The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Delta Dawn When the Light Comes On With Ivy Joy Johnson

 

December 8, 2022 | View PDF

Saturday night was Paradise. Sunday morning, hell broke loose. "Let us hold fast our confession of hope without wavering, for He Who promised is faithful. We are not those who draw back, but those who believe to salvation." Hebrews 10:23, 39.

The U.S. Pacific Fleet of Navy ships rested, comfortably, at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. War had been declared in Germany for a second time. The young Elizabeth Windsor and her new husband, Philip Mountbatten had come to the States to visit. President Roosevelt took them to see our powerful armada. The young Prince, having grown up under the Lord of Britain's Admiralty, observed it was not wise to keep so large a fleet in one place. FDR disregarded his wisdom.

We visited this amazing memorial in 2014. Fuel still leaks from the engines of the Arizona where she lies beneath the surface in Pearl Harbor. 1177 men went down with her. 2335 servicemen and 68 civilians died when Japan's air force struck. Fortunately, all three of the U.S. Fleet's carriers were at sea, but 169 Navy and Army aircraft were destroyed at Pearl. Our son, a Naval Aviator, worked in a building which still has bullet holes from Japan's strafing, December 7, 1941.

At home, on the Continent, food, fuel, clothing and transportation was rationed or severely limited. Car makers began to build tanks, ship builders and airplane manufacturers employed men outside the military and courageous women.

The Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) proved a secret weapon. Of the thousands who signed up, only 1102 made it through training. They had to have a civilian pilot's license and pay their own way through basic training, Dallas, Texas. They trained combat fighters and ferried troops. De-commissioned after the war, they kept rapport within their ranks. Congressional recognition was denied for their heroics until 1977 when President Jimmy Carter granted them military status. Congress awarded 200 ladies, now in their 80s and 90s, a Congressional Gold Medal in 2010. Google Women with Wings 75 years.

During our visit to Pearl Harbor, we toured the museum which tells the story from our standpoint and from the Japanese point of view. Veterans came, each day, to share amazing feats and war stories with interested parties. Also housed there is a submarine and a 'bell' used, successfully, to rescue 8 or 9 men at a time, from a sub carrying over 200, onto rescue ships.

Our son and wife, both U.S. Naval Aviator Commanders Retired, left their marks in the archives of American history. If you're alive and well, thank God! If you're a U.S. citizen, thank a Veteran. If you're reading this in English, thank a teacher.

"Through Him we will do valiantly! Through Your Name we will trample down those who rise up against us." Psalm 44 and 60.

Next Week: Great Expectations

 

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