Oldest Living Veteran Credits Whiskey and Cigars…

Richard Overton of Austin, Texas is currently the oldest living WWII Veteran at 107 years of age.

H credits his longevity to whiskey and cigars!

Would that be Jim Beam, or George Dickel, sir?

 

Oldest Living Veteran Cites Whiskey, Cigars, ‘Staying Out Of Trouble’ As Key To Longevity

Richard Overton, who at 107-years-old is America’s oldest living veteran on record, was honored last week at a Veterans Day ceremony in Austin, Texas. In addition to a standing ovation, Overton received a box of cigars — a vice that he cites as a key ingredient in his recipe for longevity.

Overton takes no medicine, except for aspirin. Instead, he smokes cigars — up to 12 a day, he told Fox News this spring — and drinks whiskey with his morning coffee. The secret to living long, he told the Houston Chronicle, is “staying out of trouble.”

“I also stay busy around the yards, I trim trees, help with the horses,” he told Fox. “The driveways get dirty, so I clean them. I do something to keep myself moving. I don’t watch television.”

Overton served in the Army during World War II in Hawaii, Guam, Palau and Iwo Jima. He now lives in Austin.

On Sunday, Overton was set to be honored in Washington, D.C. by President Barack Obama as part of the White House’s Veterans Day festivities. According to KEYE TV, Overton was scheduled to have breakfast with the president and Vice President Joe Biden, and then attend a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Ceremony.

“The president wants me to come with him,” Overton said. “I’m su

rprised he called me.”

Rosie the Riveter And Other Tales of Conveyance

Interesting picture from WWII Nashville as a woman factory worker rivets a part on a “Vengance” Dive Bomber built by Vultee Aircraft

Rare color photos from 1930s-40s

The interesting part here – to me at least is a black factory worker in the South during the early 40′s. Vultee initially didn’t become  a big name because most of it’s aircraft were built for our allies and foreign consumption.

Vultee would be reorganized in 1943 to become Convair, which would build the massive B-36, the F-102 Delta Dagger, F106 Delta Dart, the B-58 Hustler, and the Atlas Centaur Rocket booster. As a kid I built Revell models of most of these aircraft (what fun!).

Vultee Vengeance Dive Bomber

Thinking of things that go fast and bump in the night… Continue reading

Luke Weathers, Jr… Tuskegee Airman

A sad note on the very week a long awaited movie about the exploits of th Tuskegee Airmen is released – Ace Pilot Luke Weathers was interned at Arlington Cemetery. During the War, at least 47 Pilots were awarded Purple Hearts for injuries received on combat missions. While most folks equate he Red Tails with the P-51 Mustang Aircraft, the Tuskegee Airmen also flew the Curtis P-40 in North Africa, the Bell P-39 Air Cobra, and the deadly P-47 Thunderbolt – which actually sank a German Destroyer, and was the first plane to get the distinctive “Red Tail” livery.

Luke Weathers Jr., Tuskegee airman, buried at Arlington as ‘Red Tails’ movie released

On the same day that retired Air Force Lt. Col. Luke Weathers Jr. took his resting place among other war and military heroes, his real-life story as a World War II aviator played out on movie screens across the country.

Weathers was buried Friday at Arlington National Cemetery in a service that began with a flyover of four F-16 jets in the Missing Man formation, a special honor reserved for pilots, by the 113th Wing of the D.C. Capital Guardians, the same unit that guards the airspace over the nation’s capital.

Weathers died Oct. 15 in Tucson, Ariz., of pneumonia at age 90. His burial coincided with the official opening in theaters of “Red Tails,” a George Lucas-produced movie retelling the story of the Tuskegee Airmen who debunked widely held beliefs that black pilots were incapable of fighting in combat.

Shortly after the flyover, in which one of the three jets departed from formation, a caisson pulled by six horses carried Weathers’ body to his burial spot amid hundreds of the stark marble tombstones that cover the grounds of the national cemetery. An Air Force band accompanied the wagon, its drummer thumping a solemn beat as family followed on the chilly, overcast Friday morning. Family members wore red ties and scarves, as they had at Weathers’ Memphis funeral, as a nod to the aviators who painted their aircrafts’ tails red to set themselves apart.

Luke Weathers III, 61, said his father and other black Americans who fought in World War II did so to prove they were men, “and then they wanted their country to love them, but that didn’t happen, either.” Friday’s ceremony, however, finally delivered recognition of his father as a national hero, Weathers said.

This kind of attention to the Tuskegee Airmen is what the elder Weathers wanted throughout his life, said his daughter, Trina Weathers Boyce. Weathers was not vain, but he wanted to share the lessons of the airmen’s courage in war, their struggles for equality and their victory over a wartime enemy and over racism, she said.

“He would talk about his hard trials and tribulations to others, to children, because he never wanted us to feel like this (racism) is a reason we couldn’t make it,” Weathers Boyce said in a telephone interview Thursday. “He would tell us nothing good comes easy. He’d say there are going to be barriers … and you can overcome them.”

Before the Tuskegee Airmen were formed in 1941, black men were forbidden to fly for the U.S. military, even though they could be drafted. After years of struggle, the Army Air Corps began to allow African Americans to train for flight, albeit in still-segregated units.

Many of the Tuskegee airmen, which included navigators, mechanics, medical personnel and others in support roles, trained from 1941 to 1949 at the Tuskegee Institute, which was founded by Booker T. Washington and was already home to an aeronautical engineering program.

More than 900 Tuskegee Airmen were U.S. pilots, said Trent Dudley, an Air Force lieutenant colonel who is president of the East Coast Tuskegee Airmen Inc. chapter. An estimated 250 to 300 Tuskegee airmen are still alive. The exact number is not known because some have not registered with chapters.

Japanese Americans Push Back Against Republican Jim Crow

One of the ugly episodes in our history was the treatment of Japanese Americans during WWII. America operated concentration camps, where Japanse-American citizens, guilty of nothing but their Japanese ancestry were imprisoned for the duration of WWII. Whole familes were carted off to be locked away…

So it is no surprise Japanese would be sensitive to the virulent calls to racism by Tea Bagged Republicans – this time against another group, Muslims. They have seen this slide show before…

Japanese Americans decry Rep. King’s Muslim hearings as ‘sinister’

During the chaotic days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Basim Elkarra was passing by an Islamic school in Sacramento when he did a double-take: The windows were covered with thousands of origami paper cranes – peace symbols that had been folded and donated by Japanese Americans.

Amid the anger and suspicions being aimed at Muslims at that time, the show of support “was a powerful symbol that no one will ever forget,” said Elkarra, a Muslim American community leader in California.

It was also the beginning of an unlikely bond between the two groups that has intensified as House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter T. King (R-N.Y.)prepares to launch a series of controversial hearings Thursday on radical Islam in the United States.

Spurred by memories of the World War II-era roundup and internment of 110,000 of their own people, Japanese Americans, especially on the West Coast, have been among the most vocal and passionate supporters of embattled Muslims. They’ve rallied public support against hate crimes at mosques, signed on to legal briefs opposing the indefinite detention of Muslims by the government, organized cross-cultural trips to the Manzanar internment camp memorial in California and held “Bridging Communities” workshops in Islamic schools and on college campuses. Continue reading

ANOTHER History Bereft Dumb Assed Republican

The United States didn’t declare war on Germany?This is what happens when you let Texas ignorant conservatives write text books!

U.S. Declaration of War Against Germany

War Message of the President (Roosevelt) to the Congress, Dec. 11, 1941

“To the Congress of the United States:

On the morning of December 11 the Government of Germany, pursuing its course of world
conquest, declared war against the United States.

The long known and the long expected has thus taken place. The forces endeavoring to enslave the entire world now are moving toward this hemisphere.

Never before has there been a greater challenge to life, liberty, and civilization.

Delay invites greater danger. Rapid and united effort by all the peoples of the world who are
determined to remain free will insure a world victory of the forces of justice and of righteousness over the forces of savagery and of barbarism.

Italy also has declared war against the United States.

I therefore request the Congress to recognize a state of war between the United States and
Germany and between the United States and Italy.

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT.

THE WHITE HOUSE, “December 11, 1941.”

(Documents on American Foreign Relations, vol. IV, 1941 / 1942. p. 121. World Peace Foundation, 1942)


Joint Resolution Declaring that a State of War Exists Between the People of Germany and the People of the United States, Dec. 11, 1941

“Whereas the Government of Germany has formally declared war against the Government and the
people of the United States of America: Therefore be it

“Resolved, etc., That the state of war between the United States and the Government of Germany
which has thus been thrust upon the United States is hereby formally declared; and the President is hereby authorized and directed to employ the entire naval and military forces of the United States and the resources of the Government to carry on war against the Government of Germany; and, to bring the conflict to a successful termination, all of the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Congress of the United States.”

(Documents on American Foreign Relations, vol. IV, 1941 / 1942. p. 122. World Peace Foundation, Princeton University Press, 1942)

Black Soldiers – “The Triple Nickle”, the 555th Parachute Company in WWII

Not Sure What Company This Is - But Black Soldiers During WWII

Trailblazing paratrooper broke color barrier in secret

Thurgood Marshall, Hattie McDaniel, the Tuskegee Airmen and Walter Morris — all African-Americans who made history breaking the color barrier. But while America’s first black Supreme Court justice, the first African-American Oscar winner and the U.S. military’s first African-American pilots are well known, you may never have heard of Walter Morris or his role in American history.

The War Department, as the Defense Department used to be called, wanted it that way. On Thursday, a ceremony at the Pentagon will undo that.

When Walter Morris first joined the Army just before World War II, he wasn’t a “black” or “Negro” or “African-American” soldier — he was “colored.” And he was treated like all the other “colored” men who wanted to fight for their country. Continue reading

What Happened to Black Children of WWII?

Where there are men and women…

Eventually there are going to be children.

Such was true in WWII where black American troops were stationed in Europe.

Prior to WWII, there were roughly 100,000 “black” Europeans, of which 24,000 were black Germans who were the children of black American troops, and post war African occupation troops. An estimated 25-50,000 of those died in concentration camps – which considering the brutal effectiveness of the “final solution” Hitler imposed on Jews, it is amazing that even half survived.

Black German Girl With Classmates, c 1930

Black German Girl With Classmates, c 1930

After World War I, more blacks, mostly French Senegalese soldiers or their offspring, ended up in the Rhineland region and other parts of Germany. Estimates vary, but by the 1920s there were about 10,000 to 25,000 Afrodeutsche in Deutschland, most of them in Berlin or other metropolitan areas. Until the Nazis came to power, black musicians and other entertainers were a popular element of the nightlife scene in Berlin and other large cities. Jazz, later denigrated as Negermusik (“Negro music”) by the Nazis, was made popular in Germany and Europe by black musicians, many from the U.S., who found life in Europe more liberating than that back home. Josephine Baker in France is one prominent example. Both the American writer and civil rights activist W.E.B. du Bois and the suffragist Mary Church Terrell studied at the university in Berlin. They later wrote that they experienced far less discrimination in Germany than they had in the U.S.

Continue reading

Obama’s Visit and the Liberation of Buchenwald

One of the ongoing historical controversies of WWII is who “liberated” the Nazi Extermination Camp at Buchenwald. Not surprisingly, the debate centers around whether the segregated all black 761st Tank Battalion supported by the 183rd Combat Engineers arrived first, or whether 4 white soldiers of the 6th Armored Division were the first. Survivors of the camp remember seeing the black soldiers first coming into the camp on armored vehicles and tanks. Who arrived first has been so obscured for so long, I’m afraid we will never know the truth.

Members of the 183rd Engineers Combat Battalion, 8th Corps, Third Army at Buchenwald

Members of the 183rd Engineers Combat Battalion, 8th Corps, Third Army at Buchenwald

My Uncle served with the 183rd, but would seldom talk about his experiences in the war. He had been wounded during the Invasion at Anzio, when a shell struck and sunk the DUKW he was crewing, ferrying soldiers and supplies from the ships to shore under German fire. After recovering, he was assigned to the 183rd which was supported by the 761st.

Continue reading

4 Bronze Stars… Kicked to the Curb

This is a story about a WWII Vet, and 88 year old man who served his country in Europe during the War – earning 4 Bronze Stars…

Who not only had his Medals taken away, but apparently his Veterans Benefits…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 133 other followers