Posts Tagged ‘WWII’

Video of the unveiling:

Here is a nice slideshow of the restoration by the Post Star.

Our original report is here.

This story is just too sorry a tale of government intrusion and obfuscation to allow to pass unnoticed.

John Fitch, WWII pilot and American Hero, who is portrayed in this painting, was credited with shooting down a Messerschmidt ME-262 jet fighter in combat.

He himself was shot down near the end of the war, earning a purple heart, and spent three months in a German POW camp.  After the war he became a race car driver in Europe for Mercedes Benz.  He developed the world famous Lyme Rock racetrack in Connecticut and, in his spare time, invented those sand filled plastic crash barriers that have become ubiquitous on America’s highways.

Last year his wife passed away at the age of 91.  John is now 92 and finding himself in the fight of his life, not with health issues, but with the government bureaucracy of his home state of Connecticut.  All because he tried to do the right thing!

Read the story of how John Fitch, because he meticulously monitored his home heating fuel use, is now a pariah in his town of Litchfield, caught up in the catch 22 of dealing with government agencies which have overwhelming power but not a shred of common sense.

Full story is here.

Here’s a video introduction, from last September, to John Fitch and his Fitch Phoenix which he built on a Chevrolet Corvair chasis and which became the model for the Corvette Stingray.

Another of the Greatest Generation has passed.

Walter Haslam, Tech 5, USAAF, was honored and remembered last week.

Alice writes:

Walter Haslam served his country in Europe during WWII. He held the rank of Tec 5 in the USAAF. He never spoke of the battles he was in, but always said how proud he was to serve his country. He lived in Westbury for 50+ years.

Shortly after his neighbors, Bill and Maureen Johnson moved in, Walter’s beloved wife Muriel passed away.  Bill and Maureen “adopted” Walter. He was invited to their home for every celebration.  Maureen made sure Walter had dinner.  They took him to concerts. For his 85th birthday we took him to see Michael Buble.  Prior to the concert we had drinks and birthday cake at the Rainbow Room.

Every summer the Johnson’s would arrange a “Summer Soiree” for Walter and his friends.  Enjoying cocktails and listening to his favorite singer, Frank Sinatra and other standards singers. He looked forward to that all year.

When Walter’s health started to decline he was moved to a nursing home.  Maureen and Bill visited him religiously. They dressed up for Christmas and  entertained there.  Two days before he died, Maureen put on a CD of “Time After Time”.  At one point, with eyes closed, he started belting out the song.  He told Maureen that he knew his wife was waiting for him and he lay there holding Maureen’s hand.

He was a great friend and I always had a wonderful time when I would see him at the Johnson’s.  We will all miss the light and sparkle he brought to our lives.

Remember each and every one of these heroes for their sacrifices helped ensure that the United States would become the greatest nation on earth.

Many more photos are here.

More Videos are here, here, here and here.

It’s been a long torturous road for this hero of WWII.


Airman 1st Class Arthur Carl Miller was killed in action on the island of Peleliu on September 13, 1944, two days before the invasion of the island by the 1st Marine Division.  He was filling in as a gunner on a TBM Avenger flying from the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise.  The mission, to bomb the japanese held Peleliu airfield, came to a disastrous end as the aircraft was hit by murderous anti-aircraft fire, exploded and crashed north of the airfield.  More details here.

Remains, identified as another crewman, Wesley Stuart, were returned to his family in California.  Mrs. Stuart refused to believe they were the remains of her son, but she vowed to take care of some other mother’s son and so the remains were interred in their family mausoleum in San Joaquin.

In 2008, Mary Ellen Roberts, sister of Wesley Stuart, had the remains disinterred and flown to Hawaii for DNA testing to resolve the long standing family issue.  Her mother’s intuition was proven correct, the boy kept so long in their keeping was not Wesley Stuart, and a search would find that he was Carl Miller of Poughkeepsie, NY.  More here.

Dennis reports:

On Saturday morning, Nov 7. 2009 a full military ceremony (Navy) was held for Radioman First Class at Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery. It was a beautiful autumn day with bright sunshine and mild to crisp temperatures.


Radioman First Class Miller was a crew member (Radio and gunner) of a Grumman Avenger that was shot down in 1944. He was officially listed as MIA until several months ago when his remains were identified and his closest next of kin (his son, who was born 6 months after his father’s death) was notified. His son requested a military funeral at the family plot in Poughkeepsie. His son also asked around in search of veteran participation in what would be a modest ceremony.


Gathering of Eagles, Rolling Thunder, Patriot Guard Riders, and the American Legion all participated. RFC Miller’s remains were escorted to the cemetery by Rolling Thunder and PGR. encircling the Navy pall bearers, rifle team was a flag line of about 75 members of the groups in attendance holding American flags with a few Navy, Navy Jack, POW/MIA, and 1 Gadsden flags. Also conspicuously present was a homemade sign saying “Welcome Home Sailor” It was truly an honor to be invited to pay our respects to a true American hero. The family was very moved as were we all.

Airman Miller’s son, Arthur Miller, Jr. and family:


The sign says it all:


More of Steve’s pictures here.

Background on Airman Miller’s service written by his son.

Special thanks to PacificWrecks.Org for their background material and some photos on this story.

Also attending the service were members of The Bent Prop Project.

For more background on the Battle of Peleliu.

History Channel Video Series “Lost Evidence”