“News from the Hut”
for American Legion Post #142; Hominy, Oklahoma.
by Gary Lanham
Here’s news on the Damascus Knife raffle (donated by Dan Rathbun) I mentioned last week. The drawing is officially November 11th, fittingly, on Veteran’s Day. Tickets are $1 each and 6 tickets for $5. You can get your ticket around town where you see advertising or any American Legion member (the usual gang). I suggest you buy a lot, as I am still determined to make it mine!
Plans are still on for the Legion-Auxiliary Installation Dinner. It will be Friday August 14th at 6:00pm at the Hut. Jerry Sebert has agreed to conjure up ribs and chicken and the Auxiliary/spouses will provide sides and desserts. We will be hosting the Post Installation Ceremony at the same time. Lucky and Myrna Ladwig from Skiatook have agreed to preside over the Post 142 Installation Ceremony on Friday. They are our always our honored guests.
On this date in 1948, Allies responded to increasing Soviet pressure on western Berlin, U.S. and British planes airlift a record amount of supplies into sections of the city under American and British control.. The Russians, Americans, and British all received a zone with the thought being that the occupation would be only temporary and that Germany would eventually be reunited. By 1948, however, the Cold War animosities between the Soviets and the Americans and British had increased to such a degree that it became obvious that German reunification was unlikely.
In an effort to push the British and Americans out of their zones of occupation in western Berlin, the Soviets began to interfere with road and rail traffic into those parts of the city in April 1948. In June 1948, the Russians halted all ground and water travel into western Berlin. The Americans and British responded with a massive airlift to supply the people in their Berlin zones of occupation with food, medicine, and other necessities. It was a daunting logistical effort, and meant nearly round-the-clock flights in and out of western Berlin. August 13, 1948, was a particularly nasty day. Nevertheless, over 700 British and American planes landed in western Berlin, bringing in nearly 5,000 tons of supplies.
The joint British-American effort on what came to known as “Black Friday” was an important victory for two reasons. First and foremost, it reassured the people of western Berlin that the two nations were not backing down from their promise to defend the city from the Soviets. Second, it was another signal that the Soviet blockade was not only unsuccessful but was also backfiring into a propaganda nightmare. While the Soviets looked like bullies and heartless despots for their efforts to starve western Berlin into submission, the British and Americans–flaunting their technological superiority–were portrayed as heroes by the worldwide audience. This also signaled the transition of the Army Air Force to a separate branch of service, my beloved USAF!
Before I go, a couple interesting things are in progress. Babo has secured a good price for new frames to re-post the pictures and history of our past commanders. I will update you on the details and progress. As well we are developing our POW-MIA remembrance table. In coming weeks, I will share with you the symbolism and history of the table and it’s ceremony.
Don’t forget our regular meetings continue, the first and third Thursdays of the month at 7:00 PM (August 20th). Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings in August are still planned (if weather permits) and running starting around 0700 till about 0900. As always much thanks to the crew for providing biscuits and gravy and maybe a waffle or two and always a cup of Joe (coffee to the civilians). 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”.