John Lennon, singer, songwriter, and activist, was shot and killed 40 years ago today on December 8, 1980. He was 40 years old.
Lennon was assassinated in the archway of the Dakota apartments, his residence in New York City, by Mark David Chapman. Chapman had flown to NYC from his home in Hawaii where he planned the killing for months before carrying it out. He waited for Lennon outside the Dakota the morning of December 8, but did not meet him until the evening there. He had JohnLennon autograph his copy of Lennon’s “Double Fantasy” album before Lennon left with his wife, Yoko Ono, for a recording session. When John Lennon and Yoko returned to the Dakota several hours later, Chapman was still waiting and followed John into the archway where he fired five .38 caliber hollow-point bullets into Lennon’s back. Lennon was rushed to a nearby hospital in a police car, but was pronounced dead on arrival there.
John Lennon would be 80 years old if he had lived.
American US Air Force hero, flying ace, and test pilot Brigadier General Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager died today. He was 97 years old.
In 1947, General Yeager became the first confirmed test pilot to exceed the speed of sound in level flight.
General Yeager began his service to the Nation in 1941 as a Private in the US Army Air Corps as an aircraft mechanic. In 1942, he entered enlisted flight training and was promoted to Flight Officer upon graduation. Later on the Western Front, he had 11 confirmed kills, shooting down enemy aircraft.
Following World War II, he became an aircraft test pilot, flying the Bell X-1 at a speed of Mach I and breaking the sound barrier on October 14, 1947. During the Viet Nam War, he commanded squadrons in Southeast Asia and was promoted to US Air Force Brigadier General in 1969. He served more than 30 years in three military wars. General Yeager retired from military service March 1, 1975.
General Chuck Yeager passed away on Monday, December 7, 2020.
Seventy-nine years ago today on December 7, 1941, Imperial Japan attacked the neutral United States with a surprise Sunday morning ambush on naval bases at Pearl Harbor, HI.
During the unprovacated assault on the United States, aircraft from the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service killed 2,403 US citizens and injured 1,178 others. It also sank four battleships and damaged four others, damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, and one minelayer. Additionally, 188 aircraft were destroyed and another 159 planes were damaged.
The following day, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt appeared before Congress and declaring the previous day “…a day which will live forever in infamy….” requested that Congress declare war against Japan. Congress quickly complied and the United States entered World War II hostilities against Japan.
My own father, HB Auld, Sr., was already serving in the US Army when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and spent the remainder of his military service fighting the Japanese on the island of New Guinea.
My father-in-law, JB Kattes, enlisted in the Army four days after the surprise attack, on December 11, 1941, and served in the Army in Washington, Alaska, and Georgia until the end of the War.
God bless all of the men and women who served and all of those who gave their lives in Pearl Harbor and elsewhere in the War.
From Navy and Marine Corps files: This Day in Navy and Marine Corps History:
1950 – During the Korean War at the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir, LtCol Raymond G. Davis led his battalion into Hagaru-Ri, Korea, after four days of intense fighting in the mountain passes against a numerically superior hostile Chinese force. His battalion, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, helped clear the way for the 5th and 7th Marines. Lt. Col. Davis led in front of his men all the way… marching his battalion at night over mountains in a driving snowstorm. This action allowed two Marine regiments to escape and link up with the 1st Division.
LtCol Davis was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism by President Harry S. Truman in a White House ceremony on November 24, 1954.
Marine LtCol Davis was eventually promoted to four-star general and served as the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps. During his 33 years in the US Marine Corps, General Davis served in World War II (where he distinguished himself at the Battle of Guadalcanal), the Korean War (earning the Medal of Honor), and the Viet Nam War. He retired from the US Marine Corps March 31, 1972, after 33 years of military service.
General Davis died September 3, 2003 at the age of 88 years. (January 13, 1915 – September 3, 2003). He is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens College Park, Georgia.
Rest In Peace, General Davis, and thank you for your brave service to our Nation.
The US Navy announced November 30, 2020, that it will soon decommission the USS BONHOMME RICHARD (LHD 6), a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, due to the extensive damage sustained during the July fire.
The Navy announced it would cost approximately $3 Billion to restore the ship to viability.
According to the US Navy, “We did not come to this decision lightly,” said Secretary of the Navy Kenneth J. Braithwaite. “Following an extensive material assessment in which various courses of action were considered and evaluated, we came to the conclusion that it is not fiscally responsible to restore her.
“Although it saddens me that it is not cost effective to bring her back, I know this ship’s legacy will continue to live on through the brave men and women who fought so hard to save her, as well as the Sailors and Marines who served aboard her during her 22-year history,” Braithwaite said.
All investigations associated with the fire onboard LHD 6 remain ongoing. USS Bonhomme Richard is assigned to the Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet.