The Anniversary of the Disappearance of Amelia Earhart

By HB Auld, Jr.

Today marks the 83rd anniversary of the disappearance of the late famed aviatrix, Amelia Earhart.

Amelia Earhart had already flown solo across the Atlantic Ocean as the first female to do so in 1932. She and her navigator, Fred Noonan, then set out in 1937 to fly around the world, island-hopping into the history books. They were near the end of their journey when they took off on July 2, 1937, from Lae, New Guinea. Their intended next stop on their around-the-world flights was Howland Island in the Pacific. From there it would be on to Hawaii and then the United States where they began their eastward trip. They never made it to Howland Island, although their radio transmisions were heard on board the USCG Cutter ITASCA, listening for them at Howland Island.

What REALLY happened to Earhart, Noonan, and their Lockheed Electra 10E aircraft, NR 16020, has been the subject of hundreds of books and sheer speculation since they flew into history and disappeared over the Pacific.

In my opinion, the very best book on Amelia Earhart’s final flight is Amelia Earhart: The Truth At Last, written by former Navy Journalist and Air Force Civilian writer Mike Campbell. Mike is the author of three books on the disappearance of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan. He is a member of Amelia Earhart associations and has spoken to aviation groups throughout the US, including “The 99s,” an association of female pilots founded by Amelia Earhart herself. His most recent book, Amelia Earhart: The Truth At Last (Second Edition) is consistently among the top five of more than 1,000 books on Amelia Earhart on Amazon each month.

I first met Mike in the mid-1980s when he was a JO2 (Navy Journalist Second Class), assigned to a national Navy news service in Washington, DC. Later, we worked together as Writer/Editors at Naval Recruiting Command in DC. We have been great friends for more than 30 years. In 1988, Mike was assigned to write a feature on the disappearance of Amelia Earhart for the Navy news service. His exhaustive investigation of that subject for his article introduced him to the late Thomas E. Devine, a former Army Postal Clerk who had served on Saipan in World War II.

Devine was convinced that Earhart crashed in the Marshall Islands in 1937 on her way to Howland. She and Noonan were subsequently captured by the Japanese and transferred to Saipan where she was imprisoned at Garapan Prison and later executed and buried on Saipan. Devine had interviewed countless Saipanese who were live eyewitnesses to Earhart and Noonan’s capture and execution there. Out of that friendship grew Mike and Thomas E. Devine’s first co-authorship of the book, With Our Own Eyes, (Eyewitnesses to the final days of Amelia Earhart). With that friendship, Mike was hooked and has spent the past 32 years continuing Devine and his quest to prove what really happened to Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan.

In the now Second Edition of his more than 450-page Amelia Earhart book, Mike delves into the detailed eyewitness accounts and interviews with others notables. He digs into famed radio investigative journalist Fred Goerner’s book, The Search for Amelia Earhart, which quotes interviews with three US military flag officers, including Fleet Admiral Chester A. Nimitz, and a US Marine Corps Commandant. Mike’s book contains hundreds of footnotes, several Appendices of declassified naval messages, a complete Bibliography, and a detailed Index. In short, this is NOT a rip-snorting, thrill-a-minute, action-packed account of an exciting flight, but a well-researched, historical scholarly narrative of what really happened on the flight. Along the way, Mike debunks the other myths and legends out there about the aviators disappearance, including the “crash and burn” in the ocean, the “captured as a spy and flown to the Japan mainland where she was eventually released and lived out her life in obscurity in New Jersey” theory, and the well-publicized trips by an aviation group who makes annual excursions to another Pacific Island, searching for non-existent artifacts in the wrong place.

l highly recommend Mike’s book, Amelia Earhart: The Truth At Last, (Second Edition) available from Amazon. It is the definitive work on what really happened to this famous aviation pioneer and her navigator who flew into history 83 years ago today.


Mike Campbell’s WordPress Amelia Earhart blog:

https://earharttruth.wordpress.com/

The Siege of Gettysburg

By Guest Writer Tara Ross

On this day in 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg begins. Our nation should have been celebrating its 87th birthday that week. Instead, we were engaged in a brutal, 3-day battle that would end with as many as 51,000 dead or wounded.

At the time, Confederate General Robert E. Lee was fresh off a victory at the Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia. He decided to head to Pennsylvania, with the intent of collecting more supplies. He also had another goal: Some northerners wanted out of the war. Perhaps he could encourage that sentiment by moving the fight to their own backyards.

In the meantime, newly appointed Major General George Meade led the Union army toward Lee’s troops. The two sides ended up clashing in Gettysburg when Confederate infantry ran into some Union cavalry, more or less by chance. The situation quickly took a serious tone, because Union commanders did not want to lose the town. Many roads converged there.

In the meantime, newly appointed Major General George Meade led the Union army toward Lee’s troops. The two sides ended up clashing in Gettysburg when Confederate infantry ran into some Union cavalry, more or less by chance. The situation quickly took a serious tone, because Union commanders did not want to lose the town. Many roads converged there.

More reinforcements arrived that evening. The fighting that had begun on July 1 continued into a second day. Then it continued into a third day. The battle finally swung decisively in favor of the Union army when the Confederate army launched an attack at the center of the Union lines. At least 12,000 Confederate soldiers marched across an open field in the attack known as Pickett’s charge. That attack lasted about an hour and ended miserably for the Confederate side. Half of the Confederate soldiers were lost, and the army soon began a hasty retreat toward Virginia.

Meade declined to pursue Lee, perhaps echoing the mistake that Ewell had made two days earlier. Some speculate that Meade could have ended the war then and there, if only he had taken up the pursuit. Abraham Lincoln certainly thought so. He wrote a letter to Meade (although he never sent it).

Lincoln wrote: “Again, my dear general, I do not believe you appreciate the magnitude of the misfortune involved in Lee’s escape—He was within your easy grasp, and to have closed upon him would, in connection with our other late successes, have ended the war—As it is, the war will be prolonged indefinitely.”

The aftermath of the battle was gruesome. One teenage girl, a resident of Gettysburg, later recounted what she saw:

“I fairly shrank back aghast at the awful sight presented. The approaches were crowded with wounded, dying and dead. The air was filled with moanings, and groanings. . . . [A]mputating benches had been placed about the house. I must have become inured to seeing the terrors of battle, else I could hardly have gazed upon the scenes now presented. . . . To the south of the house, and just outside of the yard, I noticed a pile of limbs higher than the fence. It was a ghastly sight! Gazing upon these, too often the trophies of the amputating bench, I could have no other feeling, than that the whole scene was one of cruel butchery.”

Only a few months later, the Gettysburg Address would be given on this battlefield. “The brave men,” Lincoln stated, “living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. . . . we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

It’s a resolve that bears repeating, isn’t it?


Note from Tara Ross:

Gentle reminder: History posts are copyright © 2013-2020 by Tara Ross. I appreciate it when you use the shar e feature instead of cutting/pasting.

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

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