Author Archives: FTB1(SS)

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Tales of an Asia Sailor


Posted on Facebook by Danny Fowler

Most of you I’m sure don’t remember what happened on this day 49 years ago, but as a former member of VQ-1 I certainly do. It happened before my watch, but it was a tragedy nonetheless and should never be forgotten.

If you never saw our aircraft, our informal call sign was Peter Rabbit, and we had either the Black Bat and Lightning Bolt (because of our association with the Black Bat Squadron) on the tail or the infamous Playboy Bunny.

So today as you go about your busy lives, please take a moment and think of these brave 31 souls who gave their all for our freedom. The politicians won’t, they didn’t then during the Pueblo incident and they won’t now.

The full story is below…

At 07:00 local time of Tuesday, 15 April 1969, an EC-121M of the U.S. Navy’s Fleet…

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Oral History: Doolittle Raiders


Not long after the daring Royce Raid occurred, the Allies would surprise the Japanese with another raid that wound up on the front page of newspapers across the U.S. With the anniversary of the Doolittle Raid next week, we wanted to share a couple of stories from The National WWII Museum’s interviews of two men who were there.

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Recognizing a Former Prisoner of War: William P. Lawrence

Surface Warriors

Vice Admiral William P. Lawrence, USN Vice Admiral William P. Lawrence, USN

This week our nation recognized April 9 as National Former Prisoner of War Recognition day. As with previous administrations, President Trump made the act official via presidential proclamation.

The declaration proclaims the day as an opportunity to pay homage to the courageous warriors who endured time in enemy hands and returned with honor to their families.  As well, it reminds us of the continued active engagement former POWs have in their communities.

Though there were many to consider, we chose to highlight William P. Lawrence. He is the namesake of USS William P. Lawrence and embodies the concept of continued service to the utmost. As a former Vietnam conflict prisoner of war who went on to become one of the Navy’s highest ranking officers, Lawrence is the epitome of a true American hero. Vietnam War POW, Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale, evaluating…

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Torpedoman First Class Henry Breault

Tales of an Asia Sailor

Torpedoman First Class Henry Breault

The Only Enlisted Submariner Ever To Be Awarded The Medal Of Honor Locked Himself Inside A Sinking Submarine

For those who sail beneath the surface of the sea, there are few greater fears than permanently descending to the depths alive. The movies would play this horror scene out time and time again as you watched the sailors press their faces to the ceiling of a room slowly filling with water.

But for one such man, that was the fate he chose for himself when he voluntarily locked himself inside a sinking submarine descending to the bottom. For his actions that day, Henry Breault would become the first and only Submariner ever to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

Torpedoman First Class Henry Breault was born in Connecticut at the turn of the century in 1900. Born to be a sailor, Breault would enlist in the…

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Dave’s Christmas Viewing

My traditional Christmas TV Show viewing. These are the shows that I MUST watch every year before it’s really the Holiday season for me… 

It’s a Bundyful Life – Married with Children

married-with-children-its-a-bundyful-life-14A Bundy take on It’s a Wonderful Life, Al wishes he’d never been born and Sam Kenison shows up as his fallen guardian angel to show him how much happier Peg, Kelly and Bud would be without him. When the Angel pinches Pegs butt, she can’t stop from laughing even as Jablonski tries to squeeze it out of her. Ultimately the angel “can’t think of one darn reason” while Al would want to live, which is of course, why he wants to – so Peg, Kelly and Bud don’t get to be happy.

You’d Better Watch Out – Married with Children

married_with_childrenOne of the single funniest moments in TV history, right up there with the Thanksgiving Turkeys in WKRP. When I first saw this back in 1987, I fell off the couch I was laughing so hard. Can you keep it down? We’re trying to have a Christmas here! Al loses again, even after saving Christmas for the neighbor kids and the Lakeside Mall… Catch me in five minutes, I’ll smell like hard liquor!

The Muppet Christmas Carol

0-mgd_gqyw7dukzzeI have always thought that this is the very best version of the story. Michael Caine says it’s his favorite role and the music is fantastic. I hate that the TV versions cut out portions of the original film – specifically the Belle and Ebenezer break up song. But even so, it really does Dickens proud. Even if there are two Marley’s…

Christmas Vacation

    Who doesn’t want a house full of relatives at the most stressful time of the year? Shitter was full! ‘Nuff said.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

The tradition unlike any other. If this were made today, it would never be a hit. But it’s just so charming and a reminder of simpler times. 



The Top 5 (+The Best Ever) Denver Broncos Games

Denver 1962-69 LogoThe NFL season is almost upon us, and while I absolutely refuse to watch the preseason games, that doesn’t mean that I don’t like my football. I am, of course, a lifelong Broncos fan. My family moved to Denver in 1966, residing in our first home about three blocks from (what was then) Bear’s Stadium. I was three. By the time I was in Little League, I was spending Sunday afternoons sitting on my bed listening to the games on the radio.

By 1972, I was a diehard fan, and to celebrate my 10th Birthday, the 1973 team had its first winning season and first real run at a playoff spot, before losing to the Raiders in the final week of the season.

I have watched all five Super Bowl losses and both of the wins. I have watched every playoff game and virtually every regular season game since 1972 (In 1981 I was in Basic Training, so I missed Oct-Dec) and in 1983-86 I was at sea for parts of the seasons. I have attended games at Mile High and on the road, and while I’ve toured Invesco, I most probably will never be able to go to a game there.

thumbdenHere then are my personal Top 5 Bronco Games, plus the Greatest Game ever, which was too big to even be listed among the regular five. These are the games that in my mind (and some on tape) I have replayed hundreds of times, savoring each moment, again and again.

#5 – 10/16/1977 Denver at Oakland

I did actually miss this game because I was on a bus deep in the Rockies travelling from Grand Junction back to Pueblo after a Church youth conference weekend. But this was the first game where the Broncos absolutely slobber knocked the Raiders. In Oakland. The defending Super Bowl Champs expected another easy run to the AFC West and AFC titles to defend the crown, but got a serious bitch slap when Jim Turner, one of the last of the straight on Place Kickers (and hero of Super Bowl III for the Jets), CAUGHT a Touchdown pass. When we finally got out of the deep canyons and could tune in the radio, it was already 30-7 Denver. The bus erupted with joy and nobody was more excited than me for Monday Night’s Half-Time Highlights (this was long before ESPN and even cable), to actually see the play. Denver sent a message that day that a return to the Super Bowl for Oakland was not going to be a given, they’d have to earn it.

#4 – 1/19/2014 2013 AFC Championship – New England @ Denver

NE v DENPeyton Manning and the boys were sloppy the week before, while the Patriots looked to be peaking. It was one of those games I had really big doubts about, which turned out to be correct, just off by two weeks. The running game was incredible as the Broncos destroyed the Patriots and helped Peyton Manning join John Elway and Fran Tarkenton among the most loosing Super Bowl QB’s.

#3 – 10/191975 Cleveland @ Denver

Jim TunerOne of the games I attended at old Mile High Stadium. I faked being not-sick (I had a kidney infection) to be able to go to the game with my best friend, Jeff. We sat near the south end of the west side of the Horseshoe, and groaned and complained as the Broncos almost scored twice, only to have Oliver Ross fumble the ball twice inside the five yard line. Still, with only seconds left, the Broncos only trailed 15-13. Problem? The Boys were 53 yards away. Enter Jim Turner (again). The ball had just enough to hit the crossbar, bounce up in the air, and then fall over for a 16-14 win. And two very happy 12 year olds went home to dream about being placekickers for our favorite team.

#2 – 1/1/1978 1977 AFC Championship – Oakland @ Denver

Haven MosesIn some ways, this game could be #1. The third matchup of the season and the rubber match between the two teams would decide who would go to Super Bowl XII. The Raiders were still the defending champs, and fresh of the “Ghost to the Post” overtime thriller in Baltimore. Denver had manhandled the always dangerous Steelers the week before, and now it was down to two original AFL West teams to settle what many still considered to be the AFL championship. The game was not without controversy, and perhaps in today’s era with instant replay things would be different. But one image stands out to me still. Under two minutes to go, Oakland now out of time outs. Third down and 4 or so. If the Raiders hold, the get the ball back and can tie or win. They always seem to do it. Otis Armstrong takes the ball off tackle. As the dust settles in the setting sun of a Winters New Years Day in Denver, a single hand rises out of the pile… and makes the #1 sign. First down, game over, AFL/AFC Champs! Yes, we lost the Super Bowl to Dallas. But many (if not most) Bronco fans still feel that beating Oakland in that game meant more anyway.

#1 – 1/25/1998 1997 Season SUPER BOWL XXII – Green Bay v Denver

SBXXIIAll the years of frustration and end of season “Wait ’till Next Year,” finally comes to an end as John Elway literally takes the team on his back and helicopters his way to the Championship. For all of the years that he literally won games by himself, this was the day when he relied on Terrell Davis and a Defense that played so hard it (again) literally knocked itself out to get the final outcome. Davis would be the MVP, but I’ve always felt that this is Elway’s most underappreciated game. We remember the helicopter play, but do we also recall that he had a Touchdown run on the QB keeper we watched for years? He had another run for a first down as well, but the biggest thing of all was that when things didn’t go well early, he didn’t let it get to him this time. The next Super Bowl would be his showcase, but this is the one that he did as much as ever to win. And as they say, this one’s for John. He certainly earned it and we loved him even more for it.

And the “All Time Best Broncos Game Ever?”

9/30/1973 – Chicago Bears at Denver

9301973 Den TicketYes, the final score was Chicago 33, Denver 14. But this was the first game ever to which I went. With my dad. I have no idea to this day how he got the tickets. They were always sold out, and I don’t know what he did to buy them or trade for them or whatever. But for my 10th birthday, he got them for me and the next Sunday we went to Mile High for the first time. I had the time of my life. This game is even featured by NFL Films. There’s a famous scene where Abe Gibron, the coach of the Bears is singing “Jeremiah was a Bullfrog,” during the pregame. That was at this game. My dad and I cheered, booed, smacked our knees in disgust at the eleven penalties the Broncos had as they played what had to be their worst game of the year. And we stayed until the bitter end because we didn’t want to miss any part of it. We cheered for Bobby Anderson, and Lyle Alzado (my then favorite) and we had hot dogs and sodas. I still have the tickets and it is still, one of the best days of my life. You can tell me all you want about how great your team is, but on the best days of my sports fan life, my team got crushed 33-14.

Through it all, the Broncos have lost more than they have won.

And I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

Sepp Blatter

Sepp Blatter.

via Sepp Blatter.

The Avengers of Midway – The Forgotten Story of VT-8’s Other Gallant Attack (Updated)

VT-8's Brand New TBF Avengers

VT-8’s Brand New TBF Avengers

Just after dawn broke over the Central Pacific atoll known as Midway Island, six brand new Grumman TBF Avengers rolled down the runway, took flight and headed northwest to find four Japanese Aircraft Carriers that had already launched their own strike against the island. These six planes were a part of a larger attack group from the island, made up of Marine Vindicator Dive Bombers and USAAC B-26’s and B-17’s. It was a mix and match force, scraped together and with little training on how to attack ships at sea.

The TBF’s were also brand new. Lt. Langdon Fieberling had stayed behind with a half of VT-8 (Torpedo Bomber Squadron 8) assigned to USS Hornet (CV-8) when the ship left Norfolk for the Pacific Ocean. He and the other pilots took possession of the new bombers, and began to train with them as they crossed the Country and later the Pacific, to meet up with the ship at Pearl Harbor. By the time they got to Hawaii, Hornet had already left to face to Japanese Fleet at Midway. Read the rest of this entry

More Than Four Questions

Let me speak and I will feel relieved; I shall open my lips and speak up!

– Job 32:20

I chose to become Jewish.

Benjamin2There were a lot of reasons for it, but to summarize it, I searched for many years to find a system of worship that matched my beliefs about G-d and how He wanted me to worship.

What I never really counted on, although the truth is that I had always hoped for, was having a child of my own to which I could pass on my beliefs. By the time I was 46, I was pretty much resigned to the idea of not having my own child, and then on Thanksgiving Eve 2009 I learned that I was going to be a father. Read the rest of this entry

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