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The FReeper Foxhole Studies USAAF Night Fighters at War ~ Part 3 of 3 - Jan. 18th, 2004
http://www.usaaf.net/ww2/night/nightpg5.htm ^ | Stephen L. McFarland

Posted on 01/18/2004 4:13:20 AM PST by snippy_about_it



Lord,

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.



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

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Conquering the Night - Part Three




D-Day and Beyond




Over the Normandy beaches and hedgerows, U.S. squadrons, joined by six RAF night fighter squadrons, provided night protection for Allied armies in their drive into France. Moving to the continent in July, the 422d NFS was assigned to the IX Tactical Air Command (First Army), 27 the 425th NFS to the XIX Tactical Air Command (Third Army), and the 415th NFS to the Seventh Army. Because the 425th helped protect the flank of Patton’s Third Army on its end run blitz across France, it flew primarily intruder missions. In September and October, for example, it claimed no aerial victories.



The 422d, meanwhile, racked up an enviable record, starting its record of night kills on August 7, 1944, when Pilot 1st Lt. Raymond A. Anderson and R/O 2d Lt. John U. Morris, Jr., collected the first night credit of the European Theater of Operations. Proving how deadly the Black Widow could be, from October to December 1944 the 422d claimed to have shot down twenty-four of the fifty-one bogeys it identified as enemy aircraft. In December alone, primarily during the Battle of the Bulge, Johnson’s crews claimed sixteen kills on thirty-eight visual contacts. The 425th joined in with eight aerial victories.

On the continent, U.S. night fighter squadrons worked with the most advanced ground control radar system available. The AN/CPS-1 microwave early warning radar had a range limited only by the horizon. Operating at 10-centimeters, it provided accurate range and azimuth information to the fighter controller who directed P-61s to their targets.



Aerial victories were nonetheless hard to come by. The 422d NFS experienced the best hunting. From September to November 1944, its crews undertook 461 ground control radar chases, resulting in 282 airborne radar contacts and 174 visual sightings. But of these sightings, only 20 were identified as enemy aircraft and 7 were shot down. Seven out of 20 in three months’ combat was a prodigious nighttime accomplishment, but it did not represent a major contribution to the war effort.

With few interceptions, U.S. night fighters in northern Europe, like their counterparts in Italy, turned to night intruder missions. In the last three months of 1944, the 422d strafed 8 locomotives and 318 railroad cars. Patton’s Third Army was making a breakthrough at Metz in mid-November, forcing the Germans into retreat and jamming the roads behind enemy lines. Accurate accounts of the destruction were impossible, but the 425th’s Black Widows created havoc and intensified the rout.

During the Battle of the Bulge, the night fighters of the 422d and 425th Squadrons were the only U.S. aircraft able to fly at night and in bad weather in support of the beleaguered 101st Airborne Division defending Bastogne-thus demonstrating the potential of all-weather aircraft. The 422d and 425th claimed 115 trucks, 3 locomotives, and 16 railroad cars. Night fighter pilots did not need moonlight to strike, only a cloud ceiling of at least 1,500 feet. A 422d ace, 2nd Lt. Robert F. Graham, remembered that they “had little trouble in going most any place at any time” because of their instruments and the quality of their instrument training. Only a shortage of aircraft and parts for the radar equipment prevented the night fighters from adding to their successes in the Ardennes.



Aerial hunting also improved for the 422d NFS during December’s Battle of the Bulge, when crews found forty-one enemy aircraft and downed sixteen. The pilot-R/O team of 1st Lt. Robert G. Bolinder and 2d Lt. Robert F. Graham shot down three planes-an FW 190, Me 110, and He 111-during one mission on December 16-enemy aircraft Graham remembered as “staying up past their bedtime.” 1st Lts. Paul A. Smith and Robert E. Tierney became the first U.S. night aces the day after Christmas, shooting down two Ju 188s. That night also saw other squadron members shoot down three more German aircraft



. In January and February 1945, the hunting again turned sour, as the 422d claimed one of only four enemy aircraft identified. Then, during the Battle of the Ruhr Pocket in March and April, the Luftwaffe attempted to airlift supplies to the surrounded troops at night, and Allied night fighters were called on again to clear the skies of enemy aircraft. With the U.S. microwave ground control radar covering the entire area, the P-61s scored fourteen kills, mostly Ju 52 transports. Pilot 1st Lt. Eugene D. Axtell got his fourth and fifth victories on April 11, becoming an ace during this campaign. Axtell’s credits were just two of the seven the 422d racked up that night-the best night for U.S. night fighters of the war.

A favorite tactic for night intrusion beginning in 1945 was to drop fuel tanks filled with napalm. The liquid bombs did not have to hit the target directly, and the resulting blaze illuminated the area for follow-up strafing. The P-61s also carried high-velocity aircraft rockets (HVARs), high-explosive bombs, and incendiary bombs. Such varied armament was necessary because the few night fighters involved in night interdiction had to magnify their capabilities.

Many pilots, to be sure, avoided night flying because of the inherent danger associated with minimum visibility. Surprisingly, however, the intruder missions by night fighter squadrons proved remarkably safer than day fighter-bomber attacks. The 425th NFS flew 1,162 intruder missions from October 1944 to May 1945, losing six aircraft-a loss rate of only 0.5 percent. The protection darkness provided more than compensated for the dangers of night flying. Nevertheless, as 422d NFS Commander Oris B. Johnson said, “intruding was a real adventure.” One of his R/Os, Robert F. Graham, judged such missions “hairy” because of the many “immovable objects” such as radio antenna masts lurking in the dark.



Altogether, the 422d NFS flew 1,576 sorties in France and Germany, with official credit for 48 German aircraft destroyed (including 5 V-1s), 5 probably destroyed, and 5 damaged. Its crews also claimed to have damaged or destroyed 448 trucks, 50 locomotives, and 476 railroad cars. Six of the nine American night aces of the war came from the 422d: Pilots Paul A. Smith, Herman E. Ernst, and Eugene D. Axtell and R/Os Robert E. Tierney, Edward H. Kopsel, and Robert F. Graham, each with five kills. A distinguished unit citation testified to the squadron’s success.



The 425th NFS tallied 14 more kills (including 4 V-1s), with 1 probable and 2 damaged. These 62 claimed kills pale in comparison before the more than 20,000 aerial victories Americans claimed in the daylight against Germany, but the two night fighter squadrons claimed that 55 percent of their airborne radar contacts resulted in visual contacts and 68 percent of these were shot down. The Black Widows were not always successful, but they could be as deadly as their namesakes.



A serious constraint on night fighter action in the European war was the shortage of replacement aircraft and parts. Ground or airborne radars required frequent repair and were only as good as the supplies of replacement parts allowed. More successful units, according to the 422d NFS historian, learned to make deals for their spare parts “outside any supply procurement channels.”

Scroungers were worth their weight in gold. The 422d received only one replacement P-61 in five months of combat operations, leaving only four of its sixteen aircraft operational during the Battle of the Bulge, when weather prohibited all but night fighters from flying. The 422d’s commander felt fortunate to have a supply sergeant with a penchant for “stumbling on” caches of spare parts, especially radar tubes, and a maintenance chief with a degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University.



Crews were plentiful, but they had to share and fly the same aircraft up to four separate missions each night. As they contributed to victory in northwest Europe, U.S. night fighters fought the enemy, Allied antiaircraft artillery, and even their own supply organizations.




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Against the Rising Sun



American forces in the Pacific and Asia did not have the advantage of an ally like the British with extensive experience and advanced equipment to carry the night defense load until U.S. units were trained and equipped for battle. The Japanese army and navy air forces dominated the day skies in 1941 and 1942, however, and had the need to seek the night’s protection. Only when the United States seized daylight air superiority after January 1943 did Japanese night missions become the rule. To cope with this growing problem, until the specially trained night fighter squadrons were ready, the AAF redesignated the Hawaii-based 6th Pursuit Squadron a night fighter unit. While the core of the unit remained in Hawaii to defend U.S. installations, in February 1943 one detachment deployed to Port Moresby, New Guinea, and another to Guadalcanal with six P-70s each to help ground forces struggling to defend those areas against enemy attacks. The crew members of these units had no formal night training.

Equipped with SCR-540 airborne radar (equivalent to the British Mark IV) and lacking superchargers, these first U.S. night fighters performed poorly. Most Japanese bombers flew above twenty thousand feet, while P-70s struggled to reach that altitude and operated best under ten thousand feet. Initially, the Americans lacked ground control radar, relying only on vague reports of penetrating aircraft from coastwatchers. Crews had to develop the techniques of ground controllers and antiaircraft 33 artillery coordination in combat. Against these obstacles, Pilot Capt. Earl C. Bennett and R/O TSgt. Raymond P. Mooney of Detachment B on Guadalcanal claimed the first U.S. radar-directed (using the SCR-540, Mark IV airborne radar) night kill on April 19, 1943, though searchlights illuminated the enemy aircraft until radar contact had been made. Pilot 1st Lt. Burnell W. Adams and R/O Flight Officer Paul DiLabbio claimed the only kill for Detachment A at New Guinea in May. Although three squadrons eventually flew P-70s in the Pacific theater, they claimed only two victims. Eventually, the P-70s were withdrawn from night combat altogether and used for attacks on shipping.



To make up for the technical shortcomings of the P-70, the 6th NFS acquired a few P-38 day fighters with the speed and altitude to intercept enemy aircraft. Loitering at thirty thousand feet over Guadalcanal, the P-38s had to wait for ground-based searchlights to illuminate enemy bombers. This reliance on searchlights limited them to one night kill in May 1943. Later attempts to free the P-38s from this dependence by equipping them with Navy AN/APS-4 airborne radars ultimately failed because of the excessive workload imposed on the lone pilot.

The initial experience of the United States with night fighters in the Pacific was not stellar. On March 20/21, 1943, Detachment B’s P-70s failed to stop Japanese night bombers from damaging fifteen of the 307th Bomb Group’s B-24s and five of the 5th Bomb Group’s B-17s on the ground at Guadalcanal. Eight months later, in November, enemy night bombers sank one and damaged three Allied ships at Bougainville. The AAF concluded from this initial experiment in night fighting that “it proved impossible to prevent the Japanese from inflicting some damage” on U.S. ground and surface forces. In November 1943, the AAF ordered the newly formed 419th NFS to Guadalcanal to rectify the situation. Equipped with ground control radar, but lacking aircraft, the 419th absorbed Detachment B of the 6th NFS. Demoralized by flying worn-out aircraft, the new squadron flew only three night patrols, six scrambles, four intruder missions, and four daylight sorties by the end of the year, claiming no enemy aircraft at a cost of five aircraft and four dead crewmen. It was hardly an auspicious beginning for Pacific-based U.S. night fighters.



The 419th NFS, like all U.S. night fighter units sent to the Pacific, suffered from the low priorities of the Pacific war. The ten night fighter squadrons that fought there had to make do with obsolescent ground radars, including the 3-meter SCR-270 and 1.5-meter SCR-527, as the Microwave Early Warning radar did not appear in the Pacific theater until late in the war. Even this vintage equipment was too few in number, as priority went to European operations. Spare parts, difficult to find in Europe, proved impossible to secure in the Pacific. Also, the terrain of Pacific battlefields sometimes interfered with night fighter operations, allowing Japanese intruders to sneak in, shielded by mountains and hills. Ground radars were both susceptible to severe echoing from ground returns and easily jammed. Optimally, they had to be located in a flat area at least one-half mile in diameter-difficult to find on the Pacific islands. Erecting radars near the shore provided some relief.

Many of the enemy sorties U.S. night fighters had to defend against most often were not coordinated raids, but individual attacks by “Bed- Check Charlie”-a nickname given to all such single flights, which seemed to come at the same time each night. More nuisance than threat, the attacks nevertheless affected morale and had to be stopped. Many chroniclers of combat in World War II write with near reverence for these solitary visitors, even recording remorse when night defenses downed a “Bed-Check Charlie.”
The 418th NFS joined the 419th at Guadalcanal late in 1943, and its experience was typical of all the early squadrons in the Pacific. Its P-70s, unsuccessful in intercepting Japanese bombers over Guadalcanal, were ordered to switch to night intruder work. From Guadalcanal, the 418th accompanied MacArthur’s drive toward the Philippines and Japan, moving to Dobodura, then to Cape Croisilles, Karkar, Finschhafen, and to Hollandia, New Guinea. In May 1944 the squadron converted to B-25s, allowing it to carry more ordnance on night intruder missions and have a better range for sea sweeps.



In August 1944 P-61s became available in the Pacific theater, and the 418th, equipped with them, converted back to defensive patrols, scoring four kills on Morotai and five from Mindoro during the Luzon campaign. In the thirteen nights following December 27, 1944, the 418th gained twelve of its eighteen victories of the war. Piloting a Black Widow, Maj. Carroll C. Smith became the highest scoring night ace of the war, achieving four kills on two missions on the night of December 29/30. Altogether, Smith racked up eight kills, though three of them came during the day. His R/O for the five night victories was 1st Lt. Philip B. Porter.

Meanwhile, the failure of B-24 night intruder missions over Luzon forced the 418th NFS to postpone its night fighter operations and return to night harassment and interdiction missions in support of MacArthur’s forces. At Wakde, the 421st NFS got its first kill on July 7, 1944, after seven months of fruitless night patrols with P-70s and P-38s, and then scored five more kills on Owi Island, four of them on the night of November 28 alone. Against aircraft that could reach their altitude, Japanese attackers resorted to the heavy use of window/chaff, which proved generally ineffective against the P-61’s SCR-720 radar. On some missions the enemy used fighters at low altitudes to draw Black Widow patrols away from high-flying bombers.



At Leyte in the Philippines, U.S. daylight air power proved so deadly that enemy forces converted to nighttime attacks almost immediately after the invasion. The arrival of the 421st NFS on October 31, 1944, promised to parry these blows, but the P-61 Black Widow lacked the speed advantage to intercept fast high-altitude Japanese aircraft that used water-injection to increase engine power. Crewmen of the 421st nevertheless proved what efficient coordination between ground control radar and the P-61 could accomplish, downing seven intruders before being relieved by Marine single-engine night fighters.

In 1944 Japanese night bombers launched a major effort to disrupt the construction of U.S. airfields on Saipan needed for the B-29 campaign against the home islands. Flying P-61s, the 6th NFS began defensive operations nine days after the Marines’ June 15 landing. Enemy attackers held the initiative until new Microwave Early Warning radars linked to SCR-615 and AN/TPS-10 “Li’l Abner” height-finder radars made three Japanese sorties one-way trips. In thirty-seven attempts at interception from June 24 to July 21, the defense made twenty-seven airborne radar contacts and claimed three kills. It was on Saipan that a Pacific-based P-61 Black Widow snared its first victim on June 30, 1944.



A typical Japanese aerial assault force consisted of a dozen Mitsubishi G4M Betty bombers flying twenty miles apart. P-61 crews discovered that if they could shoot down the lead bomber, the others would jettison their bombs and flee. Black Widows from the 6th NFS and the 548th NFS downed five additional enemy intruders before the attacks stopped in January 1945. Thereafter, boredom set in for the crews of the 6th defending Saipan.



Saipan was also the site of the United States’ first effort at airborne warning and control. Two B-24s of the 27th Bombardment Group equipped with radar sets were to vector P-38s to intercept Japanese aircraft. Unfortunately, the system was never used in combat.

On Iwo Jima the AAF combined the SCR-527 and SCR-270 radars for early warning acquisition and the AN/TPS-10 for ground control of interception operations to stop the two or three Japanese bombers attacking Allied forces on this island each night. Early warning radar would detect the bombers’ presence at around 140 miles, between seven thousand and fifteen thousand feet high. At fifty-seven miles, the “Li’l Abner” ground control would make contact and begin vectoring defending P-61s of the 548th and 549th to intercept them. Usually, the Japanese intruders would drop window/chaff at thirty miles, blocking the older metric early warning radars, but the microwave 3-centimeter AN/TPS-10 kept working. Within ten miles of the Iwo ground radar, the night fighters would break contact, and antiaircraft artillery would take over. Eventually, after May 1945, there were few intruders to attack, and the two night fighter squadrons soon shifted focus to intruder work in the Bonin Islands.

Night intruder work to cut off Japanese garrisons on scattered islands proved critical in the Pacific war. Generally this involved attacks on enemy shipping. Because P-70s were ineffective in the night interception role, commanders pressed them into intrusion work as early as October 1943. When P-61 night interceptors began arriving in the early summer of 1944, night intrusion work stopped until the spring of 1945. Soon, Allied victories left few Japanese bombers to attract night fighter attention, and U.S. night crews returned to intruder operations.



Preparing for the invasion of Bougainville, Detachment B of the 6th NFS from Guadalcanal began bombing Japanese airfields there in October 1943. Squadrons such as the 418th switched from P-70s to B-25s to improve the efficiency of their night intruder missions. Bigger bombers meant bigger bomb loads and longer range. For its part, the 418th NFS developed an innovative way of attacking enemy positions in cooperation with PT boats patrolling near Japanese-held islands. As guns onshore opened fire on the decoy boats, the B-25s attacked the muzzle flashes so visible at night. Commanders also used night fighters to suppress night artillery, a job reportedly much appreciated by Marine and Army units struggling against stubborn Japanese defenders.



Night flyers quickly found that skip-bombing attacks on enemy shipping, so effective by day, were also possible at night. Without radar, airmen had trouble seeing ships at night, but soon discovered their wakes were a dead giveaway. Flying at 250 feet, fighters and bombers, including B-17s and -24s, dropped their bombs about sixty to one hundred feet short of the target, allowing the bombs to skip into the side of the targeted vessel.



Some four-engine SB-24 bombers were equipped with SCR-717 air-to-surface radars for finding targets at night and AN/APQ-5 low altitude radars for bomb aiming. Called “Snoopers,” three squadrons of about forty SB-24s serving with Fifth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Air Forces claimed to have sunk 344 enemy ships, barges, and sampans at night, with 62 more probably destroyed and 446 damaged.



Today's Educational Sources and suggestions for further reading:
http://www.usaaf.net/ww2/night
Conquering the Night by Stephen L. McFarland

http://www.zenoswarbirdvideos.com


1 posted on 01/18/2004 4:13:22 AM PST by snippy_about_it
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To: All
The Legacy of Night and All-Weather Flying


America’s night airmen operated at the periphery of the war effort. While British and German strategic bombing transpired primarily at night, U.S. airmen were committed primarily to daylight bombardment operations, except for B-29 fire raids on Japan’s cities. In the explosive expansion for war, the AAF mobilized 1,226 squadrons, including 4 night fighter training units, 1 night reconnaissance unit, and 16 combat night fighter squadrons, each authorized only twelve aircraft.

Of the more than one hundred thousand fighter aircraft that the United States produced for the war, only nine hundred were night fighters. Night units were never formed into groups, wings, or commands, but operated independently as squadrons, attached to higher echelons such as the IX Tactical Air Command. Only 666 night fighter crews served overseas.



They fought in Europe, North Africa, Italy, Sicily, Corsica, France, Germany, Burma, China, the Philippines, and any number of exotic locations, some well known, others not: La Senia, Elmas, Ghisonaccia, Borgo, Pontedera, La Banca, Pomigliano, Honiley, Bristol, Istres, Strassfeld, Giebelstadt, Maupertus, Chateaudun, Coulommiers, Madhaiganj, Chengtu, Hsian, Pandaveswar, Myitkyina, Lingayen, Puerto Princesa, Guadalcanal, Dobodura, Cape Croisilles, Karkar, Hollandia, Morotai, Milne Bay, Saidor, Saipan, Iwo Jima, Nadzab, Peleliu, Okinawa, Middelburg, Palawan, Mindoro, Zamboango, Tarakan, Sanga Sanga, Owi, Palawan, and Ie Shima.

Larger numbers and higher priorities probably would not have boosted their contribution. Night fighters were solitary hunters; they could not enter combat in formations. Doubling or tripling their numbers would not have brought greater success, especially with so few targets. What successes they had, 158 officially recognized night kills, can be attributed to the quality of their weapons, the commitment and quality of their crews, and luck. On the other hand, their failures were caused by the limitations of their aircraft and weapons and inadequate training. Members of the 422d NFS were convinced that if night fighters and their crews were “assisted by certain mechanical aids” and properly trained and employed, “then sortie for sortie they will prove as deadly if not more so than their day counterparts.”



Obviously, night work was dangerous. On intruder missions crews normally had to make two passes, the first to see and identify the target and the second to bomb or strafe it. With flak batteries alerted, second passes often meant death or a trip to a POW camp. The 419th NFS spent 639 days in combat from its arrival on Guadalcanal on November 15, 1943, to its last mission from Palawan Island on August 14, 1945. In 1,972 combat missions, the squadron claimed five Japanese aircraft destroyed at night-at a cost of twelve pilots and eight R/Os and thirty-one aircraft lost to enemy action or crashes.

Night interception missions were always fought alone, though with the comforting thought that within range a ground controller watched every move on a radar screen. Retired Maj. Gen. Oris B. Johnson, wartime commander of the Europe-based 422d NFS, never felt lonely on night missions. He was “too damn busy,” except the one time in December 1944 when solitude might have been preferred. His ground controller vectored him onto eight FW 190s flying in formation. Eight were too many to mess with, even though on a previous night Johnson had willingly attacked a flight of three because he knew he had radar “eyes” and the Focke-Wulf pilots did not.



Ironically, the enemy aloft was not the only source of danger. Crews in the Pacific flying at twenty thousand feet amid air temperatures of ten degrees below zero complained of a headquarters decision to withhold heated flying suits from aircrew in that “warm” tropical theater. Instrument failures, a nuisance during the day, were deadly at night. But on August 15, 1945, the 419th’s squadron historian could record that after “the peril of tropical diseases, the dearth of supplies, a monotonous diet of dehydrated and canned food, and the total lack of civilization or female companionship for twenty-three uninterrupted months . . . morale received a tremendous boost when President Truman announced the surrender of Japan.” “When do we go home?” replaced all thoughts of danger and the difficulties of night flying.

The downing of 158 enemy aircraft in the war seemed out of proportion to the 900 expensive P-70s and P-61s and 16 combat squadrons the United States mobilized to control the skies at night. What damage might enemy night bombers have inflicted if they had flown against Allied forces unopposed? Maj. Gen. Oris B. Johnson believed night fighters contributed mightily to Allied victory, seizing the night skies from the Axis powers, but also, and more importantly in the long run, establishing “the basic concepts of all-weather flying critical to American victory in DESERT STORM.” As early as 1945 airmen began to speak of a new concept in aerial warfare-the “24-hour all-weather Air Force.” Though they had only “scratched the surface” of night intruder possibilities, these night fighter pioneers, with their victories and sacrifices, laid the foundation for a new form of aerial warfare, which would be revealed in all its devastating intensity nearly five decades later in the night skies over Iraq.

**************************************************************************

We hope you enjoyed this series - The U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II
Conquering the Night


Here are your links to USAAF Night Fighters at War ~ Part 1 of 3 - Jan. 16, 2004

USAAF Night Fighters at War ~ Part 2 of 3 - Jan. 17, 2004

2 posted on 01/18/2004 4:17:02 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: Wumpus Hunter; StayAt HomeMother; Ragtime Cowgirl; bulldogs; baltodog; Aeronaut; carton253; ...



FALL IN to the FReeper Foxhole!



Good Sunday Morning Everyone

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

3 posted on 01/18/2004 4:19:25 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.


4 posted on 01/18/2004 4:38:30 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
G'morning, snippy!

I see that I have some catching up to do--a three parter. You've really been working. :^)
5 posted on 01/18/2004 4:46:52 AM PST by Samwise (There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil.)
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To: snippy_about_it
OK, finished reading the whole thing. Great job Snippy!
6 posted on 01/18/2004 4:49:50 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 and everyone at the Foxhole.

We got three-quaters of an inch of rain yesterday. There is snow in the forecast for our are Monday night and Tuesday.

7 posted on 01/18/2004 5:00:17 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: snippy_about_it
Good Morning Snippy.

Scroungers were worth their weight in gold.

:-) Probably true for every military force throughout History

Thanks for covering the American nightfighter forces, I haven't read a lot about them before this.

It's way too early, I'm going back to sleep.

8 posted on 01/18/2004 5:05:25 AM PST by SAMWolf (I am Homer of Borg. Prepare to be... ooooohh, doughnuts!)
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf
You say, "Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord." —Malachi 2:17


The Word of God declares what's right
And what is pleasing in His sight;
It also shows that deep within
What we call good may be a sin

One of life's greatest illusions is that sin has no consequences.

9 posted on 01/18/2004 6:10:50 AM PST by The Mayor (The more you look forward to heaven, the less you'll desire of earth.)
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To: Samwise
I had to cut a lot out or I could have made it six parts!! Hope you enjoy it.
10 posted on 01/18/2004 6:56:54 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: Aeronaut
Yeah, you did good. Thanks for reading the whole thing.
11 posted on 01/18/2004 6:58:23 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.
Good morning EGC. Glad you got the much needed rain.
12 posted on 01/18/2004 6:59:20 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. I read most of it. Thanks for the post.
13 posted on 01/18/2004 7:53:29 AM PST by bulldogs
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To: snippy_about_it
On This Day In History


Birthdates which occurred on January 18:
1641 François Michel le Tellier French statesman (Marquis de Louvois)
1657 Hendrik Casimir II Dutch Fieldmarshal (Nassau)
1726 Hendrik prince of Prussia/diplomat
1779 Peter Roget thesaurus fame/inventor (slide rule, pocket chessboard)
1782 Daniel Webster Salisbury NH, orator/politician/lawyer
1809 Richard Caswell Gatlin Brigadier General (Confederate Army), died in 1896
1813 Joseph Farwell Glidden inventor (1st commercial usable barbed wire)
1815 James Chesnut Jr Brigadier General (Confederate Army), died in 1885
1820 Abraham Buford Brigadier General (Confederate Army), died in 1884
1831 Edward Ferrero Brevet Major General (Union volunteers), died in 1899
1849 Sir Edmund Barton 1st PM of Australia (1900-03)
1854 Thomas A Watson needed by Bell, inventor assistant (Telephone)
1857 Otto von Below German commandant (WWI)
1880 Paul Ehrenfest Austria/Netherlands physicist (adiabates hypothesis)
1882 A A Milne English author (Winnie-the-Pooh)
1892 Oliver Hardy Harlem GA, comedy team member (Laurel & Hardy)
1904 Cary Grant England, actor (Arsenic & Old Lace, North by Northwest)
1908 Jacob Bronowsky British mathematician/cultural historian
1913 Danny Kaye Brooklyn NY, UNICEF/comedian/actor (Danny Kaye Show)
1932 Joe Schmidt NFL Hall-of-Famer
1932 Robert Anton Wilson US, sci-fi author (Trick Top Hat)
1933 John Boorman producer/director (Exorcist II, Deliverance, Zardoz)
1933 Ray Dolby sound expert/inventor (Dolby noise limiting system)
1941 Bobby Goldsboro Marianna FL, singer (Honey)
1941 David Ruffin Mississippi, vocalist (Temptations-Papa Was a Rolling Stone)
1948 Takeshi Kitano Tokyo Japan, actor (Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence)
1950 John Hughes director (Breakfast Club, 16 Candles, Weird Science)
1955 Kevin Costner Los Angeles CA, actor (Fandango, Silverado, Bull Durham, Waterworld)
1958 Jeffrey N Williams Superior WI, Major Army/astronaut
1981 Kimberly Gloudemans Miss California Teen-USA (1997)
1981 Latoya Farley Miss Oklahoma Teen-USA (1996)


Deaths which occurred on January 18:
1367 Pedro I king of Portugal (1357-67), dies at 46
1659 Benedikt Lechler composer, dies at 64
1664 Moise Amyrault French theologist/vicar, dies
1666 Adriaen A Bloemaert Dutch landscape painter, dies at about 56
1677 John A van Riebeeck Dutch founder Cape Colony, dies at 57
1730 Peter II czar of Russia (1727-30), dies at 14
1862 John Tyler 10th US President (1841-45), dies in Richmond VA at 71
1921 Adolf von Hildebrand German sculptor, dies at 73
1923 Wallace Reid actor (Birth of a Nation), dies at 31
1936 Rudyard Kipling author (Gunga Din, Nobel 1907), dies in Burwash England at 70
1954 Sydney Greenstreet actor (Conflict, Maltese Falcon), dies at 74
1967 Harry Antrim actor (Ma & Pa Kettle), dies of heart attack at 83
1967 Reese "Goose" Tatum basketballer (Harlem Globetrotters), dies at 45
1978 Carl Betz actor (Alex Stone-Donna Reed Show), dies at 56
1984 Malcolm H Kerr 9th president of American University of Beirut, shot dead
1985 Mahmoud Taha Sudanese Moslem leader, hanged at 76
1991 Nita Krebs actor (Munchkin-Wizard of Oz), dies of heart attack at 85
1996 Minnesota Fats [Rudolf Wanderone Jr], billiard hustler, dies at 82
1997 Paul Tsongas (Senator-D-MA), dies at 55


Reported: MISSING in ACTION

1964 METOYER BRYFORD G.---OAKDALE LA.
1964 STRALEY JOHN L.---BEAVER FALLS PA.
1967 MADSEN MARLOW E.---MINNEAPOLIS MN.
1968 BOLES WARREN W.---MARBLEHEAD NECK MA.
1968 HINCKLEY ROBERT B.---SPRINGFIELD ME.
[03/14/73 RELEASED BY DRV, ALIVE IN 98]
1968 JONES ROBERT C.---MADISON NJ.
[03/14/73 RELEASED BY DRV, ALIVE AND WELL 98]
1968 ROEHRICH RONALD L.---SPRINGDALE AR.
1968 SMITH WAYNE O.---LOUISVILLE KY.
[/14/73 RELEASED BY DRV, ALIVE AND WELL 98]
1968 SIMONET KENNETH A.---CHICAGO IL.
[03/14/73 RELEASED BY DRV]
1969 COADY ROBERT F.---NEW ORLEANS LA.

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


On this day...
0336 St Mark begins his reign as Catholic Pope
0350 General Maxentius drives out Western Roman emperor Constans
0532 Nika uprising at Constantinople fails, 30-40,000 die
1307 German king Albrecht I makes his son Rudolf king of Bohemia
1478 Grand Duke Ivan II of Moscow occupies Novgorod
1486 King Henry VII of England marries Elizabeth, daughter of Edward IV
1520 Christian II of Denmark & Norway defeats the Swedes at Lake Asunde
1535 Francisco Pizarro founds Lima Peru
1644 Perplexed Pilgrims in Boston reported America's 1st UFO sighting
1671 Pirate Henry Morgan defeats Spanish defenders, captures Panamá
1733 1st polar bear exhibited in America (Boston)
1777 San Jose CA founded
1778 Captain James Cook stumbles over Sandwich Islands (Hawaiian Islands)
1840 Electro-Magnetic Intelligencer, 1st US electrical journal, appears
1862 Confederate Territory of Arizona is formed
1865 Battle of Fort Moultrie SC
1869 Elegant California Theatre opens in San Francisco CA
1871 2nd German Empire proclaimed by Kaiser Wilhelm I & Bismarck
1884 General Charles Gordon departs London for Khartoum
1896 1st demonstration of an x-ray machine in the US, New York City NY
1901 Pope Leo XIII publishes encyclical Graves De Communi Re
1911 1st shipboard landing of a plane (Tanforan Park to USS Pennsylvania)
1919 WWI Peace Congress opens in Versailles, France
1929 "New York Daily Mirror" columnist Walter Winchell debuts on radio
1929 Stalin proposes to ban Trotsky from the Politburo
1930 -27ºF (-33ºC), Watts OK (state record)
1933 White Sands National Monument, NM established
1938 Pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander is elected to the Hall of Fame
1943 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto begin resistance of Nazis
1943 Soviets announce they broke the long Nazi siege of Leningrad
1944 1st Chinese naturalized US citizen since repeal of exclusion acts
1947 Detroit Tigers sell Hank Greenberg to Pirates (for $25-35,000)
1948 Ted Mack's "Original Amateur Hour" begins, DuMont (later NBC/ABC/CBS)
1950 Indians pitcher Bob Feller, after 15-14 season, takes $20,000 salary cut to $45,000, pay cut is Feller's own suggestion
1951 NFL rules tackles, guards & centers ineligible for forward pass
1951 NFL takes control of the failing Baltimore Colts
1951 Hermann Flake sentenced to death due to "hate campaign against German Democratic Republic"
1954 Fanfani forms Italian government
1956 German Democratic Republic forms own army (National People's Army)
1957 3 B-52's set record for around-the-world flight, 45 hours 19 minutes
1962 US begins spraying foliage in Vietnam to reveal Viet Cong guerrillas
1962 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
1964 Beatles 1st appearance in Billboard Chart (I Want to Hold Your Hand-#35)
1964 Plans for the World Trade Center announced (New York City NY)
1967 Yellowknife replaces Ottawa as capital of NW Territories, Canada
1967 Albert DeSalvo (Boston Strangler) sentenced to life in prison
1969 Expanded 4 party Vietnam peace talks began in Paris
1969 Soyuz 5 returns to Earth
1973 Boston Red Sox sign Orlando Cepeda as 1st player signed as a DH
1973 John Cleese's final episode on "Monty Python's Flying Circus" on BBC
1974 "The $6 Million Man" starring Lee Majors premieres on ABC TV
1975 "The Jeffersons" spin-off from "All in the Family" premieres on CBS
1976 Super Bowl X Pittsburgh Steelers beat Dallas Cowboys, 21-17 in Miami; Super Bowl MVP Lynn Swann, Pittsburgh, Wide Receiver
1978 Thiokol conducts 2nd test firing of space shuttle's SRB
1980 Gold reaches $1,000 an ounce
1980 Pink Floyd's "The Wall" hits #1
1980 Studio 54 owners Steve Rubell & Ian Schrager sentenced to 3½ years in prison for tax evasion & fined $20,000
1981 Iran accepts US offer of $7.9 billion in frozen assets
1983 IOC restores Jim Thorpe's Olympic medals 70 years after they were taken from him for being paid $25 in semipro baseball
1985 US renounces jurisdiction of World Court despite previous promise
1989 Astronomers discover pulsar in remnants of Supernova 1987A (LMC)
1989 Otis Redding, Dion, Rolling Stones, Temptations & Stevie Wonder inducted into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
1990 Washington DC, Mayor Marion Barry arrested in drug enforcement sting
1991 Eastern Airlines goes out of business after 62 years
1991 Iraq launches SCUD missiles against Israel
1991 US acknowledges CIA and US Army paid Noriega $320,000 over his career
1993 Martin Luther King Jr holiday observed in all 50 states for 1st time
1996 Lisa Marie Presley filed for divorce from Michael Jackson in NY


Holidays
Note: Some Holidays are only applicable on a given "day of the week"

World : Pooh Day
Tunisia : Revolution Day (1956)
US : Martin Luther King Jr Day (1929) (Monday)
Virginia : Lee-Jackson Day (Monday)
US : Cuckoo Dancing Week Begins
US : Healthy Weight Week Begins
US : Pizza Week Begins
Wheat Bread Month


Religious Observances
Judism : Tu B'Shvat
Anglican, Lutheran : Commemoration of the Confession of St Peter the Apostle
Lutheran : Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins
Roman Catholic-Mexico : Commemoration of St Prisca, virgin/martyr at 13
Roman Catholic : Feast of Blessed Beatrix d'Este
Roman Catholic : Feast of St Leobardus
Christian : Church & Economic Life Week begins
Roman Catholic : Commemoration of St Margaret of Hungary


Religious History
1562 The Council of Trent Ä called by the popes to deal with the monumental problems caused by the Reformation Ä reconvened, following a suspension of ten years.
1815 Birth of L.F.K. Tischendorf, German biblical and textual scholar. In 1844 he discovered one of the oldest and most valuable manuscripts of the Greek Bible, the Codex Sinaiticus, which dates back to the 4th century.
1846 Taylor University was established in Fort Wayne, Indiana, under Methodist sponsorship.
1891 The first Armenian Church in the U.S. was consecrated in Worcester, MA. New churches were later consecrated in Fresno, CA (1900); West Hoboken, NJ (1907); and Fowler, CA (1910).
1936 In Washington, DC, Catholic biblical scholars met to discuss two proposals: the preparation of a new Bible translation and the formation of a society of Catholic biblical scholars. In result, the Catholic Biblical Association (CBA) was formed in 1937, and the New American Bible (NAB) was published in 1970.

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


Thought for the day :
"Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair."


Question of the day...
Did Noah keep his bees in archives?


Murphys Law of the day...(Young's Handy Guide to the Modern Sciences)
If it is green or it wiggles -- it is Biology.
If it stinks -- it is Chemistry.
If it doesn't work -- it is Physics.


Amazing fact #678...
Wilma Flinestone's maiden name was Wilma Slaghoopal, and Betty Rubble's Maiden name was Betty Jean Mcbricker.
14 posted on 01/18/2004 8:05:35 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: bulldogs
Your welcome. Good afternoon.
15 posted on 01/18/2004 9:15:52 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: SAMWolf
You and feather have been keeping strange hours, of course I am too. What's gotten into us! Go back to bed!
16 posted on 01/18/2004 9:17:29 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.
17 posted on 01/18/2004 9:18:03 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: Valin
Good afternoon Valin.
18 posted on 01/18/2004 9:20:40 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
Hi Snippy, it's afternoon here and a heat wave is upon us..

It's 26 degrees today..
19 posted on 01/18/2004 9:41:37 AM PST by The Mayor (The more you look forward to heaven, the less you'll desire of earth.)
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf
We own the night! Bump!!!

Hi Sam! Hi Snippy!
20 posted on 01/18/2004 10:16:50 AM PST by Jen (The FReeperette formerly known as AntiJen)
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To: Aeronaut
Morning Aeronaut
21 posted on 01/18/2004 10:35:49 AM PST by SAMWolf (I am Homer of Borg. Prepare to be... ooooohh, doughnuts!)
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To: E.G.C.
Morning E.G.C. Want us to send some more rain your way. We can spare it
22 posted on 01/18/2004 10:37:18 AM PST by SAMWolf (I am Homer of Borg. Prepare to be... ooooohh, doughnuts!)
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To: Samwise
Good morning Samwise. Good series Snippy put together
23 posted on 01/18/2004 10:39:18 AM PST by SAMWolf (I am Homer of Borg. Prepare to be... ooooohh, doughnuts!)
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To: The Mayor
Morning Mayor. Coffee is just right this rainy morning
24 posted on 01/18/2004 10:40:21 AM PST by SAMWolf (I am Homer of Borg. Prepare to be... ooooohh, doughnuts!)
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To: SAMWolf
Hi Sam.
25 posted on 01/18/2004 10:42:17 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: bulldogs
Morning Bulldogs
26 posted on 01/18/2004 10:43:28 AM PST by SAMWolf (I am Homer of Borg. Prepare to be... ooooohh, doughnuts!)
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To: SAMWolf
Morning Sam, that WWII arial photo site looks pretty intresting.
27 posted on 01/18/2004 10:46:46 AM PST by bulldogs
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To: Valin
1911 1st shipboard landing of a plane (Tanforan Park to USS Pennsylvania)

Eugene Ely, flying a Curtiss "Pusher," landed on a specially built platform aboard the armored cruiser USS Pennsylvania (ACR 4) at anchor in San Francisco Bay. This was the birth of Naval Aviation.

28 posted on 01/18/2004 10:55:04 AM PST by SAMWolf (I am Homer of Borg. Prepare to be... ooooohh, doughnuts!)
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To: snippy_about_it
Sounds like a plan
29 posted on 01/18/2004 10:56:14 AM PST by SAMWolf (I am Homer of Borg. Prepare to be... ooooohh, doughnuts!)
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To: Jen
Morning Jen
30 posted on 01/18/2004 10:57:22 AM PST by SAMWolf (I am Homer of Borg. Prepare to be... ooooohh, doughnuts!)
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To: bulldogs
I'm definately going to have to check it out
31 posted on 01/18/2004 10:58:44 AM PST by SAMWolf (I am Homer of Borg. Prepare to be... ooooohh, doughnuts!)
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf
I'm in.
That's a pretty big hole in that p-38's wing there..
32 posted on 01/18/2004 11:03:57 AM PST by Darksheare (Convents aren't exactly the best place for a male heretic to hide.)
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To: Darksheare
Morning Darksheare.
33 posted on 01/18/2004 11:10:36 AM PST by SAMWolf (I am Homer of Borg. Prepare to be... ooooohh, doughnuts!)
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To: SAMWolf
Afternoon here ;-)
*chuckle*
I have the honor of having my sister add odd statements in over my shoulder.. thus adding to my already overburdening weird field.
So, there's some chuckling and retyping going on at my end of things in an attempt to keep from laughing stuff out my nose.
34 posted on 01/18/2004 11:14:04 AM PST by Darksheare (Convents aren't exactly the best place for a male heretic to hide.)
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To: Darksheare
Lol! I passed a peant butter sandwich through my nose once in grammar school. Sister Mary Melvina swore it was a miracle. ;-)
35 posted on 01/18/2004 11:40:17 AM PST by SAMWolf (I am Homer of Borg. Prepare to be... ooooohh, doughnuts!)
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To: snippy_about_it
Howdy ma'am. Great set of threads.
36 posted on 01/18/2004 11:58:25 AM PST by Professional Engineer (17Dec03~A privately financed, built and owned Spacecraft broke the sound barrier for the first time.)
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To: snippy_about_it
This would have made the plane's namesake proud:


37 posted on 01/18/2004 12:14:00 PM PST by Professional Engineer (17Dec03~A privately financed, built and owned Spacecraft broke the sound barrier for the first time.)
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To: Darksheare
Has she gotten her bubble wrap yet?
38 posted on 01/18/2004 12:15:03 PM PST by Professional Engineer (17Dec03~A privately financed, built and owned Spacecraft broke the sound barrier for the first time.)
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To: SAMWolf; Pippin
Based on your inspiration, I sent this message on FRiday:

I am Homer of Borg, Resistance is ... OOO, Mooseburgers!
39 posted on 01/18/2004 12:19:04 PM PST by Professional Engineer (17Dec03~A privately financed, built and owned Spacecraft broke the sound barrier for the first time.)
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To: Professional Engineer
LOL! I have some more "I am ... of Borg" taglines coming :-)
40 posted on 01/18/2004 12:40:18 PM PST by SAMWolf (I am Homer of Borg. Prepare to be... ooooohh, doughnuts!)
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To: SAMWolf
Hot chocolate, soda, blueberry muffin, coffee, and hard boiled egg have all been made to rocket through my sinuses either because I sneezed, or some unfriendly person forced me to laugh while I was imbibing one of said items mentioned.
I'd say it's a miracle as well.
Miracle that one lives through the experience.
*chuckle*
41 posted on 01/18/2004 1:44:32 PM PST by Darksheare (Convents aren't exactly the best place for a male heretic to hide.)
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To: Professional Engineer
Nope.
But she does have saran wrap and shrink wrap.
42 posted on 01/18/2004 1:45:17 PM PST by Darksheare (Convents aren't exactly the best place for a male heretic to hide.)
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To: Jen
We sure do own the night, and the day too!! Hi Jen.
43 posted on 01/18/2004 2:54:50 PM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: Darksheare
I'm always amazed at what those planes of ours in WWII could take and still land.

Good evening Darksheare.
44 posted on 01/18/2004 2:56:41 PM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: Professional Engineer
Thanks PE. It's too bad Billy Mitchell didn't live long enough to know about it. He was one wise man imo.
45 posted on 01/18/2004 3:02:41 PM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: Darksheare; SAMWolf
Pepsi and coffee, that's all for me. You guys are crazy. LOL
46 posted on 01/18/2004 3:04:21 PM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: Darksheare
I've donr the coffee and soda thing more times than I care to think about
47 posted on 01/18/2004 3:06:46 PM PST by SAMWolf (I am Homer of Borg. Prepare to be... ooooohh, doughnuts!)
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To: snippy_about_it
Yeah, I did hear of a P-38 havign amidair collision which destroyed an engine and twisted a boom.
It still flew back home.
48 posted on 01/18/2004 3:12:15 PM PST by Darksheare (Convents aren't exactly the best place for a male heretic to hide.)
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf
LOL!
The soda thing hurts though.
It feels like it's fizzing in your brain.
And your eyes water.
And usually, you're in this position because you were laughing to begin with.
And you can't stop either.
So now you're the entertainment, and it hurts.

Oh, don't do this while driving either.
I won't explain further.
Honest.
49 posted on 01/18/2004 3:19:15 PM PST by Darksheare (Convents aren't exactly the best place for a male heretic to hide.)
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To: Darksheare
hard boiled egg

Ouch! That's gotta hurt.
50 posted on 01/18/2004 3:29:51 PM PST by Valin (We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.)
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