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Category Archives: world war 2

Japanese Balloon Bombs Reach Texas in WWII

Earlier this summer, World War II historian G. P. Cox posted an excellent blog entry in his blog Pacific Paratrooper about Japanese balloon bombs reaching the United States.  His article was reblogged here immediately before this post.  If you are interested in World War II in the Pacific, we highly recommend this blog.

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Posted by on August 16, 2018 in world war 2

 

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Battleship Texas (BB-35)

The USS Texas is now berthed near the San Jacinto Monument.  She is second of the New York ship class, which consisted of only two ships, the USS New York and the USS Texas.  The New York Class (1908-1914) was characterized as being more heavily armed than the previous Wyoming Class.  They were the first battleships to use 14 inch/45 caliber guns.  This particular gun was used on the Nevada- and Pennsylvania Class ships.  The ships of the New York Class were also powered by coal and had five gun turrets when first built.  Some of the above was changed during overhauls and retrofitting, including her conversion from coal to diesel power.

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Posted by on July 12, 2018 in maritime, world war 2

 

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The Many Lives of the Texas Clipper

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(Image credit: Navsource.com)

The ship last known as the Texas Clipper began her life as a Windsor Class Attack Transport.  One of a class of seven ships, her hull was laid down March 2, 1944 in Sparrows Point, MD and she was launched September 12, 1944 for the United States Maritime Commission.  The United States was three years into World War II.  The Maritime Commision was a government agency created in 1936 to see to the creation of 500 merchant cargo ships to replace the aging World War I era fleet that made up the Merchant Marine.  It offered a subsidy system to support some of the building costs.  She was transferred to the United States Navy on December 16, 1944 and commissioned the USS Queens (APA-103) and went on to serve eighteen months in World War II, mostly for service in the Far East.  She was not named for royalty, but rather the burrough of New York by the same name.

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Posted by on December 7, 2017 in maritime, world war 2

 

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Col. Richard E. Cole, Doolittle Raider

 

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(Image credit: U. S. Air Force.  Cole is on the front row, to Doolittle’s right.)

Just a little more than one month after the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo on April 18, 1942, details were released to the media about the military action.  The occasion was an award ceremony honoring pilots and crew of the historic attack.  In an Associated Press report out of Washington on May 22, the identity of the leader was revealed to be Brig. Gen. James H. Doolittle.  Coming only a few months after the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War II, the raid shook the Japanese belief that the U.S. could not reach them on their own soil.  In addition, it greatly improved the morale in the United States at a time when it was extremely low.

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Posted by on June 8, 2017 in biography, world war 2

 

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Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz

Chester William Nimitz came from a German Texas family having a long seafaring tradition.  His grandfather, Charles Henry Nimitz, a former seaman of the German Merchant Marine, broke the string when he moved to the Hill Country of Texas to landlocked Fredericksburg and built the hotel that bears the family name.

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Posted by on April 6, 2017 in biography, world war 2

 

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James Earl Rudder

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James Earl Rudder was born in the community of Eden, Texas in Concho County to Dee Forest Rudder and Annie Clark Powell Rudder.  Upon graduation from high school, he attended college in Stephenville at the former John Tarleton Agricultural College in 1928 and 1929 before transferring to Texas A&M, previously known as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas.  After receiving his degree in Industrial Education, he began teaching and coaching football at Brady, Texas.  He remained in Brady for a few years before becoming an instructor and coach at John Tarleton Agricultural College in 1938.

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Posted by on August 25, 2016 in biography, world war 2

 

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Alfonso Harris

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Alfonso Laurell Harris was born March 26, 1926 at old Parkland Hospital a few miles from his home.  He was a good student and entered Booker T. Washington High School at age 11, allowing him to graduate when he was just 15.  He he later moved to the Northwest and began working as an aircraft engine inspector in Ogden, Utah.  On July 14, 1944 he enlisted in the US Army, shortly after his 18th birthday at nearby Fort Douglas, Utah.  As it did for hundreds of thousands of others, the terms of his enlistment read “Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law.”

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Posted by on February 10, 2016 in biography, black history, world war 2

 

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