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    I have a picture of my Dad kneeling beside a truck tire. He's holding a tire iron. He was also a master sergeant at the time (late 1944 in Belgium). When he showed me the pic he said, "You realize that is a posed picture." "What do you mean?" He laughed. "Master sergeants don't change tires. That's what PFCs are for." OG
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    In Flanders Fields In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields. — Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae
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    Thanks, Whizzer! I, for one, will be honouring (note the Canadian spelling) this day by donning my favourite toque, saddling up my horse, and hunting the elusive, and yet savage, big horn beavers. Then, I will smuggle some whisky across the border to all my Loyalist American friends, who, sadly, are prohibited from enjoying such basic comforts due to the pervading Puritanical correctness down there. Then, on to Washington to burn down the White House. Finally, I will end this day with a bracing swim across the St. Lawrence river back to my homeland where I will satiate my manly Canadian appetite with a Rocky Mountain-sized pile of poutine slathered in gravy, all while getting a lap dance from a French Canadian stripper.
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    Those Gigants were so big and slow a fat kid on a Aeronca L-3 Scout plane could have shot it down using a slingshot and a rock.
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    OK, we're stuck with Tom Cruise then. Luckily, the story almost writes itself: Act 1: Maverick (now top instructor at Top Gun) shows some young hotshots how it's done in awesome aerial sequences. Later, gets on motorbike to visit wife's grave (Kelly McGillis inexplicably unavailable for the sequel) Act 2: Doris, a brilliant pilot and daughter of the president of Freedomistan visits Top Gun in some exchange program. Mav and Doris fall in love despite all the odds. News comes through that evil Iran has invaded neighbouring Freedomistan. Act 3: While the US cannot officially support Freedomistan for some reason, the CIA allows Mav the use of a C-17 to try to evacuate Doris's family. Peter (Goose's son, that Mav has adopted since Goose's widow was killed in freak auto accident and now happens to be an excellent aircraft mechanic) insists on coming along. They get hit by an Iranian SAM, and Mav brilliantly manages to crash land although all are rendered unconscious. Act 4: They wake up in a Zoroastrian monastary in the Iranian mountains. Suddenly, Mav hears 'You!'. It's Iceman who's become a monk (TODO: Fill in some backstory here) Mav, Doris, Iceman and Peter leave for the border but get captured and taken to an Iranian airbase. Act 5: After some brutal interrogation, Mav escapes, frees the others and steals some guns, but they get cornered in a hanger. Under some tarps, they find a bunch of F-14s delivered in the 1970s that the Iranians have allowed to fall into disrepair. Peter gets to work, and manages to get two of them servicable while the others keep the Iranians at bay with special Hollywood unlimited ammunition. Act 6: With 'Danger Zone' playing in the background, the hanger doors open and Mav and Iceman (Note for props dept: We may need a bigger cockpit for Val Kilmer this time) head for the runway. Doris and Peter in the RIO seats. They come under intense machine-gun fire, but luckily are not hit. With their AIM-54 missiles and cannon fire, they manage to shoot down the entire Iranian airforce who appear to be equipped with planes that look a bit like F-5s. The Iranians 'bug out' from Freedomistan. The End.
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    I guess it has been over a decade since I met up with you at Oshkosh Oggie. The boys were just boys then. How fast the years pass by.
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    Grandchildren are your reward for not killing your own children when they were young.
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    Hi Cobra, nice to see you again!! ?
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    Hey, Oggie! Good to see you're still kicking. Yes, stop by the nut house... errrrr... the forum more often.
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    Oggie! Good to hear from you! How are you and the family? Ya gotta stop by more often!
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    U.S. Defense Bonds Poster April 1-21, 1951: Operations RUGGED and DAUNTLESS take Eighth Army line slightly north of the 38th parallel, where it prepares to defend against the expected enemy offensive. April 1-21, 1951: The 1st Marine Division advances north to the Hwachon Reservoir. On the following day, Chinese Communist Forces launch an all-out "Spring Offensive." The Marines halt the Chinese breakthrough of IX Corps, and by 27 April, the situation is stabilized. Mamie Van Doren April 11, 1951: President Truman relieves General MacArthur for insubordination and replaces him with General Ridgway. LTG James A. Van Fleet, the Commanding General of Second Army, is assigned as the new commander of Eighth Army. April 12, 1951: War's first major aerial duel. More than 40 MiG-15s attack a B-29 formation, shooting down two bombers. Eleven of the MiGs are destroyed, seven by B-29 gunners. Mamie Van Doren April 22-29, 1951: Chinese Communist Forces first spring offensive. Largest single battle of the Korean War. CCF launch their Spring Offensive with 250,000 men in 27 divisions. Five U.S. Army divisions (2nd, 3rd, 7th, 24th and 25th) and the 1st Marine Division participate. April 22-25, 1951: Battle of Imjin River (Gloster Hill). The 29th Infantry Brigade (UK) slows Chinese advances until further U.N. forces are able to blunt the Chinese offensive. A particularly notable stand is made by the 1st Battalion of the Glouscestershire Regiment on Hill 235 which becomes known as "Gloster Hill." The actions serve to protect the U.N. and prevent a Chinese advance on Seoul. Mamie Van Doren April 22-25, 1951: Battle of Kapyong. The 27th British Commonwealth Brigade composed largely of Australian and Canadian forces slows Chinese advances until further U.N. forces can successfully blunt the Chinese offensive. The actions serves to protect the U.N. and prevents a Chinese advance on Seoul. April 30, 1951: CCF offensive is stopped north of Seoul. Mamie Van Doren April 12, 1953: The 1st Marine Aircraft Wing (1st MAW) flies the first night close air support missions using intersecting searchlight beams to mark enemy targets. The results of this "searchlight-night fighter" team on ground targets are described as "excellent" by ground and air observers. April 16-18, 1953: Battle of Pork Chop Hill. The 17th and 31st Infantry Regiments (7th Infantry Division) hit hard and suffer heavy casualties. April 20-26, 1953: Operation Little Switch exchanges sick and wounded POWs, including 149 Americans.
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    U.S Navy Recruitment Poster-1960's April 1, 1965 - At the White House, President Johnson authorizes sending two more Marine battalions and up to 20,000 logistical personnel to Vietnam. The President also authorizes American combat troops to conduct patrols to root out Viet Cong in the countryside. His decision to allow offensive operations is kept secret from the American press and public for two months. April 7, 1965 - President Johnson delivers his "Peace Without Conquest" Speech at Johns Hopkins University offering Hanoi "unconditional discussions" to stop the war in return for massive economic assistance in modernizing Vietnam. "Old Ho can't turn that down," Johnson privately tells his aides. But Johnson's peace overture is quickly rejected. April 15, 1965 - A thousand tons of bombs are dropped on Viet Cong positions by U.S. and South Vietnamese fighter-bombers. April 17, 1965 - In Washington, 15,000 students gather to protest the U.S. bombing campaign. Student demonstrators will often refer to President Johnson, his advisers, the Pentagon, Washington bureaucrats, and weapons manufacturers, simply as "the Establishment." April 20, 1965 - In Honolulu, Johnson's top aides, including McNamara, Gen. Westmoreland, Gen. Wheeler, William Bundy, and Ambassador Taylor, meet and agree to recommend to the President sending another 40,000 combat soldiers to Vietnam. April 24, 1965 - President Johnson announces Americans in Vietnam are eligible for combat pay. Chris Noel April 12, 1966 - B-52 bombers are used for the first time against North Vietnam. Each B-52 carries up to 100 bombs, dropped from an altitude of about six miles. Target selections are closely supervised by the White House. There are six main target categories; power facilities, war support facilities, transportation lines, military complexes, fuel storage, and air defense installations. April 13, 1966 - Viet Cong attack Tan Son Nhut airport in Saigon causing 140 casualties while destroying 12 U.S. helicopters and nine aircraft. April 6, 1967 - Quang Tri City is attacked by 2500 Viet Cong and NVA. April 14, 1967 - Richard M. Nixon visits Saigon and states that anti-war protests back in the U.S. are "prolonging the war." April 15, 1967 - Anti-war demonstrations occur in New York and San Francisco involving nearly 200,000. Rev. Martin Luther King declares that the war is undermining President Johnson's Great Society social reform programs, "...the pursuit of this widened war has narrowed the promised dimensions of the domestic welfare programs, making the poor white and Negro bear the heaviest burdens both at the front and at home." April 20, 1967 - U.S. bombers target Haiphong harbor in North Vietnam for the first time. April 24-May 11, 1967 - Hill fights rage at Khe Sanh between U.S. 3rd Marines and the North Vietnamese Army resulting in 940 NVA killed. American losses are 155 killed and 425 wounded. The isolated air base is located in mountainous terrain less than 10 miles from North Vietnam near the border of Laos. April 24, 1967 - General Westmoreland condemns anti-war demonstrators saying they give the North Vietnamese soldier "hope that he can win politically that which he cannot accomplish militarily." Privately, he has already warned President Johnson "the war could go on indefinitely." April 30-May 3, 1967 - The Battle of Dai Do occurs along the Demilitarized Zone as NVA troops seek to open an invasion corridor into South Vietnam. They are halted by a battalion of U.S. Marines nicknamed "the Magnificent Bastards" under the command of Lt. Col. William Weise. Aided by heavy artillery and air strikes, NVA suffer 1568 killed. 81 Marines are killed and 297 wounded. 29 U.S. Army are killed supporting the Marines and 130 wounded. For the time being, this defeat ends North Vietnam's hope of successfully invading the South. They will wait four years, until 1972, before trying again, after most of the Americans have gone. It will actually take seven years, until 1975, for them to succeed. Chris Noel - Long Binh, Vietnam -1968 April 9, 1969 - 300 anti-war students at Harvard University seize the administration building, throw out eight deans, then lock themselves in. They are later forcibly ejected. April 30, 1969 - U.S. troop levels peak at 543,400. There have been 33,641 Americans killed by now, a total greater than the Korean War. April 20, 1970 - President Nixon announces the withdrawal of another 150,000 Americans from Vietnam within a year. April 30, 1970 - President Nixon stuns Americans by announcing U.S. and South Vietnamese incursion into Cambodia "...not for the purpose of expanding the war into Cambodia but for the purpose of ending the war in Vietnam and winning the just peace we desire." The announcement generates a tidal wave of protest by politicians, the press, students, professors, clergy members, business leaders, and many average Americans against Nixon and the Vietnam War. The incursion is in response to continuing Communist gains against Lon Nol's forces and is also intended to weaken overall NVA military strength as a prelude to U.S. departure from Vietnam. Chris Noel April 1, 1971 - President Nixon orders Calley released pending his appeal. April 19, 1971 - 'Vietnam Veterans Against the War' begin a week of nationwide protests. April 24, 1971 - Another mass demonstration is held in Washington attracting nearly 200,000. April 29, 1971 - Total American deaths in Vietnam surpass 45,000. April 30, 1971 - The last U.S. Marine combat units depart Vietnam. April 2, 1972 - In response to the Eastertide Offensive, President Nixon authorizes the U.S. 7th Fleet to target NVA troops massed around the Demilitarized Zone with air strikes and naval gunfire. April 4, 1972 - In a further response to Eastertide, President Nixon authorizes a massive bombing campaign targeting all NVA troops invading South Vietnam along with B-52 air strikes against North Vietnam. "The bastards have never been bombed like they're going to bombed this time," Nixon privately declares. April 10, 1972 - Heavy B-52 bombardments ranging 145 miles into North Vietnam begin. April 12, 1972 - NVA Eastertide attack on Kontum begins in central South Vietnam. If the attack succeeds, South Vietnam will effectively be cut in two. April 15, 1972 - Hanoi and Haiphong harbor are bombed by the U.S. April 15-20, 1972 - Protests against the bombings erupt in America. April 19, 1972 - NVA Eastertide attack on An Loc begins. April 27, 1972 - Paris peace talks resume. April 30, 1972 - U.S. troop levels drop to 69,000. Chris Noel April 1973 - President Nixon and President Thieu meet at San Clemente, California. Nixon renews his earlier secret pledge to respond militarily if North Vietnam violates the peace agreement. April 1, 1973 - Captain Robert White, the last known American POW is released. April 30, 1973 - The Watergate scandal results in the resignation of top Nixon aides H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman. Chris Noel April 9, 1975 - NVA close in on Xuan Loc, 38 miles from Saigon. 40,000 NVA attack the city and for the first time encounter stiff resistance from South Vietnamese troops. April 20, 1975 - U.S. Ambassador Graham Martin meets with President Thieu and pressures him to resign given the gravity of the situation and the unlikelihood that Thieu could ever negotiate with the Communists. April 21, 1975 - A bitter, tearful President Thieu resigns during a 90 minute rambling TV speech to the people of South Vietnam. Thieu reads from the letter sent by Nixon in 1972 pledging "severe retaliatory action" if South Vietnam was threatened. Thieu condemns the Paris Peace Accords, Henry Kissinger and the U.S. "The United States has not respected its promises. It is inhumane. It is untrustworthy. It is irresponsible." He is then ushered into exile in Taiwan, aided by the CIA. April 22, 1975 - Xuan Loc falls to the NVA after a two week battle with South Vietnam's 18th Army Division which inflicted over 5000 NVA casualties and delayed the 'Ho Chi Minh Campaign' for two weeks. April 23, 1975 - 100,000 NVA soldiers advance on Saigon which is now overflowing with refugees. On this same day, President Ford gives aspeech at Tulane University stating the conflict in Vietnam is "a war that is finished as far as America is concerned." Chris Noel
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    The freshly restored B-29 "Doc" has completed phase 1 of its test operations and the FAA has issued it a special airworthy certificate. This means "Doc" can finally leave the nest. http://ksn.com/2017/03/10/faa-approves-new-airworthiness-certificate-for-b-29-doc/
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    My Dad never made it over.. Truman dropped the bomb and the rest is History! He was one happy aircorp crewman!
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    I had a great uncle who fought in the ETO and he survived to tell the tail. Took a look at the photos, they are great!
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    Those are some wonderful photos Rob! I myself don't have any family members buried in any of the Normandy Cemeteries. My uncles all fought in the Pacific, and luckily survived the war. Sure would love to be able to go there someday. Would be a dream trip for me, to visit many of the sites from both World Wars.
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    Ok, after Tony Orlando, I feel I really need to redeem myself, lest something bad happen to me. I guess I'm superstitious. I certainly would not want to get stuck. 1973 was part of the music era that seemed to be a real laid back. Again, I heard this on AM radio, so headphones and stereo are a whole new experience for me.
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    Although I never had one of these, I did have one of these. I even found some videos of this toy working. Rather simple, but for a kid surrounded by western style cap pistols, this thing was the battle stopper.