Tag Archives: war

The Little Submarine that Changed the World

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Archeologists from the Piedmont Historical Center in Athens Georgia announced a discovery today that may forever change the way we know naval history. While construction crews were busy clearing land for the construction of a new parking lot in the rural part of nearby Oconee County, a small pond was partially drained. What they found in the pond was startling.

Historians had known for decades that the during World War Two the Germans had sent U-Boats to the east coast of the United States, and that they had ventured as far as the mouth of the Mississippi River near New Orleans. And on the West Coast the Army had found evidence suggesting that the Japanese had sent one man mini-subs to port cities in California. But what was found today had never before even been considered a possibility.

In the pond, which is fed by a stream and has an outlet to the Oconee River, construction crews discovered the rusted remains of a Japanese mini-sub from World War Two. There is no evidence of the crewman still being on board so his fate is a mystery. More mysterious however, is how the sub came to be in a pond in Georgia, and why it was there.

Speculation is that the sub was headed for the University of Georgia Cosmic Science Exploration Laboratory in Athens in order to disrupt progress being made by researchers investigating the possibility of harnessing the power of interstellar light for weapons purposes. In 1943, several scientists were conducting top secret research at the University of Georgia and had made significant headway in creating the first light ray weapon. This would have changed warfare forever. Not to mention the impact it would have had on the political dynamics of Planet Earth.

The submarine crew presumably was under orders to destroy the lab, and the research documents housed there. That mission was a failure.

However, another seemingly impossible mission was completed. The fact that the submarine was able to navigate from Tokyo Japan to Athens, Georgia is truly incomprehensible.

Across the vastness of the Pacific Ocean to the coast of California was one thing, but to continue the journey south past Mexico and through the Panama Canal, closely hugging American ships in order to avoid detection, then up the coast of Florida to Georgia and the mouth of the Ocmulgee River was a seafaring adventure comparable to Captain Cook’s first circumnavigation of the globe.

Entering the river mouth, the sub would have moved upstream to increasingly narrow and shallower waters. Apparently it reached the end of the road in this pond where it has remained for nearly seventy-five years.

Researchers from the Piedmont Center have been working around the clock to stabilize the sub so that it can be moved to their research facility. There may still be evidence on board providing insights into the mission, the crew and the fate of both. Pictured is the mini-sub.

You gotta be kidding! Ha Ha. April Fools! The picture shows a rusty old propane gas tank located adjacent to an old homesteads that was recently torn down. In the construction of a new parking lot. I couldn’t resist.

That’s part of my story. What’s yours?

www.personalhistorywriter.com

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Memorial Day

Memorial Day isn’t what it used to be. I should know. I was born on Memorial Day. The real Memorial Day. And I’ve seen the changes.

Originally the day was called Decoration Day.  So named because it was a day when the graves of the war dead would be decorated with flowers.  Later renamed Memorial Day, it was, from the beginning, a somber day reserved for remembering those military members who died while serving their country. There is some debate as to when and where the first Memorial Day occurred but it was either during or shortly after the Civil War and was intended to commemorate those who died during that conflict. It was in 1868 that May 30 was first used to commemorate the day because that date had no connection to any specific battle, and because that was the optimum date for flowers to be blooming. At least according to the White House.

And so, year after year the day was celebrated on May 30. With a growing list of those to be remembered. The Spanish American War. The war to end all wars; World War I. The Second World War. Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan. More death.

When I was a child my parents would take me to the Memorial Day parade every year. Being a kid, and since it was my birthday, I thought it was all for me! The tanks rumbling down the street. The cars filled with old men in uniforms. Younger men marching. And the bands playing. Hail to the heroes. At least to the survivors. I guess we have to glorify war to entice anyone to go willingly into the carnage.

Then one year they changed the day that Memorial Day would be celebrated. Move it to the last Monday in May. Three day weekend! Whoohoo! And that’s when it changed.

Today Memorial Day is much more about cookouts and a day off from work. So many of those who gave their lives lived and died so long ago. We fought a war with Spain? When was WWI again? Afghanistan is soooo far away. Give me another burger and beer!

Being born on Memorial Day has had a profound effect on my life. More than thinking the parades were for me. I went to serve, even though I didn’t have to. Post Vietnam and the draft. Yes, I love the pomp and ceremony. Flags waving. Sharp uniforms. Bands playing. But there is a gritty side to service too. And it includes death for some.

Since 9/11 veterans have garnered a little more respect. There may even be a Memorial Day remembrance ceremony in your town. The front page of today’s local newspaper had a list of all those killed in the last one hundred years of American wars. A long list for a small community.

Maybe beinig born on Memorial Day has given me some special insight. We honor those who have died in wars fought throughout our country’s history. Died in order that today’s American can have a cookout on this day. To preserve the American way of life. But not to be forgotten. Not to have died in vain. And hopefully not to see the list grow further through the ages.

That’s part of my story. What’s yours? www.personalhistorywriter.com

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Veteran’s Day

Veterans Day. A celebration of those who serve. Well deserved. As a veteran, with combat service, I appreciate the applause. There was none when I came home. But, you know, in spite of the parades and the flag waving and the big thank you, I can’t help feeling sad for Veterans Day.

Sure, we are all heroes, doing more than we bargained for.  But it’s much more than the flag waving. After the parade, it’s off to the trenches.  The jungles.  The desert. In spite of it all, there are no rules.  The fire raining down, and the hell all around.

This is what we do. For you. Don’t fool yourself. We don’t do it do it for the parades. We all have our own motivations. Some are really patriotic. Some want to fight. And kill.  In the end, we do it for each other.  None want to die.

But they do. In the mud, the sand and the cold. Alone. Far from families.

But Veterans Day is all about the survivors. Give them a parade. They deserve that.  And much more.  Give them a chance to forget about the blood, fear and trauma for a while.  That’s all in the shadows, and lurking in the recesses of their minds.  It will all still be there when the parade is over.

So strike up the band and give us a parade.  Watch the jets fly overhead. Let the politicians speak.  Lets wave our flag proudly, just as we serve. And then send us off to fight. And die. For you.

Or strive to work it out.  With killing, death and destruction as the last resort. Veteran’s Day makes me sad, because with it comes a need for Memorial Day.  The remembrance of the dead.

That’s part of my story.  What’s yours? 

Www.personalhistorywriter.com

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