Medal of Honor Recipient: Navy LT(jg) Tom Hudner

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

On this date 68 years ago, December 4, 1950, a young US Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade risked his life to save a fellow naval aviator.

LT(jg) Tom Hudner and ENS Jesse Brown were both providing air support for US Marines on the ground in Korea.  Here is their story, as told by writer and historian Tara Ross:

By Tara Ross

During this week in 1950, Lt. (J.G.) Thomas Hudner crash lands in Korea. He was trying to save the life of Ensign Jesse Brown, the first black aviator in the U.S. Navy.

Not that Tom thought of Jesse that way. When Tom looked at Jesse, he didn’t see “the first black aviator.” He simply saw a friend. And he couldn’t leave his friend to die.

The Korean War was then waging, and Tom and Jesse were both assigned to USS Leyte. Their job was to provide air support for U.S. Marines on the ground. Unfortunately, things took a bad turn on December 4, 1950.

Jesse’s plane had taken a mortal hit. He had to land somewhere—and fast. Tom stayed on Jesse’s wing the whole way down, helping him through check lists. Then he watched his friend’s crash landing with dread, searching for signs of life.

What a relief when he saw Jesse waving from the wreckage! And what confusion when Jesse didn’t get out of the plane. What was wrong? Wisps of smoke began to waft from the plane, providing even more cause for worry.

“When I realized that Jesse’s airplane may burst into flame before [a helicopter] could get there,” Tom later said, “I made a decision to make a wheels-up landing, crash close enough to his airplane and pull him out of the cockpit and wait for the helicopter to come.”

Think about that. Tom had just witnessed a crash landing in terrible conditions. The weather was unbelievably cold, hovering around 0 degrees. Tom had been afraid that Jesse wouldn’t survive—but now he was determined to replicate the same nearly impossible feat.

“The ground seemed to rush at me as I hit,” Tom later reported, “and then I was out of control, snowplowing across the field and hoping I was going to end up somewhere close to Jesse.”

He’d done it. His back hurt so much that he thought he’d broken something, but he got out of his mangled plane, working through deep snow to find his friend.

The situation was serious. Jesse was alive, but his knee was trapped. Flames were sputtering, threatening to engulf the plane. Tom shoved snow on the fire to contain it. He pulled and pulled on Jesse, but to no avail. He wrapped Jesse’s hands and feet to ward off freezing temperatures. Both men waited, together, for a rescue helicopter.

Jesse was calm and composed. “When we were on the ground, he was calming me down,” Tom later told Daisy, Jesse’s widow, “when I should have been the one calming him down.”

Jesse seemed to be slipping in and out of consciousness. Finally, he revived enough to say: “Just tell Daisy how much I love her.”

After 40 long minutes, the helicopter finally arrived. Tom got an ax and swung it at Jesse’s plane repeatedly, but to no avail. Night was falling. The helicopter pilot gave Tom a choice: stay or go?

Tom still wavered. It was suicide to stay overnight in those freezing temperatures. He was prepared to stay if Jesse were alive, but Jesse had been unresponsive for a while.

“I made the decision to go with Charlie,” Tom later said. “I told Jesse we were going back to get equipment . . . I don’t know if he heard me. I don’t know if he was alive at the time.”

Tom felt sure that he would be court-martialed! He wasn’t supposed to crash land, even to save a fellow pilot. What a surprise when he was recommended for the Medal of Honor instead?

“There has been no finer act of unselfish heroism in military history,” the captain of Tom’s aircraft carrier would say.

Captain Thomas Hudner passed away about a year ago, at the age of 93. RIP, sir.

————-
If you enjoy these history posts, please know that it is important to LIKE, SHARE & COMMENT. This site’s algorithm will weed these posts out of your news feed if you do not interact with them. (I don’t make the rules! Just following them.) 

Gentle reminder: History posts are copyright © 2013-2018 by Tara Ross. I appreciate it when you use the Facebook “share” feature instead of cutting/pasting.

#TDIH #OTD #AmericanHistory #USHistory #liberty #freedom #ShareTheHistory

 


Editor’s Note:

Tara Ross is a mother, wife, writer, and retired lawyer. She is the author of The Indispensable Electoral College: How the Founders’ Plan Saves Our Country from Mob Rule,Enlightened Democracy: The Case for the Electoral College, co-author of Under God: George Washington and the Question of Church and State (with Joseph C. Smith, Jr.), & We Elect A President: The Story of our Electoral College. She is a constitutionalist, but with a definite libertarian streak! 


 

A Great New Novel; A Suspense Thriller

Force No One 01

I just finished a great debut novel.

Force No One by Daniel Charles Ross, is a suspense thriller that will keep you up nights, reading head-long to the conclusion.

Here is my review of this novel that I posted on Amazon:

Force No One, a debut novel by Daniel Charles Ross, grabbed me with the opening paragraphs and never let go until the end.  When it was over, I found myself wanting more from this author.

I believed the scenes he set in Detroit and Dearborn and could tell the author had been there.  The scenes in Afghanistan were realistic and thrilling. The characters he created were real to me and most of all, I cared what happened to them. The chapters are short and introduced with quotes from historical figures from Eisenhower, Churchill, Patton, and even gonzo journalist, Hunter Thompson, and many others.  

The nail-biting action kept me turning the pages right up to the surprise conclusion. This suspense thriller is the first of what promises to be a series of more great novels to come.

I cannot wait for his next one, Force Majeure, a tantalizing chapter of which is included at the end of this novel, just to whet your appetite.  

Daniel Charles Ross is a bright new author that will keep his audience coming back for much more for many years to come.

***************************

I strongly recommend this novel to readers who enjoy page-turning suspense thrillers with edge-of-your chair technology action reminiscent of Tom Clancy.

 

The ‘Father of Texas’ is born, 225 years ago today

 

Stephen F. Austin

The ‘Father of Texas,’ Stephen F. Austin

By Tara Ross

On this day in 1793, Stephen F. Austin is born. He would come to be known as the “Father of Texas.”

Perhaps there is a twist of irony in that title? When Austin first heard of an opportunity to set up a settlement in Texas, he wasn’t so crazy about the idea.

To the contrary, it was Stephen’s father who originally wanted to go to Texas. Moses Austin’s personal finances had suffered following the Panic of 1819, and he was looking for new opportunities. He decided to seek land grants in Texas. Unfortunately, Moses passed away in the middle of the process. Thus, it was left to Stephen to take over where his father had left off.

It wasn’t easy! Ownership of Texas had changed. Although Moses had worked out a deal with Spain, the Mexican government did not want to honor it at first. Stephen traveled to Mexico City and lobbied in person, and he was eventually given permission to move forward. He was an “empresario,” with civil and military authority over the first Anglo-American settlements in Texas. More empresarios would follow, but Austin was the most successful of them, bringing as many as 1,500 families to the area. He was well-respected, and other empresarios sought his advice. As such, he found himself constantly mediating between Texan settlers and the Mexican government. You can imagine this got tricky! For instance, when Mexico banned further Anglo-American immigration into Texas in 1830, settlers were unhappy. Many had long thought that Texas would be purchased by the United States, but such a move now seemed less likely. They wanted the ban lifted. In fact, they generally felt that they should have a bigger say in their own governance. They wanted Texas to be its own state.

By 1833, matters were getting serious. Settlers wrote a list of grievances and a proposed Constitution for a new state of Texas; they elected Austin to take these items to Mexico City. Austin was worried that the move was too aggressive, but he went anyway. He ended up getting arrested for suspicion of trying to incite an insurrection. (Oops!) He wasn’t freed until July 1835.


‘War is our only resource. There is no other remedy but to defend our rights our country and our selves by force of arms. To do this we must be united.’


Austin was slow to get on board with the cause of Texas independence (he preferred conciliation with Mexico), but once he was on board, he did not turn back. As chairman of a Committee of Safety, he wrote: “War is our only resource. There is no other remedy but to defend our rights our country & our selves by force of arms. To do this we must be united.”

Austin commanded Texan forces during the Siege of Bexar, but he spent much of the (relatively short) 6-month Texas Revolution in the United States, seeking support for the “Texian” cause. When Austin returned home, he discovered that his influence had been eclipsed by that of Sam Houston, the victor at the Battle of San Jacinto. Both men were candidates in the first presidential election. Houston won. Austin came in a distant third.

Austin died only 8 months after Texas had won her independence, possibly weakened by a disease that he’d contracted during his imprisonment in Mexico. Upon hearing of Austin’s death, President Sam Houston declared: “The father of Texas is no more. The first pioneer of the wilderness has departed.”

————-
If you enjoy these history posts, please know that it is important to LIKE, SHARE & COMMENT. This site’s algorithm will weed these posts out of your news feed if you do not interact with them. (I don’t make the rules! Just following them.) 

Gentle reminder: History posts are copyright © 2013-2018 by Tara Ross. I appreciate it when you use the Facebook “share” feature instead of cutting/pasting.

Permalink: http://www.taraross.com/…/this-day-in-history-stephen-f-aus…

#TDIH #OTD #AmericanHistory #USHistory #liberty #freedom#ShareTheHistory


Tara Ross is a mother, wife, writer, and retired lawyer. She is the author of The Indispensable Electoral College: How the Founders’ Plan Saves Our Country from Mob Rule,Enlightened Democracy: The Case for the Electoral College, co-author of Under God: George Washington and the Question of Church and State (with Joseph C. Smith, Jr.), & We Elect A President: The Story of our Electoral College. She is a constitutionalist, but with a definite libertarian streak! 

 

Anniversary of USS CONSTITUTION Launch

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here is the story of America’s oldest warship, still serving on the commissioned rolls of the US Navy after 321 years: the USS CONSTITUTION, as told by historian and writer Tara Ross.

By Tara Ross

On this day in 1797, Old Ironsides is launched!

“Old Ironsides” is the nickname that was given to the USS Constitution, one of the first six frigates built for the U.S. Navy during the early years of our country. Initially, the frigate was used in the Quasi War with France and the Barbary Wars, but it is perhaps most famous for its performance during the War of 1812. The USS Constitution defeated four English warships!

A former captain of USS Constitution, Tyrone G. Martin, later wrote a history of the ship. He describes the effect of these victories: “The losses suffered by the Royal Navy were no more than pinpricks to that great fleet: They neither impaired its battle readiness nor disrupted the blockade of American ports. . . . What Constitution and her sister [ship] did accomplish was to uplift American morale spectacularly and, in the process, end forever the myth that the Royal Navy was invincible.”

The ship earned its nickname during a battle fought on August 19, 1812.

On that day, the USS Constitution encountered the HMS Guerriere off the coast of Nova Scotia. The two ships got within about 50 yards of each other and began firing their cannons. The Constitution was causing great damage to the British ship, even as the British cannon balls were bouncing off the hard oak sides of the Constitution. One of the American crewmen saw what was happening and was heard to yell: “Huzza! Her sides are made of iron!”

The nickname “Old Ironsides” was born!

The British surrendered roughly one hour after the attack began. The Guerriere was badly damaged and had to be sunk after the battle. The British captain later reported: “The Guerriere was so cut up, that all attempts to get her in would have been useless. As soon as the wounded were got out of her, they set her on fire; and I feel it my duty to state that the conduct of [American] Captain Hull and his Officers to our Men has been that of a brave Enemy.”

If the victory provided a psychological boost to Americans, it seems that it was equally demoralizing to the British. The London Times mournfully reported: “Never before in the history of the world did an English frigate strike to an American.”

Old Ironsides has been preserved and can still be seen at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Massachusetts. It’s well worth the visit!
————-
If you enjoy these history posts, please know that it is important to LIKE, SHARE & COMMENT. This site’s algorithm will weed these posts out of your newsfeed if you do not interact with them. (I don’t make the rules! Just following them.) 

Gentle reminder: History posts are copyright © 2013-2018 by Tara Ross. I appreciate it when you use the Facebook “share” feature instead of cutting/pasting.

Permalink: http://www.taraross.com/…/this-day-in-history-old-ironsides…

#TDIH #OTD #AmericanHistory #USHistory #liberty #freedom #ShareTheHistory

 

 

An Incredible Website

I came across an incredible website tonight.  It’s called Taylor Talks.  It can be found at:

https://www.taylor-foster.info/taylor-talks

This is a new blog by Taylor Foster, a 22-year old budding actress, working hard to make it as an actress and dancer in Los Angeles.  I have known her since she was a toddler in Allen, Texas.

For the reason I am calling this an “incredible website,” go to her blog entry:  The Wound:

https://www.taylor-foster.info/copy-of-the-little-insecurity-1

Remember this young woman’s name:  Taylor Foster.  You’re going to hear a lot more of it one day.

 

Remembrances of 09-11

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Today, we remember those 2,977 men and women who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.

Also on this date in 2012, four brave Americans and an unknown number of Libyans died in the terrorist attack on the American Embassy in Benghazi, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Let us resolve to never forget those we lost on those two dates.

 

 

Alamo Defenders to No Longer Be Called ‘Heroic’

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This is just such a sad state of affairs that something like this would occur in 2018 in our great state of Texas. If the defenders of the Alamo were not “heroic,” where would you be justified in calling anyone heroic? What is next, Mt Suribachi on Iwo Jima, those who fought and died at Gettysburg, the heroic defenders at Valley Forge? This takes offending someone too far. Much, much too far.

By Tara Ross  (Historian, Texan, Wife, Mother, and Retired Lawyer)

https://www.texasmonthly.com/news/texas-schoolchildren-taught-alamo-defenders-heroic/

From the article: “The concept of defenders of the Alamo being heroic is engrained in the history of this state—and in the psyche of most Texans. . . . But a committee streamlining the state’s history curriculum standards has removed the word ‘heroic’ from a proposed revision of the curriculum because it is ‘a value-charged word.'”

From me: I write daily history stories in part because I hope to remind people that we have so much to be proud of in this great country of ours. And I am also a proud Texan! Needless to say, this leaves me just speechless.

Many thanks to The History List for the link.

#RememberTheAlamo #GodBlessTexas #DontMessWithTexas

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: