I Wanna Be an Airborne Ranger

When I was a boy me and my buddies played “Army” a lot. One of my crew had a dad who served like my dad, in the Army WWII. He taught us to sing “I Wanna be an Airborne Ranger, live the life of guts and danger, that’s the life of an Airborne Ranger”. Growing older I realized there were more adult versions, but I will not repeat them here (grin). We have Airborne at the Hut, and I’m not talking pathogens. But this is the day when it began.
Today in 1940, after a month of training and experimentation the U.S. Army adopted airborne, or parachute, soldiers. In 1935 the Russians had a head start on Airborne warfare and made the world’s first spectacular use of parachutists. Despite this early entrance upon the Airborne stage the USSR made little use of Airborne troops in World War II. Their activities were principally concerned with the dropping of supplies and individuals for guerrilla activities. However, their prewar example inspired enthusiasm among the Germans, French, and British. The British organized parachute forces in 1936 and used them continually in their maneuvers. The French organized a parachute battalion in 1938 but inactivated it in 1939.
It was left to the Germans to develop and use paratroopers and glider-borne soldiers in mass operations. Their first use was in the sweep across Holland and Belgium, where paratroopers were used to seize key bridges and the powerful Belgian fortress Eben Emael. Their successful tactical use enabled the panzer divisions to sweep across the low countries and made the conquest of France relatively easy. The invasion of Norway saw an even larger use of paratroopers. The invasion was a combined air and sea attack. The British warships wreaked havoc on the German amphibious forces, but the German Airborne troops were successful in establishing several airheads. As soon as these were established, thousands of German soldiers and their supplies were transported by air. As a direct consequence, Norway fell.
The American General Staff had been closely watching the daring use of Airborne soldiers by the Germans. In September 1940 the United States activated its first parachute battalion. Within a short time, Airborne enthusiasts decided that the Airborne soldier provided the tactical commander with a new method of attaining surprise that could very easily revolutionize modern warfare. By the summer of 1944 we had formed five Airborne Divisions and six Airborne Regiments. By the end of World War II, we had used our Airborne troops in fourteen major offensives.
Our next flag event will be Columbus Day October 8th. We will put out flags on Main Street only on Friday October 5, 2018 and pick up on Tuesday October 9, 2018. Will meet at the Legion Hut at 0830 hrs. each time.
Don’t forget our regular meetings continue the first and third Thursdays of the month. October 4th and 18th will be the next ones. The 4th will be Chef Sebert’s famous RIBS! 6PM dinner 7 PM meeting. Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings in October are still scheduled for biscuits and gravy and always a cup of Joe (coffee to the civilians) starting at 0800. Just watch the weather, it is the only factor that my change that. If you are a veteran come on by. If you have a good story it may end up in print. Also keep up with us at website “americanlegion142.org”.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I wanna be an Airborne Ranger

When I was a boy me and my buddies played “Army” a lot. One of my crew had a dad who served like my dad, in the Army WWII. He taught us to sing “I Wanna be an Airborne Ranger, live the life of guts and danger, that’s the life of an Airborne Ranger”. Growing older I realized there were more adult versions, but I will not repeat them here (grin). We have Airborne at the Hut, and I’m not talking pathogens. But this is the day when it began.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Missed it By That Much!

It’s nice to know responsible dedicate folks serve in opposite branches at important levels. This day in 1983 a Soviet military officer Stanislav Petrov averts a likely worldwide nuclear war by correctly identifying a report of an incoming nuclear missile as a computer error and not an American first strike. The nuclear early warning system of the Soviet Union twice reported the launch of American Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles from bases in the United States.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday USAF!

Of my twenty-nine and a half years in uniform, reserves, Guard, and active duty I spent twenty eight and a half in the blue uniform. I am proud to have severed one year in the Oklahoma Army National Guard and to be called a “Thunderbird”. Still I would not change anything for raising my right hand saying the oath and starting my career in 1973 with the USAF (United States Air force). And guess what? It’s the Airforce birthday this week!

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I Shall Return

During this week in 1945 Gen. Douglas MacArthur landed in Japan to oversee the formal surrender ceremony and to organize the postwar Japanese government. The career of Douglas MacArthur was composed of one striking achievement after another. His performance in World War I, during combat in France, won him more decorations for valor and resulted in his becoming the youngest general in the Army at the time. He retired from the Army in 1934, only to be appointed head of the Philippine Army by its president (the Philippines had U.S. commonwealth status at the time).
Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment