Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Sidetracked...

(Source)
So the header thing for the blog has been a recent obsession. True, I've been having a lot of fun with it, and no doubt spending too much time doing it. Making new headers that is. Someone suggests something then I start chasing photographs (or paintings) online in order to create yet another header. So the other day I wrote "One more, that's it, for now..." - remember that? Well yeah, I lied.

I've created nine more (yes, nine) for your enjoyment which I will show you near the end of the post. Patience. (I'm told it's a virtue, yet another failing of mine. Who knows, by the time I publish this post there may be more than nine. It's an obsession I tell you.)

Anyhoo, while searching for something to write about I was sidetracked a bunch of times.

The first sidetrack occurred while I was running the blogs in the morning, this post of Old NFO's caught my attention. A delightful look back at what flying commercial was like when only people with lots of money could do it. Then, the first sidetrack occurred. The post went from talking about the Boeing 314 Clipper, the more famous of the commercial flying boats, to a mystery surrounding the Hawaii Clipper, which was actually a Martin M-130 flying boat. (Which led to another sidetrack, did you know that there were actually three commercial flying boats? The Sikorsky S-42, the Boeing 314 Clipper, and the Martin M-130? I didn't. All were built to meet Pan Am requirements for trans-oceanic flights.)

None of those aircraft were built in quantity, only ten Sikorsky S-42s, 12 Boeing 314s, and three M-130s. Now of the three Martin flying boats, one, the Hawaii Clipper, went missing in the Pacific. Old NFO mentions one story going the rounds about the aircraft landing on a Japanese base in the Pacific, where the passengers and crew were executed by the Japanese. The story says that the Japanese wanted the engines of the aircraft. I cannot find anything to verify that story, though one chap seems to have made something of a career out of trying to discover what happened to that aircraft.

From my point of view, the Pacific is a BIG ocean (truth be told they're all freaking big) and it's not hard to lose stuff out there. (See Amelia Earhart...)

Anyhoo, after digging through all of that, which did make for interesting reading, I thought about doing a post on the sole Coast Guardsman to receive the Medal of Honor. Signalman First Class Douglas A. Munro was awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously, for his actions on Guadalcanal in World War II. That story has a number of different facets which will take some time to put together and do justice to. Hopefully I can get to that soon. (Heck, the Coasties did such a great job during that campaign that they even impressed the Marines! Not easy to do.)

So a couple of great stories, one for which little evidence exists to support blaming the Japanese, the other needs more time to write it up properly. Which still left me with needing a topic for a post. Today.

So I thought, "Heck, I've got all these new headers, just write about those." So I went searching for a good opening graphic. Based on the keyword "header," which led me to concussions in soccer (what the rest of the world calls football) due to heading the ball. Which is the act of redirecting the flight of the ball by using one's head. Having been there, done that, trust me, that can hurt. Especially if the ball has any "way" on it. (To use a nautical term.)

Which led me to a blog from a Boston University journalism professor regarding doing away with the header in soccer. I panicked a bit when I first stumbled across that post "Ban the header!" Because I like the header on my blog, most blogs have a header, the header sets the tone, and, oh wait, the word "SOCCER" precedes the whole "Ban the header!" thing. So to borrow from juvat -



Anyhoo. There will be no banning of the header here at The Chant, though I may need to ban creating more headers (which means I will have to lay off most of the Header Production Department, poor bastids).

Speaking of headers, here are the new ones, with a brief explanation as to why I made that header. (As always, click to embiggen.)

How could I not have a header dedicated to the landings in Normandy on the 6th of June 1944? Besides which, that is an iconic photograph of the landings. The men in the photo wading ashore at Omaha Beach are from Company E, 16th Infantry Regiment, the 1st Infantry Division, the Big Red One. Two-thirds of those men became casualties on that day. (The photo is catalogued in the National Archives with the title, "Into the Jaws of Death - U.S. Troops wading through water and Nazi gunfire."


The North American F-100 Super Sabre was suggested by one of you, the readers As this was the very aircraft which the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds were flying when I first saw them as a kid, I chastised myself for not thinking of that myself. (Now I need to hunt down a good photo of the Grumman F-11 Tiger in Blue Angels livery, for that was the aircraft they were flying when I first saw them. As a kid. Before I saw the Thunderbirds.)


The Aggressive-class minesweeper header is a tip of the hat to fellow blogger (and all around great guy) HMS Defiant. As USS Esteem (AM/MSO-438, he served aboard that one) graces his blog's header, I chose a different one, so I picked USS Fortify (AM/MSO-446). The photo actually shows her at sea, most of the other photos wouldn't fit in the header (1476 x 466 pixels, no exceptions) or were tied up to the pier.


World War I aircraft was another reader suggestion. But what aircraft, there were so many. So I chose an iconic event from the air combats of the Great War - the downing of Manfred von Richthofen, the leading ace of that war with 80 aerial victories. The red triplane (Fokker Dr.I) in the painting is the Red Baron's aircraft. The Sopwith Camel on his tail is flown by Canadian Captain Roy Brown. Whether it was Captain Brown or ground fire from an Australian unit that killed von Richthofen will probably never be settled to anyone's satisfaction. Suffice to say, the Red Baron was no more. (The blurriness to either side of the main action is something I did to stretch the painting into the correct width. I wasn't happy with it at first and tried to mend it, nothing satisfied me. Then I thought that the blurriness to the left and right of center imparts a sense of motion. Anyhoo, that's my story and I'm sticking to it)


I think we all know juvat's love of destroyed armored vehicles and his hatred of fully functioning tanks. (Which stems from his having been attacked by the hood of a Dodge Ram pickup in his formative years.) So I really did need to include a header with a destroyed tank on it. As this particular photo also includes Dwight D. Eisenhower, general, President, namesake of The Nuke's first carrier, and a man with whom my paternal grandfather served, I thought, "Why not?" It's a good photo.


I ran across this painting quite by accident. Two stretcher bearers carrying a wounded comrade away from the front in World War I. It struck me that I needed to honor the docs, nurses, medics, corpsmen, etc. who treat the wounded. I hold them in great respect and no little amount of affection. Expect to see this around Memorial Day or around what some call Veterans Day, but which to me will always be Armistice Day. Maybe both. Here's to you Doc!


Another painting which I "stumbled across." Actually, on one of my sidetracks I thought of the great American painter Frederic Remington (may have been triggered by a comment over on koobecaF by my friend Brig, who knows her Western art). So I though that a Remington-based header would be nice. (A Dash for the Timber is one of my favorite Remington paintings.)


The Battle of the Bulge is one of my "favorite" battles (a topic I need to think on and post about, how can one have a "favorite" battle, as if it's like a flavor of ice cream. Dammit Sarge, people die in battle, how can you have a "favorite"? Yep, sidetrack, right there.) Anyhoo, the long line of American infantry marching off into the snow and cold in the Ardennes is evocative of that battle, at least to me. Expect to see this one used in the mid-December time frame.


Another reader suggestion was the C-47, the ubiquitous "Gooney Bird." The aircraft which delivered paratroopers to many a far-flung battlefield, a cargo hauler extraordinaire, and an iconic symbol of the Allied victory in WWII. Not to mention a very successful aircraft design which is still in use after it's first flight roughly two weeks after Pearl Harbor. Like John Blackstone said, "When the last C-47 is delivered to a museum somewhere, the crew will probably get a ride home in a C-130."

No doubt.




48 comments:

  1. Love the rotating headers; they keep the blog from getting stale

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like the header merry go round as well. If you have a Remington, you gotta have a C M Russell. That boy could paint. And he knew his rigging. Dad had a big thick slick-page book of his art. I used to study those paintings when I was a kid... I've spent whole afternoons just looking at that book and listening to the Sons of the Pioneers on the record player. Smoke of a 45 was a good one. There was one about getting tangled up in a rope with a bear. Man, that gave me shivers.

    I wondered about that story of the Japanese and the radial engine. But I didn't go digging.

    Keep warm up there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just Googled C M Russell, yup, got to have a header with his work in it. Maybe Buffalo Hunt. But yeah, Smoke of a 45 is also really nice.

      Delete
    2. That's a good one. I've already made two headers based on CM Russell paintings. I think the readers will be pleased.

      Delete
    3. If you have a Remington and a Russell, you really need a Schroyvogel to complete the set. "My Bunkie" is the 19th century equivalent of brave pilots who went after their wingmen.
      Don;t get sidetracked by the fact that "Bunkie" refers to the old army barracks where bunks were more or less doubles with two soldiers sharing a rack.
      https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0c/My_Bunkie_MET_DT381.jpg
      John Blackshoe

      Delete
    4. Consider it done. Schreyvogel is brilliant.

      (French army under Napoléon had a similar set-up as far as "bunkies" are concerned. If DoD could get away with it... Cost savings dontcha know?)

      Delete
    5. If you are thinking about a landscape painting of the American West, I will nominate Albert Bierstadt.

      Delete
    6. I'll have to look at those, landscapes, while gorgeous, aren't that great in the narrow height of the header. But I'll play with it. (His work is very nice.)

      Delete
  3. /psst/ 'Give me a fast ship'. Tin cans. Green water over the bow.....

    Nudge nudge.......

    /
    L.J.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm guessing you missed this post. Or were you looking for an older destroyer?

      Delete
    2. Us Tin Can sailors won’t be happy until you’ve got a header with each of our ships.
      Oh, then there’s the DEs.
      Can’t you just hear the character from Oliver Twist? “May I have some more, sir?”

      Delete
    3. I'm starting to think that this is a task which could continue forever. Not that I have a problem with that.

      Need more destroyers. (And DEs.)

      Delete
    4. Not a destroyer, but one of my all time favorite USN photos- no I was not aboard at the time...
      JB
      https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FFile%3AUSS_Connecticut_-_NH_553.jpg&psig=AOvVaw0J8KI0AAfaTrg0rAsphwfk&ust=1582216183985000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCNjG-uWE3ucCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAO

      Delete
    5. Love that photo, used it once upon a time. Would make a great header! Consider it done.

      Delete
    6. Very nice, but I've always had my love for a good clipper-style bow. Though I love the filigree on the bow.

      Delete
    7. juvat - I have reworked the two headers you mentioned, not thrilled but more legible.

      Delete
    8. Beans - The filigree is very nice.

      Delete
  4. And here I've been concerned about the Kung Flu, it seems Header Virus is spreading..........:). All solid choices there Sarge. Mr. Remington was that generation's version of the smartphone camera, his work is alive!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alive, describes it perfectly. That's the beauty of his work, you can feel it.

      Delete
  5. "As this was the very aircraft which the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds were flying when I first saw them as a kid,"

    Ditto - it was the early 60's, probably 1962 or 1963, and I brought my 35 mm camera (not an SLR) - no idea where those pics are now! I may be wrong, but I'd swear the venue was the Dallas Naval Air Station, but not sure why the Thunderbirds were performing at a NAS??

    And I also agree Remington's painting were very realistic and "animated" - you can often 'hear' the horses and riders! Wonder how much his paintings influenced the action shown in the Westerns in movies and TV?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can see that. In that painting, I can almost smell the heat and dust of the prairie.

      Delete
    2. Carswell AFB maybe? It was in the vicinity. I liked them in the Hun best, even more so than the Phantom. I think the white paint job they've used since the Hun looks a bit "dainty".

      Delete
    3. They were awesome in the Hun. You're right, the white isn't as good as the natural aluminun.

      Delete
  6. All very nice, although the Webmaster/teacher in me has a critique of two. (Critique is not criticism). In Ike's Header and the Bulge Header, the blog name is very hard to read. Different color perhaps, or maybe block out the background around it? Your call, Mon capitaine as always, just a suggestion/comment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed, I need to experiment with that. I thought that the black with white shading might work (Ike header) but no, still hard to read.

      I'll send those back to Production. 😉

      Delete
  7. Still holding out for a famous wagon cover that shows a series of memorial events leading up to and after October 14th. Hint, hint...

    Now that you've been sidetracked, what about halftracks...

    And that rail yard photo is amazing. Always thought rail yards are beautiful in their layout. Looking at the track construction, seeing the frog, the safety rail, all the components to keep heavy weights moving and rolling. A chance comment on another blog has led me into searching out and reading blogs and posts about 7.5" or 1-1.5 scale trains. Live steam or gas or electric, just how they make and lay the track and components is fascinating, let alone actually assembling scale engines and cars. I guess you can never really take the kid out of the adult.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your mention of the frog reminds me of a railroad story
      I only remember the punchline.
      I will Sussex it out eventually, POCIR, and post it eventually.

      Delete
    2. Beans - You speak in riddles, yet (and this scares me) I'm starting to understand you.

      Railroads and trains are awesome.

      Delete
    3. Skip - Can't wait, though I understand that I have to.

      Delete
    4. What I am referring to is all about the TAPESTRY of life. (HINT! HINT!)

      Railroads are totally awesome, either as a carrier of your stuffs, like planes and tanks and troops or as a juvat-approved target because they carry planes and tanks and troops...

      Delete
    5. I get it, no really, I do.

      (You'll see on Thursday.)

      Delete
    6. Trains. Oh my, yes. Here's something to tide everyone over.

      https://vimeo.com/240878623

      When the train passes through Auburn, the town and countryside bring back a lot of memories of growing up as a young lad in the rural California gold rush country.

      Delete
    7. I'm glad someone does. Trains are fun targets, they have trouble jinking.

      Delete
    8. I just knew you'd think of trains as one giant ribbon target.

      Delete
    9. RHT447 - Very nice. (Very long!)

      Delete
    10. juvat - Now I need to build some train headers, one for "normal" folk, one for air-to-mudders. 😉

      Ever see the movie The Train with Burt Lancaster? Awesome film, I need to track that down.

      Delete
    11. Beans - Fighter pilots are a lot like submariners. Everything that isn't your own kind is a target. 😁

      Delete
  8. (Don McCollor)...my thanks for including the DC3...That airplane was more than psychic, it was faithful and would do or die trying to do the impossible...The Berlin Airlift. DC3 took off with a cargo of pierced aluminum planking (PAP). All instruments and engines normal, but she was sluggish taxing (her subtle waning disregarded by her pilots). She used every inch of runway on takeoff, and could barely struggle to maintain airspeed at full power on landing without stalling and slammed down hard on the runway...The pilot checked the cargo. It was stamped PSP (pierced steel plank). She had carried more than twice the maximum weight a DC3 was supposed to carry (from "The Legendary DC-3")...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love the Gooney Bird!

      As a side note, my Dad was in the Army, in Berlin, during the Airlift.

      Delete
  9. While I love me some S-3B Viking, that Pan-Am Clipper is a really close second. Tragic story at the end of Old NFO's post. War is definitely hell. You should definitely make a header of the one! I also like the MSO shot. A lifetime ago I spent 30 days on MSO-489 which was a similar ship. Different class, but I think that was just due to different shipyards making the same ship. Love the WWI header too, showing a bit of the horror of war there too, but you should check it carefully. Btw, did you see 1917? LOVED IT.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tragic, but unproven, story, yes. One of the clippers would make a nice header, or perhaps a PBY?

      (What should I check on the WWI header? Wait, oops, I see it. Repair 1, provide...)

      Haven't had the chance to see 1917 yet. It looks good.

      Delete
  10. I am compelled to quibble with the commentary on the WW1 aircraft header. There will probably always be some diehards who stick to the Roy Brown story, but the evidence (a side-to side bullet wound on a slightly upward angle) indicates ground fire. This was recognized at the time. An American flier serving with the RFC wrote about the death of Edward Mannock:"Mannock got hit by machine gun fire from the ground just like Richtofen…" This is not to criticize Roy Brown, who simply reported that he had fired on a red triplane and thought it went down. He was flying when he was medically unfit, like the Rittmeister himself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tend to lean towards the Baron being killed by ground fire.

      Though given the three-dimensional nature of aerial warfare, it is within the realm of possibility that a round from Captain Brown's guns killed von Richthofen. (The Baron's aircraft in a bank, flying at a slightly higher altitude than Brown would do the trick.)

      Delete

Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)