Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Today is the 70th anniversary of the final strategic mission flown by the 15th Air Force stationed in Italy. “ 650 bombers hit Prague and Cheb, Czechoslovakia.  Can you imagine seeing that many bombers in the sky overhead and the devastation they would cause?
My uncle Ben Wetta was part of this group.  He was lead pilot on 16 of 34 missions, each of which was made up of 24---42 planes. When we watch movies etc., the pilots all seem so confident and gung ho. However, after his first mission, Ben wrote my dad that it was so horrible that he would give either leg if he never had to fly another.

Ben is in bottom row, 2nd from the right
This is his crew.

Watching the national news Monday evening, I saw a group of veterans who survived the battle of Iwo Jima, returning to visit the island. Among them was one of the few Japanese survivors.  All were “friends” now, and agreed that war is hell, and they had hoped their efforts would prevent wars in the future.
We don’t seem to have come far in learning that we are all people who mostly want to live in peace and enjoy the beauty of God’s earth.

Many thanks to Sarah Sundin for posting events of this day in WW II.   If interested in the war, check out her blog and her two series of books about pilots and nurses of the War.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Springtime---time for new birth

With the new season, I'm turning over a new leaf and am resurrecting my blog---FOR REAL---this time. If you have checked in anytime in the past 3 ½ years, I apologize for disappearing. After trying to spread myself too thin, I made a decision to focus on finishing the manuscript for my book before I tried to consistently post to a blog and not do either well. My book is at a place that I feel confident in trying to find a publisher, so I’m back. 
    My 1st post has to congratulate my 2nd alma mater on the terrific game against the Jayhawks. A long anticipated match-up against the Hawks who didn’t want to compete against the Shocks was so exciting and the outcome was PERFECT.   No matter which university a Kansan was supporting, the game could not help but make us all proud.
On a note more in line with the topic of this blog---a reminder that 70 years + 1 month ago the flag was raised on Mt. Suribachi on the island of Iwo Jima. . .”would be the first Japanese homeland soil to be captured by the Americans, and it was a matter of honor for the Japanese to prevent its capture.[5] Tactically, the top of Suribachi is one of the most important locations on the island. From that vantage point, the Japanese defenders were able to spot artillery accurately onto the Americans – particularly the landing beaches.” (
Iwo Jima was the only Marine battle where the American casualties, 26,000, exceeded the Japanese -- most of the 22,000 defending the island. The 6,800 American servicemen killed doubled the deaths of the Twin-Towers of 9/11. (,13190,NI_Iwo_Jima2,00.html)

Looking at a photo of the peaceful island today,  I am in awe that our troops were ever able to raise a flag on that mountain. It is also a testament to the valor of our soldiers who paid an enormous sacrifice  (American casualties were one third of all Marine Corps casualties in the war.)(])        for such a small piece of land, only 4 miles long and les than 2 miles wide in places,  which was tactically and psychologically so important.
Seventy years ago this THURSDAY, the 26th of March, let's all remember the price that was paid to preserve the freedom that we so often take for granted.