Category Archives: history

A Theft a Half Century Ago

It was a game the Boston Celtics seemingly had in hand over the Philadelphia 76ers, in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.  Boston led by 9 with three minutes to play, but the Sixers, behind Wilt Chamberlain, Dave Gambee, and Chet Walker, clawed back into the game with a furious late rally.  Chamberlain scored on a dunk for the last of his 30 points with five seconds to play to cut the Boston lead to just one, 110-109.  On the ensuing play, Celtics center Bill Russell struck the support wire behind the basket as he went to throw an overhead inbounds pass.   Philadelphia would get the ball under their own basket with just five seconds to go, trailing by one.  To show how much sports have changed, Russell went to the Celtics huddle (Philadelphia called a time-out) and proclaimed to his teammates, “Someone bail me out.  I blew it.”

As Sixers guard Hal Greer threw the inbounds pass to Chet Walker on the right side, Boston Celtics six-foot five guard-forward John Havlicek made one of the great plays of anticipation in the history of the league.  Havlicek jumped up and knocked the ball away from Walker and over to Celtics guard Sam Jones, who dribbled out the clock.  The call of the play by gravel-voiced Celtics announcer Johnny Most is almost as classic as the play itself.

It was Most’s signature call.  The Celtics would go on to win the 1965 NBA Championship against the Los Angeles Lakers, defeating superstars Jerry West and Elgin Baylor once again.  They would win another in 1966, and two more before the decade was out, eleven championships in all, in Bill Russell’s thirteen seasons as a Celtic.  No sports team, not the Yankees, nor the Montreal Canadiens, or anyone in football, has ever had such a dynasty as the Boston Celtics of the Russell era.  And it was Havlicek’s steal that kept the dynasty intact for another four years.  Philadelphia would win the 1967 NBA championship with much the same team as played in this game, the only interruption of a string of Celtics banners in the 1960s.

John Havlicek, a magnificent athlete drafted in three sports, had had a tryout with the Cleveland Browns in 1962 as a wide receiver, even though he had never played football for Woody Hayes at Ohio State.  Havlicek was the last player cut in training camp.  The WR Cleveland chose to keep instead?  Ray Renfro, an all-time great for the Browns.  Havlicek, nicknamed “Hondo”, is the leading scorer in Celtics history with 26,395 points.  He won eight championships in his 16 seasons with the Celtics before retiring in 1978, at the age of 38.   In a career full of great moments, it is his steal of Hal Greer’s inbounds pass that perhaps is most remembered.  And it was fifty years ago today.

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Filed under Defense, history

USAF Manned Aircraft of 1954

Two clips, about 17 minutes each, showing the state of the art of manned aircraft at the end of 1954 for the USAF. It’s interesting to see which platforms were soon relegated to the dustbin of history, and which ones would go on to illustrious careers, and some even remain relevant today. It’s also amazing how ambitious some of the projects were, considering that the war in Korea had just closed, with the height of technology being the F-86, and much of the effort having been carried by such World War II stalwarts as the F-51 and C-47. At a time when going into combat in a piston engine plane was utterly unremarkable, the Air Force was looking at interceptors with a speed of anywhere from Mach 3 to Mach 5.

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Loss of USS Thresher (SSN-593)

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USS Thresher, among the most modern nuclear submarines in the world at the time, was lost on the morning of April 10th, 1963 off the New England coast, fifty-two years ago tomorrow.  No matter how many times I read about it, it makes the hair on my neck stand up.  This piece from Navy Times in 2013 is a haunting read.

The Thresher collapse event signal was detected by multiple SOSUS arrays as an extremely high-amplitude event at ranges as great as 1,300 nautical miles. The characteristics of that acoustic event confirmed that the Thresher’s pressure hull collapsed or “imploded” at 09:18:24 at a depth of about 2,400 feet (i.e., more than 400 feet below her predicted collapse depth).

The Thresher’s pressure hull and all sea-connected piping systems had survived well beyond their design specifications. The analysis of the SOSUS detection of the collapse event — the bubble-pulse frequency — also indicated that the pressure hull and all internal compartments were destroyed in about one-tenth of a second, significantly less than the minimum time required for perception of the event by the men on board.

Measurements made during the instrumented sinking of the discarded diesel-electric submarine Sterlet in 1969 are consistent with the conclusion that the water-ram produced by the initial breaching of the Thresher’s pressure hull at 2,400 feet entered the pressure hull with a velocity of about 2,600 mph. That force would have ripped asunder the pressure hull longitudinally and vertically, as verified by photographs of the Thresher wreckage.

The collapse of the bulkheads in the 280-foot SSN occurred in less than a tenth of a second.  One hundred twenty-nine souls died in service to our country.  Vigilance and preparedness to fight and win our nation’s wars has a price well beyond dollars.

H/T GPBW

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Filed under Around the web, budget, Cold War, Defense, engineering, history

“Bandini!”

Those who know, know.  Part III.

Oh, and it’s NEVER Black Flag out there.  When I say never, I mean ALWAYS.  ‘Cept when it’s freezing-ass cold.

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Filed under girls, history, Humor, leadership, marines, Personal, recruiting, stupid, training, veterans, war, weapons

Muslims Murdering Christians in Kenya

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Or, as this Administration would couch it, this is either another tragic college campus shooting that highlights the need for stricter gun laws, or just some folks shooting at other folks, in which no one religion is responsible.   NBC News has the story.

Al Shabab, an al Qaeda-linked terror group based in neighboring Somalia, claimed responsibility for the pre-dawn attack. Sheik Abdiasis Abu Musab, the group’s military operations spokesman, said many Christians were being held by the militants. “We sorted people out and released the Muslims,” he told Reuters.

Witnesses corroborated the Al-Shabab claims:

When the gunmen arrived at his dorm he could hear them opening doors and asking if the people who had hidden inside whether they were Muslims or Christians. “If you were a Christian, you were shot on the spot,” Wetangula told The Associated Press. “With each blast of the gun I thought I was going to die.”

Prayers for the lives of the Christians who are hostages to these muhammedan monsters.  And for the souls who died because of their faith.  It is likely too late to pray that our Islamist sympathizer of a Chief Executive would have a pang of conscience about the massacres perpetrated by the radical Islamists whom he refuses to name as America’s enemies.   Reverend Wright got his wish.  God did damn America, with lazy, media-brainwashed voters who twice elected the empty-suit charlatan whose “hope and change” has eroded liberty, alienated our allies, and emboldened our enemies.

By all means, however, let’s avoid calling these filthy animals what they are.  Let’s instead make a deal with Iran to facilitate their nuclear weapons efforts.   Understanding that some things are not negotiable.

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Filed under army, Around the web, Defense, guns, history, islam, nuclear weapons, obama, Politics, stupid, terrorism, Uncategorized, war, weapons

NY Dem: Segregating Asians should be “looked into”

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We ain’t lettin’ them into OUR neighborhood!

This is NOT an April Fools” Day joke.  Merely more of the racial double standard which is positively ingrained in the far-left.   This wisdom from Crown Heights Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo, a rather rabid anti-Semitic Democrat, who apparently has an issue with a minority other than the one she is a part of being in a public housing project:

A Brooklyn city councilwoman wants to know why “blocs” of Asians are living in two Fort Greene housing projects — and suggested it would be “beneficial” to assign housing by ethnic group.

“How is it that one specific ethnic group has had the opportunity to move into a development in large numbers?”

Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!  By God, she DOES sound like a Democrat!

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LOVE Day, 1 April 1945

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marine artillery

Seventy years ago today was an Easter Sunday.  On 1 April 1945, elements of the United States 10th Army, under General Simon B. Buckner, landed on the island of Okinawa.  The landings were almost unopposed, but the 110,000 Japanese defenders soon resisted with the savagery and skill familiar to every US combat leader in the Pacific.  Half a million US troops would come ashore in Operation ICEBERG, beginning 82 days of brutal, unrelenting combat for the island.   When the battle was finished, General Buckner and one other US General were dead, along with nearly 100,000 of the island’s defenders, and 13,000 US soldiers, sailors, and Marines.  (Near the end of the battle, US Marine MajGen Roy Geiger would temporarily command US 10th Army after the death of General Buckner, until Joe Stillwell’s arrival.)

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The Japanese had fought furiously, employing in massive waves the kamikaze tactics against the invasion fleet that were first revealed off Leyte.  Among the US killed were 4,900 sailors, as the US Navy lost 36 ships sunk and 368 damaged by the suicide onslaught.   One in three Japanese civilians were killed or committed suicide in the fighting, nearly 150,000 in total.  The battle, which ended with the island being declared secure on 22 June, was a terrifying harbinger of what the invasion of the Japanese Home Islands would be.

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The “Saipan ratio” used to compute casualty estimates for the invasion of Japan, was proven a dramatic underestimation by US casualties on Okinawa, which were almost four times the earlier calculations.  In addition, Allied intelligence of Japanese air strength on Formosa (within range to help defend Okinawa) had pegged the number of operational aircraft at under one hundred.  There was, in fact, eight times that figure, as the US and British Naval forces would discover to their dismay.  Okinawa (and Iwo Jima) weighed heavily in the decision to employ atomic weapons against Japan as an alternative to invasion.  With what occupation forces found on the Home Islands, the men destined for the invasions Honshu and Kyushu likely breathed a great collective sigh of relief.

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