All posts tagged Military
Posted by John Mills on March 28, 2016
Posted by John Mills on August 2, 2015
Dear Ma and Pa,
I am well. Hope you are too. Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the Marine Corps beats working for old man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up quick before all of the places are filled.
I was restless at first because you get to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m. But I am getting so I like to sleep late. Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot, and shine some things. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay. Practically nothing.
Men got to shave but it is not so bad, there’s warm water.
Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie and other regular food, but tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit by the two city boys that live on coffee. Their food, plus yours, holds you until noon when you get fed again. It’s no wonder these city boys can’t walk much.
We go on ‘route marches,’ which the platoon sergeant says are long walks to harden us. If he thinks so, it’s not my place to tell him different. A ‘route march’ is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city guys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks.
The sergeant is like a school teacher. He nags a lot. The Captain is like the school board. Majors and colonels just ride around and frown. They don’t bother you none.
This next will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing. I keep getting medals for shooting. I don’t know why. The bulls-eye is near as big as a chipmunk head and don’t move, and it ain’t shooting at you like the Higgett boys at home. All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it. You don’t even load your own cartridges. They come in boxes.
Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training. You get to wrestle with them city boys. I have to be real careful though, they break real easy. It ain’t like fighting with that ole bull at home. I’m about the best they got in this except for that Tug Jordan from over in Silver Lake .. I only beat him once. He joined up the same time as me, but I’m only 5’6′ and 130 pounds and he’s 6’8′ and near 300 pounds dry.
Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join before other fellers get onto this setup and come stampeding in.
Your loving daughter,
Posted by John Mills on March 14, 2015
If you look at the back right-hand side of a Canadian $10 bill, you will see an old veteran standing at attention near the Ottawa War Memorial. His name is Robert Metcalfe and he died last month at the age of 90.
That he managed to live to that age is rather remarkable, given what happened in the Second World War. Born in England , he was one of the 400,000 members of the British Expeditionary Force sent to the mainland where they found themselves facing the new German warfare technique – the Blitzkrieg.
He was treating a wounded comrade when he was hit in the legs by shrapnel.
En route to hospital, his ambulance came under fire from a German tank, which then miraculously ceased fire. Evacuated from Dunkirk on HMS Grenade, two of the sister ships with them were sunk.
Recovered, he was sent to allied campaigns in North Africa and Italy . En route, his ship was chased by the German battleship Bismarck .
In North Africa he served under General Montgomery against the Desert Fox, Rommel.
Sent into the Italian campaign, he met his future wife, a lieutenant and physio-therapist in a Canadian hospital. They were married in the morning by the mayor of the Italian town, and again in the afternoon by a British padre.
After the war, they settled in Chatham , Ontario , where he went into politics and became the warden (chairman) of the county, and on his retirement he and his wife moved to Ottawa . At the age of 80 he wrote a book about his experiences.
One day out of the blue he received a call from a government official asking him to go downtown for a photo op. He wasn’t told what the photo was for, or why they chose him. ‘He had no idea he would be on the bill,’ his daughter said.
And now you know the story of the old veteran on the $10 bill.
Posted by John Mills on November 11, 2014
This will put a smile on your face this rainy morning …….
The funniest incident comes about half way through this series of clips when soldiers
of some Middle Eastern Country are attending to a coffin at an airport ……
These soldiers don’t look like they could organize a one car funeral let alone being part
of an honour guard ………. watch for it .
(Perhaps they should stop polishing the soles of their boots – Ed)
Posted by John Mills on August 14, 2014
(You’ll never look at the game the same way again!)
Starting in 1941, an increasing number of British Airmen found themselves as the involuntary guests of the Third Reich, and the Crown was casting about for ways and means to facilitate their escape…
Now obviously, one of the most helpful aids to that end is a useful and accurate map, one showing not only where stuff was, but also showing the locations of ‘safe houses’ where a POW on-the-lam could go for food and shelter.
Paper maps had some real drawbacks — they make a lot of noise when you open and fold them, they wear out rapidly, and if they get wet, they turn into mush.
Someone in MI-5 (similar to America ‘s OSS ) got the idea of printing escape maps on silk. It’s durable, can be scrunched-up into tiny wads, and unfolded as many times as needed, and makes no noise whatsoever.
At that time, there was only one manufacturer in Great Britain that had perfected the technology of printing on silk, and that was John Waddington, Ltd. When approached by the government, the firm was only too happy to do its bit for the war effort.
By pure coincidence, Waddington was also the U.K. Licensee for the popular American board game, Monopoly. As it happened, ‘games and pastimes’ was a category of item qualified for insertion into ‘CARE packages’, dispatched by the International Red Cross to prisoners of war.
Under the strictest of secrecy, in a securely guarded and inaccessible old workshop on the grounds of Waddington’s, a group of sworn-to-secrecy employees began mass-producing escape maps, keyed to each region of Germany or Italy where Allied POW camps were regional system). When processed, these maps could be folded into such tiny dots that they would actually fit inside a Monopoly playing piece.
As long as they were at it, the clever workmen at Waddington’s also managed to add :
1. A playing token, containing a small magnetic compass
2. A two-part metal file that could easily be screwed together
3. Useful amounts of genuine high-denomination German, Italian, and French currency, hidden within the piles of Monopoly money!
British and American air crews were advised, before taking off on their first mission, how to identify a ‘rigged’ Monopoly set — by means of a tiny red dot, one cleverly rigged to look like an ordinary printing glitch, located in the corner of the Free Parking square.
Of the estimated 35,000 Allied POWS who successfully escaped, an estimated one-third were aided in their flight by the rigged Monopoly sets. Everyone who did so was sworn to secrecy indefinitely, since the British Government might want to use this highly successful ruse in still another, future war.
The story wasn’t declassified until 2007, when the surviving craftsmen from Waddington’s, as well as the firm itself, were finally honored in a public ceremony.
It’s always nice when you can play that ‘Get Out of Jail’ Free’ card!
I realize most of you are (probably) too young to have any personal connection to WWII (Dec. ’41 to Aug. ’45), but this is still interesting.
(See http://www.snopes.com/military/monopoly.asp for more on this story. – Ed.)
Posted by John Mills on January 16, 2014
WAL-MART SENIOR GREETER . . .
You just have to appreciate this one. Young people forget that we
old people had a career before we retired …
Charley, a new retiree-greeter at Wal-Mart, just couldn’t seem to get to work on time.
Every day he was 5, 10, 15 minutes late. But he was a good worker, really tidy, clean-shaven,
sharp-minded and a real credit to the company and obviously demonstrating their
“Older Person Friendly” policies.
One day the boss called him into the office for a talk. “Charley, I have to tell you, I like your
work ethic, you do a bang-up job when you finally get here; but your being late so often
is quite bothersome.”
“Yes, I know boss, and I am working on it.”
“Well good. You are a team player. That’s what I like to hear.”
“Yes sir, I understand your concern and I will try harder.“
Seeming puzzled, the manager went on to comment, “I know you’re retired from the Armed
Forces. What did they say to you there if you showed up late for work?”
The old man looked down at the floor, then smiled. He chuckled quietly, then said with a grin,
Posted by John Mills on December 3, 2013
Posted by John Mills on November 18, 2013