Donald R. McClarey

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

I don’t think he should have been characterized as the insane show-off that 20th Century-Fox wanted to make him- which I resisted down the line. He had many admirable qualities: duty, honor, country and so forth instilled in those men.

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Donald R. McClarey

Our “Allies” the French

Ah, that famed Gallic diplomacy:   The French ambassador to the United States used Pearl Harbor Day as an occasion to bash America’s position on World War II in the 1930s. “In this Pearl Harbor day, we should remember that

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Donald R. McClarey

Seventy-Six Years Ago: A Date Which Will Live in Infamy

    “War is brutish, inglorious, and a terrible waste. Combat leaves an indelible mark on those who are forced to endure it. The only redeeming factors were my comrades’ incredible bravery and their devotion to each other. Marine Corps

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Donald R. McClarey

Rousing a Sleeping Giant

At the end of the epic movie Tora, Tora, Tora, (1970), Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the head of the combined Japanese fleet, after the successful attack on Pearl Harbor, refuses to join in the elation of his staff, and makes this haunting observation:

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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

December 4, 1942: Long Patrol Ends

In one of the most stunningly successful small scale operations in the history of the US Marines,  from November 6, 1942, to December 4, 1942, the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, about 700 Marines, under Colonel Evans Carlson, in 29 separate

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Donald R. McClarey

December 1, 1941: Hirohito Gives Approval for War Against US and Great Britain

In the wake of World War II a useful fiction was promulgated by the Japanese government, with the active connivance of the US Occupation under General Douglas MacArthur, that Hirohito had been anti-war and helpless to stop the militarists who

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Donald R. McClarey

October 20, 1944: General MacArthur Returns

  Mine eyes have seen MacArthur With a Bible on his knee, He is pounding out communiqués For guys like you and me, And while possibly a rumor now, Someday ’twill be a fact, That the Lord will hear a

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Donald R. McClarey

Darkest Hour

        You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war

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Donald R. McClarey

August 15, 1945: The Voice of the Crane

    Allied bombers had been used on August 13, 1945 dropping leaflets over Japan which described, in Japanese, the surrender offer and the Allied response.  On August 14, 1945 Hirohito met with his military leaders, several of whom spoke

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Dunkirk: A Review

    My son and I saw Dunkirk (2017) yesterday.  I was looking forward to seeing it, but I am afraid I found it disappointing overall.   My review is below the fold, and the usual caveat as to spoilers is

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Dunkirk

  The film is getting magnificent reviews and I will be seeing it on the last Friday of the month with a full review to follow.  Operation Dynamo, the transport of British and French troops from surrounded Dunkirk, was a

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Father and the Flag

One of the most highly decorated chaplains of World War II, Father Elmer W. Heindl used to joke that his decorations were simply due to him being in the wrong place at the right time.  Born on June 14, 1910 in

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Father Ranger

The men of the 5th Ranger Battalion could barely keep from laughing when they first saw their chaplain, Lieutenant Joe Lacy, a week before D-Day.  These were young men, in peak physical condition.  Father Joe Lacy was old by Ranger

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FDR’s D-Day Prayer

  My fellow Americans: Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It

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D-Day Factoids

  Random observations on D-Day. Churchill and the King– Churchill had begun his career in the days of Queen Victoria in the Army, and had fought in India, the Sudan and in the Boer War.   In World War I he

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June 4, 1942: Battle of Midway Begins

My bride has the distinction of being one of the few people born on the Island of Midway.  (We have pictures of her as an infant with some Laysan Albatrosses, better known on Midway as Gooney Birds.  The medical staff was so excited

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Resisting Enemy Interrogation

    From 1944 an Army Air Corps training film regarding resisting enemy interrogation.

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Interrogation of Enemy Air Men

  An Army Air Corps film from 1943 regarding the interrogation of enemy air men.  Attorneys in the service were often used as interrogation officers, as they were used to asking questions and ferreting out the truth from reluctant individuals.

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May 8, 1942: Victory at the Battle of the Coral Sea

  Seventy-five years ago, although they did not realize it, the American and Australian forces had won the Battle of the Coral Sea.  The battle which ultimately saved Australia from Japanese invasion has been largely forgotten in the US.  That

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April 18, 1942: The Doolittle Raid

  Seventy-five years ago 80 very brave Americans, led by Army Air Corps Lieutenant Colonel James H. Doolittle, brought the nation a badly needed morale boost.  The War in the Pacific was going badly as defeat followed defeat.  Navy Captain Francis

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Chesty Puller and Catholic Chaplains

(I first ran this back in 2011.  It has proven to be one of the most popular posts I have written for TAC.  Time to run it again.)     Some men become legends after their deaths and others become

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Saints of Lent: The Lion of Munster

Lent is a grand time to confront evil, both that evil which stains our souls, and the evil external to us.  Throughout the history of the Church there have been saints who risked all to bravely confront the popular evils of

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A Century of Vera Lynn

    The singing voice of Great Britain during World War II, Dame Vera Lynn is one hundred years old.  The Sweetheart of the Forces, she was tireless in her performances for the troops during World War II, and the veterans

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Requiescat in Pace: Loyce Edward Deen

When you go home, tell them of us and say For their tomorrow, we gave our today. Inscription on the Memorial to the dead of the British 2nd Division at Kohima Hattip to Ace of Spades.  As we go about

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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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January 24, 1972: Sergeant Shoichi Yokoi is Captured

  If there were any question as to the fanaticism, or raw courage and determination if one prefers, of the Japanese military during World War II, the tale of Sergeant Shoichi Yokoi would have answered it.  For 28 years after

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January 15, 1943: Pentagon Dedictated

Leslie Groves was not a pleasant man to work for, but if you wanted to get something done, he was the man to accomplish the seemingly impossible.  He demonstrated this twice during World War II:  spearheading the Manhattan Project and

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Christmas “Nuts!” at Bastogne

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

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Dunkirk

  A new movie coming about Dunkirk next summer.  If the British army had been destroyed at Dunkirk in 1940, which might very well have happened, rather than sucessfully evacuated to fight again another day, Hitler’s long shot Operation Sea

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Pearl Harbor Lessons

    The attack on Pearl Harbor, the date which will live in infamy in F.D.R.’s ringing phrase, happened 75 years ago today.  Less than 2500 of the 42,000 sailors, soldiers, marines and airmen stationed there that fateful day are still

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A Date Which Will Live In Infamy

The US Naval Academy Glee Club singing Eternal Father aboard the USS Arizona Memorial.  The dastardly sneak attack on Pearl Harbor killed 2,402 American servicemen and wounded an additional 1247. About one hundred civilians were killed or wounded. For most Americans

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Billy Mitchell Predicts Pearl Harbor Attack in 1924

“This officer is an exceptionally able one, enthusiastic, energetic and full of initiative (but) he is fond of publicity, more or less indiscreet as to speech, and rather difficult to control as a subordinate.” From General John J. Pershing’s 1923

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