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The FReeper Foxhole Remembers the Squadron of Death 1920 - 1930) - Apr. 11th, 2005
Aviation History Magazine | March 2005 | Gerald A. Schiller

Posted on 04/10/2005 10:30:02 PM PDT by SAMWolf


Keep our Troops forever in Your care

Give them victory over the enemy...

Grant them a safe and swift return...

Bless those who mourn the lost.

FReepers from the Foxhole join in prayer
for all those serving their country at this time.

.................................................................. .................... ...........................................

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Squadron of Death:
Flying and Dying for Hollywood

A daring group of former barnstormers introduced American film fans to flying thrills and chills in the 1920s.

They flew their rickety aircraft within a few feet of the ground, looped them again and again in dangerous maneuvers and roared earthward in seemingly suicidal dives, pulling out at the very last minute. Some clambered out onto the wings thousands of feet above the ground to do handstands, swung from ropes to transfer from one plane to another, or hung suspended from the struts of their aircraft and dropped onto other vehicles -- planes, speeding boats or automobiles. These were the danger-loving fliers of aviation's early days, widely known as barnstormers.

In the aftermath of World War I, a select group of these daredevils found new audiences, performing their stunts in the silent feature films and serials that proliferated throughout the 1920s. The novelty of flying was highly appealing to film producers, and audiences of the day were fascinated by this new technology and its ever-present dangers. An elite group of pilots would gain fame from their cinematic exploits. Dick Kerwood, Al Wilson, Frank Tomick, Ormer Locklear and Dick Grace all started out performing their stunts on the county fair circuit -- until the movie industry made them famous. Sadly, the breathtaking stunts that wowed movie audiences also claimed the lives of many skilled aviators during those heady years. It was no wonder that stunt pilots became known as the "Squadron of Death."

Dick Grace

Efforts to make the stunts appear more realistic onscreen often led to some unintended consequences. Joe Bonomo, who did many parachute jumps in his career, described one scene that almost resulted in his drowning when he bailed out of a plane over water. He and another performer were supposed to leap from an aircraft with only one parachute, but when no other stunter would agree to jump with him, he decided to use a dummy -- which proved to be a wise decision.

When Bonomo hit the water after the jump, the wind was blowing violently and his parachute was pulled through the water like a sail at a rapid clip. Using the dummy as both life preserver and shield (to block the water hitting his face), Bonomo managed to stay conscious. It was almost half an hour before a speedboat finally arrived to pick him up. Bonomo later quipped, "I'm probably the only man in the world who owes his life to a dummy."

Joe Bonomo, famous movie stuntman of the 1920's and '30's, hoisting a man with one arm on the roof of his Hollywood, California Gym. Circa 1920's.

Such quick thinking under pressure was common among stunt pilots -- and many would owe their lives to it. Ormer Locklear had built a reputation as a fearless flier long before he started stunt-flying, while he was serving as an instructor for the U.S. Army Air Service. When the radiator cap blew off his aircraft during a training flight, for example, he casually climbed out and stuffed a rag in the opening to prevent boiling water from blowing back into the cockpit. In 1919, while performing at a carnival, he made what may have been the first public transfer from one plane to another in midair. It was at such carnivals and fairs that Locklear pioneered many of the eye-popping stunts other wing-walkers would copy in the years to come.

Locklear eventually made his way to Hollywood. One of his first films was The Great Air Robbery, which enabled him to perform many of his signature moves. In one scene he changed planes in midair, and in a later sequence he climbed down from a plane to a speeding car, fought with the villain, then grabbed the undercarriage of the plane above him and climbed back into it just as the car overturned and crashed.

In 1920 Locklear and his friend and pilot Milton "Skeets" Elliott were hired by producer William Fox to do aerial scenes for the film The Skywayman. Locklear performed a variety of hair-raising stunts for that movie, including a train-to-plane transfer and wing-walking. He even performed at night -- rare at the time -- illuminated by searchlights.

On August 2, 1920, he and Elliot were to execute the film's final aerial stunt, a spiraling dive at night over oil fields near Los Angeles from 5,000 feet with phosphorus flares glowing on the wings to give the impression the plane was on fire. Locklear had told the director to kill the searchlights illuminating the dive to signal when it was time for the pilot to pull out. But for some reason the lights were never turned off, and when Locklear and Elliot finally realized how low they had fallen, it was too late. The plane crashed into the pool of an oil well, killing both occupants.

Not one to sacrifice exciting film footage, producer Fox took advantage of the publicity and rushed the film into release -- including the final, fatal plunge. To his credit, however, the moviemaker did earmark 10 percent of the film's profits for the families of the men who had died.

Clearly, safety precautions were seldom uppermost in the minds of early stunt fliers. Few used parachutes, and often the only safety device involved in stunt sequences was a rope tied to the plane's strut and the ankle of the performer. In a way, stuntmen seemed eager to tempt fate.

Earl Burgess, who had also served as a flying instructor during World War I, became a barnstormer at the war's end. Hired as the stuntman in a film that was eventually dubbed Sky Eye, he executed plane-to-plane transfers, a leap from a plane to a speeding train, and a fight on the wings of an aircraft in flight.

On February 6, 1920, Burgess was doing a scene in a film for comedian Chester Conklin and accompanied by flier Walter Hawkins. Like too many stunt fliers, Burgess had refused to wear a parachute. According to some reports, he was also out of condition and overweight. He was apparently supposed to climb out on a wing, simulate a fight with a dummy, knock the dummy (the "villain") off the plane, then climb back into the cockpit.

KEYWORDS: barnstormers; biplanes; freeperfoxhole; hollywood; stuntpilots; veterans
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After the scene was filmed the first time, they flew back to the airfield to give Burgess a rest. However, the scene had to be reshot -- either because they needed another copy for foreign release or because the director was unhappy with the first take (accounts differ). Burgess insisted on doing the second take right away rather than wait until the next day. This time, after he threw the dummy from the aircraft, Burgess began to work his way back to the cockpit. But when he reached the wing skid, the two men in the camera plane flying nearby could tell the stuntman was close to exhaustion. A.C. Mann, the pilot of the camera craft, tried to maneuver below the plane where Burgess hung, so that he could get his top wing under the tired performer. But the stuntman looked across at the other plane, shook his head hopelessly and let go. He fell 500 feet onto some high-tension wires and died shortly thereafter.

Ormer Locklear

Dick Kerwood, another noted stuntman and aerial performer, is credited with creating a host of dangerous stunts. Like so many others, he suffered numerous injuries in his work. In a serial called The Eleventh Hour, for example, Kerwood was supposed to be in a plane that was hit by gunfire from a submarine below him. His aircraft was rigged with an explosive charge that had a 10-second delay, to enable him to bail out just before the plane blew up. But the delay device did not work, and before he could climb out, the explosion knocked him unconscious and threw him out of the plane.

Fortunately, a piece of shattered wing hit Kerwood, jarring him awake. He was wearing a parachute, and when he saw that most of the debris had cleared around him, he pulled the ripcord and was relieved to see the chute open. But gasoline had sprayed his chute, and he could see that it was burning in several places. He quickly realized that unless he could extinguish the flames he would be a goner. With great coolness, he pulled hard on the shroud lines on one side to partially collapse the chute, then as he fell, let the air back in. By repeating that maneuver several times, he succeeded in subduing the flames enough so that he did not end up plummeting uncontrollably into the water. He was later picked up by a Navy seaplane.

Stuntman Dick Grace, his cameraman Norman Devoe and mechanic Benny Southland inspect the plane Grace just crashed for a movie stunt.

But even the coolheaded Kerwood's luck ran out in 1924, when he died in a fall from a rope ladder dangling from an aircraft. He became another in the growing list of fatalities among the stunt fliers of the early days of the movies. It was estimated that by the early 1930s, of the top 23 aerial performers, 18 had been killed and four were unable to fly after suffering major accidents.

As the 1920s came to a close, flying sequences in films were becoming more common, but the productions were also becoming more spectacular. Two such lavishly made films are still revered today by film historians.

Wings (1927) was directed by William Wellman, himself a veteran of the Lafayette Flying Corps, a group of American pilots who flew for France during World War I. The film starred Buddy Rogers, Richard Arlen and Clara Bow and included the first brief appearance of a young Gary Cooper. Considered by many the last great silent epic, it was chosen as the winner of the very first Academy Award for best picture.

Wings is highlighted by aerial dogfights, bombing raids, spectacular crashes and a massive re-creation of the September 1918 Battle of Saint-Mihiel that involved 3,500 infantrymen and five dozen planes. Despite the impressive numbers of aircraft and performers involved, Wings was a relatively safe film, resulting in few accidents. There were, however, several major stunts that had to be done, and the always-in-demand Dick Grace was hired to execute them.

One of the top stunt fliers of his day, Grace had earned a reputation for skillful aerial work that spanned many years. When Grace saw the deteriorated World War I–era planes that were going to be used in the film, he had a skilled engineer work with him to rebuild the aging aircraft (Spads and German Fokkers). Once the repairs were complete, Grace expertly weakened the ones he would use so they would come apart on impact to heighten the drama of the crashes.
1 posted on 04/10/2005 10:30:04 PM PDT by SAMWolf
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To: snippy_about_it; PhilDragoo; Johnny Gage; Victoria Delsoul; The Mayor; Darksheare; Valin; ...
For one scene the field he was to crash into had been set up with barbed wire, 6-foot cedar posts, trenches and shell craters -- some as much as 12 feet deep. The terrain was meant to resemble no man's land. Director Wellman assured Grace that a 25-foot section would be rigged with flimsy balsa-wood posts and yarn instead of wire -- in case his crash landing went awry. But the stunt flier would have to hit his mark traveling at almost 100 miles per hour -- and also avoid hitting several cameramen on the field.

Wingwalker Ormer Locklear poses atop his Curtiss Jenny in flight, around 1919-1920

Grace had an entire emergency crew ready with an ambulance, tools to extricate him from the wreck and another plane ready to rush him to a hospital if he was injured. In late September 1926, all was ready for the scene, and he executed the first crash in a Spad with consummate skill, hitting the ground just 17 feet from the closest camera. Grace himself later described the moment of collision as he roared in at 90 miles per hour: "I jerked the stick over to the right, giving just a slight left rudder. The wing dipped and the fuselage swayed to the left. In this position I knew the ship would be a cinch to go on its back, but that's what Bill [Wellman] wanted.

"With a dull thud the wing hit and crumpled, then the landing carriage crashed. The poor ship tottered over to the other wing and broke that, and the thing started over on its back. As it did I ducked my head forward. It was my one measure of protection, but it happened to be just the right one. With a terrific crash something wedged between my flying coat and the back of the seat."

Al Wilson

When he examined the wreckage, Grace realized that he had missed the flimsy balsa posts and had hit the hardwood ones. As the plane turned over, two jagged pieces of cedar fencepost had come through the fuselage, and one was just inches from where his head had been. Ducking his head had probably saved his life.

When Grace performed a second crash -- with a Fokker D.VII -- he was not so fortunate. As he hit the ground at 110 mph, the impact caused the straps holding him to snap, and his head went into the instrument panel. When Grace was pulled from the wreckage, he seemed unhurt. But he later collapsed, and an examination revealed a broken neck: Four cervical vertebrae were crushed, and a fifth was dislocated. Told by doctors that he would be in a cast for a year, Grace refused to follow their advice. After 11 weeks he took off the neck harness and jumped out of his second-floor hospital room to spend an evening with his girlfriend. Unfortunately his appearance (a slight paralysis on the right side of his face, which caused his features to be twisted out of shape) shocked the young lady. According to his own explanation, the next day she decided to become engaged to someone else.

Additional Sources: flight

2 posted on 04/10/2005 10:30:52 PM PDT by SAMWolf (Liberal Rule #17 - Steal from everyone & keep it. Just call it taxes.)
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To: All
Realizing he should finish his therapy before he ruined any more relationships, Grace completed the prescribed 17-week hospital stay. Even though he was advised by doctors not to continue with stunt flying, he was back at work in 1928, organizing a squadron called "the Buzzards" to perform in a minor film, Lilac Time. He managed to break several ribs in one of the crashes he did for this film, but again his luck held and he survived. Several other Buzzards, however, were not so fortunate. Three of them would die shortly after Lilac Time -- though not in film-related accidents.

Another noted aerial movie produced in the latter days of the 1920s was the brainchild of eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes. Eager to make an aerial film, Hughes had been furious when the script for Wings (written by his friend John Monk Saunders) was bought by Paramount. The resolute Hughes decided to make his own epic -- one that would outdo Wings. It would be called Hell's Angels.

Then just 23, Hughes hired star actors and spent more than half a million dollars buying and renovating 89 airplanes. He put well-known flier Frank Tomick, who had worked on Wings, in charge of obtaining all the aircraft he could for the film -- on an open budget. Because Hell's Angels took place in England, the planes for the film had to look British and German, so many of the aircraft Hughes acquired had to be repainted and redesigned to simulate unobtainable foreign aircraft.

Howard Hughes

He also needed airfields, so he bought a cow pasture near Van Nuys -- just north of Los Angeles -- and dubbed it Caddo Field. There he built hangars and other buildings, personally supervising construction. He also bought land in Inglewood, south and west of Los Angeles (in an area that would later become the site of Los Angeles International Airport) and property in Chatsworth, in the far west part of the San Fernando Valley, which would be used to simulate a German base.

One of the final dramatic scenes in the film was the diving, spinning crash of a Sikorsky S-29A bomber -- repainted to represent a German Gotha. Both Dick Grace and Frank Clarke had refused to do the stunt for less than $10,000, but Al Wilson agreed to perform the dangerous dive. Smoke effects would be created by using lamp black, with a mechanical blower system blasting the black "smoke" from the diving plane. A young mechanic, Phil Jones, volunteered to ride along and operate the smoke machine.

On March 22, 1929, with three camera planes in the air to record the stunt, Wilson took the Sikorsky up to 7,500 feet. As he started the downward spin, the other pilots noticed the fabric tearing away from the left wing, and then pieces of cowling from the left engine began to break away. Wilson realized he was in trouble, and he climbed from the cockpit and opened his parachute.

The three cameras recorded the plunge of the plane as they waited for a second parachute to appear. But it never did. The plane crashed with Phil Jones' body inside, his parachute still strapped to him.

Hell's Angels pilots, l-r: Ralph Douglas, Leo Nomis, Frank Clarke, James Hall (star), Ben Lyon (star), Frank Tomick & Roy Wilson.

Al Wilson was shattered when he learned of the mechanic's death. He swore he had twice yelled to him to jump, but whether Jones heard him or not, Wilson had no way of knowing. He received a great deal of criticism after the accident, but an investigation found him not guilty of negligence. His pilot's license was suspended briefly as a result of the incident.

Hell's Angels was not completed until 1930, by which time sound had been introduced and audiences were shunning silent films. Hughes decided to reshoot many scenes to make what had started as a silent film into a sound film. The production ended up costing him $4 million -- one of the most expensive pictures made up to that time -- but it was to prove a success, mainly because of its spectacular aerial scenes.

Waldo helped (but didn't fly) Howard Hughes film "Hell's Angels"
Here (from WALDO: Pioneer Aviator, pp. 266) is the planning for the Gotha flight scene: (l-r) Harry Perry, chief photographer; Fred Fleck, asst. dir.; Roscoe Turner; Frank Clarke, chief pilot (arguably the era's best stunt pilot); Al Wilson; Harry Crandall, kneeling; Roy Wilson; Frank Tomick; and Jack Rand.

To highlight the film's premiere on May 27, 1930, planes flew low over Hollywood Boulevard, dropping flares and parachutes. Veteran racer Roscoe Turner also participated in the gala event, completing a flight from New York to Los Angeles in a record 24 hours and 20 minutes.

Hollywood Boulevard was blocked off in one direction before the movie's initial screening, but the crowd, eager to see the stars arrive, was immense, and traffic soon came to a standstill. The film went on to play to packed houses worldwide. Whether or not it eventually made a profit is hard to gauge. Hughes always claimed it did, but others were not so sure. The project had certainly drained a vast amount of money from his other enterprises. He had shot almost 300 times the amount of film that was eventually used and lavished time and effort on the project. In an interview some years later, Hughes admitted, "Making Hell's Angels by myself was my biggest mistake....Trying to do the work of twelve men was just dumbness on my part. I learned by bitter experience that no one man can know everything."

Demand for stunt fliers began to wane as the newly evolving airline industry grew eager to provide filmmakers with opportunities to photograph their own planes taking off and landing and even made available mock-ups of their interiors -- which they had built to train airline staff. Then, as now, product promotion was becoming a fact of life for the movie industry. The military also began cooperating with the industry by providing film companies with both planes and personnel. They saw this as an effective way to recruit young men for the Army Air Corps.

But a more important reason why there were few accidents in those later days involved the evolution of more sophisticated special effects. Miniatures, rear projection and matte shot techniques were being developed to a point where many dangerous scenes could be faked.

In one shot, Grace was to turn the plane completely over and have it crash upside down. The stunt apparently came off fine, and Grace even posed to have his picture taken along side the wrecked plane. However, as soon as the picture had been snapped, he collapsed. Grace had broken his neck. Nevertheless, he went on to his next job with his neck still in braces.

Thus the era of the Squadron of Death, which had claimed the lives of so many talented fliers, came to an end. It had provided audiences -- and the stunt pilots who survived -- with some of the greatest thrills ever captured on film.

3 posted on 04/10/2005 10:31:28 PM PDT by SAMWolf (Liberal Rule #17 - Steal from everyone & keep it. Just call it taxes.)
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To: All

Veterans for Constitution Restoration is a non-profit, non-partisan educational and grassroots activist organization. The primary area of concern to all VetsCoR members is that our national and local educational systems fall short in teaching students and all American citizens the history and underlying principles on which our Constitutional republic-based system of self-government was founded. VetsCoR members are also very concerned that the Federal government long ago over-stepped its limited authority as clearly specified in the United States Constitution, as well as the Founding Fathers' supporting letters, essays, and other public documents.

Actively seeking volunteers to provide this valuable service to Veterans and their families.

We here at Blue Stars For A Safe Return are working hard to honor all of our military, past and present, and their families. Inlcuding the veterans, and POW/MIA's. I feel that not enough is done to recognize the past efforts of the veterans, and remember those who have never been found.

I realized that our Veterans have no "official" seal, so we created one as part of that recognition. To see what it looks like and the Star that we have dedicated to you, the Veteran, please check out our site.

Veterans Wall of Honor

Blue Stars for a Safe Return


The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul

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"The FReeper Foxhole Compiled List of Daily Threads"


4 posted on 04/10/2005 10:31:47 PM PDT by SAMWolf (Liberal Rule #17 - Steal from everyone & keep it. Just call it taxes.)
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To: Bombardier; Steelerfan; SafeReturn; Brad's Gramma; AZamericonnie; SZonian; soldierette; shield; ...

"FALL IN" to the FReeper Foxhole!

Good Monday Morning Everyone.

If you want to be added to our ping list, let us know.

If you'd like to drop us a note you can write to:

Wild Bird Center
19721 Hwy 213
Oregon City, OR 97045

5 posted on 04/10/2005 10:35:07 PM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; All

Shifty Night Bump for the Freeper Foxhole


alfa6 ;>}

6 posted on 04/10/2005 11:00:27 PM PDT by alfa6 (A former University of Science, Music, and Culture NFO wannabe)
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To: snippy_about_it

((HUGS))Good morning, Snippy and everyone at the Foxhole.

7 posted on 04/11/2005 3:00:45 AM PDT by E.G.C.
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To: snippy_about_it

Good morning, it was a beautiful day yesterday here in the Memphis area. I spent the day sick on the couch though. Hopefully today will be better. At least no fever so far this morning.

8 posted on 04/11/2005 5:05:04 AM PDT by GailA (Glory be to GOD and his only son Jesus.)
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; All

April 11, 2005

Get Rid Of The Grubs

Proverbs 3:19-26

Keep sound wisdom and discretion . . . . Then you will walk safely in your way. -Proverbs 3:21,23

Bible In One Year: Psalm 1-3

cover A frustrated homeowner had a yard full of moles. He tried everything he knew to defeat his underground enemy, but he was losing the battle. Finally a friend informed him that he was trying to solve his problem the wrong way. The moles weren't the true culprits. The real problem was the grubs that the moles were feeding on. Get rid of them and the moles would have no reason to stay.

The third chapter of Proverbs gives us a parallel situation. Instead of moles, the problem is fear-the kind of fear that robs us of strength during the day and sleep at night (vv.24-25).

What is also evident from this chapter is that we can eliminate our fears only by attacking the "grubs" that attract it. We must go after our self-sufficiency and irreverence (vv.5-8). We have to treat our evil and foolish ways with a strong application of divine wisdom and understanding (vv.13-18). Then and only then will fear lose its grip.

What's important is to know the real problem so that we can work on it. When it comes to fear, we must make wise decisions based on God's Word and build a love-trust relationship with Christ. That's what it takes to get rid of the "grubs." -Mart De Haan

When you are deeply troubled
By fear and inward doubt,
Strive to do what pleases God,
And He will lead you out. -Lloyd

Keep your eyes on God and you'll soon lose sight of your fears.

When Fear Seems Overwhelming

9 posted on 04/11/2005 5:08:37 AM PDT by The Mayor ( Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord)
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To: SAMWolf

Lots of those early movie aviators had WWI combat aviation experience. The earlier Polish Army aviator thread mentioned that the King Kong flyers were American combat aviators.

I remember taking what appear now to be suicidal risks riding motocycles. Suspect that these aviators had similar motivations.

Eventually I came to realize that risk taking for no real reason meant nothing.

Never did fit into "society" after that war. Cranky drunken vets didn't interest me, either.

10 posted on 04/11/2005 5:41:08 AM PDT by Iris7 (A man said, "That's heroism." "No, that's Duty," replied Roy Benavides, Medal of Honor.)
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To: snippy_about_it; bentfeather; Samwise; Peanut Gallery; Wneighbor; Jim Robinson
Good morning ladies and gents. Flag-o-Gram.

JimRob himself at the March for Justice.

11 posted on 04/11/2005 6:45:09 AM PDT by Professional Engineer (God, I wanna be a Marine in my next life. Please, please.)
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To: SAMWolf

On This Day In History

Birthdates which occurred on April 11:
1370 Frederick I the Warlike elector of Saxony
1722 Christopher Smart English poet & journalist (Ceremony of Carols)
1770 George Canning (C) British PM (1827)
1794 Edward Everett Dorchester MA, (Governor-MA), statesman/orator
1837 Ephraim Elmer Ellsworth Colonel (Union Army), died in 1861
1862 Charles Evans Hughs 11th Chief Justice of Supreme Court (1930-41)
1862 William W Campbell US astronomer/director Lick Observatory
1889 Nick La Rocca US coronetist/composer (Tiger Rag)
1893 Dean G Acheson statesman/US Secretary of State (1949-53)
1899 Percy L Julian chemist (drugs for treatment of arthritis)
1901 Adriano Olivetti Italian engineer/manufacturer (typewriter)
1908 Leo Rosten writer/humourist
1912 John Larkin Oakland CA, actor (Saints & Sinners, 12 O'Clock High)
1913 Oleg Cassini Paris France, fashion designer (Jackie Kennedy)
1916 Howard Koch producer/director (Frankenstein, Airplane II)
1918 Cameron Mitchell actor (Hombre, How to Marry a Millionaire)
1919 Hugh Carey (Governor-Democrat-NY)
1928 Ethel [Skakel] Kennedy Chicago IL, wife of Bobby
1930 Nicholas F Brady US Secretary of Treasury (1988-93)
1931 John[ny] Sheffield Pasadena CA, actor (boy in many Tarzan movies)
1932 Joel Grey [Joe Katz] Cleveland OH, actor (Cabaret, Remo Williams, 7% Solution)
1933 Tony Brown Charleston WV, newsman (Tony Brown's Journal)
1938 Michael Deaver politician
1939 Louise Lasser New York NY, actress (Mary Hartman! Mary Hartman!)
1941 Frederick "Rick" Hauck Long Beach CA, astronaut (STS-7, STS 51-A, STS-26)
1942 Anatoli Nikolayevich Berezovoi Enem Adygeya Russia, cosmonaut (Soyuz T-5)
1944 John Milius writer (Red Dawn,The Wind and the Lion)
1948 Ellen Goodman syndicated columnist
1955 Piers J Sellers Sussex England, PhD/astronaut
1973 Monica Chala Miss Ecuador-Universe (1996)

Deaths which occurred on April 11:
0678 Donus Italian Pope (676-78), dies
1034 Romanus III Argyrus Byzantine emperor (1028-34), assasinated by wife
1240 Llywelyn ab Iorwerth the Great monarch of Wales (1194-1240), dies
1839 John Galt Scottish writer (Last of the Lairds), dies at 59
1875 Heinrich Schwabe discoverer of 11-year sunspot cycle, dies
1902 Hendrik Potgieter South African Boer General, dies in battle
1903 Gemma Galgani Italian saint, dies at 25
1906 James A Bailey circus showman (Barnum & Bailey), dies at 58
1921 Augusta Victoria Queen of Prussia/wife of Emperor Wilhelm II, dies
1970 John H O'Hara US journalist (Pal Joey, Rage to Live), dies at 65
1975 Dorothy Patten dies at 70
1983 Dolores Del Rio actress (Cheyenne Autumn), dies at 78
1985 Enver Hoxha party leader/premier of Albania, dies at 76
1987 Erskine Caldwell novelist (Tobacco Road), dies at 83
1987 Kent Taylor actor (Boston Blackie, Rough Riders), dies at 79
1987 Primo Levi Italy, chemist/writer (Survival in Auschwitz), dies at 67
1992 James Brown actor (Rip-Adventures of Rin Tin Tin), dies at 72
1993 Mohammed el-Himi Brigadier-General of Egyptian police, murdered
1993 Rachmon Nabiyev President of Tadzjikistan (1973..92), dies at 63

GWOT Casualties

11-Apr-2003 1 | US: 1 | UK: 0 | Other: 0
US Staff Sergeant Riayan Augusto Tejeda Baghdad Hostile - hostile fire - ambush

11-Apr-2004 9 | US: 9 | UK: 0 | Other: 0
US Chief Warrant Officer Wesley C. Fortenberry Baghdad (3 mi. W of Intl. Airport) Hostile - helicopter crash
US Chief Warrant Officer Lawrence S. Colton Baghdad (3 mi. W of Intl. Airport) Hostile - helicopter crash
US 1st Lieutenant Oscar Jimenez Al Anbar Province Hostile - hostile fire
US Corporal Daniel R. Amaya Al Anbar Province Hostile - hostile fire
US Lance Corporal Torrey L. Gray Al Anbar Province Hostile - hostile fire
US Private 1st Class George D. Torres Al Anbar Province Hostile - hostile fire
US Specialist Justin W. Johnson Baghdad Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
US Private 1st Class Nathan P. Brown Samarra (near) Hostile - hostile fire - ambush
US Sergeant Major Michael Boyd Stack Al Anbar Province Hostile - hostile fire - ambush

A Good Day
Data research by Pat Kneisler
Designed and maintained by Michael White

On this day...
0672 Deusdedit III begins his reign as Catholic Pope
0678 Donus ends his reign as Catholic Pope
1471 King Edward IV of England conquers London from Henry VI
1512 Battle at Ravenna France under Gaston de Foix defeats Spanish Army
1567 Dutch Prince William of Orange flees from Antwerp to Breda
1677 Battle at Montcassel, French troops defeats Prince William III
1689 William III & Mary II crowned as joint rulers of Britain
1713 Peace of Utrecht; France cedes Maritime provinces to Britain - English, Prussian, Savoois, Portuguese & French peace treaty
1814 1st abdication of France by Napoleon; he is exiled to Elba
1830 Robert Schumann attends piano concerto by Paganini
1848 Hungary becomes constitutional monarchy under king Ferdinand of Austria
1856 Battle of Rivas; Costa Rica beats Wm Walker's invading Nicaraguans
1861 Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard ordered the Federals under the command of Major Robert Anderson to surrender Fort Sumter, Anderson refuses.
1862 Rebels surrender Fort Pulaski GA
1863 Battle of Suffolk VA (Norfleet House)
1865 Battle of Mobile AL - evacuated by Confederates
1865 Lincoln urges a spirit of generous conciliation during reconstruction
1876 Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks is organized
1876 Sir Charles Gordon ends religious tolerance in Sudan
1890 Ellis Island designated as an immigration station
1891 8 year old Jewish tailor's daughter disappears in Greece, rumour spreads that she was a Christian girl ritually killed by Jews
1898 President William McKinley asks for Spanish-American War declaration
1899 Treaty of Paris is ratified, ending war; Spain cedes Puerto Rico to US
1900 US Navy's 1st submarine made its debut

1906 Einstein introduces his Theory of Relativity

1907 New York Giant Roger Bresnahan becomes 1st catcher to wear shin guards
1914 George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion", premieres
1917 Babe Ruth beats New York Yankees, pitching 3-hit 10-3 win for Red Sox
1921 Iowa imposes 1st state cigarette tax
1921 KDKA broadcast the 1st radio sporting event, a boxing match (Ray-Dundee)
1924 WLS-AM in Chicago IL began radio transmissions
1925 Abd el-Krims Rifkabylen defeats the French army in Morocco
1927 Chilean General Carlos Ibáñez names himself president
1933 Hermann Göring becomes premier of Prussia
1939 Hungary leaves League of Nations
1941 Germany blitzes Conventry, England
1941 Nazi occupiers in Netherlands confiscate Jewish assets
1942 Detachment 101 of the OSS, a guerrilla force, activated in Burma.
1942 Distinguished Service Medal for Merchant Marines authorized
1943 Frank Piasecki, Vertol founder, flies his 1st (single-rotor) craft
1945 SS burns & shoots 1,100 at Gardelegen
1945 US captures Tsugen Shima
1950 Prince Rainier III becomes ruler of Monaco
1950 US B-29 bomber shot down above Latvia
1951 President Harry Truman fires General Douglas McArthur
1956 Singer Nat Cole attacked on stage of Birmingham theater by whites
1956 Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" goes gold
1956 French government decides to sends 200,000 reservists to Algeria
1957 Ryan X-13 Vertijet becomes 1st jet to take-off & land vertically
1959 Dodger pitcher Don Drysdale hits his 2nd Opening Day homerun
1960 1st weather satellite launched (Tiros 1)
1961 Bob Dylan's 1st appearance at Folk City, Greenwich Village opens for John Lee Hooker
1963 John XXIII encyclical "On peace in truth, justice, charity & liberty"
1963 Warren Spahn beats Mets 6-1 for his 328th win (most by a lefty)
1965 40 tornadoes strike US midwest killing 272 & injuring 5,000
1966 Emmett Ashford becomes 1st black major league umpire
1967 Harlem (NYC) voters defy Congress & reelect Adam Clayton Powell Jr
1967 Tom Stoppard's "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead", premieres
1968 President Lyndon Johnson signs 1968 Civil Rights Act

1970 Apollo 13 launched to Moon; unable to land, returns in 6 days(Houston..we have a problem)

1970 Beatles' "Let It Be", single goes #1 & stays #1 for 2 weeks
1972 Benjamin L Hooks, named to the FCC
1974 WWII war criminal JP Philippa arrested
1974 United Mine Workers president W. A. “Tony” Boyle found guilty of first-degree murder, for ordering the assassination of union reformer Joseph A. “Jock” Yablonski
1975 JP Parise 11 second OT goal-Islanders 1st playoff advance eliminates Rangers
1975 Hank Aaron returns as a Milwaukee player (Brewers)
1977 Ireland sets fishing zone at 50 mile
1979 Ugandan dictator Idi Amin overthrown; Tanzania takes Kampala
1980 EEOC regulates sexual harrassment
1981 Ronald Reagan arrives home from hospital after Hinkley shot him
1981 Larry Holmes beats Trevor Holmes in 15 for heavyweight boxing title
1981 Race riot in London area of Brixton
1984 Challenger astronauts complete 1st in space satellite repair
1984 Soyuz T-11 returns to Earth
1984 Chinese troops invade Vietnam
1984 General Secretary Konstantin U Chernenko named President of Soviet Union
1986 Dodge Morgan completes nonstop sail solo around the world in 150 days
1986 Halley's Comet makes closest approach to Earth this trip, 63 million km
1989 Mexican officials unearthed the remains of 12 of 13 victims of a drug-trafficking cult near Matamoros.
1991 NYC's Museum of Broadcasting becomes "Museum of Radio & Television"
1991 UN Security Council issues formal cease fire with Iraq declaration
1992 Country singer Lee Greenwood weds Miss Tennessee 1989 (Kimberly Payne)
1992 Euro-Disney opens near Paris France
1992 Irish Republican Army bombs London financial district, killing 3
1993 Nine inmates and one guard were killed when a riot erupted at the maximum security Southern Ohio Correctional Facility near Lucasville. The standoff lasted 11 days.
1997 The Air Force announced that despite an intensive nine-day search, it couldn't find a bomb-laden A-10 warplane that had disappeared with its pilot during a training mission over Arizona. (The plane's wreckage was later found in a Colorado mountainside.)
1997 In Italy, fire damaged the 500-year-old San Giovanni Cathedral, home of the Shroud of Turin, which some consider Christ's burial cloth.
2000 British judge brandes historian David Irving an anti-Semite racist and an apologist for Adolf Hitler, ruling that an American scholar was justified in calling him a Holocaust denier.
2002 Rep. James A Traficant Jr. (60), D Ohio convicted on 10 felony counts of racketeering and corruption.
2002 UN sponsored Int’l. Criminal Court ratified without US approval. Temporary headquarters will be in the Hague, Netherlands.
2003 24th day of Operation Iraqi Freedom the northern city of Mosul fell into US and Kurdish hands after an entire corps of the Iraqi army surrendered. The Pentagon said no major military forces remain in the country. Defense Sec. Rumsfeld called Iraqi looting and chaos a natural “untidiness” that accompanies the transition from tyranny to freedom. The US military issued a most-wanted list in the form of a deck of 55 cards.
2004 Thousands of Hong Kong residents demanded full democracy and called on their unpopular leader to quit as they marched past Beijing's representative office.

Note: Some Holidays are only applicable on a given "day of the week"

Costa Rica : Juan Santamaria Day/Battle of Rivas Commemoration (1856)
Czechoslovakia : Resistance Movement Day (1945)
Egypt : Shan-et-Nissin
Liberia : Fast & Prayer Day
UUS : Barber Shop Quartet Day
Eight-Track Tape Day
National Woodworking Month

Religious Observances
Sixth Day of Passover
Roman Catholic : Commemoration of St Leo I, pope [440-61], doctor
Roman Catholic : Memorial of St Stanislaus, bishop, martyr
Anglican : Commemoration of George Augustus Selwyn, bishop of New Zealand & Litchfield
Christian : Easter Sunday
Christian : Low (Quasimodo) Sunday, the Octave Day of Easter
Orthodox : Orthodox Easter (3/29 OS)

Religious History
1506 The foundation stone of the new St. Peter's Basilica was laid under the patronage of Julius II. (The church was not completed, however, until 1626.)
1834 Birth of Marcus Dods, Scottish clergyman and biblical scholar. His published works in New Testament studies helped popularize modern biblical scholarship in Great Britain.
1836 English philanthropist George Mueller opened his famous orphanage on Wilson Street in Bristol. (By 1875, Mueller's orphanage was providing care for over 2,000 children.)
1941 French-born American Trappist monk Thomas Merton affirmed in his "Secular Journal": 'If we are willing to accept humiliation, tribulation can become, by God's grace, the mild yoke of Christ, His light burden.'
1967 The Full Gospel Fellowship of Churches and Ministers International, formed in Dallas in 1962, changed its name to Christ for the Nations. This charismatic missions agency specializes in fund-raising and support for church construction and Christian literature distribution worldwide.

Source: William D. Blake. ALMANAC OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1987.

Thought for the day :
"How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg."

12 posted on 04/11/2005 6:54:24 AM PDT by Valin (The Problem with Reality is the lack of background music)
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; Professional Engineer; msdrby; Wneighbor; PhilDragoo; Darksheare; ...

Good morning everyone!

13 posted on 04/11/2005 6:58:45 AM PDT by Soaring Feather
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To: Professional Engineer

Morning, PE.

Whoa, nice Flag-o-gram today!


14 posted on 04/11/2005 7:03:55 AM PDT by Soaring Feather
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To: SAMWolf

Speaking of Howard Hughes and "Hell's Angels", isn't that the movie with the burning Zeppelin scene at the end? Quite a shot, that.

15 posted on 04/11/2005 7:25:52 AM PDT by Iris7 (A man said, "That's heroism." "No, that's Duty," replied Roy Benavides, Medal of Honor.)
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; Iris7
Morning Glory Folks~

And what better way to start the day (off), after prayer, than to join the Foxhole!

I enjoyed Saturday's read about the 'Nam Songs . . . even got out an old CD, "Creedence Clearwater Revival Revisited", great wefting music.

Today's thread is just awesome. It's amazing how some people were just born to fly and to push the envelope. My Dad always took me to "Airshows" and there was always a guy flying a bi-plane that would get out on the wing or just dangle. Loved those stunts.

BTW are sure about your facts? Are you sure that first pic is of Dick Grace? And not somebody else?


We prayed for you all weekend and lifted your life at fellowship. Remember, that "by Christ's stripes you are healed."

Snip says you purchased some bird feeders. Enjoy! We've bought four feeders from them and our backyard is turning into a etchuary (except for those darn skwirls).

Well, we're headed out shortly go to hike Whittney Canyon . . . we'll check in later.

16 posted on 04/11/2005 8:14:54 AM PDT by w_over_w (Be nice to your teenager, they'll choose your nursing home one day!)
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To: w_over_w
wefting = weightlifting

I have Sam hands today!

17 posted on 04/11/2005 8:19:31 AM PDT by w_over_w (Be nice to your teenager, they'll choose your nursing home one day!)
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To: Valin
1970 Apollo 13 launched to Moon; unable to land, returns in 6 days.

"Houston we have a problem"

18 posted on 04/11/2005 8:38:43 AM PDT by w_over_w (Be nice to your teenager, they'll choose your nursing home one day!)
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To: snippy_about_it

Morning Snippy.

19 posted on 04/11/2005 8:43:24 AM PDT by SAMWolf (Liberal Rule #17 - Steal from everyone & keep it. Just call it taxes.)
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To: alfa6

Morning alfa6.

20 posted on 04/11/2005 8:43:52 AM PDT by SAMWolf (Liberal Rule #17 - Steal from everyone & keep it. Just call it taxes.)
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