Letters . . .

Letters to the Editor. Talk back to the editors. What do YOU think?

KilroyWasHere welcomes letters to the editor. We reserve the right to edit for length and clarity. Send email to Editor@KilroyWasHere.org. We cannot post your email address but will forward any response to you.

 France presents letters of appreciation...

France to Thank Living WWII Vets


February 19, 2001
John Gunn wrote:


Later this year, the government of France will begin presenting "Thank You America" certificates to living World War II veterans to thank them for participating in the liberation of France.

To be eligible, a veteran must have served on French territory, in French territorial waters or in French airspace between June 6, 1944, and May 8, 1945. Certificates will not be issued posthumously.

The application form will be available from veterans service organizations and on a special Internet site maintained by the French government: http://www.info-france-usa.org/news/statmnts/2000/ww2/index.asp

The 10 consuls of France in the United States will work with state veterans affairs offices, veterans service organizations and other veterans groups to identify eligible people and to organize certificate presentation ceremonies.

Two special new letters . . .

A mythical Australian swamp monster and a German General's letter goes home.

Two favorite icons of the kilroywashere site have found their way home. T/Sgt Allan referred to Bunyip, a mythical swamp monster of early Australia in his letter home number 9. An Australian Webmaster asked to use T/Sgt Allan's picture of the Banyip on his site. Check it out at http://perandis.tripod.com/boozer1.htm. Also, a German webmaster with a fascinating web site asked to use General Raimcke's letter from our story about the Camp Clinton POW camp. His grandfather was a German POW in Farragut, Idaho. His site can be found at: http://www.kriegsgefangen.de/

Real? You bet. I saw her! . . .

Tokyo Rose and Tojo

In 1946 I, with other Marines, made a tour of the Sagomi (I'm not sure of the spelling) prison in Tokyo. We saw Tokyo Rose and Tojo. They are both for real, believe me. I have no picture, unfortunately. We were not allowed to take cameras into the prison. We were the guests of a French Correspondent who knew the OIC of the three man detail that I was part of. At the time, I was assigned to the 5th Marine Div. in Sasebo. I was a motion picture cameraman then and during the war. We were in Tokyo on a photo mission – I've forgotten the subject of the mission but not Tokyo Rose. The visit to the prison where Tokyo Rose and Tojo were held was a lucky by-product of our trip. If I can be of any further source of info, or help, let me know.

Regards and Semper Fi,

Dick W. Retired USMC
League City, TX

Marcus Rickard wrote:

Help me out. Explain what a "short-arm Inspection" is. It was mentioned in Sgt Joe Tillery's stories about his adventures in WWII.


"All right you bastards, skin ‘em back and milk ‘em down!"

Short arm-inspections

The health of fighting men is of utmost importance to the military, especially just before returning home. At least that was the expressed reason for short-arm inspections. Actually, in my opinion, it was just another effort to humiliate and harass the troops. On reflection, the only thing worse than suffering through a short-arm inspection was surely being the individual (usually a corpsman) who had to perform the inspection.

Specifically, the short-arm inspection is a rather primitive exam for Gonorrhea. Troops were lined up each holding their respective penises. One at a time, a unfortunate subject of the inspection was required to "milk" down his flaccid penis from the base to the tip. At which time, the inspecting doctor checks for pus at the tip of the urethra and sores throughout the pubic area. A short-arm inspection was always called at a time when one was unprepared for it and could do little to alter the results. It was my understanding that an erection made this inspection less accurate so they always were called outside, in the middle of the night, usually very cold with only your helmet liner and raincoat as the official uniform — at least this was their excuse for the miserable hour.

About the erection, at the tender age of 18, an erection was often a perpetual nocturnal condition and being awakened from a sound sleep did little to discourage this problem. However, a cold raincoat over your nude body outside in the cold usually did the trick.

Now, aren't you sorry you asked!

Editor's Note: Sgt Tillery's last comment about the subject "I well remember the dreaded command 'skin it back and milk it down'" At Keesler Field in December of '44. I think we even marched to it (beats "Hup two three four!.") This seems to be so typical of that generation. In spite of the humiliation, danger, and suffering, they never lost their sense of humor.

Old Eglin Army Air Base stories

Orus Kinney wrote:

I lived 13 years in Valparaiso, Florida, 1955 - 1968. My wife and I taught school in north Alabama, and each May, when school was out, we would visit the beach in Fort Walton. In the spring of 1955, while on the beaches, a major from Eglin approached me about opening the Eglin Elementary School as an integrated school. I was getting my MA Degree in school administration that July. I took the job. I later, 1963, opened the new Niceville High School as the first air conditioned and integrated high school in the area. I've enjoyed a lot of fishing in Boggy Bayou, hunting in forest, and golf on the Eglin Golf Course. I really enjoyed Jim Faircloth's Tales from the Old Eglin Army Air Base, they brought back many memories.

Orus Kinney wrote and experienced the Nazi Smart Bombs.

Were you or do you know anyone who was a POW?

British Government making compensation

Margie Hofman wrote:

Could you please put this information on your site that the British Government at long last are making compensation of £10,000 to anybody who was a British prisoner of war of the Japanese, whether in the army , navy or civilian. This also applies to child prisoners of the Japanese, those taken with their families and put in camps, many lost their parents but the children would now be 60 years old. They should contact.

War Pensions Agency
Tomlinson House

More on this from Des Lavender in England:


Northern Ireland On The Internet

 A very special letter from 1950 . . .

Major Reynolds wrote:

A very moving letter . . .

"On Christmas Day From the Korean War Project."


Editors Note: A very special letter written 50 years ago from Colonel David Hughes, USMA Class of 1950. This is a link to another site (http://www.koreanwar.org/) from Major Reynolds. This letter is worth plugging another site!

 Looting of the SS Leopoldville . . .

Thought you might want alert your contact list. An article on the looting of the WWII Leopoldville troopship wreck will appear in the December 11 issue of People Magazine.

Allan Andrade
Leopoldville Disaster Author/Historian

For more info on the SS Leopoldville Disaster, click here for the book review.

 To Return a Book . . .
Pat & Joe Elliott wrote,

We wrote to you a while back with a
story of our dad Joe Elliott, which you have on your website.. he thinks its great, we showed it to him...

We bought a book the other day from a market and in the front it has written the following:-

To George
From Dad
Xmas 1944

1025 Macon Avenue
Pittsburgh 18 Pa

Inscription Page. Click image for bigger view

The book is by Ernie Pyle who I know is an acclaimed journalist in America... and is called Brave Men

Could you please advertise this on your website, as it would be really nice if we could return it either to George or one of his family. Or if not, maybe you might be interested in it... we could send it to you.

Thanks again
Pat & Joe Elliott



Page 2. Click image for bigger view

Pat and Joe, this is a very generous offer! I hope we are able to find him. Ernie Pyle is, indeed, an acclaimed journalist in America! One of our greatest war correspondents and writer.

 Combat Rations on Iwo Jima? A lighter note . .

Norman Gertz, Colonel USMC (Ret) wrote:

An Air Force P51 squadron was slated to be stationed on Iwo Jima to provide fighter escort for the B-29's to and from Japan. While we were still very much involved in combat there was a steady procession of truckloads of material slated for the Air Force installation. I was amazed one day to see a long flat bed trailer come by with a load of porcelain toilet commodes stacked on board. Truckloads of food rations came in daily and a stockade was created with barbed wire to store all the boned turkey; roast beef and other exotic foods. Needless to say it got the attention of the Marines who paid many night visits to sample the wares.

Several huge 40' reefer boxes were set up complete with their own
generators. Of course there were no provisions or any food which needed refrigeration at this time. Enterprising Marines would collect canteens of water from the troops and put them in the reefer boxes. They would return later in the day to collect them and distribute ice cold water canteens back to their owners.

 An exchange of memories about flies on Saipan

Norman Gertz, Colonel USMC (Ret) wrote:

I am remembering one aspect of the Saipan operation that I have never seen mentioned in print.

We were briefed as usual on what we could expect from the enemy there and other conditions that we would have to contend with. No one however ever told us about the "Saipan Flies".

There was a substantial sugar care field there which soon became a haven for the Japanese snipers. They would retreat back into the cane fields after their forays and needless to say it was too dangerous to attempt to go in there. Individual flame throwers were used to cut down the cane but it was taking too long to get the job done. Flame thrower tanks were finally brought in and went up and down the field systematically burning down the entire field. Every now and then a Japanese soldier would burst out of the field, sometimes hopelessly on fire. The sugar cane field was no longer a haven for Japanese snipers.

With the first raindrops we learned that the sugar cane field was fertilized with human feces; the smell was horrendous. At the same time we began to notice an abundance of huge black flies which landed on your food, hands, face and neck and were very aggressive. We were told that the flies were brought in by the Japanese to combat a certain pest of the sugar cane fields. Since the sugar cane fields were gone the flies turned their attention to the human creatures at hand. They were of course carrying e coli bacteria from the human feces.

We shortly developed a growing number of very sick Marines . . . almost all came down with either dysenterry or dengue fever and a common sight was a Marine with a roll of toilet tissue hanging out ready for his next attack. Others merely dropped to the ground from weakness and had to be placed in collection areas so that they could be treated and recover. After a time, an aerial spraying routine was set up and we along with the flies were sprayed liberally until the flies were eradicated.

I can't remember ever reading about this aspect of the Saipan campaign so I hope it will be of interest to the readers. You can be sure anyone who was there will remember those flies.

You're Right! Here's one who remembers.

Bill Hoover wrote: (See Bill Hoover's incredible tales of Saipan)

The flies you mentioned brought back two more memories. When we first had a chance to eat a C rations, if a fly got on the food we would scoop out a portion and eat until another fly landed there. Eventually, the Sea Bees sprinkled lime on the dead Japanese bodies, and then when the flies got on our food you could see little white specks from their feet. After a few days we were so damn hungry we just chased the flies off and chowed down. Also, we used to find chickens sitting on the bodies of dead Japs pecking away at hundreds of maggots inside their intestines. It took me 30 years before I could eat a damn chicken, and now its only about twice a year and has to be fried until its almost burned.

What was it General Sherman said ?

Major problem that only causes more laughter

More Flies on Saipan

Hi Pat,

From my memory, heres a true incident that will give some of the old timers a chuckle:

On Saipan at the Division HQ command post they had a deluxe head/latrine installation to accomodate all thebrass. The device consisted of a 50 gal drum buried half way down in the sand with a wooden seat and flip cover. We were being plagued with the huge black flies as previously noted. These flies found the can quite inviting so it was necessary to throw in a smoke grenade at intervals to clear out the flies. For some unknown reason a concussion grenade was thrown into the can . . . it exploded and spattered everyone nearby with the contents of the can.

I am happy to say that I was out of range !

Norman Gertz,
Colonel, USMC (Ret)

For more on the Flies of Saipan, scroll up

A Medic's View from a VA Hospital

Captain Stephen R.Ellison, M.D. wrote:

I am a doctor specializing in Emergency Medicine in the Emergency Departments of the only two military Level One trauma centers. They are both in San Antonio, TX and they care for civilian emergencies as well as military personnel. San Antonio has the largest military retiree population in the world living here because of the location of these two large militar medical centers.

As a military doctor in training for my specialty I work long hours and the pay is less than glamorous. One tends to become jaded by the long hours,lack of sleep, food, family contact and the endless parade of human suffering passing before you. The arrival of another ambulance does not mean more pay, only more work. Most often it is a victim from a motor vehicle crash.

Often it is a person of dubious character who has been shot or stabbed. With our large military retiree population it is often a nursing home patient. Even with my enlisted service and minimal combat experience in Panama prior to medical school, I have caught myself groaning when the ambulance brought in yet another sick, elderly person from one of the local retirement centers that cater to military retirees. I had not stopped to think of what citizens of this age group epresented.

I saw "Saving Private Ryan". I was touched deeply. Not so much by the carnage in the first 30 minutes, but by the sacrifices of so many. I was touched most by the scene of the elderly survivor at the graveside asking his wife if he'd been a good man. I realized that I had seen these same men and women coming through my Emergency Dept and had not realized what magnificent sacrifices they had made. The things they did for me and everyone else that has lived on this planet since the end of that conflict are priceless.

Situation permitting I now try to ask my patients about their experiences. They would never bring up the subject without the inquiry. I have been privileged to an amazing array of experiences recounted in the brief minutes allowed in an Emergency Dept encounter. These experiences have revealed the incredible
individuals I have had the honor of serving in a medical capacity, many on their last admission to the hospital.

There was a frail, elderly woman who reassured my young enlisted medic trying to start an IV line in her arm. She remained calm and poised despite her illness and the multiple needle-sticks into her fragile veins. She was what we call a "hard stick." As the medic made another attempt I noticed a number tattooed across her forearm. I touched it with one finger and looked into her eyes. She simply said "Auschwitz." Many of later generations would have loudly and openly berated the young medic in his many attempts. How different was the response from this person who'd seen unspeakable suffering.

A long retired Colonel who as a young USN officer had parachuted from his burning plane over a pacific island held by the Japanese. Now an octogenarian, his head cut in a fall at home where he lived alone. His CT scan and suturing had been delayed until after midnight by the usual parade of high priority ambulance patients. Still spry for his age, he asked to use the phone to call a taxi to take him home then realized his ambulance had brought him without his wallet. He asked if he could use the phone to make a long distance call to his daughter who lived 70 miles away. With great pride, we told him that he could not as he'd done enough for his country and the least we could do was get him a taxi home, even if we had to pay for it ourselves. My only regret was that my shift wouldn't end for several hours and I couldn't drive him myself.

I was there the night MSG Roy Benavidez came through the emergency Dept for the last time. He was very sick. I was not the doctor taking care of him but I walked to his bedside and took his hand. I said nothing. He was so sick he didn't know I was there. I'd read his Congressional Medal of Honor citation and wanted to shake his hand. He died a few days later.

The gentleman who served with Merrill's Marauders, the survivor of the Baatan Death March, the survivor Omaha Beach, the 101 year old World War I veteran, the former POW held in frozen North Korea, the former Special Forces medic now with non-operable liver cancer, the former Viet Nam Corps Commander -- I remember these citizens. I may still groan when yet another ambulance comes in,
but now I am much more aware of what an honor it is to serve these particular men and women.

I am angered at the cutbacks, implemented and proposed, that will continue to decay their meager retirement benefits. I see the President and Congress who would turn their back on these individuals who've sacrificed so much to protect our liberty. I see later generations that seems to be totally engrossed in abusing these same liberties won with such sacrifice. It has become my personal endeavor to make the nurses and young enlisted medics aware of these amazing individuals when I encounter them in our Emergency Dept. Their response to these particular citizens has made me think that perhaps all is not lost in the next generation.

My experiences have solidified my belief that we are losing an incredible generation and this nation knows not what it is losing. Our uncaring government and ungrateful civilian populace should all take note. We should all remember that we must " Earn this."

 A Combat Paratrooper with a Poet's Soul

Dave Philips wrote

So far as I know, I'm probably the only WWII combat paratrooper (506th parachute inf regt, 101st AB div) to get a medal for poetry. I was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for "important contributions in the field of soldier poetry." The Paris edition of the NY Herald Tribune ran one of those poems in the "Poet's
Corner" of its op-ed page on ll-ll-45 (then known as Armistice day, now Vets Day, as I recall. The Poem:

The Unnamed

We have only died in vain if you believe so,
you must decide the wisdom of our choice
by the world which you shall build upon our headstones
and the everlasting truths that have your voice.

Though dead, we are not heroes yet, nor can be
'til the living by their lives which are the tools,
Carve us the epitaphs of wise men,
and give us not the epitaphs of fools.


Thought you might find the above interesting. Personal vanity, I guess, but I thought it might be an appropriate thing to have over the gate to a veteran's cemetery.

One more poem reference WWII. After VE Day, I visited a battlefield that I was on during the winter. I re-visited it in the spring, and later wrote:

Spring has come and hates the war --
the dead on her green meadows,
blood on grass.

She mocks the day with sunlit skies
and songbirds, and haunts the night
with whispers and the moon.

War's better on the cold days --
the lifeless black and gray of winter woods
matching well the moods of Mars

But Spring has come, who hates the war
she's ripped the snowy blankets from the graves
and danced upon the ground where dead men sleep.

Note to readers: If you have comments, click here or on the link at the bottom of the page!

 Comment on the questionnaire about putting the WWII Memorial on the Mall

See WWII Monument

18 June 2000

Shane Goddard wrote:

Patrick, my question to those that oppose the mall site is: What is more beautiful the honoring those who served and gave their all so that we may have the "Mall"? Those that oppose it need to look at the whole picture.

Good luck!!

Note to readers: If you have comments in the Memorial or the question, contact the editor. Click here or on the link at the bottom of the page!

 A search for Korean War History

Gary Murphy wrote: Hi to the Kilroywashere website.

Your site popped up during a search for Korean war history. Having read many things recently for the 50th anniversary of World War II and some personal side excursions into the history of Finland's wars with Russia at the same time, I am looking for similar sites on Korea. The Finnish Ministry of Defense posted a site that's impressive, (
http://virtual.finland.fi) including a daily news dispatch about the "winter war" of 1939 (. This type of information is my first desire in finding Korean war history to learn.)

Now, about the Kilroy Figure. At the Atterbury-Bakalar museum at Columbus Municipal Airport (Indiana) they have a part of their World War 2 display dedicated to the Kilroy legend. It gives a brief explanation of it and includes a comical figure about one of the jokes that must have been common to the legend back then. The figure is a small Japanese lady figure that's heavily pregnant and has a caption "Kilroy was here". Guess who was responsible for that!

We've had a lot of fun inviting and accompanying my grandfather to memorial dedications and various 50th anniversary world war 2 activities. the Korean war doesn't fit neatly into my family's history as the next generation wasn't old enough until the height of the Vietnam War. I would enjoy making an internet buddy of any Korean Veteran who could help further my education on this war,
and the often unreported DMZ battles after the armistice. I've heard personal tales of these happening as recently as 1991.

I'll forward anything I hear from your viewers to my family, esp brother and grandfather. we all make a year round hobby of history.

Note to readers: If you would like to respond to Gary's request, click here. I will forward to Gary.

 S.S. Leopoldville Disaster

Allan Andrade wrote:

On Christmas Eve 1944, the troopship Leopoldville was torpedoed & sunk in the English Channel by the German sub U-486. All 2,235 American soldiers aboard were members of 66th Infantry Division. There were 763 confirmed dead from 47 of then 48 states. There were 3 sets of brothers killed including 2 sets of twins. The bodies of both sets of twins were among the 493 never found. It was the worst disaster to ever befall an American Infantry Division as the result of an enemy submarine attack. Yet it is a tragedy the history books forgot.

I am the author of S.S. Leopoldville Disaster December 24, 1944. The back of my book has a In Memoriam section listing the names of all 763 confirmed dead alphabetical order by state. The Leopoldville Disaster Monument Ft. Benning, Georgia has all 763 names engraved on monument alphabetical order by state. Names taken directly from my book.

Many families all across America are still trying find out true circumstances of their loved ones death. I have complete "Leopoldville Disaster File" from National Archives. I help families learn facts & have connected a number of families with survivors from their relatives Company & platoon. My research for such families is offered for free with no strings attached. If you are seeking info about a Leopoldville victim or survivor, contact Leopoldville Disaster Author/Historian Allan Andrade as follows. <agandrade@earthlink.net>

Allan Andrade
Leopoldville Disaster Author/Historian

For more information contact the author directly at:

or read the reviews at
Barnes and Noble

 Cpl. Bill Hoover's Ammo . . .

Jim Wright wrote

In Bill Hoover's story, he mentioned "2nd Armored was the first Amtrac to be fitted with a open turret and a 75 mm canon, and was to be used as an assault weapon to get heavy fire power to the beach before the infantry landed." He might find it interesting that in 1956 I was LNO* (head FO**) of India Battery, 11th Marines ("Item" until that year.) FOs love to shoot artillery fire; most of us would have paid the Corps to let us do it. It is not so much fun, I understand, when folks are shooting back at you. The old armored LVTs, the ones used in WWII, were phased out and replaced by a heavier LVTA that mounted a 105. At that time, the Corps had no remaining 75 mm weapons in the division, except the recoilless stuff. That's why the usually thrifty Corps let us cannoneer types have a shooting orgy and shoot up all the 75mm stuff in the area. By the way, the great old 75 shooting amtracs don't have any FOs so they borrowed us artillery types for the occasion. It was in 1956 when I was a regular.One fine day we got a call from division telling us that the amtrac battalion's old LVTs, the ones Mr. Hoover is talking about, were being phased out and wanted us to shoot up all the 75mm ammo left in the area. We FOs were delighted to accept and for a couple of days, old "FightemItem's"*** forward observers blew up half of Camp Pendleton with all the 75 ammo left on the West Coast. Talk about kids with a key to the candy shop!

In 1965 I went back to the old area as a reserve S3, with 2-14. My old regular outfit had just shipped out for VN that very day. I was disgusted then and still am that it had been sent off to war without having ammo to train with before it left. In peacetime ammo was so short the last month before I Battery and the rest of the 1st MarDiv left for Vietnam, the battalion's batteries were only issued 30-40 rounds each. Nobody got to shoot many rounds. You'd think we'd have learned by 1965 from the experience of the Eleventh Marines in the summer of 1950, when the regiment was put together on board the ships taking them west. According to Col. Fox Parry, then the CO of 3/11, his was the only battalion that even got to train with ammunition, and the only way they were able to scrounge up 300 rounds of 105 was by begging, borrowing and stealing old surveyed rounds turned in to the Army as damaged. He recalls seeing Red Herndon, one of the battery execs, pounding the dents out of a powder canister so that the damned round would go in the breech. This country surely does not seem to absorb the lessons of the past and it costs a lot of lives in the beginning of a war. Reading his book, Three-War Marine, I was astounded to see more evidence that if the Marine Corps is a family, the Marine artillery is a small family. Two of his battery commanders in 1950 were my battalion commanders later in the 1960s. Herndon was later CO of the 4.5 Rockets and I was exec, the last exec, of the good old Charlie Rockets outfit in the reserves in the 1960s. Willie Gore, another exec of the Chosin battle, taught all us second looies firing battery in a short course at Quantico. He was a natural teacher and we came out of that 4-week course prepared to earn our pay as FOs and, in a pinch, execs

It still bugs me that we sent the Eleventh Marines off to war in 1965 having had only 30-40 rounds per battery to train with. As a reserve on ATD (summer training), the S3 of 2-14, I walked into my old office from my 3-11 days at 16 Area in Pendleton about an hour after my old battalion departed for Vietnam in June of '65. The outfit's ammo allotment was on a sheet of paper under the acetate on my old desk. For some reason, the Corps was always extremely generous with us reserves. I could get 200 rounds per day for our batteries if I wanted it. And I wanted it; there's nothing like shooting to teach you how to shoot. We had sharp people; I'd have put my old reserve howitzer battery, E of the 14th Marines, up against any regular battery I ever saw.

* Liason Officer, normally the most experienced FO
** Forward Observer
*** My old firing battery from 3-11 was I Battery, hence was named Item Battery in WWII and in Korea. Nobody much liked the new alphabet, which you'll remember was adopted to help the French pronounce the NATO alphabet, but the French quit NATO almost the same day it went into effect on 1JAN56, FightemItem was a kind of war cry of the battery, dating from the regimental football tournament, I think.

 About M/Sgt Paul Tillery's story


J.D. White wrote

Dear Paul (M/Sgt Paul Tillery's story):

I want to congratulate you on the great job you did on your page for the 124th. I flew L-5s with the 25th Liaison Sqdn on Mindanao and your pictures brought back a lot of memories. I think the picture of Jap Gen. Morozumi includes our CO (Major Geo. Wilson) who flew down to Davao to bring the general to our airfield at Del Monte for the surrrender ceremony at Xth Corps Hdqtrs. A few days later I flew Jap Gen Haroda (Harada? Horada? or Horoda?) from Davao to Del Monte. He was the 2nd in the Jap command and was sent to Mindanao for the specific purpose of eliminating the guerrilla forces led by American Col. Wendell Fertig. If you haven't read it, you would enjoy John Keats book "They Fought Alone" which is the story of the American service men on Mindanao who did not surrender and continued fighting as a guerrilla force. I have some pictures that you might want to add to your collection. If so, let me know and I'll try to get copies made for you. You should be proud of your work and I am sending a link to it to several old 25th L Sqdrn buddies who will enjoy it.

 Kilroy's the name . . .


Maureen Bagwell wrote:

I've been seeing Kilroys all my life! My maiden name is Kilroy, and I am one of seven children. Although I have no recollection of WW II, my mother tells me the legend made her life a bit difficult during the war. Apparently no one believed Kilroy was her name, and she had quite a time getting anyone to accept her checks! My family and I have always enjoyed the legend that goes with our name, and are always interested in new stories.

Broken Arrow


Paul Hacker wrote:

Reference Col. Richardson's
Broken Arrow story. Is that bomb still down in the Ocean?



From Col. Richardson

In our pre-flight briefing , we were told that the plutonium capsule for the device was not installed — only the high explosive triggering mechanism was in the bomb. Later this was questioned. A wide spread search was made in an attempt to recover the bomb but no sign of it was ever found.

Within a month of this incident , an identical bomb was accidentally dropped in a field, it exploded into fragments on contact. I think that is probably what happened to the device that was dropped in water. It probably exploded leaving little or no identifiable debris. During the recovery attempt, no radiation was detected. That could verify the lack of a nuclear presence or that the bomb didn't explode and was intact. No recovery was ever made.

Read the rest of the story 2005. Click the star

Kilroy after the war


I have saved your site in my "Favorites". Will now go back and peruse through it all and keep it up dated as you add things and as to the guest book.

I can't tell you how many times I have seen the Kilroy message in my years in the service. I am 70 now and joined after the war ended in June 1947. I got out of school in 1946 but waited till the next year when all my close friends graduated and we went in together. Even though it had ended it was still quite patriotic to go into the service and of course there had to be a constabulary force to keep the peace overseas after the fighting men left to go home.

By that time, however, "Kilroy" had visited just about every blank wall in the world. I wish I could think of some of the thousands and "odd" places I found it, but the memory is old now and can't come up with any. If I do, or think of something else to say I will sign the guest book. Spent the largest part of my time behind the "Iron Curtain" in Vienna Austria. When I give it some thought I am sure I will come up with something.

Having come from the Boston area myself it was enlightening to find that it started there. They also had a bridge there, still do, that used to be called the "Mystic River Bridge". I believe it was a "fete" of some kind when they built it having hit a particular point on the opposite side of where they started. (Something in that nature) In any event it was very popular at first. Signs were erected all over with arrows directing cars towards the bridge. I recall one that was evidently brought over by a GI to Vienna and he planted it at the foot of the Mariahilferstrasses and the (I believe the name is) Kartner Ring. Been a lot of years since then so may be wrong on the Kartner ring. Anyway I seen it one day and never again. But GI's are funny!!!

You have done a lot of work and I am sure it is well appreciated by the masses.

Thanks again,
Bill Nutile

High School Project


Greetings from Northern Illinois -
I have been looking for sites to have Juniors at East HS in McHenry IL to look for the other history - the stuff that our 1988 text does not even come close to touching. Your site is just what I hope my students understand that I want them to read and reflect on. Thanks! We will be starting next week with WW1 and moving to WWII and Korea the week after to read our other history. I have to get them to Desert Storm + . that is their new history and it needs to be built on our history. Well thanks. See you in a week or so.

Marty Sobczak - East HS McHenry IL


Martin, I find your letter especially satisfying! The hope that my site could help keep the memory of those times alive is what got me started. I am sending you some more information. Keep up the good work!

 The NAS Blimp Hangars: A "trace" remained in 1976!

I just read the article about the blimp Hangars at NAS Pensacola, FL. The article concludes with "The Hangars were finally razed in 1954, leaving no trace of the lighter-than air period." When I worked there in 1974-76, the foundations of the blimp Hangar were still there. I parked next to them many times. I believe this constitutes "a trace".

Ken Rice 



Don't know for sure but I think that the new campus has destroyed all of the foundations. If Ken would let me know where he parked I'll try to get a picture of place.

Tom Kercher

Note to readers: If you have any other information about the Hangars, please contact the editor. Click here or on the link at the bottom of the page!


To Honor My Brothers

Dear sir:
My name is Gerald Cagle. I was born after WW II ended, but my family suffered a great loss before I was born. Two of my brothers were killed in WWII. Clyde was KIA in Normandy on July 12, 1944 near St. Lo. George M. (Melton) was killed in Neurath, Germany on March 3, 1945. He was killed accidentally while cleaning the machine gun on his tank. Clyde was in Co. L, 121st Regiment, of the 8th Division. Melton was in Co. D, 786th Tank Battalion, attached to the 99th Division. As you can imagine, it has been my life's quest to find out as much about them as I could and honor them in my life and in any other way that I could. Since they were killed before I was born, this has been difficult. My family has not wanted to talk about them much. It was too painful. At one time, my mother had three sons and five brothers in service during WWII. One of her brothers was a POW in Germany. I am not writing this to get sympathy. My family lost much, but I am proud to be an American, and while I did not serve in the military, I feel a very close bond to servicemen and their families, especially those who paid the supreme price. I am thankful that my brothers were willing to serve, but I miss not knowing them. Through the internet and sources I have found, I have learned much about where they were when they died and their schedule of service in getting there. Clyde is buried in the Normandy Colleville Cemetery in Normandy, and Melton is buried in the Henri Chappelle cemetery in Belgium. I don't know as much about Melton's life as I do about Clyde's. There are just more letters from Clyde and about him. The organization of Normandy Allies has a page memorializing Clyde. I wonder if you would look at it. If it would be possible, could you include it in your site. I want to keep their memory alive. Part of the way I can do that is to try to get this site in front of as many people as possible. I don't know if there are Copyright considerations in something such as this, but if you are interested, would you correspond with them, or if you wish, I will. I thank you for your website. Thank you for honoring our heroes. I also thank you for your consideration. Here is a link to the web page:


May God richly bless you and give you the wisdom to continue your work.

Gerald Cagle

Response 1/04/00

I looked at your link (activated above for others.) It is a beautiful tribute to your brother. I will also put the link and that of the
The Organization of Normandy Allies in the Research page. Both have information that my readers will want. I try not to repeat stories that are easily available so I will settle for the link now, but how about Melton? Do you have enough on him to devote a page to him?

Kilroys Dad?

Edwin wrote:

I bought this old photo in a shop in Northern California. On the back it is dated April 14, 1950 and says "Hello Ethel". The photo seems to suggest that the man is named Wally Kilroy and his son was in the military. Could this be the father of James J. Kilroy? Is there a photo of James Kilroy available to compare with the photo on the front of the covered wKilroy-Wagon-Thumbagon?

Edwin P. Berlin, Jr.

Click here or thumbnail at right to see full picture



What a great old picture! I've never heard of any reference to Kilroy's family or of him ever being in the military but it's fun to think so.

Note to readers: If you have any other information about Kilroy, please contact the editor. Click here or on the link at the bottom of the page!

A Mild Rebuke

Vincent A. Krepps wrote:

Dear Webmaster.

I think it is about time for you to catch up with the change of Korea Police Action and Korean Conflict to the Korean War. By Act of Congress, President Clinton on September 22, 1998 officially announced by provision section 1067 that the Conflict that began on June 25, 1950 and lasted until July 27, 1953 is now known as the Korean War.

I think changes on your web page would make the Korean War Veterans visit your site more often if they saw the Korean War for most of us are very offended by those that continue to call it a Police Action or a Conflict.


Vincent A. Krepps
Editor, The Graybeards
Co-Webmaster www.kwva.org



You are so right! It was a war, and a very brutal, vicious one at that. I was being sarcastic (since it was started as a "police action") and hoped that would be apparent from the quotation marks. However, since my sarcasm may be missed by others as well, I will take your advice and change all references of a "police Action" to a war.

Thank you for your constructive criticism! The last thing I want is to offend the very people I set out to honor! With your permission, I'll add your very good, informative site to my links page.

Thanks again!

Note to readers: I was mistaken, Vince's site was already featured on my links page. These are, indeed the folks who KNOW about the Korean WAR!

  On to Letters, page 2

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