In December 1942, the USS Saratoga was the only operational carrier that the U.S. Navy in the Pacific. England loaned HMS Victorious. Crewed by a British crew and loaded with American airmen and aircraft she became part of Task Force 14 sporting a brand new U.S. paint scheme. On May 17, 1943, the Victorious, now code-named Robin, along with USS Saratoga, arrived at the Solomon Islands as part of Task Force 36 commanded by Rear Admiral DeWitt Ramsey, USN. She proudly flew her British Jack throughout her time with the Yanks. Post war records show that the Japanese Imperial Navy was totally convinced of the illusion and could not explain the magical appearance of an additional Navy carrier in the Pacific.
During World War II, more than 25,000 Native Americans saw military service. The 1924 Indian Citizenship Act had conferred citizenship on all American Indians. Native men were required to register for the draft, a requirement that some Indian nations, including the Mohawk and Seneca of the Six Nations Confederacy, believed violated their treaties and undermined their sovereignty. Even as they filed suit to press their claims, in June 1942, the Six Nations independently declared war on the Axis.
Swiss Banks invented numbered bank accounts so that Jews in Europe could safe guard family money and valuables. Subsequently, Nazis used the same accounts to safeguard their money for use after the War.. Most notably Albert Speer, Martin Borman, Mengele and Hitler. Dunston and Williams, “Grey Wolf-The escape of Adolph Hitler”, 2011.
The numbers tattooed on concentration camp victims were IBM punch card numbers. Dunston and Williams, “Grey Wolf-The escape of Adolph Hitler”, 2011.
Stories dating back to the American Civil War have been told about Bibles saving soldiers from dying, but it wasn’t until WW2 broke out that Bible companies began putting a metal plate on the front cover. Called “Heart-Shield Bibles” many were etched with the words, “May this keep you safe from harm.”
While the war raged on, business, trade and commerce continued between the belligerent nations. Usually with a neutral nation acting as a go between. This resulted in having the lens of the American’s super secret Norden bomb sight being made by the German camera company, Zuess. That was fair because the German fighters trying to shoot down the bombers were made from aluminum from the ALCOA Aluminum Company of New Kensington, Pennsylvania.
Two days before D-Day, all (11,550 in all) aircraft participating in the invasion were painted with “Invasion Strips” to be better identified and not shot down by their own side. The painting consumed ALL of the white paint in Britain.
The Battleship U.S.S. Nevada (BB36)was torpedoed, bombed and run aground during the attack on Pearl Harbor. She was the only battleship that got underway that day. With the Captain and Executive Officer ashore, Lieutenant Commander Francis J. Thomas gave the orders to get underway. On D day she supported Utah Beach with naval gun fire.
Garlin V. Shaw, was on the mine layer USS Oglala, anchored in Pearl Harbor. He woke up to pure chaos as the Japanese planes attacked the base. Grabbing an armload of files he was assigned to protect, he made it to the deck (clad only in his “skivvies”), only to see a torpedo heading straight for his ship. At the last instant, the torpedo veered away from the Oglala and hit the ship next to it, the light cruiser, USS HELENA. The explosion capsized my dad’s ship, and as it began to list, he slid across the deck on his knees before falling overboard and hitting a patch of sea water that wasn’t coated with burning fuel or debris. He survived the attack and lived a full life until 1986.
Having survived the attack, he was sent to officer school and wound up fighting WWII all over the Pacific theater. He remained in the US Navy for 25 years, then went on to a second career at the world-famous San Diego Zoo, where he became its Chief Of Security. One of his assignments there was as a personal escort to the visiting Emperor of Japan! Fortunately, he was totally profession and bore no grudge!
David M. Williams invented the M-1 Carbine while serving a prison sentence for Second Degree Murder. Upon his release he applied for and was granted a patent (#11.879). The weapon was named the “Carbine” because that was Bill’s nickname in prison. PROOF
Who hasn’t whistled this tune. Maybe without knowing the title. Had the lyrics been a little more famous, the Colonel Bogey March would not have been featured in the movie. Sing along…
Has only got one ball.
Has two, but they are very small.
Has something sim’lar,
but poor old Goebbels,
Has no balls at all.
Monopoly games manufactured in England were really escape kits for POWs. 35,000 POWs escaped from Germany and Italy. About one third of these credited the contraband games for their escape.Read more about it.
Hitler signed his last order with a blue crayon.
The first German serviceman killed in the war was killed by the Japanese (China, 1937), the first American serviceman killed was killed by the Russians (Finland 1940), the highest ranking American killed was LtGen. Lesley McNair, killed by the US Army Air Corps. So much for allies.
The youngest US serviceman was 12 year old Calvin Graham, USN. He was wounded in combat and given a Dishonorable Discharge for lying about his age. (His benefits were later restored by act of Congress)
At the time of Pearl Harbor the top US Navy command was called CINCUS (pronounced “sink us”), the shoulder patch of the US Army’s 45th Infantry division was the Swastika, and Hitler’s private train was named “Amerika”. All three were soon changed for PR purposes.
When allied armies reached the Rhine the first thing men did was pee in it. This was pretty universal from the lowest private to Winston Churchill (who made a big show of it) and Gen. Patton (who had himself photographed in the act).
General Patton on the Rhein River
Not that bombers were helpless. A B-17 carried 4 tons of bombs and 1.5 tons of machine gun ammo. The US 8th Air Force shot down 6,098 fighter planes, 1 for every 12,700 shots fired.
. Generally speaking there was no such thing as an average fighter pilot. You were either an ace or a target. For instance Japanese ace Hiroyoshi Nishizawa shot down over 80 planes. He died while a passenger on a cargo plane.
It was a common practice on fighter planes to load every 5th round with a tracer round to aid in aiming. This was a mistake. The tracers had different ballistics so (at long range) if your tracers were hitting the target 80% of your rounds were missing. Worse yet the tracers instantly told your enemy he was under fire and from which direction. Worst of all was the practice of loading a string of tracers at the end of the belt to tell you that you were out of ammo. This was definitely not something you wanted to tell the enemy. Units that stopped using tracers saw their success rate nearly double and their loss rate go down.
The term “The whole 9 yards” came from WWII fighter pilots in the Pacific.When arming their airplanes on the ground, the .50 caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet, before being loaded into the fuselage. If the pilots fired all their ammo at a target, it got “the whole 9 yards.”
Balls to the Wall
Meaning – To move real fast. Origin: World War Two fighter pilot slang. The engine throttles were topped by little balls. The throttle was advanced by being pushed forward. If the throttles were at maximum power, the balls were to the wall (the instrument panel).
German Me-264 bombers were capable of bombing New York City but the Germans thought it wasn’t worth the effort.
The Russians destroyed over 500 German aircraft by ramming them in mid-air (they also sometimes cleared minefields by marching over them). “It takes a brave man not to be a hero in the Red Army” – Joseph Stalin
The US Army had more ships than the US Navy.
The German Air Force had 22 infantry divisions, 2 armor divisions, and 11 paratroop divisions. None of them were capable of airborne operations. The German Army had paratroops who WERE capable of airborne operations. Go figure.
When the US Army landed in North Africa, among the equipment brought ashore was 3 complete Coca Cola bottling plants.
Coca-Cola CEO Robert Woodruff made a point of supporting US troops so metal cans were introduced to meet their needs. In 1941, when the United States entered the war, Woodruff decided that Coca Cola’s place was near the front line.
He sent an order to:
“See that ever man in uniform gets a bottle of Coca Cola for 5 cents wherever he is and whatever the cost to the company”.
Among the first “Germans” captured at Normandy were several Koreans. They had been forced to fight for the Japanese Army until they were captured by the Russians then forced to fight for the Russian Army until they were captured by the Germans then forced to fight for the German Army until they were captured by the US Army.
German submarine U-120 was sunk by a malfunctioning toilet.
The only nation that Germany declared war on was the USA.
During the Japanese attack on Hong Kong British officers objected to Canadian infantrymen taking up positions in the officers’ mess. No enlisted men allowed you know.
Nuclear physicist Niels Bohr was rescued in the nick of time from German occupied Denmark. While Danish resistance fighters provided covering fire he ran out the back door of his home stopping momentarily to grab a beer bottle full of precious “Heavy Water”. He finally reached England still clutching the bottle. It contained beer. I suppose some German drank the Heavy Water!!!!!