We're not lost, Sergeant, We're in … France


Weekend Wanderings, Early October 2011

I was a Scoutmaster for 14 years and one of my Eagle Scouts had joined the Marines. He spent some time outside of Ramadi and is now medically retired from the Marine Corps. We’re celebrating his service this weekend (if only I could find a Marine NCO sword – they’re back-ordered everywhere!), but he’s some good links to share:

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Weekend Wanderings, 9 July 2011

As the weather gets hot, one can always sit in a cool air-conditioned room and revel in the vast expanse of knowledge that sits out there on the Internet, begging to be found. Here are a few tibdits I found this week that interested me.

  • Barbara Whitaker blogged about her father-in-law’s servicein the 276th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, seeing action during the Bulge, crossing the Rhine and within Germany.

    Barb's Father-in-Law's M7

  • Beanandgone is a humorous blog by a young Australian woman who loves her coffee and her travels. She was recently in Berlin and notes some of the funny things as well as some of the horrifying ones.
  • As a historian, I tend to visit a fair number of museums when I travel and it sounds like we all ought to visit the National World War II Museum. The even have an annual Family Overnight (yes, it was last night, so you missed it this year!) The capstone, however, appears to be the Victory Theatre’s “Beyond the Boundaries”.
  • Courtesy of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, you can also move around inside The Secret Annex and experience The Diary of Anne Frank in a completely different way – virtually in 3D, with stories and videos. Hat tip to musingmk for these two.
  • I finished reading Wukovitz’ book on Boyington today and thought a fair amount about Afroxander’s blog entry on Hemingway’s suicide. In reading Hemingway as a young man, I wanted to be him. To have grand adventures, to cheat death, to drink “manly” drinks and to truly “sieze the day”. With Boyington, his alcoholism was fueled by doubt and discomfort. With Hemingway, I wonder if it was all just from boredom. Perhaps he just kept searching for elusive happiness in bigger and bolder things until he finally despaired. I’ll be honest, if a bit brutal, but the Hemingway who zipped around France during WWII strikes me as a comical figure, trying to act the part of a war hero while others actually fought it. Kind of like John Wayne’s and Humphrey Bogart’s experience on USO Tours – the tough guys were the ones in the audience, not the ones on stage, but at least Wayne and Bogart realized that.


Bulge Sniper Reloads

When he arrived in Europe as a replacement, Ted Gundy was handed a sniper rifle because he’d scored the highest in his company during training. Today, sniper selection and training is far more complex and involved, but, truth be told, Ted Gundy would likely be a sniper if he enlisted today. Given a replica of his old rifle and 65 years later, Gundy showed he is still a marksman.

Today, Gundy’s gait might be uncertain, his hands shaky and his hearing electronically enhanced (but not always quite enough), but when he settled behind “his” 03 Springfield A4 sniper rifle, none of that mattered.

From a basic rest, he proceeded to make hits on a silhouette target -at 300 yards. Each one was better than the previous, with the final round landing dead center.  Shooting Wire, February 8, 2010

I think this was passed to me the reenactors I know, but I’ve lost the original email, so can’t tell you which one passed it along. Gundy watches Shooting USA on TV and had emailed them about the long-range shots modern snipers make. When they realized they had a sniper from the Battle of the Bulge, they coordinated with the Army Marksmanship Unit (established back in 1956 by Eisenhower) to grant Gundy a chance to make a 1000-yard shot himself. It made for marvelous television.



Weekend Wanderings: Sweet 16 Weekend 2011

Ah, the joys of the NCAA tournament continue. My own university bowed out in the first round, but I always enjoy watching the underdogs have a shot. Richmond and VCU were both underdogs and both from nearby Richmond, Virginia, so I was hoping for them to both win and face each other for a chance at the Final Four. Fortunately, VCU won their game, so I’m watching them push Kansas right now.



Information gathering in progress
7 March 2011, 09:14
Filed under: Bizory monument | Tags: , , ,

I’ve had a small breakthrough in my quest to learn more of what happened at Bizory and what the status is, but it has mostly prompted more questions for me and created a list of people I need to reach out for more information. I’m also going to be tasking a friend who lives in Luxembourg but isn’t involved in historical research or tours to visit the monument to get a photo, as there is no clarity yet on whether the damage persists or not.



Weekend Wanderings After President’s Day 2011
27 February 2011, 11:30
Filed under: Weekend Wanderings | Tags: ,

I missed posting a ‘Wanderings’ last weekend. I had to run down to the wine shop to help fix computer problems on Saturday, so got nothing done. Fortunately, I’ve been keeping my eyes open.

  • Chris Kolditz forwarded along a link to an article about Augusta Chiwy, an African nurse who tended to wounded in Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.
  • Pitchers and catchers reported to spring training and Tom Boswell had a good column on the excitement from the perspective of the rookies.


Weekend Wanderings Wildcard Weekend 2011
9 January 2011, 11:30
Filed under: 101st, Leadership, Weekend Wanderings | Tags: , ,

For those who aren’t adherents of American Rules Football, this is the first weekend of our playoffs, known as “Wildcard Weekend”, since the teams that made the playoffs as “wild cards” without wining their divisions, made it into the playoffs.




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