Sunday, December 25, 2011

Last Christmas ----

Soldiers All--Christmas greetings

A Christmas Greeting card issued by CBI (China-Burma-India) theater for allied soldiers .Animated Indian Flag

Year of issue is unknown. The card shows expression of words "Everything is O.K." in Hindi, Burmese and Chinese. It depicts landmark monuments such as Taj Mahal (India), Pagoda (Burma) and entrance of some palace/forbidden city (China).

The inside of card has a greeting printed with native people of CBI theater. It also has "FREE" printed on card indicating this must be free of post just like British Military Air Letter Cards (BMALC) or Airgraphs/V-Mails.

CBI Seal

CBI Seal

Shown below is a type of postcard where prisoner was not supposed to write anything. All it could do was select some options and put his signature at the bottom of the card.

The postcard indicates that it was printed on 13-12-1941 with quantity of 6,00,000. It is of type A.F.A-2042 (Italian) with censor marking stating "Passed".

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ake Ake Kia Kaha

Sgt D S Sidhu--The night of 28/29 April 1943

( click on crew picture to enlarge)

Stirling W7513 crew - Sgt. David Church on extreme left, Sgt. Patrick Torre Hunter 2nd left, Sgt. Devinder Singh Sidhu 3rd from left, centre Sgt. Keith Halliburton (the three on the right of Sgt Halliburton most probably are Air/Bmr Sgt Thomas Scarfe , Air/Gnr SgtCharles Henry George Boxall and Air/Gnr Sgt Alexander Clunie Howell

RNZAF'S 75 Squadron motto, Ake ake kia kaha: "For ever and ever be strong", where 'ake ake' means '(for)ever (for)ever' and 'kia kaha' means 'be strong'.-Sgt Sidhu and W7513 were part of 75 (NZ ) Sqn during WW2
Ake ake kia kaha is also the marching song of the 28th Maori Battalion, whose 3500 members went on to win fame in World War Two as shock troops in Greece, Crete, North Africa and Italy.

Te Ope Māori Hīkoi kia toa
Te Ope Māori kia kaha ra
Te Ope Māori hikoi kia kororia ai
Mauria te hōnore o te iwi.
Ka hīkoi mātou ki te hoariri
Whawhaitia tae noa ki te mutunga
Mō te Atua! Mo te kingi! Me te whenua!
AU-E!, ake ake kia kaha e!
Maori Battalion march to victory
Maori Battalion so very staunch
Maori Battalion march to glory
Be the living expression of the people's honour.
We will march to the enemy
Put them to flight at the end.
For God! For King! And for country!
AU - E! Forever and ever be strong!

W7513 took off at 20.42 hrs from R.A.F. Newmarket in Suffolk.It was part of a huge 207 aircraft force on a "Gardening" (Mine laying) operation. A total of 593 mines were laid off Heligoland, in the river Elbe and in the Great and Little Belts. Low cloud base forced the aircraft to fly very low over the German and Danish coasts. Because of this they took very heavy flak and also attacks from Luftwaffe night fighters. Records confirm that there was a German flak ship also operating the coast that night. 68 Lancasters, 60 Halifaxes, 47 Wellingtons, 32 Stirlings - were involved in the operations that night. 167 aircraft laid 593 mines off Heligoland, in the River Elbe and in the Great and Little Belts. Low cloud over the German and Danish coasts forced the minelayers to fly low in order to establish their positions before laying their mines and much German light Flak activity was seen. 22 aircraft - 7 Lancasters, 7 Stirlings, 6 Wellingtons, 2 Halifaxes - were lost. This was the heaviest loss of aircraft while minelaying in the war, but the number of mines laid was the highest in one night.

6 Mosquitoes had also carried out a raid to Wilhelmshaven, dropping many flares to divert attention from that part of the minelaying force which was operating nearby. No Mosquitoes were lost.
Although this was the largest mine laying operation in one night of the whole war it came at a price. A total of 22 aircraft were lost (75 Squadron lost 4 aircraft alone, with a total of 28 crew members killed) - 9 aircraft were lost by the night fighters and the remainder from the flak. Stirling W7513 is not on the Luftwaffe claims list for this raid so it is thought that it had been taken down by flak - Possibly shot down near the
target area, the plane and the
crew disappeared without a trace.

"28 - 29 april 1943 (00.35 hours) The Langelands Bælt near Vesternæs. Stirling Mk I W7513 (AA-G)
No 75 Sqn, Newmarket, Suffolk. Mine
laying: The western part of the Fehmarn Belt (
7 MIA).

Date: 28/29th April 1943 Mission: Gardening

Unit: No.75 Squadron (R.N.Z.A.F.)
Type: Stirling I

Serial: W7513

Code: AA-G

Base: Newmarket, Suffolk

Location: Unknown - probably over target area.
Pilot: Sgt. Keith Halliburton 415411 R.N.Z.A.F. Age 23. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Devinder Singh Sidhu 946455 R.A.F.V.R. Age26 ? Killed
Nav: Sgt. Patrick Torre Hunter 42297 R.N.Z.A.F. Age 29. Killed
Air/Bmr: Sgt. Leslie Thomas Scarfe 1261331 R.A.F.V.R. Age 21. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. David Church 1196564 R.A.F.V.R. Age 29. Killed
Sgt. Charles Henry George Boxall 1393248 Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Alexander Clunie Howell 392104 Age 23. Killed

Vijay Chowk (Victory Square) at Rajpath, with Secretariat Buildings in the background, New Delhi.

The Band of The Brigade of Gurkhas

Zorba the Greek (Βίος και Πολιτεία του Αλέξη Ζορμπά) is a novel written by the Greek author Nikos Kazantzakis, first published in 1946. It is the tale of a young Greek intellectual who ventures to escape his bookish life with the aid of the boisterous and mysterious Alexis Zorba. The novel was adapted into a successful 1964 film of the same name as well as a 1968 musical, Zorba. Here is the Gurkha Band playing the theme of the movie

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The 60's

From left, clockwise: A soldier lays on the ground during the Vietnam War; The Beatles, part of the British Invasion, change music in America and around the world; John F. Kennedy is assassinated in 1963, after serving the office of president for three years; Martin Luther King Jr. makes his famous I Have a Dream Speech to a crowd of over a million; Millions participate in the Woodstock Festival of 1969; China's Mao Zedong puts forward the Great Leap Forward plan; The bombing of the Mount of Olives during the Six-Day War; For the first time in history, an American human being sets his foot on the Moon, in the Moon landing 1969

East German construction workers building the Berlin Wall, November 20, 1961.

Examples of 1960s technology, including two rotary-dial telephones, and a Kodak camera.

Pictures of Soviet missile silos in Cuba, taken by US spy planes on October 14, 1962.

Monday, December 12, 2011

"Life is a city of crooked streets, death is the market place, where all men meet" .

"When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today"

The words are attributed to John Maxwell Edmonds (1875 -1958), an English Classicist, who had put them together among a collection of 12 epitaphs for World War One, in 1916.

The verse is thought to have been inspired by the Greek lyric poet Simonides of Ceos (556-468 BC) who wrote after the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC:

"Go tell the Spartans, thou that passest by,
That faithful to their precepts here we lie."

"People sleep peacefully in their beds at night, only
because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."-
George Orwell

Its a little known fact that that the Royal Indian Armed Forces were the largest all-volunteer armed force in history, with nearly 2.85 million men fighting with the Indian Army, the Royal Indian Air Force and the Royal Indian Navy in WW2.Twenty-four Indian pilots were sent to England during the summer of 1940 alone. They joined the various OTUs and subsequently spread out among the Squadrons in Fighter, Coastal and bomber Command. Eight of them were killed in operations.
RIAF recruiting posters-- World War 2Flag India animated gif 120x90

^ GD(P) Sqn Ldr K K Majumdar DFC in the cockpit of an Hawker Typhoon fighter bomber during his tenure with No.268 Squadron during the D-Day Operations in Europe. Note the 'INDIA' shoulder flashes

^Twenty four Indian pilots were sent to England during the summer of 1940. They joined the various OTUs and subsequently spread out among the Squadrons in Fighter, Coastal and bomber Command. Eight of them were killed in operations.
Even after returning to India,Sqn Ldr Pujji continued the practice of naming his aircraft Amrit, after his fiancee at the time. Here(ABOVE) Pujji is seen on a Hurricane IIB in Burma.

Sqn Ldr MS Pujji(above) in 2004. He is wearing his medals with his DFC first, his FAI gliding pin in his right lapel, a poppy (symbolizing remembrance of those who fell in battle) plus his Burma Star Association pin on his left lapel.

^ The Vengeance Mk III can be identified by the twin .30 Machine guns to be operated by the 'Observer'. Here an Indian pilot climbs out of his aircraft.
^ Sqn Ldr Hem Chaudary with his gunner Flt Lt Murat Singh by his Vengeance. Hem commanded No.3 CDF during the first Burma Campaign. Earlier he flew with No.353 RAF squadron.

By the end of the war, the RIAF had risen to seven squadrons, with substantial numbers of Indian personnel flying in RAF and many other colonial nations. This airforce fought side-by-side with the British and Americans against the Japanese all over Asia, and Indian-manned squadrons distinguished themselves in the air war in Europe, as well as in the Middle East and North Africa.The inauguration of the Indian republic in 1950 had the force redesignated as the Indian Air Force

Indian Soldiers

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Love is a vital, cosmic energy flowing through us all. Life is not for existing or "making do," but for loving, and we should be able to find it in in all aspects of life—marriage,work, spirituality, and more. The cumulative wisdom of the ages,teaches us that love is the key to life, and that life—all of it—is for loving. '' When I asked God for strength, He gave me a difficult situation to face----

When I asked God for brains and brawn, He gave me puzzle in life to solve--

When I asked God for Happiness, He showed me some unhappy people--

When I asked God for wealth, He showed me how to work hard--

When I asked God for Favors, He showed me opportunities to work hard--

When I asked God for peace, He show me how to help others--

God gave me nothing I wanted; He gave me everything I needed''

This picture says a thousand words.

WWII--A Jew, A Christian,A German-SOLDIERS ALL

♥♥LoViNg♥LiFe♥ For The Love of Mankind ---

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tuskegee Airmen + US Congressional Gold Medals, 2007March29.jpg
US President George W. Bush presents the Congressional Gold Medal to Dr. Roscoe Brown Jr., during ceremonies honoring about 300 Tuskegee Airmen Thursday, March 29, 2007, at the U.S. Capitol. Dr. Brown, Director of the Center for Urban Education Policy and University Professor at the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York, commanded the 100th Fighter Squadron of the 332 Fighter Group during World War II.

Who Were The Tuskegee Airmen?

Most people today are not aware that prior to 1941, it was the policy of the U. S. War Department (Dept. of Defense) to maintain segregated military units in the Armed Forces. The few black infantry, cavalry, and artillery units that existed at that time in the army were commanded at the top ranks by white officers, with black officers relegated to the lower ranks. This system remained in force throughout World War I and World War II, with few exceptions. The Army Air Corps began training African Americans to become pilots at Alabama's Tuskegee University in 1941, under orders of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Army officials were skeptical of the skills of African Americans, largely basing their assumptions on a 1925 military study which concluded that African Americans lacked the courage and technical aptitude to be counted on in combat.

Nearly 1,000 African Americans earned their pilot's wings in the Tuskegee program between 1942 and 1946. They flew more than 15,000 sorties over North Africa and Europe during World War II, destroyed more than 250 enemy aircraft on the ground and 150 in the air and were so proficient at protecting U.S. and Allied bomber planes that squadrons requested that the pilots escort for them.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

once there was a war

Lt. Wallace Strobel with Gen Eisenhower , 1944
Lt. Wallace Strobel (on left), 1990
Leutnant Wolfgang Kloth 2nd Panzer Division
Wolfgang Kloth served as tank commander on a Mark IV Panzer in the 3rd Pz Rgt, 2nd Panzer Division on the Eastern Front in 1943. He was promoted from Unteroffizier to Leutnant (2nd Lt) and taught at a Panzer training school near Berlin. Returning to the Eastern Front as commander of a Sturmgeschutz (75mm Self-Propelled Artillery vehicle), he fought in the Kurland pocket, until the war ended in May, 1945. Herr Kloth became a prisoner of the Soviets for several years, then immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1950s. He has been a resident of Western Michigan ever since. Decorated with the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd class, the Panzer Assault Badge in Silver and a silver wound badge for four wounds.