Weekend Open Thread

| January 11, 2019

“Then there was that time a jet aircraft shot itself down . . . .”

No, that’s not the beginning of a sea story, a “no sh!t” story, or a tall tale. At least once . . . it actually happened.

And the pilot – though injured in the resulting crash-landing – lived to tell about it. He also later flew again.

. . .

The time frame: mid-1950s. Supersonic flight wasn’t new, but aircraft actually capable of same were still fairly uncommon. Manufacturers were still gaining experience in dealing with supersonic flight issues.

Enter the Grumman F11F/F-11 Tiger.



The Grumman F11F Tiger was developed under the Navy’s pre-1962 numbering scheme; it was re-designated the F-11 under the 1962 Tri-Service numbering scheme. It was the Navy’s second supersonic jet aircraft (the F4D Skyray was the first); and it was fairly successful. A total of 200 were ordered by the Navy, and it was flown by the Blue Angels from 1957 to 1969.

It also was armed with 20mm cannon. And that – coupled with the fact that it was also Grumman’s first supersonic aircraft and the company was still learning about supersonic flight peculiarities – led to the aircraft gaining a unique place in US military aviation history.

How so? On 21 September 1956, a Grumman F11F Tiger became the first jet aircraft to shoot itself down.

. . .

Here’s what happened. On that date, Grumman test pilot Tom Attridge was flying a Grumman F11F Tiger – BuNo 138260 – off Long Island. He put the plane into a dive, and fired a 4-second burst (some sources say he fired two bursts) from the aircraft’s 20mm cannon.

He was at approximately 22,000 feet altitude when he fired. He then continued his dive; some sources say that he increased his dive angle and accelerated as well.

At an altitude of about 7,000 feet, Mr. Attridge got a rather nasty surprise. His windshield caved in, and his engine started losing power.

Attridge thought he’d struck a bird, and tried to nurse his damaged aircraft back to Grumman’s Long Island airfield. Unfortunately his engine soon quit altogether. Since the F11F was a single engine aircraft, this was truly “bad news”.

Attridge crash-landed the aircraft. He survived, but was injured and unable to fly for some time. However, he did eventually recover and return to flight status. (The aircraft did not; it was a total loss.)

. . .

What had happened? Well, as Attridge dove his aircraft was under power; some sources say he used his afterburners and increased his dive angle during the dive. His aircraft thus almost certainly picked up speed while in the dive.

However, his 20mm cannon rounds didn’t; due to air resistance, their speed continually decreased. And since they were fired at around 22,000 feet altitude and at an oblque angle, they had a rather long time of flight.

Bottom line: at some point after his firing run, the aircraft’s speed matched – then exceeded – the speed of the rounds he’d fired. And when that happens, it becomes possible for the two trajectories to intersect.

On 21 September 1956, those trajectories intersected at approximately 7,000 feet altitude off the coast of Long Island. Post-crash investigation showed that Attridge’s aircraft was hit by three of his own previously-fired 20mm rounds. One of those rounds was recovered from his engine and was determined to be the cause of its failure.

. . .

OK, that’s enough “odd aviation history” for today. Enjoy the WOT, everyone – and the weekend.







Category: Historical, Open thread

Comments (87)

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  1. GDContractor says:


    • timactual says:


      ” So the last shall be first, and the first last”

      Matthew 20:16 in all English translations

    • HMC Ret says:

      Good on ya, GDC. I hereby officially pass to you the highly coveted title of WOT First. May your reign be a blessing as was mine.

  2. Wilted Willy says:

    Congrats GDC, may you enjoy your week on the WOT!

    • GDContractor says:

      Thank you sir. I kept it brief, in case I was wrong … which happens frequently.

      • 2/17 Air Cav says:

        That’s it? I expect much more from you, GDC. You are on the throne. Look down your nose at us serfs and peons. Wallow in your supremacy. Show me somethin’ Your Exquisite Infallibleness.

        • SFC D says:

          Speak to the teeming masses, the great unwashed await your words, sire!

        • GDContractor says:

          2/17: I was waiting for you to sign off on IT, to make it official. I was somewhat afraid that I would be disqualified for not spelling out “F I R S T”.

          So, being that I have your implied approval, I sayeth to the assembled miscreants and dickweeds thus:

          Bernath is still dead. Rejoice! Y’all have a great weekend!

          • 2/17 Air Cav says:

            Mr. Claw is the keeper of the Book of Firsts and there is no dispute. You took the scepter fair and square. 1st is as good as First, with or without punctuation. Now, act like you are King Shit. You may never get another chance.

  3. Roh-Dog says:

    Have a good weekend y’all!

  4. Hack Stone says:

    Honorary Top Five?

  5. 5th/77th FA says:

    #rd don’t count congrats GDC

  6. Commissioner Wretched says:

    Congratulations, GDC! The throne is yours!

    Me … I suppose I’m sixth.

  7. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Wow. He shot himself down by running into his own rounds. Jaw on floor.

    • 5th/77th FA says:

      Just as it takes a real Sailor Man to get plastered, only a true Naval Aircraft has the balls to attempt to outrun its own fired rounds, albeit, unsuccessfully.

      It is better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all.

      Brings to mind the courage of another Naval Aviator featured on an Open Thread. This particular Naval Aviator was sent out by TAH WW Hqs, or went out on his own accord, to totally piss off a MCPO. Now I think I would rather attempt to sandpaper a wildcats ass inside a telephone booth than to piss off a MCPO. The Naval Aviator accomplished his mission. Says much for his courage. His common sense…maybe not so much.

      • Hondo says:

        5/77: actually, the aircraft was successful in outrunning its own previously-fired rounds. It caught up to them after giving them a head start.

        Had it been unsuccessful in outrunning those rounds, the two trajectories would have never intersected – and the incident would have never happened.

        This is one of several cases where “success” is definitely NOT desired. (smile)

    • 26Limabeans says:

      I hit something in the road a few months ago blowing out a rear tire. At the same time the windshield broke.
      Seems I ran into whatever the rear tire tossed.
      But spent rounds? That’s weird.

      Kudos to GDContractor forthe win.

    • Dennis - not chevy says:

      I’ve heard tell that dud 20mm rounds have been sucked up by the airplane from which they were fired. Is there any truth to this?
      We had a Wing Commander park a jet engine on a stand in the DFAC parking lot so that those of us who didn’t work on engines could see what FOD looked like. The guy who told me about the dud rounds may have just been tired of being blamed for FOD. This was back in the days of “Don’t let Ferdie Fodgatcha getcha”. I don’t what the person who came up with that slogan got; but, he should have got life.

  8. NHSparky says:

    Not first.

    And as far as shooting yourself down? Sounds almost Bernathian.

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      He at least took off with enough fuel to do so and lad but nobody took into account about the Pilot outracing his rounds in a dive, that and he didn’t sue anyone afterward!

  9. Commissioner Wretched says:

    So here you are, those who wait for it … this week’s trivia column. I hope you enjoy!

    Was the famous “peace sign” of the 1960s created for an entirely different purpose?
    By Commissioner Wretched

    So, here we are, more than a week into the New Year.
    Be honest – how many of your “resolutions” have you already broken?

    That many, huh? Wow.

    You should do what I do – don’t make resolutions. (True, I make the one resolution not to make resolutions, but let’s not quibble about semantics, okay?) If you don’t make ‘em, you can’t break ‘em.
    Makes sense, doesn’t it?

    I know what you’re thinking – I’m not supposed to make sense, I’m supposed to share trivia. In my own defense, all I can say is, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    (Side note – if it’s a digital clock, and it’s broken, it doesn’t show any numbers. So, how can it be right at any time?)

    But I digress. Do you digress? I do all the time.

    Whether you made any New Year’s resolutions or not, here’s one you can keep – drop in to this specific location in your newspaper every week and you’ll get a fresh supply of newly minted and researched trivia, courtesy of your humble correspondent.

    Me, in other words.

    Write if you get an urge to do so at didyouknowcolumn@gmail.com and I’ll reply.
    So let’s get to some January-style trivia!

    Did you know …

    … there is a bank in the world that lends only to women? The Grameen Bank in Bangladesh uses gender in its credit-scoring model, and only extends loans to women. Bank officials say women are seen as more responsible borrowers than men. (Of course they are. They keep the men honest, too.)

    … Arabic numerals are not Arabic? Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, and so on) were actually created by Indian mathematicians. (No, I don’t know why they’re called “Arabic” instead of “Indian.”)

    … actor Jim Carrey (born 1962) needed special counseling before he could do the title role in the 2000 film, How The Grinch Stole Christmas? I don’t mean counseling on how to be a grinch – he’s demonstrated that ability on his own many times – but on how to handle all the prosthetic makeup he had to wear for the iconic role. Carrey enlisted the help of a CIA operative to learn torture-resistance techniques to handle the hours in the makeup chair, after the first four-hour application caused him to kick a hole in the wall of his trailer in anger and want to quit the film. (He had apparently already acquired the character, no?)

    … the famous “peace sign” of the 1960s was created for an entirely different reason? Invented by Gerald Holtom (1914-1985), the popular symbol was created in 1958 for the British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. It was a stylized combination of the letters “N” and “D” (for Nuclear Disarmament, of course) as used in the flag semaphore alphabet. Holtom considered the symbol more a gesture of despair than a hope for the future. The so-called “hippie” movement of the 1960s adopted the symbol and gave it the “peace” meaning we’ve all come to associate with it. (I suppose nuclear disarmament could be a form of peace, now that I think about it.)

    … author Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) was something of a superhero? He didn’t come from the planet Krypton or anything, but during his eventful life Hemingway survived two plane crashes, a brushfire accident, being shot (while wrangling with a shark, no less), being wounded by a mortar shell, and he suffered the following: a fractured skull, a ruptured kidney and spleen, and the temporary loss of his hearing and eyesight. Not surprisingly, the author poured all of those life experiences into his wonderful written works. (I wonder why he didn’t write specifically about those experiences, though?)

    … there’s a lot of stored energy in a single plain M&M candy? In order to work that one piece of candy off, you would have to walk the full length of a football field. (Does that mean football players eat a lot of M&Ms, or am I just reaching for a reason to keep eating them myself?)

    … owls are farsighted? Their distant vision is so very good that they do not see things close to them with clarity. (So the old joke about “wise owls” wearing glasses was really spot on, was it?)

    … during their time on the Moon in the Apollo 11 mission, astronauts Neil Armstrong (1930-2012) and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin (born 1930) had to remember not to close the door to the Lunar Module? The designers of the craft did not give it an outside door handle, so if they had closed it, they would not have been able to get back inside. (I’m pretty sure that design flaw was corrected for later missions.)

    … military vehicles known as tanks got their name from a deception? Originally created for use in World War I, the armored fighting vehicles were first called “landships.” But during the conflict, the British army made an attempt to disguise them as water storage tanks, so the code name “tank” was applied to them – and the rest, as they say, is history. (Who is this “they” people always cite, anyway?)

    … even though sixteen different countries participated in the Korean Conflict (1950-1953), it is not considered a World War? Troops from sixteen members of the United Nations – the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Ethiopia, France, Great Britain, Greece, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, and Turkey – fought against North Korea in the conflict. For some reason, it’s not even considered an actual declared war by some historians, and a peace treaty officially ending it still hasn’t been signed by North Korea.

    Now … you know!

    • SFC D says:

      My 4th grade teacher (1972) told us that the peace sign was actually the symbol of the anti-Christ, as it’s an upside down broken cross.


      • 11B-Mailclerk says:

        Peace sign

        The circled footprint of a retreating chicken

        • rgr769 says:

          We used to call it the footprint of the American chicken, in reference to all the cowards who ran across the border to avoid the draft.

  10. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    PRESENT and Honorary First once again.


  11. Biermann says:

    Be careful, you’ll shoot your eye out with that thing.

  12. Pineywoods NCO says:

    Top 20. I can deal with it.

  13. Sapper3307 says:

    -10 tonight.

  14. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    Several meetings again today meant I would not have any shot at first, so my search for a fourth win will have to wait yet another week.

    Congrats to GDContractor on the first…

    To everyone else at TAH have a great weekend, this was a fun week at TAH I think. With the discussion regarding the future direction and the roll call it was a truly enjoyable round of reading for me.

    Because we had a discussion about the political nature of some posts I thought I’d leave some quotes from my favorite libertarian founder Thomas Jefferson, they seem most appropriate these days for me and I hope they make you think or smile as well.

    If more people read the words of those who risked everything, their wealth, their families, their very lives to create this great nation perhaps we’d have more people who understand what true freedom and liberty look like and that they are far different than the tax slave system we’ve currently all agreed is true freedom.

    “I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”

    “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

    “I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”

    “Our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions any more than our opinions in physics or geometry…”

    “I have observed, indeed, generally, that while in protestant countries the defections from the Platonic Christianity of the priests is to Deism, in catholic countries they are to Atheism. Diderot, D’Alembert, D’Holbach, Condorcet, are known to have been among the most virtuous of men. Their virtue, then, must have had some other foundation than the love of God.

    • GDContractor says:

      “I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”

      That reminds me of an encounter I witnessed between “Uncle Joe” (my best friend’s coonass uncle) and a hippy chick up in Maine circa 1988.
      Uncle Joe: “I can tell your a God damn liberal.”
      Hippy Chick: “Really? How’s that?”
      Uncle Joe: “Because you’re always looking for funding.”
      Hippy Chick: …silence

      Uncle Joe imparted some coonass wisdom that day, I’m grateful that I was paying attention.

  15. Mason says:

    Thanks for the story, Hondo.

    One time in gym class we were playing volleyball. I gave the ball a good underhand bump and it disappeared, while I started to look around for it, it came down straight on top of my head.

    This guy makes me feel better about myself. I just got laughed at by 30 of my peers. No lasting injuries or loss of airframe.

    • timactual says:

      That reminds me;
      I was in gym class one day and a guy served the volleyball badly, hitting it straight up. It hit one of the lights, rolled around the bulb, and knocked it loose. The bulb came down and hit the guy on the head, sending pieces of the bulb all over the gym floor. He got a big laugh and we got out of gym class.

      • HMC Ret says:

        Aaah, gym class. I was allowed to life weights during gym to bulk up for football and wrestling. Others went outside for whatever. One day I wanted some air so I opened a window (old building). A pane of glass came straight down and made a severe cut in my right wrist. I immediately lost use of my hand. I was taken to ER for suturing. I still don’t have full function of my right hand. Some fingers are weaker than others. It was actually an issue when I enlisted.

  16. Combat Historian says:

    Congrats to GDC…

    That Grumman F11F bears a strong superficial resemblance to the plane used in the 1991 parody movie “Hot Shots” starring the idiot Charlie Sheen. Turns out the plane used in the movie was the Folland Gnat, a British light fighter/trainer from the same era as the F11F…

  17. Aysel says:

    that was as interesting read, thank you for that.

  18. Wilted Willy says:


  19. OAE CPO USN Ret says:

    There’s another category of odd aircraft mishaps that I get a kick out of.

    It’s when the pilot ejects from the plane and it goes on to make a relatively smooth landing and is returned to service.

    This guy for instance: https://www.warhistoryonline.com/history/plane-flew-pilot-ejected-f-106a-flew-miles-landing-gently-field.html

  20. ex-OS2 says:

    Sink rate, Sink rate. Too low, Terrain. Pull up, Pull up. Terrain, Terrain. Pull up….


    • 5th/77th FA says:

      giggle, snort, guffaw! If nothing else makes a patron here laff every week, this does.

      I hear the grounds keeper is considering placing artificial turf down cause grass won’t grow on his site, due to all the pissing on it.

    • rgr769 says:

      Too bad there wasn’t equipment on board to tell the Lawn Dart that, because those thoughts likely didn’t pass through his brain housing group until his little plane hit the trees.

      • NHSparky says:

        The last thing to go through Bernath’s mind was his asshole.

      • The Stranger says:

        Hey, don’t forget that he had his 99 cent iPad speed app! Fortunately for all of us, he had just enough fuel to make it to the crash site. Rest in pieces, Birdbath!

    • Friend says:

      Giggling AGAIN

  21. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Remember Hurricane Katrina? It happened nearly 13 1/2 years ago. I have little doubt that it produced the greatest number of frauds in the shortest period of time in the history of the world. Among other things, FEMA passed out $2000 debit cards which were used, according to the GAO, for sex toys, strip clubs, X-rated videos, NFL tix, a bail bond, a massage parlor, a Caribbean vacation, a whole lotta booze, and tattoos. These, of course, were the necessities made possible by our tax dollars.

    • 2/17 Air Cav says:

      I should point out that the items listed above–any many more–were paid for using the debit card. That’s why there is any record at all–because the cards were also good at ATMs for cash and that’s how most recipients used them, rendering the drugs and other crap bought with Federal tax money untraceable.

  22. Sapper3307 says:

    CVMA VT REGIONAL RALLY, registration is open.

    July 25-28 2019

  23. Graybeard says:

    A tad late again, so I have to bow in obsequience to GDContractor.

    A little war-story I heard today from a long time friend of mine – a Vietnam vet (Air Force, plane mechanic, lost a cousin there 2 weeks after he himself returned to the world.)

    A precautionary warning, however – if you a prone to high blood pressure just pass over this.

    –begin rant–

    He was telling me today that he went back to the VA some months ago to try to get his benefits, took all his paperwork with him.
    The gal at the VA is retired Navy. She looked at his paperwork and said “Why the hell didn’t you file this sooner?”
    He had tried. Forty (40) years ago, and they’d made him mad.
    She told him “That’s what they wanted to do, so they wouldn’t have to pay you.”

    He missed out on $150,000 over those 40 years, and no way to get it now.

    His younger brother fought the VA for 3, 4 years before he finally got them to give him 100% disability – and that was with the help of some folks in his new VFW Post.

    The Moral Of The Story:

    Don’t let “Them” make you quit.
    Never give up.
    Don’t let the Bastards keep you from your objective.

    I’ve run into this with my brother’s affairs, where lawyers and bureaucrats work to keep you from getting what is rightfully yours. (You ever notice that ‘bureaucrat’ and ‘bastard’ both start with a ‘b’?) I have refused to be intimidated or thwarted by these scumbags – and those dealing with their cousins in other organizations have to decide to refuse to quit, refuse to surrender, and refuse anything other than outright victory.

    –end of rant–

  24. HMC Ret says:

    This is good news about a sad subject. A Warrior’s remains have been identified. Is there irony in his being a Warrior from Warrior, Alabama? He enlisted at the age of 15.

    Remains identified as those of sailor credited with saving 15 lives at Pearl Harbor.

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Tribune News Service) — DNA testing has identified the remains of an Alabama sailor killed at Pearl Harbor.

    The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency said Navy Chief Warrant Officer John Arnold Austin of Warrior was accounted for in September 2018, 77 years after his death on board the USS Oklahoma.

    On Dec. 7, 1941, Austin was the Chief Warrant Officer on board the Oklahoma, moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits and quickly capsized. Austin, who had enlisted in the Navy in 1920 at the age of 15, was trapped with others on the ship but found a porthole beneath the water that provided an escape.

    He is credited with assisting 15 sailors in escaping the Oklahoma, though he himself failed to get out. Austin died alongside 428 of his fellow crewmen. He was 36-years-old.

    Austin was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross in recognition for actions that were in “keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”

    “He gallantly gave his life for his country,” the commendation said.

    The USS Austin, an escort destroyer, is named in his honor.

  25. HMC Ret says:

    On this day in U.S. military history:

    1945 – On Luzon, the US 25th Division and an armored group land at Lingayen to reinforce the American beachhead. The first serious fighting begins ashore. There are more Kamikaze attacks on the American ships. Many smaller craft are damaged.
    1945 – Aircraft from the US 3rd Fleet (Halsey) sink 25 ships and damage 13 others off the coast of Indochina in attacks on four Japanese convoys.
    1945 – Units of the US 3rd Army and the British 30th Corps join up near St. Hubert as the German salient in the Ardennes is further reduced. To the south, the fighting in the US 7th Army around Bitche is also continuing but German attacks are being held.

  26. HMC Ret says:

    There is a story circulating that the murderer of JonBenet Ramsey has confessed to her murder. He is presently serving a 10 year sentence in a Colorado prison for … guess what … being in possession of kiddie porn. He has a track record of this behavior; it’s not his first time being sentenced for being a PoS. This has dragged on for 22 years. I hope this scumbag is VERY popular in prison and is being passed around like a joint.

    A longtime suspect in the murder of JonBenét Ramsey has finally admitted he killed the then six-year old beauty pageant queen, DailyMailTV can exclusively reveal.

    Gary Oliva, 54, a convicted pedophile who is currently serving a 10-year sentence in a Colorado prison for child pornography, has admitted in letters obtained by DailyMailTV he killed her by accident.

    Google to read the several stories about this scum.

    • Dave Hardin says:

      He confessed before. The Police dismissed him as a nut case who has confessed to other crimes as well. Looks like some news rag from the UK put it back in the spotlight. Police released a statement saying this is old news and there are no new breaks in the case.

      • Perry Gaskill says:

        The Daily Mail. Next up:

        Princess Di Had Elvis’ Love Child While Prisoner Of Space Aliens

        • HMC Ret says:

          “Princess Di Had Elvis’ Love Child While Prisoner Of Space Aliens”

          I had heard that. I’m glad it has been confirmed.


        • rgr769 says:

          You can tell everything you need to know about that fake news rag just by reading the headlines on the right side of the screen. It is about one step above the credibility of the Globe.

        • Twist says:

          So what do they have to say about Bat Boy?

  27. HMC Ret says:

    Navy Captain McVay was pilloried for this incident. If he had zig zagged, would it have made a difference? Depends who you ask. Read the entire sad story. There is more than enough fault to be placed on several heads for this terrible incident.

    Last night I watched a PBS documentary on the USS Indianapolis called the “Last Chapter of the USS Indianapolis”.
    It was a great documentary!

    Trivia: Do you know who Captain Charles Butler McVay, III is?!
    ANSWER: Charles McVay was the captain of the USS Indianapolis, which was torpedoed and sunk between Guam to Leyte Island on 30 July 1945 by a Japanese submarine.
    They’d “just delivered the bomb, the Hiroshima Bomb.” Of the 880 men who went into the water, only 321 were rescued. The sharks took the rest during a period of four days, mostly scavenging corpses.
    The American public was infuriated to hear of the Navy’s apparent abandonment of the crew and demanded answers.
    The Navy was quick to place the blame on Capt. McVay, who, as skipper, was most directly responsible for his men. He stated to his officers that he hoped the sharks would get him while floating in the water.
    During the investigation, he was reprimanded primarily for failing to zig zag properly to make his ship more difficult for a submarine to hit.
    The Japanese submarine commander, Mochitsura Hasimoto, testified in Capt. McVay’s defense, stating that he would easily have been able to hit the ship whether it was zig zaging or not.
    The Navy also claimed that no SOS messages were received, which was not the case. Three were received at separate stations, and none were acted upon.
    The mission to deliver the atomic bomb components was so top-secret that almost no one on board, including Capt. McVay, had any idea of its existence, but the ship’s path, arrival, and departure were known on official maps.
    The Navy was supposed to announce the arrival, or missed arrival, of the ship at Leyte, and never did so. The crew adrift in the open sea was only discovered by chance when a PV-1 Ventura flew over on routine patrol.
    Capt. McVay was court-martialed and stripped of his rank, but Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz reinstated him when the public’s outcry in his defense became hard to ignore.
    Capt. McVay did, however, receive hate mail and death threats for the rest of his life from family and friends of the Sailors that died.
    This was also the start of the MOVEREPS (Movement Reports) which were to track ships movements.
    Capt. McVay committed suicide in 1968.

    • Graybeard says:

      A damn shame.

      I’m sorry that Nimitz didn’t do the right thing sooner – but don’t know the whole story. Visiting the museum in Fredericksburg, TX it seems that he was usually a pretty straight guy.

    • Mason says:

      He was treated terribly and scapegoated. The only captain to be court martialed for losing his ship to an act of war. That the enemy captain testified in his defense makes his conviction all the more unbelievable.

  28. Prior Service says:

    Thanks for the story and the links. I’d heard it before but that it was a Crusader. Glad to have that cleared up.

  29. Twist says:

    I got up this morning to go to work and it was -48 outside (it’s warmed up to -39). The climate alarmists that were claiming that Alaska’s last two warmer winters were proof of global warming are strangely silent this year.

  30. Perry Gaskill says:


    A federal jury was still at work in Orange County, California this week in the case of the Mongols outlaw biker gang who have been notorious for assault, mayhem, drug dealing, murder, conspiracy, racketeering, and poor fashion choices. With the trial now in the punishment phase to determine asset seizure, prosecutors have argued that the gang should forfeit all trademark rights to the word “Mongol” as well as the Mongol Nation logo.

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Welk said the bikers were, “empowered by these symbols that they wear like armor.”

    A hearing has been set for next month to help determine if 1st Amendment issues might allow the Mongols to retain control of their trademarks.

    Who can’t see this coming sometime if the prosecution wins:

    Valley Girl — Ohmigod! Ohmigod, like, ohmigod! That vest you’re wearing is a clear trademark violation! Take it off this instant, you filthy animal!

    Mongol Guy — Bite me, babycakes…


    • HMC Ret says:

      Like, ooomygod. Look, it’s Heather and Brittany. Like, ooomygod.

    • Sapper3307 says:

      Worse is gonna be LEO trying confiscate everybody’s vests/cuts.

    • OWB says:

      In this day and age of relative innocence based upon arbitrary issues, it all depends, doesn’t it? If these guys are all white and all male, they will likely get exactly what they deserve, and perhaps a bit more. (No, I have no sympathy for them at all.) However, they will be punished much less if they can claim any contrived victim status, which of course will afford no comfort to any of their actual victims.

      Not at all sure what difference it makes if grandma is killed by someone white or black, young or old, or a biker who speaks with some sort of accent, or not – the family grieves their loss and shouldn’t feel more or less sympathy for the killer based upon skin color et al of either grandma or the killer.

  31. OWB says:

    Anybody have any thoughts about a Sig 230SL? May have an opportunity to acquire a pristine one at a decent price. It has Pachmayr grips on it, which I doubt are original.

    • 5th/77th FA says:

      You had me at pristine one at a decent price. Go for it.

      • OWB says:

        That’s what I thought, too. And I should have said “Pachmayr style” grips – I could not read the emblem on the grip. Could have been original for all I know. I’m not familiar with that model, and the Sig site no longer has info about it. It is stamped “Made in W. Germany” which may up the value some. And I had never seen a stainless Sig before. Just as a novelty, I may indeed have to get it. Original box and paperwork, even the plastic bag for the manual, which is written German first. And a zippered leather carrying case.

        • 5th/77th FA says:

          Sold to the man with the eye for a deal. If it is a decent price it will do nothing but go up in value. The made in W. Germany does date it and should add to the value.

          I do believe that I am pea green with envy.

  32. HMC Ret says:

    This might be of benefit to retirees or those soon to be retired. Or perhaps someone you know. There seems to be hundreds of potentially useful web sites to gather information on many, many subjects for veterans. It’s a transitioning service members cheat sheet. There is SO much to know when retiring or EAOS, this may be of help to some.


  33. HMC Ret says:

    This refers to an incident from 2018 but is dated today, 12JAN2019. I don’t understand why the ‘tipster’ felt the need to contact the IG via their hotline. Perhaps a personal vendetta with the CDR? IDK but I don’t see the need to rat him out. Your views may vary.

    Sub Commander Fired Over Allegations He Hired 10 Hookers On Deployment
    Paul Szoldra January 12, 2019 at 10:39 AM

    The commander of the submarine USS Bremerton who was relieved of command in August 2018 over issues of “inappropriate personal conduct” was investigated on allegations that he hired about 10 prostitutes while in port in the Philippines.

    The Kitsap Sun first reported the revelation after receiving documents about the firing through a Freedom of Information Act request.

    In March, while the Bremerton was in port at Subic Bay, Cmdr. Travis Zettel was spotted walking with around 10 “provocatively dressed females outside the front door of the hotel,” one sailor told NCIS agents after they received a tip through the Inspector General’s hotline.

    The IG tipster said that Zettel told he and another sailor that he’d “ordered ten girls to arrive at the hotel.” Investigators also talked to another sailor who said he saw Zettel walking around talking to other sailors in his command with “three local females holding onto his arm.”

    As the Sun reported, Zettel admitted to paying for “female accompaniment” to NCIS agents. He was later reprimanded and relieved of command of the Bremerton and reassigned to desk duty at Naval Base Kitsap.

    A Washington native, Zettel commissioned in 1998 and first served about the USS Salt Lake City, before carrying out various assignments aboard other subs, according to an official bio.

  34. 26Limabeans says:

    This looks promising.


    The VA already allows “fee services” to those of us that are fortunate to live far away from the nearest center.
    Note the reference to the State of the Union.
    Get your popcorn ready.

  35. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Like some of you, I have a few medical issues. That’s beside the point but necessary to set this up. So, I go to the doctor and he looks to be about 12. That, too, is beside the point. Comes the time when I have to drop my drawers and he’s gotta feel my nuts. (Yeah, that.) First, I apologize to him. Who wants to feels another guy’s nuts? He does his thing and while he’s doing it, I say, “Squeeze ’em again and you’ll have to buy me dinner.” He laughs. I don’t. Later, I tell my wife and she is mortified. “You didn’t!, she says. “Did to,” I says. What’s more, I tell her, there’s the blog I’m at all the time and there’s about two or three dozen fellas there who either have said the same thing or would.

  36. Claw says:

    Donning my best Carnac the Magnificent turban, I’m going to make a couple of calls:

    Big Army is going to tap the current TRADOC CSM (Timothy Guden) to be the new SMA.

    The incoming Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will not need a SEAC and the position will be deactivated.

    You heard it here first. (Smile)