Patterico's Pontifications


Memorial Day

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:07 pm

Gratitude goes out to the fallen. And thanks to everyone who serves or who has served.

Even those of you who have a “toxic masculinity” problem. (It’s Vox’s latest desperate bid for attention, but you’ll get a good enough laugh out of it that it’s probably worth the click.)

Or if you have a funny haircut because you’re part of the DeepState Club:

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

46 Responses to “Memorial Day”

  1. It’s been a busy day for me. Sorry it took so long to get to this post.

    Still very busy at work. Don’t expect much from me before July 4.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. Keep up the good effort, Patterico. Even if you have to rely on your toxic masculinity.

    AZ Bob (f7a491)

  3. Nutjob America is getting more and more interesting.

    (No, it’s not.)

    JVW (42615e)

  4. When one thinks of all the warriors that have sacrificed their lives for us, it doesn’t seem right that we all can’t come together as one.

    mg (31009b)

  5. Speaking of toxic masculinity.

    The last cavalry charge of the U.S. Army. They later ate their horses.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  6. This guy gave a speech that was to die for.

    Before dying for his country.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  7. John Waldron. Torpedo 8.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  8. Aaron Katz lived.

    Attention to citation.

    Navy Cross

    See more recipients of this award

    Awarded for actions during the World War II

    The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Ensign Aaron Katz, United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane in Torpedo Squadron EIGHT (VT-8), attached to the U.S.S. SARATOGA (CV-3), during action against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands Campaign on 24 August 1942. In an unsupported aerial torpedo raid against a Japanese task force, Ensign Katz pressed home his attack through a bursting hail of fire from hostile anti-aircraft batteries. He contributed to the relentless fighting spirit and aggressive courage which enabled his squadron to score one certain hit and two estimated hits on an enemy aircraft carrier. His superb airmanship and unyielding devotion to duty aided greatly in the defeat of a persistent foe and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
    General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 313 (April 1943)

    Action Date: August 24, 1942

    Service: Navy

    Rank: Ensign

    Company: Torpedo Squadron 8 (VT-8)

    Steve57 (0b1dac)


    HURBURT FIELD, Fla. — Two Special Tactics Airmen, who were deployed in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, were killed near Camp Antonik, Afghanistan, Aug. 26, 2015.

    Capt. Matthew D. Roland, 27, and Staff Sgt. Forrest B. Sibley, 31, were at a vehicle checkpoint when two individuals wearing Afghan National Defense and Security Forces uniforms opened fire on them. NATO service members returned fire and killed the shooters.

    “The losses of Matt and Forrest are a terrible blow to everyone who knew them,” said Col. Wolfe Davidson, 24th Special Operations Wing commander. “These two combat controllers were incredible warriors who not only volunteered to join our nation’s Special Operations Forces, but earned their way to the tip of the spear in defense of our nation.”

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  10. My personal favorite. If it can be said.

    At first light on 25 October 1944, huge geysers of water shot up near the destroyer Johnston. That ship and half a dozen other American destroyers were escorting half a dozen jeep carriers off Samar. A shaky voice on Johnston’s talk between ships radio reported “a major portion” of the Japanese fleet fifteen miles astern. Commander Ernest Evans, the skipper, burst out of his sea cabin, barking out orders: All hands general quarters! Light off all boilers for maximum speed! Make smoke!

    Ernest Evans had come up the hard way, harder than most…

    He fought his ship to the end.

    The price was steep. Evans and many of his shipmates were killed as Japanese fire eventually overwhelmed Johnston, sending her to the bottom. Although severely wounded early in the battle, Evans pressed the attack until he vanished when his ship went down. For his “valiant fighting spirit,” he received the Medal of Honor.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)


    …Military historians think the sinking of Japan’s Fuso was the only instance in the war of a destroyer sinking a battleship…

    Steve57 (0b1dac)


    Fallen Marines, Sailors … Never Forgotten


    The link didn’t work.

    I think this one does

    Steve57 (0b1dac)


    Rough Sea Coast Guard bar crossing

    Steve57 (0b1dac)


    Memorial honors 12 Marines killed in helicopter crashes off Haleiwa

    For once Obama was not wrong. Training g dangerous.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  15. All by the way far, far better men than me.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  16. Given the fact that ISIS is still squirming, the Marines apparently aren’t toxic enough. Maybe they need to be applied more liberally.

    Jerryskids (16a4d5)

  17. Note the jackalope Joyner in the piece.

    How long did it take the marines to clear tarawa or saipan or iwo

    narciso (d1f714)

  18. Of Sherman has replaced Stanton,


    narciso (d1f714)

  19. How long did it take the marines to clear tarawa or saipan or iwo

    narciso (d1f714) — 5/30/2017 @ 6:06 am

    Bloody Tarawa? It didn’t take them all that long but it cost a lot of lives.

    The USN failed the Marines at Tarawa.

    But we got better, eventually learning how to deliver the Spruance haircut.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  20. Nineteen-year old young men are toxic. When you put them together with nineteen-year old young women … that’s the reason marriage was invented (to put it delicately).

    nk (dbc370)

  21. Not to denigrate the GI Bill, but the major benefit of the integration of the sexes in the military is to homely young women who now find themselves with a large pool of “available” and “eager” young men.

    Steve, do you have any statistics on how many sailoretts and Marinettes come back from long cruises pregnant?

    nk (dbc370)

  22. *sailorettes*

    nk (dbc370)


    ACROSS THE REEF: The Marine Assault of Tarawa
    by Colonel Joseph H. Alexander, USMC (Ret)

    The Significance of Tarawa

    The costs of the forcible seizure of Tarawa were two-fold: the loss of Marines in the assault itself, followed by the shock and despair of the nation upon hearing the reports of the battle. The gains at first seemed small in return, the “stinking little island” of Betio, 8,000 miles from Tokyo. In time, the practical lessons learned in the complex art of amphibious assault began to outweigh the initial adverse publicity.

    The final casualty figures for the 2d Marine Division in Operation Galvanic were 997 Marines and 30 sailors (organic medical personnel) dead; 88 Marines missing and presumed dead; and 2,233 Marines and 59 sailors wounded. Total casualties: 3,407. The Guadalcanal campaign had cost a comparable amount of Marine casualties over six months; Tarawa’s losses occurred in a period of 76 hours. Moreover, the ratio of killed to wounded at Tarawa was significantly high, reflecting the savagery of the fighting. The overall proportion of casualties among those Marines engaged in the assault was about 19 percent, a steep but “acceptable” price. But some battalions suffered much higher losses. The 2d Amphibian Tractor Battalion lost over half the command. The battalion also lost all but 35 of the 125 LVT’s employed at Betio…

    Your dad, no doubt, served at Tarawa, Beldar.

    On 13 November, Zeilin departed Efate and arrived off Betio on 19 November. Early the following morning, Marines from 2nd Battalion 2nd Marines were offloaded into landing craft from Zeilin for their assault. During the unloading operation Zeilin was under fire from Japanese shore guns. The ship did not sustain any damage from the attack.[3] During this operation, Commander Thomas Benjamin Fitzpatrick was in command of the ship.[7]

    And when I say the USN failed the USMC, it wasn’t for a lack of effort. It was just that the craft of amphibious ass assault was still in its infancy.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  24. Everyone gave their utmost.

    …Awarded Bronze Star For Heroism At Tarawa

    He was awarded the Bronze Star for rescuing American soldiers during the Battle of Tarawa while under heavy gunfire in 1943. He also lost a portion of his hearing from the noise of the battle.

    Albert appeared in The Longest Day a movie about the Normandy invasion in 1962. His best known television role was when he became a country farmer after being a big city lawyer in Green Acres. The show ran from 1965 to 1971 and may have ran longer if not for an edict from CBS to rid the network of country flavored shows…

    I always liked that guy.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  25. It takes me more than one hand to count the number of men I knew who died while serving in the military. Those of you who have served yourselves undoubtedly know many more, but, for someone who didn’t, that’s a lot.

    What’s more remarkable is that none died in combat; indeed, as far as I know, none ever saw combat. They were all pilots, and all really good men. Let us remember not only those who gave their lives defending freedom; let us also pay tribute to those who did so preserving the peace, whose sacrifice is often unremembered but no less great.

    Diffus (7b30f9)

  26. nk, I wouldnt say homely, they after all have to meet certain physical fitness minimums, but my experience is looking at the recruits who go to the local mall (near Great Lakes) and there pretty passable, not 10s but not grazing either. The Navy is the magnet school of the armed service branches.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  27. Yes but memorial is about those who fell in battle

    Vox need to sealed in steel drums and dropped in the Marianas, fisking it is like going after bad mime.

    narciso (0be537)

  28. Greetings:

    A day late perhaps, but pertinent nonetheless:

    Back in the summer of the last ’68, I was doing my military service down in Texas, which, besides the Bronx, is the place I’d most like to be from. For several months, I was assigned to the base’s funeral detail. We would provide pallbearers and a rifle squad for those requesting military funerals in the local area.

    Military-wise, it wasn’t bad duty. On the days when we weren’t scheduled for a funeral, we would spend several hours practicing our “drill & ceremonies” and a couple more squaring away our uniforms and equipment. On funeral days, we would head out as early as necessary on a 44-passenger bus, often in civilian clothes or else fatigues with our first-class uniforms and equipment in tow. Often we would change into our duty uniforms at the funeral home, once in the casket display room, or on the bus itself.

    It being Texas and the Viet Nam war being in full swing, we often had several funerals a week to perform. There was a certain spectrum from the World War graduates through the Viet Nam casualties. The former might involve a local veterans’ group and an afterward BBQ or such. The latter were somewhat more emotionally raw as most of us were facing our own deployments in the near future.

    Two funerals of the latter sort have stayed with me through the years. The first was of a young Private First Class who had been MIA for several months before his remains were recovered. I was on the pallbearer squad that day and when we went to lift the casket, it almost flew up in the air. There was so little of the young soldier left that we totally overestimated the weight we were lifting and almost looked decidedly unprofessional.

    The other was that of a Negro Specialist 4th Class. I was in the rifle squad that day. In the rendering of military honors, there is a momentary pause between the end of the (21-gun) rifle salute and the beginning of the playing of “Taps”. It is a moment of profound silence in most cases. During that moment, the young soldier’s mother gave out a yowl from the depths of her grief that so startled me that I almost dropped the rifle out of my hands. That yowl echoes within me still.

    I’ll readily admit that, as a result of my experiences, I became much imbued with a sense of duty and respect to and for our fallen. Hopefully, today, when our media do their reporting they will show some of the same and let “Taps” be played out in its entirety. It would be nice for a change.

    11B40 (6abb5c)

  29. 11.My personal favorite. If it can be said.

    Ernest Evans, the USS Johnston and the incredible suicidal charge of Taffy 3 at the Battle Off Samar is an all-timer.

    Read ‘The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy’s Finest Hour’ by James D. Hornfischer.

    I’ve yet to see a TV documentary which does it justice.

    harkin (9803a7)

  30. I take it you were an infantry man.

    Never could I have walked the miles you walked.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  31. You’re right, of course, ulb. Young, healthy, physically fit, with good bodies from proper diet and exercise. As are the guys.

    nk (dbc370)

  32. Read ‘The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy’s Finest Hour’ by James D. Hornfischer.

    I’ve yet to see a TV documentary which does it justice.

    harkin (9803a7) — 5/30/2017 @ 8:30 am

    Also read Little Wolf At Leyte.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  33. All of hirnfischers is great, I was first acquainted with the one about the solomons

    narciso (d1f714)


    When the call went out, “Small boys, attack” The Sammy B rogered up. Even though she was a small small boy.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  35. @36, concur. I think I have them all.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  36. 18. Jerryskids (16a4d5) — 5/30/2017 @ 5:56 am

    Given the fact that ISIS is still squirming, the Marines apparently aren’t toxic enough. Maybe they need to be applied more liberally.

    U.S. Marines aren’t fighting there. U.S. personnel are only guiding the fighting and doing some bonbing, always being careful, if at all possible, to stay out of range
    of enemy fire. That’s a principle in this war.

    It’s taking so long (in Iraq) because there are still about 200,000 civilians trapped in western Mosul. They are mostly trapped, not staying voluntarily, in the city. The ISIS snipers sometimes target children to deter people from trying to leave the battle zone. They also imprison people in their own homes while they set up shop there.

    The U.S. military can’t do the kind of bombing they normally would, even in this war, although they can still bomb ISIS cars (they can get them by themselves) many of which are recognizable as car bombs because they’ve been reinforced in the front so as to be able to get closer to their targets before they are exploded.

    Progress is slow, measured in feet per day. They have to avoid killing civilians, limit as much as possible deaths of Iraqi soldiers, and beware of ISIS snipers and booby traps, as well as car bombs. They are only several hundred ISIS fighters in there but because of all these considerations progress is slow.

    One goal is to do things in such a way so that if territory is recovered, it is never lost again. So far they’ve been successful with that. That actually slows down recovery of territory a little bit because they don’t take anything until they are sure they can hold it. It’s all very methodical.

    (they are working on the principle though that some new eveil organization could go into business, but ISIS they want to finish)

    They are driving ISIS fighters into a trap now – they are totally surrounded. (What they really should do maybe is pick some place they can lead ISIS people to believe will nevr be ombed – like Iraqi government owned property, or some kind of infrastructure, mosques will do too, of course, but they could pick anthing and then, even when opportunity arises, not target that location, so they all come to believe it is a safe place to retreat to, then when they are all there, you could b them. This is what happened in northern Afghanistan in 2001, somewhat by accident. They didn’t drop bombs too close to the front line because of the possibility of a mistake – maybe some people from the Northern Alliance had advanced to those positions – then suddenly they did bomb them heavily and that was the end of it, and the Taliban broke.

    There are French officers there doing something unusual. They are particularly identifying and getting snipers to target french citizens. They don’t want any French citizens returning from the fight, for fear they will try to kill civilians in France, and don’t seem to consider the possibility of arresting them. I guess that would violate some kind of French civil liberties, while killing them in Iraq would not be questioned.

    In Raqqa it was also slowd down for months by hesitation to use the Kurdish fighting forces which are good. Russia seems to prefer the U.S. using them to any real democratic forces or Syrian forces which could aspire to rule Syria. Turkey is really against that, saying they are linked to or part of a terrorist group. U.S. military thinks this can be controlled and in any case no weapons will be diverted anywhere else. They are probably pretty good at this.

    Around January 10, Obama finally decided to send better weapons to the Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria, but because this was so close to Trump taking office, and because the actual delivery would take place after January 20, decided get the OK from Trump’s national security adviser, Mike Flynn. Mike Flynn turned them down. Trump in the last month or two reversed that but in meantime Mike Flynn may have delayed the fall of Raqqa by two or three moonths. It could have happened already.

    By the way it is possible that some Kurdish forces in Syria aiming at Raqqa got bombed by an Arab air force because of deliberate misinformation that they were ISIS. That’s what I think. I don’t think this is likely to have been a mistake, I’m looking for soemthing more specific about thst – not really looking but am ready to see it.

    Also: The U.S. had to attack an Iranian-led Syrian convoy heading toward a U.S. training base in located in the southeast of Syria near the Jordanian border when they ignored warnings not t approach. Syria (backed by Russia and Iran) insists it has the right to recover territory. Theer were U.S. military personnel there.

    Sammy Finkelman (b66da2)

  37. Some errata:

    * (What they really should do maybe is pick some place they can lead ISIS people to believe will never be bombed

    * Russia seems to prefer the U.S. using them to any real democratic forces or Syrian forces which could aspire to rule Syria – but maybe doesn’t want the U.S. aiding anything..

    * Mike Flynn may have delayed the fall of Raqqa by two or three months

    Sammy Finkelman (b66da2)

  38. 35 – Also read Little Wolf At Leyte.

    Thanks, just ordered it.

    harkin (299d24)

  39. 31 – It being Texas and the Viet Nam war being in full swing, we often had several funerals a week to perform.

    During the later part of the Viet-Nam war, my mom used to host Sunday dinners for Marines from nearby Camp Pendleton. I was just a kid who used to sit and listen to their incredible stories about war and also ‘back home’ as we sat in the living room watching TV afterwards.

    I swear at the time I thought just about every Marine came from TX.

    RIP – Greg Keller1950-1970

    harkin (299d24)

  40. Harkin, it’s not great literature. I find it overly sentimental.

    But it’s a tribute to the men who manned the ship. So I excuse.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)


    Dedicated to the men who manned the ships
    and the embarked composite squadrons
    of Task Unit 77.4.3 (Taffy III)
    on October 25, 1944…

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  42. Grâce à vous, j’ai pu apprendre beaucoup de choses intéressantes. J’espère en apprendre encore.

    voyance Email (59c5c6)

  43. 45-
    I speak english and live in Rio Linda!!!

    mg (31009b)

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