An exploded bomb detonated in Germany Friday, resulting in one more World War II casualty, sixty-eight years after fighting ended.
A driver of a bulldozer was killed by the explosion after accidentally striking the bomb in the German town of Euskirchen, the Associated Press reports. Thirteen other people were injured, two critically. The explosion damaged homes within a 400-meter radius of the detonation. Read more
Every region of the country has its own unique phrases, but they have nothing on the complex lexicon shared by people in the military. Aside from the way uniformed folks seem to speak in acronyms — “I was on the FOB when the IDF hit, so I radioed the TOC” — there’s also a series of commonly used phrases which deserve some attention.
“15 minutes prior to 15 minutes prior” Military people are taught that they must show up to everything (especially an official formation) at least 15 minutes early. The 15 minutes to 15 minutes arises as the order filters down through the ranks. The captain wants everyone to meet at 0600, so the master sergeant wants folks to arrive at 0545, and when it finally hits the corporal people are told to show up at midnight.
“A good piece of gear” (in reference to people) Only in the service is it OK to refer to one of your coworkers or (worse yet and most frequently) a person working for you in a section you manage as “a good piece of gear.” Read more
Skimming lightly, wheeling still,
The swallows fly low
Over the field in clouded days,
The forest-field of Shiloh —
Over the field where April rain
Solaced the parched ones stretched in pain
Through the pause of night
That followed the Sunday fight
Around the church of Shiloh —
The church so lone, the log-built one,
That echoed to many a parting groan
And natural prayer
Of dying foemen mingled there —
Foemen at morn, but friends at eve —
Fame or country least their care:
(What like a bullet can undeceive!)
But now they lie low,
While over them the swallows skim,
And all is hushed at Shiloh.
On this day, in preparation for planned assaults against Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and mainland Japan, Gen. Douglas MacArthur is placed in command of all U.S. ground forces and Adm. Chester Nimitz is placed in command of all U.S. naval forces. This effectively ended the concept of unified commands, in which one man oversaw more than one service from more than one country in a distinct region.
Douglas MacArthur’s career was one of striking achievement. His performance during World War I combat in France won him decorations for valor and earned him the distinction of becoming the youngest general in the Army at the time. He retired from the Army in 1934, but was then appointed head of the Philippine Army by its president (the Philippines had U.S. Commonwealth status at the time). Read more