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The FReeper Foxhole Remembers Lt. Col. Matt Louis Urban - Feb 11th, 2004
Various | FReeper Michael121

Posted on 02/10/2004 11:59:59 PM 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.

Our Mission:

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.

To read previous Foxhole threads or
to add the Foxhole to your sidebar,
click on the books below.

Lt. Col. Matt Louis Urban
One of the Most Decorated American Combat Soldiers of World War II

DATE AND PLACE OF BIRTH: Aug. 25, 1919, Buffalo, N.Y.
WIFE: Mrs. Jennie Urban, Holland, Mich.
CIVILIAN SCHOOLING: Cornell University, New York, N.Y.
(B.A. in history and government, minor in community recreation)

Lt. Col. Matt Louis Urban

Five days after D-Day, the 9th Infantry Division came ashore at Utah Beach. At the head of the 60th Infantry Regiment’s Company F was Capt. Matt Urban. A Veteran of the 9th’s campaign in North Africa and Sicily, Urban had repeatedly proven himself to be the epitome of an infantry officer.

Just a few days after landing in France, Urban once again proved his mettle. On June 14th, Company F attacked Renouf. Encountering heavy enemy small arms and tank fire, the company’s advance ground to a halt. Realizing his unit stood on the verge of decimation, Urban grabbed a bazooka. He told an ammo carrier to follow him, then worked his way through the hedgerows to a point near two panzers. Brazenly exposing himself to the tank’s fire, he loaded and fired the bazooka. Within minutes he destroyed both armored vehicles.

Later that same day Company F led an attack into Orglandes. Urban took shrapnel in his leg from an exploding German 37-mm round. He refused evacuation. At 5:00 A.M. the next morning he led his company in yet another attack. An hour later he was hit again. This time there was no doubt; he’d have to be evacuated. By noon he was in the back of a truck, the first leg in his journey back to England.

9th Infantry Division Patch

Urban’s story begins in Buffalo, New York, where he was born on August 25, 1919. Though his family was not poor money was scarce. Urban worked very hard through his high school years to contribute to the family’s coffers. By saving extra money he was able to enter Cornell University in 1937. He earned good grades and excelled in boxing, wining his division in the collegiate championship of 1939.

As a member of Cornell’s ROTC program, Urban received the call of duty in June 1941. He attended officer candidate school, then joined the 60th Infantry Regiment at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. By the time the 60th Infantry received orders for overseas shipment in the summer of 1942, Urban held the post of Executive Officer of Company F.

In North Africa Urban quickly demonstrated his heroism and exceptional leadership traits. He earned two Silver Stars and the first of seven Purple Hearts. He also assumed command of Company F after its commanding officer became a casualty.

60th Infantry Regiment Unit Crest

In mid-July 1944, while still recuperating from his wounds received near Orglandes, Urban was visited in the hospital by a wounded man from his company. Urban learned how the exceedingly brutal fighting in Normandy had reduced Company F from a first class fighting machine to a frightened, frustrated, motionless mass of men. Determined to help his men, Urban deserted his hospital bed that very night. Over the next several days the determined Urban hitched his way back to France. Still wearing his bandages Urban rejoined his demoralized company the morning of July 25th. As a sergeant remembered, “The sight of him limping up the road, all smiles, raring to lead the attack, once more brought the morale of the battle-weary men to the highest peak.” Urban well remembers that day. “I was full of anger, remorse, and despair. I’d seen my men mutilated, chopped up. I was seeking revenge. I was like a tiger. It was all bubbling up inside of me, and it exploded.”

Urban began his exploits that very afternoon by rescuing a wounded man from a burning tank. Late that evening his battalion’s attack upon a well-entrenched German position located atop a prominent hill stalled under fierce fire. Two supporting tanks had been destroyed and a third, although intact, did not move. Urban located the lieutenant in charge of the supporting armor and laid out a plan of attack to reduce the hill position.

Near St. Lo, France -- July 15, 1944

The lieutenant and a sergeant were killed by the intense enemy fire as they tried to climb aboard the immobile tank. Urban, though hobbling because of his leg wound, dashed through the unrelenting enemy fire and mounted the tank. As enemy rounds hit all around him, he ordered the tank forward. He armed the .50-caliber machine gun. While the tank fired its cannon into the enemy positions Urban followed up with well-aimed bursts of fire.

“I was crying as I went up that hill,” Urban remembered, “I thought I was a goner, that I was headed for certain death.”

But he didn’t die. Unscathed, he reached the top of the hill. Alone he had destroyed the enemy positions holding up his battalion.

Over the next five weeks Urban repeatedly displayed his fearless heroism. On August 2nd he received his fifth wound. Against the battalion surgeon’s advice Urban stayed with his company. Four days later the battalion commander became a casualty. Over officers more senior in rank and age, Urban was selected to take his place. On August 15th, while at the forefront of his battalion’s attack, Urban was wounded for the sixth time.

Urban’s battalion crossed the Meuse River near Heer, Belgium, on September 2nd. The lead elements immediately ran into a fierce barrage of enemy artillery, mortar, and small-arms fire. As was his custom, Urban left his command post to personally lead the GI’s across the river. As he moved across open ground, an exploding mortar shell drove shrapnel deep into his throat. Although unable to speak above a whisper, he refused to leave the battlefield until assured his men had made it across the river. Only then did he agree to let the medics evacuate him. The next day while Urban sailed back to England aboard a hospital ship, the Germans counterattacked his battalion. Those GI’s who weren’t killed were captured. Among them was S. Sgt. Earl G. Evans who had served with Urban since North Africa. After Urban rode the tank into the German position in Normandy, Evans overheard a battalion officer say he was going to recommend Urban for the Medal of Honor. Unfortunately, that man died in the fighting at the Meuse.

Soldiers of 60th Infantry Regiment advance into a Belgian town under the protection of a heavy tank.
National Archives Photo

When Sgt. Evans was repatriated in July 1945 he wrote a letter to the War Dept. recommending Urban for a Medal of Honor. The War Dept. forwarded it to the commanding General of the 9th Division, on occupation duty in Germany. It never arrived. But a copy of Evan’s letter was placed in Urban’s personal file.

In the meantime, Urban had recuperated from his wounds. He received a promotion to LTC in October 1945. Five months later he received a medical discharge. Among his medals were counted 2 Silver Stars, 1 Legion of Merit, 3 Bronze Stars, and 7 Purple Hearts. He knew nothing of Evan’s letter.

After Urban requested information and his official file was reviewed by the Army Military Awards Branch, the original recommendation was found and a lengthy process was begun to reconstruct the events described in Evans' recommendation.

Since the Medal of Honor is the nation's highest decoration for valor, detailed evidence of the performance of the act or acts is essential. Eyewitness statements or affidavits, as well as other documents from official records, must supply this evidence that the act or acts justify the Medal of Honor. In Urban's case, this task was made considerably more difficult than would ordinarily be the case since the recommendation involved heroism performed more that 35 years before.

As the pieces of the puzzle were assembled by the Army Awards Branch, a most dramatic picture of Urban emerged. He had clearly established himself as an outstanding combat leader who was fearless and highly esteemed by his men.

The eyewitness statements, even though they were prepared many years after the fact, show a remarkable consistency in what they describe. In each case, Urban's fearlessness is related in detail, but his concern for the welfare and safety of his men and his ability to inspire them to their best efforts are just as clearly demonstrated.

Although Urban received two Silver Stars for actions in Africa, his valorous actions in France and Belgium in 1944 had not been recognized with a military decoration for heroism except for a Bronze Star Medal he received for action on June 14, 1944.

From a legal standpoint, the recommendation on Urban meets all requirements of the law. Public Law (Title 10, USC) stipulates that a Medal of Honor may be awarded if a statement setting forth the act to be recognized is made within two years of the act and that records indicate the individual is entitled to the award. This same Public Law permits consideration of a recommendation for award of the Medal of Honor if the secretary of the Army determines that a statement was made within two years of the act to be recognized and no award was made because the statement was lost or through inadvertence, the recommendation was not acted upon.

The postwar years passed peacefully for Urban. On July 19th 1980, 36 years after the fact, President Carter hung the Medal of Honor around Urban’s neck. Befitting the occasion, the presentation was made before veteran’s of the 9th Division at their reunion in Washington DC. President Carter said, “Matt Urban showed that moments of terrible devastation can bring out courage. His actions are a reminder to this nation so many years later of what freedom really means.”

The German’s nicknamed Matt Urban “der Geist” meaning “the Ghost” because he always came back after they thought he was gone.

Matt Urban died in March 1995 from a collapsed lung that had been injured in one of his numerous combat actions in 1944.

Thanks to FReeper Michael121 for bringing Lt. Col Urban to the Foxhole's attention and for researching his biography

KEYWORDS: 9thinfantry; europe; freeperfoxhole; ltcolmatturban; medalofhonor; polishamerican; stamp; veterans; warriorwednesday; wwii
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Lt. Col. Matt Urban was born on August 25, 1919, in Buffalo of Polish immigrants. He was raised at 1153 Broadway and attended Buffalo Public School #57. He entered the US Army in 1941, saw much conflict during World War II and became the most decorated American war hero, earning virtual every combat medal including the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Lt. Col. Matt Louis Urban

A 1941 graduate of Cornell University, within a week of graduation he was at Ft. Bragg, N.C. and later on the beaches of North Africa. From there he and the 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division moved to Sicily, France, Belgium and Germany. Typical of Urban's service were actions on D-Day, where he landed with his men on Omaha beach. he suffered a broken leg in a landing mishap, but with his men trapped on the beach, Urban got up on top of a tank and led them in an attack on German positions and off the beach.

In many subsequent encounters, Urban's battlefield leadership skill and his uncanny ability to frustrate German plans caused the enemy to give him the nickname "the Ghost." Lt. Col. Urban was wounded six times and six times he went back to the front lines. The seventh time he was wounded, he was shot in the throat and the bullet tore out a vocal cord. Army doctors gave Urban no hope for survival. But he recovered two years later with damaged vocal cords which left him raspy-voiced to the end of his days.

After the war, he moved to Michigan where he served as recreation director for Port Huron for seven years, then director of the Monroe Community Center for 16 years. His last job was director of the civic and recreation department of Holland, Michigan. He retired in 1989.

After retiring as Holland recreation director, Urban traveled nationwide to speak to veterans groups. He wrote an autobiography, "The Matt Urban Story: Our Most Decorated Combat Soldier."

His awards and citations include:

Retired Lt. Col. Matt Urban never pursued the recognition he received. However, the fortunate discovery of missing paperwork—filed 35 years earlier—resulted in the Congressional Medal of Honor for Urban.

LTC Matt Urban Memorial

"When I came home, I never thought about the war," said Urban. "That's why the medal was 35 years late. I knew that there was an application in. The sergeant put it in ... I just never pursued it."

Humble about his accolades, Urban is one of the most-decorated World War II combat veterans in United States history.

He is also referred to as "The Ghost," a title Urban says was given to him by German soldiers. "I guess it was because I kept coming back," he said. "I was shot through the leg, and they thought I was gone but I came back. I was shot through the arm and came back. I was even shot through the neck and went AWOL, hitchhiked rides on planes. . .and got into Germany with my troops, crossed the channel with no voice at all. . .It took me about two weeks to get there."

In July, 1944, after the D-Day landings, Urban was involved in Operation Cobra, aimed at getting Allied forces out of Normandy and into northern France.

Plaque on LTC Matt Urban Memorial

He still was recovering from a leg wound suffered after destroying two tanks with a bazooka. A third tank fired at him, and a shrapnel cut into the back of his leg.

A return to combat after a short stay in an English hospital found Urban inspiring to troops under fire. His actions gave them confidence which saved their lives. A few months later, he was shot through the neck. "The one through my neck finished me."

He returned home and struggled to regain his voice. He read the paper every morning out loud for five years until his voice started coming back.

Matt Urban and Family

Urban served as platoon leader, morale officer/special services officer, company executive officer and company commander, battalion executive officer and battalion commander.

Before his passing, Urban worked as recreation director for the City of Holland, and spoke to about 60 groups each year about his war experiences. His advice to young soldiers: "Take care of yourself, follow orders, and don't try to be a hero. I never tried to be a hero."

1 posted on 02/11/2004 12:00:01 AM PST by SAMWolf
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To: snippy_about_it; PhilDragoo; Johnny Gage; Victoria Delsoul; Darksheare; Valin; bentfeather; radu; ..
Medal of Honor Citation Urban, Matt

Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel (then Captain),
2d Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division, World War II.
Place and date: Renouf, France, 14 June to 3 September 1944.
Entered service at: Fort Bragg, North Carolina, 2 July 1941.
Date and place of birth: 25 August 1919, Buffalo, New York.


Lieutenant Colonel (then Captain) Matt Urban, l 12-22-2414, United States Army, who distinguished himself by a series of bold, heroic actions, exemplified by singularly outstanding combat leadership, personal bravery, and tenacious devotion to duty, during the period 14 June to 3 September 1944 while assigned to the 2d Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division.

On 14 June, Captain Urban's company, attacking at Renouf, France, encountered heavy enemy small arms and tank fire. The enemy tanks were unmercifully raking his unit's positions and inflicting heavy casualties. Captain Urban, realizing that his company was in imminent danger of being decimated, armed himself with a bazooka. He worked his way with an ammo carrier through hedgerows, under a continuing barrage of fire, to a point near the tanks. He brazenly exposed himself to the enemy fire and, firing the bazooka, destroyed both tanks. Responding to Captain Urban's action, his company moved forward and routed the enemy.

Later that same day, still in the attack near Orglandes, Captain Urban was wounded in the leg by direct fire from a 37mm tank-gun. He refused evacuation and continued to lead his company until they moved into defensive positions for the night. At 0500 hours the next day, still in the attack near Orglandes, Captain Urban, though badly wounded, directed his company in another attack. One hour later he was again wounded. Suffering from two wounds, one serious, he was evacuated to England.

In mid-July, while recovering from his wounds, he learned of his unit's severe losses in the hedgerows of Normandy. Realizing his unit's need for battle-tested leaders, he voluntarily left the hospital and hitchhiked his way back to his unit hear St. Lo, France. Arriving at the 2d Battalion Command Post at 1130 hours, 25 July, he found that his unit had jumped-off at 1100 hours in the first attack of Operation Cobra." Still limping from his leg wound, Captain Urban made his way forward to retake command of his company. He found his company held up by strong enemy opposition. Two supporting tanks had been destroyed and another, intact but with no tank commander or gunner, was not moving. He located a lieutenant in charge of the support tanks and directed a plan of attack to eliminate the enemy strong-point. The lieutenant and a sergeant were immediately killed by the heavy enemy fire when they tried to mount the tank. Captain Urban, though physically hampered by his leg wound and knowing quick action had to be taken, dashed through the scathing fire and mounted the tank. With enemy bullets ricocheting from the tank, Captain Urban ordered the tank forward and, completely exposed to the enemy fire, manned the machine gun and placed devastating fire on the enemy. His action, in the face of enemy fire, galvanized the battalion into action and they attacked and destroyed the enemy position.

On 2 August, Captain Urban was wounded in the chest by shell fragments and, disregarding the recommendation of the Battalion Surgeon, again refused evacuation.

On 6 August, Captain Urban became the commander of the 2d Battalion.

On 15 August, he was again wounded but remained with his unit.

On 3 September, the 2d Battalion was given the mission of establishing a crossing-point on the Meuse River near Heer, Belgium. The enemy planned to stop the advance of the allied Army by concentrating heavy forces at the Meuse. The 2d Battalion, attacking toward the crossing-point, encountered fierce enemy artillery, small arms and mortar fire which stopped the attack. Captain Urban quickly moved from his command post to the lead position of the battalion. Reorganizing the attacking elements, he personally led a charge toward the enemy's strong-point. As the charge moved across the open terrain, Captain Urban was seriously wounded in the neck. Although unable to talk above a whisper from the paralyzing neck wound, and in danger of losing his life, he refused to be evacuated until the enemy was routed and his battalion had secured the crossing-point on the Meuse River.

Captain Urban's personal leadership, limitless bravery, and repeated extraordinary exposure to enemy fire served as an inspiration to his entire battalion. His valorous and intrepid actions reflect the utmost credit on him and uphold the noble traditions of the United States.

Additional Sources:

2 posted on 02/11/2004 12:00:55 AM PST by SAMWolf (I misplaced my dictionary. Now I'm at a loss for words.)
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To: All
National Campaign to Request that the United States Postal Service Issue a Commemorative Stamp in Honor of Lt. Col. Matt Louis Urban (1919-1995)
The Most Decorated American Combat Soldier of World War II

Click the Medal of Honor to sign the Petition

Fellow Americans:

Lt. Col. Matt Louis Urban has the distinction, along with Capt. Audie Murphy, of being the most decorated American combat soldier of World War II. According to the Total Army Personnel Command in Alexandria, Virginia, both Urban and Murphy each received 29 decorations, including the Congressional Medal of Honor. In 2000, the United States Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp that honored Audie Murphy as well as three other American combat heroes of World Wars I and II. Because of Postal Service regulations, however, Matt Louis Urban will not be eligible for a commemorative stamp until 2005.

Urban's story is unusual in that he received the Congressional Medal of Honor not only because of his unprecedented multiple displays of battlefield courage above and beyond the call of duty but also because, as stated in his Congressional Medal of Honor citation, he uniquely "distinguished himself by a series of bold, heroic actions, exemplified by singularly outstanding combat leadership, personal bravery, and tenacious devotion to duty, during the period from 14 June to 3 September 1944" in at least five separate battles at Renouf, Orglandes, and St. Lo in France as well as at Heer, Belgium, during which he was wounded many times and for which he received seven Purple Hearts. The Germans against whom he fought named Matt Louis Urban The Ghost because no matter how many times they thought they had killed him, he always came back to fight them again in another place.

By signing this petition, you are requesting that in the year 2005 the United States Postal Service should issue a commemorative stamp to honor this national, one-of-a-kind World War II combat hero, disabled veteran, and patriot, a Polish American (whose surname was shortened from Urbanowicz) who was born in Buffalo, NY in 1919 and laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery in March, 1995. Let's honor him for his unmatched combat achievements while the memory of World War II is still alive.

Thank you,

Anthony J. Bajdek, Associate Dean Northeastern University Boston

3 posted on 02/11/2004 12:01:19 AM PST by SAMWolf (I misplaced my dictionary. Now I'm at a loss for words.)
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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.

Iraq Homecoming Tips

~ Thanks to our Veterans still serving, at home and abroad. ~ Freepmail to Ragtime Cowgirl | 2/09/04 | FRiend in the USAF

4 posted on 02/11/2004 12:01:44 AM PST by SAMWolf (I misplaced my dictionary. Now I'm at a loss for words.)
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To: SAMWolf
From a suggestion came something. Good job sir.

I am in awe of men like Urban, and the American soldier has proven time and again what antoher Medal of Honor Reicpient said, "Freedom is worth fighting for."

Sunday the AVA (American Veterans Award) aired on the History Channel. The Honoree was Actor Cliff Robertson who served in the Merchant Marines and was in every theater of combat. Was once MIA after his ship was sunk. Said in his acceptance speech "They asked if I would write a bit of prose....."

I did not get it word for word but it was a poem entitled,
"It was just my job" It was moving. And the Medal Of Honor men all said the same thing, I was just doing my job. The Police and firemen who rushed into the WTC on Sept 11th were just doing their jobs. The troops who beat the Taliban and were victorious in Iraq were just and are just doing their jobs.

Without men Like Urban freedom would have antoher meaning. In America it would be the symbol of hope and dreams not reality. Without leaders like LTC. Matt Urban there would not be those inspired to fight. Often it took just one man to move the troops to react and overcome. One man can accomplish more than he knows.

Thanks again for giving this attention SAMWolf.... I would like to add the following goto:

or write to:

Anthony J. Bajdek, Associate Dean Northeastern University Boston, MA 02115 USA

It is a petition for the USPS to honor Matt Urban with a Stamp as they did Audie Murphy.
5 posted on 02/11/2004 1:49:31 AM PST by Michael121 (An old soldier knows truth. Only a Dead Soldier knows peace.)
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To: Wumpus Hunter; StayAt HomeMother; Ragtime Cowgirl; bulldogs; baltodog; Aeronaut; carton253; ...

FALL IN to the FReeper Foxhole!

Good Wednesday Morning Everyone

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

6 posted on 02/11/2004 4:07:22 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.

North American XB-70 - Mach 3 capable

7 posted on 02/11/2004 4:15:35 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; SAMWolf
Good morning, Sam, Snippy and everyone else here at the Freeper Foxhole.

Folks, if you have not yet downloaded the latest security updates from Microsoft, please do so. There are some very major security issues in vloving Windows right now and patches have been issued to deal with these matters.

Also, be sure to get the latest virus definitions from Norton or your anti-virsu vender.

Regarding the Lawton Public Schools situation here in Oklahoma. They have apparently taken some action. They installed some cameras in the school bulidings and at extra-circular events. I.D. cards are also being issued. There is increased security and als the dress code has been tightened. LHS was on lockdown yesterday and the superintendent said this may be permanent. There had been talking of holding sports events without crowds but they're waiting to see if what they're doing is going to be nouugh. we'll see what happens.

I hope everyone's day is going fine and that everyone has a good day.

8 posted on 02/11/2004 4:24:23 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: snippy_about_it
We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against . . . the rulers of the darkness of this age.

Something happens when we pray,
Powers of evil lose their sway,
We gain strength and fear gives way
Therefore, let us pray

Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.

9 posted on 02/11/2004 4:49:00 AM PST by The Mayor (Be steadfast, immovable, . . . knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.)
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To: E.G.C.
AHHHHH you said LAWTON....... hehehehe

I spent a few years in Lawton at Ft. Sill.... lived off post, liked the weather, hated the weather. Well out on the range testing a new IR Camera on an M981 FSTV, sat there watching a Tornado forming about 3,000m west of our position. It was headed our way then just disapated into the clouds, it touched down for a few seconds and just lost all power. But we were ready to button up and see how a 26 ton tracked vehicle could stand up to it.
That camera is part of the FLIR's the Army uses now.
10 posted on 02/11/2004 5:03:25 AM PST by Michael121 (An old soldier knows truth. Only a Dead Soldier knows peace.)
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; radu; All

Good morning everyone in the FOXHOLE!

11 posted on 02/11/2004 5:41:29 AM PST by Soaring Feather (~ I do Poetry and Party among the stars~)
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To: SAMWolf
On This Day In History

Birthdates which occurred on February 11:
1465 Elizabeth of York London, Consort of King Henry VII
1535 Gregory XIV [Niccolò Sfondrati], Roman Catholic pope (1590-91)
1800 William Henry Fox Talbot Wiltshire England, photographic pioneer
1812 Alexander Hamilton Stephens Vice President (Confederacy), died in 1883
1812 Benjamin Franklin Sands Commander (Union Navy), died in 1883
1821 Auguste Édouard Mariette French Egyptologist, (dug out Sphinx 12/16/42)
1829 William Anderson Pile Brevet Major General (Union volunteers), died in 1889
1833 Melville Weston Fuller 8th chief justice
1839 Josiah Willard Gibbs theoretical physicist/chemist
1840 Sanuel Dana Greene Lieutenant Commander (Union Navy), died in 1884
1847 Thomas Alva Edison Milan OH, lit up your life (held 1200 patents)
1898 Leo Szilard Hungary, physicist/A-bomb worker/peace activist
1908 Vivian [Ernest] Fuchs geologist/explorer (British Antarctic Survey)
1909 Max Baer [The Livermore Larruper] Omaha NB, heavyweight boxing champion (1934-35)/actor (The Prizefighter and the Lady)
1909 Joseph L Mankiewicz Wilkes-Barre PA, film writer/director (Sleuth)
1917 Sidney Sheldon novelist (1947 Academy Award, 1959 Tony, Bloodline)
1920 Daniel F Galouye US, sci-fi author (Dark Universe, Last Leap)
1920 Farouk I Cairo, last King of Egypt (1936-52)
1921 Eva Gabor Budapest Hungary, actress (Lisa-Green Acres, Gigi)
1921 Lloyd Bentsen (Senator-D-TX) (1988 Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee)
1922 Leslie Nielsen Regina Sask, actor (Forbidden Planet, Naked Gun)
1925 Dr Virginia E Johnson sexologist (Masters & Johnson)
1925 Kim Stanley [Patricia Reid], Tularosa NM, actress (Right Stuff)
1928 Conrad Janis New York NY, actor (Mork & Mindy, Quark, Bonino)
1934 Mary Quant Kent England, fashion designer (Chelsea Look, Mod Look)
1934 Tina Louise New York NY, actress (Ginger-Gilligan's Island, Julie-Dallas)
1935 Gene Vincent Norfolk VA, rock guitarist/vocalist (Be-Bop-A-Lula)
1936 Burt Reynolds Waycross GA, actor (Gunsmoke, Evening Shade, Striptease, Cannonball Run, Smokey and the Bandit, Dan August, Deliverance)
1938 General Manuel Antonio Noriega Panamanian General/dictator (1983-1990)
1940 Bobby "Boris" Pickett rocker (Monster Mash)
1941 Sergio Mendes jazz/pop musician (Brazil '66/'77/'88)
1941 Glenn Randall Jr stuntman (Species, Mrs Soffel, Return of the Jedi)
1942 Otis Clay US gospel/R&B-singer (That's how it is)
1953 Stephen D Thorne Frankfurt-on-Main, German, Lieutenant Commander USN/astronaut
1953 Alan Rubin music figure (Blues Brothers)
1969 Shannon Long Gladstone Australia, playmate (October 1988)
1969 Jennifer Aniston Sherman Oaks CA, actress (Rachel-Friends)
1979 Brandy [Norwood] singer (Les Miserables, Moesha)

Deaths which occurred on February 11:
0641 Heraclius emperor of Byzantium (610-641), dies at about 65
0731 Gregory II Greek-Syrian Pope, dies
0821 Benedict of Aniane saint, dies
0824 Paschal I Italian Pope (817-24), dies
0867 Theodora the Saint, empress of Byzantine, dies
1503 Elizabeth of York Consort of King Henry VII, dies on 38th birthday
1650 René Descartes philosopher "I think therefore I am", stops thinking
1868 Léon Foucault discovers 1st physical proof of Earth's rotation, dies
1899 George Morgan 1st English motorist to die in an motor accident, dies
1911 Albert von Rothschild baron/Austrian banker, dies at 66
1941 Rudolf Hilferding German economist/Minister of Finance (SPD), suicide at 63
1945 Al Dubin Swiss songwriter (Tiptoe Thru The Tulips), dies at 53
1961 Patrice Lumumba 1st premier Congo, murdered at 34
1963 Sylvia Plath poet/novelist (Ariel), kills herself in London at 30
1971 Whitney Young Jr National Urban League director, drowns in Nigeria
1976 Lee J Cobb actor (12 Angry Men, On the Waterfront), dies at 64
1982 Takashi Shimura Japan, actor (Rashomon, 7 Samurais), dies at 76
1986 Frank [Patrick] Herbert sci-fi author (Dune), dies at 65

1993 George A Stephen, inventor (Weber Kettle Grill), dies at 71

1994 Antonio Martin Spanish cyclist, dies in cycling accident at 23
1994 Sorrell Brooke actor (Mayor Hogg-Dukes of Hazzard), dies at 64
1994 William Conrad actor (Cannon), dies of a heart attack at 73


[REMAINS RETURNED 93 ID. 10/30/96]

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

On this day...
0660 -BC- Traditional founding of Japan by Emperor Jimmu Tenno
0385 Oldest Pope elected; Siricius-bishop of Tarragona
0731 St Gregory II ends his reign as Catholic Pope
0824 St Paschal I ends his reign as Catholic Pope
1531 Henry VIII recognized as supreme head of the Church in England
1543 Battle at Wayna Daga Ethiopian/Portugese troops beat Moslem army
1573 1st European, Francis Drake sees the Pacific (from Panamá)
1575 King Frederick of Denmark offers island of Hveen to Tycho Brahe
1766 Stamp Act declared unconstitutional in Virginia
1768 Samuel Adams letter, circulates around American colonies, opposing Townshend Act taxes
1790 Society of Friends petitions Congress for abolition of slavery
1794 1st session of US Senate open to the public
1808 Anthracite coal 1st burned as fuel, experimentally, Wilkes-Barre PA
1809 Robert Fulton patents the steamboat
1810 Napoleon marries Marie-Louise of Austria
1811 President Madison prohibits trade with Britain for 3rd time in 4 years
1812 Massachusetts Governor Gerry signs a redistricting bill-the 1st "gerrymander
1852 1st British public female toilet opens (Bedford Street London)
1854 Major streets lit by coal gas for 1st time
1858 1st apparition of Mary to 14-year-old Bernadette of Lourdes France
1861 US House unanimously passes resolution guaranteeing noninterference with slavery in any state
1861 President-elect Lincoln takes train from Spingfield IL to Washington DC
1878 1st US bicycle club, Boston Bicycle Club, forms
1878 1st weekly Weather report published in UK
1889 Meiji constitution of Japan adopted; 1st Diet convenes in 1890
1895 -17ºF (-27.2ºC) in Braemar, Grampian (UK record)
1895 Georgetown became part of Washington DC
1897 White Rose Mission opens on East 97th Street, NYC
1899 -15ºF (-26ºC), Washington DC (district record)
1899 -61ºF (-52ºC), Montana (record low temperature)
1905 Pope Pius X publishes encyclical Vehementer nos
1907 De Master's Dutch government resigns
1907 Passenger ship Larchmont sinks by Block Island, 322 die
1922 "April Showers" by Al Jolson hits #1
1929 Vatican City (world's smallest country) made an enclave of Rome
1932 73ºF highest temperature ever recorded in Cleveland in February
1935 -11ºF (-24ºC), Ifrane, Morocco (African record low)
1935 1st US airplane flight with auto slung beneath the fuselage, New York
1937 44-day sit-down strike at General Motors in Flint MI ends
1941 1st Gold record presented (Glenn Miller-Chattanooga Choo Choo)
1941 Lieutenant-General Erwin Rommel arrives in Tripoli
1942 "Archie" comic book debuts
1943 General Eisenhower selected to command the allied armies in Europe
1945 1st gas turbine propeller-driven airplane flight tested, Downey CA
1945 Yalta agreement signed by FDR, Churchill & Stalin
1950 "Rag Mop" by The Ames Brothers hit #1
1951 Kwame Nkrumah wins 1st parliamentary election on Gold coast (Ghana)
1953 President Eisenhower refuses clemency appeal for Rosenberg couple
1953 Russia breaks diplomatic relations with Israel
1954 6th Emmy Awards I Love Lucy, Donald O'Connor & Eve Arden win
1960 Jack Paar walks off his TV show
1961 Robert C Weaver sworn in as Administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency with then highest federal post by a black
1961 Trial of Adolf Eichmann begins in Jerusalem
1963 Beatles tape 10 tracks for their 1st album, including "Please, Please Me"
1963 CIA Domestic Operations Division created
1964 Beatles 1st live appearance in US; Washington DC Coliseum
1964 Greek & Turks begin fighting in Limassol, Cyprus
1966 San Francisco Giant Willie Mays signs highest contract, $130,000 per year
1968 Jeffrey Kramer survives 76 meter jump, Washington Bridge, Hudson River NY
1969 Diana Crump becomes 1st US woman jockey to ride against men, Hialelah
1969 Dorey Funk Jr beats Gene Kiniski in Tampa, to become NWA champion
1970 26.37 cm (10.38") of rainfall, Mt Washington NH (state 24-hour record)
1970 Japan becomes 4th nation to put a satellite (Osumi) in orbit
1975 Margaret Thatcher defeats Edward Heath for Conservative leadership
1976 Clifford Alexander Jr confirmed as 1st black Secretary of Army
1977 20.2-kg lobster caught off Nova Scotia (heaviest known crustacean)
1979 43 million watch "Elvis!" on ABC
1981 Polish premier Jozef Pinkowski replaced by Wojciech Jaruzelski
1983 "Weird Al" Yankovic records "Ricky" & "Buckingham Blues" debut LP
1984 10th space shuttle mission (41-B)-Challenger 4-returns to Earth
1984 Wayne Gretzky sets NHL short handed season scoring record at 11
1985 Jordan king Hussein & PLO leader Arafat sign accord
1985 Kent Hrbek signs 5-year, $6 million contract with Minnesota Twins
1986 Iran begins Fajr-8 offensive against Iraq
1988 Anthony M Kennedy appointed to the Supreme Court
1989 Barbara Clementine Harris consecrated 1st female bishop (Episcopalian)
1990 James "Buster" Douglas KOs Mike Tyson to win heavyweight boxing crown
1990 Nelson Mandela (political prisoner-27 years) freed in South Africa
1993 Janet Reno selected by Clinton as US Attorney General
1998 Lyrics to "Candle in the Wind 1997" auctioned for $442,500 (someone has waaay too much money)
1998 A federal judge ruled that pro golfer Casey Martin, who suffered from a circulatory disorder that made it hard for him to walk, was covered by the American with Disabilities Act and should be allowed to use a golf cart to complete in PGA tournaments.
1999 Pluto is once again the farthest planet from the sun in our solar system

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

Bangladesh : Shaheed Day
Cameroon : Youth Day
Flint MI : White Shirt Day-end of blue collar sit down strike (1907)
Florida : Gasparilla Carnival-remembrance of pirates
Ft Myers FL : Pageant of Light (1884)
Italy : Giorno della Conciliazione Day (1929)
Japan : Empire Day
Japan : Foundation Day (660 BC)-accession of Emperor Jimmu
Liberia : Armed Forces Day
Mauritius : Chinese Spring Festival
US : National Inventors Day
Florida : Gasparilla Carnival-rememberance of pirates
International Twit Award Month

Religious Observances
Christian : Feast of St Adolph
Methodist : Race Relations Sunday (2nd Sunday in February)
Phil : Our Lady's Miraculous Apparitions of St Bernadette Soubirous
Unification Church : True parents' birthday
Roman Catholic : Feast of St Gregory II, 89th Roman Catholic pope (715-31)
Christian : Commemoration of St Theodora, Byzantine empress
Roman Catholic : Memorial of the Apparition of the Virgin at Lourdes (opt)
Jewish : Tu B'Shevat-Arbor Day (Shevat 15, 5758 AM)

Religious History
1650 Death of Ren‚ Descartes, 53, French philosopher and mathematician. His last words were: 'My soul, thou hast long been held captive; the hour has now come for thee to quit thy prison...; suffer, then, this separation with joy and courage.'
1779 English founder of Methodism John Wesley wrote in a letter: 'Chance has no share in the government of the world. The Lord reigns, and disposes all things, strongly and sweetly, for the good of them that love him.'
1858 In Lourdes, France, 14-year-old French peasant Bernadette Soubirous experienced her first vision of the Virgin Mary. By July 16th of this year, she had experienced 18 such visions.
1948 U.S. Senate Chaplain Peter Marshall prayed: 'We ask Thee not for tasks more suited to our strength, but for strength more suited to our tasks.'
1989 Rev. Barbara C. Harris, 58, was consecrated in Boston as the first woman bishop in the Anglican Church. (In 1988 the Church of England passed the first legislation which began opening the Anglican priesthood to women.)

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

Thought for the day :
"History never looks like history when you are living through it."

Question of the day...
Do you ever wonder if really dumb people get the full effect of alphabet soup?

Murphys Law of the day...(Cooper's Metalaw)
A proliferation of new laws creates a proliferation of new loopholes.

Amazing fact #78,904.7...
The highest temperature ever recorded in the world was 136.4 degrees Fahrenheit at El Azizia, Lybia, on September 13, 1922(more proof of global warming)

12 posted on 02/11/2004 5:46:19 AM PST by Valin (Politicians are like diapers. They both need changing regularly and for the same reason.)
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To: SAMWolf; Michael121
Thank you to both of you for this inspiring story. Matt Urban is a true American hero. His story is so moving.

Determined to help his men, Urban deserted his hospital bed that very night. Over the next several days the determined Urban hitched his way back to France.

Shedding tears and smiling at the same time. A stamp honoring him is the least we could do.

Someone notify john f*ng kerry that this is what a real hero is! This man didn't bragg one iota nor seek out attention.

13 posted on 02/11/2004 6:05:39 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: Aeronaut
Good morning Aeronaut. It's got ears. LOL.
14 posted on 02/11/2004 6:07:55 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. Thanks for the reminders.
15 posted on 02/11/2004 6:08:30 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.
16 posted on 02/11/2004 6:09:29 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: Michael121
Besides thanking you for bringing Matt Urban to our attention I want to take a second here to thank you for your service to our country. Thank you.
17 posted on 02/11/2004 6:11:12 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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Comment #18 Removed by Moderator

Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

To: SAMWolf
"Don't try to be a hero". C'mon, Matt.
20 posted on 02/11/2004 6:59:03 AM PST by skeeter
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