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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Teddy Roosevelt, my newest hero, and his creation of a monster

I got into a stretch this summer of reading about African big game hunting from back in the days of the colonial safari.  One of the several books I read was President Theodore Roosevelt’s African Game Trails. For the longest time I’ve had a dislike of our 26th president, since I’d read amply about his role […]

God bless Army Captain Tom Harrison

I’m happy the medals got there while he could still appreciate them. Thanks for your service, Capt. Harrison.

Stupid criticisms of Robert Falcon Scott, part 2

Jim Collins of Good To Great fame jumps into the dump-on-Scott bandwagon with a really poor reading of history. In his new book, Collins comes up with a new thesis as to why some companies do better than others:  because they’re like Roald Amundsen and they deliver consistent positive results at a given level, year […]

Stupid criticisms of Robert Falcon Scott, part 1

In this article, innovation author Robert F. Brands uses the story of the race to the South Pole to draw lessons about best practices and innovation. I’m in complete agreement with the ideas he’s trying to reinforce, that the best innovation combines the use of best practices and new ideas.  Good messages, though, are no […]