Full Interview with Holocaust Survivor, Theodore Haas


Holocaust Survivor Denounces Anti-Gun Movement


Unlike many interviews with Holocaust survivors, this one conducted by Aaron Zelman, founder, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (12500 NE 10th Pl Bellevue, WA 98005. Phone: (800) 869-1884; one year membership $25) with Theodore Haas, a JPFO member and a former prisoner of the infamous Dachau concentration camp, is a clear warning to all freedom loving peoples to keep our guard up against arrogant politicians who are hell bent to create governments that control our lives.

In pre-Nazi Germany, the good, law-abiding citizens dozed while government passed laws (all purported to be for the public good) that paved the way for tyranny to flourish. Haas, who survived years of Nazi persecutors, is speaking out to Americans who are now dozing while our government, at the strong urging of leftists in the media and others in society they influence, passes laws (again supposedly for the public good) to ban and severely restrict firearms ownership. Theodore Haas believes ‘gun control’ is a prelude to totalitarian rule

Q.) How did you end up at Dachau? How old were you?

A.) November 9th, 1938 was Kristalnacht — The Night of Broken Glass — The night Synagogues were ransacked and burned, Jewish owned shops destroyed; I guess you could call it the night the fires of hell engulfed the soul of humanity. I was arrested November 10th, “for my own personal security.” I was 21 years old. My parents were arrested and ultimately died in a concentration camp in France. I was released from Dachau in 1941, under the condition that I leave Germany immediately. This was common procedure before the “Final Solution.”

Q.) What did you think when you were sent to Dachau? What did you know about Dachau beforehand?

A.) My first thoughts were those many others: “The world has gone mad.” I knew that the life expectancy at Dachau was relatively short. I knew beforehand that inmates were abused. The horror of Dachau was known throughout Germany. People (Germans) use to frighten their children, “If you do not behave, you will surely end up at Dachau.” A famous German comedian, Weiss Ferdl, said “Regardless how many machine gun towers they have around K.Z. Dachau, if I want to get in, I shall get in.” The Nazis obliged him; he died at Dachau.

Q.) How did you accept the fears of Dachau?

A.) Due to the constant hunger and extreme cold weather, one becomes too numb to even think of fear. A prisoner under these conditions becomes obsessed with survival; nothing else matters.

Q.) What were the living conditions like in Dachau?

A.) We were issued one quarter of a loaf of bread. That was to last three days. In the morning, we picked up, at the kitchen, a cup of roasted barley drink. There was no lunch. At dinnertime, sometimes we got a watery soup with bits of tripe or some salt herring and a boiled potato. Our prison clothes were a heavy, coarse denim. They would freeze when they got wet. We were not issued hats, gloves or underwear.

The first night, about 500 prisoners were stuffed into a room designed to hold 50 (Believe me, it is possible). Later on, we were forced to sleep on straw. As time went on, the straw disintegrated and we became louse infested. The guards delighted in making weak and ill clothed prisoners march or stand at attention in rain, snow, and ice for hours. As you can imagine, death came often due to the conditions.

Q.) Do you have residual fears? How do you feel about German re-unification?

A.) I have nightmares constantly. I recently dreamed that a guard grabbed me. My wife’s arm touched my face, and I unfortunately bit her severely. German re-unification, in my opinion, will be the basis for another war. The Germans, regardless of what their present leadership says, will want their lost territories back, East Prussia, Silesia, and Danzic (Gdansk). My family history goes back over 700 years in Germany. I understand all too well what the politicians do not want the people to be thinking about.

Q.) You mentioned you were shot and stabbed several times. Were these experiments, punishment or torture?

A.) They were punishment. I very often, in a fit of temper, acted “while the brain was not in gear.” The sorry results were two 9 mm bullets in my knees. Fortunately, one of the prisoners had a fingernail file and was able to dig the slugs out. In another situation, I was stabbed in the washroom of room #1, Block 16. Twice in a struggle where I nearly lost my right thumb. A German prisoner Hans Wissing, who after the war became mayor of his home town, Leinsweiler, witnessed the whole situation. We stayed in touch until a few months ago, when he died.

Q.) Do you remember some of the steps taken by the Nazis to de-humanize people and to make them feel hopeless? How were people robbed of their dignity?

A.) If you had treated an animal in Germany the way we were treated, you would have been jailed. For example, a guard or a group of them would single out a prisoner and beat him with canes or a club. Sometimes to further terrorize a prisoner, the guards would form a circle around a prisoner and beat him unconscious. There were cases of a prisoner being told to report to the Revier (“Hospital”) and being forced to drink a quart of castor oil. Believe me, this is a lousy, painful, wretched way to die. You develop extreme diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and severe dehydration. If the Nazis wanted you to live and suffer more, they would take measures to rehydrate to victim.

Q.) What was the routine like at Dachau?

A.) Three times a day, we were counted. We had to carry the dead to the square. Each time, we had to stand at attention in all kinds of weather. We stood wearing next to nothing, had weak bladders, while our tormentors had sheepskin coats and felt boots. The bastards really enjoyed watching us suffer. I remember how the guards had a good laugh when one of them “accidentally” let loose with a machine gun, killing about 30 prisoners.

Q.) What did people do to try to adjust to Dachau? Keep up their spirits up?

A.) There were some actors, comedians, and musicians among us. Sometimes they would clandestinely perform. One of the musicians got hold of a violin and played for us. To this day, it remains a mystery how he got his hands on a violin. I still keep in touch with other prisoners. I am a member of the Dachau Prisoners Association. Each year I go back to Germany to visit.

Q.) Did people ever successfully escape? Do you remember acts of bravery?

A.) Nobody escaped, only in the movies does the “hero” escape. Guards received extra leave time for killing prisoners that got too close to the fence. I do, however, think all prisoners were heroes in their own way. Especially the German prisoners, for they would not acquiesce to the Nazis. They suffered greatly too.

Q.) Did the camp inmates ever bring up the topic, “If only we were armed before, we would not be here now”?

A.) Many, many times. Before Adolph Hitler came to power, there was a black market in firearms, but the German people had been so conditioned to be law abiding, that they would never consider buying an unregistered gun. The German people really believed that only hoodlums own such guns. What fools we were. It truly frightens me to see how the government, media, and some police groups in America are pushing for the same mindset. In my opinion, the people of America had better start asking and demanding answers to some hard questions about firearms ownership, especially if the government does not trust me to own firearms, why or how can the people be expected to trust the government?

There is no doubt in my mind that millions of lives could have been saved if the people were not “brainwashed” about gun ownership and had been well armed. Hitler’s thugs and goons were not very brave when confronted by a gun. Gun haters always want to forget the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, which is a perfect example of how a ragtag, half starved group of Jews took up 10 handguns and made asses out of the Nazis.

Q.) Did you have any contacts with the White Rose Society (mostly German students against Hitler)? Did anyone try to hide you from the Nazis?

A.) I did not, but my local friend, Richard Scholl, had two cousins or nephews who were members. Both were executed in Munich (I believe) for standing up for decency and freedom. Not enough people knew about the White Rose Society. There were many non Jews who were not anti Semitic and were very much opposed to Hitler. It was impossible to hide people from the Nazis in Germany — it is so densely populated and food was rationed. Another point that many people fail to understand is that in Germany, you had a situation where the children were reporting to their teachers if their parents listened to the BBC on the short wave radio, or what they were talking about at home. If a German was friendly to a Jew, he was warned once. If he failed to heed the warning, he would disappear and never be heard from again. This was known as “Operation Night and Fog.”

Q.) Do you think American society has enough stability that Jews and other minorities are safe from severe persecution?

A.) No. I think there is more anti-Semitism in America (some of it caused by leftist Jewish politicians and organizations who promote ‘gun control’ schemes) than there was in Germany. This may stun some people, but not all Germans hated Jews. My best and devoted friends in Germany were Christians. I perceive America as a very unstable society, due to social tinkering of the Kennedy/Metzenbaum-type politicians. When I first came to this wonderful country after World War II, America was vibrant, dynamic and promising society. There really was an American dream, attainable by those who wanted to work. Now, due to the curse of Liberalism, America is in a period of moral decline. Even worse, corrupt criminals hold high political office, and you have police officials who don’t give a damn about the Bill of Rights. They just want to control people, not protect and serve. When you study history, you see that when a country becomes an immoral manure heap, as America is rapidly becoming, all minorities suffer, and ultimately, all the citizens.

Q.) What words of warning would you like to give to young people who will soon be eligible to vote?

A.) Vote only for politicians who trust the people to own all types of firearms, and who have a strong pro-Second Amendment voting record. Anti-gunownership politicians are very dangerous to a free society. Liberty and freedom can only be preserved by an armed citizenry. I see creeping fascism in America, just as in Germany, a drip at a time; a law here, a law there, all supposedly passed to protect the public. Soon you have total enslavement. Too many Americans have forgotten that tyranny often masquerades as doing good. This is the technique the Liberal politicians/Liberal media alliance are using to enslave America.

Q.) What message do you have for ultra-Liberal organizations and individuals who want America disarmed?

A.) Their ignorance is pitiful — their lives have been too easy. Had they experienced Dachau, they would have a better idea of how precious freedom is. These leftist should leave America. These Sarah Brady types must be educated to under-stand that because we have an armed citizenry, that a dictatorship has not yet happened in America. These anti-gun fools are more dangerous to Liberty than street criminals or foreign spies.

Q.) Some concentration camp survivors are opposed to gun ownership. What message would you like to share with them?

A.) I would like to say, “You cowards; you gun haters, you don’t deserve to live in America. Go live in the Soviet Union, if you love ‘gun control’ so d— much.” It was the stupidity of these naive fools that aided and abetted Hitler’s goons and thugs. Anti-gunownership Holocaust survivors insult the memories of all those that needlessly perished for lack of being able to adequately defend themselves.

Q.) It appears the Liberal left in America is tolerating, and sometimes espousing anti-Semitism. Why do you think so many Jews still support the leftist form of Liberalism?

A.) It is for this very reason that I firmly believe that we harbor more stupid and naive people in our midst, than any other group of people. It amazes me how Liberal Jews have such short memories that today, they would be so supportive and involved in setting up the mechanics of ‘gun control’, so that a Holocaust can happen again. All they’re doing is playing into the hands of the very clever communists who are masters at conning Americans.

Q.) Why did you join JPFO?

A.) I feel every Jew should be armed to the teeth, as should every American. I joined JPFO because as a group, we can stand up up Liberal Jewish gun haters and also to Gestapo minded anti-gun police who want total control of the people. I wish JPFO was in existence years ago. I believe the Jewish involvement in gun control would not be anywhere close to what it is today, but better now than never.


To deny that an unarmed citizen could benefit from being well armed in a predicament such as this,
is to Love a Lie, more than to love the truth!

Oldest living Marine, Dorothy ‘Dot’ Cole, Passes at age 107

H/T War History OnLine.

R.I.P. Dorothy”Dot”Cole. Semper Fi.


One of the first ladies to enlist as a Marine Reservist, Dorothy’ Dot’ Cole, has passed away at the fabulous age of 107.  Last September, her 107th birthday was widely celebrated. She was lauded as being the oldest living Marine in the United States.


Dot lived with her daughter, Beth Kluttz (67), for the past 20 years, but sadly she passed away in Kannapolis from a heart attack on Thursday ….

Shortly after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbour in 1941, she responded to the call to enlist. At 28years old, Dorothy Schmidt, as she was then, set off on a 150-mile bus ride from Warren, Pennsylvania, for Pittsburgh. Her objective was to enlist in the Navy.

Dorothy was bitterly disappointed when the recruiter told her that she did not meet the Navy’s enlistment standards. She had always had the nickname ‘Half-Pint’ due to her short stature, as she was only  4 feet 11 inches tall.

A Marine Corps Women’s Reserve recruiting poster from World War II.
A Marine Corps Women’s Reserve recruiting poster from World War II.

But where there is a will, there is a way, and Dorothy came up with a new plan. Returning to Warren, she decided to learn to fly and then do all she could to persuade the Marines to let her fly planes for them.

This was a bold idea as, from 1918, the Marines had only permitted females to fulfill clerical positions, but Dorothy’s plans and the war effort were to mesh.

In July 1942, with the war escalating, in both Europe, Africa, and the Pacific, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the law enabling the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve to plug the gaps. These were in the administration, supply, and training at Marine bases.

The Marine Corps dragged its feet in setting up the Women’s Reserve, and it did not come into being until February 1943. Five months later, on the 12th July 1943, Dorothy enlisted at age 29, one of the first ladies to do so.

When she enlisted, she was the owner of a private pilot’s license and had over 200 hours logged on a Piper Cub. Much to her disgust, this was not enough to tempt the Corps to let her fly.

After completing her basic training, she was assigned to a typewriter instead of an airplane. Still, her cheerful personality shone through, and she loved her uniform, especially the hat she was issued.

Dorothy spent the next two years at Quantico, responsible for typing up correspondence for the firing range officers. She remembers that this was a difficult time as the ladies were not welcomed by all the men.

She met her future husband, Wiley Cole, a 6 foot 2-inch sailor. Wiley served on the aircraft carrier USS Hornet in the Pacific. In October 1942, the USS Hornet was torpedoed and sunk.



Dorothy was discharged honorably from the service in December 1945 and moved to San Francisco to join Wiley, where they married. Both went on to work at Moffett Field, Silicon Valley, for the Ames Research Centre, which was incorporated into NASA in 1958. Wiley was employed as an aerial photographer, and Dorothy was taken on as a secretary.

Their only child, a daughter Beth, was born in 1953, and Wiley died two years later from a heart attack.

Dorothy was lauded later in life as she became the oldest living female Marine. At age 107, as of September 2020, she was the most senior living Marine of either sex. With this accolade, she became a minor celebrity and took part in several interviews.

Today, the ladies who enlist in the Marine Corps have a plethora of opportunities to take advantage of. Still, it is the pioneering spirit of the ladies like Dorothy Cole that has enabled this transformation.  However, it is just as well that Dorothy did not hold out for a pilot’s position as women were not permitted to fly aircraft for the Marines until 1995.

One of the Last WWII “ATA-Girls” Dies at Age 103

H/T War History OnLine.

R.I.P. Eleanor Wadsworth.

Eleanor Wadsworth passed away at the age of 103. She was one of the last remaining members of the British Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA). Members of the ATA were women who flew military airplanes in non-combat roles during World War II.


According to the ATA Association, Wadsworth was one of 165 women who were capable of flying without radio or instrument flying instructions.

Wadsworth died in December after being ill for a month. She lived in Bury St. Edmunds at the time of her passing.


There were approximately 1250 men and women from 25 different countries who transported 309,000 aircraft of 147 different types.

Eleanor personally flew 22 different types of aircraft. Image: Eleanor Wadsworth/Howard Cook
Eleanor personally flew 22 different types of aircraft. Image: Eleanor Wadsworth/Howard Cook

Wadsworth joined the ATA in 1943. She had seen an advertisement for female pilots and was one of the first six to be accepted who had no previous flying experience, according to historian Sally McGlone.

In 2020, Wadsworth said in an interview that she was looking for a new challenge when she signed up for the ATA. “…(L)earning to fly for free was a great incentive,” she said. She didn’t give much thought to it after putting her name in.

The Spitfire was her favorite plane to fly. She flew them 132 times, calling it a “beautiful” plane that was “great to handle.”



McGlone said that Wadsworth and the other ATA pilots were an inspiration to women around the world. Historian Howard Cook said that it was “incredibly brave” of the women to take on the challenge.

Karen Border is writing a book about the ATA pilots. She interviewed Wadsworth and found her to be extremely humble about her part in the war effort.

Wadsworth’s son Robert said his mother spoke matter-of-factly about her service. She would tell him that they had a job to do and they just did it.

There are now only two surviving women from the ATA; Nancy Stratford of the USA and Jayne Edwards who is British but now lives in Canada.

The concept of using civilians to ferry military planes began in 1938. The Air Civil Guard was formed to provide flight training to civilians up to 50 years of age. Many members of the Guard were former WWI pilots who were too old for service in the RAF but wanted to continue using their skills to help with the inevitable second World War. The ATA then was formed in September of 1939.

The initial plan for the ATA was for civilians to deliver mail, medical supplies and other deliveries. It didn’t take long for the auxiliary pilots to start transporting aircraft from factories to air bases and delivering supplies to the front lines. By February 1940, the ATA took sole responsibility for transporting planes which freed up the RAF and RN pilots for combat duty.

Eleanor Wadsworth (bottom row, far left). Image: Eleanor Wadsworth/Howard Cook
Eleanor Wadsworth (bottom row, far left). Image: Eleanor Wadsworth/Howard Cook

The first eight female pilots joined the ATA on January 1st, 1940. Despite all being qualified and experienced pilots, they were severely restricted in which aircraft they were allowed to fly and which missions they were allowed to fly them on. They were also paid 20% less than male pilots (which was a common practice of the times).

Pauline Gower worked to get the women equal flying opportunities and, on July 19, 1941, Winnie Crossley became the first woman to qualify to fly the Hurricane fighter plane. From then on, women were trained on more and more military planes.

In 1942, Lettice Curtis became the first woman to fly a four-engine bomber.

In 1943, the women were given equal pay which made the ATA one of the first Equal Opportunity Employers.

Tuskegee Airmen Veteran, Theodore “Ted” Lumpkin Dies Aged 100

H/T War History OnLine.

R.I.P. Theodore “Ted” Lumpkin Jr.

Theodore “Ted” Lumpkin Jr., a member of the world-famous Tuskegee Airmen, passed away on the day after Christmas in 2020, a few days before his 101st birthday, from complications related to the COVID-19 virus.


Notice of his death was released by the Los Angeles City College. He had attended the college from 1938 to 1940, earning an associate degree.

Lumpkin was born on 30th December 1919. He undertook his senior schooling at Jefferson High School. He then graduated with an associate degree in Mathematics at Los Angeles City College in 1940.

Theodore Lumpkin.
Theodore Lumpkin.

Military Service

In 1941 the USA entered World War II, and Lumpkin was drafted in the following year. After completing his basic training, he attended officer cadet school and was promoted to the rank of Second Lieutenant.

After officer school, he was assigned to the airbase at Tuskegee, Alabama, to join the 100th Fighter Squadron. This squadron was entirely made up of African American soldiers due to the segregation laws in place at the time.

Lumpkin has poor eyesight, so he could not train as a pilot. Instead, he trained as an intelligence officer for air combat. His task was to brief pilots on the mission they were to fly. He was posted to Rametelli Air Base in Italy, where the Tuskegee Airmen served as part of the 332nd Fighter Group. They flew as fighter escorts to bombers, flying sorties all over occupied Europe.

The Tuskegee Airmen became one of the most decorated and revered squadrons during World War II. Their flying skill and bravery earned them the respect of the bomber squadrons. It was often the Tuskegee Airmen that were requested for difficult or dangerous escort missions due to these skills.

In 1946, having attained the rank of captain, Theodore Lumpkin left active service.  He immediately became a member of the Air Force Reserves. When he finally retired in 1979, it was with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Ted Lumpkin was very active in the military associations of the Tuskegee Airmen. He was a member of their national board and served as president of the Los Angeles chapter. He was also a member of the Tuskegee Airmen Scholarship Foundation.

Civilian Life

Having received his honorable discharge in January 1946, Ted Lumpkin returned to school. Using funds from the GI Bill, he studied for a sociology degree, which he received from the University of Southern California.

He commenced work as a social worker in 1947 for the City of Los Angeles. In 1953 he studied for and successfully completed a master’s degree in social work at the same university where he received his Bachelor’s degree. He worked in many different departments for the county. These included community developments and the model cities departments, as well as the Bureau of Adoptions and urban affairs.

The 332nd’s aircraft had distinctive red painted tail sections, that gave them the name “Red Tails.”
The 332nd’s aircraft had distinctive red painted tail sections, that gave them the name “Red Tails.”

In 1979 Ted Lumpkin retired from social work and moved into the real estate field. He was still working in this field even after his 100th birthday.

In 2007 Lumpkin was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor that the American Congress can give to a civilian, for his work as a Tuskegee Airmen.

In 2009 Ted Lumpkin was one of the Tuskegee Airmen invited to attend President Barak Obama’s inauguration.

Ted Lumpkin is survived by his wife.

How Codebreaker Elizebeth Friedman Broke Up a Nazi Spy Ring

H/T Smithsonian Magazine.

Elizabeth Friedman’s story needs to be told.

A new PBS documentary traces her extraordinary life, from her Quaker upbringing to her career as the U.S.’ first female cryptanalyst

A young white woman in a long coat, wearing a fashionable hat cocked to one side on her head, carries a briefcase and poses in front of a doorway

Armed with a sharp mind and nerves of steel, Elizebeth Smith Friedman (1892–1980) cracked hundreds of ciphers during her career as America’s first female cryptanalyst, successfully busting smugglers during Prohibition and, most notably, breaking up a Nazi spy ring across South America during the 1940s.


But until records detailing her involvement in World War II were declassified in 2008, most Americans had never heard of Friedman. A man—then-director of the FBI J. Edgar Hoover—took credit for Friedman’s wartime success, and she took her secret life as one of the country’s top codebreakers to the grave.

Those eager to learn more about Friedman’s extraordinary accomplishments can now watch a new documentary, “The Codebreaker” on PBS’ “American Experience,” for free online. Based on journalist Jason Fagone’s 2017 nonfiction book, The Woman Who Smashed Codes, the film also draws on Friedman’s archival letters and photographs, which are held by the George C. Marshall Foundation.

As Suyin Haynes reports for Time magazine, the PBS documentary arrives amid a surge of interest in Friedman: In 2019, the United States Senate passed a resolution in her honor, and in July 2020, the U.S. Coast Guard announced that it would name a ship after her.

Born into a Quaker family in Huntington, Indiana, in 1892, Friedman studied poetry and literature before settling down in Chicago after graduation. A devoted Shakespeare fan, she visited the city’s Newberry Library to see a 1623 original edition of the playwright’s First Folios, wrote Carrie Hagan for Smithsonian magazine in 2015.

There, a librarian impressed by Friedman’s interest put her in touch with George Fabyan, an eccentric millionaire seeking researchers to work on a Shakespeare code-cracking project. She moved to Fabyan’s estate at Riverbank Laboratory in Geneva, Illinois, and met her future husband, William Friedman. The pair worked together to attempt to prove Fabyan’s hunch that Sir Francis Bacon had written Shakespeare’s plays, filling the texts with cryptic clues to his identity. (Years later, the couple concluded that this hunch was incorrect).

When World War I broke out, Fabyan offered the government the assistance of the scholars working under his guidance at Riverbank. The Friedmans, who wed in 1917, became leaders in the first U.S. codebreaking unit, intercepting radio messages and decoding encrypted intelligence.

Though Friedman never formally trained as a codebreaker, she was highly skilled at the process, historian Amy Butler Greenfield tells Time.

Butler Greenfield adds, “She was extraordinarily good at recognizing patterns, and she would make what looked like guesses that turned out to be right.”

After World War I, the U.S. Coast Guard hired Friedman to monitor Prohibition-era smuggling rings. She ran the unit’s first codebreaking unit for the next decade, per Smithsonian. Together, she and her clerk cracked an estimated 12,000 encryptions; their work resulted in 650 criminal prosecutions, and she testified as an expert witness in 33 cases, reports Time.

All told, wrote Hagan for Smithsonian, “[Friedman’s] findings nailed Chinese drug smugglers in Canada, identified a Manhattan antique doll expert as a home-grown Japanese spy, and helped resolve a diplomatic feud with Canada.”

Friedman succeeded in her field despite significant barriers associated with her gender: Though they both worked as contractors, she earned just half of what her husband made for the same work, according to Smithsonian. After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the Navy took over Friedman’s Coast Guard unit and essentially demoted her. (Women would only be allowed to serve fully in the military after 1948, notes Kirstin Butler for PBS.)

William, left, a white balding man in a bowtie and suit, and Elizebeth, right, a white woman in a suit jacket, sit at a desk with codebreaking materials in front of them; both are elderly
Elizebeth Friedman, right, with her husband, William. Though William earned fame as a cryptologist during his lifetime, Elizebeth’s achievements have only come to light in recent years, when documents detailing her achievements were declassified. (Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

Friedman achieved her greatest code-breaking feat in the 1940s. Working for the Coast Guard, she led a team that eavesdropped on German spies as they discussed the movement of Allied ships in South America. This was high-stakes business: As Americans fought in World War II, they feared that Axis powers would attempt to conduct Nazi-backed coups in several countries in South America, per PBS.

In 1942, Friedman’s worst fear materialized. Cover transmissions from the Nazis abruptly stopped—a sign that her targets had discovered they were being spied on. As it turned out, FBI director Hoover, eager to make a career-defining move, had tipped off Nazi spies to the U.S.’ intelligence activities by hastily raiding sources in South America.

Then 49, Friedman was left to deal with the aftermath, which PBS’ Butler describes as the “greatest challenge of her career.”

Adds Butler, “Even after Hoover’s gambit set her efforts back by months, Friedman’s response was what it had always been: She simply redoubled her efforts and got back to work.”

Eventually, Friedman and her team used analog methods—mostly pen and paper—to break three separate Enigma machine codes. By December 1942, her team had cracked every one of the Nazi’s new codes. In doing so, she and her colleagues unveiled a network of Nazi-led informants led by Johannes Sigfried Becker, a high-ranking member of Hitler’s SS. Argentina, Bolivia and Chile eventually broke with Axis powers and sided with the Allied forces, largely thanks to Friedman’s intelligence efforts, according to Time.

Friedman’s husband, William, earned recognition during his lifetime and is credited by many as the “godfather of the NSA,” an organization that he helped to shape in its early years, Fagone tells Jennifer Ouellette of Ars Technica.

His wife, meanwhile, “was a hero and she never got her due,” says Fagone to Time.

“She got written out of the history books,” Fagone continues. “Now, that injustice is starting to be reversed.”

Firm But Fair – Former Missouri Sheriff, served with Marines in South Pacific in WWII

H/T War History OnLine.

R.I.P.Missouri Sheriff  Wyman S. Basinger.

Wyman S. Basinger has a reputation that endures following his years of service as sheriff of Cole County, Missouri, earning him the distinction as a firm, but fair, law enforcement official. His engagement with a number of organizations in the community hardened his noble reputation; however, few realize that his spirit of public service was developed and forged during his service with the Marine Corps, which earned him a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts during World War II.


Born in Cedar City on August 10, 1922, Basinger went on to graduate from. Jefferson City (Missouri) Senior High. According to his registration card, the 19-year-old was employed by Montgomery Ward in Jefferson City, when he registered for the military draft on June 30, 1942.

Rather than wait on a determination of his local draft board, Basinger “enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps (on September 1) 1942, serving 31 months with the First Marine Division in the South Pacific,” reported the Jefferson Post-Tribune on January 3, 1968. “He participated in four major campaigns, including New Britain and New Guinea,” the newspaper further explained.

In late December 1943, the 23-year-old Marine was embroiled in the thick of combat when “the 1st Marine Division landed on the western tip of New Britain to seize an important airfield at Cape Gloucester,” wrote Trever Dupuy in “Asiatic Land Battles: Japanese Ambitions in the Pacific.”

According to a history of the 1st Marine Division listed on the website of the U.S. Marine Corps, the division was “the first ashore at the Battle of Cape Gloucester on 26 December 1943; and continued fighting on the island, at such places as Suicide Creek and Ajar Ridge, until February 1944.”

Wyman S. Basinger was a long serving and respected sheriff for Cole County, Missouri. Prior to becoming sheriff, he served in combat as a Marine in the South Pacific and was recalled to duty during the Korean War. Courtesy of Becky Hunter Ambrose
Wyman S. Basinger was a long serving and respected sheriff for Cole County, Missouri. Prior to becoming sheriff, he served in combat as a Marine in the South Pacific and was recalled to duty during the Korean War. Courtesy of Becky Hunter Ambrose

Although the next battle of the war for 1st Marine Division, the Battle of Peleliu, is considered the bloodiest and most costly of the war in terms of lives with the division losing 1,749 Marines in 10 days of fighting, Basinger was fortunate to survive without any injuries. Sadly, the providence that had protected the Marine evaporated during the division’s next major battle—the Battle of Okinawa.

On April 1, 1945, “more than 60,000 soldiers and US Marines of the US Tenth Army stormed ashore at Okinawa, in the final island battle before an anticipated invasion of mainland Japan,” notes an article by the National World War II Museum. “After a largely unopposed initial advance, US forces soon encountered a network of Japanese inland defenses.”

During the intense fighting that unfolded in the next two and a half months, Basinger was wounded when struck by shell fragments on one of his hands. On June 18,1945, he incurred a more serious wound when peppered by shell fragments across his back. He survived and recovered from his injuries; however, approximately 12,000 of his fellow Americans were killed during the struggle to take Okinawa.

While on furlough from the Marines Corps, Basinger married the former Frances Virginia Hunter on August 21, 1945, during a ceremony in Kansas City, Kansas. The Marine sergeant received his discharge on November 9, 1945, and shortly after his return to Jefferson City, embarked upon a career as a printer with the Commercial Printing Company.

Basinger is pictured with his wife, Frances, following their marriage in Kansas City, Kansas, in August 1945. Courtesy of Becky Hunter Ambrose
Basinger is pictured with his wife, Frances, following their marriage in Kansas City, Kansas, in August 1945. Courtesy of Becky Hunter Ambrose

He began to acquire law enforcement experience as early as 1949, when he became a member of the American Legion Police—an organization comprised of volunteers who assisted the local police force in times of emergency or when additional officers were needed.

The Daily Capital News reported in their January 4, 1968 edition that the World War II veteran had been “recalled to active duty in the Korean War…” He was stationed in California, where he “served as a weapons and demolition instructor” for Marines preparing for combat overseas until receiving his second and final discharge on March 11, 1952.

Shortly after his return to Jefferson City, he embarked upon a life of volunteerism when elected president of the Jefferson City Jays Booster Club, coached the American Legion junior baseball team and was a deputy sheriff for a number of years. Additionally, he was an active in several local veterans’ organizations including the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans and the Marine Corps League.

Basinger left his career as a printer in 1968 when he was elected Cole County sheriff. While serving his fifth consecutive term as sheriff in 1986, he died from a massive blood clot after he was involved in a vehicle accident when responding to an emergency call near Brazito.

A section of State Highway 179 was designated the Wyman S. Basinger Memorial Highway in 2006 through Senate Bill 990, which was sponsored by the late Senator Carl Vogel of Jefferson City. Additionally, the VFW Post in St. Martins, Basinger-Sone Post 1003, is co-named in honor of the late Marine,

“Wyman and Frances never had any children of their own and I think that allowed them to do so much for so many kids in the area,” said Becky Hunter Ambrose, Basinger’s niece. “He often dressed up as Santa Claus around Christmas and visited homes where a child might be having a problem or there was a single parent living there.”

She continued, “He was so respected that I can remember at his funeral visitation, there were lots of men who came through the line and said things to my Aunt Frances like, ‘Wyman arrested me a bunch of times but kept me from getting into real trouble.’

When the hearse and procession left the church and drove past the old jail, a jailer and two trustees stood on the steps of the jail and saluted.” Softly, she added, “Not many sheriffs would be treated that way.”


How a US Squad Saved Some of the World’s Most Valuable Horses

H/T War History OnLine.

This is a story that needs to be told over and over again.

As World War II wound to a close, just days before Adolf Hitler would take his own life in a bunker in Berlin, the 2nd Cavalry Group of the United States 3rd Army undertook a rescue operation unlike any other in the history of the war, to rescue some of the most valuable horses in the world.


In April 1945, Colonel Charles Hancock Reed, the commander of the 2nd Cavalry Group, was approached by two German officers. The 2nd Cavalry was preparing to rescue 400 Allied prisoners of war being held at Weißensulz in Sudeten. The German officers were veterinarians who begged the Americans to accept the surrender of the troops in the village and to rescue 250 Lipizzaner horses among others, including a horse that had belonged to German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and one that had belonged to the King of Yugoslavia, Petar.

The lineage of all current Lipizzan hoses can be traced back to the original eight individual horses.
The lineage of all current Lipizzan hoses can be traced back to the original eight individual horses.

The Lipizzaner are some of the most valuable horses in the world. They were bred for the Hapsburg royals in Spain to meet the need for military horses and for riding school. The Lipizzaner were recognized for their beauty, intelligence and sturdiness. They are almost pure white horse and are capable of performing intricate and precise riding maneuvers.

The Germans were concerned about reports that the Red Army of the Soviet Union had captured other valuable horses and killed (and sometimes eaten) them. Colonel Reed, having begun his military career in the cavalry, riding horses, was eager to save the horses. He said after the war that he was tired of the violence and inhumanity and wanted to “do something beautiful.”

The Lipizzaner horses in Weißensulz were worth an estimated $3 million (US). Colonel Reed issued the command to save the horses in what was coined “Operation Cowboy.” The 42nd Squadron was put in charge of the operation.

There is a persistent myth that General George S. Patton issued the order to rescue the horses since he commanded the 3rd Army but historian Jindřich Marek from the Military History Institute in Prague states that there is no evidence that Patton was aware of the operation until it had already been carried out.

The horses were being kept in the nearby village of Hostouň to protect them from Allied bombing runs. The first Americans to reach Hostouň were a platoon of 28 troops and another platoon of five M-24 Chaffee light tanks. They reached the village on April 28th while the rest of the 42nd went on to rescue the prisoners of war.

A horse among those captured by Nazis is inspected by American Colonel Hank Reed at the stables in Hostau at the end of April 1945. Patton Museum
A horse among those captured by Nazis is inspected by American Colonel Hank Reed at the stables in Hostau at the end of April 1945. Patton Museum

The German soldiers in Hostouň surrendered without a fight and the Americans took possession of the horses. Some were sent to Bavaria, some to Austria (where the Germans had originally seized them) and some were kept by the Americans though they were eventually given to various countries including Czechoslovakia.

In 1963, Disney made a film about the operation called “Miracle of the White Stallions.” But Communist Czechoslovakia essentially erased any reference to the event.

Those tasked with the care of the horses were desperate to hand them to the Americans.
Those tasked with the care of the horses were desperate to hand them to the Americans.

In 2006, though, the mayors of Hostouň a Bělá nad Radbuzou asked historian Richard Praus to write a memorial plaque for a commemoration of Operation Cowboy.

That commemoration continues to be an annual celebration in the town. Members of the 42nd Cavalry Regiment always take part in the festivities. Even when they were stationed in Afghanistan or Iraq, someone would be sent to raise the flag at the commemoration every year.

Some of the descendants of those Lipizzaner horses are part of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna.

100 year old ‘Flying Tiger’ Harry Moyer Still Flies Every Week

H/T War History OnLine.

Harry Moyer is one tough old man.


If you are a healthy, vibrant World War II veteran pilot, how would you choose to spend your 100th Birthday? Harry Moyer is just such a veteran, and he decided to spend it amongst the clouds and make a solo flight in his Mooney Mk-21 airplane.


The birthday celebration to mark his centennial was hosted by the Sino-American Aviation Heritage Foundation at San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport. Here he, his family, and friends enjoyed the auspicious occasion.

Harry took off promptly at noon and circled the airfield twice, dipping his wings playfully at the crowd of well wishers on the ground. He landed safely, and with the video recording of his flight in the bag, his family is waiting for confirmation from Guinness World Records that he is the oldest licensed pilot to undertake a solo flight.

Moyer was not fazed by his flight and said, “I think it would probably be a little bit more for my family rather than for me. Maybe they want to say, ‘Grandpa did this’ or something like that.”

Moyer celebrates after his flight in a Mooney MK 21. Image by Xinhua Gao Shan.
Moyer celebrates after his flight in a Mooney MK 21. Image by Xinhua Gao Shan.

In 1942, Moyer joined the U.S. Army Air Corps and appeared in dispatches for meritorious service in North Africa, then during the liberation of Italy and Sicily, and finally in China.

With the liberation of Italy, Moyer was due to return home, but he had heard that General Claire Lee Chennault was looking for pilots to join him flying in China. Harry had always felt a connection to China and did not hesitate to join Chennault. Moyer had a great deal of respect for Chennault and thought that he was a visionary leader.

While growing up, Harry’s father has Chinese friends that owned a restaurant, and he and the restaurant owner’s son became friends. This friendship, coupled with him reading “The Good Earth,” written by the Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Pearl S Buck, gave him a deep passion for visiting China. Flying with Chennault was to give him that chance.

In 1944, the squadron that Moyer was flying with joined the 23rd Fighter Group of the 14th Air Force in China. This new grouping was known as the Flying Tigers, and their primary task was to protect the airfields that housed B-29 bombers that flew attack missions to Japan.

Moyer said of his time flying in China, “I really respected the man and his farsighted fighter tactics. I was so happy to be able to work with him and the Chinese. That was the highlight of my flying career. It was wartime, so we had a hard time over there, but nothing compared to the suffering the Chinese had to bear from the indiscriminate bombing raids of the Japanese.”

His birthday party was attended by several dignitaries. He received messages of goodwill from all corners of the globe.  The chairman of the Sino-American Aviation Heritage Foundation, who hosted the event, Jeffrey Greene, said that Moyer was a hero to the American people and a hero to the Chinese.

Harry Moyer sits with photos of himself and WWII aircraft. Photo by Zeng Hui Xinhua
Harry Moyer sits with photos of himself and WWII aircraft. Photo by Zeng Hui Xinhua

This was supported by a message from the Chinese Consul general in Los Angeles, Zhang Ping, who emphasized the Flying Tigers’ contribution to the victory enjoyed by the Chinese people, and that the Chinese would always remember and cherish the bravery and sacrifices made by the Tigers.

The Chinese consul general in San Francisco, Wang Donghua, said Moyer was a living witness to China and the United States’ friendship. He went on to say that the history of the Flying Tigers was an essential chapter in US-China relations.

Moyer agreed with this sentiment and believes that the bond forged by the Flying Tigers must be maintained as it was developed in honor and blood

Moyer ended by asking the public to donate to charities that support veterans.


“I guess they didn’t know I was a marine: ” PFC Edward Ahrens’ Last Stand

H/T War History OnLine.

R.I.P. P.F.C. Edward Ahrens.

United States Marine Corps PFC Edward Ahrens holds a special place in the Corps’ long history of larger than life characters whose bravery and tenacity in combat have made them immortal in the memories of their colleagues.  A man of small stature and tremendous courage, Ahrens was all of 140 pounds of deadly fighting spirit – a fact that makes his story all the more incredible.


Dispatched from basic training at Parris Island, SC after enlisting in February of 1942, Ahrens’ boots could hardly have been broken in by the time he joined the USMC’s A Company, 1st Raider Battalion in Quantico in preparation for deployment.

When 1st Raider Battalion was sent to the British Solomon Islands, Ahrens joined C Company for the Battalion’s second assault on the Japanese-defended beach at Tulagi on the 7th of August. Just four months after enlisting, the kid from Dayton, KY was pushing uphill through the jungle seemingly unseen by the occupying forces on his way to push back the entrenched Japanese army.

Marines making their way across a beach on Tulagi.
Marines making their way across a beach on Tulagi.

The Japanese had taken possession of the British Solomon Islands shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbour in December of 1941, intending to use these and other Pacific islands to create a defensive front. The United States Navy made short work of dismantling many Japanese positions in the six months that followed at Midway and Coral Sea, and continued to establish their own Pacific presence by pushing Japanese forces out of strategic positions in places like Tulagi.

While the battle for the island of Guadalcanal was far more bloody and drawn out than the battle for Tulagi (taking six months of nearly-constant combat to prevail) the story of Ahrens bravery has permanently etched the battle for Tulagi into the history books.,

When C Company dug in for the night along the defensive flank of the main attack, Ahrens was assigned to a security group along the right side of the advance where he would stand guard overnight.  The advancing forces had largely evaded contact during the second assault, but this was not to last.

When a ferocious overnight counter-attack by the resident Japanese forces forced a wedge between A and C companies, Ahrens rose to the occasion, more than earning his salary as the Japanese advanced on the marines’ command post in a former British Government building. During the assault, Ahrens was engaged by an overwhelming group of Japanese soldiers in brutal hand to hand combat.

He was found the next morning  by Major Lew Walt, fatally wounded in his foxhole, surrounded by the bodies of 13 Japanese troops.

Marines resting on Peleliu.
Marines resting on Peleliu.

Ahrens final words to Major Walt will forever echo through the Corps: “The bastards tried to come over me last night – I guess they didn’t know I was a Marine.”

According to Walt: “He was slumped in one corner of the foxhole covered with blood from head to foot. In the foxhole with him were two dead Japs, a lieutenant and a sergeant. There were eleven more dead Japs on the ground in front of his position. In his hands he clutched the dead officer’s sword”

Ahrens was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his bravery, the citation noting that he continued to fight after being mortally wounded and breaking up what would have been a devastating enemy charge.


With Lightning Speed and Agility Germany’s Ar 234 Blitz Jet Bomber Was a Success That Ultimately Failed

H/T Smithsonian Magazine.

I do not recall reading about this bomber in any of my history books.

Only one is known to survive today and it is in the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum

Arado Ar 234B-2 Blitz
Often overshadowed by more famous jets in World War II, the Ar 234 B-2—known as the Blitz, or Lightning—had caught the Allies by surprise when the nine soared through the skies on December 24, 1944. (NASM)

On Christmas Eve, 1944, American forces were dug in around Liege in Belgium and prepared for just about anything. Eight days earlier, four German armies had launched a surprise attack from the Ardennes Forest, using one of the coldest and snowiest winters in European history as cover from Allied air superiority.


The Nazis smashed through stretched-thin defensive positions and were pushing towards the port of Antwerp to cut off Allied supply lines in what would become known as the Battle of the Bulge.

With savage fighting on many fronts, American troops at Liege were on high alert in case the Germans tried something there—though they didn’t expect what happened next. With the weather clearing, aircraft from both sides were flying once again. High above the Belgian city came the sound of approaching planes. The engine rumble from these aircraft was not typical, though.

Rather than the reverberating growl of piston-driven engines, these aircraft emitted a smooth piercing roar. They were jets, but not Messerschmitt Me 262s, history’s first jet fighter. These were Arado Ar 234 B-2s, the first operational jet bomber to see combat. Nine of them were approaching a factory complex at Liege, each laden with a 1,100-pound bomb.

Luftwaffe Captain Diether Lukesch of Kampfgeschwader (Bomber Wing) 76 led the small squadron on the historic bombing run. Powered by two Jumo 004 B4-1 turbojet engines, the sleek planes zoomed in to drop their payloads and then quickly soared away. They were so fast that Allied fighters could not catch them.


Often overshadowed by more famous jets in World War II, the Ar 234 B-2—known as the Blitz, or Lightning—had caught the Allies by surprise when the nine soared through the skies on December 24, 1944.

History’s first operational jet bomber was designed and built by the Arado company. The plane originally began service as a scout aircraft. One had flown reconnaissance over Normandy snapping photos of supply depots and troop movements just four months earlier. But reconfigured as a bomber and operated by one pilot, who also served as bombardier, the Blitz was fast and agile. It easily eluded most Allied aircraft with its top speed of 456 miles per hour. The Germans also created two other versions of the aircraft—a night fighter and a four-engine heavy bomber—neither made it into full production.

The Allies were keen to capture the Ar 234 so it could be studied. It was not until the end of the war when they finally got their hands on a handful of them.

Only one is known to survive today and it is on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. (The museum is currently closed due to the Covid-19 crisis.)

“The Allies were collecting all this German technology after the war,” says curator Alex Spencer. “The Army Air Force spent a good five to six years really studying what these aircraft were capable of doing—both their strengths and weaknesses. Some of the aerodynamic aspects of the Ar 234 and other jets were undoubtedly taken advantage of for some of our early designs, like the F-86 Sabre and other planes.”


Arado Ar 234B-2 Blitz
The Ar 234, says Smithsonian curator Alex Spencer, “had its good points and bad points. As an attack bomber, it was not that effective.” (NASM)

The one-person bomber was innovative with its canister fuselage and tricycle landing gear while an autopilot system guided the aircraft on bombing runs and periscope bombing sights allowed for precision attacks. The Ar 234 was at least 100 miles per hour faster than American fighter planes, which could never catch the jet bomber in pursuit. But Allied pilots eventually realized the Blitz was especially vulnerable to attack at slower speeds during takeoff and landing.

Captain Don Bryan of the American Air Force was unsuccessful in his first three attempts to shoot down the Blitz, but he remained determined to score a kill. He finally did in March 1945 when he spotted one making a bombing run on the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen in an attempt to prevent American forces from crossing the Rhine into Germany.

When he saw the jet bomber slow in a tight turn after dropping its payload, Bryan jumped at his chance. Blasting away with the .50-caliber machineguns in his P-51 Mustang, he knocked out one of the jet engines and was then able to get behind the bomber and shoot it down. Bryan’s was the first air-to-air kill of a Blitz.

While the Ar 234 is historic, its effectiveness as a jet bomber is questionable. According to Spencer, it arrived too late in the war and in too few numbers to have any significant impact and was rushed off the drawing board too soon with too many flaws. At best, it was an experimental aircraft that needed more conceptual consideration before it was pressed into service. All told, only a few hundred Ar 234 B-2s were produced with several dozen making it into combat.

“As with most of the so-called German ‘Wonder Weapons,’ they make me wonder,” Spencer says. “Everyone is enamored with them, but they really don’t live up to expectations. Same with the Blitz. It had its good points and bad points. As an attack bomber, it was not that effective.”


Arado Ar 234B-2 Blitz on the runway
The Ar 234 was at least 100 miles per hour faster than American fighter planes, which could never catch the jet bomber in pursuit. (NASM)

During a 10-day period in March 1945, the Luftwaffe flew 400 sorties against the bridge at Remagen in an effort to slow the Allied advance. Ar 234 B-2s from KG 76, as well as other German aircraft, made repeated attacks on the river crossing. All bombs missed their target.

“They made several runs at Remagen and they couldn’t hit the thing,” Spencer says. “It was such a squirrelly aircraft to fly and pilots weren’t used to it. They were learning to fly at speeds they were not used to and their timing was off. It’s new and interesting technology but as far as being a game-changer, I don’t buy the argument.”

The Smithsonian’s Ar 234 was captured by the British in Norway with the surrender of Nazi Germany on May 7, 1945. It had been flown there in the waning days of the war for safekeeping. The English turned over this plane, Werk Nummer 140312, to the Americans, who eventually flew it to a U.S. research facility. In 1949, the U.S. Air Force donated it along with other German aircraft to the Smithsonian. This Blitz had gone through extensive changes so American test pilots could fly it, and the museum undertook a major restoration effort in 1984 to get the Ar 234 back to its wartime condition.

“It was a basket case,” Spencer says. “It took two guys working on it almost five years to restore it. The jet engines and some of the navigational systems had been swapped out during testing, but our staff was able to replace most of that. Some 13,200 man/hours went into returning it to original condition. We’re still missing a few parts, but it’s about as close to 1945 as it can be.”

The restored Ar 234 went on view when work was completed in 1989. News media around the globe reported on the historic aircraft going on display, including a German-language aviation magazine.


Don Lopez Willi Kriessmann
World War II German pilot Willi Kriessmann (above with the museum’s former director Don Lopez) transported the jet to several locations around Germany before flying it to Norway, where both he and the plane were captured by the British. (NASM)

In 1990, Willi Kriessmann happened to be leafing through that publication when he spotted the article. The German native, then living in California, read the report with interest and stopped short when he saw the Ar 234’s serial number: 140312. It looked very familiar, so he went and checked his papers from when he flew as a World War II Luftwaffe pilot.

“Out of sheer curiosity, I looked up my logbook, which I saved throughout all the turbulence of the war,” he wrote in his unpublished memoir, which eventually he donated to the Smithsonian. “Eureka! The same serial number!”

Just before Germany’s surrender, Kriessmann had transported the jet to several locations around Germany before flying it to Norway, where both he and the plane were captured by the British. He contacted the Smithsonian and sent along copies of his flight book for authentication. He was invited to the museum to see the Ar 234 again, where he was welcomed by Don Lopez, then deputy director of the National Air and Space Museum

“I finally faced ‘my bird’ on May 11, 1990,” he wrote. “It was a very emotional reunion.”

The Blitz was moved to the museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center , when the huge expansion site opened in 2003. Kriessmann visited once again at that time. In his memoir, he states how he was saddened that many of his fellow pilots would not be able to join him at the Smithsonian because they had not survived the war. But he was grateful his plane had.

“The (future of the) Ar 234 is now assured, I hope, at least for a while. Maybe eternity,” wrote Kriessmann, who died in 2012.