Del Ray Echo Hawk

Pacific Paratrooper

”Ken’s Men Against the Empire, vol. I”

I acquired “Ken’s Men, Against the Empire, volume I” during this pandemic of ours and when I reached the story of Bootless Bay, I couldn’t get it out of my mind, so I decided to share it with you all.  I thank the research of Lawrence J. Hickey and the IHRA for over 373 pages of unforgettable stories, plus a sneak preview of Volume II.  I can’t praise this organization enough.  I recommend you all try at least one of their books.

Del Ray Echo Hawk

Rescue from Bootless Bay

As men fought on the ground in New Guinea, the 5th Air Force was in the sky above them.  The B-24D, the “Ben Buzzard”, 43rd Bombardment Group/64th Bombardment Squadron, with Lt. Stephen Blount as pilot, could be heard over the radio at Seven Mile Drome as they returned in violent weather over the…

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Learning To Weave

From a very early age I was interested in weaving, and particularly in rug weaving. So my childhood efforts in this direction consisted of making pompons which I sewed to a piece of canvas with a printed pattern. A pompom rug. Then there were the latchet hooked rugs, again with a preprinted pattern. And finally I moved on to braided rugs. All this was in the 1940’s and early 1950’s.

Then came a gap – many other activities took precedence. College, graduate school, first jobs, etc. Knitting was about the only textile/wool craft which appeared sporadically.

Late in the 1960’s I married and before long I was the mother of 3 young sons. Our young family went to St. Lucia in the Caribbean for 2 years. A magical island. It was customary to have a maid and this left me free to do ……..what? I turned my thoughts to craft work – I could obtain canvas and a hook but not the appropriate yarn. I turned to sewing, with a new sewing machine. And embroidery on a printed canvas. But I wanted to finally learn to weave.

So our next overseas adventure was to Fiji. I had time in Dublin (our home in between overseas assignments) to get prepared. I saw a box containing a child’s weaving loom made by Spears. It was high up on a shelf in Nimble Fingers, a toy shop near us in Stillorgan. If I recall correctly it cost about 5 pounds?? Really very inexpensive and just the thing to ship to Fiji along with our other belongings.

(A side note here – Nimble Fingers also stocked the precut packs of wool for making a latched hooked rug. These supplies were not prominently displayed. One had to sort of root around, which I was happy to do!)

So when we arrived in Suva, Fiji, survived our struggles with the epidemic of dengue fever (not nice), unpacked our belongings – I began to weave. Tiny beginnings but I soon progressed to a 4 shaft table loom and then a floor loom. And with a floor loom I could actually weave rugs. At last!

A High School Classmate

My Belmont High School classmate has passed away. Professor Marvin Zonis passed away on Sunday November 15, 2020. He was a popular and talented friend. In fact he was the President of our Class, Belmont High School 1954. He lived about 1/2 a mile from me, half way to the High School. I passed his home on Goden Street every day.

As Class President he gave a speech at our graduation, as did I as Valedictorian. He was far more accomplished as a public speaker! It is rather fitting that he went on in life to be such a popular and prominent professor at the University of Chicago. We sort of shared similar fields of study, he chose political science, I chose economics. I don’t know if he was in Chicago when I was at Northwestern in Evanston, just to the north. Early on in the post-high school years, he and 2 other classmates traveled to Afghanistan. That adventure must have provided good fodder for his chosen field of study.

We remember Marvin fondly. May he rest in peace.

My Sister’s Wedding

Today in reading an item in I stumbled across a newspaper article from the Hartford Courant, October 1950. It was an account of my sister Nan’s wedding to Robert Whitney Richardson of New Britain Connecticut. Oh the memories! The Reverend Richard Bennet officiated. The bride was given in marriage by her brother Robert Dana Miller. The bride wore…………… Her sister Ruth was the Maid of Honor. The ushers were ________ and Mr. Elie Rubinsky of Beirut Lebanon.

Elie Rubinsky was a boy friend of my sister Ruth. She and Nan had met him on the ship (the DeGrasse) when they were returning from their 2 month long trip to Europe April to June 1950. Elie was strikingly handsome. Sometime in the winter following the wedding he and Ruth took me with them on a weekend skiing trip to Mt. Belknap near Laconia New Hampshire. We stayed with Aunt Rena and Uncle Clarence who had sold their farm and were living in Laconia. The skiing was wonderful but poor Ruth fell, and fortunately she didn’t break anything but had a very painful bruise.

Ruth and Nan about to depart for Europe on the Ile de France, April, 1950

World War II Army Adventure (78) – Dear Folks – Article Left Behind – January 5, 1945

"Greatest Generation" Life Lessons

5 Jan 45

Dear Folks –

Naturally I couldn’t just break off at home and come back to camp without leaving a little something behind me to remind you all of the few days I spent with you.  But now I find I must have the very article that I left at home.  It seems that the G.I. procedure is that every soldier wears what is commonly known as dog-tags.  So if one of you good soles (not a typo) would be so kind as to locate the missing articles and send them to this address before they Court-Marshall me – I sure would appreciate it.

My furlough ended on Monday at midnight.  The Jeffersonian was only 8 hours late – forcing me to miss two connections out of St. Louis.  Naturally I was slightly AWOL !! Only 12 hours late coming in.  But in the eyes of the C.O…

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My Neighbor’s Wedding in 1922

I have been doing a bit of research on my childhood neighbors. A large family, the Fahey’s, lived just around the corner on Essex Road. There were 7 children ranging in age from that of my older brother and sisters down to a girl just 3 years older than me. They were a friendly outgoing family and I played with the younger members occasionally. They had a basketball net in their driveway and games of basketball occurred fairly regularly. Thanks to I have been able to gather some new, and old, information about the family.

The family have all passed away now. My particular friend and the youngest of the 7 children passed in 2017 at the age of 84. She married in 19?? and had 7 children. The family lived in Acton, another suburb of Boston.

The father died of a sudden heart attack in 1955 (just 6 years after my father had suffered a similar fate).

The mother was a graduate of Radcliffe College and taught for a while before she married.

I am trying to include a newspaper clipping of the marriage of the mother and father in 1922, almost 100 years ago. Watch this space.

Veterans Day 2020 Remembrance and Gratitude

Pacific Paratrooper

My post for this Veterans Day is dedicated to Sgt. Walter Morgan Bryant Jr., USMC; R.I.P my dear friend!

… there is an old Marine poem… it says: ‘When I get to heaven, To St. Peter I will tell, Another Marine reporting sir, I’ve served my time in hell.”         ______ Eugene Sledge, USMC veteran of Peleliu & Okinawa

For the U.S. Marine Birthday, 10 November – CLICK HERE!!

I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze
A young Marine saluted it, and then
He stood at ease.

I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He’d stand out in any crowd.

I thought, how many men like him
Had fallen through the years?
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers’ tears?

How many Pilots’ planes shot down?

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A New Arrangement Of The Furniture

I’m now switching from my laptop to my desktop, which I haven’t used in about 9 months. It is like having a new toy. The switch has occurred because we moved the furniture a bit. We had the desktop facing the wall and my back to the living room and the window. A grim corner. So this is a new arrangement of the furniture. Hooray.

Japanese Aircraft Interiors 1940-1945 Book Review

An obscure book but I am sure of interest to some.

Inch High Guy


Japanese Aircraft Interiors 1940-1945

By Robert C. Mikesh

Hardcover in dustjacket, 328 pages, profusely illustrated

Published by Monogram Aviation Publications April 2000

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0914144618

ISBN-13: 978-0914144618

Dimensions: 12.5 x 9.2 x 1 inches

Robert C. Mikesh is a name known to all aviation enthusiasts.  A former USAF Officer, he was the Senior Curator for Aeronautics with the U.S. National Air and Space Museum.  Fortunately for modelers and others interested in aviation history, he used his unparalleled access to surviving examples of Japanese aircraft to document them from  a unique perspective – the cockpit interiors and crew positions.

This book is exceptional for its presentation and its thoroughness.  Included are examples of nearly all aircraft types operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy and Air Forces during the Second World War.  Each type receives a brief introduction, and then the reader is treated to several photographs and illustrations documenting the interiors and equipment.  The photographs…

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