Tag Archives: war story

Prisoners in Paradise

italian pows 3

Pat & Frank Fleming have posted a new story on the “we remember blog” and website about how one of Frank’s friends remembers…

Being Coached  in Los Angeles Schools by Italian POWs during World War II & Entertaining Them in his Home

 

italian pows 2

Italian POWs relax with Los Angeles Families

To view this Post – Go To “werememberblog.com”

 Pat & Frank Fleming

October  2014

New War Story – The Crusty Conservative Meets A German POW

Read Now…

pow camp

Frank Fleming (The Crusty Conservative) tells a real War Story about how he met a real German POW near the end of World War II on the “We Remember Blog” & Website.

Click Here to Read The Story on The We Remember Blog & Website 

cropped-Copy-of-Flying-Flag-w-Eagle.gif

A Crusty Conservative War Story – Okinawa Revisited

April 2014

A Tribute

Sixty nine years ago this month on April 1st 1945, the U.S. Marines landed on the island of Okinawa in the South Pacific. Okinawa was one of the last islands invaded and conquered during the U.S.’s island hopping war against imperialist Japan. Over 14,000 U.S. Marines were killed in the ensuing six-week battle for Okinawa.

On the occasion of my learning of the passing of a good friend who was there, I am compelled to retell a story that was told me in good faith by that friend and patriot who was on Okinawa in 1945 and again 25 years later. Whether the story is fact or fiction, an embellishment of a true life incident, or simply a case of “I wish I had done that” or “I wish said that I had said that” hindsight, I will never know. But regardless, the story deserves to be re-told in my friend’s memory and recorded for posterity.

USN Surgeons  operating during  Okinawa Battle

USN Surgeons
       operating during
        Okinawa Battle

This very dear friend of mine (who will remain anonymous) was a U.S. Navy doctor during WW II. In 1945, he served as a battlefield surgeon in a forward field hospital treating the U.S. Marine casualties on Okinawa during that bloody battle. Following the war, my friend went on to become a world-renowned pharmacologist. Later, he became the CEO of a U.S. based international pharmaceutical company. It was in that role that he returned to Okinawa approximately 25 years later.

 

As he told the story, the local Japanese agent for his company was accompanying him on visits to several local pharmacologists on Okinawa who were working on some very promising pharmaceutical agents derived from local herbs and plants. During their travels from clinic to clinic, the local agent drove to a small park atop a high, steep cliff overlooking

Okinawa coastline

Okinawa
              coastline

the Pacific. He parked, got out of the car, opened the trunk and removed a large bouquet of white flowers. The agent took and threw the flowers into the ocean hundreds of feet below and bowed his head in prayer. After the long audible prayer, the agent explained to my friend that his gesture and his prayer were in memory of the hundreds of innocent Okinawa school girls who in the spring of 1945 had plunged off this very cliff to their deaths on the jagged rocks in ocean below rather than be captured and molested by the U.S. Marines who were making their own ultimate sacrifices as they conquered this enemy island.

According to his account, my friend – the former Navy doc – bowed his head for a moment and then un-zipped his flies and proceeded to pee over the cliff saying while he did so:

“Yes, I was here and this is for the hundreds of brave U.S. Marines whom we could not save in 1945 and died fighting for America on this god forsaken island.”

“God Bless Them & God Bless America” 

 Semper Fi & Rest In Peace, Jake!

semper fi

 

The Crusty Conservative

 Flying Flag w Eagle

“… individuals may injure a whole society, by not declaring their sentiments.

It is therefore not only their right, but their duty, to declare them.”

–John Dickinson, Letters of Fabius, 1788

War Story – French Arrogance

A ”Crusty Conservative” War Story

vive la france           or Vive French Arrogance

      a War Story about how French Arrogance survives even thousands of miles from Paris

Like anybody who has traveled to Europe or even French Canada, I have numerous stories to tell about the incredible arrogance of the French. However, my favorite happened to me not in Paris or Quebec but in Washington, D.C.

A number of years ago, I was the dinner guest of a friend and business associate based in the nation’s capital. He elected to have dinner at a new “in” restaurant called “The French Steak House”. The eatery was housed in a storefront on busy “M” Street in the trendy Georgetown section of the city. The dining room that you entered directly from the street was small and modestly furnished with bent wood chairs around a dozen or more tables with glass protected white tablecloths. The menu was in a plastic placard and consisted of two steak choices, and one each of the obligatory fish and chicken dishes. Both steak selections were listed as being prepared with a Dijon mustard coating and sauce and served with pommes frites (french fries).

When the waiter approached the table and asked for our orders in a recently acquired, highly affected French accent, I ordered the New York steak – medium well. To which I added “could you please hold the mustard sauce”. His reply –

“but Monsieur the mustard preparation is the specialty of the house. That is the only way the chef will prepare it or we can serve it. There are many restaurants in this city that will serve you a plain steak. Why did you come here, if you did not wish to enjoy our presentation?”

Well, I had a few choice comments and an answer to his question that were on the tip of my tongue, but in deference to my host’ I instead bit my tongue and agreed to the place’s specialty.

When my steak arrived complete with mustard sauce, it was accompanied with a large order of beautiful french fried potatoes. I immediately but politely asked for ketchup “for my fries”. The waiter responded –

“But no Monsieur, the ketchup will interfere with the mustard sauce”. I responded  that “I didn’t want the g… d…. mustard sauce to start with and now your telling me I can’t get ketchup because it will interfere with the mustard sauce that I didn’t want to start with and don’t plan to eat”.

Well I lost that war too. I ate, and must admit enjoyed, my steak with mustard sauce and fries without ketchup. I did, however learn that even pseudo Frenchmen can be arrogant as hell and that you don’t have to go abroad to be insulted by an arrogant Frenchman. Some things never change the French will be French wherever they are.

Counterpoint –

In the spirit of full disclosure and fair and balanced reporting, I must relate a story that is a counterbalance to the above.

In the early 1970s, Pat and I were in Paris with our three kids aged 9, 7, and 5. One afternoon, we were trying, unsuccessfully, to hail a cab on the Champs Elyse. Out of nowhere a taxi pulled up in front of us to discharge two passengers.  One was a very , well-tailored, elegant French dowager. The other, equally well-tailored and elegant was either her son or grandson. Both by their mood and manner, they portrayed wealth and power. As the man was paying the driver through the window, we started  to get into the cab. The driver interrupted the transaction with the departing passenger and informed us in broken English that he would not take 5 passengers despite the fact that two of them were small girls.

The disembarking passenger obviously heard the exchange because he reached out and took a banknote (which obviously was to be his tip) from the driver and returned it to his pocket. He then went on to give the cab driver a very severe tongue lashing. Although I didn’t understand a word of the gentleman’s French, I did understand the anger in his voice. When he finished, the cab driver sheepishly motioned for us to get in the taxi.

After hand shakes. bows, “merci”s  and a very sincere thank you to our new benefactors, we were off to our hotel with five people in a Paris Taxi.

Lesson – despite all of the arrogance of the French, at least in the 1970s there were still gentlemen in Paris. I can only hope there still are 40 years or more later.

To that gentleman – a sincere thank you whoever you were.

 

[contact send_to=”usfrf@msn.com” redirect_to=”7″ name_label=”Name” phone_label=”Phone Number” email_label=”Email” message_heading=”Enter your comments in the space provided below:” contact_info_heading=”Tell us how to get in touch with you:” submit_label=”Submit”]