World War II

Maj Clark Gable, U.S. Army Air Forces (1942-1947)

Maj Clark Gable, U.S. Army Air Forces (1942-1947)

Clark Gable, of the U.S. Army Air Forces between 1942 and 1947, is best known as the ‘King of Hollywood’, the womanizing man’s man with a filmography of over 60 productions. However, he had a passion for flying combat missions and defied death in World War II. Born William Clark Gable in 1901, his father Will was an oil-well driller living in Cadiz, Ohio. Baptized Catholic, his mother Adeline died when he was just ten months old, and his father refused to raise him in the faith. Gable’s father...

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BG William Douglas Dunham, U.S. Air Force (1941-1970)

BG William Douglas Dunham, U.S. Air Force (1941-1970)

Brigadier General William Douglas Dunham was a highly decorated US Air Force hero. His achievements during World War II and beyond are well-documented. However, his most notable act arguably concerns an act of kindness rather than aggression. William Douglas Dunham Spared His Enemy's Life Back when he was a Major in 1944, Bill "Dinghy" Dunham - approaching his mid-twenties - was at the controls of a Republic P-47D. Flying over the Philippine Sea, he had a clear shot at a Japanese parachutist...

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Maj Kurt Chew-Een Lee, U.S.M.C. (1945-1968)

Maj Kurt Chew-Een Lee, U.S.M.C. (1945-1968)

Kurt Chew-Een Lee is believed to have been the first Asian-American officer in the Marine Corps, rising through the ranks beginning his career from World War II to the Vietnam War.  Lee was born in 1926 in San Francisco and grew up in Sacramento, California. Lee's father was M. Young Lee, born in Guangzhou (Canton), emigrating in the 1920s to the Territory of Hawaii and then California. Once established in America, M. Young Lee returned to China to honor an arranged marriage. He brought...

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Taco Rice and the Legacy of Marines on Okinawa

Taco Rice and the Legacy of Marines on Okinawa

In 1984, Matsuzo Gibo added traditional Mexican-style spices to ground beef and put the spicy meat mixture on a bed of rice, then added lettuce and shredded cheese. He started selling it from his food stall as a quick lunchtime meal. The simple dish, now known the world over as "taco rice," conquered Okinawa faster and with far less resistance than the U.S. military did during World War II.  Gibo, who died in 2014, was the owner of the Parlor Senri food stall outside of Camp Hansen's...

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Leadership And the Janitor

Leadership And the Janitor

William "Bill" Crawford was an unimpressive figure, one you could easily overlook during a hectic day at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Mr. Crawford, as most of us referred to him back in the late 1970s, was our Squadron janitor.While we Cadets busied ourselves preparing for academic exams, athletic events, Saturday morning parades, and room inspection, or never-ending leadership classes-Bill quietly moved about the squadron mopping and buffing floors, emptying trash cans, cleaning toilets, or...

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PFC Sixto Escobar, US Army (1941-1945)

PFC Sixto Escobar, US Army (1941-1945)

Sixto Escobar, of the United States Army between 1941 and 1945, was Puerto Rico’s first world boxing champion, and International Boxing Hall of Fame member. Remembered today with the Estadio Sixto Escobar, the San Juan home of River Plate Puerto Rico, as well as many buildings, roads, and statues, he is a favored son of the island territory. Not as many people know, though, that he served in the military during the Second World War as an Army PFC. Remembering Sixto Escobar Escobar was born in...

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Lt. Henry Fonda, U.S. Navy (1942-1946)

Lt. Henry Fonda, U.S. Navy (1942-1946)

Lt. Henry Fonda, of the US Navy between 1942 and 1946, interrupted a prominent career as a film actor in order to serve his country when it needed him most. Fonda’s commanding screen presence made him a favorite of theatergoers for five decades, culminating in an Oscar for his final performance. Henry Fonda’s Stage Beginnings Born in Grand Island, Nebraska, in 1905, Fonda was the son of a printer. Raised in Omaha, he witnessed and was profoundly affected by the horrors of the Omaha race riot...

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Col Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, U.S.M.C.

Col Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, U.S.M.C.

Stories of Gregory "Pappy" Boyington are legion, many founded in fact, including how he led the legendary Black Sheep squadron, and how he served in China as a member of the American Volunteer Group, the famed Flying Tigers. He spent a year and a half as a Japanese POW, was awarded the Medal of Honor and Navy Cross, and was recognized as a Marine Corps top ace. Always hard-drinking and hard-living, Pappy's post-war life was as turbulent as his wartime experiences. Biography of Gregory "Pappy"...

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War in the Pacific – The Battle of Manila

War in the Pacific – The Battle of Manila

On February 3, 1945, American forces entered the outskirts of Manila, capital of the Philippines, beginning the Battle of Manila, a ferocious and destructive urban battle against the Japanese that would leave Manila the second-hardest hit Allied capital (following Warsaw) of World War II.  American Troops Were Able to Rapidly Advance to Manila As part of his campaign to retake the Philippines from the Japanese (who had captured it from the Americans in 1942), General Douglas MacArthur first...

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The Most Decorated Enlisted Sailor in Navy History

The Most Decorated Enlisted Sailor in Navy History

In the history of the United States Navy, only seven men have earned all of the big three valor awards: Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, and Silver Star. Six were World War II officers, including one aviator. The seventh was James Elliott "Willy" Williams - considered the most decorated enlisted man in the history of the Navy. Biography of James Williams Williams, a Cherokee Indian, was born November 13, 1930, in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Two months later he moved with his parents to Darlington,...

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WW2 – Doolittle Raid and the Brutal Japanese Reprisals (1942)

WW2 – Doolittle Raid and the Brutal Japanese Reprisals (1942)

Everyone knows about Pearl Harbor and Japan dragging the USA into World War II. Still, fewer are aware of the American Doolittle raid and the brutal Japanese reprisals to this daring counterpunch. Approximately five months after the Japanese attempt to cripple the American Pacific fleet, an unprecedented strike on the heart of the Japanese Empire was launched by the intrepid pilot Lt. Col. James Doolittle of the United States Army Air Force. While the United States boosted the American...

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“Go for Broke”

“Go for Broke”

Immediately after Japan's December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and other American bases in the Pacific, the United States declared war on Japan. Several days later Nazi German and Italy declared war on the U.S., embroiling the world into World War II. The war heightened American prejudice against German Americans and Italian Americans but the racism directed against Japanese Americans was particularly vicious. The calculated response culminated in the forced removal and unconstitutional...

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