November 7, 1999
Welcome back. In addition to Veteran’s Day (the topic of
today’s newsletter), other Surf the Calendar events include:
Fall of the Berlin Wall
(Nov 9, 1989),
National Children’s Book
Week (Nov 15),
and Mickey Mouse’s
Birthday (Nov 18, 1928).
Today’s newsletter is sponsored by:
World War II Air Force Stories
Armistice Day (November 11th) was originally created to honor the veterans
of World War I. But in 1954 its name was changed to Veterans Day and its
purpose was extended to all veterans. Today’s Veterans Day cyber tour
looks at five World War II memoirs. The Internet has an extensive
collection of personal war stories. Some are autobiographical, and others
are retold by sons and daughters. Perhaps these sites will motivate you to
collect and preserve your own family stories.
"This page is dedicated to my Dad, Charles E.
Hacking, and all those who worked and fought in the forgotten campaign, the
CBI Theater. Dad was in the 18th Air Service Squadron of the 18th Air
Force. These were the guys who worked on the ground making sure that our
fighters and bombers had a place to land, a place to get fuel and
ammunition and food and lodging for the pilots." My favorite clicks
are the photos, letters, and other souvenirs found under Scrap Book.
"In 1942 my father, George Rarey, a young cartoonist and commercial
artist, was drafted into the Army Air Corps. He flew a P-47 before he drove
a car. During his service he kept a cartoon journal of the daily life of
the fighter pilots. A few weeks after D-Day he was killed in combat over
France. His journals are a part of his legacy to me — one that I want to
share with others through this Web page."
Subtitled "Finding and Telling Your Father’s World War II
Story," Wesley Johnston’s useful instructions can be applied equally
to learning about your grandparents’ wartime stories or your parents’
Vietnam experiences. The first step is to identify their unit as
specifically as possible, and then search out the outfit’s alumni
association. The Internet makes much of this research considerably easier.
Johnson’s site also includes links to dozens of World War II stories told
first hand, and by sons and daughters.
"During WWII, more than a thousand women signed up to fly with the
U.S. military. Wives, mothers, actresses and debutantes who joined the
Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASPS) test-piloted aircraft, ferried
planes and logged 60 million miles in the air." This PBS site tells
their story. Best clicks are found under Special Features and include
video clips, a B-29 tour, and an amusing story of how Lieutenant Colonel
Paul W. Tibbets got his male pilots to stop complaining about the new B-29
"During World War II, black fighter pilots fought the Germans
abroad and racism in the ranks. May we never forget … and may future
generations understand the way it was. My Father, Joseph P. Gomer, got his
pilots license before his driver’s license. … In July 1942, at the age
of 22, he enlisted in the Army." This fabulous tribute to Major Gomer
and his fellow airmen, written by proud daughter Phyllis G. Douglass, is a
must see. Be sure to include the Comments & Inspirational Stories page
in your visit.
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Copyright © 1999 Barbara J.
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