Consolidated PBY Catalina: The Naked Samaritan.

Interesting subject

Aviation Rapture

Rabaul, 1944.
Photo taken after this PBY’s blister gunner rescued a fellow shot down fellow airman. That airman was temporarily blinded and quite unable help himself during the rescue. To further complicate things, the Japanese were quite uncooperative,shooting from the shore. So this brave man stripped off his clothes -you swim better that way,of course- and jumped in to bring him aboard. After this HERO brought the airman abroad they took off in a hurry. Knowing his duties, the blister gunner went ASAP to his post….the dressing could wait.
This photo has achieved somehow an iconic status because of the subject’s beauty -it sure means a lot more than just that.

Photo: Horace Bristol.

Nice the detail of the enemy ships identification poster close to the gunner’s butt.

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Iwo Jima Flag Raising(s) – the MOVIE (Part 3)

Iwo Jima Flag Raising(s) – the MOVIE (Part 3)

Part Three

Masako and Spam Musubi

“There She Goes”

In the climax of the classic Hollywood movie Sands of Iwo Jima above, the words, “There she goes,” is uttered by a fictional Marine played by Forrest Tucker.

You will soon read that those were the words apparently said in a brief conversation between Sgt. Bill Genaust and AP photographer Joe Rosenthal atop Mt. Suribachi on February 23, 1945.

And you thought Hollywood movies were all fiction…¹


mcclue 2 Page 2 of a poignant letter written by Sgt. Genaust to the mother of his buddy, Howard McClue, who was killed in action shortly after Genaust was taken out of combat. USMC archives.

In Part 2, we left Sgt. Genaust recovering from a gun shot wound to his thigh and learning his fellow Marine and close buddy, Howard McClue, was killed soon after.

He apparently felt great loss from the death of McClue and sent a letter to…

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ANZAC Centenary

Pacific Paratrooper

James Charles Martin (1901-1915), youngest Australian KIA at Gallipoli James Charles Martin (1901-1915), youngest Australian KIA at Gallipoli

Anzac Centenary

Between 2014 and 2018 Australia and New Zealand will commemorate the Anzac Centenary, marking 100 years since their  involvement in the First World War.

Gallipoli today Gallipoli today

The Anzac Centenary is a milestone of special significance to all Australians and New Zealanders.  The First World War helped define them as a people and as nations.

PhotoELF Edits:2012:10:04 --- Saved as: 24-Bit JPEG (EXIF) Format 98 %

During the Anzac Centenary they will remember not only the original ANZACs who served at Gallipoli and the Western Front, but commemorate more than a century of service by Australian and New Zealand servicemen and women. [And I hope other nations will as well.]


The Anzac Centenary Program encompasses all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations in which they have been involved.   And to honour all those who have worn the uniforms.  The programs involved with the Centenary urge all to reflect on their military…

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WWII Vet and his crew pursued Japanese fleet at Midway

WWII Vet and his crew pursued Japanese fleet at Midway

A story about the PBY Catalina and unsung heroes

War Tales

Frank Arcidiacono was the radio operation aboard a U.S. Navy seaplane assigned to find Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto’s armada. The huge Japanese fleet was steaming toward Midway Island in the North Pacific on its way to attack what was left of the much smaller American battle group during the pivotal days of June 1942.

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Iwo Jima Flag Raising(s) – the MOVIE (Part 2)

Iwo Jima Flag Raising(s) – the MOVIE (Part 2)

Part two

Masako and Spam Musubi

genaust w cam USMC Sgt Bill Genaust posing with his B&H Autoload motion picture camera. My guess – GUESS – is this appears to be a PR shot. If so, it was taken after his actions on Saipan.  USMC photo.

Now trained in motion picture combat methods, Sgt. Genaust is headed into his first combat.  What all Marines train for.

He is headed into a hell hole called Saipan.


USMC map Overview of Pacific Campaign; Saipan is dead center. You can also see Guam and Tinian to the south. Tinian is where the Enola Gay was stationed. USMC report.

The United States had fought her way up the Solomon Islands campaign with great cost.

Saipan was at the edge of the Japanese Empire in 1944. Not only did it have two airfields, the taking of Saipan would allow the US to launch the B-29 bombers against the Japanese homeland.

The Japanese command knew this. …

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Iwo Jima Flag Raising(s) – the MOVIE (Part 1)

Iwo Jima Flag Raising(s) – the MOVIE (Part 1)

Memories from the past – part one

Masako and Spam Musubi

battle_iwojima256 The more immortalized flag was just hoisted in the background, with a few of the seven famous Marines still trying to secure it. The group of Marines in front have just lowered the first smaller flag that had been raised a bit earlier. February 23, 1945. USMC photo.

I assume you know of the iconic flag raising atop Mt. Suribachi by our courageous US Marines on Iwo Jima?¹  It was immortalized, in my opinion, by the most iconic photo of WWII.

But did you know there were TWO flags?  And that THREE cameramen were involved with capturing the two flag raisings?

And did you ever wonder where the movie of the flag being raised came from…or who shot it?


You have seen the above color footage of the US flag being raised on Iwo Jima (above) during WWII countless of times.  On TV.  In movies (that’s important – the…

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How this search for R J Hetherington began?

A simple  message using the contact  form of this post.

Hi there, one of the names glued into the journal: is Flight Lieutenant  (Raymond Joseph) R J Hetherington, Morrinsville, New Zealand,who was from Squadron 33, personal number 414290. I’m not sure this of any help, but he was my grandfather, who flew a Spitfire, presumed dead when gunned down but later found in a German hospital recovered by British troops the previous day. If there was ever any references to him would love to hear from you.

class-44-dunnville-december-6-1941 (1)

On that post you  will  also find this  in the comment  section.

My Uncle was M. J. Mills of Auckland, N.Z. He served in 132 Squadron – missing in action 19-11-1942. His file is on the Cenotaph site of You may find other NZers there also. There is a photo of inside his hut at Dunnville. To find names who were in the same training unit on the web is astonishing. My cousin scanned Graduation Banquet covers. One has ‘The Three Musketeers’ written on top. Then underneath wings of RAF and NZ are the names–A.L. Ray – J.E. Shields – M.J.Mills. Also PDFs of lists of Commaning Officers – Flying Instructors – Menus and graduates.

Who remembers Raymond Joseph Hetherington?- The sequel

His granddaughter

Raymond shared very little about the war, the one story he repeated to his children (as told from my mother) was followed by the request not to ask anymore. Our family knew was that he was shot down and presumed dead, with condolences sent to his father, the mayor of Morrinsville, from members of the town. it was later discovered that he had been found in a German hospital which had only been taken over the previous day by British troops. His medals, as far as I’m aware of from my mother, were lost when they were children.

To be  continued…

Who remembers R J Hetherington?

Flight Lieutenant  (Raymond Joseph) R J Hetherington, from Morrinsville, New Zealand, was with  33 Squadron, service number 414290.

For  now he is just  a name on a list… on this  blog.

Course 44: December 6, 1941 – March 27. 1942
Wing Commander Patriarche addressed the graduates.

“This coming year is going to be an extremely tough one and there will be a tendency all through the Empire of the people to criticize those in authority. It is being done already but I hope that you here, both airmen and visitors, will have no part in it.

“Make sure before you criticize that you always have a suggestion better than what you are criticizing. None of the men in political or military authority is of a lower standard than the rest of us. They have to be better men or they would not have got the job.

“You can take it for granted that those men can make just as good or better suggestions than the rest of us. Bear in mind that they have all the facts, whereas we have but a few.”

+(J/10741) Eric Thomas Garrett – 426 Sqn., (J/10742) Harold Eugene Bridges (DFC), (J/10744) L.J. Smith, (J/10748) Thomas Ernest Hilary Farley, (J/10751) William James Stangel, (J/10752) Alfred Giles, +Daniel Ray Scott, +Robert Byrne Honeycombe, Wallace Oppenheimer, James W. Gillen, Gordon A. Patton, +Albert Dalton Braswell, Lee Wells, Conrad Ross Crawford, John William Hubler, Charles Arthur Plewman Appleton – DFC 433 Sqn., +Frank Joseph Borrell, Lawrence Walton Montague, Joseph Wilford McMullin, George Greenwood, +Vincent Wall, John Claire MacDonald, +Dorian Ledington, William Houston Julian, Norman Alexander Ballantyne, John Land Clinton, Edward Mielko, M.M. Fudge, John Douglas Hooper. R. King, James Pringle Morton, +Victor George DeHavilland, Harold Albert Heacock, C.E. Shannon, William Bruce Brittain (DFC), Alexander Wall Strang, G.D. Watson

Royal New Zealand Air Force: (414667) Albert James ‘Jimmy’ Osborne – 165/185 Sqns.; Arthur David Leese, (414238) Alfred William Burge DFC), George T. Couttie, +(414651) Godfrey Alan McKoy, +(414721) Harry Keith Williams, +(414677) Arthur Lyall Ray, +(41430) Bruce Mackenzie Hirstich, +(413858) Maurice Carson Jolly, + (414380) Douglas Robert Bannerman, +(413875) Frederick Thomas Martyn, +(414664) Andrew George Patterson Newman, +(414278) Raymond Cyril Going, +(414321) Mervyn Jack Mills – 132 Sqn.; +(41141) Jack McRae Brigham – 243 Sqn.; R.R. Horo, (414330) Vincent Orr; (413924) Roger Wing; Stewart Matthews – 45 Sqn.; Thomas (David) Stewart – 165/185 Sqns., James E. Shields, Thomas Alexander, Wallace M. Sampson, Raymond J. Hetherington, Raymond S. Campbell, James J. McMath – 110 Sqn.; (George?) J.N. Buchanan, (414689) David Gordon Simpson – DFC 603/143 Sqns.; (414645) Jeffrey Maxwell McCarrison – 254 Sqn.; Warren P. Bennett; (414374) William Frank Bern – 64 Sqn.

Sailed from Auckland November 17, 1941 aboard the S.S. Monterey to San Francisco.