LTJG Robert A. Huttemeyer

2018-2-28 Huttemeyer

Brooklyn-born Robert Huttemeyer followed the advice of his father, a veteran of World War I, by choosing the Navy (“they feed you and you sleep in a clean dry bed”) over the Army when he enlisted to serve in World War II. He got into an officers’ program and on D-Day he was commanding an LST that was flagship of her group. Not only did he deliver American troops to the beach, but in the next few days, he ferried Canadian and British officers, including General Bernard Montgomery, to and from shipboard conferences.

We honor you, Robert Huttemeyer.

(#Repost @Veteran’s History Project)

Millie Bailey

2018-2-27 Bailey

Millie Bailey grew up in the Deep South. During World War II, she joined the Army. She ended up the Commander of a women’s unit. Now, she lives in a Senior Apartment complex in Columbia, Howard County.

It’s been a memorable journey for this accomplished Senior Citizen.

Millie explained, “I haven’t had a paying job since 1975, but my young friends say I shouldn’t say I’m retired, just say I work without pay.”

According to Fox News she has volunteered in different capacities during the past few decades. She has worked with children in Howard County Schools. She has packed care packages for soldiers overseas. She has been on advisory boards from police to education.

She remembers the impact segregation and discrimination had on her life, and hopes the next generations are better human beings.

Her dream is for true equality. “I would like for everybody to see what they can do to help somebody else, like when you go to buy groceries, buy some extra cans and bring it to the food bank. Yes, live every day thinking ‘what can I do to make it a better world.’”

Millie was recognised Monday night (Feb 19, 2018) by the Howard County Council for her volunteer efforts, as she celebrated her 100th birthday.

We honor you, Millie Bailey.

(Submission by: Ninzel Rasmuson. #Repost @Fox45news)

Lt Betty Tackaberry Guild Blake

2018-2-26 Blake

Born in Hawaii while it was still a territory, Betty spent her early years reading books about aviation. When she was 14, she met Amelia Earhart who encouraged her wanting to learn to fly and invited the teenager to watch her take off when she flew solo to Oakland, California. According to Betty, “that cinched it.”

Betty had her first flight at age 15, then hitchhiked to the airport and did bookkeeping for flying lessons. She attended University of Hawaii, was accepted into the college’s Civilian Pilot Training program and earned her license. She then flew tourists around the Islands.

On Saturday, Dec. 6, 1941, she had passed tests for commercial license and instructor rating and was scheduled to fly a tourist around the island at 6:30 am. He canceled that afternoon. Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 1941 she witnessed the bombing of Pearl Harbor from her family’s balcony on a high hill overlooking the Harbor. Riveting stories of the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, blackouts, driving w/ blue gel over the headlights and listening to Tokyo Rose on the radio. Three months later, she married her fiancé, a Naval Ensign whose ship had been sunk on Dec 7. He was soon reassigned to the US and they came to the States in a convoy of ships.

When her husband was shipped out on an overseas assignment, Betty heard of Jacqueline Cochran’s new experimental flying training program to teach women to fly military aircraft. She applied and, with her large number of pilot hours, was accepted as a member of the first class.

She completed 5 months of AAF flight training at the Houston Municipal Airport, graduated, and received orders to report to Long Beach to ferry aircraft for the Air Transport Command Ferrying Division.

Her first assignments were to ferry new training aircraft to bases all over America. Within a short time, the AAF opened up pursuit training schools to select WASP. There she learned to fly all types of pursuits. Her orders then were primarily to ferry fighter aircraft to ports of embarkation on the East coast for shipment to overseas bases. Her accounts of her experiences are riveting.

After the WASP were disbanded, she raised two sons, was a reporter, and a craftsman, eventually designing a bean bag frog that was featured in the film, “The April Fools” w/ Jack Lemmon & Catherine Deneu.

We honor you, Betty Blake.
(#Repost @Wings Across America)

Cpl Ken Rodgers

2018-2-25 Rodgers

Ken Rodgers, born 1947, was raised in the small town of Casa Grande, Arizona. He did well in school, was a part of the National Honors Society, was active in sports, the drama club, and had served as Senior Class President, with special love of reading and writing. After high school, Mr. Rodgers briefly attended Arizona State University before leaving to pursue full-time employment, including a stint on a core drilling rig on the Papago Indian Reservation, south of Casa Grande.

Mr. Rodgers joined the military under somewhat unusual circumstances: he was actually driving a friend that wanted to enlist to Pheonix, only to go across the hall and enlist with the Marine Corps himself for four years. When Mr. Rodgers told his father of his decision, his father was quick to ask: “Don’t you know they’re killin’ people over there?” Mr. Rodgers recalls that perhaps what lead to him enlisting was the desire to find adventure and see what was going on in the world.

Leaving for boot camp on October 4, 1966, Mr. Rodgers trained for 8 weeks at MCRD San Diego in Platoon 3333, and took to heart such sage advice as “Don’t ever let’em learn your name” as a way of dealing with the physically and mentally demanding drills. After boot camp, Mr. Rodgers was sent to Camp San Onofre for Infantry Training—a 4 week program—where he received more weapons training, before he went for two weeks of training at Advanced Infantry Training at Camp Horno. Here he learned small unit tactics, how to conduct ambushes and patrolling. From there he went to staging battalion for 3 weeks—a waiting station for putting together entire units to send to Vietnam all at once. Mr. Rodgers flew from El Toro to Okinawa on his way to Vietnam; and then from Okinawa into Da Nang, Vietnam. He arrived at 2 o’clock in the morning and sat on his seabags for 6 hours awaiting orders, finally assigned 1st Battalion, 26th Marine Regiment.

1st Battalion, 26th Marines was stationed on Hill 55 about 22 miles southwest of Da Nang. After joining the Battalion, Mr. Rodgers underwent further indoctrination, training and administrative processing before joining Bravo Company – his individual unit. Bravo Company was stationed on the road to Liberty Bridge south of Hill 55. By May of 1967, Mr. Rodgers and the rest of Bravo company was advanced to Khe Sanh, a marine occupied base in the northwest corner of South Vietnam. In June of 1967, a patrol went out and 21 marines were killed in an ambush—an eye opening experience, and a foreshadowing of what was to come for the Company. While nothing happened in the whole area during the fall and winter of 1967, the Company knew the enemy was out there. They had seen signs of them, and the Marine Reconnaissance units had been engaged in smaller skirmishes.

While Mr. Rodgers went on his second R&R around New Year’s day, 1968, the 1st Battalion, 26th Marine Regiment had gone out on patrol with the expectation of activity. 3/26 made contact with the NVA, and there were increased reports of enemy sightings. NVA officers were sighted reconnoitering the base and were shot at. An NVA trooper defected and gave information to US troops. As a result the Marines stationed an entire regiment – 26th Marine Regiment – at Khe Sahn in anticipation of a major engagement. On the morning of January 21st, Mr. Rodgers awoke in his bunker to the sound of someone shouting “Incoming!” Outside the bunker, and in fighting position, Mr. Rodgers and his fellow Marines witnessed the NVA hit the ammo dump—tear gas and 10’s of thousands of rounds of ammunition cooked off in a scary display. Then came the mortar and artillery fire. From their fox holes, the marines waited, and readied themselves for the ensuing battle. The enemy never came, yet this was the beginning of a siege that last 77 days—the Siege of Khe Sanh.

We honor you, Ken Rodgers.

(#Repost @Pritzker Military Museum & Library)

Maj Kurt Chew-Een Lee

2018-2-24 Lee

Major Kurt Chew-Een Lee is the first Chinese-American officer in the history of the United States Marine Corps. Honored for his heroic performance during the Korean War, Lee is a recipient of the Navy Cross, the second highest honor a marine can receive for valor.

Born and raised in northern California, Lee is the first-born son of Chinese immigrants. As a first-generation American, Lee says he and his siblings “grew up in an American way, but kept Chinese customs.” As a high school student, Lee witnessed the events of World War II and-determined to become an honored American soldier-joined the Junior ROTC. During a time when very few minorities were in command, Private Lee rose through the ranks to become a First Lieutenant. Blowing past cultural barriers, he became Commanding Officer of a Machine-Gun Platoon of Company B, First Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division. His opportunity to earn the respect of his troops and prove his solidarity as an American citizen would soon arise on the rugged mountain ranges of northeast Korea.

Outnumbered by Communist Chinese forces and facing temperatures 20 degrees below zero, Lee boldly exposed himself to enemy fire as he braved the enemy-held slope. His audacious one-man attack forced the Chinese to fire and reveal their battle stations, which gave his platoon the opportunity to capture the base. Despite injuries sustained on the battlefield, Lee went on to lead 500 marines on a grueling night mission to save their fellow soldiers, the Fox Company, at the battle of Chosin Reservoir. In a mission unprecedented in Marine Corps history, Lee’s company fought for every inch of ground and safely evacuated Fox Company to the Port City of Hungnam. As the first officer of Asian descent to be commissioned in the United States Marine Corps, Lee is not only a pioneer but also a shining example of resolve and courage.

We honor you, Kurt Lee.

(#Repost @Smithsonian Channel)

SFC Daniel Metcalfe

2018-2-23 Metcalfe

29-year-old US Army Sergeant 1st Class Daniel T. Metcalfe, from New York was killed on 29th September 2012 when his unit came under fire from enemy forces at Sayyid Abad, Afghanistan. He served with the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, based in Italy.

Sergeant Metcalfe joined the Army when he was 18 and had served one tour in Iraq and two tours in Afghanistan prior to this deployment. He first joined his unit in Vicenza, Italy, in January 2002 and it was here that he met his Italian wife Vesna. He later became a drill instructor at Fort Benning, Georgia., before returning to Vicenza in 2011.

Sergeant Metcalfe’s father said this about his son in an interview with local press: “He was always positive, always the one taking the lead, a little mischievous. The Army took that leadership and put it into proper use. To watch his maturity after he joined the service made me as proud as I could be.”

We honor you, Daniel Metcalfe.

(#Repost @Fallen Heroes: Afghanistan)

CPT Linda Bray

2018-2-22 Bray

Captain Linda Bray was the first woman to lead US troops into battle, during the invasion of Panama in 1989. In 1982, she joined the ROTC. In 83, she was assigned to duty in Germany, where she guarded the Special Weapons Depot as a military policewoman. After she came back to the States, in 1988, Bray took command of her Military Police Company. In 1989 they were deployed to Panama. While there, she led a force of 30 MPs through a firefight to capture a kennel holding Panamanian Defense Force guard dogs and, it was discovered, a cache of enemy weapons. This groundbreaking event led to a big debate at the time. Congress questioned whether women should be allowed to take leadership positions (or do anything, for that matter) on the battlefield. With Bray’s performance under fire as an example, Congresswoman Pat Schroeder introduced a bill that would officially allow U.S. military women to serve in combat roles. The bill died when top generals lobbied against it, arguing that female soldiers couldn’t handle the physical challenges of combat. But in January 2013, the Pentagon’s prohibition against women serving in ground combat finally ended, and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta admitted women were integral to the military’s success.

We honor you, Linda Bray.