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13 April 1943
War in the Air
Bombers based in England make a 1,500 mile round trip to attack Spezia, Italy
The USAAF carries out ten raids over Kiska
Dedication of Jefferson Memorial
On April 13, 1943, the Jefferson memorial in Washington, DC, was officially dedicated.
In the early 1900s, citizens of Washington, DC, recognized that a site on the shore of the Potomac River’s Tidal Basin, directly south of the White House, would be an ideal place for a high-profile monument. The Senate Park Commission proposed that a Pantheon-like structure be built there with “the statues of the illustrious men of the nation, or whether the memory of some individual shall be honored by a monument of the first rank may be left to the future.” But no further action was taken.
In 1918, the area was made into a beach, but it closed in 1925. That same year, the district held a design competition for a memorial in honor of Theodore Roosevelt. John Russell Pope’s design won, but Congress never allocated funds and the memorial was never built.
US #1520b – Jefferson memorial imperforate error pair.
Then in 1934, President Franklin Roosevelt, a long-time admirer of Jefferson, suggested to the Commission of Fine Arts that they erect a memorial to Jefferson as part of the Federal Triangle Project. That year Congressman John J. Boylan supported Roosevelt’s proposal and pushed Congress to establish the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Commission. He succeeded and eventually received $3 million for the project.
US #3647 includes hidden printing that can only be seen through a special decoder lens.
The Commission selected John Russell Pope, architect of the National Archives Building and original west building of the National Gallery of Art. Pope created plans for four different sites, and the Commission ultimately selected the one on the Tidal Basin because it was the most prominent site. Pope died before construction began, but his partners took over the project.
Construction finally began on December 15, 1938. And less than a year later, on November 15, 1939, President Roosevelt laid the cornerstone in a special ceremony. He called the memorial America’s “third great shrine” (following the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial). He went on to say, “In the current era in the erection of noble buildings in all parts of the country we recognize the enormous influence of Jefferson in the American application of classic art to homes and public buildings – an influence that makes itself felt today in the selection of the design for this very shrine for which we are laying the cornerstone.”
US #UX144 – 1989 Jefferson Memorial First Day Post Card.
In spite of the support of Congress and the president, the memorial faced opposition even as it was being built. The Commission on Fine Arts never approved the memorial and printed a pamphlet opposing its design and location. Many people within the district opposed the memorial because it wasn’t part of the city’s original plan, created by Pierre L’Enfant. There was also outrage because the memorial’s construction meant the chopping down of cherry trees and flowering dogwoods. Eventually the design was made more conservative (some of the trees had to be removed, but more were planted) and construction was able to move forward.
US #4651-52 – Cherry blossom centennial stamps picture the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial.
America’s entry into World War II slowed progress on the Memorial. Scheduled to be completed in 1941, it wasn’t done until 1943. That year, on April 13 (Jefferson’s 200th birthday) Roosevelt officially dedicated the monument. The ceremony was short – just 15 minutes. There was supposed to be a 19-foot tall bronze statue of Jefferson inside the memorial, but material shortages brought on by the war made that impossible. Instead, they placed a plaster cast of the statue painted in bronze in the center. The completed 10,000-pound statue was installed in 1947.
US #3647 – Jefferson Memorial Plate Block First Day Cover.
The memorial was designed to reflect Jefferson’s admiration of Roman architecture. The building is open to the elements and features circular marble steps, a portico, Ionic order columns, and a shallow dome. Passages of Jefferson’s writings are engraved on the walls.
The Memorial was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966 and in 2007 the American Institute of Architects ranked it fourth on the “List of America’s Favorite Architecture”.
Click here to read all or here to watch part of FDRs address at the 1943 dedication ceremony.
Clifford E. Mosier using a sextant, LST-325 CO, 1943-1945
Bay of Tunis, July 1943, LST-325 is loaded up for the invasion of Sicily
LST-325 arrived in Oran on 13 April 1943 and spent the next three months going between the ports of Arzew and Mostaganem. During this time she practiced loading and beaching operations with various American and English Army units. On 28 June LST-325 arrived at La Goulette in the Bay of Tunis to prepare for Operation HUSKY, the invasion of Sicily.
On July 10 LST-325, as part of the KOOL Force (the floating reserve for the DIME Force going ashore at Gela) left Tunis, arriving in the Bay of Gela on 11 July. They remained here until the morning of the 12th before unloading the vehicles and men of the 1st Armored Division onto LCTs. They made six more trips to Sicily in support of the offensive before Messina fell on 17 August, twice bringing back loads of Italian prisoners.
On 6 September 1943 while in Bizerte, Tunisia four members of the crew were injured during an air raid. On 13 September LST-325 sailed as part of the Northern Attack Force in support of the invasion at Salerno, Italy carrying elements of the 40th Royal Tank Regiment. Four members of the crew and four British soldiers were injured during an attack by German fighter-bombers as the ship entered the attack area. LST-325 made four trips to the beachhead at Salerno, the last trip carrying members of a Ceylanese infantry regiment from Tripoli, Libya.
In late October 1943 LST-325 returned to Oran, leaving there on 12 November as part of a large convoy of ships for England. On 21 November the convoy was attacked by German bombers using the new remote-controlled glider-bombs. Several transport ships were sunk and one passenger aboard LST-325 was severely wounded by shrapnel. LST-325 entered Plymouth, England on Thanksgiving Day, 25 November 1943.
Unloading across pontoon causeway at Salerno, September 1943
LST 325 Crew photograph, circa 1944
From December 1943 until March 1944 LST-325 was involved in several training exercises along the southwestern English coast before receiving upgrades in preparation for what was to come. On 5 June 1944 LST-325 sailed from Falmouth, England carrying elements of the 5th Special Engineer Brigade. LST-325 was part of Force "B", the back-up force for the troops going ashore at Omaha Beach on 6 June. On 7 June they anchored off Omaha Beach and unloaded the men and vehicles onto DUKW's and LCM's.
Low tide on a Normandy beach, 12 June 1944
German P.O.W.s disembarking. Courtesy of Mrs. Lloyd Mosby
Between June 1944 and the end of April 1945 LST-325 made 43 round trips between England and France, unloading at Omaha, Utah, Gold, Juno and the city of Rouen on the Seine River. Twice they carried loads of ammunition from Omaha Beach to St. Michel on the western shore of the Cotentin peninsula for the Army besieging the port city of Brest. On 28 December 1944 the LST-325 helped rescue approximately 700 men from the troop transport S.S. Empire Javelin, which had been torpedoed off the coast of France. Lt. Comdr. Mosier was awarded the Bronze Star for this rescue.
On 12 May 1945 LST-325 sailed with a convoy from Belfast, Ireland to return to the United States. Two days out from Belfast the convoy was hit by a terrific storm and scattered. LST-325 slammed bow first into a monstrous wave and a crack developed across the main deck. Ship fitters were able to save the ship by welding steel plates across the damaged hull. Blessed by fair weather the rest of the way LST-325 sailed into Norfolk, Virginia on 31 May 1945.
Have You Heard?: The Secret Mission to Kill Yamamoto
Talkative Americans—including the fighter pilots (pictured) who shot down and killed Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto—risked revealing that the United States could read the Japanese naval code.
University of Texas at Dallas, Eugene McDermott Library
T hey did it. On April 18, 1943, 16 U.S. Army Air Forces fighter pilots from Guadalcanal flew more than 400 miles to ambush Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto as he flew to Balalae airfield in the Solomon Islands. They sent the Japanese Combined Fleet’s commander in chief to a fiery grave in the jungles of Bougainville. The United States had exacted revenge against the architect of the Pearl Harbor attack and one of the Imperial Navy’s highest-ranking officers—but at what cost?
Behind the scenes, President Franklin D. Roosevelt reacted with glee, writing a mock letter of condolence to Yamamoto’s widow that circulated around the White House but was never sent:
Time is a great leveler and somehow I never expected to see the old boy at the White House anyway. Sorry I can’t attend the funeral because I approve of it.
Hoping he is where we know he ain’t.
/s/ Franklin D. Roosevelt
Ironically, the success of the mission, aptly named Operation Vengeance, threatened to expose the most important secret of the Pacific War: the U.S. Navy’s ability to read the Japanese navy’s top-secret JN-25 operational code. If the Japanese suspected a broken code had led to Yamamoto’s death, they would drastically overhaul all their military codes and the United States would lose its priceless strategic advantage. As nervous commanders waited to see if there would be a day of reckoning, America’s own servicemen would prove to be the gravest threat to this crucial secret.
Yamamoto, then 59, was one of the most hated men in America. Not only had he planned the attack on Pearl Harbor almost as galling, he had reportedly bragged that he was “looking forward to dictating peace to the United States in the White House.” In reality, he had never made this boast. It was a product of Japanese propaganda, but Americans took it as the gospel truth.
American WWII Propaganda Poster featuring Yamamoto (World History Archive / Alamy)
The Japanese navy, widely deployed throughout the Pacific, heavily relied on coded radio transmissions to send many of its most secret messages—and the U.S. Navy was listening. American cryptanalysts had broken the latest version of the JN-25 code just in time for the Battle of Midway in June 1942. With advance knowledge of Japanese plans, the outgunned U.S. Navy inflicted a stunning defeat on a superior enemy force.
The cryptanalysts were about to score again.
In early April 1943, Yamamoto planned a one-day inspection trip from Rabaul to bases around the southern tip of Bougainville. In preparation, his staff sent the itinerary to local commanders. Although the staff wanted Yamamoto’s schedule hand-delivered to Bougainville, Japan’s Eighth Fleet naval headquarters was so confident in the security of the JN-25 code that it sent the message by radio.
The Japanese had modified parts of their JN-25 code on April 1, as they periodically did, but for U.S. Navy code-breakers it was only a temporary setback—the basic code system remained unchanged. Therefore, American cryptanalysts could soon read large parts of new messages. On April 14, they intercepted and decoded Yamamoto’s travel schedule. It was a code-breaker’s dream. As he read it, Marine Lieutenant Colonel Alva Lasswell, one of the top cryptanalysts, exclaimed, “We’ve hit the jackpot.”
The decoded itinerary not only included the date and precise times for Yamamoto’s upcoming visits to the bases on Bougainville, but also revealed that he would be flying in a twin-engine bomber escorted by only six fighter planes. Ironically, his inspection tour was set for April 18, 1943, exactly one year after the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo.
Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, conferred with Commander Edwin T. Layton, his chief intelligence officer. They understood that this could be their only chance to get Yamamoto because it might be the closest he would ever venture to the front. They calculated that American P-38 Lightning fighters based on Guadalcanal could fly the more than 800-mile round trip distance to Balalae airfield and back.
The mission to intercept Yamamoto fell to the 339th Fighter Squadron and its P-38G aircraft—like those above. (National Archives)
Nimitz knew that if the Japanese thought Yamamoto had been ambushed, they could suspect their code had been broken and change it. He decided the risk was worth it, because the Japanese had no one of comparable stature to replace Yamamoto. To be safe, he and Layton concocted a cover story: that Australian coastwatchers hiding in the jungles of Rabaul had tipped them off.
Nimitz ordered Admiral William F. Halsey, commanding the area of operations that included Guadalcanal, to get Yamamoto. Like Nimitz, Halsey was concerned the mission would endanger their code-breaking secrets. Nimitz said he would assume responsibility for the risk and suggested that every effort “be made to make the operation appear fortuitous. Best of luck and good hunting.” Halsey’s headquarters transmitted the order: “Talleyho. Let’s get the bastard.”
On April 18 at 7:10 a.m., 18 P-38s took off from the Fighter II airstrip on Guadalcanal. Each twin-boom fighter was fitted with external fuel tanks to extend its range to over 1,000 miles for the mission—made longer by the need to take a circuitous route to avoid Japanese radar. A flat tire on takeoff and a mechanical failure reduced the flight to 16 planes.
Shortly before 10 a.m. near Empress Augusta Bay on Bougainville, the American pilots spotted two Japanese G4M Betty bombers and their escorting A6M Zero fighters. The P-38s’ bullets and cannon shells quickly downed both bombers, and the one carrying Yamamoto crashed into the jungles of Bougainville. One American pilot, Lieutenant Raymond K. Hine, was lost in the ensuing fight. The U.S. Army Air Forces later credited two other pilots—Lieutenant Rex T. Barber and Captain Thomas G. Lanphier Jr.—with the kill.
Although the mission was successful, bitter disputes arose from claims by (left to right) Thomas G. Lanphier Jr., Besby F. Holmes, and Rex T. Barber over who actually shot down the enemy bombers. The U.S. Army Air Forces officially credited both Lanphier and Barber with downing Yamamoto’s aircraft, but disputes continue to this day. (National Archives)
At every stage, planners had stressed the need for secrecy. But even before the P-38s had landed, security was compromised.
As the returning planes neared Guadalcanal, Lanphier radioed to the control tower: “That son of a bitch will not be dictating any peace terms in the White House.” Lanphier’s announcement was shocking to others on the mission. Air-to-ground messages were broadcast in the clear, and the Japanese monitored American aviation frequencies. Lanphier’s message left little to the imagination. Bystanders on Guadalcanal, including a young navy officer named John F. Kennedy, watched as Lanphier executed a victory roll over the field before landing. “I got him!” Lanphier announced to the crowd after climbing out of his cockpit. “I got that son of a bitch. I got Yamamoto.”
Halsey and Nimitz heard of the success from a secure message, which concluded with: “April 18 seems to be our day.” Halsey jokingly expressed regret, saying he had hoped to give Yamamoto a trip to the White House “up Pennsylvania Avenue in chains.” He passed along his congratulations to the “hunters,” saying it sounded as though “one of the ducks in their bag was a peacock.” When General Douglas MacArthur heard the news, he later wrote, “One could almost hear the rising crescendo of sound from the thousands of glistening white skeletons at the bottom of Pearl Harbor.”
Meanwhile, U.S. officials were trying to make it appear as if the attack on Yamamoto had been sheer happenstance. Over the next few weeks, they repeatedly sent P-38s to Balalae to give the impression that the long journey was a regular mission for American fighter patrols. Additionally, American officials made no public statements to suggest they knew that Yamamoto had been killed. Despite their best-laid plans, officials had forgotten to factor in human nature: people talk.
The secret spread quickly on Guadalcanal, a bustling base humming with activity. Servicemen openly discussed the mission’s details, which soon became common knowledge on the island. With men arriving and leaving every day, the truth was impossible to contain. Eventually, the story spread so widely that it became the subject of cocktail party gossip in Washington, leading at least one citizen, concerned at hearing the loose talk about sensitive operational details, to directly call U.S. Army chief of staff General George C. Marshall.
Chatty pilots became the most serious threat to the code-breaking secret. After the successful mission, the two fliers credited with downing Yamamoto—Lanphier and Barber—enjoyed 10 days of leave in New Zealand. The two were golfing with Brigadier General Dean Strother when an Associated Press correspondent, J. Norman Lodge, approached them. The reporter seemed to know a lot about the Yamamoto mission and, using an old reporter’s trick, asked the pilots to just clarify some details. Amazingly, Lanphier and Barber talked candidly and freely about the mission. Although Strother told Lodge to forget about a story because it would never clear the military censors, the reporter was not easily deterred.
On May 11, 1943, Lodge filed his story with the censors for transmission back home. Although he did not mention the breaking of Japanese codes, he wrote that American “intelligence had trailed Yamamoto for five days” and that American pilots had specifically targeted him. The story included Lanphier’s description of the mission and quoted Strother as saying that the U.S. military had known Yamamoto’s itinerary.
If Lodge’s story had seen the light of day, the JN-25 code might have quickly become a thing of the past. Not only did his story show that the United States knew of Yamamoto’s death, which Japan had not announced, but also that the Americans had known Yamamoto’s location. No Australian coastwatcher would have known his precise schedule a compromised JN-25 code was the only explanation.
The censors could not believe what they read. They quickly passed the story up the chain of command. Nimitz immediately ordered Halsey to “secure and seal in safe” Lodge’s notes and story. He told Halsey to “initiate immediate corrective measures and take disciplinary action as warranted.”
After interviewing loose-lipped pilots Lanphier and Barber, Associated Press correspondent J. Norman Lodge (above) filed a story that would have inadvertently revealed to the Japanese the extent of America’s ability to read their codes. (Courtesy of J. Norman Lodge)
Lanphier, Barber, and Strother returned from leave to find a summons to meet Halsey on his flagship. When they arrived, an irate Halsey refused to return their salutes and simply stared at them. When he finally erupted, the bombastic Halsey outdid himself. As Barber recalled:
He started in on a tirade of profanity the like of which I had never heard before. He accused us of everything he could think of from being traitors to our country to being so stupid that we had no right to wear the American uniform. He said we were horrible examples of pilots of the Army Air Force, that we should be court-martialed, reduced to privates, and jailed for talking to Lodge about the Yamamoto mission.
Halsey’s bark was worse than his bite he simply reduced their Medal of Honor recommendations to the second-highest valor award, Navy Crosses.
On May 21, 1943, just over a month after the mission, Japan announced that Yamamoto had met a “gallant death on a war plane” while “engaged in combat with the enemy.” It was front-page news in the United States.
American officials kept up their façade about not knowing what had happened. The U.S. Office of War Information told reporters it thought Yamamoto had been killed in a passenger plane crash between Bangkok and Singapore on April 7, 1943. Other news accounts claimed he might have taken his own life because of recent Japanese setbacks. Reporters flocked to the White House, and the president’s reaction suggested the news was anything but a surprise. “Is he dead?” Roosevelt asked, “Gosh!” The president joined in the ensuing laughter, and all that was missing was a wink and a nod.
Then, two magazine articles poked holes in the American cover story.
The May 31, 1943, issue of Time magazine included a story on Yamamoto’s death. It ended with: “When the name of the man who killed Admiral Yamamoto is released, the U.S. will have a new hero.” That was incompatible with an accidental plane crash or suicide. In that same issue, another story described a mission in the South Pacific that mirrored Operation Vengeance. Although the story did not explicitly name Yamamoto, it described Lanphier shooting down a bomber and, on the way home, wondering if he “had nailed some Jap bigwig.” The implication was clear: the United States knew its fliers killed Yamamoto.
Loose talk about the mission continued and was so prevalent that General Marshall wanted to make an example of any officer caught talking about it. That officer happened to be Major General Alexander M. Patch, who had recently returned from Guadalcanal and subsequently discussed the mission at the Washington Press Club. Patch told Marshall that he “was unaware or unconscious that there was any further need for absolute secrecy regarding an enterprise which had occurred many weeks previously.” Marshall was amazed and angry that “a secret so dangerous to our interests should be publicly discussed.” Marshall was powerless, however, because disciplining an officer of Patch’s rank would have attracted more attention to the story and made matters worse.
It was not until the end of the war that the New York Times revealed the essential role that code-breaking had played in shooting down Yamamoto’s G4M Betty bomber—which remains in the jungles of Bougainville. (Air Force Magazine/Air Force Assoc.)
The publicity endangered not only the code-breaking secret but also Lanphier’s family. In late August 1943, Lanphier’s younger brother, Charles, was captured when his F4U-1 Corsair went down near Bougainville. As Halsey later wrote, if the Japanese “learned who had shot down Yamamoto, what they might have done to the brother is something I prefer not to think about.” Charles Lanphier died in captivity—without the Japanese realizing what his brother had done.
Despite all these missteps and close calls, the United States’ code-breaking secret held until the end of the war, and decoded messages continued to supply targets for American submarines, planes, and ships. “Despite temporary setbacks as a result of the Japanese introducing new additives or code books,” wrote Commander Layton, Nimitz’s chief intelligence officer, “there was never a sustained period when we were not able to read communications in the principal JN-25 operational system.”
The story behind Operation Vengeance became public less than two weeks after Japan’s formal surrender. “Yamamoto Death In Air Ambush Result of Breaking Foe’s Code,” blared a headline in the New York Times on September 10, 1945. The story, written by an Associated Press reporter, credited fellow reporter Lodge as the source for stating that Yamamoto had “met flaming death…because this country broke a Japanese code.” American fliers, the Associated Press reported, “knew in advance the course his aerial convoy was to follow and ambushed him.” Two years after he initially filed his story with the censors, Lodge finally had his scoop.
Even though the war was over, the navy was still upset by the story. Its officers were debriefing a high-level Japanese intelligence officer who had provided them with valuable information. The naval officers planned to interview other captured officers, too, but feared the code-breaking revelation might shame the Japanese officer into drastic action. “[W]e do not want him or any of our other promising prospects to commit suicide until after next week when we expect to have milked them dry,” radioed a navy officer based in Yokohama.
An exasperated navy department sent back a memorable reply:
Your lineal position on the list of those who are embarrassed by the Yamamoto story is five thousand six hundred ninety two. All of the people over whose dead bodies the story was going to be published have been buried. All possible schemes to localize the damage have been considered but none appears workable. Suggest that only course for you is to deny knowledge of the story and say you do not understand how such a fantastic tale could have been invented. This might keep your friend happy until suicide time next week, which is about all that can be expected.
The question remains: why didn’t the Japanese follow the clues and realize that their JN-25 code had been compromised? In retrospect, it is incomprehensible. Otis Cary, an American navy officer who debriefed Japanese naval officers after the war, wrote that while the Japanese suspected Yamamoto had been ambushed, they “never seemed to have considered seriously that we might be breaking their secret codes.” It is almost impossible to believe that if the shoe was on the other foot, American or British intelligence would not have figured out what had happened. It remains one of the great and enduring puzzles of the
Historian Donald A. Davis, author of Lightning Strike—an absorbing account of the Yamamoto mission—suggests the reason was hubris. The flaw, he wrote, was not in the code itself, “but in the arrogant and incredibly naïve Japanese belief that Western minds could not possibly understand the intricacies of their complex language, particularly when it was wrapped in dense codes. Despite all of the clues, hubris had overtaken them, and they were unwilling to accept the logical truth that their code was worthless.”
It was a flaw that cost Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto his life and hastened Japan’s defeat. ✯
Isoroku Yamamoto (show above in 1926) was quickly vilified as a symbol of Japanese treachery. (Library of Congress)
To wartime America, Isoroku Yamamoto personified Japanese treachery and arrogance because of the attack on Pearl Harbor and his alleged boast that he would dictate peace terms at the White House. He was, however, a man of many dimensions. With his death, the United States lost an enemy who, had he lived, might have become a valuable ally in helping to bring the Pacific War to a quicker resolution.
Yamamoto knew the United States well. He had studied economics at Harvard and had served as a naval attaché in Washington, where he became an avid poker player and socialized with some of the U.S. Navy officers he would later fight against. He was fluent in English and an admirer of Abraham Lincoln. He had traveled in the United States more widely than most Americans. He appreciated America’s potential might, having seen Detroit’s automobile factories, Pittsburgh’s steel mills, the wheat fields of the Midwest, and the Texas oil fields. He had been outspoken in opposing war with the United States and Japan’s alliance with Germany and Italy, earning death threats and the enmity of Japanese nationalists, who called him a traitor and pro-American.
Above all, he was a realist who knew that Japan, with its limited resources, could not stand toe-to-toe with the United States in a prolonged war. Three months before Pearl Harbor, he predicted that if war came, “I will run wild, and I will show you an uninterrupted succession of victories” for the first six to 12 months. After that, he admitted, “I have no confidence in our ultimate victory.” Instead of war, he urged continued diplomatic negotiations with the United States.
Some American intelligence officials thought that killing Yamamoto was a serious blunder since the Japanese war cabinet would never admit that the war was lost. With his realistic outlook, his status as a national hero, and his high standing with Emperor Hirohito, they felt that Yamamoto might have been the one man who could have persuaded the emperor to end the war before it became the to-the-death struggle it eventually was. That would have saved the thousands of lives that were lost after Japan’s defeat had become a fait accompli, but any chance for achieving earlier peace died along with Yamamoto.
Yamamoto’s boast about dictating peace terms at the White House was in fact the work of Japanese propagandists seeking to rub salt in America’s wounds. In a letter to a friend, Yamamoto had written that a war against the United States would not be easy because that country would fight long and hard:
It is not enough that we should take Guam and the Philippines or even Hawaii and San Francisco. We would have to march into Washington and sign the treaty in the White House.
In the afterglow of the Pearl Harbor attack, the Japanese media broadcast an inaccurate and self-serving version:
…I shall not be content merely to capture Guam and the Philippines and occupy Hawaii and San Francisco. I am looking forward to dictating peace to the United States in the White House at Washington.
From that point on, news stories about Yamamoto seldom failed to mention this boast, and stories about his death mocked it. “The Jap who looked forward to dictating peace to the U.S. in the White House is dead,” Time magazine announced. And the New York Times called him the man who bragged of dictating peace terms “from a seat in the White House.”
As for Pearl Harbor, Yamamoto understood America’s capable strength and knew that Japan’s only chance of success was the military equivalent of a first-round knockout. He therefore planned a surprise attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor—immediately following a Japanese declaration of war—that would immobilize the U.S. Navy while Japan seized the territory and resources it desired. Then Yamamoto would lure the remnants of the Pacific Fleet into a decisive battle, which would force a defeated United States to the peace table.
The admiral was so convinced that his plan was correct that he threatened to resign if his superiors did not approve it.
Yamamoto saw the irony in an anti-war admiral planning the attack that would start the war. “I find my present position extremely odd,” he wrote, “obliged to make up my mind and pursue unswervingly a course that is precisely the opposite of my personal views.”
The Japanese government planned to break off all negotiations with the United States before—but only minutes before—the first bomb fell on Pearl Harbor. According to historian Gordon W. Prange, it was “strictly a formalistic bow toward the conventions.”
Ambassador Kichisaburo Nomura was told to deliver to Secretary of State Cordell Hull a message breaking off negotiations promptly at 1 p.m. on December 7, 1941 (8 a.m. Hawaiian time). Because of delays in decoding and typing the message, however, Nomura did not arrive at the State Department until 2:05 p.m. (9:05 a.m. Hawaiian time). By then, the Pearl Harbor attack was under way.
Even if delivered on time, Nomura’s message would not have given the United States fair notice of war. The message did not declare war or even break off diplomatic relations. It simply ended negotiations. Japan did not formally declare war until hours after the attack. The Japanese Foreign Ministry had prepared a clearly worded declaration of war before the attack but chose not to have it delivered to Secretary Hull.
The inescapable conclusion is gamesmanship. The Japanese government wanted to orchestrate the attack so that it could receive the tactical benefits of a sneak attack but still be able to later deny that it was, in fact, a sneak attack.
How much Yamamoto knew of this gamesmanship still remains an open question. Cary, the navy officer who debriefed high-level Japanese naval officers shortly after the war, believed that the Japanese government had kept Yamamoto and the Japanese navy in the dark:
It had never occurred to the men I talked with that the plan was laid around the fact that the attack was going to take place before war had been declared. Certainly Admiral Yamamoto had not conceived of it as that, although he had made the decision that Hawaii would have to be attacked.
Yamamoto’s actions support this viewpoint. The weak resistance to the Pearl Harbor attack led him to suspect that the attack had come before a declaration of war. He asked an aide to investigate because, he said, “there’d be trouble if someone slipped up and people said it was a sneak attack.”
Yamamoto knew how the United States would react, and he was right. It was a sneak attack, and it did lead to trouble—trouble that ended in his death in the skies over Bougainville.
This story was originally published in the January/February 2017 issue of World War II magazine. Subscribe here.
July 25th, 1978 is a Tuesday. It is the 206th day of the year, and in the 30th week of the year (assuming each week starts on a Monday), or the 3rd quarter of the year. There are 31 days in this month. 1978 is not a leap year, so there are 365 days in this year. The short form for this date used in the United States is 7/25/1978, and almost everywhere else in the world it's 25/7/1978.
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The War Diary Of Will S. Arnett, 1st Lt. USAAF: April 13, 1943
The following story appears courtesy of and with thanks to Will Seaton Arnett, 1st Lt. USAAF and John S. Green.
There isn't much to say about this one except that it was long and tiresome. Our target was an airdrome at Sicily. There was from 70 to 100 planes on it and I'd be that there isn't over 25 of them intact right now. It was well covered. We lost a plane, it was hit in the left wing by flak and caused it to catch fire. Four chutes were seen to open. I saw it roll over on its back, go straight down and after three spins it broke up into a million pieces. "Duke" Cummings the co-pilot was my classmate and Capt. Jerry Thomas, the pilot was G. R. It was tough watching them go down but we have to do it. That's the second one I've seen explode in mid-air.
I had to feather #2 engine on my plane because of a hit behind the super-charger.
Put a floor in our tent and did a away with the rugs. We used frag boxes for lumber.
I am leaving for rest camp tomorrow and it doesn't look like I'm gonna get to look for Marvin because you have to have a special order from the Commanding Officer to ride transports now, and Col Gormly refused Alex.
[Ed. Note - Marvin J. Arnett, by grandfather, was in the Seabees and somewhere in North Africa at this time]
Eked up courage enough to ask for a special order and actually got it. He even gave me transportation to Telegrma to catch a transport. Caught one to Algiers and another to Oran where I am now. The weather closed in so I couldn't get out to Casablanca.
Swenson and I went to the flickers to pass away the time.
I caught the 8:30 plane to Casablanca and arrived there at 12:00, just in time for lunch. I walked into the officers mess and lo and behold there was chicken-fried steak by the platter fulls. Boy, did I eat!
Well, I got on the phone and called the Seabee's personnel office and M. J. wasn't listed and he told me that the only place he could be was at Oran so I caught the same plane back to Oran. I didn't get here until late so I'll try again in the morning.
To make a long story short, I found out that there was a battalion of Seabees at Arzew about 20 miles up the coast from Oran, so I got a jeep and drove up there. It was up there alright but Marvin wasn't in the bunch. Disgusted as hell I went back to Oran and inquired at the Navy fleet post office and asked if 8280 was listed or in the vicinity of Oran and it wasn't.
That was my last bet. Somebody has lost his marbles and I don't think it's me.
Being really disgusted, I gave up and caught the 3:15 plane for Algiers, where I am now to spend a couple of days before going back to camp.
Walked all over Algiers just looking the city over and didn't accomplish a darn thing but tired feet and a hungry stomach.
My first night in town and it had an air raid. I never saw an air raid with so much anti-aircraft in my life. It had just gotten dark when hell broke loose. I couldn't help but go right down on the water front and watch the show and I'll never forget it. Anybody would have to be either drunk or crazy to try and fly the barrage of flak that is put up over the harbor of Algiers.
One plane tried it, but didn't get to first base. He must have been tired of living or something.
I got up this morning, had breakfast and took a stroll down the docks to see if any damage was done by the raiders last night.
Doc Speaker, Maj Coverly and I saw the fire works from a ringside seat again -- like d-- fools.
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The WWII Army HBT Uniforms
About Army HBT Uniforms
This page consists of my observations and analysis of authentic WWII garments with some input from Risch and Pitkin’s QMC Historical Studies, Clothing the Soldier of WWII.
With over 25 years experience manufacturing reproduction garments, I hope to be able to offer some insights not usually found in typical references. Despite this being one of the most produced and worn uniforms of the Second World War, and authentic examples being relatively plentiful, the available reference material is surprisingly scant.
Prior to the outbreak of WWII, the US Army issued a blue denim jumper, trousers, and hat for fatigue duties and used the cotton khaki shirt and trousers for a summer uniform.
By the late 1930’s, the Army recognized the need for a more practical uniform in a more suitable color. In 1941, a green uniform made from cotton herringbone twill (HBT) fabric was introduced to replace both the denim and khaki cotton uniforms for work and field operations. Shirts, trousers, coveralls and caps were produced. These garments were issued to all Army personnel in all theaters of operations, ultimately becoming one of the most common garments worn during WWII.
|L to R: 1st pattern, 2nd pattern light shade, 2nd pattern OD7||L to R: 1st pattern, 2nd pattern, 2nd pattern OD7, 2nd pattern April 1, 1944 and later|
The “First Pattern” HBT
The Army introduced the Two-Piece herringbone-twill work suit in 1941 to replace the creaky denim pants and jumper. This uniform is referred to by collectors as the “first pattern HBT” and the color as “sage green” with both terms being contemporary and were not used by the US Army or QMC in WWII.
The first pattern jackets, Spec. Number 45, were waist length, with two pleated breast pockets, an adjustable waist band, and bi-swing back. The trousers were essentially the same pattern as the khaki models with straight legs, four internal pockets, and a watch pocket. Both garments used metal tack buttons for closures.
These uniforms were widely issued and were worn in all theaters of operation until the end of the War. Production of both ran into the Fall of 1942.
|1st Model Jacket||Spec. No. 45, April 1941.||Bi-swing back, gusseted armpits, |
|Cuff and waist detail|
|1st Model Trousers||Same pattern as the khaki |
|Button fly, watch pocket||Lining was either white twill |
or the HBT (same as the
The Simplified Two Piece Suit
By early 1942, government contractors were struggling to supply enough of the HBT uniforms to supply the needs of the Army. This fact combined with complaints from the troops regarding their design led to the garments being modified in order to simplify production and improve their functional characteristics. Improved designs for both garments appeared in 1942- these uniforms are referred to by collectors as “second pattern”- while the Army termed them “simplified two piece suit”.
The new jacket was greatly simplified the bi-swing back, adjustable waist and gusseted armpits were gone, the breast pockets were simpler and much larger. The already loosely fitting chest was enlarged another 2″. They were now 10″ over the marked size due to the design concept that they be large enough to be worn over a field jacket.
The new trousers had a larger seat for better freedom of movement, a higher rise, and the internal pockets were replaced with two large cargo types on the hips.
At this point, the Army was going to great lengths to protect troops from possible chemical warfare attack. In late 1942, most tops were modified with “gas flaps” on the chests and cuffs while trousers were fitted with overlapping flys in an effort to prevent blister agents from reaching soldiers’ skin. Garments modified or produced with these features had the term “Special” added to their name. The Specials appeared early in 1943, with contracts running concurrently with non-special garments.
The first second pattern jacket was the only model without a gas flap. This was the 45B which was only made for a brief period at the end of 1942 and early 1943. In Jan 1943 the first Special was approved, the short-lived 45C, (Jan 1943) which was identical to the 45B, except for the addition of the gas flap and buttons under the rear of the collar for an anti-gas hood. In March 1943, this was replaced by the 45D which eliminated the yoke at the shoulders. This model was manufactured through the end of the War in both sage green and OD7. The Quartermaster did differentiate uniforms made in the two colors by assigning them separate stock numbers.
“Special” Trousers made in sage green had Spec numbers 42A (Oct 1942), 42B (Jan 1943), and finally 42C (March 1943)- the latter, like the 45D jackets, was made in both sage green and OD7.
|Spec No. 45D||The gas flap||The gas flap shown when |
|This pattern was approved |
in March, 1943
|Buttons for the hood- both |
plastic and metal tack types
|Example with optional |
center pleated pockets
|Spring 1943 production- |
no such thing as a rd
|Simplified aka nd pattern” |
|Spec. No. 42C, March 1943||Early “high pocket” pattern||Overlapping fly acts as a |
A New Shade
During 1942, the sage green color was determined to be unacceptable. Even when new, the color was too light for concealment purposes, and use and exposure led to fading, further exacerbating the problem. After lengthy tests and field trials with various colors and camouflage patterns, the OQMG decided on olive drab shade number 7 as the best solution.
The “OD7” uniforms entered production in early 1943. Garments were made in both sage green and OD7 simultaneously due to the Army permitting the manufacturers to use up existing stocks of fabrics before switching to the new color.
|The two shades||A “classic” example of an |
OD7 HBT Jacket
|An early production jacket, |
in a more greenish shade
|…and a more brownish shade|
|Cuff detail||Plastic button variation||Spec 45D, OD7||April 1943 contract- made |
concurrently with the sage green
|Pre-April 1944 trousers||Spring 1943 production, Spec 42C||Notably shaded gas flap- a |
somewhat atypical trait
|Comparis on of the pocket |
|April 1944 pattern change||Spec date 3-43, pattern change |
4-44, contract signed 7-44
|The “new” pocket location |
was much more practical
|Later trousers (L) vs. earlier |
The Pocket Drop
The HBT uniforms would retain this same design throughout the end of the War. In April, 1944, one small change was made to the trousers by lowering the hip pockets 3-4 inches to make them easier to access when the soldier was wearing a field jacket. Due to the late date of this change, it is unlikely that any trousers with the lower pocket position were used during the Normandy Landings in June, 1944.
The HBT uniforms- jackets, trousers, coveralls and caps were all made using the same assembly methods as other WWII American uniforms. The parts were with power knives or die punched and individually tagged to prevent shading. The contractors used standard lock stitch machines for single seams and two-needle chain stitch models for the felled, interlocking seams. Belt loops and pocket corners were reinforced with bartacks (usually 18 or 28 stitch). Both corded eyelet and standard tacked buttonholes were allowed by the OQMG. Tack buttons were attached with hand or foot presses while plastic buttons were affixed by machine. Spec labels with the item name, size, manufacturer, and contract information were placed in the right hand pocket and woven size labels sewn into the necks, waistbands or sweatbands.
With dozens, perhaps hundreds of firms assembling HBT garments, there are several common variations encountered on authentic WWII examples. Some are due to Army permitting substitute components or assembly methods due to shortages of materials or equipment, while others simply come with the territory when hundreds of thousands of garments are being made by numerous manufacturers using fabric and parts supplied by hundreds of companies- often as quickly as possible.
The rd Pattern” fantasy
On the “second pattern” jackets and trousers, the QMC allowed the manufacturers a choice on how to construct the pockets. They could make them plain front, with an expandable gusset on the outer edge, or sew the edges flat while having a 1″ pleat in the center of the pocket. Some enthusiasts have christened HBT uniforms made in the latter style as rd pattern” or “Korean War”. Neither is true. The pleated pockets were used on both sage green and OD7 uniforms, and the spec labels show production ranging for the entire period (1943-45).
|The pleats were a variation, not a later pattern||Both trousers are Spring 1943 production|
Buttons & Buttonholes
The most common closures used are black (or occasionally olive drab) metal tack buttons with a 13 star design on the cap. One occasionally finds sage green uniforms made using tack buttons with a hollow center and wreath design in lieu of the 13 star type. Lastly, some uniforms (both sage green and OD7) were made with plastic buttons- sometimes the caramel colored type seen on wool trousers or the OD7 style used on M1943 Field Uniforms.
As with the pleated pockets, uniforms with plastic buttons are often declared “Korean War” by less experienced enthusiasts- but the spec labels clearly prove otherwise. (The soldier on the far right in the June 1944 photo at the top of the page clearly has plastic buttons on his jacket.) Their use is scattered throughout the range of production dates (1943-45) with the precise reason being unknown. It could have been, like the pocket pleats, a manufacturers’ option since buttons require a specific machine to sew them on while tack buttons can literally be put on with a hammer.
Both the standard “bartack” and corded eyelet type buttonholes are found on original garments.
The thread color was obviously meant to match the fabric- but during the transition from the lighter color to OD7, it’s obvious the factories were using up what was already on hand. There are sage uniforms sewn with dark olive drab thread vice versa.
As with all wartime garments, the shades of sage green and OD7 vary markedly. The sage green can range from nearly a gray to a bizarre green approaching a faded turquoise- very reminiscent of ACU’s. The OD7 is likewise quite variable. At times the two colors appear nearly the same depending on the variations on the garments being compared.
|Q: Is that OD7? Or is that OD7. |
Issue and Wear
The HBT uniform was general issue to all personnel in the US Army thus the number produced was several million pieces. The garments were utilized throughout the entire conflict, in all theaters. Wear depended on the weather- in hot climates, this was the main uniform, worn often by itself. In cooler areas, the was worn in conjunction with the OD’s (wool shirts and trousers) and field jackets. Some units and troops chose to wear the top over their field jackets- the best known photographic example being the 4th Division troops on Utah beach. Others worn it underneath other uniforms- American soldiers were famous for their habit of improvising and customizing their uniforms and gear in the combat zones.
Jackets were frequently worn tucked in at the waist.
All patterns and both colors were issued and worn through the end of the War, and some were later utilized in Korea.
|Both light and dark shades |
clearly used together
|4th Division troops wearing |
the HBT top over their field
Concerns for Living History
Models: Which pattern/ color is “correct”? From early 1943 onward all styles were issued and in use. First pattern uniforms were undoubtedly still being worn on VE Day. The second pattern, OD7 uniform (also the most plentiful reproduction) is historically correct for anything from mid-1943 onward. Since 99% of living history is concerned with D-day and afterward, it’s an easy choice. All variations were in wear prior to D-day except for the low pocket trousers….
The Pocket: The post April 1944 production trousers were probably not used at D-day. It’s within the realm of possibility that some were finished in May and flown over (there were rush air shipments of various critical items constantly being sent to England) but regardless, the vast, vast majority would have had the higher pockets.
Light shade? Dark shade? Which is correct? The most despised answer for Living Historians- BOTH. Sorry.
This jacket is way too big! Blame the US Army. These were designed to be worn over a field jacket- so they are cut 8″ oversize on 1st Patterns, and 10″ over on nd Patterns”. (ie: a size 40 HBT jacket has a chest circumference of 48″ or 50″). Most men’s jackets are 6″ or 7″ oversized.
Cap visors(bills)- short or long? This appears to be a manufacturing variation. I’ve seen long visor caps with early dates, short visor caps with late War dates and vice versa in all directions. There is zero, repeat ZERO evidence that the caps with shorter visors were “Airborne” or “Ranger” models. Just another teenie reenactor fantasy.
The pants aren’t sexy: This is a common complaint- not a joke. Trousers in the 1940’s were not cut like they are today- the rise (the measure from your navel to tailbone via the junk) is much higher than today. The front and rear of the pants from WWII are typically 2″ higher than most made nowadays. These were designed by the US Army for engaging in manual labor, military training and combat. Not showing off one’s curves at the county fair.
Insignia? Yes or no. Wartime photos exist of these uniforms being worn devoid of rank and unit patches- as well as otherwise. With combat troops, sterile (plain) jackets are far more common.
Honor guards and parades: This was a work/ combat uniform. George S. Patton would likely have snarled at the idea of it being worn for an honor guard, but there was a war on and all manner of distasteful things happened- the grooming standard was undoubtedly violated now and then.
Marines? This is not the USMC Utility uniform. However, w artime stories of the Corps’ skill at obtaining Army property abound, and t here are a few period photos of Marines wearing Army HBT uniform components. So yes, it happened, but the Marines had their own, specific HBT clothing which was different in cut, weave and color than these.
Organized Crime FilesTitle Joe Licausi Mug Shot Description Side and front view mug shot of Joe Licausi taken by the Kansas City Police Department and kept by the Kansas City Star in their mafia and mob activity research files. Licausi's name is written on the reverse side of the image Object Type Photograph Title Augustus (Gus) Charles Fasone Mug Shot Description Side and front view mug shot of Augustus (Gus) Charles Fasone and kept by the Kansas City Star in their mafia and mob activity research files. Fasone's name is written on the reverse side of the image. Object Type Photograph Title John (Johnny Mag) Mangiaracina Mug Shot Description Side and front view mug shot of John (Johnny Mag) Mangiaracina taken by the Kansas City Police Department and kept by the Kansas City Star in their mafia and mob activity research files. Mangiaracina's alias, Mag, is written on the reverse side of the image. Date 1950-05-03 Object Type Photograph Title Steno Lamento Mug Shot Description Side and front view full body mug shot of Steno Lamento kept by the Kansas City Star in their mafia and mob activity research files. Lamento's identification details are written on the front side of the image: #588 #30648 - Steno Lamento 45 yrs. - 5' 6" - 175# 8-13-39. Date 1939-08-13 Object Type Photograph Title Joe Patito Description Photograph of Joe Patito kept by the Kansas City Star in their mafia and mob activity research files. Patito is standing in a doorway and looking at the photographer. Object Type Photograph Title Phil Cusumano Mug Shot Description Side and front view mug shot of Phil Cusumano taken by the Kansas City Police Department and kept by the Kansas City Star in their mafia and mob activity research files. Cusumano's name is written on the reverse side of the image. Object Type Photograph Title Turk Harris Mug Shot Description Side and front view mug shot of Turk Harris taken by the Kansas City Police Department and kept by the Kansas City Star in their mafia and mob activity research files. Harris' name and details of his criminal record are written on the reverse side of the image: [illegible] 6-18-40 3 mo Co Jail Narcotics [illegible] 1945 pic 31 arrest Turk Harris 4 - 2. Date 1945 Object Type Photograph Title Vincent Chiapetta Description Photograph of Vincent Chiapetta kept by the Kansas City Star in their mafia and mob activity research files. Chiapetta is extending his hat toward the photographer and standing next to an unidentified individual. Object Type Photograph Title Michael (Mike School) Lascuola Mug Shot Description Side and front view mug shot of Michael (Mike School) Lascuola taken by the Kansas City Police Department and kept by the Kansas City Star in their mafia and mob activity research files. Lascuola's name is written on the reverse side of the image. Date 1944-01-29 Object Type Photograph Title Sam Licavoli Mug Shot Description Side and front view mug shot of Sam Licavoli and kept by the Kansas City Star in their mafia and mob activity research files. Licavoli's name and the number 21306 are written on the reverse side of the image. Object Type Photograph Title Gus (Skinny) Gargotta Mug Shot Description Side and front view mug shot of Gus (Skinny) Gargotta taken by the Kansas City Police Department and kept by the Kansas City Star in their mafia and mob activity research files. Gargotta's name is written on the reverse side of the image. Object Type Photograph Title Walter Rainey Mug Shot Description Side and front view mug shot of Walter Rainey taken by the Kansas City Police Department and kept by the Kansas City Star in their mafia and mob activity research files. Date 1948 Object Type Photograph Title John Anthony Costanza Mug Shot Description Side and front view mug shot of John Anthony Costanza taken by the Kansas City Police Department and kept by the Kansas City Star in their mafia and mob activity research files. Costanza's name and details of his criminal record are written on the reverse side of the image: Bufile 92-6071 KC 92-553 WM DOB 1/28/40, Kansas City, Mo. 6' 175 lbs. Hair - Black Eyes - Brown Residence - 328 Olive, Kansas City, Mo. Employment - 11 Oak Park, 1027 Oak St., Kansas City, Mo. FBI No. 147 209 C Arrested 19 times by local auth. for traffic vio, larceny interstate ship., inv. burg., inv. bootlegging Sentenced 2 yrs. 6 mos. Fed. Reformatory on TFIS 3/16/56. Date 1956 ca. Object Type Photograph Title Joseph DeLuca Description Photograph of Joseph DeLuca kept by the Kansas City Star in their mafia and mob activity research files. Object Type Photograph Title Anthony Robert (Tony) Gizzo Mug Shot Description Side and front view mug shot of Anthony Robert (Tony) Gizzo taken by the Kansas City Police Department and kept by the Kansas City Star in their mafia and mob activity research files. Object Type Photograph Title John (Johnny Mag) Mangiaracina Mug Shot Description Side and front view mug shot of John (Johnny Mag) Mangiaracina taken by the Kansas City Police Department and kept by the Kansas City Star in their mafia and mob activity research files. Mangiaracina's alias, Johnny Mag, is written on the reverse side of the image. Date 1943-08-20 Object Type Photograph Title Tony Beyock Trombino Mug Shot Description Side and front view mug shot of Tony Beyock Trombino taken by the Photographic Section of the Records & Identification Division of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department and kept by the Kansas City Star in their mafia and mob activity research files. Trombino's name is written on the reverse side of the image. Date 1949-07-25 Object Type Photograph Title Phillip (Phil School) Lascuola Mug Shot Description Side and front view mug shot of Phillip (Phil School) Lascuola taken by the Kansas City Police Department and kept by the Kansas City Star in their mafia and mob activity research files. Lascuola's name is written on the reverse side of the image. Date 1943-11-18 Object Type Photograph Title Michael Angelo Spero Mug Shot Description Side and front view mug shot of Michael Angelo Spero taken by the Kansas City Police Department and kept by the Kansas City Star in their mafia and mob activity research files. Spero's name, identification details, and details of his criminal record are written on the reverse side of the image: Michael Angelo Spero KC 92-558 WM DOB 8/15/38 5' 11" 155 lbs. Hair - Black Eyes - Brown Residence - 517 Holmes 2nd Fl. Rear Apt Employment - Gus' Pharmacy (changed to Midtown Pharmacy), 39th & Paseo & truck driver FBI No. 156 768 C 19 previous arrests, 1955-64 Convicted TFIS, Burg. 2nd degree, receiving stolen property. Date 1964 ca. Object Type Photograph Title Louis Cangelose Mug Shot Description Side and front view mug shot of Louis (Black Louis) Cangelose taken by the Kansas City Police Department and kept by the Kansas City Star in their mafia and mob activity research files. Cangelose's name is written on the reverse side of the image. Date 1944-05 Object Type Photograph
To Build A Railroad: Photos from the Katy Line’s Construction to the Union Depot.
As part of our recent discovery of a photograph of the Joplin Union Depot under construction, we also uncovered photographs of the construction of the new Missouri-Kansas-Texas (“Katy”) railroad line by the Walsh-List-Gifford Construction Company. Once again, we are happy and proud to share a few glimpses of Joplin’s history that we believed was otherwise left to the imagination to envision. To learn some about the men featured in the photographs below and the life they lived, just read our earlier entry here about life in a railroad camp.
First, we have a photograph of a steam engine with the name of the company painted along the side of the accompanying coal car. The fellow resting on the front of the engine is one of our favorite elements of the photograph.
Click on the photo to find larger versions.
Next, we have a photograph of the railroad building at work. Here, the company appears to be building up an earthen support to the trestle bridge that the line is built upon.
Click on the image to see a larger version.
Finally, our favorite photograph shows some of the men at work (or spectating) on the side of the line while a steam engine puffs its way toward the photographer.
To view a larger version of the photograph, just click on the image.
Air Battle in Seiskari-Oranienbaum-Shepeleva-Kronstadt 21 April 1943 at 8-9.20 AM
Post by tramonte » 26 May 2021, 22:20
"Military history is nothing but a tissue of fictions and legends, only a form of literary invention reality counts for very little in such affair."
- Gaston de Pawlowski, Dans les rides du front
Re: Air Battle in Seiskari-Oranienbaum-Shepeleva-Kronstadt 21 April 1943 at 8-9.20 AM
Post by igorr » 28 May 2021, 03:49
Re: Air Battle in Seiskari-Oranienbaum-Shepeleva-Kronstadt 21 April 1943 at 8-9.20 AM
Post by tramonte » 28 May 2021, 20:05
"Military history is nothing but a tissue of fictions and legends, only a form of literary invention reality counts for very little in such affair."
- Gaston de Pawlowski, Dans les rides du front
Re: Air Battle in Seiskari-Oranienbaum-Shepeleva-Kronstadt 21 April 1943 at 8-9.20 AM
Post by Mangrove » 28 May 2021, 20:58
Four DB-3 and three SB aircrafts from 21.31 on April 20 to 2.21 hours on April 21 bombarded enemy ships and port facilities in Kotka, dropping 88 FAB-100 and 5 SAB-100 there three violent explosions occurred in the port. In the target area, the planes were fired upon by heavy anti-aircraft artillery and machine gun fire and were illuminated by six searchlights. One DB-3, due to an engine malfunction, did not reach the target and returned to the Seskar Island. According to the war diary of the Kotka Police Department, most bombs hit the sea, while at least 8 bombs hit at or near Enso-Gutzeit mill. Small fire broke out at the paper production facilities.