Andrew Jackson Higgins, industrialist and war hero

Photo by Robert F. Sargent, US Coast Guard It’s one of the most iconic images from WWII. Usually it’s used to highlight the impossibly courageous men shown storming Omaha Beach during D-Day, and quite appropriately so. This article, though, focuses instead on the boat, and its inventor and manufacturer, Andrew Jackson Higgins. Who’s ever heard […]

Dunkirk: Uncommon courage made common

What with the popularity of the WWII history of Dunkirk thanks to the recent movie, plus my longtime obsession with the stories of that war, I figured I’d read a book about it. I happened upon Dunkirk by Lt. Colonel Ewan Butler and Major J. Selby Bradford. I’m just about to finish it, and it’s proven to […]

A life to learn from, part 3

It’s been many years since I read We Were Soldiers Once… And Young by Lt. General Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway. Yet this passage has stuck with me ever since: Platoon Sergeant Fred J. Kluge of Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry was moving his men into the fighting holes along the old […]

A life to learn from

One of my heroes was buried Friday. Bernard B. Vinoski, Sr, MD, Colonel, US Air Force (Ret), was my dad’s cousin. They grew up together in little South Connellsville, Pennsylvania. His obituary is here – in it you can read all about his life of incredible accomplishment and service. To me, he was at first […]

Raising wimps?

I came across this excellent article tonight. Here’s the comment I posted: Great article, and spot-on. If you’re a dad of younger kids and “shake it off” isn’t something you say regularly, you’re part of the problem. When I lived in Minnesota, I was seriously freaked out by the many dads I came across at […]

Who knew Tom Landry flew B-17s?

I was double-checking myself on the details of John Browning’s M2 machine gun, which got me thinking about the armament of the Flying Fortress (13 M2s, in case you’re wondering), which led me to the Wikipedia entry about the plane, which informed me that late Cowboys coach Tom Landry flew 30 missions piloting those birds […]

The amazing John Moses Browning

As WeaponsMan says in this blog post, John Moses Browning was the greatest weapons designer ever.  But he doesn’t go far enough.  Because many of Browning’s designs are still not only in modern service, but still being built by the thousands with only superficial changes over 100 years after they debuted, he is also one […]

Aluminum Overcast — God bless the boys who flew in these things

The lads and I had the amazing opportunity today to tour the IEAA’s air-worthy B-17, Aluminum Overcast.  I’ve been a fan of this particular bird since I was around the age of my older son, yet this is the first time I’ve gotten to go inside one. I don’t know how those guys did what […]

Manly repairs

We finally got into our own house a month ago, after renting a less-than-comfortable place ever since we moved last January.  And since we got into the new place, it’s been one home project after another (in between bouts of emptying boxes, hauling boxes and paper away, and moving stuff around to set up). There’s […]

One screaming need for good dads…

…is to keep their teen daughters from going to prom dressed like hookers. An old college pal of mine just posted his daughter’s pre-prom pictures, of her and her friends.  Their attire was disgusting. I have neither teens nor daughters.  But I can emphatically state that if I did, one of mine would never leave […]