The Man Who Survived Two Atomic Bombs

Tsutomu Yamaguchi could tell you stories about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was working for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and on August 6, 1945 his work took him to the city of Hiroshima, Japan. At 8:15 a.m. the sky ignited with the explosion of the first atomic bomb to be used... Continue Reading →

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James Doohan — A Hero in the 20th Century as Well as the 23rd

Actor James Doohan (1920-2005) is mostly known for the 23rd century exploits of his character Montgomery "Scotty" Scott in Star Trek. Less widely known are his heroics in the 20th century -- most specifically during World War II. Commissioned a lieutenant in the 14th Field Artillery Regiment of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, Doohan saw his first combat at Juno... Continue Reading →

The Devil is in the Details

General Dwight D. Eisenhower was unquestionably experienced when it came to military matters, but in 1952 he was a novice concerning politics. In the midst of his first campaign for the presidency, one of the advance men handed him a 35-page detailed plan concerning the campaign stops for the next couple of days. Eisenhower looked at... Continue Reading →

Lucille Ball: Mistress of Comedy and Counter-Espionage

Lucille Ball (1911-1989) was not only one of the undisputed geniuses of comedy, starring in I Love Lucy, Life With Lucy, and more than 80 motion pictures, but she also played an unplanned and unscripted role in counter-espionage. In 1942 Lucy was driving home from MGM, where she was filming Du Barry Was a Lady... Continue Reading →

The Last of Those Who Gave The Last Full Measure of Their Devotion

While records are sometimes sketchy and inconclusive, the following is a list of the last surviving veterans of the United States' wars and major military operations.   War of Independence -- John Gray (Jan. 6, 1764 - March 29, 1868) John Gray joined in the fight for American independence in 1780 at the age of... Continue Reading →

Truman and the Two Generals

Any study of the Korean War would be incomplete without looking into the conflict between President Harry Truman and General Douglas MacArthur. Truman's firing of MacArthur was a pivotal event in American history, and it almost certainly drove a nail in the coffin of any possible plans of President Truman to seek a third term... Continue Reading →

You’ve Heard of Flying Reindeer; What About Pollyanna, the Reindeer of the Deep Seas?

The British submarine HMS Trident had an unusual crew member for part of its World War II service: a reindeer named Pollyanna. The Trident was among a fleet of submarines and supply ships that the British Navy sent to support the Soviet Union after the Nazis invaded in June 1941. The Trident was based at... Continue Reading →

Escape From POW Camp? It Might Be In the Cards

Escape maps were printed on Bicycle playing cards distributed to Allied prisoners of war during World War II. The deck of cards was specifically created to help Allied prisoners of war escape from German POW camps. This deck of cards became known as the “map deck.” It was made by hiding maps of top-secret escape... Continue Reading →

One Little Letter Makes All the Difference

Japanese speakers frequently have difficulty differentiating between the English letters "L" and "R". This was particularly evident in 1950 when supporters of General Douglas MacArthur (then serving as military governor of Japan during the post-war occupation) tried to encourage him to run in the next US Presidential election. While the general undoubtedly appreciated the vote... Continue Reading →

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