Major Robb McDonald USMC was awarded a Silver Star Monday for his bravery during the September 2012 attack on Camp Bastion, which apparently targeted Prince Harry. The Marine Corps air base in Afghanistan had been raided by 15 heavily armed Taliban insurgents, jets were exploding and a lake of fuel was aflame when McDonald arrived on the scene, and found his commanding officer dead.With some 50 Marines holed up in an aluminum-sided building that officials later called indefensible, the former force reconnaissance Marine who already has two Bronze Star medals for valor in combat, took the helm and led a counterattack, which ended in 14 of the enemy dead and one wounded. Hero Marine who fought back attack on Afghan base is awarded Silver Star ’But despite the horror, a hero emerged that night.’ Yours Aye
We few, we happy few, ‘we band of brothers‘ For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother. Edward J ‘Babe’ Heffron, whose Second World War service as a member of the 101st Airborne famed Easy Company was recounted in the book and TV miniseries Band Of Brothers, has died, aged 90. ‘Babe’ Heffron died Sunday 1st December 2013, at Kennedy Hospital in Stratford, New Jersey, said his daughter, Patricia Zavrel. Foreground, ‘Babe’ Heffron (machine gunner). Rear George Luz
As Private Heffron, he and the rest of his Band Of Brothers fought through some of war’s fiercest European battles starting with the parachute landings of Operation Market Garden. Although there are 20 surviving members of Easy Company, there are just four members of the original Band Of Brothers – all in their late 80s or early 90s. One of the last of Easy Company stands down: Second World veteran Edward ‘Babe’ Heffron dies at 90 after being immortalised in Band Of Brothers Edward “Babe” Heffron, May 16, 1923 – December 1, 2013 I want people to know we’re not heroes. We did our duty, just like sixteen million others who fought in the war. Everyone, including the families, sacrificed in some way. The kids who didn’t come home are the heroes. They’re the ones who gave their lives. Their parents are the heroes, because they gave a child.” ‘Babe’ Heffron also appeared in the miniseries ‘Band of Brothers’ as an extra, in the scene of Eindhoven, from the Dutch episode.
The soldier who just refused to give up: Awe-inspiring spirit of WWI hero who lost two brothers in action, and a sister in a Zeppelin raid but survived being left for dead in a heap of bodies at Passchendale.A soldier who survived the Somme and fought at Ypres was left for dead after being shot in the stomach at Passchendale, his son has revealed. The body of Robert Collie was then thrown onto a heap of corpses while he was still alive and he was only saved after a passing India medic saw him twitching. He survived his wounds and returned to the fighting, serving in India after World War I finished, and rose through the ranks from Private to Major.
Sadly Robert Collie lost both of his brothers after they were wounded in action during the war, and his sister who was killed by a Zeppelin during a bombing raid in London. The story of the Scottish soldier who refused to die has only now come to light after his son, also called Robert, decided to sell his 13 medals. Robert, 75, from Eastbourne, East Sussex, said: ‘My father was a tough Scotsman and not a lot phased him.Major Collie earned 13 medals during his service. From left to right, they are: MBE, 1914 Star, 1914-18 War medal, Victory medal, 1939-45 Star, Burma Star, World War II War medal, 1939-45 India medal, 1935 and 1937 Commemorative medals,George IV and Queen Elizabeth Coronation medal, George V Long Service medal, George V Meritorious Service medal. Major Collie served in two World Wars and served with distinction.
Robert, a semi-retired accountant, added: ‘My father met and married my mother, Kathleen, while she worked as a children’s nurse in Calcutta in 1937 and I was born a year later. ’I inherited the medals from him. My two children don’t really want them and I thought I would look to give them a good home now. The soldier who just refused to give up: Awe-inspiring spirit of WWI hero who lost two brothers in action and a sister in a Zeppelin raid but SURVIVED being left for dead in a heap of bodies at Passchendale…
UNBELIEVABLE ! “My two children don’t really want them and I thought I would look to give them a good home now?” Robert Collie (Jr) PIN YOUR EARS BACK & LISTEN IN! Your children, the Grandchildren of a brave man, should hang their heads in shame, they are not fit to carry his name, nor do they warrant any association with him. If it is not about money, then donate the medals to your fathers Regimental Museum, where future generations who do care about past sacrifice, can read about your Fathers heroic exploits.
I am utterly disgusted by the thought; that a man who is prepared to give his all for his country, can have his memory tossed to one side by his own family. Yours Aye.
Throughout WWII Hitler tried to destroy the morale of the British people by blitzing London and major British cities around the United Kingdom. He did so in the hope that Great Britain would capitulate through the fierce fire storms, death and destruction dropped from above. He failed, and he failed miserably. It made the British stand stronger, and bond closer together. Below: 1996. Manchester city centre, aftermath of an IRA 1000 Ib bombIn the 70′s, 80′s & 90′s, Irish terrorists brought their indiscriminate bombing campaign to mainland Britain; they took many innocent lives, and destroyed many more, as well as severely damaged property and infrastructure. They failed miserably in their effort to make the British public cower, they only succeeded in strengthening their resolve. The cowardly terrorists had obviously learned nothing from their history lessons at school. This was proven more so when they left a large remote IED, packed heavily with ‘dockyard confetti’ at Horse guards parade in London on the 20th July 1982. Several minutes after the blastHidden in a blue Austin car parked on South Carriage Drive in Hyde Park, the IED was detonated remotely, as Queen Elizabeth II’s official bodyguard regiment, the Household Cavalry rode past it during the Changing of the Guard procession from their barracks in Knightsbridge to Buckingham Palace. Three soldiers of the Blues & Royals were killed instantly, another died three days later from his injuries. The other soldiers in the procession were all badly wounded as shrapnel and nails sprayed them as well as the crowd of tourists assembled to watch the parade, causing further injuries. Seven of the regiment’s horses were also killed or had to be euthanised because of their injuries.Among the horses that were seriously wounded and peppered with shrapnel was one that stood out more than any other. Sefton, a strong but gentle black gelding. Sefton’s injuries were serious. They included a severed jugular vein, wounded right eye and 34 wounds covering his body. Sergeant Michael Pedersen, who was riding him, noted that Sefton responded so competently that when the bomb exploded there was no chance of him being thrown off. But Sgt Pedersen, who, in full state uniform and in severe shock, could do little to help Sefton. Another Trooper, one of many who had run down from the barracks after hearing the huge explosion, took off his shirt and used it to apply pressure to Sefton’s severe neck wound to staunch the blood flowing from it.
Sefton went through eight hours of surgery. Each of his 34 wounds were potentially life-threatening, in some cases shrapnel had to be taken out of his bones. Veterinary surgeons gave him a 50/50 chance of surviving the shock and extreme blood loss. Yet over the coming months he made good progress .
During his time in the veterinary hospital he received thousands of cards (and mints) from the public. Donations amounting to almost £620,000 (over £ One Million today) were collected to build a new surgical wing at the Royal Veterinary College, which was named the Sefton Surgical Wing. In August 1984 he retired from the Household Cavalry, and moved to the Home of Rest For Horses in Speen, Buckinghamshire, where he lived until the age of 30. He finally had to be put to sleep on the 9th of July 1993, due to lameness, a complication of the injuries he suffered during the bombing. When the horse died Michael Pedersen was left in floods of tears and uttered the immortal line: “St Peter won’t need to open the pearly gates, because old Sefton will fly over them.” Sgt Pederson & Sefton on duty Sefton has once again been remembered, as Princess Anne is due to unveil a life-sized statue of him. The horse that symbolised hope after 1982 IRA Hyde Park bomb attack Born in Ireland, Sefton joined the Army in 1967. He was 16 hands high and spent the early years of his army career as a school horse, teaching new recruits to ride. In 1975, despite having socks and a blaze, he found his way into the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, which normally recruited only totally black horses. The Household Cavalry chartered and recorded that he was a horse of great courage and character. Household Cavalry tradition dictates that horses’ names are re-used, which ensures that Sefton’s memory will always be honoured. A monument to the atrocity was erected on the spot where the bomb went off in Hyde Park.
Each day, on the Changing of the Guard procession from their barracks in Knightsbridge to Buckingham Palace, the mounted guard honours it with an eyes left, and a salute with drawn swords. Click to enlarge
We will never be beaten by extremists & terrorists, they may claim short victories over their cowardly attacks, after which they slither away to hide under slime covered rocks. But we will never leave any rock unturned in finding them, and bringing them to justice. Yours Aye.
Corned beef, hard tack biscuits, and sweetened tea (fortified with strong rum prior to going over the top), the staple diet of those who fought in the trenches of the First World War. And not just any old ‘corned dog’, but the finest money could buy ‘Fray Bentos’. The irony of which was not lost on the Tank Corps crew, who named their tin can accordingly.The Incredible bravery of WWI tank crew who survived 72 hours of being bombarded by Germans and their OWN side while stuck in no mans land ’Trapped in their overturned tank, just metres from the German trenches, Captain Donald Richardson and his crew already faced an impossible situation. But, after three days of attack from their enemies, the brave men in charge of the Mark IV tank were plunged into even greater danger when their British allies started bombarding them as well, to destroy the tank before the Germans could get it. Astonishingly, though, all but one of the soldiers survived the impossible odds, armed with just pistols and a single rifle, managing to escape the death trap to become the First World War’s most decorated tank crew’. WWI Tanks were first called ‘Land-Ships’The Tank Museum in Bovington, Dorset, holds some of the original ‘tanks’ from all sides, as well as an eclectic collection shown in their exhibitions that have been brought back from around the globe from every battle fought since WWI. Quite an awesome place to visit, even for an Ex Bootneck… I have never fancied the life of a ‘Tankie’ in any of the Royal Tank Regiments, or the Royal Armoured Corps, more so after seeing the damage done to one by a HESH round (aka the strawberry jam round)! Brave lads one and all. Yours Aye.
A spectacular new book entitled ‘Vietnam The Real War’ containing images taken by Associated Press war photographers has been released to remember 50 years since the conflict began, it also serves as a photographic record of the Vietnam War. The book’s publication will coincide with an exhibition at the Steven Kasher Gallery in Manhattan, that will run from October 24 to November 26 2013. The above main picture, by Henri Huet, shows U.S. Marines nest to their foxholes after a third night of fighting against North Vietnamese troops in September 1966. The image on the right, also by Huet, shows U.S. paratroopers hold their automatic weapons above water as they cross a river in the rain during a search for Viet Cong positions in the jungle area of Ben Cat on September 25, 1965.
As a young teen I went to an exhibition by self-taught British photographer Tim Page, who operated in theatre, as well as worked around various units within Vietnam. Page was wounded several times at various intervals of the war, each time returning for more. Throughout his exhibition he gave commentary on each photograph displayed. All fascinating stuff, non political, just told it as it was. As I was hopeless at art, It inspired me to take up ‘click and pray’ photography as a (very expensive) hobby. A great big Hallelujah for the coming of the digital camera. Yours Aye.
“Dad, you’ve got to do that ride before you get too old”: One father’s pilgrimage across the U.S. in honor of his beloved son who died serving in Afghanistan ’Healing on the highway’ For 10 years, Don Blanchard dreamed of riding his motorcycle around America. But it wasn’t until his son Aaron Blanchard, 32, was killed while serving in Afghanistan in April (top left) that he finally set the wheels in motion. Don (main) has spent the last two months riding his Harley-Davidson across the U.S. to raise money for charities which help military families. Don said “I had to do something, I’ve got a big, empty spot. To me, it’s just a healing process“. ‘A Father’s Tribute Ride’
I truly hope it has helped to ease the pain. Yours Aye.
Not wishing to push too hard on the Nairobi terrorist atrocity, the following may be of interest. British hero of the mall massacre: How ex-Royal Marine with a handgun saved 100 lives as terrorists ran amok Link updated from previous report The ex Royal Marine was having coffee at the Westgate mall when it was attacked by Islamists on Saturday (left). With a gun tucked into his waistband, he was pictured helping two women from the complex (right). He is said to have returned to the building on a dozen occasions, despite intense gunfire. Sources said the soldier was part of the Special Forces. He cannot be named for security reasons. A friend in Nairobi said: ‘What he did was so heroic. He went back in 12 times and saved 100 people. Imagine going back in when you knew what was going on inside.’
As NavyDavy commented on the previous post Nairobi, the death of innocents ”I try to avoid places that have this sign in the window”——-> It would appear 100 people in the Westgate mall probably owe their life to the fact that such signs didn’t exist!
Well Done Royal… Yours Aye.
Three American TEENAGERS ‘were mall gunmen’ and one Briton: Kenyan foreign minister says men aged 18 to 19 from Minnesota among terrorists Acts of treason, terrorism, and bloody murder by cowardly traitors who live among us.
A misnomer in one sense, but a tribute none the less, as this year, 2013, the International Day of Peace fell on Saturday, 21st September. To commemorate the day a pair of British artists created a stunning installation of 9,000 silhouettes on a D-Day Landings beach The project, named, ‘The Fallen’ was a tribute to the Allies, civilians, and German forces who lost their lives during the ‘Operation Neptune’ landing on June 6, 1944. The design was the brainchild of British Artists Jamie Wardley, 33, & Andy Moss, 50. Together with a team of hundreds of volunteers the pair travelled to Arromanches beach, Normandy, to create the silhouettes, which were individually drawn into the sand. The shapes were then left to the mercy of the tide which washed away the ‘fallen’ after around four and a half hours. To understand the true scale of the task ahead of the Allies on the morning of 6th June 1944, you have to visit and put yourself in their place, and walk the various beaches taken by them. Raw courage, and pure determination won the day, at a terrible cost. Yours Aye.
Some historical figures don’t get the attention they deserve. Such is the case with John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming Churchill, a British officer who fought his way through WWII with a sword, bow, and bagpipes.
Below is a picture of Mad Jack storming the beach. You will notice he is in front.
A true British fighting man, Mad Jack knew properly accessorizing was the key to a dapper battlefield look: “In my opinion…any officer who goes into action without his sword is improperly dressed.” My kind of guy.
Everybody knows chicks dig skills. Archery skills. Sword skills. Bagpipe skills. In my case one out of three ain’t bad.
Some thing is afoot. Perhaps some thing that will eventually lead to a powerful light being played into a corner, where a dark grimy sinister secret is being stored. Part of the UK & Europe’s Main Stream Media are playing out small ‘feeder’ lines concerning the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, on September 11, 2012. Why did the CIA let a crazed al-Qaeda mob kill America’s ambassador? Moment by moment, the atrocity that’s sent the U.S. into a frenzy of suspicion Pop up ‘feeds’ are done to plant a story into the subconscious part of the readers mind, the line is released slowly over a period of time until a specific article is ready to be released to coincide with a damning report. It wouldn’t be the first time the UK’s media have released a report that never reached across the pond to its sister papers, and vice versa.
The twilight world of blogging has changed all of that.. Yours Aye.
Volunteers for British clandestine operations within WWII had many reasons for doing so. It was never for the extra money or the glamour of the work, the extra money was negligible, and there was very little glamour attached to the work; it was also too secretive to reveal outside of a very tight knit organisation. Most agents of the Special Operations Executive were square pegs in round holes as far as regular service life was concerned. Potential Agents joined for the love of their country, or to avenge a loved one or a family member. Christine Granville (her cover name, her true name was Krystyna Skarbek) was one such woman Never-before-seen pictures of SOE agent whose extraordinary courage paved the way for the liberation of France Christine Granville – the favourite spy of Winston Churchill – worked for years undermining the Nazi regime despite SOE agents having a short life expectancy in the field. As a specialist agent trained in sabotage and destruction, she operated in heavily occupied territory to fight for her country, and her Jewish mother who was killed in a Nazi concentration camp.As a young 14 year old, I read the original true story of a different SOE agent; ‘Carve Her Name With Pride’ by R. J. Minney [published 1956] that tells the amazing story of Violette Szabo, a young woman who joined Britain’s SOE after her French husband was killed in the battle of El Alamein. On her second mission in France, she was caught by the Nazis, tortured, and sent to the women’s concentration camp in Ravensbrück, where she was eventually shot. Her four-year-old daughter, Tania, collected her mother’s posthumous George Cross from the wartime King, King George VI in 1946.
The Life That I Have is all that I have, and the life that I have is yours. The love that I have of the life that I have is yours and yours and yours. A sleep I shall have, a rest I shall have, yet death will be but a pause. For the peace of my years in the long green grass will be yours and yours and yours
We will never see their like again. I still have the book, which is typically written in the ‘ever-so-matter-of-fact’ sort of way that you would expect from the 50′s; still a great read. Yours Aye.
Is another mans freedom fighter, so the saying goes. I do believe the following is going to ruffle a few feathers Defense Department training manual used by thousands of troops characterizes the Founding Fathers as ‘extremists’ Extremists? The Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute stands by a training document’s claim that the colonists – including the Founding Fathers – were ‘extremists’ Yours Aye.
police stunt ‘violated British sovereignty’: Spanish police have now come under fire for sending divers to inspect a concrete reef in Gibraltar’s international waters, who then took underwater pictures of themselves unfurling the Spanish flag.
Being a proud Englishman, and an ex Royal Marine, I can only presume that the Spanish and the French will be accustomed to seeing their national flags in such a way; salt water logged at the bottom of davy jones locker (my great, great, Grandfather [KIA 21 Oct 1805] and his brother, served as Marines aboard Nelsons Flagship HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar 21 Oct 1805).
The Capture of Gibraltar – 24 July 1704 The famous attack upon Gibraltar, which led to its surrender to the British, on 24 July 1704 was carried out by a Brigade of British and Dutch Marines, 1800 strong, under the command of Prince George of Hese-Darmstadt. In the following October, Gibraltar was besieged by the French and Spanish. The Marines from the British Fleet, held the fortress against repeated attacks until the siege was raised on 9 March 1705. In one incident in this fighting, Captain Fisher of the Marines with 17 of his men, successfully defended the Round Tower against the continued assaults of 500 French Grenadiers. A contemporary report of this noted defence says, “Encouraged by the Prince of Hesse, the garrison did more than could humanly be expected, and the English Marines gained an immortal glory.”(17 Marines against 500 French, is hardly fair, Captain Fisher should have stood five Marines down for the weekend to even the odds)!.
Not only did we batter the Spanish, and took the ‘Rock’, we also done a few frogs over too! BATTLE HONOUR: The Royal Marines display only one battle honour “Gibraltar” their close relationship with Gibraltar continues, having in recent years been granted the Freedom of Gibraltar.
2013: Seconds out, round two. “Down ramp, out Marines”… With the new modern bayonet you would only be able to skewer two or three at a time; with the old type 18″ bayonet of 1704 you could have a dozen ‘paella-munchers’ on it and still have room for three frogs!
Five Royal Marines, previously stood down, now ready to go… Yours Aye.
Please note: If there are any sports announcers looking in, and you are of the type who constantly refer to
soccer players footballers as being ‘heroes’ just because they knock a ball into the oppositions net; then stop! Stop abusing the word hero, as well as its plural, heroes. This is the action of a true hero… Incredible bravery of British soldier who put his body over Taliban bomb so injured comrade could be rescued
Warrant Officer Class One (WO1) Andy Peat. Royal Engineers, who heroically used himself as a human shield to protect rescuers from triggering another improvised explosive device (IED). Yours Aye.
There are a few things in life that should never be meddled with, two of which are a mans pot of tea, and his pint of ale. Fortunately we forge our own destiny in as far as our preference for tea goes (I once almost barfed and had a seizure, when I was given a pot of herbal fruit tea for breakfast). The mistake was never repeated as I almost tore the hotel down to its foundation stones. I hereby make no apology, for once again presenting my favourite strong and hard hitting blend for your your perusal, Yorkshire Tea.
This early morning as I sat eating my breakfast, I turned the page to a story in the paper. It stated scientists have dabbled, and come up with a solution to cure hangovers. They have messed with the good Lord’s fermentation, which will end the hangover completely; this is taking a liberty, a beer that won’t give you a hangover They have gone too far this time.
‘I am the man that I am today,’ due to the suffering of hangovers. From the dainty little pain across a furrowed brow, after drinking French beer all evening. To the almighty blockbuster, after sinking a gallon or so of ‘Old Peculiar’ that would split a battleship lengthways down its keel, and sink all of its cork lifebelts…
Whether in celebration of the Corps Birthday 28 October 1664, or the Battle of Trafalgar 21 October 1805. Through a long evening partaking in Pusser’s Nelson’s Blood, fine Port and a gallon of ale, I have suffered colossal, mountainous, throbbing brain pains the following morning. Of which had the capacity to kill a field full of mules, or sink the French fleet at sea, and flounder every French matelot there about it.
Yet through the mighty pain and the fog of aching miserable dullness, I have always managed the following morning’s daily routine, hard physical training, and otherwise. Dealing with the hangover that follows, is part of the rite of passage into manhood, its what separates the men from the boys. Scientists and their technology are turning todays young men into ‘Lady-boys’. This, as well as ‘Designer’ skinny jeans, skinny sweaters, man bags, and canvas slipper shoes.
Yours Aye (who is heading down to the Nag’s Head for a pub lunch, I may be some time)!