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The FReeper Foxhole Remembers the 57th. Bomb Wing & Operation Bingo (11-1944/4-1945)-Dec. 31st, 2003 ^ | Frank B. Dean

Posted on 12/31/2003 12:00:24 AM PST by SAMWolf


Keep our Troops forever in Your care

Give them victory over the enemy...

Grant them a safe and swift return...

Bless those who mourn the lost.

FReepers from the Foxhole join in prayer
for all those serving their country at this time.

...................................................................................... ...........................................

U.S. Military History, Current Events and Veterans Issues

Where Duty, Honor and Country
are acknowledged, affirmed and commemorated.

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The FReeper Foxhole is dedicated to Veterans of our Nation's military forces and to others who are affected in their relationships with Veterans.

Welcome to "Warrior Wednesday"

Where the Freeper Foxhole introduces a different veteran each Wednesday. The "ordinary" Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine who participated in the events in our Country's history. We hope to present events as seen through their eyes. To give you a glimpse into the life of those who sacrificed for all of us - Our Veterans.

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Flak Guns In The Brenner Pass

On 6, November 1944 the Germans were holding the high ridges in the Northern Apennine mountains they called THE GOTHIC LINE. This defense line ran through the mountain ranges that reached, almost unbroken, from La Spezia on the north west coast of Italy to the City of Rimini on the Adriactic. Near the center and behind the German lines was the important transportation center of Bologna. Rail lines bringing war supplies from Germany, were for the most part routed through the Brenner Pass. Other rail lines from Austria were further east and led south into Venice and then into Bologna. These were the two main transportation lines that fueled the German machines in Italy.

It was estimated that 24,000 tons of supplies was flowing to the German troops each day. That was five times the minimum daily requirements needed to support the German troops that were locked in a winter stalemate with our Allied forces.

On the 6th. of November 1944, Operation BINGO was put into effect. It's objective was to stop the flow of German goods coming to the fighting front by closing off the Brenner Pass. The four B-25 bomb groups belonging to the 57th. Bomb Wing were to carry the bulk of the load. Fighter bombers of the 12th. Air Force's Tactical Air Command and the Desert Air Force (British) would assist. Some help would come from B-17's and B-24's of the 15th. Air Force.

Bombs Away.
A load of white phosphorous bombs heading down toward the gun emplacements protecting the the Orr Bridge at Brenner Pass.
Photo courtesy of Dave Mershon, 487th.

It was estimated that if electrical power could be denied the electrical driven locomotives that were used on the steeper grades, it would force the Germans to use more inefficient steam locomotives that would require part of the transportation effort to supply coal for these trains and also pull locomotives and rolling stock from their present activities. If this could be accomplished, it was estimated that it could reduce the carrying capacity in the Brenner Pass to around 10,000 tons a day.

On 6 November, the B-25's struck targets in the Brenner; the electrical transformer stations between San Ambrogio - hit by the 310th., through Ala - hit by the 321st., and Trento - hit by the 340th. The targets were all hit and destroyed or damaged to the extent that electrical power was denied to trains as far north as Balzano. The 319th., newly changed from B-26's to B-25's, hit railroad bridges in the lower end of Brenner.

The defense of the pass fell to the 2nd. Fighter Group of the Italian Facist Republic Air Force. These were Italian pilots flying Me-109's with German markings. With only about 50 planes these would not be the most effective deterrent. The primary defense fell to the German 5th. and 127th. Flak Regiments that manned the 366 heavy, anti-aircraft guns that were stationed from Verona, in the south, to Innsbruk, in the north. By the end of that day more heavy guns moved in around Ala and Rovereto.

In addition to the German gunners there were still Italians fighting along with the Germans. However the batteries were manned independently by either Germans or the Italians. The Italian gunners used an Italian cannon coupled with the German Radar.

319th Bomb Group

The German's main defensive weapon was the 8.8cm. Fliegerabwehrkanone, shortened to Flak. The 88 fired a 9.24KG (20.34 pound) shell to over 49,000 feet. It was coupled with the KG 40 gun director and the 41D gun laying radar. The gun director was a mechanical calculator with a stereoscopic height finder incorporated, capable of predicting a rectilinear or curvilinear course. The radar was capable of furnishing present azimuth, angular height and radar range to the gun director. Usually the gun batteries used radar tracking for range and optical tracking for direction. In cases where clouds or smoke obscured the bomb formations, radar controlled or barrage firing was used although it was not considered as effective as visual sighting.

Other guns were used also. The Italians made 90mm cannon, with a range of 26,000 feet and their 102mm cannon that reached to 40,000 feet were used to guard the Brenner Pass targets. While the larger guns were require to reach high flying B-17's and B-24's, lighter guns such the German and Italian 37mm cannon would reach up to 15,000 feet and the Italian 75mm ranged to 27,000 feet, were all effective against our B-25 Bombers who rarely flew above 13,000 feet. This meant any gun from a 37mm up could reach the medium bombers altitude. From the reports of the combat crews - they all did.

As the attacks increase on the Brenner Pass, targets of rail and road bridges, tracks and fills, the amount of flak guns increased. Batteries were added as far north as Bressanone. On the 11th. of November a flight of B-25's had 18 aircraft holed and one crash due to flak damage. Of the 16 attacks made during November, 11 had drawn flak. Of 300 sorties 20 B-25's were holed and one B-25 crashed.

In December 69 more guns were moved into the Brenner Pass by the Germans, making a total of 435. Anti-flak operations became standard practice by the 57th. Fighter bombers dropping general purpose bombs and the bombers dropping 20 pound fragmentation bombs and twisted pieces of tin foil called Chaff or Window (to confuse the radar) were tried.

Returning from a mission. 7T, 7Z and other aircraft of the 487th peeling off to land. August 1944 Alesan, Corsican
Photo courtesy of Dave Komigsberg, 487th.

At the end of December the 319th. Bomb Group flew it's last mission, over Italy, and returned to the U.S. in January of 1945. This left the 310th., the 321st., and the 340th. Groups the only medium bombers in the theater.

KEYWORDS: 57thbombwing; airforce; b25; freeperfoxhole; italy; michaeldobbs; mitchellbomber; operationbingo; veterans; warriorwednesday
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In January, 1945, flak batteries continued to increase. More guns moved into Bressanone and Verona. There were now 475 heavy guns guarding the Brenner. Some were stationed in the mountains as high as 3000 feet above sea level. One battery, west of Ala, was reported at the 4100 foot level. Anti-flak operations continued with a new twist, with a formation of three B-25 anti-flak planes leading the bombing formation, dropping chaff and white phosphorous bombs to burn the gunners and hide the formation with the smoke. Despite these efforts, of the 48 missions flown over the Brenner, 1250 sorties, that month, 39 drew flak, Two hundred and twenty four aircraft were holed and 5 lost.

In February, 1945, as our bomber pushed further into the Breeder the gun batteries shifted from the south to north. Guns increased at Trenton and Bressanone. New batteries appeared at Laves, and Breeder. The gun total in the Breeder rose to 482. It was rare now when a mission did not draw flak. This was due in part, to the refinement of the German early warning system. When the formations were within 200 kilometers of a defended area the gun batteries were alerted. When the formation was within 80 kilometers the guns were manned. Approximate course and altitude of the formation was given to the battery commander who waited for the formation to appear. There were practically no surprise attacks. In February 82 missions were flown over the Brenner (1771 sorties). Sixty two missions drew flak. Fourteen aircraft were lost and 305 were holed and damaged, despite our ant-flak operations.

March, 1945 and the flak batteries increased, especially in the north Brenner. Forty three new guns are added to the Brenner Pass defenses and the total of guns climbs to 525. Ninety six missions are flown over the Brenner Pass. Fifty eight draw flak. Fourteen aircraft were lost and 207 holed and damaged. However much of the Brenner was made impassable to the Germans during most of the month.

310th Bomb Group

In April, 1945 the final assault on GOTHIC LINE began. The attack on the Brenner is reduced in order to give ground support for the ground offensive. Many guns are removed from the Brenner to protect other vital targets.

The 57th. Bomb Wing moved, with its three bomb groups, from Corsica to northeast Italy in order to be closer to it's targets. During April there were only 64 missions flown against targets in the Brenner Pass. However 25 drew flak that holed 87 aircraft and downed five. These missions effectively kept the Brenner Pass lines cut.

During the offensive the B-25's of the 57th. spent much of their time bombing troops, guns, pontoon bridges, ferries and staging areas in an effort to prevent the Germans from crossing the Po River, and smashing rail lines and bridges that would offer an escape route back to Germany.

The blocking of the Brenner Pass and the slow strangulation of needed supplies only became apparent as the Germans tried to retreat to safety. Retreating troops were not able to use railroad lines, due to bridge spans missing. Shortage of ammunition and gasoline restricted motor transportation and reduced their fighting ability and effectiveness.

On the 26th. of April, 1945 the 340th. Group flew the last combat mission for the 57th. Bomb Wing. Bad weather grounded the medium bombers until the German forces signed surrender papers on the 29th. of April, 1945, to become effective the 2nd. of May, 1945.

From 6 November, 1944 to 25 April, 1945 the B-25's of the 57th. Bomb Wing had fought the "Battle of the Brenner". They flew over 6,849 sorties over enemy targets in the Brenner Pass. They had dropped 10,267 tons of bombs on the following targets - (south to north) Verona, Domagliara, San Ambrogio, Bolargne, Cerano, Dolce, Peri, Ossenigo, Vo Sinistro, Ala, San Margherita, Mori, Rovereto, Galliano, Aldeno, Terento, San Felice, San Michele, Lavis, Solorno, Ora, Brozolo, Ponte, All'Isarco, Bressanone, La Cave, Campo, Vipieno, Colle, Isarco, and Brennero. The B-25's ranged past these Italian targets and bombed Austrian bridges at Steinach and Matrei.The battle had not been without cost. During this shot period, 46 B-25's had been lost (2 to fighters). Flak had damaged 532 more. From 2 January, 1945, ten men had been killed and 131 were missing in action. Ninety two men had been wounded, 12 critically. The casualty count was 223 men from the 57th. If the B-25 had not been the exceptionally sturdy aircraft it was, the losses would have been far higher.

There had been the great inclusive war that everyone was aware of. There were smaller wars within the larger one, that generated a lot of killing but little publicity, And still smaller wars, unknown except by those who fought it.

One of these was "The Battle of the Brenner", fought between American Combat crews in the sky flying B-25 Bombers and German / Italian anti-aircraft crews on the ground. It was little noted or long remembered except by those who fought there. It had been mean and brutal while it lasted.

In the end, those who survived would return home, some are missing and some would return from prison camps. The wounded would carry their scars or disfigurement. The dead would remain dead, mourned only by those who knew them. Then as time passed there would be a time for remembering, even if time had dulled the memory and the log books lost. Then someone would search the scanty record and try to write enough to stir some old doormat memories.

This is one such story, written for those who flew in twin-tailed bombers and saw the red or black bursts of flak over the Brenner Pass in late 1944 and early 1945.
1 posted on 12/31/2003 12:00:25 AM PST by SAMWolf
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To: snippy_about_it; PhilDragoo; Johnny Gage; Victoria Delsoul; Darksheare; Valin; bentfeather; radu; ..
One of the most important roles in the Mediterranean theater campaigns was played in aerial warfare by the 57th. Bomb Wing, A command composed of B-25 Mitchell medium bomber. Some of which began their combat history as early as the first landings in North Africa in November 1942. Since that time, the B-25's have participated in every major campaign from Tunisia to the final drive.

More than 60,000 missions by B-25's were flown to attacks in the eight campaigns they supported.The 310th., the 321st., and the 340th. Groups under the 57th. Bomb Wing have accounted for 52,098 of these sorties in 2,774 missions and dropped 71,934 tons of bombs on a great variety of targets. During this time the Mitchell's flew 165,573 combat flying hours.

The history of the bomb groups under the 57th. Bomb Wing reads in the order of the Mediterranean campaigns. After the North African landings came the battle of Kasserine Pass, a German counter offensive, the failure of which became the turning point of the war. From support of the North African landings, the B-25's flew to attack Axis concentrations and airfields in Tunisia, as well as carry out sea sweeps against enemy shipping. After Tunisia, the Mitchell's concentrated upon the small, heavily fortified Islands of Pantelleria and Lampedusa which threatened any future thrust toward Europe from the South. The aerial campaign against these two Islands resulted in the first surrender of troop solely from air attack without the aid of ground troops.

340th Bomb Group

Attacks were then extended from Africa to the mainland of Italy, Corsica and Sardinia. In June 1943, the B-25's entered a role they were to play for the next two years, the destruction of enemy communications. The Mitchell's were in the first medium bombardment of Italy and in July flew in the first attacks on the Rome area. This came only nine days after the invasion of Sicily which was heavily supported by the B-25's. In August the first attacks were made with the B-25G using the 75mm cannon in the nose.

September, 1943, brought Salerno and the hard, steady battle after the initial landings. Operations were directed against communications a short distance from the enemy lines cutting their avenues of support there as well as in the Naples area. By early October, the Mitchell's were operating from new bases in Italy and began their concentrated attacks against targets in the Balkans, resulting in the further destruction of the Luftwaffe. The B-25's also made the first attack of the war on Bulgaria from here.

Then came the reorganization of the Air Forces in the Mediterranean. The B-25's began operations under the British Tactical Bomber force, but later took their permanent place under the 57th. Bomb Wing which became an operational headquarters in January, 1944, Brig. Gen.. (then Col.) Robert D. Knapp became the commanding general.

The same month saw the invasion of Anzio and the unending support given from the air. Then came the unrelenting drive to isolate the Cassino battlefront by the bombardment of German communications in central Italy every day the weather would permit. The B-25's were the first to fly in the all out attack on Cassino. To conduct better the communications campaign, all of the 57th. Wing units were on Corsica, far behind the German lines, in April. From here they reached out across the sea to chop constantly at enemy rail and road links during the allied drive capture Rome.

This was followed quickly by the destruction of all bridges over the Po River, which paid dividends over nine months later. Corsica as a base proved valuable in the invasion of Southern France. The Mitchell's did some of the most outstanding work of the war against bridges, and gun positions. Attacks on Yugoslavia and even Austria were carried out from those bases. In November came the greatest undertaking medium bombers ever accepted and with amazing success. It was the Battle of Brenner, against the vital rail line between Germany and the Italian battle front. On January 26th, the line was cut or blocked in at least 18 locations, 15 of which had been created by the 57th. Bomb Wing.

Shortly before the final drive in Italy, the 57th. Bomb Wing swiftly moved into Northern Italy and when D-Day came it found them preparing to put the greatest effort ever known on the part of the medium bombers. In April 4.638 sorties were flown in close support of the British 8th., and American 5th. Army troops with attacks on enemy troop concentrations, supplies, defense areas, and communications. It was fitting indeed, when the B-25's flew their final missions - that of dropping leaflets on the enemy announcing the unconditional surrender of the German Armies in Italy.

Beginning in 1940, almost 10,000 B-25s entered Army and Air Force service, and some 2,000 more went into British, Soviet, Brazilian and U.S. Marine Corps service.

Appropriately, one of the finest bombers ever to fly was named for Brig. General Billy Mitchell the dauntless advocate of air power. The bomber first came to public attention in April 1942 when 16 modified B-25s were launched from the aircraft carrier Enterprise, flew nearly 700 miles to Japan, and attacked Tokyo and four other cities, their factories, shipyards, refineries and munitions factories.

Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle's raid on Tokyo, a psychological victory for Americans, incensed the Japanese, who retaliated by killing an estimated quarter million Chinese soldiers and civilians. The B-25 also served as a ship killer, first on antisubmarine patrols and later against surface vessels. In 1943, they nearly annihilated the Japanese convoy in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea - demonstrating Billy Mitchell's theory of aerial domination of the seas. Consequently, the Japanese never again put a convoy where it could be threatened by American Air power.

Because of the B-25's flying qualities it served a variety of non combat functions, including as a transport during and after World War II. Billy's Bomber or the Sweetheart of the Services ended its Air Force service in 1959 as a pilot trainer.

Additional Sources:

2 posted on 12/31/2003 12:01:05 AM PST by SAMWolf (I live in a quiet neighborhood - they use silencers)
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To: All
Named after Gen. Billy Mitchell, the Army Air Corps' most famous figure of the 1920s and 1930s, the North American B-25 proved to be one of the best American weapons of World War II. First flown on August 19,1940, the B-25 was a rugged, adaptable and accurate medium bomber. Famed for its role in the Doolittle Raid on Japan, the B-25 served around the world and flew with several air forces. North American produced the Mitchell in many different models, nearly 10,000 B-25s in all.

The Mitchell proved to be highly flexible and was fitted with a wide variety of armaments. Some versions of the B-25 were armed with no less than fourteen forward firing .50 cal. machine guns; while other B-25s boasted a 75mm tank gun mounted in the nose. Besides being used as a horizontal bomber, the B-25 was used as a low-level attack and anti-shipping aircraft.

Since the end of World War II, B-25s have been used as private transports and are common participants at air shows. Today, "How `Boot That!'?", the crown jewel of the Cavanaugh Flight Museum's collection, is the most original flying B-25 anywhere in the world. Constructed in Kansas City, Kansas, the Army Air Force accepted this B-25 in August 1944. Assigned to the 380th Bomb Squadron, 310th Bomb Group, 57th Bomb Wing, the aircraft arrived in Italy shortly after its completion. From the fall of 1944 through late spring 1945, this aircraft completed more than eighty combat missions over northern Italy, southern Austria and what was Yugoslavia. The majority of these missions targeted rail bridges in the Brenner Pass, a 100 mile corridor through the Italian Alps which sheltered the main railway line from Germany to Italy.

3 posted on 12/31/2003 12:01:24 AM PST by SAMWolf (I live in a quiet neighborhood - they use silencers)
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To: All

Veterans for Constitution Restoration is a non-profit, non-partisan educational and grassroots activist organization. The primary area of concern to all VetsCoR members is that our national and local educational systems fall short in teaching students and all American citizens the history and underlying principles on which our Constitutional republic-based system of self-government was founded. VetsCoR members are also very concerned that the Federal government long ago over-stepped its limited authority as clearly specified in the United States Constitution, as well as the Founding Fathers' supporting letters, essays, and other public documents.

Tribute to a Generation - The memorial will be dedicated on Saturday, May 29, 2004.

Actively seeking volunteers to provide this valuable service to Veterans and their families.

4 posted on 12/31/2003 12:01:43 AM PST by SAMWolf (I live in a quiet neighborhood - they use silencers)
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To: SAMWolf; snippy_about_it; bentfeather; Darksheare; Johnny Gage; Light Speed; Samwise; ...
Good morning Y'all!
It's hard to believe another year comes to end, isn't it?

Howdy troops and veterans!
THANK YOU for serving the USA!

5 posted on 12/31/2003 2:09:50 AM PST by radu (May God watch over our troops and keep them safe)
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To: bulldogs; baltodog; Aeronaut; carton253; Matthew Paul; mark502inf; Skylight; The Mayor; ...

FALL IN to the FReeper Foxhole!

Good Wednesday Morning Everyone

It's New Year's Eve - stay safe

If you would like added to our ping list let us know.

6 posted on 12/31/2003 3:41:45 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: radu
Good morning radu. 2004, here we come!
7 posted on 12/31/2003 3:43:50 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: snippy_about_it
Good morning Snippy. Happy New Year to everyone.

8 posted on 12/31/2003 3:46:01 AM PST by Aeronaut (In my humble opinion, the new expression for backing down from a fight should be called 'frenching')
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To: snippy_about_it
Good morning, snippy. Getting ready for the welcoming of 2004?

9 posted on 12/31/2003 4:20:42 AM PST by radu (May God watch over our troops and keep them safe)
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To: snippy_about_it
Good morning, snippy and everyone at the Freeper Foxhole. Our guest from Texas are packing up and heading back after a three day. It was fun. My sister and her kids came down from the city yesterday.

Folks, be sure to update your anti-virus definitions.

10 posted on 12/31/2003 4:32:57 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: SAMWolf
Good morning Sam.

Interesting thread today, the hits these B-25's took and still landed are amazing. The shear number of missions verses the losses proves how reliable it was.

Our airmen were busy and just like our other troops risked everything everday they were in theater. imo, in WWII, our American troops saved the world.

Good read. Thanks.
11 posted on 12/31/2003 4:46:04 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: snippy_about_it
Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. —Joshua 1:9

Though I know not what awaits me—
What the future has in store,
Yet I know that God is faithful,
For I've proved Him oft before

We can trust our all-knowing God for the unknown future.

12 posted on 12/31/2003 4:49:04 AM PST by The Mayor (Those who love and serve God on earth will feel at home in heaven.)
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To: radu
Getting ready for the welcoming of 2004?

Not much getting ready to do! I'm just not a party girl. LOL.

I'm hoping for a quiet New Year's Eve.

13 posted on 12/31/2003 4:49:12 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: E.G.C.
Morning EGC. Glad you had fun. Thanks for the reminder.
14 posted on 12/31/2003 4:49:43 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: The Mayor
Good morning Mayor.
15 posted on 12/31/2003 4:50:04 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: snippy_about_it
Mornin Snippy

16 posted on 12/31/2003 5:17:31 AM PST by The Mayor (Those who love and serve God on earth will feel at home in heaven.)
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To: snippy_about_it
I hope I wake up in time to greet the new year! LOL! I'm off to bed at last, now that I've caught up on everything.

We'll be heading out tonight for a little celebrating but won't have to worry about getting in trouble on the way home. I'm not a drinker so I'll be behind the wheel.

Hubby may not get much done tomorrow though. *snicker* My guess is that the recliner will be as far as he gets.
17 posted on 12/31/2003 5:25:06 AM PST by radu (May God watch over our troops and keep them safe)
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To: SAMWolf
On This Day In History

Birthdates which occurred on December 31:
1378 Callistus III [Alfonso the Borja] Pope (1455-58)
1540 Silvio Antoniano Italian cardinal/theologist (Tre libri)
1550 Henri Guise [le Balafré] French duke/leader (Catholic League)
1720 [Bonnie Prince] Charles Edward Stuart English pretender to throne
1738 Charles Lord Cornwallis solider/statesman
1815 George Gordon Meade Major General (Union Army), died in 1872
1825 Francis Trowbridge Sherman Brigadier-General (Union volunteers), died in 1905
1863 Alfredo Panzini Italian author (Dizionario Moderno)
1864 Robert G Aitken US astronomer (Binary Stars)
1869 Henri Matisse France, impressionist painter (Odalisque)
1880 George C Marshall Uniontown PA, authored Marshall Plan (Nobel 1953)
1881 Colin G Fink US chemist (electro chemistry)
1882 Ben Jones Missouri, horse trainer (Citation, Whirlaway)
1904 Nathan Milstein Odessa Russia, concert violinist (Philadelphia Orchestra 1942)
1905 Guy Mollet (Socialist) French premier (1956-57)
1908 Simon Wiesenthal Polish/Austrian nazi hunter (Wiesenthal Center)
1914 Pat Brady Toledo OH, actor (Roy Rogers Show)
1921 Rocky Graziano New York NY, boxer (Middleweight champion)/actor (Miami Undercover)
1922 Rex Allen Wilcox AZ, cowboy singer (Dr Baxter-Frontier Doctor)
1928 Hugh McElhenny NFL halfback (San Francisco, Minnesota, New York Giants, Detroit)
1929 Sidney Greenbaum grammarian
1930 Odetta [Holmes] Birmingham AL, folk singer/actress (Sanctuary)
1931 Bob Shaw UK, sci-fi author (Orbitsville, Ragged Astronauts, Vertigo)
1932 George Schlatter TV producer (Laugh-in)
1937 [Philip] Anthony Hopkins Port Talbot West Glamorgan Wales, actor (Elephant Man, QB VII, Magic, Bounty)
1940 Oleg Anatolyevich Yakovlev Russian cosmonaut
1941 Sarah Miles Essex England, actress (Ryan's Hope, Big Sleep, Venom)
1943 Ben Kingsley Scarborough England, actor (Gandhi, Betrayal, Maurice)
1943 John Denver [Henry John Deutschendorf Jr] Roswell NM, singer/songwriter/actor
1946 Diane von Furstenberg Brussels Belgiums, fashion designer
1946 Patti Smith Chicago IL, singer (the wild mustang of rock)
1947 Burton Cummings rock guitarist (Guess Who-These Eyes)
1947 Tim Matheson California, actor (Animal House, Fletch, Up the Creek)
1948 Donna Summer Boston MA, singer (Love to Love You Baby, On the Radio)
1949 Claude Daniel Marks Buenos Aires Argentina, FALN member (FBI most wanted)
1959 Bebe Neuwirth Princeton NJ, actress (Lilith-Cheers, Damn Yankees)
1959 Paul Westerberg singer (The Replacements)
1972 Joe [Joseph Mulrey] McIntyre rocker (New Kids on the Block-Lovin You Forever)
1977 Ildiko Kecan Miss Hungary Universe (1997)

Deaths which occurred on December 31:
0192 Lucius Aurelius Commodus Emperor of Rome (180-192), murdered at 31
0406 Godagisel king of the Vandals, dies in battle
0439 Melania the Younger Roman monastery founder/saint, dies at about 56
1382 Daigaku Zen teacher/46th head of Engakuji, dies in Kamakura Japan
1384 John Wycliffe English religious reformer/bible translator, dies
1616 Jacques Le Maire pirate/explorer (Lemaire Strait), dies at 31
1775 General Richard Montgomery dies fighting the British
1802 Francis Lewis Welsh/US merchant/signer (Declaration of Independence), dies at 89
1862 James Edward Rains lawyer/Confederate Brigadier-General, dies in battle at 29
1862 Joshua Woodrow Sill US Union Brigadier-General, dies in battle at 31
1889 Ion Creanga Romanian (fairy tales) author, dies at 52
1936 Miguel de Unamuno Jugo Spanish philosopher/poet (Cancionero), dies at 72
1936 William F Ellison Irish clergyman/astronomer, dies at 72
1966 Chief Nipo Strongheart Native American actor (Pony Soldier), dies at 75
1966 Pieter C A Geyl historian (History of Dutch Race), dies
1971 Peter Deuel actor (Gidget, Love on a Rooftop), commits suicide at 31
1972 Roberto Clemente Pittsburgh Pirate slugger, dies in a plane crash at 38
1980 Marshall McLuhan Canadian cultural philosopher, dies at 69
1980 Raoul Walsh US director (High Sierra), dies at about 88
1985 Rick Nelson singer/actor (Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet), dies at 45
1990 George Allen US football coach (Los Angeles Rams, Washington Redskins), dies
1993 Thomas J Watson Jr president of IBM (1956-71)/diplomat, dies at 79
1993 Zviad Gamsachurdia President of Georgia SSR (1991-1993), suicide at 54
1995 Calvin/Hobbes (comic strip), dies
1996 61 law enforcement officers killed by felons in US this year
1997 76 law enforcement officers killed by felons in US this year
1997 Floyd Cramer pianist (Nashville Sound), dies of cancer at 64
1997 Michael Kennedy son of Robert Kennedy, dies in ski accident at 39


[12/01/67 ON THE PRG DIC LIST]

POW / MIA Data & Bios supplied by
the P.O.W. NETWORK. Skidmore, MO. USA.

On this day...
0335 St Silvester I ends his reign as Catholic Pope
0406 80,000 Vandels attack the Rhine at Mainz
0870 Skirmish at Englefield: Ethelred of Wessex beats Danish invasion army
1492 100,000 Jews expelled from Sicily
1502 Cesare Borgia (son of pope Alexander VI) occupies Urbino
1564 Willem van Orange demands freedom of conscience/religion
1600 British East India Company chartered
1669 France & Brandenburg sign secret treaty
1670 France & England sign Boyne-treaty
1687 1st Huguenots depart France to Cape of Good Hope
1688 Pro-James II-earl of Devonshire occupies Nottingham
1711 Duke of Marlborough fired as English army commander
1744 James Bradley announces discovery of Earth's motion of nutation (wobble)
1745 Bonnie Prince Charlies army meets with de Esk
1762 Mozart family moves from Vienna to Salzburg
1775 Battle of Québec; Americans unable to take British stronghold
1776 Rhode Island establishes wage & price controls to curb inflation: Limit is 70¢ a day for carpenters, 42¢ for tailors
1781 Bank of North America, 1st US bank opens
1783 Import of African slaves banned by all of the Northern states
1805 End of French Republican calendar; France returns to Gregorianism
1841 Alabama becomes 1st state to license dental surgeons
1857 Queen Victoria chooses Ottawa as new capital of Canada
1859 Dutch colony in Dutch Indies counts 4,800 slaves
1861 22,990 mm of rain falls in Cherrapunji Assam in 1861, world record
1862 President Lincoln signs act admitting West Virginia to the Union
1862 Battle of Stone's River TN (Stone River, Murfreesboro)
1879 Edison gives 1st public demonstration of his incandescent lamp
1879 Gilbert/Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance" premieres in New York NY
1890 Ellis Island (New York NY) opens as a US immigration depot
1896 25th auto built in US
1897 Brooklyn's last day as a city, it incorporates into NYC (1/1/1898)
1902 Boers & British army sign peace treaty
1907 For the 1st time a ball drops at Times Square to signal the new year
1910 US tobacco industry produced 9 billion cigarettes in 1910
1911 Marie Curie receives her 2nd Nobel Prize
1914 Colonel Jacob Ruppert & Cap Huston purchase New York Yankees for $460,000
1923 1st transatlantic radio broadcast of a voice, Pittsburgh-Manchester
1923 BBC begins using Big Ben chime ID
1924 Edwin Hubble announces existence of distant galactic systems
1929 Pope Pius XI publishes encyclical Divini illius magistri
1930 Pontifical encyclical Casti connubii against mixed marriages
1930 US tobacco industry produced 123 billion cigarettes in 1930
1934 Helen Richey becomes 1st woman to pilot an airmail transport
1935 Charles Darrow patents Monopoly
1938 Dr R N Harger's "drunkometer", 1st breath test, introduced in Indiana
1939 25 U boats sunk this month (81,000 ton)
1942 60 U boats sunk this month (330,000 ton)
1943 NYC's Times Square greets Frank Sinatra at the Paramount Theater
1944 48 people die in a train accident in Ogden UT
1945 Ratification of UN Charter completed
1946 French troops leave Lebanon
1946 President Truman officially proclaims end of WWII
1951 1st battery to convert radioactive energy to electrical announced
1953 Hulan Jack sworn in as Manhattan Borough president
1953 Willie Shoemaker shatters record, riding 485 winners in a year
1958 International Geophyscial Year ends
1958 Cuban dictator Batista flees
1961 1st performance of the Beach Boys
1961 Marshall Plan expires after distributing more than $12 billion
1962 Katanga becomes part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
1962 "Match Game" debuts on NBC with host Gene Rayburn
1963 Chicago Bears win NFL championship
1963 Dear Abby show premieres on CBS radio (runs 11 years)
1963 Jerry Garcia & Bob Weir played music together for the 1st time
1964 Donald Campbell (UK) sets world water speed record (276.33 mph)
1966 Monkee's "I'm a Believer" hits #1 & stays there for 7 weeks
1966 Pirate Radio 390 (Radio Invicata) off England, resumes transmitting
1968 1st supersonic airliner flown (Russian Tupolev TU-144)
1970 Congress authorizes the Eisenhower dollar coin
1970 President Allende nationalizes Chilean coal mines
1974 41st Sugar Bowl: Nebraska 13 beats Florida 10
1974 Popular Electronics displays Altair 8800 computer
1977 Ted Bundy escapes from jail in Colorado
1977 Amir Sheikh Jabir al-Ahmad al-Jabir Al Sabah becomes leader of Kuwait
1977 Cambodia drops diplomatic relations with Vietnam
1978 Taiwan's final day of diplomatic relations with the US
1978 CIA director, Admiral Stansfield Turner retires from the Navy
1978 Iran shah names Chapour Bakhtiar premier
1981 CNN Headline News debuts
1981 Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings stages coup in Ghana, suspends constitution
1984 NYC subway gunman Bernhard Goetz surrenders to police in New Hampshire
1984 Rajiv Gandhi takes office as India's 6th PM succeeds his mom, Indira
1984 US leaves UNESCO
1989 Fog Bowl: Heavy fog rolls in on Bears 20-12 victory over Eagles
1990 Iraq begins a military draft of 17 year olds
1990 The Sci-Fi Channel on cable TV begins transmitting
1991 Dow Jones closes at record high 3168.83
1991 USSR, last day of existence
1993 Barbra Streisand does her 1st live public concert in 20 years
1995 Cartoonist Bill Watterson ends his "Calvin & Hobbes" comic strip
1997 Intel cuts price of Pentium II-233 MHz from $401 to $268
1997 Microsoft buys Hotmail E-mail service
1997 More Swedes died than were born in 1997, 1st time since 1809
1998 Europe's leaders proclaimed a new era as 11 nations merged currencies to create the euro.
1999 Control of Panamá Canal reverts to Panamá

Note: Some Holidays are only applicable on a given "day of the week"
Austria : Imperial Ball
Bangladesh, Brunei, India, México, Philippines, Sri Lanka : Bank Holiday
Benin : Feed Yourself Day
Congo : National Day
Indians at Mitla, Oaxaca : Noche de Pedimento/Wishing Night
Japan : Omisoka Day/Grand Purification
Lebanon : Evacuation Day (1946)
Mauritania : People's Party Day
Scotland : Hogmanay Day
World : New Year's Eve/Watch Night
US : Kuumba-Creativity Day (6th Day of Kwanzaa)
US : Make Up Your Mind Day
US : New Years Eve
US : No Resolution Day
International Calendar Awareness Month

Religious Observances
Roman Catholic : Memorial of St Sylvester I, 33rd pope (314-35) (optional)

Religious History
1687 The first shipload of emigrating Huguenots (French Protestants) left France for South Africa.
1712 Birth of Peter Bohler, the Moravian missionary who, at age 25, influenced the religious spirit of John Wesley. Bohler taught the founder of Methodism the joys of personal conversion and self_surrendering faith, and Wesley later incorporated these spiritual emphases within Methodist theology.
1823 Birth of William O. Cushing, American clergyman. He penned over 300 hymns, among them "When He Cometh," "Under His Wings" and "Hiding in Thee."
1837 Birth of John R. Sweney, American sacred chorister. He composed over 1,000 gospel tunes, including SUNSHINE ("There is Sunshine in My Soul Today") and SWENEY ("More About Jesus Would I Know").
1900 Birth of Stephen C. Neill, British clergyman and biblical scholar. A prolific writer, some of Neill's better_known titles are "A History of Christian Missions" (1964), "The Interpretation of the New Testament: 1871_1961" (1966) and "The Modern Reader's Dictionary of the Bible" (1966).

Source: William D. Blake. ALMANAC OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1987.

Thought for the day :
"We should all be concerned about the future because we will have to spend the rest of our lives there."

How do they get a deer to cross at that yellow road sign?

Murphys Law of the day...(Schmidt's Law)
Never eat prunes when you're hungry.

Astounding fact #364...
The very first bomb dropped by the Allies on Berlin during World War II killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo.
18 posted on 12/31/2003 5:30:09 AM PST by Valin (We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.)
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To: snippy_about_it
I'm in.
19 posted on 12/31/2003 6:23:09 AM PST by Darksheare (Democrat is between Demise and Demon in the dictionary.)
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; All

Good morning everyone in The FOXHOLE!

20 posted on 12/31/2003 6:23:16 AM PST by Soaring Feather (I do Poetry. Feathers courtesy of the birds.)
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