DOIN' THE TIME WARP......
The continuing adventures of a living historian, retired cop, gun crank, hard core patriot and lover of life and country who doesn't know what he wants to do when he grows up.
First of all, I am a unabashed patriot and love and cherish this great country that we live in. I try to honor the men and women who's sacrifices have made all this possible. I also consider myself a "renaissance" man in that I have varied and multiple interest. Depending on my mood, the time and place, I do my level best to explore these interest to the fullest.
While some may think me disorganized, I am just multitasking.
Specialization is for insects!!!!
Light blogging this weekend. I am in Williamsburg VA taking part in a Military through the Ages event at Jamestown Settlement Park, with my hospital unit. Miss Nancy, the ever cutie Miss Susan, and several others are working with me. We are entering several competitions and think we have a pretty good chance of winning, particulary the cooking, but we will see. I will have a full report to post on my return home. This will be my first full weekend event, which is another step to getting back on the road to recovery. It feels pretty damned good. -grin-
Gaius Julius Caesar gets the point (in more ways than one) when he is stabbed to death on the floor of the Roman Senate. Just goes to show that NO dictator is safe.
Attila the Hun dies (See above comment)
At Guilford Court House in North Carolina (Just down the road from me) Lord Charles Cornwallis with a army of 1900 defeats an American Army of 4400 commanded by Nathanial Greene. The British Army is so badly chewed up however that it has to retreat to regroup and recover. This led a member of the British Parliament to state " Another such victory would ruin the British Army"
Woodrow Wilson ordered the U.S. Army to cross the Mexican Border to chase Pancho Villa and his band who had crossed over into the U.S. and robbed, looted and killed American citizens. The so called "punitive expedition" lasted two years and didn't accomplish much, other than to blood some members of the U.S. Army in preparation for the coming war in Europe. George S. Patton put his first notch on his six gun in a stand up fight with some of Villa's men on this trip. Should have sent the Texas Rangers.
Just wanted to share with you guys it's 9:45 at night and I am sitting in my living room here in North Carolina with my windows open and listening to both frogs and crickets outside. 'Bout time too. -grin-
Hernado Cortes and his men land in Mexico. When he arrived he brought with him the economy-sized can of Whoop-A*s with him and the natives never recovered. Before beginning his campaign against the Aztec Empire he burned his ships so that his 600 men would know that there was no retreat. Just goes to show what a bunch of highly motivated individuals can accomplish.
The first "strip-tease" was performed in the Divan Fayonau Music Hall in Paris, France. Military towns were never the same after.
The State of Tennessee passes a law forbidding the teaching of evolution. Who ever thought that one up never spent a Friday night in an Emergency Department. Doing that would convince you that Darwin was right, if you are too stupid to survive, you will not.
In Queens, New York, to the immortal and everlasting shame of those who were involved, 38 individuals did nothing in response to the screams of 28 year old Kitty Genovese. Ms. Genovese was raped then stabbed to death while screaming for help and the police. She had thought that by screaming it would keep the trolls away. She paid for her ignorance with her life. Unfortunately, the world is mostly populated by sheeple who would rather run away from or ignore the wolf at the door. The Genovese case shows that the only proper response is to fight back. You MAY lose if you do so, but I can assure you you WILL lose if you don't make a concentrated effort to fight the wolf.
Today I was feeling a bit off my oats, so I got out the Nambu pistol and started doing a little web based research on it.
I discovered a few interesting things about it. The pistol is known as the Type 14 (second series) was manufactured in Showa 19.7 which translates into the seventh month of the 19th year of Hirohito's rein (For those of us who don't have a clue, that would be July 1944) It was made at the Toriimatsu branch of the Nagoya Arsenal.
That would mean that the pistol would have been only made for about two months before being taken to Peleliu. Since the Japanese were constantly trying to reinforce the various island garrisons while the allies were doing every thing in their power to prevent it, the person who brought it was extremely lucky to get on the island alive. The American Navy with their air attacks and submarines were sinking everything they could find on the water. Of course, when the Americans landed, his luck ran out.
Another interesting thing I found out was that Japanese officers were required to buy their own sidearms until 1944 and the Nambu was relatively pricey. It sold for around 200 yen as compared to a Colt 1903 model in .32 ACP. which sold at the same time for around 100 yen.
Just finding those few facts out, it re-enforces my decision to not repair this weapon. This weapon only had a service life of two months, it's unknown owner killed. I don't know if it was ever used to take a life but it's days of service are deservedly over. I think it is much better to let it serve as a memento to all the brave young Marines who fought against fanatical Japanese resistance to retake the islands of the Pacific.
One of my faithful readers, (of the 6 that read my blog) -grin- a prior service Marine pointed out to me that in my post that Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller commanded the 1st Marine Regiment, on Peleliu not the 7th as I wrote in my last blog entry. The C.O. of the 7th Regiment was another legendary Marine warrior, Herman Henry Hanneken who had previously been awarded the Medal of Honor and two Navy Crosses for valor.
I don't know where my head was at when I wrote that, (which has been corrected) I am sure that my friend that gave me the Nambu would be willing to take some strips off my rear for making such a mistake. He thought the sun rose and set on Puller and would not have taken it lightly that I confused the two regiments.
Pride is a wonderful thing when it is justified, and I can't think of ANYONE who is more entitled to be proud than the members both past and present of the United States Marine Corps.
This weekend, H.B.O. will start a 10 part series about World War II in the Pacific. There has been a great deal of gnashing of teeth and rending of hair about revisionism as well as Tom Hanks liberal views. I am just hard headed enough to watch this program and form my own opinions. I hope that it will be the equivalent of Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan for the Pacific theater which has been somewhat overshadowed by the war in Europe. I also have a very personal reason for watching the series, the reason I would like to share with you.
One of the things that I do as a part of my reenacting gig is to travel to meetings of local historical groups, genealogy societies and pretty much anywhere that people will invite me to. It's not much of a hassle, I normally give a 30-45 minute talk on a historical subject, get to eat a free dinner and get to share my love of history with a normally very receptive and appreciative audience.
A good while back, I spoke to a local historical society. I didn't have my medical kit available but I fell back on my other topic that I seem to have latched onto, the life of the common seaman in the age of fighting sail. Since we are coming up on the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 it seems to have caught the public's imagination. I have a pretty good selection of tools and weapons of the time and most of my talks turn into a big show and tell program. After my talk was done, I invited the audience up to take a close look at my kit on display and ask any questions they might still have. One of the audience members, a older man wearing a red ball cap came up with the aid of a couple of canes and asked me several questions about my display. Now what drew my attention to this gentleman was the patch that was on the front of the ball cap. It was the shoulder patch of the 1st Marine Division. If you ever saw this patch, you never forgot it, it consist of a blue diamond, with a large red number "1" In the number 1 is the embroidered word "Guadalcanal" but what makes this patch so special is the stars that are surrounding the number 1. They are in the formation of the southern cross, a sight that all of the members of the division saw in the night sky of the south Pacific. This outfit is the oldest and most decorated division in the Marine Corps. It was the first to strike back against the Japanese by landing on Guadalcanal and capturing it after a long and obstinate battle. If that hadn't been enough, the division also fought in the bloody battles of Cape Gloucester, Peleliu and Okinawa.
All this was going through my head when I saw this cap, so I asked the old gentleman if he had been in the 1st. He seemed sorta surprised that I asked him that but recovered quickly and with the slightest smile told me " Yes, with the 1st Regiment under "Chesty" Puller." When I heard that, I did something that I always do when I meet old vets, I stuck out my hand, shook his and thanked him for his service. The old gentleman thanked me and asked a few questions of me and I honestly didn't think any more of it.
Fast forward a few months. I got a call from this gentleman at my home. (I wondered how he knew to call me, but then remembered that I always put out a stack of business cards in my displays.) He once again thanked me for my presentation and asked if I could possibly meet him that evening at one of our local burger joints. I told him I would, so I hopped into the car and took a quick drive to meet him. When I got there he was still wearing his 1st Marine cap and we sat in that restaurant and must have talked for about a hour. Mostly his asking me various questions about my hobby, my love of history, why I did what I did and so on. It seemed like I was being tested. At last, he seemed satisfied and asked me to walk out to his car with him.
When we got to his car, he got in and told me that he would like to give me something. He handed me a bundle wrapped in a dish towel. I opened up the towel and found a Japanese Type 14 Nambu pistol and a unopened original package of ammunition for it. I was absolutely stunned and told the old gentleman that there was no way that I could accept such a gift. He told me that he had two kids that could care less about what he did in WW II and that if he died, that the pistol would probably end up in a yard sale. He knew that I would appreciate the pistol as a historical artifact and make sure that it was properly preserved. The old gentleman told me that after a night assault on his position on Peleliu, the marines had to clear the Japanese dead bodies off of the barbed wire in front of their guns. He told me that the bodies were stacked like cord wood. While moving the bodies, he and his buddies were looking for souvenirs. (Most were looking for Samurai swords) He found the pistol under the body of what he thought was a officer. After cleaning off the blood and mud off of his find, he hid it until came home. Again, I didn't feel right about taking the pistol, but the old gentleman finaly convinced me to.
I got home and checked the pistol over, it has a broken firing pin/striker but other than that, and some pitting on the outside of the pistol, is in remarkably good shape. I thought about getting it repaired but I think it would be much better served by placing it in a shadow box for display.
I just recently spoke to the old gentleman, his health is failing. I asked him if he was planing on watching the Pacific. He paused for a few moments and said, "Son, I lived it, I don't need to watch it"
Thought I would write a few lines just for the hell of it, nothing worth noting other than just got through two weeks back in the hospital. I was discharged last Friday and I spent the weekend trying to get over that. What is it about hospitals that just seems to suck the life right out of you? The Doc seem to think they have my issues taken care of this time. I am reserving my judgment having been burned once or twice.
I have also had a wee touch of writer's block, which I think I have mastered, so a longer post will be forthcoming tonight or tomorrow.