Wednesday, December 28, 2011

P-3 Orion Touch and Go

It happens everyday around the United States.  The men in charge of protecting this nation practice their profession.  Pilots need to keep proficient and be ready for the day they are needed.  Today, I just happened to have my camera and be in the right place at the right time.

A Navy P-3C Orion, flying from Whidbey Island NAS, made some touch and goes this morning.  My daughter and I were fortunate that our location and schedule permitted us to watch him make a few passes.

After a quick perusal of the NAS Whidbey Island site, I suspect this one is from VP-40, the Fighting Marlins.  Of course, the military is notoriously tight-lipped about such things, so getting a straight answer is unlikely.  Believe me, I tried calling.  I'm not certain what good that kind of information could do anyone with bad intentions, but I would not want to put any fighting men/women at risk, so I'll leave it at that.

 The P-3 is an anti-submarine maritime patrol aircraft.  When hunting submarines the tail boom is used to search for magnetic anomalies, which a submarine would qualify as, since it is a large chunk of metal in an otherwise, non-metallic area.  To track a submarine they can also launch sono-buoys, which can either actively or passively listen for the movements of a large underwater vessel and transmit what it hears back to the aircraft.  You can see where sono-buoys are launched from, the area of dots inside the rectangle near the tail.

As a patrol aircraft, it's duty is to go for long flights over vast distances.  Why they train over land is beyond me, but I am certain it has something to do with availability of runways.  Who knows?
 Never let it be said that the boys in uniform are just taking it easy.  These guys were working hard today!  I just wish they'd drop me an email so I could be prepared with my camera!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Seventy Years Ago

It has been 70 years ago, today, since the Japanese Empire sent naval units and aircraft to attack units of the United States Navy.  Though the Japanese planners had hoped to catch the US carriers in port, they instead succeeded in changing the way the US Navy fought its wars.  By placing the US Pacific Battle Line on the bottom, the Japanese opened up a chance for US planners to use an, up to then, unproven technology as the main way for the US to take war to the enemy.  Of course, I am speaking of the Aircraft Carrier.

There was another way that the USN took the war to the enemy.  Unrestricted Submarine Warfare.

Still, even though it took four more years to finish the war, our first bloody nose was a painful one.  Though the experts never seem to agree, I go with this number:  2400.  2400 men.  Two thousand, four hundred men lost their lives.  The United States armed forces, both the Navy and the Army, were caught with their pants down.  You can talk about conspiracy theories all day long, that doesn't matter.  In the long run, 2400 families lost loved ones that day, and that was only a drop in the bucket.

That is why I think it appropriate that we all spend a few minutes and think of the men and women who either gave part of their lives, themselves, or died for our country and their fellow soldiers.  I would like to personally thank every one of them, but that will never happen, so I'll do it here.  Thank you.  And to you who serve now, Thank you.

I also value the inanimate.  I think of the battleships on Battleship Row.  Arizona, you gave all.  Oklahoma, you sailed again, but under tow and only to founder after the war.  West Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, California, and Nevada you all went back to sea and even managed to bring some much needed revenge back to the enemy who holed you.

Always remember the Day of Infamy.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

F-8 Pilot Flies Through Storm

This is a short post about William Rankin, a WWII and Korean War pilot.  He made an unscheduled departure from his F-8 Crusader and spent the next forty or so minutes floating around in a thundercloud.  You might be interested in reading it, and if so, you are in luck!  Here is the link.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Some Interesting Items

This is from an email the Flying Heritage Museum sent me (not because I'm special, but because I signed up for their emails) and I am sharing it with you because I am fairly certain I am one of the few nerds that does that and also that you probably don't.
The rare Ilyushin Il-2M “Shturmovik” attack plane recently completed in Russia is headed to the Flying Heritage Collection (FHC) in Everett, Wash.  Expect it sometime next year. The aircraft is the only flying example of its type left in the world.
You may know that the Il-2 Shturmovik was a ground attack aircraft that the Germans feared in WWII.  It had particularly thick skin.  It carried particularly heavy weaponry intended for ground attack, the targets mainly being tanks.  Think of the German Junker Ju-87 with a few more things on it to make it survive.  All in all, it's a cool aircraft.  You can learn more about it here.
This image from Wikipedia
The second interesting item is that the US has dismantled it's most powerful bomb.  The B-53 was 12 feet long and a little more than 4 feet in diameter and could detonate with a power of 9 megatons of TNT!  Now these behemoths are gone.  You can read more about them here.  If you want to read about the dismantlement of them you can read about it here and here.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sad Events

Sad events occurred over the weekend.  A heavily modified P-51 was lost and a T-28 was also lost.  Both in air shows.

The P-51 was a heavily modified racer with clipped wings and modified canopy.  He was in Reno and seems to have managed to avoid a greater number of people than the now confirmed nine people.

The T-28 was lost in West Virginia.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ewa Field, Hawaii

photo from here

On December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States was attacked by forces of the Empire of Japan.  This action resulted in the sinking or disabling of much of the United States Navy's major fleet units.  This action also caused the United States to be catapulted into World War II.  This is a significant event.

I always have found it more interesting to learn about things that I could see, touch, or experience.  As I have mentioned in the past, I have been to the B-Reactor site and stood where Enrico Fermi stood when they brought that reactor on-line in September of 1944.  The ability to stand in the footprints of those who came before allows you to visualize better what those who came before went through and experienced.

The US Navy has allowed many of its ships to be preserved and used as memorials to those who have fought and fallen for this great nation of ours.  However, I do not know of many land installations that have been preserved for the same purpose.  It has come to my attention, thanks to the efforts of John Bond at , that the small airfield of Ewa near Honolulu, Hawaii, is in danger of being erased.  This field figured prominently in the Pearl Harbor attack.

Should a photo-voltaic power station be constructed on the field, thus cutting it off from the public, or off the field?  I am in agreement with those at in that it should be located OFF the field.

You can help preserve the field for later generations.  Write a letter, of use this one

850 Ticonderoga Street, Suite #110
JBPHH, HI 96860-5101

Dear Sirs,

I believe the best option for preservation of the December 7, 1941 Ewa Field
Battlefield Site, in a report which has been researched and distributed by
Navy Region Hawaii, is for the proposed Photo-Voltaic Solar Panel farm to be
placed OFF the historic battlefield runway and in an area below it. This
would allow both historic preservation and renewable energy generation and
be a win-win solution for all concerned.

The Photo-Voltaic Solar Panel farm developer, Hunt Corp of Texas, has
already drawn up an alternate location proposal which would meet the same
needs for solar power generation, and which also meets the National Park
Service recommendation as well as the public opinion of many in the local
community of Ewa which would like to see the battlefield site preserved for
a future National Park and National Landmark.

Your Name
and Organization

FASTEST WAY- EMAIL your text, Doc or PDF TO:

I hope you will do this immediately!

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Sad Day

Today, June 13, 2011, one of the few flight-worthy B-17s left in the world made an emergency landing in a field.  The engine was on fire and the fire spread leading to the total destruction of the air frame.  You can read more about the loss of the Liberty Belle here.

This image was taken from the Beacon News site, please see their article in the link above for more information and photos.

You can watch the FOX News video here.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

USS Triton, SSN-586

In 1959, the new submarine Triton was commissioned into the Navy.  This ship would become world famous quickly.  She was of a unique design and pushed the boundaries of submarine performance.

Designed as a radar picket, she was intended to range ahead of the fleet watching for air attacks.  For this she needed high surface-speed and was given a knife-like bow.  She also had two reactors...the only US submarine so fitted.  She was so long that her bow blocked the shipyard railway and her stern section was built in a second slipway and attached prior to launch.  Her conning tower was 74 feet long and 21feet longer than the US Navy's first submarine, USS Holland SS-1.  Her maximum surface speed was found to be over thirty knots on trials, faster than carrier task forces generally operated.   By 1961 she had been re-designated an Attack (SSN) sub.  Though she retained the radar that had been installed for her radar picket role and she was able to complement any force she was assigned to with this additional air-search radar.

As with other submarine designs in the mid to late fifties she was put to other uses than intended.  Her first mission was to circumnavigate the world under water (Yes, her maiden voyage was to steam around the world submerged, no tall orders or anything).  This record breaking statement of US submarine capabilities was an impressive first, it also told the Soviets what the US was capable of.

She was captained by the famous submarine author and WWII veteran Captain Edward L. Beach.  Her world tour under water, took 84 days to complete.

She was the last sub fitted with an aft torpedo room and the last sub to have a conning tower (with a separate pressure-hull within it). She was also the last sub with two propellers. 

She was decommissioned in 1969, and sat in the Bremerton retired sub fleet for years.  Finally, in 2007 she was dry-docked for the last time.  A little over two years later the job was done and she had been "recycled."  all that remains are memories, stories and the conning tower.

Where is her conning tower, you ask?  Well, it resides now, on a concrete plinth, overlooking the Columbia River.  She is there to memorialize submariners and in recognition of the numerous reactor cores from other retired submarines that have been offloaded from the Port of Benton Barge Slip and which are stored permanently on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

If you are interested in seeing the sail of this awesome sub with such an impressive history and you live in Washington State, or are visiting the Richland-Pasco-Kennewick area, it's not hard to find!  Any way you cut it, you'll probably approach the area from the South.

Take 240 North from the Tri-Cities until you have the choice of taking Stevens Drive or following 240.  Go straight on Stevens Drive.  Keep going until you come to a tree-lined boulevard, this is Battelle Boulevard, turn right onto it.  Follow this road until you come to a stop light.  This is George Washington Way.  Take a left on George Washington Way.  Go north until you get to 11th Street and take a right.  USS Triton's conning tower is about a block down on the left!  Alternatively you could take George Washington Way all the way from Richland, but that is a much slower way.

Here are some things you might like to know about the sub:

Laid Down on May 29, 1956
Launched August 19, 1958
Commissioned November 10, 1959
Decommissioned May 3, 1969

Length 447 feet
Beam 37 feet

Maximum speed:
30+ knots surfaced
27+ knots submerged

7,773 tons submerged
5,963 tons surfaced

6X 21" torpedo tubes (2 aft, 4 forward)

2X S4G nuclear reactors
2X 5 bladed props

She was awarded the Navy Unit Citation and the Presidential Unit Citation.

Links and sources:

USS Triton site

Navy's Triton site

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

747-800 Visit

Generally, I am the one visiting the aircraft, but just every once in awhile the aircraft visit me.  This is Boeing's newest iteration of the venerable 747.  This particular one is the freighter version that has been testing at Moses Lake.  Boeing has a significant presence at Grant County International Airport.  If you are interested in seeing more going's on at Boeing you can visit Matt Cawby's blog covering what goes on at Paine Field in Everett, Washington.  Boeing's Paine Field facility is busy and sometimes hosts the 747-800.

The company boasts that this 747 uses 787 engine technology and is therefore quieter than previous 747 models.  It may be quieter than previous models, but it sure got my attention when it flew over yesterday.  It is 250 feet in length and almost the same in wingspan.  That is no small airframe to be carting around the skies.  It's going to make some noise no matter what.

Also, last Friday an EA-18G visited...he didn't stick around long.

No, this doesn't quite qualify as history, but it is of local and aviation interest.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Osama Bin Laden Dead

This may not be closely related to Washington State, but it is related to hundreds and thousands of men and women in the service and even civilians.  Osama Bin Laden is dead.  I want to lift a glass to all the American and Allied men and women who have died in the past ten years attempting to track down Osama Bin Laden.  In addition I want to lift a glass to those who have perished in terrorist attacks in the past.  Finally, I want to lift a glass to those of you who are responsible for hunting down and disposing of that particular vermin.  Thank you!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Odds and Ends

Courtesy of Charissa Perry
 Busy weekend.  This shot of a V-22 was taken near Prosser, Washington yesterday, April 18.  No idea why  parts are apparently glowing apart from the light of the setting sun.  Apparently, last week, the V-22s came into Yakima International Airport and did some practice landings and a short demonstration for local residents.  I, unfortunately, was not in attendance.  Thanks to Charissa Perry for yet another wonderful photo!

There must have been some pretty large maneuvers going on at Yakima Training Center, since, on the way back from Seattle, we saw many Strykers (of all types: 105mm toting, APC type and sporting mounts for the 40mm grenade launcher), Humvees, various trucks, and several 155mm M198s.  As we drove by the center on I-82, there were still many vehicles and tents and communications devices set up near the freeway.

Through a happy accident, I managed to find myself at Boeing Field for a few minutes yesterday.
 There were several AEW&C (Airborne Early Warning and Control) aircraft sitting on the tarmac fitting out.  The one above is one meant for the Royal Australian Air Force, one of six planned.  Below is one meant for the Republic of Korea.  They are called "Wedgetails" by some because they are part of Project Wedgetail.  You can find some more info on them here.
 This one is meant for the Turkish Air Force.
There was an E-3 AWACS (Airborne Warning And Control System), this one from back in 1974.
 I could not make out the tail number of the one next to it, though.  Below is the 757 used in testing the avionics for the F-22.
As usual, your information and photos are welcome.  Just e-mail

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Osprey, Times Two

My sister saw the Osprey today.  She got photos.  Later in the afternoon they (two) flew by our house.  I managed to get outside without killing myself, but they were past the point of prime picture taking. and this is what I got.  One thing I noticed was a unique rhythmic drone.  Everyone I spoke to also complained of just how loud they were and how the windows shook when the Osprey went over.  We were farther off their flight track and did not get that phenomena.  Another thing was the relatively slow speed at which the rotors?  propellers?  move.  Most photos managed to freeze them.

 My sister, on the other hand, apparently lives right under their flight path.  She got three completely AWESOME PHOTOS!!!!!  I want to thank Charissa Perry for her donation of photos to this blog.  As you can see from her photos they were flying remarkably low.  She was also very quick with her camera, because I SAW how fast they flew.
Photo Courtesy of Charissa Perry

Photo Courtesy of Charissa Perry

Photo Courtesy of Charissa Perry
 This last is an enlargement of one of my photos...nothing compared to Mrs. Perry's.

Osprey in Washington State?

According to a relatively reliable source (and by that, I mean a relative: My sister) there are V-22 Ospreys flying in South Central Washington (Prosser area)!  If anyone has any corroborating information, along with where they are operating from, and where they are going, I would appreciate ANY news!  I will attempt to post photos as soon as I get some!  An Osprey is the ambitious mating of a helicopter and an airplane.  This gawky looking aircraft is faster than a helicopter, but has the VTOL capabilities of a helicopter.  They are the product of over thirty years development, probably more.  As far as I know, the USMC is the only operator at this time, but I am notoriously unreliable!

Here is what an MV-22 looks like (I borrowed this photo from Military-Today).

Other sitings recently include a pair of F-18s, a C-130, a C-17, and a P-3, all in the Yakima area.  If you are in Washington State and would like to contribute sitings, feel free to leave a comment, I welcome it.

There are certain places where activity is expected, for instance, Whidbey NAS, McChord AFB, and Fairchild AFB, however, recently Fairchild moved many of its assets to Moses Lake, at Grant County International Airport.  One would expect C-17s, KC-135s, and EG-18Gs from those places.  Portland International hosts ANG F-15s.  Other aircraft would likely be transient.

Take, for example, this C-130 that passed over my house tonight.  Where the heck is he from and why didn't he fly lower, so I could get a better picture?  Here are my pictures.

That is much too small to see detail.  Try this:

This is obviously a C-130, but what model?  Have a look at the lumps and bumps. 

  So, what is it?  Is it an MC-130?  The picture below is an MC-130 (borrowed from the USAF).

It doesn't seem to have the requisite lumps amidships, though, how about this next one?
The lumps on the side seem too large, but at least they are there, but this one is missing the lump on the nose, hanging down.  It seems like a FLIR (Forward Looking InfraRed) turret.  I am leaning toward an MC-130 that has some sort of sensor or antennae in that amidships position.  What do you think??

So, let's have some comments, folks!  Update me!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Shuttle, Go/No Go? NOOOOO!!!!

Unfortunately, the Shuttle will NOT be coming to Washington State.  The decision was made and the four shuttles will go, one each, to the Udvar-Hay part of the Smithsonian, The Intrepid Air and Space Museum in New York, Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and, the most disappointing to me, the California Science Center in Los Angeles.  Actually, two of those are disappointing.

The Intrepid is an aircraft carrier, that shuttle will NOT fit on a hangar deck.  I assume they plan on housing it in some shore based facility.  Still, so close to the water's edge, makes me nervous for a national treasure.  New York in not a large island, so the facility will likely bring a huge price tag and being on the other end of the country, I will not be visiting it often.  (This last point is the one that I REALLY think NASA should have taken into account.)

As for the California Science Center, well, I've never heard of it until today.  Honestly, I assumed each state had one, but California's was not one I'd really heard of before.

But let's look at the map, shall we?  Shouldn't the shuttles be spread out more?  Maybe one in each corner of the US?  Or maybe one in the middle, say...the USAF Museum in Ohio?  Or something closer to absolute center like Kansas or Nebraska?  Obviously, NASA was determined to reach the largest masses of people, but the WEST COAST is growing.  Give us a chance.  Washington could have housed an orbiter in style.

You can see more here, on the NASA site.  And here you can read at "A Field Guide To American Spacecraft" from last week, this fellow works for NASA and he thought Seattle had a fair chance, too.

Fingers Crossed for a Seattle Shuttle!

Nasa decides where to display the Space Shuttles, as they retire, TODAY!  So, this afternoon we will know if Seattle's Boeing Museum of Flight gets one! We can only hope!  See here:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

UH-72A at YTC

The US Army's newest light utility helicopter has made it to the Yakima Training Center.  It's been there the last couple months, but being the new father of a toddler, it takes me longer to catch up on changes.  It is here to replace the base's aging UH-1s.  The UH-72A Lakota is produced here in the US by Eurocopter (EADS North America).

I saw this one fly over last week and wrongly assumed it to be a modified OH-58, but a little research and an article in Combat Aircraft led me to this site.

So, lets welcome the new addition to the inventory.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

EA-18G Growler

The EA-18G Growler is the replacement for the EA-6 Prowler.  Both birds are electronic warfare aircraft.  The Prowlers had been used for several decades and frequently flew over our house, near Yakima.  The Prowlers have been retired and the replacement, the EA-18G Growlers, have taken over.  Today was the first time I had seen one of these making a touch and go, or, at least simulated touch and go.  The weather has precluded me seeing much in the sky, not to mention I am usually at work when they do fly over.  Today, however, I managed to SEE one AND take a picture, though it was already past by the time I got the camera, but here you go!  Look forward to better shots this summer.

I had to do a little post processing to get detail.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

F-86F #51-13352

In the spring of 1954, the US was standing in the shadow of an uneasy truce with North Korea.  Stalin had recently passed away to be replaced by the first in a number of communist leaders, none of whom were particularly fond of the United States or capitalist pigs!  The Cold War was going on in earnest.  On the bright side, the US had just had the opportunity to test new war fighting gear in Korea.  One of these new items was the wonder-fighter F-86, which racked up an impressive record against Russian built MiGs.

The F-86A was far superior to the straight-winged F-51s, F-80s, and F-84s.  Those less than suitable fighters were soon put into the ground attack role.  The F-86s, more often than not, flew top cover, guarding the Hogs and Stars in the mud below.

The F-86 was rushed into service in Korea when the F-80s and F-84s proved unsuitable in the air-to-air role.  Still, it would be nice if there was something that could drop bombs AND fight off the MiGs.  So, North American began developing a version of the F-86 that was also suited to the ground attack role.

The F-86F was one of these ground attack F-86s.  It was actually used in Korea.  It had four wing stores positions and six .50 caliber machine guns.

In May of 1954, there were several F-86Fs at McChord AFB. The men of the 435th Fighter Squadron, part of the 479th Fighter Group, out of George AFB, California, were serving at McChord for a short time.  They were there for training no doubt.  On the morning of May 28, 1954, 2nd lt. Jack Moore was set to be wingman on a flight of two for a simulated strafing and napalm mission against aggressor forces on a hilltop.  Moore was flying F-86F #51-13352, a Block 25 aircraft built at North American Aviation's Columbus, Ohio plant.

This mission was part of a joint Air Force and Army maneuver that was being conducted at the Yakima Firing Range.  

The mission called for a two ship flight flown by Second Lieutenant Harry E. Payne and Second Lieutenant Jack Moore.  Their call sign was "Hades Black."  Payne flew lead.  Weather in the target area was set with a ceiling of 10,000 feet with a ten mile visibility.  When they got to the target area, Payne could not contact the Forward Air Controller, call sign "Blanket Control," so Moore took the lead and the two began conducting some runs on the enemy position.

After four simulate runs on the target, number two (Payne) called Bingo, or low fuel.  Moore, in the lead, said they would make one final pass.  The targets were two trucks on top of a ridge.  Moore made a pass over the trucks, turning left.  He then failed to pull up over the next ridge and struck the ridge approximately 75 feet from the crest.  The aircraft exploded upon impact, scattering wreckage for approximately 1200 yards.  Lt. Payne reported Moore's loss and returned to base without incident.

The recommendations of the investigating committee were:
1.) Wing, Group, and Squadron leaders should be reviewed for adequacy.
2.) A greater emphasis be placed on the importance of observing minimum altitudes during briefings on missions of this type.
3.) That this accident be brought to the attention of all flying personnel.

Others said of Second Lieutenant Moore:  He was well liked.  He was unmarried.  Considered a "Tiger" and a good pilot but he took some chances.  Born in October of 1930, he was only 24 when he died.

The accident is listed as having taken place 28 miles East North East of Yakima, yet the coordinates given show it to be approximately 40 miles to the East, though that is unlikely, since that is farm country.

One thing that is rarely mentioned in all of flying lore, is the losses incurred by training.  One suspects that these losses far outweigh those incurred in combat.  So ended the career of both Second Lieutenant Jack Moore and his F-86F, #51-13352.

If you have any information on this loss, I would be very interested in hearing from you.


Accident report of #51-13352

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

McChord Air Museum is OPEN!!!!

Yes, you heard right.  I was doing a little research yesterday and discovered that sometime in December McChord Air Museum became open to the public.  All you need is your driver's license, and proof of insurance and your vehicle registration to get a visitor's pass.  It's free!  This is the first time since shortly after 9/11 that McChord Air Museum has been open to the public (that I know of).

You can check out their site, here.

Among their collection, which is impressive for not being a museum associated with an aircraft company, are such rarities as a C-124!  They also have a rare C-82 Packet and a B-23 Dragon.

There are fighters to be sure, among them are the F-106, F-102, and the F-101.  There is also an A-10.  Considering the history of McChord as a long time Air Defense Command base, it is too bad there is no P-61 or F-82, both of which are such rare items that most museum curators would probably resort to dire measures indeed to obtain one.

I visited McChord Air Museum long ago, before even the first Gulf War.  I was young, but have vivid memories.  They did not have the C-124 on display at the time.  If they did we did not see it.  I highly recommend a trip to see this museum, which houses a few aircraft that other local museums DO NOT!

Go out and visit and Air Museum today!

**UPDATE***  July 2013****  The Museum is only open on Wednesday and Thursday for a few limited hours due to the sequestration.  Thanks Congress.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

HMS Caroline, Jutland Veteran, May Be Scrapped!

The HMS Caroline is the last remaining ship from the Battle of Jutland still afloat.  The Royal Navy intends to decommission and scrap her.

I, too, am troubled by this turn of events.  Writing a congressman will not work, but perhaps, if you are so inclined, you could find a way to drop the Royal Navy or the Ministry of Defense a note telling them that the Yanks would love for them to keep this OLD SHIP!  She's a veteran of WWI for crying out loud!

Here's where I found it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

MiG Over Washington??

Washington State has several interesting and worth-while visiting museums.  They all seem to be on the West side of the Cascades.  Museum of Flight, Olympic Flight Museum, Flying Heritage Museum, and the new Historic Flight Foundation.  It's this last one that has a new addition to its collection.

Drum roll please....

A MiG-29!  Mr. Cawby runs the KPAE Paint Field blog and monitors the goings on there.  He posted a couple photos of the Historic Flight Foundation's new MiG doing some test flights.  You can also become a fan on Facebook if you'd like to see more photos and up to date news of the museum.

Monday, February 7, 2011

USS Los Angeles Decommissioned

Navy Bids Farewell To Trailblazing USS Los Angeles

The nuclear attack submarine, USS Los Angeles (SSN-688), lead ship of the largest nuclear submarine class ever, was decommissioned on February 4th in Bremerton, Washington.  Follow the link for the full story.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Johnny Willow

When I was a kid I dug through my Dad's 45 rpm collection.  He had a decent collection, but two that stood out to me were the "Balad of the Green Beret" and "Johnny Willow."  The former I have seen various places, the latter, until today, I have only found in its original format, by Fred Darian.  The Johnny Willow I sing is different from this 1943 version that Darian sings.  The one I know is by Frankie Laine.  Well, I found it today.

It and The Ballad of the Green Beret are considered by some as the only two Pro-Vietnam songs.  I don't know if you can call them that, since they seem to be songs that celebrate the virtues found in American Fighting Men, rather than celebrating a particular war or action.

Here, for your listening pleasure, is Frankie Laine's Johnny Willow.


and here, just in case you aren't familiar with it, is The Ballad of the Green Beret.