Portland Breaks Annual Homicide Record with More than Two Months Left in 2021

H/T Breitbart.

Portland got it’s wish and defunded the police and are paying the price with record homicides and rampant crime.

As of October 19, 2021, Portland, Oregon, has surpassed the record number of homicides for a given year with 67 homicides year-to-date.

Fox News reports that Portland’s record number of homicides for one year was 66, set in 1987, but the city has seen 67 for 2021.

The Associated Press notes that there have been “about 1,000 shootings” in Portland and “firearms have accounted for three-quarters of homicides.”

While many of the shootings can allegedly be traced to “gangs, fights and retaliation killings,” the violence is so widespread that innocent bystanders are endangered.

For example, 34-year-old Jacob Eli Knight Vasquez was struck by a stray bullet and killed in late September while sitting in a popular pizza bar.

Vasquez’s family pointed to police budget cuts and other restrictions that tie officers’ hands.

Vasquez’s brother-in-law, Don Osborn, said, “Let’s please untie the hands of our law enforcement officers. I believe if the proper tools were in place for our law enforcement officers, this wouldn’t even have happened.”

On June 22, 2021, Breitbart News observed Portland Police Association Executive Director Daryl Turner describing officer morale being “as bad as it’s ever been.”

Turner told NBC Nightly News that defunding the police had played a role in the conditions:

Morale is as bad as it’s ever been before. We’re dealing with rioting at a level and sustained violence that we’ve never seen before, we’re looking at violence in our city, gun violence in our city, like we’ve never seen before. We’re looking at the most catastrophic staffing levels that we’ve ever seen before; we’re looking at budget cuts to defund us at levels never seen before.

A Portland police officer pushes back protesters, September 26, 2020, in Portland. The protests, which began over the killing of George Floyd, often result in frequent clashes between protesters and law enforcement. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Gabby Giffords’ gun control outlet, Giffords, explains that Oregon has universal background checks, a red flag law, and gun storage requirements, among other controls.

Democrats at the federal level have spent years pushing universal background checks and a red flag law as a way to make America safer.

DHS Spends Half a Million on Wall Around Biden’s Beach House

H/T The Washington Free Beacon.

To hear liberals tell it walls don’t work.

Yet  there is a wall going around Joe Pee Pads Biden’s beach home.

The Department of Homeland Security will spend nearly a half-million dollars for a Delaware construction company to build a fence around President Joe Biden’s beach house.

The New York Post reported Friday that the department awarded Turnstone Holdings LLC a $456,548 contract to purchase and install security fencing at the president’s Rehoboth home. The Secret Service will be the subagency for the contract.

Construction of Biden’s security fence comes as the president faces a record-high surge of illegal immigrants at the southern border. Border Patrol agents this year detained more than 1.7 million migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border, the highest total ever recorded, according to the Washington Post.

One of Biden’s first actions in office was halting construction of former president Donald Trump’s border wall. Homeland Security this month canceled remaining contracts for building the wall.

Biden, who has not been to the border since he was elected president, said Thursday that “I haven’t had a whole hell of a lot of time to get down.” Vice President Kamala Harris, whom Biden in March appointed border czar, visited the border in June after bipartisan pushback.

The Stories Behind History’s Most Iconic War Photos

H/T War History OnLine.

Calling these photographs iconic is an understatement.

For nearly two centuries, photographers have been using pictures to document the horrors of war. This has led to some of history’s most famous photos, yet many are unaware of the events that led up to them. Here are the real stories behind nine of the most iconic war photos ever taken.

The Valley of the Shadow of Death (1855)

Early war photography was limited in scope, given the infancy of the technology, but that doesn’t mean the images aren’t any less jarring. British photographer Roger Fenton was sent to cover the fighting between Britain and Russia during the Crimean War. He wasn’t permitted to photograph the combat as it happened, but did cover its aftermath.

Empty dirt road
The Valley of the Shadow of Death. (Photo Credit: Roger Fenton / Wikimedia Commons)

The area pictured above was dubbed “The Valley of the Shadow of Death” by the British, due to the amount of shelling that occurred there. It was often covered with cannonballs fired during the fighting between the two sides.

While considered the “first iconic photograph of war,” some question its authenticity, as there’s a secondary photo of the same area without cannonballs strewn across the ground. After some investigation, it was determined soldiers likely gathered and placed them in ditches to reuse later.

Hitler visiting Paris landmarks (1940)

Adolf Hitler was conscientious of his public image, meaning few were privy to his personal life. One such person was Heinrich Hoffman, who, by 1940, was the only individual allowed to photograph the Führer. He was there in June 1940, when Hitler and his Nazi generals toured Paris‘ famous landmarks.

Hitler and other Nazi officials walking in front of the Eiffel Tower
Hitler touring the Eiffel Tower. (Photo Credit: Heinrich Hoffmann / Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0 DE)

This photo in front of the Eiffel Tower is one from Hitler’s first and only visit to the French capital. According to the Führer, the most impactful moment of the trip was a visit to Napoleon Bonaparte‘s tomb, after which he remarked, “That was the greatest and finest moment of my life.”

During the trip, he also ordered the destruction of two World War I monuments – of General Charles Mangin and Edith Cavell – as he didn’t want reminders of Germany’s prior defeat.

Warsaw Ghetto boy (1943)

The exact history surrounding this photograph isn’t known, but there are theories about the boy and the individual who took the photo. According to multiple sources, this image was likely captured by Franz Konrad, a Nazi photographer, and depicts those in the Warsaw Ghetto being rounded up and taken to concentration camps.

Polish Jews holding their hands up in surrender
Forcibly pulled out of bunkers. (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

It’s speculated the young boy is Tsvi Chaim Nussbaum, who hid in a bunker during the final liquidation of the ghetto before being found by German soldiers. SS-Rottenführer Josef Blösche is pointing a submachine gun in his direction to keep the boy and the rest of the crowd in line.

This photo became one of the most famous of the Holocaust, and the boy came to represent its Jewish victims and the children who suffered at the hands of the Nazis. If he is actually Nussbaum, he survived the war and went on to become a doctor in New York.

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima (1945)

Arguably the most recognizable photograph from the Pacific War is Joe Rosenthal’s Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima. The image was snapped by the Associated Press photographer atop Mount Suribachi on February 23, 1945, and is a symbol of America’s resolve during their fight against the Japanese.

Soldiers raising the American flag on Iwo Jima
Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima. (Photo Credit: Joe Rosenthal / Wikimedia Commons)

On that day, US Marine commander Colonel Dave Severance was leading E Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division during the Battle of Iwo Jima. The fight was important, as the US needed the island’s strategically-placed airstrips.

After defeating the Japanese, Severance sent his company to the top of Mt. Suribachi to plant the American flag, an action initially photographed by Sergeant Louis Lowery. However, Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal wanted the flag as a memento, so the commander sent a second group up the mountain to install another flag. It was this effort that Rosenthal captured on film.

V-J Day in Times Square (1945)

Many are aware of this photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt, taken in Times Square on August 14, 1945. It depicts a US Navy sailor kissing a stranger (a dental assistant) on Victory Over Japan Day – better known as “V-J Day” – in New York City.

Sailor kissing a woman in Times Square
V-J Day in Times Square. (Photo Credit: Alfred Eisenstaedt / Getty Images)

President Harry Truman was anticipated to announce the end of the war that evening, and a spontaneous celebration occurred in Times Square. According to Eisenstaedt, he was unable to collect the names of those he was photographing, given the speed at which everything was happening. All that’s known for certain is this image was shot south of 45th Street, looking north from where Broadway and Seventh Avenue converge, around 5:51 P.M.

Over the years, there have been attempts to identify the two individuals. Unfortunately, their names (and faces) remain under speculation to this day.

Flower Power (1967)

The March on the Pentagon was a large-scale demonstration against the Vietnam War on October 21, 1967. More than 100,000 protestors attended a rally at the Lincoln Memorial, after which 50,000 marched to the Pentagon. It was there The Washington Star photographer Bernie Boston snapped Flower Power, showing George Harris placing a carnation into the barrel of a soldier’s M14 rifle.

Men placing flowers in the stocks of military guns
Flower Power. (Photo Credit: The Washington Post / Getty Images)

The March on the Pentagon was organized by the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam. Those who participated were met by soldiers from the 503rd Military Police Battalion, and it was at this point Harris stepped forward and started placing flowers in the M14 barrels.

The photo is seen as a symbol of the Flower Power movement, which began as a way to protest against the Vietnam War. The movement used non-violent objects, as opposed to violence, to share its opposition.

“Tank Man” (1989)

The violence in Beijing in 1989 shocked the world. The student-led protests aimed to bring democracy to China, and many held firm, despite being faced with armed troops who fired at those blocking the military advance into Tiananmen Square. On June 4, 1989, the Chinese government declared martial law and sent the People’s Liberation Army to occupy central Beijing. Thousands were killed and even more injured.

Lone male protestor blocking four tanks in the middle of the road
“Tank Man.” (Photo Credit: Archive Photos / Getty Images)

The most iconic image of the incident was taken the next day, when an unknown man stood in front of a row of tanks leaving Tiananmen Square. He continually shifted his position as the tanks tried to manoeuvre past him. Sadly, there is no reliable information regarding the fate of the protestor, as China has censored the image and the accompanying events.

Kuwaiti oil fires (1991)

With Iraqi forces retreating from Kuwait following the International Peacekeeping Coalition’s invasion in 1991, Saddam Hussein ordered the destruction of the country’s oil fields. It’s reported between 605 and 732 oil wells, along with an unspecified amount of oil-filled areas, were destroyed by the Iraqi military.

Fighter jets flying over burning oil fields
F-16A, F-15C and F-15E fighter jets flying during Operation Desert Storm. (Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force)

While the fires began in January and February 1991, the first wasn’t extinguished until April, and the last wasn’t capped until November 6. While concrete figures aren’t available, it’s believed between four and six million barrels of crude oil were burnt per day, along with between 70 and 100 million cubic meters of natural gas.

This image, taken by the US Air Force, shows F-16A, F-15C and F-15E fighter jets patrolling Kuwait during the fires. The smoke not only caused a Royal Saudi Air Force C-130H to crash, but provided the Iraqi forces a smokescreen during the Battle of Phase Line Bullet.

Liberian militia commander Joseph Duo (2003)

Joseph Duo was a militia commander loyal to the Liberian government. This image, taken by Chris Hondros, shows the moment after he grabbed his rocket launcher and fired. It detonated amid a group of rebels, causing the militia leader to leap in joy. The photo came to define the strife within Liberia.

Joseph Duo jumping in the air while holding a grenade launcher
Joseph Duo, Liberian militia commander. (Photo Credit: Chris Hondros / Getty Images)

Hondros once said, “Sometimes a picture captures things that people respond to. This is a picture of fighting that shows some of the uncomfortable realities of war. One of those is that [some] people in war enjoy it – they get a bloodlust.”

While Duo shares he was celebrating because he was defending his country, he now doesn’t like looking at the photo, saying, “It gives me the memories of war.”

The 8 Greatest Comebacks in Military History

H/T War History OnLine.

A military comeback is an opportunity rarely given to commanders. The chance to switch the tide of battle to one’s favor is incredibly rare, and equally difficult to do, often requiring the alignment of random factors like weather, or significant external help.

This list features 8 important comebacks that had major implications on their respective wars or political climates.

Battle of Stirling Bridge

Battle of Stirling Bridge
A Victorian depiction of the battle. The bridge collapse suggests that the artist has been influenced by Blind Harry’s account. (Photo Credit: C Hanley, History Of Scotland / Wikipedia / Public Domain)

On 11 September 1297 Scottish forces defeated the English near the River Forth, during the First War of Scottish Independence. Scottish King John Balliol had recently surrendered to the English and was undermined by King Edward I of England. Scottish nobles overthrew Balliol and allied with France, resulting in King Edward invading Scotland.

In 1297 William Wallace and Andrew de Moray led a revolt against the English, who battled each other over a bridge near Stirling. The outnumbered Scots managed to defeat the British forces, the first major Scottish victory in decades.

Battle of Saratoga

Battle of Saratoga
Battle of Saratoga. General Arnold was wounded in the attack on the Hessian Redourt. (Photo Credit: Bettmann / Getty Images)

The Battle of Saratoga is considered to be a pivotal moment in the American Revolutionary War against the British. The British planned to cut off New England from the mid-Atlantic colonies by sending large amounts of surplus troops into Albany. While the three British armies were en route to Albany, one of them, led by Sir William Howe, abandoned the plan and instead attempted to invade Pennsylvania.

The army led by General John Burgoyne battled Continental forces at Freeman’s Farm and Saratoga, suffering heavy losses while waiting for reinforcements from an army that would never arrive. The defeat of British forces led to France officially becoming America’s ally.

The Defeat of the Spanish Armada

Spanish Armada Defeat
Contemporary Flemish interpretation of the launching of English fire-ships against the Spanish Armada, 7 August 1588 (Photo Credit: Royal Museums Greenwich Collections / Public Domain)

In 1588 Spain sent their formidable Armada to Great Britain with the hopes of invading the country and overthrowing Queen Elizabeth I to remove Spain’s then-rival. However, Britain’s faster ships were able to successfully battle Spain’s Armada along their southern coast.

The Armada was devastated by Britain, with Spain losing 15,000 troops. The victory solidified Britain as a global force to be reckoned with.

Prussia during the Seven Years War

Seven Years War
The Battle of Fehrbellin was a battle at Fehrbellin of the Seven Years’ War between Swedish and Prussian forces fought on 28 September 1758, historical illustration. (Photo by: Bildagentur-online/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

In 1756 Prussian King Frederick the Great invaded Saxony, kicking off the Seven Years War, which saw Prussia and Great Britain face off against Austria and France. The Anglo-Prussian alliance was outnumbered by the combined forces of Russia, France Sweden, and Austria.

Just as it looked like Prussia would be defeated, Russia switched sides when Tsar Peter III ascended to the throne in 1762, sending reinforcements to Frederick. The war ended shortly after Russia’s change of allegiance.

Battle of Gettysburg

Battle of Gettysburg
July 1863: US Civil War 1861-65. A wide view of a portion of the Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 1-3 July 1863. An 1884 color illustration. (Photo by Stock Montage/Stock Montage/Getty Images)

The Battle of Gettysburg was part of the Confederate’s invasion of the North which was hoped would earn the South recognition from foreign nations. The battle was fought between June 1 and June 3 1863 and came just weeks after the Confederate success at Chancellorsville in Virginia. The Confederate forces, led by Robert E. Lee, clashed with Union troops at the town of Gettysburg, with the battle initially leaning in the South’s favor.

But after a few days of savage battles that claimed thousands of lives, Union forces held their ground and emerged victoriously. Overall, the Battle of Gettysburg resulted in over 35,000 casualties.

Battle of Thermopylae

Battle of Thermopylae
The Battle of Thermopolye. Leonidas attacks. BPA 2 #2274 (Photo Credit: Bettmann / Getty Images)

The Battle of Thermopylae is one of the most famous battles in history, fought in 480 BC between King Leonidas I of Sparta and the Achaemenid Empire of Xerxes I. Leonidas was massively outnumbered by Persian forces, so he utilized a bottleneck that the Persians were forced to pass through. Days into the fight, a local resident betrayed the Greeks when they revealed a path that could be used by the Persians to outflank the Greeks.

Realizing they were about to be attacked from the rear, Leonidas instructed his forces to retreat, while leaving a small group of Spartan warriors who fought to the death.

Battle of Midway

Battle of Midway
Mikuma cruiser during the midway battle, japan, second world war, 1942. (Photo by: Marka/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The Battle of Midway took place between June 4 and June 7, 1942, and just like the Battle of Saratoga, it was a turning point for the belligerents involved. The Japanese aimed to lure US aircraft carriers into a trap and knock these powerful assets out of the war while capturing Midway, which would allow Japan to extend its reach across the Pacific.

If successful, the trap would be another in a series of Japanese victories in the early stages of the Pacific War.

However, US cryptographers had cracked Japanese communications weeks before, so the US knew where and when the Japanese would strike. The ensuing clash claimed four Japanese aircraft carriers, 3,000 men, and 300 aircraft. In return, the US lost 360 men and 145 aircraft. It has gone down as one of the greatest naval battles ever.

Battle of Waterloo

Battle at Waterloo
Center of the British army in action at Waterloo 18 June 1815, the last battle of the Napoleonic Wars. After W Heath. (Photo by Universal History Archive/Getty Images)

This battle took place on 18 June 1815 and brought about the end of the Napoleonic Wars. In 1814 Napoleon was forced to abdicate the throne after butting heads with powerful European countries. However, Napoleon briefly returned to power in 1815 and began the Hundred Days campaign. A large coalition of European nations formed to stop Napoleon, although he still emerged victorious over them a number of times.

This would change at the Battle of Waterloo, which saw Britain and their allies finally stop Napoleon. They were aided by poor weather which slowed Napoleon’s movements. Napoleon abdicated four days later.

The Mysterious Disappearance and Discovery of the Lady Be Good

H/T War History OnLine.

On 4 April 1943, an American B-24D Liberator named Lady Be Good mysteriously disappeared while returning from a bombing run over Naples. The aircraft seemingly vanished into thin air. In 1958 a British oil exploration team discovered the wreckage of a large aircraft laying in the Libyan Desert. Upon closer inspection, it was revealed to be the wreckage of Lady Be Good that went missing 15 years before.

The story of her disappearance, her time capsule-like rediscovery, and her crew’s grit is nothing short of incredible.

Lady Be Good

Lady Be Good was a new aircraft when she was assigned to the 514th Bomb Squadron on March 25, 1943. Her crew was also fresh, having arrived in Libya the previous week. Lady and her nine-man crew flew their first, and what would be their last mission together on April 4. The formation was to take off in waves from Soluch airstrip in Libya and make their way to Naples in Italy, 700 miles away.

Lady was one of the last aircraft to depart from Soluch. On the way, the formation ran into powerful sandstorms, which forced most of them to return back to base. Lady Be Good carried on.

When she reached Naples at 7:30 pm at an altitude of 25,000 feet, the target was hidden by poor visibility, so the bombers turned around and headed home. The aircraft dropped their ordnance into the Mediterranean Sea to reduce their weight and conserve fuel.

On their return to Soluch, Lady Be Good, who was flying alone, encountered problems. At 12:00 am, the aircraft’s pilot, Lieutenant William Hatton, radioed Soluch informing them that their automatic direction finder was not working and that they needed the directions to the airfield. However, these directions never came, causing the B-24 to fly straight over the airfield and deep into the Sahara Desert.

By 2:00 am the aircraft was running on fumes, so the crew parachuted out. Without anyone onboard, the ghostly aircraft carried on alone for another 16 miles, descending along a shallow trajectory and hitting the ground relatively gently.

A search and rescue mission was launched but did not find the aircraft or its crew. It was assumed that Lady Be Good had crashed into the Mediterranean Sea. Its loss was a mystery.

Discovery

Lady Be Good Discovery
The Consolidated B-24D Lady Be Good as it appeared when discovered from the air in the Libyan desert. (Photo Credit: United States Air Force)

Lady Be Good remained one of WWII’s many unsolved mysteries until 1958. A British Petroleum exploration team was flying over the Libyan Desert in November 1958 when they spotted the wreckage of a large aircraft. They were unable to inspect the wreckage themselves but reported its location.

In May 1959 a team ventured out to the location of the wreckage and found it to be the missing plane Lady Be Good. They instantly noticed its remarkable, time-warp-like condition.

Lady Be Good was broken in two, but the gentle nature of the crash and bone-dry conditions of the desert meant the aircraft was perfectly preserved. The team found containers still filled with water, a flask that still contained coffee, and the crew’s personal possessions such as clothes and the navigator’s logbook.

Lady Be Good Crash
Nose view of Consolidated B-24D Lady Be Good crash site. The plane made a surprisingly good pilotless belly landing and skidded 700 yards before breaking in half and stopping. (U.S. Air Force photo)

In addition, the B-24’s .50 caliber machine guns still worked, with the investigators actually firing one, and the aircraft’s radio was still functional. One of the engines was found to work too.

However, they did not find any crew or their parachutes, indicating that they bailed out.

Around a year later the US military became involved and began a search for the remains of the missing crewmen. The search did not find their remains, but it discovered personal artifacts and markers strewn across the desert.

Lady Be Good Crash Site
US Air Force Photo. Aircraft parts were strewn by the Consolidated B-24D Lady Be Good as it skidded to a halt amid the otherwise emptiness of the desert. (Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force)

In 1960, in a way similar to how the aircraft itself was found, a British oil exploration team found five of the crewmen’s remains, prompting another US search for the last four. The search found two bodies, while yet another British oil team found a third. The ninth airman has never been found.

Experts at the time estimated that with their supplies, the men could not have made it more than 30 miles in the brutal desert. Incredibly, the furthest man was found 109 miles from the aircraft.

The discovery of the bodies also returned many items used by the men during the trek, including a sobering diary by Lieutenant Robert Toner, which detailed the crew’s final days.

Explanation

Lady Be Good
Top turret and center fuselage wreckage of the Consolidated B-24D “Lady Be Good.” (Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force)

The artifacts found at the wreckage and on the remains of the crewmen have enabled experts to piece together what likely happened to Lady Be Good and its novice crew.

When returning home from Naples, the crew likely thought that the desert below them was the Mediterranean Sea, which is why they bailed out instead of attempting to land the aircraft. One of the crewmen died immediately on impact.

The rest managed to meet up and established that they were 100 miles from Soluch. In reality, they were 400 miles away.

They knew they had to head north, and all eight were able to travel an exceptional distance of 85 miles with just half a canteen of water. However at this point, five of the men were too weak to carry on, so the remaining three continued north for another 20 and 27 miles before also succumbing to the desert.

It is thought that if the men returned to their aircraft, they may have survived the ordeal thanks to its working radio and large stocks of supplies.

The men of Lady Be Good are a testament to the sheer strength of the human will to survive. They managed to walk a distance many thought impossible, through some of the harshest conditions anywhere on the planet.

Today, the eight airmen found in the desert rest in the US.

Americans with guns are safer than the gunless

H/T JPFO.

Alex Baldwin is a classic example of having zero concept of gun safety.

Hidden by mass media and public schools, guns are good
The Bill of Rights once again proves more valuable than many people realize

One drawback of the mass media’s overt bias and lack of objectivity is the negative cast it puts on gun owners—women, people of color, poor people, disadvantaged of every description, in fact, all good decent citizens who choose to exercise their natural right to be legally armed.

By refusing to report on all the good that guns do—crimes stopped, lives saved, rapes prevented—Americans have lost a critical perspective. People who bear arms are far safer and more judicious than the general gunless population. It’s true. The enormous responsibility of owning and bearing arms, even without a lot of formal training, forces these citizens to take crime-avoidance steps, act responsibly, treat arms with the respect they deserve, learn more about the vast social utility of firearms and stay on the good side of the law.

Gunless people in contrast, often harboring blind terrifying untreated medical-level fear of firearms, act irrationally about weapons and people who exercise their rights. In a comfortable halo of ignorance and exposure, they have a net deleterious effect on the social fabric. They quell their fears by attacking people who exercise civil rights, push for unconstitutional laws, and most of all, have zero concept of gun safety. With schools refusing to teach that, and pushing an agenda of helpless disarmament, they hurt the very heart of our nation. Gunless people are dangerous, more dangerous that those who are armed and help deter crime and incivility.

Statistics bear this out. Citizens justifiably shoot more criminals in the act than police. The public, true first responders, are at the scene when it happens, instead of responding later to pick up the pieces. Real heroes, moms and dads and even kids, are all around us, but this is hidden by hoplophobic mass media. That will and must change.

Who Really Invented the Electric Guitar?

H/T Popular Mechanics.

After 80 years, we still don’t really know.

Here’s how the Most Successful Submarine, in US Navy History Accidentally Sunk Itself

H/T War History OnLine.

A sad end to such a valiant submarine and her crew.

The USS Tang is the US’ most successful submarine, sinking over 100,000 tons of enemy shipping over five combat patrols during WWII. Her experienced and highly skilled crew terrorized Japanese sailors, yet she was sunk by one of her own torpedoes, an unfitting end for such a prestigious vessel and crew.

At the time of her sinking, Tang had completed four war patrols and operated in the Taiwan Strait on her fifth. Just on this patrol alone she had already claimed a number of enemy vessels and damaged many more.

However, on the night of October 24, 1944, a stroke of terrible luck would end her distinguished career.

USS Tang

USS Tang
United States Navy Submarine USS Tang, SS 306, at sea, date not given. (Photo by Arkivi/Getty Images)

Tang was a Balao-class submarine constructed at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in 1943. As a Balao-class submarine, Tang was over 300 feet in length and displaced over 1,600 tons. She carried 24 torpedoes and with her diesel-electric propulsion was able to reach a maximum surface speed of 23 mph.

From her commissioning Tang was commanded by Lieutenant Commander Richard O’Kane, a man who had already served five war patrols on the USS Wahoo.

Although she reached service rather late, she would go onto to become the most successful US submarine of the war.

First war patrol

Her first war patrol began on 22 January 1944 when she left Pearl Harbor for the Caroline Islands and the Mariana Islands. Almost immediately she discovered a convoy of Japanese ships and attacked, sinking one transport before diving to avoid return fire. After a number of similar engagements, she finished her first war patrol with 6 kills, about 18,000 tons of shipping.

Second war patrol

Second Patrol of USS Tang
A U.S. Navy Vought OS2U Kingfisher floatplane from the battleship USS North Carolina (BB-55) off Truk with nine aviators on board, awaiting rescue by USS Tang (SS-306), 1 May 1944. The plane had landed inside Truk lagoon to recover downed airmen. Unable to take off with such a load, it then taxied out to Tang, which was serving as a lifeguard submarine during the 29 April-1 May carrier strikes on Truk. (Photo Credit: US Navy / Wikipedia / Public Domain)

Tang’s second patrol was a lot less eventful than her first, finishing without any kills. It began on 16 March and saw her spend time around the Palau Islands, Davao Gulf, and Truk. One of her notable actions on this patrol was when she rescued 22 airmen and took them to Hawaii.

Third war patrol

Any lack of action on her second war patrol was certainly made up for on her third, with Tang sinking 10 enemy vessels. Her third patrol began on 8 June 1944 and was mostly spent in the Yellow and East China seas. She soon ran into a large Japanese convoy comprised of two dozen vessels, most of which were armed escorts. She bravely mounted a rapid assault on the convoy, firing torpedoes at two separate targets, reporting two kills. However Japanese records would later show that Tang actually sank four vessels, with the other two likely crossing into the torpedoes’ paths accidentally.

She found another ship later in June and attacked before diving to avoid the enemy defenses. She quickly returned to the surface and fired another torpedo, which split the Japanese ship in half and claimed the lives of 3,200 troops. She finished this patrol with over 40,000 tons of shipping now on the seafloor.

Forth war patrol

Her fourth war patrol took place from 31 July to 3 September and went similarly to the third. She claimed another seven ships, one of which was destroyed by her deck gun.

The sinking of the USS Tang

USS Tang off Mare Island Navy Yard
The U.S. Navy submarine USS Tang (SS-306) off the Mare Island Naval Shipyard, California (USA), 2 December 1943. (Photo Credit: US Navy / Wikipedia / Public Domain)

When Tang began her fifth war patrol she was among the most seasoned and highest-scoring submarines in the US Navy. She patrolled the Taiwan Strait between Taiwan and China, one of Japan’s most critical areas. She sank two cargo ships on the night of October 10 before continuing on her hunt. On October 23 she discovered a large group of Japanese ships, with O’Kane deciding to attack at night.

Fearlessly, Tang sprang up in the center of the convoy and began unloading torpedoes into the surrounding ships during a truly incredible and chaotic battle. The single submarine managed to damage and sink several ships while countering incoming attacks. Tang noticed two cargo ships bearing down on her for a ram, so she made evasive maneuvers which resulted in the Japanese ships colliding with each other instead.

She then finished them both off with torpedoes. With another three vessels approaching her at high speed she quickly retreated to open water, leaving a scene of destruction in her wake.

The next evening she attacked another large convoy and expelled the rest of her remaining torpedoes sinking more ships. In the early hours of October 25, she fired off her last torpedo, a Mark 18 electric torpedo.

However instead of flying straight, the torpedo curved round in a circle and headed back toward the USS Tang, who unsuccessfully attempted to evade it. Just 20 seconds after it launched, the torpedo struck Tang’s aft torpedo room, immediately killing half of the 87-strong crew. Water rushed into the stern of the submarine and she began to sink. During the sinking, a few men were able to escape.

The reason for the torpedo’s malfunction is unknown.

The submarine landed on the bottom of the ocean, which was just 55 meters below the surface. Survivors still inside the submarine, including O’Kane, made their way to the undamaged bow compartments. They destroyed any sensitive documents on board and began to escape. 13 attempted the escape, but only 8 reached the surface.

The next morning a Japanese frigate pulled the nine surviving men from the ocean. Once on the ship, they realized the survivors of their work from the previous night were also on board, and they were beaten nearly to death. The men were eventually relocated to the Ōfuna prisoner-of-war camp, where they were once again severely beaten. Just 5 men made it out of the war alive.

Over her five patrols, Tang sunk 33 enemy ships, making her the most successful US Navy submarine in history. She also earned four battle stars and two Presidential Unit Citations. O’Kane was awarded the Medal of Honor for his role in the submarine’s final battle.

How MoH Recipient Joseph ‘Bloody’ Chamberlain Earned His Nickname And Became A War Hero

H/T War History OnLine.

Joshua Chamberlain served in the American Civil War, starting out as a lieutenant colonel and eventually rising to the rank of brigadier general in the Union Army. He was severely wounded several times and was later awarded the nation’s highest honor, the Medal of Honor. After the war, he became a state governor and the president of Bowdoin College, all while suffering from the injuries he received during the war.

Chamberlain’s younger years

He was born on September 8 1828 in Brewer, Maine to Sarah Dupee and Joshua Chamberlain. Although he was born in America, Chamberlain’s lineage dated back to twelfth-century England. Military history was ingrained into his family, with his great grandfather serving in both the American Revolutionary War and the French and Indian War. Likewise, his grandfather served in the War of 1812.

Even his father had military experience, serving in the Aroostook War.

Naturally, his father wanted him to continue the tradition and join the military, even naming him after a famous Navy officer, however his mother wanted her son to become a minister.

His father’s wishes would win out in the end though, with Chamberlain joining a military academy in the 1840s. Following this, he learned Greek so he could enter Bowdoin College in the late 1840s, graduating in 1852. Chamberlain would come to fluently speak Arabic, Syriac, Hebrew, and French.

In 1855 Chamberlain returned to Bowdoin College, but this time to educate students, rather than learn. He taught a wide range of subjects.

Also in 1855, he married Fanny Adams and the two had a daughter the following year. Their second child would die young, but their third, a boy, survived. Unfortunately, the pair lost their fourth child.

The Civil War

Joshua Chamberlain - AKA Bloody Chamberlain
Mathew Benjamin Brady – Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. (Wikipedia / Public Domain)

As soon as the American Civil War began in 1861 Chamberlain was solidly on the side of the Union. He was very vocal about his position, urging others to support the cause and stand up for what they believed in. This spilled over into his work, with Chamberlain actively speaking to his students about his beliefs, resulting in him receiving a leave of absence from the college.

He joined the Union Army almost straight away.

He was first offered the impressive rank of colonel, but Chamberlain refused this as he believed he was not yet experienced enough for such a position. Instead, he became a lieutenant colonel for the 20th Maine Regiment in August of 1862.

His early actions were at the Battle of Fredericksburg in late 1862, where the 20th Maine Regiment faired relatively well against the enemy but lived in terrible conditions surrounded by the corpses and wounded from other units.

Chamberlain served under Colonel Adelbert Ames, but once the latter was promoted, Chamberlain was appointed as a colonel in mid-1863.

The Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863 would cement Chamberlain’s name in the history books.

The early stages of the battle were in the Confederate’s favor, who pushed Union troops back to a defensive line to the south of Gettysburg. With Union forces temporarily in disarray, the Confederates launched a large attack on their left flank, toward Chamberlain’s position.

Little Round Top - Bloody Chamberlain Position
Map by Hal Jespersen posix.com via Wikipedia

Chamberlain and the 20th Maine Regiment defended a small hill known as Little Round Top against a full-on assault by Confederate forces, who were slowly draining Chamberlain of men, supplies, and ammunition. Out of options, Chamberlain mounted a daring bayonet charge towards the enemy, starting with his left flank first. He swung his entire line around, attacking and flanking the enemy, capturing a large number of troops and stopping the attack.

During the charge, he was nearly killed on numerous occasions but was seen taking prisoners with his saber. For his brave actions defending the hill Chamberlain was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1893.

The following year Chamberlain was promoted to brigade commander but was severely wounded in the fighting around Petersburg, with the division surgeon declaring that he would not recover. Before his expected death Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant promoted him to brigadier general.

However, even death couldn’t stop Chamberlain, who was back in the saddle by the end of the year.

In 1865 he was once again wounded in the fighting on the Quaker Road. He received an injury to his left arm, which nearly needed to be amputated, and was shot in the chest. The bullet traveled through his horse’s neck, punched through a framed photo in his chest pocket, entered his body but traveled around his ribs and exited out his back. To his fellow men, it looked like the general, who remained in the fight, had been shot straight through the chest.

After this, he received the nickname “Bloody Chamberlain” and was promoted to major general by President Abraham Lincoln.

When Confederate forces surrendered in 1865, Chamberlain was tasked with overseeing their surrender parade at Appomattox Court House.

Post-war life

Bloody Chamberlain
Studio portrait of General Joshua Chamberlain, a Federal officer during the American Civil War. Chamberlain won the Medal of Honor for his heroism commanding the 20th Maine Infantry during the defense of Little Round Top at the Battle of Gettysburg. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Chamberlain was extremely popular after the war, so he decided to run for the Governor of Maine, which he easily achieved and served for four years.

With his run as governor over, he returned once again to Bowdoin College in 1871, this time as the college’s president. He remained there until 1883.

He then participated in business activities in art, real estate, hotels, and even in public services.

For the rest of his life, he was plagued by the injuries he received during the Civil War but continued to stay active, returning to Gettysburg often and staying involved in military affairs.

Chamberlain died in Portland, Maine in 1914. His death was caused by his wartime injuries, likely the injury he received at Petersburg. At his side when he died was the same doctor that helped him at the time of this injury 50 years earlier.

In One Mission in October 1944, Two F6F Hellcats Shot Down a Record 15 Enemy Aircraft

H/T Smithsonian Magazine.

This was a major victory foe these two pilots.

U.S. Navy Pilots David Mc Campbell and Roy Rushing made history in a heroic air battle over the Leyte Gulf.

 

Two Grumman F6F Hellcats streaked across the sky above the Philippines. Below them, armadas of ships clashed in an epic battle to control the sea around the island of Luzon, where American and Australian ground forces engaged the Japanese in bitter combat.

It was October 24, 1944, and the Battle of Leyte Gulf—the largest naval engagement in modern history—had just begun. The Hellcat pilots, U.S. Navy Capt. David McCampbell and his wingman Ens. Roy Rushing, were looking for trouble up ahead and they found it—a squadron of 60 Japanese aircraft, including bombers escorted by Zeroes, the feared fighter of the Japanese Imperial Navy.https://6591f81e3a1418d2529b00d0e7a661f6.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Despite being overwhelmingly outnumbered, the American pilots never hesitated. Throttling their Hellcats’ powerful 2,000-horsepower engines, they ascended for the attack. From on high, they waded into the enemy on repeated sorties, each blasting away with six .50-caliber machine guns.

In One Mission in October 1944, Two F6F Hellcats Shot Down a Record 15 Enemy Aircraft
For their bravery that day, McCampbell (above: in an undated photo), who died in 1969, received the Medal of Honor while Rushing, who died in 1986, received the Navy Cross. Bettman, Getty Images

“We’d make an attack, keep our altitude advantage and speed, and go down again,” McCampbell recalled in a 1987 interview for the U.S. Naval Institute’s oral history project. “We repeated this over and over till we made about 20 coordinated attacks.”

The American pilots shot down a total of 15 planes—an achievement still unequalled in combat aviation. Both earned “ace in a day” status by downing five or more aircraft each on one mission. That day, McCampbell scored nine “kills”—seven Zeroes, also known as the Mitsubishi A6M Reisin, and two “Oscars,” the Nakajima Ki-43. None of the Japanese bombers reached their targets. With their formation so scattered, the enemy pilots had to abort their mission.

McCampbell and Rushing were aided in their accomplishments by the aircraft they flew, the Hellcat F6F. The rugged and versatile fighter plane became the bulwark of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps for carrier-based attacks in the Pacific theater during World War II. Nicknamed the “Zero Killer,” the American Hellcat, time and again, stayed one step ahead of Japan’s main fighter. 

“The Grumman Hellcat outperformed the Zero in nearly every major category,” says Thomas Paone, curator at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. “While it wasn’t the fastest aircraft, it was certainly faster than the Zero. The F6F could fly higher and deliver more firepower than the Japanese plane, making it the superior aircraft in the Pacific.”

In One Mission in October 1944, Two F6F Hellcats Shot Down a Record 15 Enemy Aircraft
The Smithsonian’s F6F Hellcat saw service in World War II as part of Fighter Squadron 15 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hornet, though it never participated in combat. NASM

“It was a simple aircraft to build, a simple aircraft to fly and it was very rugged.”

The National Air and Space Museum includes a Grumman F6F Hellcat in its collections. Suspended from the ceiling at the museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center, located in Chantilly, Virginia, this particular model saw service in World War II as part of Fighter Squadron 15 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hornet, though it never participated in combat. It was donated to the Smithsonian by the U.S. Navy in 1948 and in 1983, the artifact underwent a full restoration.

Ironically, this storied fighter plane was pretty much an afterthought. The F6F was intended as an improved version of another a rugged American fighter, the F4F Wildcat that had certain limitations when facing the Zero. The Hellcat, however, was only developed after the F4U Corsair, the Wildcat’s replacement, encountered development difficulties.

Grumman built the heavily armored Hellcat based on the F4F design but with different landing gear, much larger wings, and a bigger engine and propeller—essentially a brand-new fighter. It launched into production quickly in 1943 with Grumman manufacturing 12,275 planes by the end of the war.

“It was a simple aircraft to build, a simple aircraft to fly and it was very rugged,” Paone says. “Just having newly trained pilots being able to fly it well was a major factor in its success.”

In One Mission in October 1944, Two F6F Hellcats Shot Down a Record 15 Enemy Aircraft
Pilots loved the Hellcat because of its outstanding performance against the Japanese Zero (above: also in the collections of the National Air and Space Museum) and other enemy aircraft. NASM

The Hellcat proved to be a dream fighter in nearly every way. Pilots loved it because of its outstanding performance against the Zero and other Japanese planes. Despite entering the war when it was halfway through, the Hellcat accounted for 75 percent of all aerial victories recorded by the Navy in the Pacific, according to the National Naval Aviation Museum.

The adaptable aircraft enabled McCampbell and Rushing to make history. For McCampbell, this was the second time he achieved that honor. The ace had previously shot down seven Japanese aircraft on June 19, 1944 during the Battle of the Philippine Sea, in what became known as the Marianas Turkey Shoot.

As the Battle of Leyte Gulf got underway on October 24, 1944, McCampbell scrambled from the USS Essex. But he would soon learn his aircraft was severely handicapped.

As he and Rushing hurriedly made their way into the air, McCampbell noticed his main tank was only half full. He continued to shoot down enemy aircraft until he realized his Hellcat fuel tanks were nearly empty and he might not make it back to the aircraft carrier.

Fortunately, McCampbell did manage to land his Hellcat back on the Essex, but air crews could not restart the aircraft to move it—the tanks were bone dry. Worse, when they examined his machine guns, they found he had only six bullets left and all were jammed.

“But it worked out all right,” he said simply in the oral history project interview.

For their bravery that day, McCampbell, who died in 1969, received the Medal of Honor while Rushing, who died in 1986, got the Navy Cross. McCampbell, who remains the U.S. Navy’s all-time top fighter ace, also earned the Navy Cross, Silver Star, Legion of Merit and three Distinguished Flying Crosses. With 34 aerial victories, he was the third highest scoring American ace, but the highest scoring U.S. fighter pilot to survive the war.