Saturday, July 03, 2010

"I fought for YOU", Back in the Day, U.S. Navy-1915, "Iron Men in Steel Tubes."

I just received this GREAT short video from Susan Gertson who's son, Clint Gertson paid the ultimate price for our country. I truly believe that the subject of this video is where many of us, myself included,(our 40's and 50's generation), dropped the ball to pass it along to our next generation just what it means to be an American and the price paid by many brave men and women to keep our country "the land of the free and the home of the brave."


I'm sure all you bubbleheads, past and present will enjoy this all too brief footage of the United States Navy Submarine Service-1915. It was sent to me by my friend Don from over at "Don's Mind". Thanks again mate!

Those old boats were powered by diesel engines and were filthy, dirty and grimy, hence the nick-name "Pig Boats". In my book, the men who served in those unsafe and often untested death traps had balls of iron. Maybe that's why they walked so funny.

"Diesel Boats Forever". I know, I know, I just posted this a short time ago, but since it's appropriate to this post, gonna post it again.


Friday, July 02, 2010

Male camaraderie to the extremes.


Short post t'day mates. Got a lot of cook'n t'do fer friends and family over the next few days. Think I'll be doin some "shrimp on the barbie" fer family today.

Hmmm, these guys musta been Marines. Notice they didn't wash thier hands.

This is also another reason that smoking can be dangerous to yur health.


Thursday, July 01, 2010

Our 4th of July cost of FREEDOM!!


Well Sir, my old sub-mate "SubVet" sent me this yesterday, and I gotta say, I really had no idea. Betcha you don't either!!

What happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.

Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.

Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.

Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

What kind of men were they?

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated, but they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if
they were captured.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, winnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.

At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished.

So, take a few minutes silently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they paid.

Remember: Freedom is never Free!

...and just wait'll y'all hear the absolutely GREAT voice on this 7 year old singing the Star Spangled Banner!!!

May Y'all have a very safe and Happy 4th of July weekend. Remember who gave it to us!


Thursday thuds.....

One misspelled word can make all the difference!

A school teacher once a month has a sticker day. She gives each child a sticker and asks him/her to write a story about it. On this day she gave a little boy a sticker with a horse on it. His story is below. He misspelled one word which changed the context of the story completely. If you have kids or are a teacher, this will bring back memories.



A nun walks into Mother Superior"s office and plunks down into a chair. She lets out a sigh heavy with frustration.

"What troubles you, Sister?" asked the Mother Superior. "I thought this was the day you spent with your family."

"It was," sighed the Sister. "And I went to play golf with my brother. We try to play golf as often as we can. You know I was quite a talented golfer before I devoted my life to Christ."

"I seem to recall that," the Mother Superior agreed. "So I take it your day of recreation was not relaxing?"

"Far from it," snorted the Sister. "In fact, I even took the Lord's name in vain today!"

"Goodness, Sister!" gasped the Mother Superior, astonished. "You must tell me all about it!"

"Well, we were on the fifth tee...and this hole is a monster, Mother -540 yard Par 5, with a nasty dogleg left and a hidden green...and I hit the drive of my life. I creamed it. The sweetest swing I ever made.

And it's flying straight and true, right along the line I wanted ...and it hits a bird in mid-flight !"

"Oh my!" commiserated the Mother. "How unfortunate! But surely that didn't make you blaspheme, Sister!"

"No, that wasn't it," admitted Sister. "While I was still trying to fathom what had happened, this squirrel runs out of the woods, grabs my ball and runs off down the fairway!"

"Oh, that would have made me blaspheme!" sympathized the Mother.

"But I didn't, Mother!" sobbed the Sister. "And I was so proud of myself! And while I was pondering whether it was a sign from God, this hawk swoops out of the sky and grabs the squirrel and flies off, with my ball still clutched in his paws!"

"So that's when you cursed," said the Mother with a knowing smile.

"Nope, that wasn't it either," cried the Sister, anguished, "because as the hawk started to fly out of sight, the squirrel started struggling, and the hawk dropped him right there on the green, and the ball popped out of his paws and rolled to about 18 inches from the cup!"

Mother Superior sat back in her chair, folded her arms across her chest, fixed the Sister with a baleful stare and said...

"You missed the fuckin' putt, didn't you?"

The Difference Between Marine Officers And Gunnery Sergeant's (Gunny's):

A young Marine officer was severely wounded in the head by a grenade, but the only visible permanent injury was to both of his ears which were amputated. Since his hearing wasn't impaired he remained in the Marine Corps. Many years later he eventually rose to the rank of major general. He was, however, very sensitive about his appearance.

One day the general was interviewing three Marines, prospects for his headquarters staff.

The first was an aviator captain, and it was a great interview. At the end of the interview the general asked him, "Do you notice anything different about me?"
The young officer answered, "Why, yes, Sir, I couldn't help but notice that you have no ears."
The general got very angry at his lack of tact and threw him out.

The second interview was with a logistics Lieutenant, and he was even better. The general then asked him the same question, "Do you notice anything different about me?"
He replied sheepishly, "Well, Sir, you have no ears."

The general, now really pissed, threw him out also.

The third interview was with a Marine gunnery sergeant, an infantryman and Staff NCO Gunnery Sergeant (Gunny). He was articulate, looked extremely sharp and seemed to know more than the two officers combined. The general wanted this guy, and went ahead with the same question, "Do you notice
anything different about me?"

To his surprise the Gunny said, "Yes, Sir, you wear contact lenses."

The general was very impressed and thought, what an incredibly observant NCO, and he didn't mention my ears. "And how do you know that I wear contacts?" the General asked.

"Well, Sir," the gunny replied, "It's pretty hard to wear glasses with no fuckin' ears."

Archie Bunker predicted the future.....


Gotta Thank Susan Gertson from Texas and my old Seabee buddy "fishinmagician" fer all of the above!!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

GO GET EM GUNNY!!! 2nd Wednesday post.

Love It!

Absolutely LOVE this new commercial!!

Now Sir, before y'all watch this 20 second commercial, I gotta tell ya that Cookie was a State Credentialed Qualified Health Professional/Counselor in the Chemical Dependency field for 12 years, and this is basically how I counseled..TRUTH!! Remember, I'm an old Seabee and a retired Cop!

Of course t'be honest, I wouldn'ta used the word cry-baby. It would have sounded much more like the word....WUSSY!!!

Always found that good old fashioned HONESTY was far more therapeutic fer my patients!!

I also got a feel'n that that old (recently turned 64 years old) Gyrene "The Chief" would counsel the same way.


The ineptitude continues.... Hava Nagila-- TEXAS Style!! "Diesel Boats Forever!"

"And the beat goes on, and the beat goes on..."

America, if'n ya don't wake up and smell the coffee come this here November election, and the big one in 2012, then y'all deserve whatcha get!!

Looks like fun t'me.........

Now Sir, the lake I live on is 7 miles across and 26 miles long. Wunder if'n my ATV can make it across??

For my Jewish/Israeli friends... Hava Nagila Texas style

This church in Texas puts on an event every year to aid Israel.

Gotta thank my good friend "Fish" frum Kentucky fer sending us that!!

Tommy Cox. "Diesel Boats Forever"

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"The Submarine that sank a Train." The U.S.S. Barb.

This is a great war story that
should be told more often!!!

This is a pretty good WW-II story that I would think is little known.--

Gotta give a BIG Cookshack THANKS to "Charlie The Cop" fer sending me this!

U.S.S. Barb: The Sub That Sank A Train

COOKIE'S NOTE: Cookie served on a Balao class boat, the Barb was a Gato class, the class preceeding a Balao. BTW, Y'all will notice that the men that sank the train were SUB-MARINERS, NOT Marines! Stick that in yur peace-pipe and smoke it Chief! (Just had t'give that old Gyrene a little "Barb" today.)

Eight SUB-SAILORS conducted the ONLY GROUND COMBAT OPERATION on the Japanese “homeland” of World War II.

In 1973 an Italian submarine named Enrique Tazzoli was sold for a paltry $100,000 as scrap metal. The submarine, given to the Italian Navy in 1954 was actually an incredible veteran of World War II service with a heritage that never should have passed so unnoticed into the graveyards of the metal recyclers. The U.S.S. Barb was a pioneer, paving the way for the first submarine launched missiles and flying a battle flag unlike that of any other ship. In addition to the Medal of Honor ribbon at the top of the flag identifying the heroism of its captain, Commander Eugene “Lucky” Fluckey, the bottom border of the flag bore the image of a Japanese locomotive. The U.S.S. Barb Was Indeed, The Submarine That “Sank A Train”.

July, 1945 (Guam): Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz looked across the desk at Admiral Lockwood as he finished the personal briefing on U.S. war ships in the vicinity of the northern coastal areas of Hokkaido, Japan. “Well, Chester , there’s only the Barb there, and probably no word until the patrol is finished. You remember Gene Fluckey?”

“Of course. I recommended him for the Medal of Honor,” Admiral Nimitz replied. “You surely pulled him from command after he received it?”

July 18, 1945 ( Pat ience Bay, Off the coast of Karafuto , Japan ) It was after 4 A.M. and Commander Fluckey rubbed his eyes as he peered over the map spread before him. It was the twelfth war patrol of the Barb, the fifth under Commander Fluckey. He should have turned command over to another skipper after four patrols, but had managed to strike a deal with Admiral Lockwood to make one more trip with the men he cared for like a father, should his fourth patrol be successful.

Of course, no one suspected when he had struck that deal prior to his fourth and what should have been his final war patrol on the Barb, that Commander Fluckey’s success would be so great he would be awarded the Medal of Honor.

Commander Fluckey smiled as he remembered that patrol. “Lucky” Fluckey they called him.

On January 8th the Barb had emerged victorious from a running two-hour night battle after sinking a large enemy ammunition ship. Two weeks later in Mamkwan Harbor he found the “mother-lode” . . . more than 30 enemy ships In only 5 fathoms (30 feet) of water.

His crew had unleashed the sub’s forward torpedoes, then turned and fired four from the stern. As he pushed the Barb to the full limit of its speed through the dangerous waters in a daring withdrawal to the open sea, he recorded eight direct hits on six enemy ships. Then, on the return home he added yet another Japanese freighter to the tally for the Barb’s eleventh patrol, a score that exceeded even the number of that patrol.

What could possibly be left for the Commander to accomplish who, just three months earlier had been in Washington , DC to receive the Medal of Honor?

He smiled to himself as he looked again at the map showing the rail line that ran along the enemy coastline. This final patrol had been promised as the Barb’s “graduation patrol” and he and his crew had cooked up an unusual finale. Since the 8th of June they had harassed the enemy, destroying the enemy supplies and coastal fortifications with the first submarine launched rocket attacks. Now his crew was buzzing excitedly about bagging a train.

The rail line itself wouldn’t be a problem. A shore patrol could go ashore under cover of darkness to plant the of the sub’s 55-pound scuttling charges. But this early morning Lucky Fluckey and his officers were puzzling over how they could blow not only the rails, but also one of the frequent trains that shuttled supplies to equip the Japanese war machine. Such a daring feat could handicap the enemy’s war effort for several days, a week, perhaps even longer.

It was a crazy idea, just the kind of operation “Lucky” Fluckey had become famous . . . or, infamous . . . for. But no matter how crazy the idea might have sounded, the Barb’s skipper would not risk the lives of his men.

Thus The Problem: . . . how to detonate the charge at the moment the train passed, without endangering the life of a shore party.

Problem? Not on Commander Fluckey’s ship. His philosophy had always been “We don’t have problems, only solutions.”

11:27 AM “ Battle Stations!” No more time to seek solutions or to ponder blowing up a train. The approach of a Japanese freighter with a frigate escort demands traditional submarine warfare. By noon the frigate is laying on the ocean floor in pieces and the Barb is in danger of becoming the hunted.

6:07 PM Solutions! If you don’t look for them, you’ll never find them. And even then, sometimes they arrive in the most unusual fashion.

Cruising slowly beneath the surface to evade the enemy plane now circling overhead, the monotony is broken with an exciting new idea. Instead of having a crewman on shore to trigger explosives to blow both rail and a passing train, why not let the train BLOW ITSELF up. Billy Hatfield was excitedly explaining how he had cracked nuts on the railroad tracks as a kid, placing the nuts between two ties so the sagging of the rail under the weight of a train would break them open. “Just like cracking walnuts,” he explained. “To complete the circuit (detonating the 55-pound charge) we hook in a micro switch ...between two ties. We don’t set it off, the TRAIN does.”

Not only did Hatfield have the plan, he wanted to be part of the volunteer shore party.

The solution found, there was no shortage of volunteers, all that was needed was the proper weather . . . a little cloud cover to darken the moon for the mission ashore.

Lucky Fluckey established his own criteria for the volunteer party: No married men would be included, except for Hatfield.

The party would include members from each department. The opportunity would be split between regular Navy and Navy Reserve sailors. At least half of the men had to have been Boy Scouts, experienced in how to handle themselves in medical emergencies and in the woods.

FINALLY, “Lucky” Fluckey would lead the saboteurs himself.

When the names of the 8 selected sailors was announced it was greeted with a mixture of excitement and disappointment. Among the disappointed was Commander Fluckey who surrendered his opportunity at the insistence of his officers that “as commander he belonged with the Barb,” coupled with the threat from one that “I swear I’ll send a message to ComSubPac if you attempt this (joining the shore party himself).”

Even A Japanese POW Being Held On The Barb Wanted To Go, Promising Not To Try To Escape.

In the meantime, there would be no more harassment of Japanese shipping or shore operations by the Barb until the train mission had been accomplished. The crew would “lay low”, prepare their equipment, train, and wait for the weather.

July 22, 1945 ( Pat ience Bay , Off the coast of Karafuto, Japan ) Pat ience Bay was wearing thin the patience of Commander Fluckey and his innovative crew. Everything was ready.

In the four days the saboteurs had anxiously watched the skies for cloud cover, the inventive crew of the Barb had built their micro switch.

When the need was posed for a pick and shovel to bury the explosive charge and batteries, the Barb’s engineers had cut up steel plates in the lower flats of an engine room, then bent and welded them to create the needed tools.

The only things beyond their control were the weather .. . . and time. Only Five Days Remained In The Barb’s Patrol.

Anxiously watching the skies, Commander Fluckey noticed plumes of cirrus clouds, then white stratus capping the mountain peaks ashore. A cloud cover was building to hide the three-quarters moon. This would be the night.

Midnight, July 23, 1945 The Barb had crept within 950 yards of the shoreline. If it was somehow seen from the shore it would probably be mistaken for a schooner or Japanese patrol boat. No one would suspect an American submarine so close to shore or in such shallow water.

Slowly the small boats were lowered to the water and the 8 saboteurs began paddling toward the enemy beach.

Twenty-five minutes later they pulled the boats ashore and walked on the surface of the Japanese homeland.

Having lost their points of navigation, the saboteurs landed near the backyard of a house. Fortunately the residents had no dogs, though the sight of human AND dog’s tracks in the sand along the beach alerted the brave sailors to the potential for unexpected danger.

Stumbling through noisy waist-high grasses, crossing a highway and then stumbling into a 4-foot drainage ditch, the saboteurs made their way to the railroad tracks. Three men were posted as guards, Markuson assigned to examine a nearby water tower.

The Barb’s auxiliary man climbed the ladder, then stopped in shock as he realized it was an enemy lookout tower . . .. an OCCUPIED tower.

Fortunately the Japanese sentry was peacefully sleeping and Markuson was able to quietly withdraw and warn his raiding party.

The news from Markuson caused the men digging the placement for the explosive charge to continue their work more slowly and quietly. Suddenly, from less than 80 yards away, an express train was bearing down on them. The appearance was a surprise, it hadn’t occurred to the crew during the planning for the mission that there might be a night train. When at last it passed, the brave but nervous sailors extracted themselves from the brush into which they had leapt, to continue their task. Twenty minutes later the holes had been dug and the explosives and batteries hidden beneath fresh soil.

During planning for the mission the saboteurs had been told that, with the explosives in place, all would retreat a safe distance while Hatfield made the final connection. If the sailor who had once cracked walnuts on the railroad tracks slipped during this final, dangerous procedure, his would be the only life lost.

On this night it was the only order the saboteurs refused to obey, all of them peering anxiously over Hatfield’s shoulder to make sure he did it right. The men had come too far to be disappointed by a switch failure.

1:32 A.M. Watching from the deck of the Barb, Commander Fluckey allowed himself a sigh of relief as he noticed the flashlight signal from the beach announcing the departure of the shore party. He had skillfully, and daringly, guided the Barb within 600 yards of the enemy beach. There was less than 6 feet of water beneath the sub’s keel, but Fluckey wanted to be close in case trouble arose and a daring rescue of his saboteurs became necessary.

1:45 A.M. The two boats carrying his saboteurs were only halfway back to the Barb when the sub’s machine gunner yelled, “CAPTAIN! Another train coming up the tracks!” The Commander grabbed a megaphone and yelled through the night, “Paddle like the devil!”, knowing full well that they wouldn’t reach the Barb before the train hit the micro switch.

1:47 A.M. The darkness was shattered by brilliant light and the roar of the explosion. The boilers of the locomotive blew, shattered pieces of the engine blowing 200 feet into the air. Behind it the cars began to accordion into each other, bursting into flame and adding to the magnificent fireworks display.

Five minutes later the saboteurs were lifted to the deck by their exuberant comrades as the Barb turned to slip back to safer waters. Moving at only two knots, it would be a while before the Barb was into waters deep enough to allow it to submerge.

It was a moment to savor, the culmination of teamwork, ingenuity and daring by the Commander and all his crew. “Lucky” Fluckey’s voice came over the intercom. “All hands below deck not absolutely needed to maneuver the ship have permission to come topside.” He didn’t have to repeat the invitation. Hatches sprang open as the proud sailors of the Barb gathered on her decks to proudly watch the distant fireworks display. The Barb had “sunk” a Japanese TRAIN!

On August 2, 1945 the Barb arrived at Midway, her twelfth war patrol concluded.

Meanwhile United States military commanders had pondered the prospect of an armed assault on the Japanese homeland. Military tacticians estimated such an invasion would cost more than a million American casualties.

Instead of such a costly armed offensive to end the war, on August 6th the B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped a single atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima , Japan . A second such bomb, unleashed 4 days later on Nagasaki , Japan , caused Japan to agree to surrender terms on August 15th.

On September 2, 1945 in Tokyo Harbor the documents ending the war in the Pacific were signed.

The story of the saboteurs of the U.S.S. Barb is one of those unique, little known stories of World War II. It becomes increasingly important when one realizes that the 8 sailors who blew up the train at near Kashiho , Japan conducted the ONLY GROUND COMBAT OPERATION on the Japanese “homeland” of World War II.

The eight saboteurs were:

William Hatfield

Edward Klinglesmith

John Markuson

Lawrence Newland

James Richard

Paul Saunders

Francis Sever

William Walker


Eugene Bennett Fluckey retired from the Navy as a Rear Admiral, and wears in addition to his Medal of Honor, FOUR Navy Crosses . . . a record of awards unmatched by any living American.

In 1992 his own history of the U.S.S. Barb was published in the award winning book, Thunder Below.

Over the past several years proceeds from the sale of this exciting book have been used by Admiral Fluckey to provide free reunions for the men who served him aboard the Barb, and their families.

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."

Thomas Jefferson

Monday, June 28, 2010

Oooops!! ...and a GREAT analogy! Damned Butterflies anyhow!


Great Analogy!!!


&*%Damn Butterflies....!!!