Trivia

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Comrades:
Capt. Ed Freeman - medal of honor.

Last WWI Vet

Neil Armstrong   Neil Alden Armstrong, a U.S. Naval Officer who served in the Korean War, died August 25, 2012.  Mr. Armstrong was a civilian Astronaut and the first man to set foot on the moon - a mission in which I played a small part!  See below.

A comrade remembered:

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Captain Ed Freeman - Medal of Honor recipient
for rescue actions November 11, 1967.   You can find the details of his actions in the Medal of Honor citation -  a friend of mine owes his life to Capt. Freeman and thus included here.
Died August 20, 2008, Boise, Idaho, at age 70.

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Sgt Jack Edwards (UK-HK) - Few have written from personal experiences of a POW in the Japanese POW "work" camps even fewer have written about the camps in Taiwan.   U.S. POWS in German hands suffered a mortality rate of about one in twenty, U.S. POW's in Japanese hands throughout Asia suffered a mortality rate of more than one in three* including camps in Taiwan - and this does NOT include the additional one in ten (estimated - no clear statistics) that died within 5 years of release due to the mistreatment received from the Japanese.    His book "Banzai You Bastards" is a 'must read' for WWII history buffs - and I recommend it to everyone - especially to the Japanese Government and their Board of Education, who still deny these things happened     This gem is no longer in print but occasionally available used from Amazon.  Jack Edwards was a British prisoner of the Japanese and put to work as a slave laborer in a Taiwan gold mine.     The existence of  POW camps in Taiwan run by the Japanese and their Taiwanese ally is seldom mentioned locally (Taiwan) nor in western war history.  Occasionally a book of particular significance to our location (Taiwan) and common interest arises - this is one of those!    The initial publication of this book is the first time a copy of the Japanese High Command order to massacre all POWs and 'leave no traces'   was openly published.   A  document uncovered by the author - the Japanese high command also issued a secret order 5 days after their surrender -
(official translation)

Personnel who mistreated prisoners of war and internees or who are held in extremely bad sentiment by them are permitted to take care of it by immediately transferring or by fleeing without trace.  Moreover, documents which would be unfavorable for us in the hands of the enemy are to be treated in the same way as secret documents and destroyed when finished with.

This was addressed to several Japanese army locations -  including those in Taiwan.

To learn more about Mr. Edwards click here.     Mr. Edwards was very active in identifying and bringing to justice many war criminals and apparently a firm believer in 'Forgive - maybe; Forget - NEVER!'     I highly recommend this book!

It should be noted that not all of the identified Japanese War Crime Criminals were caught including some "class A" criminals such as Mutuhiro Watanabe  - who managed to escape detection for several years until general amnesty was given.  Watanabe, "The Bird", was interviewed in 1997 when he boasted that he may have been a little "harsh" in enforcing the rules.

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While on books - most of us have seen Band of Brothers, and The Pacific and read some of the books from the glut of publications after Band of Brothers was aired.  Some were informative, and some were - in my opinion -  cashing in on the popularity of HBO's airing of Band of BrothersThe Pacific took a different direction to basically follow three individuals.   Well done.  
Read  GOODBYE DARKNESS  by William Manchester - worthy reading from a history professor, an author, and ex-Marine who was "canon fodder" at Okinawa.    Mr. Manchester has a unique ability with words and manages to portray an inkling into the fears many of the Marines experienced - and a small glimpse of the horrors they witnessed.   I recommend ANY book by William Manchester - but especially this one!   Oh, and I challenge you to read any book by him without having to look up the meaning of at least one word!!   All to discover he used precisely the right word to convey the mental picture he desired.
Enjoy!

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May 2011 issue of the VFW magazine featured Frank Buckles on the front cover - (above from VFW magazine), the last surviving U.S. World War I veteran.   Frank Buckles died peacefully at his home February 27, 2011.   Hopefully, you read his remarkable story - especially the part where as a civilian, he was taken prisoner by the Japanese in the Philippines and spent three years two months in a typical Japanese starvation POW camp.    Frank Buckles was 110 years old when he died.

 

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Formation "Fly-by" Over of Ellis Island!    Unique!

 

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Neil Alden Armstrong and Apollo XI.    
I was with Bendix Aerospace and part of the team that tested the electronics package that went with Commander Armstrong and Apollo XI to the moon (yes, the geek in the photo is me), and I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Armstrong, as well as many of the other "early" astronauts.   For duration of the Apollo XI mission, I was assigned to the Guaymas Tracking Station to assist in the telemetry and communications area.  .  There are not many of us that handled ALL all of the moon electronics - other than the astronauts, and I am quite proud to have been part of that team.   And lastly - I have included  excerpts from a 1969 NASA publication 

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Not many of these exist!!!  It has hung prominently behind my desk since 1969!

Excerpts from Apollo XI Log (NASA pub.)

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And so on!