Donald R. McClarey

Remember 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 of

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Donald R. McClarey

Midway: A Review

My bride and I and our son went to see Midway last Saturday.  We all enjoyed it.  I highly recommend it.  Here follows the review with the usual caveats that there are spoilers ahead.

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Donald R. McClarey

John Ford’s Midway

  My bride and I and our son saw Midway (2019) yesterday.  Full review to follow later in the week.  It is a great film which makes a priority of historical accuracy, at least as accurate as a film dramatization

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Donald R. McClarey

Midway The Movie

  This movie is being released on November 8.  I will be going to see the movie with my bride and son.  I hope it is a fitting tribute to the gallant men who brought to the American people a

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Donald R. McClarey

Tomorrow the World!

Emil Bruckner: If it is necessary, I will die for the Führer! Mike Frame: Oh, I see. You want to die. Emil Bruckner: It is my duty. Are you – going to beat me? Mike Frame: Well, since you find

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Donald R. McClarey

The Master Sergeant Was a Modest Hero

  (Edmonds was born a century ago today.) A nightmare for every Jewish GI serving in the European Theater of Operations was to be captured by the Nazis.  For a group of American Jewish POWs on January 27, 1945, their worst nightmares

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Donald R. McClarey

Fighting Nazis Then and Now

  Hattip to commenter Nate Winchester.   So here’s the thing:  In my opposition to the ugly and evil policies of the Trump Administration and its conservative Christian supporters, my approach has been strongly influenced–ironically–not by “liberalism” as my critics

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Donald R. McClarey

Grand Strategy of the Allies

Fascinating.

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Donald R. McClarey

The Purple Heart (1944)

    It’s true we Americans don’t know very much about you Japanese, and never did. And now I realise you know even less about us. You can kill us, all of us, or part of us, but if you

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Donald R. McClarey

August 7, 1942: First Marine Division Lands at Guadalcanal

Before Guadalcanal the enemy advanced at his pleasure – after Guadalcanal he retreated at ours. Admiral William “Bull” Halsey, Jr.     Admiral Chester Nimitz said of the Marines who took Iwo Jima that uncommon valor was a common virtue. 

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Donald R. McClarey

Father Thomas Michael Conway: Last US Chaplain to Die in World War II

(Much of the information contained in this post was taken from a post on Father Conway written by Bill Millhome.  Go here to read his post.) Early this year the Navy rejected efforts to have Father Thomas Michael Conway awarded

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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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