Monday, November 28, 2011

November 27th, on BookTV, I watched and listen very careful to this wonderful writer Don Keith of several submarine books. His latest is Undersea Warrior about Commander Morton and the USS Submarine Wahoo. I would love to read it. Check his website at

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Day Japan Bombed OregonBy: Norm GoyerSeptember 9, 1942, the I-25 class Japanese submarine was cruising in an easterly direction raising its periscope occasionally as it neared the United States Coastline. Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor less than a year ago and the Captain of the attack submarine knew that Americans were watching their coast line for ships and aircraft that might attack our country. Dawn was approaching; the first rays of the sun were flickering off the periscopes lens. Their mission; attack the west coast with incendiary bombs in hopes of starting a devastating forest fire. If this test run were successful, Japan had hopes of using their huge submarine fleet to attack the eastern end of the Panama Canal to slow down shipping from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The Japanese Navy had a large number of I-400 submarines under construction. Each capable of carrying three aircraft. Pilot Chief Warrant Officer Nobuo Fujita and his crewman Petty Officer Shoji Okuda were making last minute checks of their charts making sure they matched those of the submarine's navigator.The only plane ever to drop a bomb on the United States during WWII was this submarine based Glen.September 9, 1942: Nebraska forestry student Keith V. Johnson was on duty atop a forest fire lookout tower between Gold Beach and Brookings Oregon . Keith had memorized the silhouettes of Japanese long distance bombers and those of our own aircraft. He felt confident that he could spot and identify, friend or foe, almost immediately. It was cold on the coast this September morning , and quiet. The residents of the area were still in bed or preparing to head for work. Lumber was a large part of the industry in Brookings, just a few miles north of the California Oregon state lines. The aircraft carried two incendiary 168 pound bombs and a crew of two.Aboard the submarine the Captain's voice boomed over the PA system, Prepare to surface, aircrew report to your stations, wait for the open hatch signal During training runs several subs were lost when hangar door were opened too soon and sea water rushed into the hangars and sank the boat with all hands lost. You could hear the change of sound as the bow of the I-25 broke from the depths, nosed over for its run on the surface. A loud bell signaled the All Clear. The crew assigned to the single engine Yokosuki E14Ys float equipped observation and light attack aircraft sprang into action. They rolled the plane out its hangar built next to the conning tower. The wings and tail were unfolded, and several 176 pound incendiary bombs were attached to the hard points under the wings. This was a small two passenger float plane with a nine cylinder 340 hp radial engine. It was full daylight when the Captain ordered the aircraft to be placed on the catapult. Warrant Officer Fujita started the engine, let it warm up, checked the magnetos and oil pressure. There was a slight breeze blowing and the seas were calm. A perfect day to attack the United States of America . When the gauges were in the green the pilot signaled and the catapult launched the aircraft. After a short climb to altitude the pilot turned on a heading for the Oregon coast. The Glen was launched via catapult from a I-25 class Japanese submarine.Johnson was sweeping the horizon but could see nothing, he went back to his duties as a forestry agent which was searching for any signs of a forest fire. The morning moved on. Every few minutes he would scan low, medium and high but nothing caught his eye.The small Japanese float plane had climbed to several thousand feet of altitude for better visibility and to get above the coastal fog. The pilot had calculated land fall in a few minutes and right on schedule he could see the breakers flashing white as they hit the Oregon shores.Johnson was about to put his binoculars down when something flashed in the sun just above the fog bank. It was unusual because in the past all air traffic had been flying up and down the coast, not aiming into the coast.The pilot of the aircraft checked his course and alerted his observer to be on the lookout for a fire tower which was on the edge of the wooded area where they were supposed to drop their bombs. These airplanes carried very little fuel and all flights were in and out without any loitering. The plane reached the shore line and the pilot made a course correction 20 degrees to the north. The huge trees were easy to spot and certainly easy to hit with the bombs. The fog was very wispy by this time.Warrant Officer Fujita is shown with his Yokosuka E14Y (Glen) float plane prior to his flight.Johnson watched in awe as the small floatplane with a red meat ball on the wings flew overhead, the plane was not a bomber and there was no way that it could have flown across the Pacific, Johnson could not understand what was happening. He locked onto the plane and followed it as it headed inland.The pilot activated the release locks so that when he could pickled the bombs they would release. His instructions were simple, fly at 500 feet, drop the bombs into the trees and circle once to see if they had started any fires and then head back to the submarine.Johnson could see the two bombs under the wing of the plane and knew that they would be dropped. He grabbed his communications radio and called the Forest Fire Headquarters informing them of what he was watching unfold.The bombs tumbled from the small seaplane and impacted the forests, the pilot circled once and spotted fire around the impact point. He executed an 180 degree turn and headed back to the submarine. There was no air activity, the skies were clear. The small float plane lined up with the surfaced submarine and landed gently on the ocean, then taxied to the sub. A long boom swung out from the stern. His crewman caught the cable and hooked it into the pickup attached to the roll over cage between the cockpits. The plane was swung onto the deck, The plane's crew folded the wings and tail, pushed it into its hangar and secured the water tight doors. The I-25 submerged and headed back to Japan .This event, which caused no damage, marked the only time during World War II that an enemy plane had dropped bombs on the United States mainland. What the Japanese didn't count on was coastal fog, mist and heavy doses of rain made the forests so wet they simply would not catch fire.This Memorial Plaque is located in Brookings , Oregon at the site of the 1942 bombing. Fifty years later the Japanese pilot, who survived the war, would return to Oregon to help dedicate a historical plaque at the exact spot where his two bombs had impacted. The elderly pilot then donated his ceremonial sword as a gesture of peace and closure of the bombing of Oregon in 1942. Submitted by Robert Lents.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Charles “Skip” Blain was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on May 22, 1940. He was the first born to a family of four boys. His father was in the Navy while he was growing up which allowed the family an opportunity to live in a variety of cities around the United States and abroad. One of his many homes included living at the Navy Base at Pearl Harbor when Skip was eight years old.Skip enlisted in the Navy in June, 1960 where he served his country for the next twenty years. He retired in July, 1980 with the rank of Command Master Chief. His last post was on the submarine, USS Permit SSN594. Skip’s dedication to serving his country was seen years later when he became a member of the American Legion Post 15 Honor Guard. As a member of the Honor Guard he helped with both the Public Information Center and to perform funerals at Tahoma National Cemetery for our beloved veterans.Skip was known for his generous spirit. He went out of his way to help other people. He volunteered at friends and neighbors houses, equine rescue, his church and was always willing to go wherever he was needed. It brought him joy to bring others joy.Skip loved his wife, Anna Marie, but Jasper and Doggie, his dogs came in a very close second. He spent hours with his dogs taking them for walks, rides in the car and letting them assist him with home improvement chores. Skip adopted animals that were hurt or just needed shelter. He had two dogs, two cats, wounded pigeons, chickens, rabbits and ducks. Of course Anna Marie added her horses that he came to care for and even built a barn for them.He spent hours fixing and puttering around the house. He enjoyed building and improving the land around the house.Skip is survived by his wife Anna Marie. They married on September 7, 2011 after having lived together for 22 years. He also has three brothers, Robert and William from Florida and Peter from Texas. Skip spent the later part of this summer traveling around the United States visiting his brothers and extended family.A committal service will be held 3 PM, Friday, November 18, 2011 at Tahoma National Cemetery. Friends are invited to meet at Flintoft’s Funeral Home, 540 East Sunset Way, Issaquah at 2 PM to join in a procession (lead by the Patriotic Guards) to Tahoma National Cemetery or meet the family at Tahoma. Immediately following the service you are invited to join the family at American Legion Kent, WA Post 15 25406 97TH PL S KENT, WA 98031. American Legion is for those 21 and over.As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be sent to support the Post 15 Honor Guard. Please make checks payable to TNC Support Group. Mail checks to Tahoma National Cemetery 18600 SE 240th St. Kent, WA 98042. Patrick Householder USSVI Past National Commander 2008-2010 Decklog Boats and Crews Manager Our Purpose "To perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives in the pursuit of duties while serving their country. That their dedication, deeds and supreme sacrifice be a constant source of motivation toward greater accomplishments. Pledge loyalty and patriotism to the United States of America and it’s Constitution.”

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I, Gene Dick put in 22 years in the Navy I rode Boats for over 10 Years, Medregal, Piper, Seafox. Before I went to Boats, I was on the U.S.S. Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor. I sank inside the Okie when the Japs sunk her tied up, out board of the Nevada. I didn’t get out until she was on the bottom for over four hours. got a Purple Heart for that trip. I have Published my first book, Portholes To Life, which contains that story. I am in the middle of writing my second book, Submarine Duty, dedicated to WWII Submarine Sailors. Anyone who want to may get “Portholes To Life” on I would send autographed copies, but that would cost to damned much for us old goats. With Respect to old shipmates, Gene “Doc” Dick
NEWS-02: Current Information Regarding DD-214.---------------------------------------------------------DD-214 Please pass on to other vets and families of vets on their last patrol.It's official; DD-214s are NOW Online.The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) has provided the following website for veterans to gain access to their DD-214sonline: may be particularly helpful when a veteran needs a copy of his DD-214 for employment purposes. NPRC is working to make it easier for veterans with computers and Internet access to obtain copies of documents from their military files.Military veterans and the next of kin of deceased former military members may now use a new online military personnel records system to request documents.Other individuals with a need for documents must still complete the Standard Form 180, which can be downloaded from the online web site. Because the requester will be asked to supply all information essential for NPRC to process the request, delays that normally occur when NPRC has to ask veterans for additional information will be minimized. The new web-based application was designed to provide better service on these requests by eliminating the records centers mailroom and processing time.Please pass this information on to former military personnel you may know and their dependents