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

Read More »
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

Read More »
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

Read More »
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

Read More »
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

Read More »
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,

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Know Your Enemy: Japan

Produced by the Army in 1945 and narrated by actor Walter Huston, Know Your Enemy: Japan, directed by Frank Capra, helped explain to a war weary America why it was going to be a fight to the finish against the

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

April 24, 1945: Death of Father Cyclone

  Larry Lynch was born, the first of 12 kids in his family, in the City Line neighborhood of Brooklyn on October 17, 1906.  He grew up on some pretty tough streets while also serving as an altar boy at

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

The Sherman Tank

 “A Tiger can destroy 10 Sherman tanks, but the Americans have 11.” Field Marshal Erwin Rommel       A military maxim proclaims that quantity has a quality all its own.  Some 50,000 M4 Sherman tanks were manufactured by the

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

April 15, 1945: Murrow Reports on Buchenwald

I have reported what I saw and heard, but only part of it. For most of it, I have no words. Edward R. Murrow at Buchenwald, April 15, 1945     When Buchenwald death camp was liberated, General Patton was

Read More »
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

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Winston Churchill

    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 against a

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Darkest Hour: A Review

Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go

Read More »
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.

Read More »
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

Read More »
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

Read More »
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:

Read More »
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

Read More »
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

Read More »
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

Read More »
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

Read More »
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

Read More »
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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

Resisting Enemy Interrogation

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

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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

Read More »