Saturday, May 14, 2016
|A US Air Force B-52 bomber flies over the restored Lafayette Escadrille Memorial in Marnes-la-Coquette (US Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Joshua DeMotts)|
The fighter and bomber aircraft on display in the skies above were from a more modern era, but the men they remembered flew their missions over the battlefields of Europe a century ago.
French and United States airforces joined together for the flyby, F-22s and Mirage jets to the fore, as once airmen had flown in the same squadron. They were there to pay homage to the men of the Lafayette Escadrille, formed in late April 1916, as a joint initiative to get American pilots into the air under the auspices of the then French Air Service.
On the ground to commemorate the day at Marnes-la-Coquette outside Paris were U.S. and French military and civic leaders, paying their respects to the volunteer pilots who flew under French command a year before the U.S. entered into WWI.
They were grouped around the monument erected to the men in 1928, a memorial celebrating not only the 38 original pilots of the Lafayette Escadrille, but all those – over 200 in number - who flew with the French Air Force as part of the larger Lafayette Flying Corps. Many are interred at the memorial’s crypt.
French veterans bearing the colours at the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial (US Air Force Photo, by Tech. Sgt. Joshua DeMotts)
In attendance at the ceremony were the American ambassador to France, Jane Hartley, and the French Minister of State for Veterans and Remembrance, Jean-Marc Todeschini. The latter was keen to praise the airmen by placing them in what he saw as their proper historical context:
"Remembrance of the Escadrille’s deeds is not known well enough by our fellow citizens. It was however a decisive step in the United States decision to enter the war - a decision whose centenary we will celebrate next year - and in the strengthening of the bonds existing between our two countries. The century-old bond uniting American and French pilots takes its roots in the Great War torments. It had been prepared by the voluntary enlistment of many American pilots willing to defend the values of freedom. These pilots chose to defend a country in which they hadn’t been born, but with which they shared democratic values."
His remarks were echoed by the US Secretary of the Air Force, Deborah Lee James who said she thought the pilots ‘laid the foundation for an American Air Force that will forever stand with France.’
The event was attended by relatives and representatives of those who had flown with the escadrille, among them Eugene Richardson and Theodore Lumpkin, there to remember the so-called ‘Tuskegee Airmen’, African-American pilots like Eugene Bullard, the ‘Black Swallow of Death’, who flew with the Lafayette and ultimately earned France's Legion of Honour; and Lt. Col. Nick Rutgers, great-grandson of one of the original squadron, Capt. James Norman Hall, and who himself is a modern-day fighter pilot, flying with the Oregon Air National Guard.
Sources: US World War I Centennial Commission; American Battle Monuments Commission; French Government
Images: US Air Force photos by Tech. Sgt. Joshua DeMotts
Reporting by: Patrick Gregory, Centenary News. MORE
Friday, May 13, 2016
By Stephanie Hunter
Special contributor to Navy Installations Command Public Affairs
For many, the month of May is synonymous with the unofficial start of summer, barbecues, beautiful weather and a long holiday weekend. The Memorial Day holiday was created as a day of remembrance to honor the men and women who have paid the ultimate price to ensure our freedom. Originally known as Decoration Day, it was dedicated to remembering those who died during the Civil War; this tradition continued until World War I when it evolved to honor all those who gave their lives in service to our country. Memorial Day was officially recognized as a federal holiday in 1971.
Today, while our primary efforts are to remember those fallen service members, we should also take time to acknowledge the sacrifices of those who they leave behind – our Gold Star families.. The Navy recognizes that no one has given more for our nation than the families of the fallen, and the Navy Gold Star Program is there for them as the Navy’s official long-term survivor assistance program. Its primary focus and mission is to provide an unprecedented level of service and commitment to our Navy Gold Star families.
Survivors eligible for this program are the widow, parents and next of kin of the fallen service member. The term “widow” includes widower. The term “parents” includes mother, father, stepmother, stepfather, mother through adoption, father through adoption, and foster parents who stood in loco parentis. The term “next of kin” includes children (including natural, step-children and children through adoption), brothers, sisters, half-brothers, and half-sisters. If a spouse remarries, he or she is still eligible for services and support.
Each survivor is assigned an Installation Navy Gold Star Coordinator who serves as the long-term support advocate and is responsible for service delivery. The coordinators provide – either directly or through appropriate professional resources – support groups, life skills education, assistance in managing applicable life-long benefits, transition milestones and referrals to counseling resources. Survivors can be connected to our Navy family for as long as they desire.
The Navy Gold Star Program has dedicated the entire month of May to recognizing our Gold Star families. Throughout out the month, we’re sharing what it means to be a Gold Star Family and our honoring Gold Star families by hosting events that pay tribute to their fallen loved ones and provide surviving family members with opportunities to connect with one another.
For information about events in your area, please visit www.facebook.com/navygoldstar or www.navygoldstar.com, or call 1-888-509-8759.
Editor’s note: Stephanie Hunter is a program analyst for the Navy Gold Star Program under Navy Installations Command.
By Jaquelyn Burton (Coeval, Inc.) ECDIS is becoming ubiquitous – and that is a good thing. However, as we move towards more and more vessels relying wholly on ECDIS and heavily on its integration with GPS, some new problems are of growing concern. At a time of an ever-increasing amount of automation, the U.S. Navy is going back to teaching celestial navigation after an extended period of its absence – also a good thing. But as was brought up in a discussion with former colleges – what good is a sextant if you have a double ECDIS failure?
But, if you lose satellite communication, and have no paper charts – the double failure could be a disaster. Being able to determine your position by GPS or even celestial is great, your position is known. If you don’t have a list of your planned waypoints that have already been checked for hazards and under-keel-clearance, then the position becomes less helpful.
The Art of War: Library of Congress Exhibition Features World War I Artists May 12, 2016 by Jeff Bridgers
When exhorted by Charles Dana Gibson to “draw ‘til it hurts!” hundreds of his fellow artists contributed over 1,400 designs, including some 700 posters, to promote the country’s war effort to the American public–from recruitment and troop support, to bond drives and home front service. As head of the U.S. government Division of Pictorial Publicity, Gibson mobilized artists behind the war effort in an unprecedented manner. The Library’s new exhibition World War I: American Artists View the Great War includes stellar examples by participating artists as well as works created by independent or commercial creators.
We chose James Montgomery Flagg’s indelible Uncle Sam as the exhibit’s signature image. Made famous during World War I, it has continued to be a visual and cultural reference point ever since.
Gibson himself, the leader of the artist “battalion,” is represented by this drawing which features a chilling personification of war as an emaciated femme fatale–a far cry from his wholesome Gibson Girl prototype.
Edward Penfield’s vibrant drawing, on the left, of doughboys, American Expeditionary Forces infantrymen, with a machine gun was published as a Collier’s magazine cover. The Camp Library Is Yours–Read to Win the War by Charles Buckles Falls, on the right, reflects the efforts of the American Library Association (ALA) to furnish troops with a reported 10 million books and magazines at camp libraries at home and abroad. The Library of Congress is a fitting venue to showcase this classic poster as ALA’s Library War Service Committee was directed by then Librarian of Congress Herbert Putnam.
In addition to posters, prints, and drawings, our deep holdings of World War I photographs offered further riches. Sara notes: “Although I am not a photography curator, I discovered many images that stand on their own as fine art but were produced and intended to document the war.” Among our favorites is Lewis Hine’s Red Cross postwar portrait of an African American veteran, below right, which takes an artful approach to documentation.
- Visit the exhibition World War I: American Artists View the Great War in-person at the Library of Congress for the next year or online.
- View some 1,900 posters created between 1914 and 1920 in the Prints & Photographs Division’s collection of World War I Posters. Compelling visual works produced during the war demonstrate the ability of posters to inspire, inform, and persuade employing the diversity of vibrant design trends ongoing at that time.
- Consult World War I in Pictures: An Overview of Prints & Photographs Division Collections to learn about pictorial holdings in a wide array of formats, including photographic prints and negatives, cartoons, ephemera, posters and drawings.
Thursday, May 12, 2016
'Melted down'It is believed there are just two minenwarfers in the UK - the other is in the possession of the Imperial War Museum. Only a handful of these guns are still in existence.
Many German guns and other spoils of war were given to towns across Britain after the end of World War One but some were later melted down.
This gun had been on display at various locations around Campbeltown over the years, including the harbour.
Campbeltown Heritage Centre only became aware of its rarity and true story after an enthusiast told them about it. Locally, it had been widely presumed to be a naval gun from Turkey of little special interest.
The gun was officially unveiled at a ceremony attended by one of the town's best known figures, Patrick Stewart, a retired lawyer who is also the Lord Lieutenant of Argyll and Bute.
His great uncle, John Balfour 'Jack' Jones, was a lance corporal in the Cameron Highlanders who died in the Battle of Loos in 1915.
The injuries sustained by Lance Corporal Jones and his comrades suggest they may have died as a result of a shell fired by a minenwarfer.
Sent from my iPad
Teach says a public procession to honor Keating will also take place Friday in Coronado, where Keating's SEAL Team 1 is based.
On Thursday, Naval Special Warfare will hold a private memorial service at Tidelands Park in Coronado for family, friends, and members of SEAL Team 1.
Keating was shot and killed May 3 during a gunbattle involving Islamic State fighters. He's the third U.S. service member to be killed in Iraq since U.S. forces returned there in 2014.
By Michael Martina, Greg Torode and Ben Blanchard BEIJING/HONG KONG, May 10 (Reuters) – China scrambled fighter jets on Tuesday as a U.S. navy ship sailed close to a disputed reef in the South China Sea, a patrol China denounced as an illegal threat to peace which only went to show its defence installations in […]
The post China Scrambles Fighter Jets as U.S. Navy Tests Freedom of Navigation Near Chinese-Claimed Reef appeared first on gCaptain.