Thursday, March 31, 2016

My family is about one-third resident there since my wife and  son visited a few weeks ago.

Visiting Israel

My son Josh is spending this week in Israel with a minister friend.  While touring they will meet Jessica,  who is a missionary to that area.  Much of my family is  now in the Holy Land.  My wife ad son  devoted more than two weeks there recently.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Jessica and Holy Days

A slight feeling of sadness comes through Jessica's letter Saturday as she describes the walks by huge groups  of visitors in Jerusalem over the Holy Days.  We can count on it  -- her spirit will soon bloom again.

((I have been ill and otherwise occupied  and failed to send the above blog.  Hopefully my health will improve and I can resume myy blog.)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Easter at Okinawa

The sun began to  dawn that quiet Easter April 1,  1945. As  usual we had reported to our stations a few minutes earlier.  Suddenly the peace  was shattered as a cloud of Japanese planes filled the air with bombs, torpedoes and shells.   The sea was filled with shattered planes and sailors.  The ship that    headed our column was hit as was the LST to our port.

We avoided being hit, leaving us to pick up 725 survivors from the APA  Hinsdale 120 and   two LSTs.          
A more complete account is given on the blog of April 1, 2015.

Today is the anniversary of the battle for Okinawa, the largest and last battle of World War II in the Pacific. As longer as I am able I will continue to write about that Easter Sunday, 1945.  Our ship, the USS Pickens, escaped being hit by a kamikaze plane but the ships ahead of us and to our port side were not not as fortunate.  Here is how I remember that day as described on my blog in 2012:

The  Pickens was second in line behind the USS Hinsdale, APA 120, in column of attack transports carrying the Second Marine Division.  Around 5;;50 a.m. a Japanese plane hit the Hinsdale around the water line, exploding several bombs and blowing holes. Another plane headed for us but did not clear the mast of an LST, fell to the deck and exploded.  We put boats in the water and picked up 735  survivors from LST's-884 and 724 and the Hinsdale.

The Battle of Okinawa has been called the largest sea-land-air battle in history.   . Casualties were very high, 72 thousand for the Allies, over 100 thousand for the Japanese, and tens of thousands civilians. Suicide planes took a heavy toll of our ships and sailors and influenced President Truman to drop the atom bomb and avoid invading the homeland.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

What Irony!

My intent today was to describe the attack  on the US Navy  ships at Okinawa April l, l945.  Soon, few will be left who remember that morning.

(A terrorist attack by bombs struck Brussels this morning, killing 34 and wounding  187. That  changed my plans to write today about Okinawa. This is a different kind of war, but one that requires leadership.)  Are we getting the leadership we need?

Friday, March 18, 2016

On the way to Okinawa

Seventy-sixyears ago.. Who can remember events of that time?  I expect this will be the last time I will recall serving on the USS Pickens. We left Saipan in a convoy, all thr troop ships on the alert  for Jap suicide attack  planes.  We were prepared with general quarters by dawn  every day.  We were on the way to invade Okinawa.

I stood watch from 12 to 4 and foolishly tried to get  a few minutes of sleep.  I fell into  a coma and missed  the call for general quarters.  I drargged a leg  across a cable but got to the  radio shack.  No one had missed me..  

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Get well, Kyle

Best wishes for quick recovery, Kyle. It is your second time to suffer shingles in your eye. Surely, something good will follow.

The People have spoken

Perhaps you  did not choose Trump nor Hillary Clinton, one of whom seems destined to be our next president, but this is a republic, not a dictatorship.

We still are served by a congress and supreme court.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Jessica visits with bishops in Ireland

After guiding Irish Methodists on a two-week tour in Israel a few months ago, Jessica is visiting some of them as a guest in Ireland, viewing some of the beauty spots.   Jessica will have a reunion dinner with the group Sunday which includes the Irish Methodist Bishop and Anglican Bishop.

Happy birthday, Brighton

I hope you have had a wonderful  day of fun. I wish I could be there to wish you happiness.   There will come a day we will get a new toy and play for hours. 

Love,  Paw-Paw

Friday, March 4, 2016

I miss spring

Other areas of the country are enjoying beautiful weather, as are we  a Spring will show itself soon but instead of enjoying it, I will complain that I have to miss the pleasure of flower beds  and gardens.

Political overload

Decades ago I edited a community newspaper that published every Wednesday.  Some weeks I was still searching for a story that rated a top headline as we went to press.

The    editors   and  viewers of television did not have that problem this weekend,, with a variety of stories to choose in addition to a debate and a comedy club  act,  Mitt Romney gave us advice to avoid Trump and Hillary.  We hope another choice will intrude (speaking only for myself.)

In other news what is believed to be O J's murdering knife has been turned in.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Jessica bitten by dog

Not every thing went well for Jessica.  She was playing with her dog in a dog park Tuesday when attacked by a woman's dog .  She drove the dog away but not before the dog bit her hand.  Jessica sent her mother a   picture of the hand showing evidence of the bite.  A treatment with ice helped.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Happy news!

We have learned that changes  to be made by the Methodist Church will result in Jessica coming home May 1.  She will join the staff of Grace Community Church July  1.  She will miss her time in Israel but is happy to be coming home.