Wednesday, July 31, 2013


F-4D Front Seat
The other day, in a comment, frequent visitor juvat (and honored member of the commentariat) mentioned:
I was still getting checked out in the jet and had an IP in the pit. He was checking me out on the night range and Dive Toss (you may remember that radar technology...
Dive Toss did ring a bell or two. I mentioned in my reply:
...same panel as the Master Arm/Safe switch. The various bombing modes were selected by a big rotary switch with that "NUCLEAR PUSH TO JETT" button in the middle...
That panel would be this - 

Look just above the left rudder pedal in the photo above.
Oh yes, I remember it well.


Made me a little homesick it did.

Kein Anschluss Unter Dieser Nummer

Not having a topic is UNACCEPTABLE! DO YOU UNDERSTAND!!!!

Skip has the right of it, blogging every day can sometimes strain the old thinking apparatus. I mean, I feel that I'm a creative guy, bright, funny, somewhat educated, but damn, sometimes it's tough to come up with a topic.

Sometimes I'll go to Google Images and search based on a phrase, sometimes it's hysterical what will come up if you search for an image related to something like, oh let's say, "borscht on Tuesdays". (Just tried it, most of the images actually involved borscht. Don't know what borscht is? Well, according to Wikipedia, "Borscht is a soup of Ukrainian origin that is popular in many Eastern and Central European countries. In most of these countries, it is made with beetroot as the main ingredient, giving it a deep reddish-purple color.")

On the other hand, sometimes what shows up can be a little scary, if not downright disgusting. There seem to be any number of sick ba$tards out there with access to the internet. So beware. Like I said the other day, Google Images can be your friend, or not. One must choose one's search parameters carefully. Just sayin'...

At any rate, that's my method when I am sans idées. Which happens from time to time. Like right this moment. I think my muse had to go out. Maybe she'll return later.

We'll see...

The title of the post is part of the message one receives when dialing an unused phone number in Germany. Thought you'd want to know...

Update: In which I actually change the title of the post because it was wrong! I changed "Antwort" to "Anschluss", there is no "connection" under this number, not there is no "answer". Geez, I hate it when I do that! For proof, I give you - 

Oh my, wasn't that annoying!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Blues and the 'Birds

The Jets
The Pilots
Since I was a little boy, the US Navy Blue Angels (the Blues) and the US Air Force Thunderbirds (the 'Birds) have always fascinated and thrilled me. The top photo, for those who didn't think much about it, is actually a collection of model aircraft. Very well-done model aircraft done by a fellow named Dan Hamilton (yes, there's more at that link).

When I stumbled across that photo on Google Images (which can be both your best friend and your worst enemy depending on your search terms) I was very impressed. Because these are all of the jets which both teams have flown over the years. But I want to make note of two things here, and one's kind of a technicality.

First, note that I said jets and not the more generic aircraft. The Blues started in the F6F Hellcat and also flew the F8F Bearcat, whereas the Thunderbirds were jet-propelled from Day One of their existence. And I'm not just pointing that out to keep Buck happy. Well, maybe a little, just being historically accurate.

Second (the technicality) the Blues have flown two versions of the Hornet (not counting the two-seater 
Public Relations bird), the F/A-18A and currently the F/A-18C.  The Thunderbirds have flown two versions of the F-16 (again not counting the PR birds), the F-16A and the F-16C. (And in reality there are multiple versions of those aircraft depending on which Block you're talking about. The Falcon was after my flightline days so I'm not what you'd call an expert on that.) Also note that I'm not counting both Teams' C-130 support aircraft. Though they are sometimes part of the show. Particularly "Fat Albert" of the Blues. I've seen that, haven't seen the 'Birds version that I can recall.

Now I had thought to save this post for the Friday Flyby, but I already have something plotted planned for that. Besides which, the aircraft of both teams are so beautiful. I couldn't wait until Friday to share them.

Oh, the Blue Angel's bird will always be shown first. One, because the Blues are the Senior Team and two, because they were first in my affections. Notwithstanding my 24 years wearing Air Force blue. Mostly because a Blue Angel pilot made a very BIG impression on a very young boy back in the day.

The Blue Angels over the years:
  • F6F Hellcat 1946
  • F8F Bearcat 1946 - 1949
  • F9F-2 Panther 1949 - 1950
  • F9F-5 Panther 1951 - 1955
  • F9F-8 Cougar 1955 - 1957
  • F11F-1 Tiger 1957 - 1968
  • F-4J Phantom II 1969 - 1974
  • A-4F Skyhawk II 1974 - 1986
  • F/A-18 Hornet A/B 1986 - 2010
  • F/A-18 Hornet C/D 2011 - Present
The Thunderbirds over the years:
  • F-84G Thunderjet 1953 - 1954
  • F-84F Thunderstreak 1955 - 1956
  • F-100 Super Sabre 1956 - 1968 (See below)
  • F-105B Thunderchief 1964 (Six shows only)*
  • F-4E Phantom II 1969 - 1973
  • T-38A Talon 1974 - 1981
  • F-16A Falcon 1983 - 1991
  • F-16C Falcon 1992 - Present

F8F Bearcat

F9F Panther
(F9F-2 and F9F-5)

F-84G Thunderjet

F9F-8 Cougar

F-84F Thunderstreak

F11F-1 Tiger
(They were flying these my first time.)

F-100 Super Sabre
(They were flying these my first time.)

F-4J Phantom II

F-4E Phantom II

A-4F Skyhawk II

T-38A Talon

F/A-18 Hornet

F-16 Falcon

(Cheesy music alert, but the flying is sweet!)

*When structural failure of his F-105 in a pitch-up for
landing resulted in the death of Capt. Gene Devlin.

If I Was An Aircraft...

Yes, I think that if I was an aircraft, I would be the FJ-1 Fury. Now according to Wikipedia:
The North American FJ-1 Fury was the first operational jet aircraft in United States Navy service, and was developed by North American Aviation as the NA-135. The FJ-1 was an early transitional jet of limited success which carried over similar tail surfaces, wing and canopy derived from the piston-engined P-51D Mustang. The evolution of the design to incorporate swept wings would become the basis for the land-based XP-86 prototype - itself originally designed with a very similar straight-wing planform to the FJ-1 airframe - of the United States Air Force's enormously influential F-86 Sabre, which itself formed the basis for the Navy's carrier-based North American FJ-2/-3 Fury.
The point is, like the Fury, I am kind of short and squat looking. Rather workmanlike, I get the job done. But I ain't much to look at.

And like the Fury, my descendants are much more successful. They are also sleeker and much more pleasing to the eye.

Oh well. We can't all be Mustangs and Spitfires. Or F-16s or F/A-18s. Nope. Somebody has to be the FJ-1.

That's me.

Monday, July 29, 2013

75 K

I had thought about letting the 75,000 page hit thing just slide by, with no "official" mention of it. But on the other hand...

My ego has been boosted quite nicely lately, thanks to all you folks who keep coming here, reading my meanderings and having a look at all the airplanes and such.

Things have been rather exhilarating for the past few days.

So to all of you...


Um, yes. I do love the Phantom, why do you ask?

Dream? Or Nightmare?

Last night was, shall we say, interesting. And not a little bit terrifying. For I had a dream of flying. As least that's how it began.

The sensation of flight was intense. Things began with me riding in the back of a commercial airliner. I had a window seat on the port side of the aircraft and I was looking out that window. Oddly enough, I could also see out the front of the aircraft. I had the view from my window seat, way aft, and simultaneously the same view that the flight crew had, all the way to the front of the plane.

At first I thought we had either just taken off or were on an approach for landing, as the aircraft was in a rather low-lying cloud deck. The top of the aircraft was in the clouds, the bottom outside the clouds. The view from my passenger seat showed this clearly, but my view from the flight deck was different. The aircrew literally had their heads "in the cloud" and could see nothing. I also noted that none, absolutely none, of the cockpit instruments were functioning.

My consciousness seemed to be sliding back and forth between the flight crew and my own seat in the back of the plane. It was then that I noticed there were at least two other passengers on the plane. (Initially, other than the flight crew, I felt as if I was alone on board the aircraft.)

One passenger I instantly recognized, a fellow blogger, a man of large stature, with a beard. Likes to shoot cannons he does. Retired soldier. His Dad was a soldier. This was odd, as other than reading (and enjoying) his blog, I've never really had much contact with him. Odd, neh?

Yes, yes, but what about that other passenger? I have only a fleeting remembrance of him, for it was a male, I seem to recall him wearing a suit. Other than that, he was a rather non-descript fellow. He might have been Asian, I'm not sure. I just know he was there. His function was obscure.

So there we were, the three of us.

After appraising my fellow passengers I again looked out the window, we were alarmingly low, tree-top level low. And we seemed to be slowing down. I looked to my right, where my fellow blogger began to repeat, over and over, "This isn't good". I could see out his window and we were now BELOW tree-top level. What the Hell is going on?

Again my perspective switches to the flight deck, the aircrew is gone, just gone. And now we seem to be in the trees. And these are odd trees, very large with small tufts of foliage along the trunks, most of the leaves being at the very top. And they have very thick trunks, I had a a mental image of perhaps sequoia or redwood trees. I also had the impression that these trees were somewhat far apart. Surrounded by grasslands they were but the terrain also seemed somewhat rocky and certainly not flat. One could feel there was elevation involved, I mean it felt mountainous without really looking mountainous.

For some reason I had the fleeting impression that this looked like New Zealand.

Fleeting because now the aircraft was IN the trees. I could see the trees entering the aircraft, but there was nothing to suggest that the aircraft (or the trees for that matter) were being damaged in any way. Then I felt a very sharp blow to the upper left side of my head and the scene shifted. I felt that, it hurt. But I've had head injuries before (lose focus working under a Phantom and it's unavoidable) and they hurt far worse than in this dream. Just to put things in perspective.

Next thing I knew I was in an obvious hospital setting. Where I would expect to be after having just been in a plane crash. But again, it was surreal, very surreal. I was wearing a johnny and seemed to be liberally splashed with blood. But I was up, walking around, asking the harried and busy hospital staff what was going on. My fellow passengers were no longer present, but there were lots of other people who, I now believed, had been on the same plane. All of them were lying around on gurneys, carrying on conversations like nothing had just happened. Their clothing was torn and in some instances burned, but none of them seemed injured in any way.

The hospital staff, on the other hand, were all hideously injured and were bleeding profusely. They were missing body parts, not just limbs and were covered in blood. Yes, they too were walking about, unconcerned and seemingly oblivious to their grievous injuries.

I felt that my head injury was somewhat serious and it should be treated, immediately. I grabbed an orderly to explain that I had swelling of the brain (that's the way I phrased it in the dream) and could he get someone to take a look at it. This orderly seemed uninjured and in a very good mood, given the circumstances. I also distinctly remember that he was black, mid-thirties, with an impressive Afro. There was also blood pouring from his mouth as he told me, "someone will be with you shortly". Again though, I have to reiterate, this orderly seemed completely uninjured. Just bleeding.

As I was trying to find someone to explain all of this to me, the people all vanished. My first thought was "Good, at least now it's quiet, I can think." But at that point, the lights started to go out. Green cloth curtains were being lowered from the ceiling in all directions. By whom I had no idea.

I then realized that I needed to get out of that place. Fast. I began to head towards a light source in the distance, which was down a very long hallway lined by hospital beds and those descending curtains. But as I moved in that direction, the light vanished and a palpable darkness began to issue from where the light had been. Hhhmm, not good, I thought.

I turned and saw that there was a stairway to my left rear, I could sense daylight at the top of those stairs. I'm not sure why I knew that this was daylight and not electric lighting, but there it is. So I turned to those stairs and quicker than thought I was up on the next level.

This appeared to be street level as there were glass doors leading outside. The room I was in was darkened, lit only by the light coming from behind the curtains on those glass doors. I clearly remember thinking "more freaking curtains?"

I also found myself to be literally "boxed in". All around me were folding tables, in a square, stacked with boxes on top of the tables and with boxes stacked underneath them. I clearly remember in the dream getting frustrated and moving forward to shove one of the boxes off of the table so that I might jump over the table and head for the doorway.

It was then that two female humans in trail crashed through the glass doors (slamming them open, not actually going through the glass). They were fighting each other, though the one in front seemed to be trying to get away from the one behind. I sensed that they were young and old at the same time. Which was odd as they looked to be no more than in their teens. Before I could say anything, the one behind jumped on the one in front. Then slammed her head into the table to my immediate right. I could sense that the one who had just gone down had very long, brown hair. And that getting her head slammed into a table didn't hurt. It was more of an annoyance than anything else.

But in the time it took to think (dream?) that, the trailing female was on me. Her intentions were not benign and I found myself in a struggle. Unlike some dreams I've had, I was easily overpowering this individual yet it seemed to affect her not at all.

Fortunately, at that point I awakened. Rather shaky I was. I'm still trying to sort that all out. It's one of the first dreams I've remembered it quite some time. I'm not sure if I like remembering my dreams.

I wonder what triggered this particular dream? Something to avoid in the future I'd say.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Hun

As a kid, one of my favorite aircraft was the F-100 Super Sabre, or "Hun" as she was known. Probably because these guys were flying her.

USAF Thunderbirds

In another post to honor Colonel "Bud" Day and his passing into legend, ladies and gentlemen, I give you "The Hun".

Colonel "Bud" Day, Hero, American

Colonel George "Bud" Day, Hero. Departing...

Colonel George Everette "Bud" Day
United States Air Force
February 24, 1925 - July 27, 2013
Colonel Day's Medals:

  • Medal of Honor
  • Air Force Cross
  • Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
  • Silver Star
  • Legion of Merit
  • Distinguished Flying Cross
  • Bronze Star (4) with Combat "V"
  • Defense Meritorious Service Medal
  • Purple Heart (4)
  • Air Medal (10)
  • Prisoner of War Medal

On 26 August 1967, Col. Day was forced to eject from his aircraft over North Vietnam when it was hit by ground fire. His right arm was broken in 3 places, and his left knee was badly sprained. He was immediately captured by hostile forces and taken to a prison camp where he was interrogated and severely tortured. After causing the guards to relax their vigilance, Col. Day escaped into the jungle and began the trek toward South Vietnam. Despite injuries inflicted by fragments of a bomb or rocket, he continued southward surviving only on a few berries and uncooked frogs. He successfully evaded enemy patrols and reached the Ben Hai River, where he encountered U.S. artillery barrages. With the aid of a bamboo log float, Col. Day swam across the river and entered the demilitarized zone. Due to delirium, he lost his sense of direction and wandered aimlessly for several days. After several unsuccessful attempts to signal U.S. aircraft, he was ambushed and recaptured by the Viet Cong, sustaining gunshot wounds to his left hand and thigh. He was returned to the prison from which he had escaped and later was moved to Hanoi after giving his captors false information to questions put before him. Physically, Col. Day was totally debilitated and unable to perform even the simplest task for himself. Despite his many injuries, he continued to offer maximum resistance. His personal bravery in the face of deadly enemy pressure was significant in saving the lives of fellow aviators who were still flying against the enemy. Col. Day's conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Armed Forces.
The Air Force Cross is presented to George Everett Day, Colonel, United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from 16 July 1969 to 14 October 1969. During this period, Colonel Day was subjected to maximum punishment and torture by Vietnamese guards to obtain a detailed confession of escape plans, policies, and orders of the American senior ranking officer in the camp, and the communications methods used by the Americans interned in the camp. Colonel Day withstood this punishment and gave nothing of value to the Vietnamese, although he sustained many injuries and open wounds to his body. Through his extraordinary heroism and willpower, in the face of the enemy, Colonel Day reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Siege of Wilson Hall

Nestled in a valley in the deep green hills of Vermont lies Norwich University. It is here, in the dark, cold winter of 1971 - 1972 that our story begins...

(Hint: play the music while you read. It helps set the mood.)

A band of intrepid warriors was in their barracks that cold, snowy Saturday. Shining shoes, studying their arcane texts, wondering just how much fun the upperclassmen were having in the Montpelier metropolitan area. (Such as it is.)

Shining, studying, wondering and...


For pondering is what young warriors will do when they are suddenly out from under the thumb of military discipline. Do they trust us? Is that why we have been left alone for a weekend? Is this a test? Perhaps a trap? If we get out of hand, will the upperclassmen suddenly materialize to harry us back into the cowed role of Norwich freshmen? Known collectively and dismissively as "Rooks".

We did not know. We did not care. For we were being left alone. For perhaps the first time since arriving at the nation's oldest private military school. Don't question it. Savor it. Revel in it. Who knew when this down time might come again?

But that was my own F Company. Civilized warriors we were. Students of war and philosophy. Content to learn our trade there in the quiet, snowy hills of Vermont. Not all companies in the regiment were as civilized. No, not at all.

Some companies were beneath our notice in those days, for we were callow youths, not wise to the ways of the world. We tended to be somewhat judgemental of our fellows. Even those who wore the same uniform, for they were under other officers, they lived in other barracks. We were measured against each other. We competed against each other for regimental honors and special privileges. Such was our world.

For instance, there was Band Company. The tootlers and tweeters of musical instruments. They were segregated in their own area. They lived in the basement of another company's barracks. Kept away from the cadets who drilled with rifle and bayonet, they lurked in the dark haunts of their nether world and practised "band things". Things we others did not care to know. We sensed the reason for the old French military saying:

La guerre doit être terminée, voici la bande ...

Then there were A through D companies, dwelling on the other side of the Quad. Given our lowly station in the Corps of Cadets, A through D companies may as well have been quartered on the dark side of the moon. We did not know them. They did not know us. Even though D Company were in our battalion, they were strangers, other-side-of-the-quadders. With them we did not associate.

G, H and I Companies were all in a third battalion and lived down wind from us. Though they lived on our side of the Quad, we did not associate with them. We viewed them as being foreign and strange.

And then there was E Company, Easy Company. The company where most of the jocks were clustered. Uncivilized brutes they were. We naturally assumed that their upperclassmen were kept locked away with their slovenly underlings by the regimental staff. Preferably behind thick iron doors locked with massive chains.

No, they were not. They were in a barracks just like ours. Goodyear Hall was their lair. At the foot of the Quad it was. Near our own Wilson Hall, but separated by a road, which we considered to be something of a Demilitarized Zone, a DMZ if you will. We stayed on our side, they stayed on their side.

Problem was, at morning formation we would fall in in front of their barracks, for some reason. That's what we did. Every morning. We would insult them. They would insult us. Of course they couldn't understand most of our insults. We in F Company tended to use words of more than one syllable.

One could say, we didn't like each other. No, not at all.

So, to get back to this epic tale, there we were snug in our barracks, watching the snow fall, contemplating the finer things in life. 'Twas then we received the first alarm.

Cadet One: "Do you see something over by Goodyear?"

Cadet Two: "Nope. It's probably just the snow...  Wait, I think...   Holy Crap!"

Cadet One: "What is it, oh Holy Mother of....   Run, tell the others. I'll bar the door and try to hold them here!"

With that, battle was joined.

Before I describe the fighting, you first have to appreciate the tactical situation. Here's an overhead view of the battlefield.

North is to the Top
In the photo below (taken years after the battle mind you), you can see Wilson Hall on the left and on the right is the lair of the beasts Goodyear Hall. The DMZ can be seen winding between the two barracks. If you look just above the sign in the foreground, you can just make out the main entrance to Wilson. The all important main entrance on which the outcome of the battle hinged.

Looking to the North
Here we can see the backside of Wilson. As can be seen, from a tactical standpoint, the terrain presents a daunting aspect to a potential attacker. That hill is steep and in the winter nearly impassable. (Note that the stairs to the left were added well after the battle. The things they do to accommodate tourists. Sigh...)

Looking to the East
E Company's plan hinged on their diversionary attack to the rear of Wilson Hall being able to draw off enough F Company defenders so that their main attack could overwhelm the defenders at the main entrance. Once inside Wilson, E Company's more bestial instincts would serve them well in room to room fighting. We knew at once that it was imperative to hold them "at the gates".

E Company's Plan of Attack

Main Entrance to Alumni Hall

Depicted above is the main entrance to Alumni Hall, the building immediately to the north of Wilson Hall. This is similar to the old entrance to Wilson which has been rebuilt. The older entrance was largely destroyed in the heavy fighting that day. Particularly take note of those windows above the doors, they played a large role in the fighting.

E Company Hoard

As described earlier, two F Company troopers had noticed something going on inside Goodyear Hall. It was E Company, issuing from their dank warren, bellowing their primal rage at all that was goodness and light.

It was then that someone noticed...

Anonymous Cadet: "Oh My Dear Lord. Their upperclassmen are with them. There's, there's too many of them...   WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!"

F Company Stands Alone and Outnumbered!

Another Anonymous Cadet: "Crap! They're coming around the back way too! Sonofabitch we're in the crapper!"

It was at that point that Sean the Mighty took command. Turning to Your Humble Scribe he commanded, "Roomie, hold'em here at the front door while we drive those skulkers out back away. Shouldn't take long. I know it's a diversion but we have to crush it. Keep'em away from the back door!"

Sean the Mighty dashed off with the bulk of our warriors, we prepared to sell ourselves dearly at the main entrance. The E Company Hoard then hit the locked main doors. Being primitives they simply assumed that the doors would open when they pushed. They were baffled when the doors would not open. So they began to push.

Quickly assessing the situation, I turned to the troopers behind me.

"Get all the trash cans you can find and head to the showers. Johnnie, you go to the showers and get all the showers turned on. FULL HOT. NOW GO! GO! GO!"

Still the E Company ne'er-do-wells were heaving at the doors, trying to break through by main force. I could hear the struggle to our rear as 
Sean the Mighty and his band hit the diversionary attack full on.

"Sarge! We've got snow balls!"

Turning my head, I see that Jimmie from Fitchburg had used his head. He and his roomie, Kevin from Gloucester had stripped the blankets off their beds and gone outside through a little used and forgotten side portal. Where they used to bring the coal in to heat the barracks in the way back.

"Beautiful! Well done Jimmie! Take five men, go up to the upstairs windows and start blasting those pukes at the from doors! Kevin, you and Bill get more snow! MOVE, MOVE, MOVE PEOPLE!"

At that point, the pressure on the doors had ceased. The minions of E Company had fallen back to regroup. We had blunted their initial assault. It was then that I heard a ruckus behind me, coming up the stairs from the rear entrance. My blood ran cold for a moment.

"Ah Sarge. Ah crap, they've busted through 
Sean the Mighty!!!"

As we turned, I heard, "Sarge, they're coming to hit the front again! AND THERE'S MORE THAN THEY HAD BEFORE!! WE ARE SCREWED!!"

'Twas then that 
Sean the Mighty came into view with his band, their numbers were fewer and they looked terrible.

Sean the Mighty:
 "They roughed us up pretty bad down there. But we drove them off. They won't be back. I saw some of them crying and breaking away from the Hoard. Probably sneaking back to their barracks. The SISSIES!!!"

Sean the Mighty
 quickly assessed the situation, left his bravos at the front door, took me and a couple of others and we headed to the showers. (I'd told him my plan.) When we got there Johnnie had about 8 trash cans, all filled to the brim with steaming hot water.

Johnnie: "Let's go steam those ba$tards!" And with a cheer we were off.

We arrived at the windows and were met with a flurry of snowballs from the Quad. Though a primitive race, E Company learned quickly and had posted men to fire at our guys in the windows to assist their comrades trying to break down the door.

We got organized and set.

Sean the Mighty:
 "Ready with the snowballs? When I yell 'Fire', you guys jump up and give their skirmishers a volley. Sarge, after the first volley, do your thing!"

A quick look around, multiple nods and 
Sean the Mighty bellowed "FIRE!!!"

Our guys creamed their skirmishers, who had gotten cocky and had even shortened the range. As they staggered back, I bellowed "BRING THE HEAT BOYS!"

With that, eight trash cans of steaming hot water cascaded onto the enemy at the gates. They were staggered. Screams and whimpers were heard. They began to fall back. Then 
Sean the Mighty bellowed "HIT 'EM AGAIN BOYS!!!" And that was all it took.

E Company Repulsed!

E Company began to stream back to their barracks. Here and there some stalwart upperclassmen tried to rally them, but our guys had issued forth from the front entrance and were launching the pursuit. Those few stalwarts were overwhelmed with snowball fire and the E Company retreat was in full flow.

Soundly Defeated, the E Company Hoard Returns to its Lair

The fight was over. We had whipped them.

As we turned to survey the mess that had been made, it was ugly, snow and water everywhere. The curtains on the upstairs windows had been ripped down and trampled. The front doors were actually damaged. They would no longer close properly.

Just then our company commander returned from his evening about the town.


He's standing in the entrance, surveying the carnage.

Sean the Mighty turned to me and said, "You get the mops, I'll get the buckets."

I turned to the commander and said, "We got this Sir. We just kicked E Company's butts in a snowball fight."

F Company CO:
 "Seriously?" (With a gleam in his eye. Like I mentioned the two companies were very competitive.)

Your Humble Scribe: "Yes Sir. We clobbered them."

F Company CO:
 "Nice. Now get this sh!t cleaned up." But he said it with a smile. He was whistling as he took the stairs two at a time.

And that was the Siege and Battle of Wilson Hall. A true story. I know, because I was there. I may have embellished a detail here and there, but for the most part, that's what happened.

It's my blog, I'll tell the story my way.

Carry on...