Donald R. McClarey

G.I. Jive

    Something for the weekend:  G.I. Jive.  Recorded in 1944 by Johnny Mercer, he intended to write a song that he thought American soldiers would like.  The song was a popular one among the G.I.s.  Here is a rendition

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Donald R. McClarey

What It Was Like

  Our men simply could not get past the beach. They were pinned down right on the water’s edge by an inhuman wall of fire from the bluff. Our first waves were on that beach for hours, instead of a

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Donald R. McClarey

Franciscan Paratrooper

  For love of Him they ought to expose themselves to enemies both visible and invisible. Saint Francis of Assisi Ignatius Maternowski entered this Vale of Tears on March 28, 1912, in Holyoke, Massachusetts, the son of Polish immigrants  He

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Donald R. McClarey

D-Day: Seventy-Five Years Ago

Seventy-Five years ago what General Eisenhower called The Great Crusade began:     Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The

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Donald R. McClarey

June 5, 1944: Liberation of Rome

    In the afternoon of the same day, Wednesday, June 7th, the Pope received, in a memorable and moving general audience in the Sala Clementina, some seven hundred grimy Allied soldiers, most of them fresh from battle and all

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Donald R. McClarey

D-Day the Gamble

A nice look at the history of D-Day.  What we tend not to recall today is what an immense gamble D-Day appeared to be from the perspective of the Allies.  Amphibious landings had a distinctly mixed record for the Allies

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Donald R. McClarey

The Longest Day (1962)

The West Point Glee Club singing the theme from the film The Longest Day (1962).  When the film was released D-Day was only 17 years in the past.  Now, it is 75 years ago this week.  Time moves on and

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Donald R. McClarey

Fanfare for a Common Soldier

Something for a Memorial Day weekend.  Fanfare for the Common Man by Aaron Copland.  Composed in 1942, it was Copland’s reaction to the US entering World War II. This song brings back memories to me from 43 years ago. Back

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Donald R. McClarey

April 29, 1945: US Troops Liberate Dachau

2,579 Catholic priests, seminarians and brothers were thrown by the Nazis during World War II into Dachau.  1,780 of these were from Poland.  Of these, some 868 priests perished, 300 in medical “experiments” or by torture in the showers of the

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Donald R. McClarey

Hanson on World War II

  My favorite living historian, Victor Davis Hanson, has a lecture series on World War II through Hillsdale College.  Go here to view it.  His companion history on World War II, go here to view it, is a masterpiece.  Go

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Donald R. McClarey

Last of the Escapees Passes

Everyone here in this room is living on borrowed time. By rights we should all be dead! The only reason that God allowed us this extra ration of life is so we can make life hell for the Hun. RAF

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Donald R. McClarey

Requiescat In Pace: George Mendonsa

    George Mendonsa has passed away at age 95.  Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts does the honors:     Who?  Him: A man who was part of the American psyche as I grew up.  I was that generational bridge. 

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Donald R. McClarey

January 26, 1945: Audie Murphy Earns Medal of Honor

The real heroes are dead. Audie Murphy When Audie Murphy starred in his aptly titled World War II biopic, To Hell and Back, his battlefield exploits were downplayed.  Partially this was due to Murphy’s modesty, he had not wanted to appear in

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Donald R. McClarey

Christmas 1944: Lest We Forget

In 1944, seventy-four years ago, at Christmas, the American and German armies were fighting it out in the Battle of the Bulge, the last major German offensive of the War. Patton’s Third Army fought its way through to relieve the Americans

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Donald R. McClarey

December 11, 1941: Germany Declares War on the US

After Pearl Harbor war between the US and Nazi Germany was inevitable, but Hitler relieved FDR from the tricky business of turning the attention of Congress and the US, riveted on Japan, to Germany, by obligingly declaring war first.  Here

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Donald R. McClarey

Advent Light in Darkest Night

   It is time to awaken from sleep. It is time for a waking up to begin somewhere. It is time to put things back where God the Lord put them. Father Alfred Delp, SJ During Advent 1944 Father Alfred

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Donald R. McClarey

December 7, 1941: Pearl Harbor

  “Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives: Yesterday, December 7th, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces

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Donald R. McClarey

December 6, 1941: FDR writes to Hirohito

  An historical oddity.  The day before “the date which will live in infamy” President Roosevelt wrote a letter to Emperor Hirohito.  Here is the text of the letter: [WASHINGTON,]   December 6, 1941 Almost a century ago the President

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Donald R. McClarey

The Navy Remembers

A salute to a sailor president from the Navy.       Eternal Father, strong to save, Whose arm hath bound the restless wave, Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep Its own appointed limits keep; Oh, hear us when we

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Donald R. McClarey

Last Salute of the World War II Generation

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Donald R. McClarey

Requiescat In Pace: George H. W. Bush

  Former President George Bush has died at age 94.  I am deeply ambivalent about his role as a major player in our national life, and I think we are too close to his Presidency in time to have much

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110 Year Old Heroine Nun Dies

  Refutation of the lament that only the good die young:   Cecylia and her sisters, at the risk of their own lives, hid a group of 17 Jews, among them Abba Kovner, Arie Wilner, Chaja Grosman, Edek Boraks, Chuma

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Donald R. McClarey

Ten Years of TAC: The Yorktown, the American Worker and Three Days

We must have this ship back in three days! Commander of the Pacific Fleet, Admiral Chester Nimitz (The American Catholic will observe its tenth anniversary in October.  We will be reposting some classic TAC posts of the past.  This post

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Donald R. McClarey

Ten Years of TAC: Anne de Gaulle

(The American Catholic will observe its tenth anniversary in October.  We will be reposting some classic TAC posts of the past.  This post is from October 28, 2009.)     Charles de Gaulle could be a very frustrating man.  Churchill, in reference

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Donald R. McClarey

The Real Story of Pavlov’s House

An excellent video looking at the incident of Pavlov’s House during the battle of Stalingrad.  The video demonstrates how difficult it can be to separate history, myth and propaganda.

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Donald R. McClarey

Ten Years of TAC: The Lion of Munster

Neither praise nor threats will distance me from God. Blessed Clemens von Galen   (The American Catholic will observe its tenth anniversary in October.  We will be reposting some classic TAC posts of the past.  This post is from March

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Donald R. McClarey

Ten Years of TAC: Last Voyage of the Indianapolis

(The American Catholic will observe its tenth anniversary in October.  We will be reposting some classic TAC posts of the past.  This post is from July 15, 2015.)   Hours after the successful test of the first atomic bomb on

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Donald R. McClarey

July 26, 1945: Prompt and Utter Destruction

At the Potsdam Conference on July 26, 1945, the governments of the United States, Great Britain and China announced their terms of surrender for Japan.  The key points of the Declaration: 1.  Any occupation of Japan would be temporary until

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Donald R. McClarey

One of the Last of the Few

      ‘Here’s a Spitfire – fly it, and if you break it there will be bloody hell to pay’.” Geoffrey Wellum   Geoffrey Wellum has died at age 97.  He had the distinction of being the youngest British

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Donald R. McClarey

Real Nazis

Our friends on the Left are increasingly fond of tossing around the term Nazi.  A small reminder below of what real Nazis were like: the most interesting—although horrible—sight that I encountered during the trip was a visit to a German

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Donald R. McClarey

Ten Years of TAC: A Priest Born on Flag Day

(The American Catholic will observe its tenth anniversary in October.  We will be reposting some classic TAC posts of the past.  This post is from August 6, 2012.) One of the most highly decorated chaplains of World War II, Father

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Donald R. McClarey

June 5, 1944: Patton Delivers The Speech

“There is one great thing that you men will all be able to say after this war is over and you are home once again. You may be thankful that twenty years from now when you are sitting by the

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Donald R. McClarey

June 4, 1940

May it not also be that the cause of civilization itself will be defended by the skill and devotion of a few thousand airmen? There never has been, I suppose, in all the world, in all the history of war,

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