Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Doolittle's Raiders - 65 years ago

On April 17, 1942, 16 B-25 Mitchell bombers took off from the USS Hornet, a day and a hundreds of miles early, due to having been detected by a fishing boat.

That left them with enough fuel to reach the targets, but not enough to reach the bases. None were actually shot down, but all planes were lost , including 1 kept by the Soviets.

3 died in the mission, 4 more killed by the Japanese in captivity.

They have having their 65th reunion right now in San Antonio, 7 of them are still able to make it, a few others were not. The youngest of those still alive is 85 years old, and the oldest is 95.

In spite of the lack of actual damage caused, its value was boosting the morale of a nation still reeling from Pearl Harbor, and showing these Japanese they were not insulated from attack, causing them to bring more fighters home that could have been used elsewhere in the Pacific theatre of war.

In a few years, all the goblets will be inverted, no more yearly reunions will happen, the survivors cognac toasts will be in the past. But they will not be forgotten.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Arrived in Middle East

So I am in a middle eastern country for a couple of weeks now, this countries initials are Kilo Sierra Alpha, I am in the capitol city.

I am in a nice housing compound, even with two armored personnel carriers that guard the entrance. Also there are concrete barriers on the road in, so a vehicle could not just go really fast. There are a series of tight turns leading in here, then a large metal gate.

But in the compound, there are pools, a small store, restaurant, and exercise gym. The house i am in is nice, even has internet, although slow at that. Its certainly more livable than Mali was, even much more than India, at least in the compound. Its not too wise here for a westerner to just go wandering around alone though, while in India and Mali there were no problems with that.

I did not bring my camera here, so there probably wont be any photos. Large parts of the airport are photography prohibited, especially the military part. I did see an F-15, Tornado, and a 707 derivative refueling tanker. It was not exactly a KC-135, although quite similar.

I should be done around mid month, then back to Idaho. I want to take a vacation soon, maybe to Iceland or eastern Europe.

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