written by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumb_

We had a slightly warmer night last night than the previous several nights. The temps only got down to the upper 30s! That is relatively warm. In fact, yesterday, Riverside got up to 78 during the day and was the warmest spot in the LA area. A regular heat spell. Today, we only got up into the lower 70s, which was nice. Tonight it’s supposed to get down only into the lower 40s; but tomorrow and the following several days we have projected temps only in the 50s. Burrrrrr. And a new storm is expected during the early morning hours of Monday morning with somewhat heavy rain storms in the 1” range. Winter is approaching with a vengeance.

_Murphy_CA_with Snow

I just got off the phone with Jack (in Indiana) and he said it was cold there — temps below freezing during the day. I hate to think what it will be during the night. They’ve also had some light snow, which may be fun for the kids, but creates a hazard on the road. But Jack is smart enough not to take his rig out on icy days, although he says the snow doesn’t really bother him. But Liz has to drive about 40 miles to work, which would worry me. I know how I hated to have to drive about that distance to teach in Azusa for all those years. But I guess that people back in the mid-west know how to drive in inclement weather; they can have it! I like my options: when I want snow, I can drive for about an hour up to Running Springs or Lake Arrowhead and they return to the lowlands where it is dry.

I hope that people in the San Gabriel valley and foothills that had so much wind damage last week will be able to weather the storm. They’ve been through enough; they don’t need rain damage as well. But, I guess that is not an option to avoid the gifts of Mother Nature. The biggest problem will probably be in the areas with lots of downed trees (and debris from the cutting of those trees) that is still is on the sides their roads. If that debris clogs the storm drains and/or fills the catch basins used to capture excess run-off water, some homes could get flooded out. Likewise, streets could flood and create a dangerous commuting situation.

These areas and the families living there need our “Good Thoughts” and prayers. They have been through enough already. Let’s pray that the cities will, in fact, be spared any further damage…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 2158 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Jimmy Doolittle (Raiders):

    

“If we should have to fight, we should be prepared to so so from the neck up instead of from the neck down.”
— Jimmy Doolittle

“The first lesson is that you can’t lose a war if you have command of the air, and you can’t win a war if you haven’t.”
— Jimmy Doolittle

“If you want to go anywhere in modern war, in the air, on the sea, on the land, you must have command of the air.”
— William Halsey

“There are no extraordinary men… just extraordinary circumstances that ordinary men are forced to deal with.”
— William Halsey

    

Recovering from Pearl Harbor — The Doolittle Raid on the Japanese Home Islands…

    

Well, yesterday we looked at the Japanese attack on the Midway Island bases in the months following the surprise attack on our Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor. But why pick these islands half-way between the Japanese home islands and the US bases in Hawaii? It was the direct result of an event that transpired two months prior to the June attack at Midway. What was this attack? On April 18, 1942, a small naval taskforce consisting of two aircraft carriers and some cruisers and destroyers (and their support ships) that made their way, under the leadership of Halsey on the Enterprise. A new carrier, the Hornet, rendezvoused with Halsey’s contingent in the mid-Pacific. 

B-25 taking off from aircraft carrierSo what was so special with that task force, and the Hornet that was on its maiden voyage? If you were to have seen it, it would look like almost every other  aircraft carrier in service. There was a large (for the time) flight deck. There was the typical command and navigation superstructure on one side of the ship, along with the smokestack from the boilers. But what were those planes on deck? They didn’t look like any other fighter aircraft in service in the Pacific at that time. They had two engines and two rudders on the tail. And they were BIG! Why? Because they were Mitchell B-25 bombers!

Who ever heard of bombers operating from the deck of an aircraft carrier before? No One! Bombers, with their normal supply of gasoline and ordinance load, would require a much longer runway to gain the airspeed reach flight speed than was available on the deck of a carrier, even a new one like the Hornet. But they were there. All sixteen of them were sitting on the deck waiting to take off. And why? They were tasked with a very special mission — to deliver a bomb load to the Japanese home islands, especially Tokyo.

The leader of this exceptional mission was Colonel James Doolittle. Doolittle was probably one of the few men who could have pulled off this feat. He was an award winning racing pilot. He was a experienced test pilot. He was an aeronautical engineer with degrees from M.I.T. And he pioneered instrument flying. All this in the period between the two world wars. He was called upon by General Hap Arnold to fulfill FDR’s charge to deliver a warning blow to Japan in the wake of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

Tokoyo Fliers

USAF - Tokyo Raid - On 18 April 1942, airmen of the US Army Air Forces, led by Lt. Col. James H. (Jimmy) Doolittle, carried the battle of the Pacific to the heart of the Japanese empire with a surprising and daring raid on military targets at Tokoyo, Yokohama, Yokosuka, Nagoya, and Kobe.

This historic attack against these major cities was the result of coordination between the Army Air Forces and the US Navy, which carried the sixteen North American b-25 medium bombers aboard the carrier USS Hornet to within take-off distances of the Japanese Islands.  Despite the rough seas this B-25 bomber becomes airborne on last leg of its journey to the Japanese mainland.Doolittle trained a select group of pilots, selected an appropriate plane (the B-25), and modified these planes for the special mission by removing all unnecessary equipment from the plane. These B-25s would be fitted with extra fuel tanks so they would allow the planes to takeoff about 600 miles from Japan, deliver their ordinance over selected Japanese cities, and fly to friendly air fields in China. This special set of air crews were able to use special techniques to get their planes up to take off air speed in 500 feet when these techniques were combined with the ship’s motion and any winds available at takeoff in less than the distance provided by the carrier deck!

As these the task force approached the Japanese islands, they were detected by picket ships disguised as fishing trollers. Therefore, on April 18th Doolittle’s raiders took to the air and started their fateful mission. All planes took off successfully, reached their targets over the home islands without interception, and dropped their bombs. This took the Japanese leaders by complete surprise, and came as a shock to the populace, since they had been told that the islands were impenetrable! They were not.

After dropping their payloads, the B-25s were low on fuel and most barely reached the China coast. Most survived and were returned to the states. But the damage was done, and the Japanese military were forced to take a bold action at Midway Island during those days in June, 1942. As we saw yesterday, the American victory during that confrontation resulted in the destruction of most of their top line aircraft carriers and set the tone for the ongoing island-hopping campaign to the home islands and the eventual B-29 attacks in 1945 and the dropping of the two atomic bombs…

    

    
Photo of the Day:

    
But, to return to a more uplifting thought, I want to share another image with you on this day. This sunrise was captured looking on the Back Bay Wildlife Refuge at False Cape, Virginia. It is an image that should calm our tattered souls and set our minds into a relaxed state ready to meet the challenges of another day. Take a few minutes to let it settle your own mind, today or any day in which you anticipate hectic meetings or other uncomfortable encounters at either work or in other relationships…
    

     _Back Bay Wildlife Refuge_False Cape_Virginia

(Back Bay Wildlife Refuge, False Cape, Virginia. Photographer: Unknown)
    

Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

    

References

    

Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Wikipedia: The Doolittle Raid
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doolittle_Raid

Prof. Boerner’s Explorations: Pearl Harbor: The Doolittle Raid on Tokyo…
http://www.boerner.net/jboerner/?p=5462

Brainy Quote: Jimmy Doolittle Quotes…
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/jimmy_doolittle.html

Brainy Quote: William Halsey Quotes…
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/w/william_halsey.html

Written by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumb_Talk about cold! This morning when I woke up about 5:00 am the temp was only 30 degrees, far below the 36 predicted by the Weather Channel. But what do weathermen know? It is supposed to get up to 72 degrees this afternoon, but at 1:00 pm it’s already at 73. While tonight it’s predicted to get down to 36, but I’m guessing that it will probably end up like today, getting somewhere below freezing again. And, then, the seven day forecast shows us getting cooler by about ten degrees during the day with some chance of rain on Monday and Tuesday of next week. Old man winter is going to beat the Winter Solstice (December 21st) this year, I guess. But, I was complaining about the heat only a couple of weeks ago!

_tree_green_street_pasadena_thumb[6]

Our wind damage problems from a week ago are still with us. The good news is that all but about 50 homes seem to be back on electricity again. That is truly good news. The bad news is that the debris from the fallen trees apparently is still in the streets by the pictures on the news programs. If we get the rains in any great intensity next week, we will have the possibility of flooding. The movable debris will enter the storm drains and catch basins, clog them up. and the water will rise to flood houses and businesses. The city crews are predicting that removing the debris in the streets could take several weeks.

Maybe that task will turn into one of their New Year’s Resolutions! “I will clean up my mess. I will clean up my mess.” Maybe if we had the city workers who are not getting this job completed should have to write this 100 times for their first missed deadline. And, maybe the second offense should be 500 times. It worked for us when we were in school, so why not now. LOL.

After I get this written and posted on my blog, I will go outside and soak up some of those great rays. As usual, it was nice watching the spikes of golden sunshine were making their way through the trees. I looked out with my fresh cup of coffee, and the pool was crystal clear. This is another day given to God’s children to enjoy and be productive in… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1402 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Midway (Islands):

    

“After the Battle of Midway there was a week in a rest camp at Pearl Harbor.”
— Jack Adams

“Our citizens can now rejoice that a momentous victory is in the making. Perhaps we will be forgiven if we claim we are about midway to our objective.”
— Admiral Chester Nimitz

“The good news was that Enterprise and the newly arrived Yorktown had attacked the Marshall and Gilbert islands. Those attacks had a great effect on morale.”
— Jack Adams

“On December 5, 1941, Chicago led a task force built around the carrier Lexington to Midway Island, at the western end of the Hawaiian Islands, about 1,000 miles from Pearl Harbor.”
— Jack Adams

    

My Musings of the Day: Recovering from Pearl Harbor — Battle of Midway…

    

While having breakfast, Rosie called saying she was having trouble with her printer. When she got her new computer a couple of years ago (a Dell, I believe), she also brought home a new Dell all-in-one printer. Selling packages like this probably doesn’t do the consumer any favors since these are not the best devices for most people, especially the cheap all-in-one’s gadgets. Apparently, the scanner and copier portion was kaput! copies were coming out as one black page! It just reinforces my experience that for printers, I prefer either an Hewlett-Packard (HP), Epson, or Canon. I have not had good experiences with the other brands. It’s too bad Rosie had such a bad experience, but perhaps we were able to help her get through it a little better.

_ThirtySecondsOverTokyoBut getting on into my main topic for today, the United States battle with the Japanese Navy at the Midway Islands in June of 1942, only a few months after the surprise attack on our Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. During the previous April, Jimmy Doolittle had taken his select group of pilots on their surprise attack over the Japanese home islands. I remember with pride watching the movie “30 Seconds over Tokyo” at the movies after the war; it was very patriotic and uplifting, which was the intended purpose of the Doolittle Raiders. The book, by the way, was written Captain Ted W. Lawson, one of the members of the Doolittle Raiders. But we will look at this raid on the home islands more tomorrow.

Today, I want to focus on just what happens when a “Sleeping Giant” is awoken. The Battle of Midway took place shortly after the Battle of the Coral Sea in which we came away the worse off for wear. One of our aircraft carriers, the Yorktown, was damaged and had to “limp” back to Pearl for repair. While our carriers were in port there, the cryptologists at Station HYPO had started to decode large portions of Japanese naval communications, the JN-25 code, and detected large amounts of coded messages referring to a location “AF”. The destination associated with this designation was unknown to us. Through a little shuffling through older intercepts, it looked like this code may be associated with the marine bases on the Midway Islands.

To verify this linkage, a clear text voice message was made from the Midway base that their water converter was “out”. This resulted in a coded Japanese message referring to the water converter on “AF” being out! This confirmed Midway as the target of the next assault. The goal of that raid upon the base and airfield on Midway was to draw out our carriers so they could be eliminated. But now that we knew, thanks to the codebreakers, their intent and target, Nimitz ordered a carrier task force to that location to “trap” the Japanese carriers. This trap worked better than expected.

Our three carriers laid in wait for the arrival of the Japanese task force. Their search planes discovered them after launching the first wave of planes, equipped with bombs, to attack Midway. But, because of the early warning, the troops were ready. They still took it on the chin, but our carriers had launched a wave of fighters, torpedo planes, and dive bombers to attack the Japanese carriers. These planes arrived just as the carriers were ready to launch the second wave… Without going into nauseating detail on the battle, we destroyed most of the carriers that were used in the attack on Pearl Harbor before all the dust had cleared. We lost the Yorktown.

G13065_USS_Yorktown_Pearl_Harbor_May_1942The victory effectively neutralized the Japanese naval aircraft carriers. After the Battle of Midway, they were held in reserve to defend the home islands. This was not only our first victory in the Pacific War, but was a transfer of airpower from the Japanese to the American forces. We would complete a island-hopping campaign on our way to the Japanese home islands. We would move, with high casualties from one island to the next major target all across the Pacific. In the Pacific Theater, we would have the upper-hand in the air war; when the B-29s came on the scene, the long range bombing of Japan would begin in earnest.

And that, as the story goes, was the beginning of the end…

    
Photo of the Day:

    
I want to leave you today with an image that I always find quite relaxing. This scene, with it cascade of water falling in the foreground and the mist arise above it reminds me of the absolute soothing sounds of the falling water. The mist reminds me of a nice hot shower falling upon my tired body. It creates a cathedral in the valley with the sweet chords of the cascade creating the music in the background. Take a few moments to relax and enjoy this scene.
    

_Ethereal Waterfall

(The Photographer of this image is unknown.)
    

Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

    

References

    

Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Prof. Boerner’s Explorations: Pearl Harbor: America Rebounds at Midway…
http://www.boerner.net/jboerner/?p=5403

Brainy Quote: Midway (Island) Quotes…
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/midway.html

Written by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumb_

As I woke up this morning, the temperature reading was 38, but as I’m writing this musing it has dropped to 34 degrees. Brrr! That’s cold. It’s OK when one is tucked under a warm comforter, but doesn’t feel too good when one wakes up and waits for that first cup of coffee in the morning. But we’re supposed to have another pretty nice day today. The high is to be around 67 degrees again and the low tonight is supposed to get down into the mid-30s. This is becoming a regular routine. The sun is already breaking through the trees and I can see its golden rays lighting up the patio floor with its mosaic of light and shade.

Steve, our pool guy, just left after cleaning the remnants of the leaf debris from last week’s winds. There was a substantial layer on top to say nothing of those that had already sunk to the bottom. Since we no longer run the pool water through the solar panels, it must have been really cold for Steve to work in. I’m glad it was him and not me. Of course, I would not have been doing it at the break of dawn, but would have waited for it to warm up some! But he was prepared for the cold. Instead of his regular tee shirt, he had on at least one long sleeved shirt and a sweatshirt. When he arrived, he was wearing warm gloves on this hands, but they would not have been waterproof. So, once he got to the pool, he pulled out some yellow rubber gloves that went up high on the forearms to do his thing. He’s obviously done this before.

And finally some good news from Edison, the “restored”, power company. Almost all homes in the wind damaged are areas of Los Angeles County have had their power restored. So, guys, what took you so long? Was it too cold? Was there a warm fire and/or a warm woman waiting in your cozy warm house for you? What gives? Thankfully, some of the local and state pols have started looking into this. Since you are such a behemoth corporation, can’t you take a lesson from past blackouts on the east coast? Or do you think that you’re too big to fail? These are some of the questions that Edison needs to address. Since power is supplied by monopolies, we have no choice of our supplier. It’s like it used to be with cable TV before satellite TV or Internet TV became available. Competition may be the answer…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1320 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Axis (Powers):

    

“After Barbarossa and Pearl Harbor, the war tide slowly turned against the Axis.”
— Alexander Dubcek

“That’s because international Islamic religious fanatics have the same goal as the Axis fascists – the destruction of our way of life.”
— David Hackworth

“The "Axis of Evil" was – and is – very real, as the tyrants of Iran, Iraq, and North Korea knew full well.”
— Michael Ledeen

“Apart altogether from our own vital interests, we cannot and must not desert those other nations who have already gone through so much tragedy and suffering to defeat the evil designs of the Axis powers.”
— Stafford Cripps

    

My Musings of the Day: …

    

But after we examined yesterday’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, today we can look with pride at what our government did in response to the attack. Or, at least, we can look at most things with pride; the interment of the Japanese Americans was a gross injustice that we have still not properly addressed. But this latter topic will be dealt with in a later musing. After the attack on December 7th, President Franklin D. Roosevelt took steps to make war with Japan a formal declaration. Therefore, on this day in 1941, FDR addressed a joint of Congress and made his famous “Infamy” speech. The Congress voted for the declaration of War against Japan.

This would start a flurry of events that would eventually include declarations of war with Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy. We were now plunged into that European War, World War II, and broke our isolationist chains. Thanks to the mobilization brought about by the Lend-Lease Act, our factories had already started to shift to the production of wartime materiel and ammunitions. Our auto factories started to produce parts for aircraft as well as tanks and the seemingly ubiquitous Jeep. Our airplane factories started to produce bombers, fighters, and seaplanes.

Men signed up for the Army or Navy. They went to boot camp willingly and couldn’t wait to get into the fray. We were off to war. In Hawaii, the ships sunk at Pearl Harbor were either raised from their shallow grave and towed to dry dock for repair or used for scrap metal to build more ships or other weapons. The exception were the battleships Arizona and Wisconsin. The former has become a memorial to those who lost their lives during the attack. The Arizona became the final resting place for all but two or three hundred of the sailors aboard that fateful morning. It serves as an ongoing memorial to those that fell that day.

_ARIZONA%20MEMORIALThere were bright point in this aftermath, however. For one, our aircraft carriers were at sea when the attack occurred that Sunday morning. That meant, the very top target that Admiral Yamamoto picked were those very aircraft carriers. And as I said earlier in the week, the aircraft carriers would become the most important naval vessel during the Pacific War. The battleships and destroyers and their associated tenders would be there for their firepower during the many amphibious landings as our forces island-hopped across the Pacific on the way to the home islands of Japan. So their absence during the attacks was one piece of “good luck” on that dark day!

Another bright point was that the mobilization of the manufacturing might of this “Sleeping Giant” would be too much for any of the three axis powers to overcome. We would produce more and better fighter planes, heavy bombers (especially the B-29s necessary for the delivery of the atomic bomb in August, 1945), and naval vessels from our west coast shipyards. The Japanese were going for a knockout punch on the fateful Sunday morning, but without the aircraft carriers being in port, we suffered a bad, crippling wound but would heal and become a super competitive enemy. So to speak, they wounded the dragon, but did not cut off its head.

We have always been a resilient people. The citizens of the United States bounced back from our Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, our Civil War, and World War I. The second world war would be another opportunity to redefine ourselves as a people; we would wake to rise another day…

    
Photo of the Day:

    
I want to once again leave you with an image that I hope will provide you with inspiration and encouragement. This comes from a plaque found on the Pearl Harbor Memorial at the sunken Arizona. I hope that you rad it and it challenges your hear and soul. We are Americans. We are a strong and proud people. Those who attack us, whether they be the Japanese in 1941 or Al Qaeda terrorists in 2001, had better watch out. We are like a scorpion; if you grab one or both of our claws, our stinger will swing into action and sting you. As that famous colonial naval flag from the Revolutionary War said so well: “Don’t Tread on Me!”
    

_DESTINY

[ Photo from Pearl Harbor Survivors Web Site, 2011 ]

Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

    

    

References

    

Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Brainy Quote: Axis (Powers) Quotes…
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/axis.html

Written by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumb_

Another cold night, with the temperatures going down to about freezing. In the high deserts the temps even dropped down into the teens and in Big Bear in the San Bernardino Mountains were in single digit temps (Fahrenheit)!

Today, the sun is out, there doesn’t seem to be anything but a slight breeze blowing through the big Chinese Elm in the backyard. The temps are supposed to get up to about 67 today, but I think it actually got up to 68 or 69 this afternoon. We still don’t have any cloud cover, so tonight it will be going down to into the mid-30s again tonight. What would be nice to get back some of cloud cover in the night-time hours even if we don’t get any rain. We can finally warm up a bit. Until then, I guess we’ll have to depend on sweaters, warm comforters, and lots of hot tea and coffee.

Just a quick update on the wind damage of a week ago is in order for all of you living in other parts of the country. Those winds of a week ago were some of the worse that I can remember. Fortunately, here in River City we had enough to make our backyard pool get more than its share of the leaves blown off of the trees around us. But the big eucalyptus trees across the street held their own.

But the people in the San Gabriel Valley didn’t fare as well. Pasadena, Temple City, and Alhambra took the brunt of it. They had their very mature, and beautiful trees toppled. They fell on houses, cars, roadways, and POWER LINES. The power to Pasadena was restored fairly quickly, probably due to the events that surround the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game. This is big money for the city and apparently it got priority treatment from Edison.

Temple City, a much less affluent city with a more working class population, didn’t fare as well. The are just now getting their power back. Alhambra, as of last night, still had about 5000 households without power. What do you want to bet that the more affluent area of the city got their power back very quickly! But what’s new?  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1251 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to (Surprise) Attacks:

    

“After the horrific attacks of September 11th, it was evident that our Government needed to be transformed to meet the new challenges of this dangerous world.”
— Jim Ryun

“As the third anniversary of the September 11th attacks draws near we must ensure our nation is prepared to handle the continued threat of violence and terrorism on our country.”
— Leonard Boswell

“But through world wars and a Great Depression, through painful social upheaval and a Cold War, and now through the attacks of September 11, 2001, our Nation has indeed survived.”
— Nick Rahall

“Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.”
— Karl Rove

    

My Musings of the Day: Pearl Harbor — a Conspiracy?…

    

Getting on with our focus on the events of the day seventy years ago. On that fateful Sunday morning in 1941, the Japanese planes descended over the hills that surrounded Pearl Harbor and several airfields, especially Hickam Field. Most of our Pacific Fleet laid at anchor in Pearl Harbor; only the aircraft carriers were on maneuvers at the time. Between the guns of the zero fighters, the torpedoes of the torpedo planes, and the dive bombers came in waves upon waves. Our planes were destroyed on the ground and our battleships were tightly packed around Ford Island in the middle of the harbor. We were sitting ducks when these hunters came in on their surprise attack that morning.

We were caught napping! Only one ship, the battleship Nevada managed to get underway, only because its boilers were already fired up. Before it was sunk, its skipper grounded it out of the main channel so as not to block it. But why did we get caught by surprise?

By some accounts, it was a confluence of circumstances that resulted in our unpreparedness for this attack. The Japanese task force had successfully traversed the Pacific from Japan to just beyond the Hawaiian Islands. OK. The radar technicians detected the incoming flight group, but when it was reported to the chain of command, they brushed it off to the inaccuracy of the new-fangled radar, inexperienced operators, and the expected group of B-17 bombers expected from the mainland. OK. Finally, there was a suspicion that the greatest danger to the air bases and fleet were from saboteurs from within the Japanese population on the islands. OK.

But is this the real explanation? I’m not sure that it is. For several years FDR had been in periodic conferences with Winston Churchill. England was the lone holdout in western Europe; the Nazis had overrun and occupied most of continental Europe. England was the target of attacks by the Luftwaffe, both bombers and fighters. The British air service was in the defensive mode of operations, and probably could not stand up to prolonged attacks by the Germans. And England was an island nation, not unlike the Hawaiian Islands, and needed to import most of its fuel, and other staple products for survival. The Nazi submarine forces in the North Atlantic were making the reliable supply operations from Canada and the United States difficult. Churchill was putting a great deal of pressure on FDR to come to Britain’s side to fight the Nazis.

But the mood of the U.S. Senate was decisively isolationist. They were afraid of getting involved in another "European" war. After all, didn’t our own Revolutionary War and Declaration of Independence emerge from the taxation imposed to help pay for the "Seven Years War", or the French and Indian War, as it was known here? Our involvement in World War I was considered a costly experience. So FDR took to calling for an "end run" around this sentiment. He got the Lend-Lease Act through Congress and that opened up our retooling of our manufacturing plants to produce war materiel to support Britain. Basically, FDR was looking for a way to prepare for war under the guise of helping Britain. Smart strategy!

Did this preparation include deliberately letting the attack on our Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor provide a convenient "trigger" for our entry into the conflict? If not by intent, it did produce that end result. You need to come to your own conclusion…

    
Photo of the Day

    
I leave you with this thought today: shouldn’t we honor those brave men who sacrificed themself in the defense of our country during that fateful day, December 7, 1941, deserve our thanks and remembrance? I think so! When the Arizona was hit by those bombs, it sank in about sixteen minutes. Most of the crew were lost below the decks and the brave ship has become their tomb. Let us never forget their sacrifice and may we long see our flag wave over this land of the free and home of the brave…
    

_WREATH%20@%20PH%20MEM_thumb[6]

( Photo from Pearl Harbor Survivor’s Web Site. Accessed on December 7, 2011. )

Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

    

References

    

Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Brainy Quote: Attacks Quotes…
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/attacks.html

Written by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumb_

Back to my regular schedule again — woke up at about 5:30. It felt good to sleep in on a cold Monday morning. when I checked the temp outside, it was up to 41 degrees! It got down to almost freezing during the night, but is warming up already; the Weather Channel had projected a low of 34, so we "beat" that!

But today is supposed to be sunny and a chance of some wind. The high is predicted to be in the upper-50s. Tonight it’s going to be cold again — about 34! While we may not have the freezing weather, black ice, or snow like some of my family experiences in Indiana, we have our Santa Ana winds. Here in River City they are predicted to be between 15-20 mph, with gusts up to about 30 mph. That forecast could go out the window if the Low Pressure area comes closer to the LA area, so we will see. 15 to 20 mph is manageable and doesn’t cause the damage of higher winds.

Well anyway, we have the sun out showing its bright face. My heart goes out to those families who live in Temple City (in LA County). They had wind damage about as bad as Pasadena, but while Pasadena has power restored to most homes, most families in Temple city are still without power and have been for days. Their food had spoiled and must be discarded, they lived by lantern and candlelight, and wrapped blankets around themselves to try to stay warm. I think it says something about equity when a wealthy city like Pasadena with its Old Town, Rose Parade, and Rose Bowl game gets Edison’s priority treatment while a regular, working class city like Temple City freezes! What has happened to equal treatment?  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1403 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Warfare:

    

“I feel impelled to speak today in a language that in a sense is new-one which I, who have spent so much of my life in the military profession, would have preferred never to use. That new language is the language of atomic warfare.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

“History has been the history of warfare.”
— Godfrey Reggio

“For a time during the early settlement of this country peace and goodwill prevailed, only to be followed later by violent and relentless warfare.”
— Nelson A. Miles

“But we must not, if we are loyal, disperse our energies in a partisan warfare that is waged without regard to its consequences to the well being, security, or honor of the country.”
— Bainbridge Colby

    

My Musings of the Day: Transforming Naval Warfare during World War II…

    

Yesterday we started our examination of American isolationism and shunning of the world community. The war with the Nazis was viewed as someone else’s war, and we had no business getting into it. After all, we were separated from Europe by the Atlantic Ocean. But President Franklin D. Roosevelt knew better. He knew that if Hitler managed to invade the English Islands, we would soon be the target of Nazi aggression. What’s more, he knew that the Japanese were mobilizing for war and that the United States would probably be one of its primary targets, especially our protectorates in Asia.

So, FDR managed to get the Lend-Lease Act to aid our future allies, the British and the Soviets. This act provided war ships, munitions and other materiel, and food and fuel to these allies in the years before we were brought into the war by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. But this was not an altruistic act on our part. Providing those supplies and the liberty ships that carried much of the payload put people back to work in this country. It was a extensive job creation program from which our economy benefitted. It also geared up our industry for the war production that would be needed after the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor! Oh, and it also helped get FDR re-elected to a third term as President of the United States…

But something even more consequential came out of our struggles at this time in history, 1941-1942. What was that, you ask? Naval operations were morphed from the dependence on huge Battleships like the Bismarck (Germany), the Hood (England), the Yamato (Japan) and the the Missouri (United States). These dreadnoughts were "a type of battleship armed with heavy-caliber guns in turrets" named after the 1906 British battleship the HMS Dreadnought. These "ships of the line" were the crown ships of most navies for the first forty years of the 20th century.

The battle between the Bismarck and the Hood captured the imagination during the early years of World War II. But the time of the battleship as the jewel of a navy’s crown were slipping by. They were easily detectable, costly, and not useful in most land battles like the war in Europe. Also, the submarine came into prominence as exemplified by the Battle of the Atlantic during the first years of World War II. But the real change came about through the increasing importance of aircraft — both heavy bombers and maneuverable fighter planes. In the European Theater, these were mostly land-based, but in the Pacific Theater the aircraft carrier became the launching platform for fighter planes.

The first real example of the power of these "flat tops" was demonstrated at Pearl Harbor, where hundreds of fighters (for air cover), torpedo planes (for attack on ships), and dive bombers (for both naval and ground targets) were launched on that fateful Sunday morning in December. These planes appeared over the hills surrounding the harbor and delivered a fateful blow to our U.S. Pacific fleet. Battleships were sunk off of Ford Island, planes were destroyed at Hickham Field, and much other destruction was delivered. This was an awesome display of air power on an enemy far from any home bases; the aircraft carrier, if you will, became the home base!

This changed the nature of World War II, not only in the Pacific Theater, but where ever they were deployed. Just imagine for a minute what the Battle of the Atlantic might have been if our Atlantic Fleet or the British Fleet had included several aircraft carriers and their complement of planes. The German submarine "Wolfpacks" would no longer have a "dead zone" in the middle of the North Atlantic in which to attack convoys with seeming immunity from detection and neutralization! The lives of so many men would have been saved. The cargo on those ships sunk in the North Atlantic would have gotten through to our allies in England and the Soviet Union. The German subs would have been effectively neutralized and, who knows, the War against the Nazis on the European continent might have been shortened.

But that did not happen. What did happen was that the nature of naval warfare was changed forever. Those aircraft carriers became the pre-eminent naval vessel with all others in the task forces built around the aircraft carriers, including the battleships, were support vessels. No longer were those monsters, the "ships of the line", the top dog. This has become even more obvious today where aircraft carriers can be positioned into any war zone and bring their air power to bear upon the current enemy.

I hope that you have had your eyes opened by these musings. Think about it. Read about it. It will give you an enhanced understanding of the world in which we live…

    

    
Photo of the Day:

    
I want to leave you with a photo that I hope will be as pleasing to you as it is to me. We have several Lily plants growing in our garden in the backyard and I found one with these three blooms standing alone. It was a bloom that gave me great serenity and the three flowers almost merging as one yields the symbolism of the Trinity and the Peace of God. That is a refreshing contrast to all the musings of war and naval forces in hostile action. Let’s take the time to meditate upon this day…

  

By Twilight's Last Light

(Photo by Gerald L. Boerner, Photographer)

Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

    

References

    

Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Brainy Quote: Warfare Quotes…
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/warfare.html

Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

Commentary:

JerryPhotoThe U.S. Navy, as other navies around the world, had seen their most important type of ship, the capital ship, shift from the Ship of the Line to Dreadnoughts (Battleships) to Aircraft Carrier and Nuclear Submarine. These were the ships that were the most feared by enemies and packed with the greatest fire power. They enabled their battle groups become attack forces. During World War II the Japanese and American navies understood this; Germany and Great Britain did not. And a shift in battle strategies had taken place.

For the United States this process started with the conversion of a freighter (collier) to an aircraft carrier. The USS Jupiter was originally tasked to carry loads of coal for the steamships in the battlegroup during World War I; during World War II it counterpart would have been that of a tanker. In 1919 it underwent its conversion to an aircraft carrier to be rechristened the USS Langley. It was named after the early pioneer in powered flight as a competitor of the Wright Brothers.

DeHavilland_Vampire_HMS_Ocean_Dec1945_NAN1_47

It served well in the Pacific theater of World War II. Her role was that of a seaplane tender until it was damaged and sunk three months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Following aircraft carriers were at sea during the attack on Pearl Harbor sparing the to come bank a few months later they destroyed most of the Japanese Navy’s aircraft carriers and set the tone of future naval engagements in the Pacific. This validates the wisdom of the U.S. Navy to adopt the aircraft carrier as an essential member of its fleet.

So, let’s get started with our exploration of our first aircraft carrier…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 3498 Words ]
    

   

Quotations Related to AIRCRAFT:

    

“Nothing can stop the attack of aircraft except other aircraft.”
— Billy Mitchell

“All military and most commercial aircraft use our designs that process power from jet engines.”
— Amar Bose

“I have seen the science I worshiped, and the aircraft I loved, destroying the civilization I expected them to serve.”
— Charles Lindbergh

continue reading…

Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

Commentary

JerryPhotoIn 2009, we ran a series of articles for Pearl Harbor Day (December 7th) related to the surprise attack on our Pacific fleet at anchor in the bay at Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii. The Japanese launches nearly four hundred planes from four aircraft carriers the lay to the north of the island. This raid caught the American troops by surprise; both ships at anchor and airfields/airplanes were damages, destroyed, or sunk. Only our aircraft carriers, which were out at sea, were spared. These carriers and their planes became the core of our retaliation against the Japanese forces in the next four years.

So let’s get started on this sacred journey of exploration and remembrance…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2010 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 2384 Words ]

   

Quotations Related to PEARL HARBOR

“Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”
— Franklin D. Roosevelt, President

“America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our country.”
— George W. Bush

“From the unprovoked attack at Pearl Harbor grew a steadfast resolve that has made America a defender of freedom around the world, and our mission continues as our men and women in uniform serve at home and in distant lands”
— White House News Release

continue reading…

Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

Commentary

JerryPhotoOn the eve of that memorial day so long ago, we take a look at some of the reasons for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that Sunday morning of 1941. The U.S. Navy was seemingly unprepared for the attack. The negotiations with the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C., had not been completed at the time of the attack, and there was a seemingly sequence of miscommunications between the military leaders in D.C. and Hawaii. All-in-all, The U.S. was unprepared for an air attack at Pearl Harbor.

The Japanese, on the other hand, were driven by both their territorial ambitions and their quest for raw resources. These two drives prompted the military leaders to plan to attack on the Navy’s Pacific fleet in Pearl Harbor. Spies were in place in Honolulu. A task force with four carriers were making their way to the islands. All was set for the attack on the morning of December 7th.

So let’s begin our exploration of this critical event in our history…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2010 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 4100 Words ]

   

Quotations Related to Mail

“I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”
— Isoroku Yamamoto

“After Barbarossa and Pearl Harbor, the war tide slowly turned against the Axis.”
— Alexander Dubcek

“As costly as it was in the lives of our men and women in uniform, in military assets, and in esteem and pride, Pearl Harbor was a watershed moment for America.”
— Joe Baca

continue reading…

Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

Commentary

JerryPhotoIn the mid-1950s, about ten years after the end of World War II. Movies were appearing about the various campaigns in the Pacific; movies like “Run Silent, Run Deep”. But the one that really stands out in my mind was “30 Seconds Over Tokyo” about Jimmy Doolittle’s daring raid on Tokyo just months after the tragedy of Pearl Harbor. That caught my imagination with its creative solution to a seemingly unsolvable problem.

But that’s the essence of the man, James H. (Jimmy) Doolittle. He was a flight instructor during World War I, an air racer and innovator between the wars, and a inspirational leader during World War II. He earned his doctorate in aeronautics at MIT and helped Shell Oil develop high-octane airplane fuel. His planning skills were evident in both the raid on Tokyo as well as in the Italian, D-Day and final assault on Japan.

So let’s proceed with our exploration of this man of innovation and courage…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2010 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 3956 Words ]

   

Quotations Related to AVIATION

“Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.”
— Eddie Rickenbacker

“The 20th Century was the century of Aviation and the century of Globalization. The next century will be the century of Space.”
— Wilson Greatbatch

“This is a Solo Flight, but I want aviation enthusiasts and adventurers everywhere to join me in the endeavour.”
— Steve Fossett

continue reading…