Family, History, War

“His Holiness Will Receive You in a Few Moments. I could Have Dropped Dead!”

One of the touchstones of my life has always been the story of how my dad met the Pope, in Rome, on June 5, 1944. Truth be told, my mother always pooh-poohed the whole thing a bit (not unusual for Mum to do something like that, especially for an event in which she wasn’t the main… Continue reading “His Holiness Will Receive You in a Few Moments. I could Have Dropped Dead!”

Culture, Family, History, Life, Plain Speaking, Quote of the Day, War

Rosyjskie Diabły

I learned that little Polish phrase from the late Mr. She, not very long after I met him, on a day when we were swapping stories about our eccentric and (in wholly different ways) exceptional families. It’s one of the few (SFW) bits of Polish I know, and I say it with great determination and… Continue reading Rosyjskie Diabły

History, Quote of the Day, War

December 7, 1941: A Date Which Will Live in Infamy

President Franklin D. Roosevelt asks the United States Congress to declare that a state of war now exists between the United States of America and the Japanese Empire: https://youtu.be/lK8gYGg0dkE   On this eightieth anniversary, then U.S. Navy Seaman 1st Class David Russell, now 101 years old, revisits Pearl Harbor for the service commemorating those who… Continue reading December 7, 1941: A Date Which Will Live in Infamy

Book Review, Guest Post, War

Book Review by Seawriter–Dreadnoughts at War

The dreadnought battleship was an iconic technology in the first half of the twentieth century. Nations poured millions into their construction. Despite – or perhaps because of – the money spent building them, they were rarely used. Clash of the Capital Ships: From the Yorkshire Raids to Jutland, by Eric Dorn Brose, presents one period… Continue reading Book Review by Seawriter–Dreadnoughts at War

Family, History, Military

A Book Recommendation–From Sapper to Spitfire Spy–And Some Notes on Diving For Pearls

I am inspired by Seawriter's recent review of a biography of Major Donald J. Humphrey, written by Humphrey's son, to brush-up and re-post this jaunt down memory lane from early last year: From Sapper to Spitfire Spy: The WWII Biography of David Greville-Heygate DFC, by Sally-Anne Greville-Heygate is an endearing memoir of a father’s military… Continue reading A Book Recommendation–From Sapper to Spitfire Spy–And Some Notes on Diving For Pearls

Book Review, Guest Post, War

Book Review by Seawriter: A Memoir of Endurance and Survival

In January 1945 Major Donald J. Humphrey commanded a B-29 Superfortress. During a 1900-mile mission from India to bomb Singapore, his bomber was shot down over Malaya. Humphrey and four other members of the crew of Postville Express successfully parachuted out of the dying bomber. The rest of the crew failed to escape. 8 Miraculous Months… Continue reading Book Review by Seawriter: A Memoir of Endurance and Survival

Family, History, War

Auntie Pat Weighs In On the 75th Anniversary of Operation Overlord–Two Years On

This post is two years old--from June 6, 2019, but the sentiments, and the gratitude, to all those who served in the Allied armed forces, and to all those who endured the "miserable slog" on the home front--never grow old.  Thank you. (Auntie Pat will be 98 years old next month; may she live forever.)… Continue reading Auntie Pat Weighs In On the 75th Anniversary of Operation Overlord–Two Years On

Book Review, Guest Post, History, War

Book Review by Seawriter: Adventure in the Roaring Forties

Jack Pembroke is a Royal Navy officer badly injured during the Dunkirk evacuation, now assigned to command a minesweeping flotilla in South Africa. Emil Falk commands a Nazi auxiliary cruiser – a disguised and armed merchantman conducting commerce raiding far from Europe. In The Cape Raider, a novel by Justin Fox, the two have a… Continue reading Book Review by Seawriter: Adventure in the Roaring Forties

Book Review, Guest Post, War

Book Review By Seawriter: In Which He Calls His Own Number

He shoots!  And scores!  (Completely unexpected, and hopefully accurate, sports analogy by the athletically-compromised (and proud of it) RWKJ.) My friend, Mark Lardas--who posts on Ricochet as Seawriter and who graciously allows me to reblog his posts here--has a new book available: Battle of the Atlantic 1942–45: The Climax of World War II's Greatest Naval… Continue reading Book Review By Seawriter: In Which He Calls His Own Number