Yesterday’s release was a bit late. I promise improvements to the site are coming. What I need is a Millennial, who is without work, who might help me…………
Today is of course Festivus. If Tiny Tim from were here today, he would say, “Happy Festivus and bless us every one.” Hopefully you have not waited too long to obtain your Festivus pole. The miracles of Festivus do take some planning you know. I understand there was some pushing and shoving at a local Home Depot a few days ago as there was an apparent run of Festivus poles. Fortunately no decorations are required.
Traditionally meat loaf is served but this year I’m serving a tuna loaf so as to reduce my consumption of red meat.
I know I have prepared my list for the Airing of Grievances and the associated Feats of Strength – have you? I’ve been ‘thinking’ about working out at LA Fitness all week, well for two days in preparation. Enjoy Festivus with your family and invite some friends over as well as no one should be alone on Festivus.
On this day in 1910 Lt. Theodore G. “Spuds” Ellyson receives his orders to North Island, San Diego, CA for instruction in aviation under Glenn Curtis https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenn_Curtiss. He knew as many naval aviators after him knew that it’s best to go to San Diego if you want to meet great women; no, no, no, I mean, learn how to fly Navy airplanes. He is designed Naval Aviator Number 1.
Spuds had a varied and diverse career. After his graduation from USNA, Class of 1905, he served on six ships and commanded the USS Tarantula https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_B-3_(SS-12) a submarine, and another submarine, the USS Seal https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_G-1_(SS-19%C2%BD) prior to his assignment to flight training. He worked closely with Glenn Curtis in designing a float-plane and participated in early experiments using float-planes from ships. During WWI, he was assigned duty aboard a submarine chaser and was awarded the Navy Cross for distinguished service in developing successful tactics for the submarine chaser squadron. In 1926, he was assigned as Executive Officer of the USS Lexington https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Lexington_(CV-2) the Navy’s second aircraft carrier. (This photo shows Lady Lex just prior to her sinking at the Battle of Coral Sea in WWII).
Spuds was killed on his 43th birthday, in 1928 in a crash of a Loening OL-7 aircraft https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loening_OL in the lower Chesapeake Bay. He’s buried in the Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis. As undergrads at USNA, my roommate, Doug Law and I once toasted a beer at his grave-site.
On this day in 1968, the captain and crew of the USS Pueblo were released after 11 month of imprisonment and torture by North Korea.
Pueblo was a spy ship (a joint Naval and National Security Agency program) gathering electronic intel off the coast of North Korea when she was captured after a attempting evasive maneuvering against several much faster North Korean sub-chasers, three torpedo boats and two MiG-21s. She had a .50-caliber machine gun, but it was wrapped in cold weather tarpaulins and was never manned. Air cover from the Fifth Air Force was promised but never appeared as they had no aircraft on alert. F-4B’s aboard the USS Enterprise were over 500 miles away and were armed for air-to-air. In the 90 min it took to reconfigure those F-4’s the Pueblo had been captured. Her Commanding Officer, CDR Lloyd M. Bucher was psychologically tortured including a mock firing squad in an effort to make him confess. Eventually the Koreans threatened to execute his men in front of him. Bucher decided to confess. He wrote this confession: “We paeon the DPRK (North Korea). We paeon the great leader Kim Il Sung,” (paeon – pronounced pee-on). His captures failed to realize the pun. Little of the highly classified material and equipment aboard was destroyed prior to capture and the North Koreans with the help of the USSR and China were able to reverse engineer some of the most important communications and encryption equipment. With the able assistance of the John Walker spy ring, they obtained the codes necessary to access some of the US Navy’s communications until the late 1980’s when those systems were changed. Bucher’s book, Bucher: My Story, gives a good personal account.
23 December 1974: The first of four prototype Rockwell B-1A Lancer Mach 2.2 strategic bombers, serial number 74-0158, made its first flight from Air Force Plant 42, Palmdale, California. The aircraft commander was company test pilot Charles C. Bock, Jr. (Colonel, U.S. Air Force, retired) with pilot Colonel Emil Sturmthal, U.S. Air Force, and flight test engineer Richard Abrams. After basic flight evaluation, the B-1A landed at Edwards Air Force Base. Only the four prototypes were built as the USAF and the defense industry struggled with the requirements for and the technology available for a manned bomber capable of low-level penetration bombing. Eventually the B version went onto production and about 100 of those aircraft were built. I can tell you they are fast and hard to run down. Much of the technology flowed to the B-2.
This time of year there are many organizations we should be recognize, not just for the work they do during the holiday season, but for their continued efforts throughout the year. We drop a couple bucks in the red Salvation Army kettle this time of year. This is their annual fund drive time and I would encourage us all to give a few dollars for the good work they do. However I would challenge each of us to seek involvement on a higher level, get involved personally, make a difference in the life of someone not just at Christmas time, but every day of the year. And that’s why I’m asking you to support Millennial International. I hope this link will encourage you to get involved. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGvrmltfMrA.
Lastly for this post, it was pointed out to me that a reindeer named Fireball played a less than major, but critical role (for there are no small roles in show business you know) in the 1964 television special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Fireball is a young buck who befriends Rudolph during those “reindeer games” and is there to cheer his exploits at the end after Rudolph has saved Christmas.
I’m going skiing through New Years so this might be my last post till 2017. That PC Happy Holiday crap is just that – crap. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.