The American Mind

“The American Mind”

Overview

America’s Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson said, was the product of “the American mind.”  Our Constitution was made with the same purpose as the Declaration—to establish a regime where the people are sovereign, and the government protects the rights granted to them by their Creator.

The word “constitution” means “to ordain and establish something.”  It also means “to set a firm thing strongly in place.”  It is linked to two other words: statute and statue.  All three words—constitution, statute, and statue—connote a similar idea of establishing something lasting and beautiful.

The Constitution, then, is a work of art.  It gives America its form.  To fully know the “cause,” or purpose, of America, one must know the Declaration of Independence.  Thomas Jefferson, its author, mentioned four thinkers for their contribution to molding “the American mind”: Aristotle, Cicero, Algernon Sidney, and John Locke.

Studying these philosophers is a wondrous task in itself, and it greatly helps our understanding of America, just as informed the statecraft of the Founders.  Knowing the meaning of the Declaration and Constitution is vital to the choice before us today as to whether we will live under a Constitution different than the one bequeathed to us.

Ref: Hillsdale College

MAKIN ISLAND – REMEMBERED

19 MARINES COME HOME

A true story about 19 marines killed defending an island against the Japanese. The marines  had to retreat, so the islanders were asked to please bury those killed in action & left behind

Years later, U.S. officials checked and found a man who had been a teenager then and remembered where the marines were buried. A C130 a/c was sent with an honor guard and found all 19 marines had been buried with their helmets on, their rifles in their hands, in perfect condition. The islanders had really done a wonderful job burying the fallen marines.

As they were loading the bodies, a voice from out of nowhere started singing…”The Marine hymn”…giving everyone the goose bumps!

Turns out, the voice was from a man who spoke no English but remembered a song the Marines taught him when they landed, when he was just a boy.

Please go to:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6f_FvZpm3g

and appreciate

LET US NOT FORGET THOSE WHO HAVE GONE BEFORE US

Armed Forces Retirement Home

The mission of the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) is to fulfill our Nation’s commitment to provide care through a comprehensive range of services for America’s Armed Forces Veterans. They support their residents’ independence, dignity, distinction, heritage and future of continued life-enriching experiences.

Together, the AFRH family of residents and staff create a place of caring and continual learning. They are committed to providing the best housing and support services possible and creating a true community of accomplished, independent residents, who are free to explore their talents, pursue their interests, and follow their dreams.

  • Residency fees for AFRH are 35% of income and the fees are capped at each campus. Since the fee is a percentage of income, it is affordable to all, and the one low fee covers not only living quarters, but also three full meals per day, including special dietary needs, wonderful recreation facilities and program, from bowling and ceramics to a 9-hole gold course on the Washington campus & covered swimming pool on the Gulfport campus, bus trips to local and regional attractions such as museums, theaters, sporting events, shipping and sightseeing.
  • Dormitories are available for independent living which provides each resident with a private room with a private bath and shower in Washington and private room in Gulfport.
  • There are state-or-the-art health care facilities with top rated primary medical care and direct entry to the world class health care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the VA Medical Center located in Washington, DC and Kessler AFB located in Gulfport, MS area.

Residency at the AFRH is open to veterans from the armed services whose active-duty service was at least 50% enlisted, warrant officer or limited-duty officer and who meet at least one of a few required criteria.

For more information go to: http://www.afrh.gov/

And be sure to read some of the fascinating stories that can be found under the heading

“Residents’ Military Heritage”

 

Tinian Island

To overcome the immense distances of the Pacific Ocean and Japanese island occupation strategy intended to threaten the United States to sue for peace, the U.S. Navy devised a strategy called island hopping. It called for the armed forces to take successively closer island strongholds to the Japanese mainland while leaving some in place to starve.

From May 27 to June 20, 1944, the U.S. Army and Navy decisively eliminated the Japanese Army and Navy forces immediately northwest of New Guinea in the Battle of Biak after a long bloody campaign. The Japanese there maintained an airfield that could be improved by the Americans to use in the air war; also, Japanese presence there was perceived as a potential threat to the Australian mainland.

The U.S. victory in the Battle of Saipan from June 15 to July 9, 1944 made Tinian, 5.6 kilometres (3.5 mi) south of Saipan, the next logical step in the Marianas campaign which would lead to retaking the Philippines and ultimately the defeat of Japan. The Japanese defending the island were commanded by Colonel Kiyochi Ogata and his subordinate Goichi Ova. Vice-Admiral Kakaji Kakuta, commander of First Air Fleet, was headquartered on Tinian.

The 2nd and 4th Marine Divisions landed on 24 July 1944, supported by naval bombardment and artillery firing across the strait from Saipan. A successful feint for the major settlement of Tinian Town diverted defenders from the actual landing site on the north of the island. The battleship USS Colorado and the destroyer USS Norman Scott were both hit by six inch Japanese shore batteries. The Colorado was hit 22 times, killing 44 men. The Norman Scott was hit six times, killing the captain, Seymore Owens, and 22 of his seamen. The Japanese adopted the same stubborn resistance as on Saipan, retreating during the day and attacking at night. The gentler terrain of Tinian allowed the attackers more effective use of tanks and artillery than in the mountains of Saipan, and the island was secured in nine days of fighting. On July 31, the surviving Japanese launched a suicide charge.

The battle saw the first use of napalm in the Pacific. Of the 120 jettisonable tanks dropped during the operation, 25 contained the napalm mixture and the remainder an oil-gasoline mixture. Of the entire number, only 14 were duds, and eight of these were set afire by subsequent strafing runs. Carried by F4U Corsairs, the “fire bombs”, also known as napalm bombs, burned away foliage concealing enemy installations.

Aftermath

Japanese losses were far greater than American losses. The Japanese lost 8,010 dead. Only 313 Japanese were taken prisoner. American losses stood at 328 and 1,571 wounded. Several hundred Japanese troop held out in the jungles for months. The garrison on Aguijan Island off the southwest cape of Tinian, commanded by Lt Kinichi Yamada, held out until the end of the war, surrendering on 4 September 1945. The last holdout on Tinian, Murat Susumu, was not captureed until 1953.

After the battle, Tinian became an important base for further Allied operations in the Pacific Campaign. Camps were built for 50,000 troops. Fifteen thousand Seabees turned the island into the busiest airfield of the war, with six 2,400 m runways for attacks by B-29 Superfortress bombers on targets in the Philippines, the Ruukyr Islands and mainland Japan, including the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

President Roosevelt’s Address

Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamythe United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval air air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to the Secretary of States a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or int of war or armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. Very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

  • Yesterday, the Japanese Government also launched an attack on Malaya.
  • Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.
  • Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam.
  • Last night Japanese Forces attacked the Pilippine Islands.
  • Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island.
  • This morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our Nation.

As Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make very certain that his form of treachery shall never endanger us again.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory,and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces – with the unbounded determination – we will gain the inevitable triumph – so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December seventh, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.”

Let Us Not Forget Those Who Have Gone Before Us

Key Vessels attacked at Pearl Harbor

Key Vessels in the Attack:

  • USS ARIZONA took eight aerial bomb hits. The battleship went down and remains below. Of her complement, 1,177 officers and men were killed.
  • USS CALIFORNIA was struck by two torpedoes and one bomb…listed, flooded and sank into the muddy bottom.
  • USS MARYLAND, though it by two bombs, sustained the least damage of any of the battleships in the Harbor, due to her protected position inboard of USS OKLAHOMA.
  • USS OKLAHOMA took 5 to 7 torpedo hits in rapid succession and went down, losing nearly a third of her crew of 1,354. Thirty-two men, trapped inside, were saved by civilian workers who cut through the upturned bottom.
  • USS NEVADA was the only battleship to get underway during the attack. Her commanding officer was ordered to deliberately run aground to avoid the risk of sinking and blocking the channel.
  • USS PENNSYLVANIA was in drydock No. 1 on December 7 and escaped serious damage.
  • USS TENNESSEE was inboard of USS WEST VIRGINIA. She sustained minor damage and was able to man her guns.
  • USS WEST VIRGINIA took the brunt of the attack. The ship was aflame and she sank. Her captain died in the action.
  • USS RALEIGH was badly damaged but somehow remained afloat with her guns in action. Amazingly not a single man aboard was killed.
  • USS DETROIT, USS ST. LOUIS and USS PHOENIX were not damaged and joined a dozen destroyers and other ships in a hunt for the Japanese.
  • USS HELENA and the mine sweeper, USS OGLALA were moored where USS PENNSYLVANIA which was in drydock, normally berthed and so were prime targets of dive bombers and torpedo planes and sustained severe damage.

Of the other cruisers, USS SAN FRANCISCO, USS HONOLULU, and USS NEWORLEANS were in repair yards at the time of attack and suffered less damage than other ships.

There were 47 destroyers in Hawaiian waters that Sunday morning. Two, USS DOWNES and USS CASSIN, which were in the drydock, were severely damaged.

The USS SHAW was in a floating dry dock when she was hit. Her magazine blew up in a spectacular explosion and sank the floating drydock.

Many support vessels were in Pearl Harbor at the time of the attack. Some of them, like the repair ship USS VESTAL and the seaplane tender USS CURTISS were badly damages.

The status of the hospital ship USS SOLACE was evident as she was painted white with prominent red crosses on the sides and topside and she was not bombed. Since medical supplies and facilities were stretched to the limit, the equipment and personnel of the USS SOLACE were desperately needed.

The USS UTAH had been converted to a mobile target/training vessel and went down taking 54 men with her.

Let Us Not Forget Those Who Have Gone Before Us

“Day of Infamy”

In the early hours of Sunday, December 7, Japanese submarines of an advance expeditionary force launched five midget subs they had piggy-backed from Japan. Each two man 80 ft sub was armed with two torpedoes and an explosive charge in the bow for suicidal ramming. All five subs and all of their crews, except one man were lost. One was lost at sea; one was sunk outside the Harbor by the USS Ward; one entered Pearl Harbor through an open submarine net and was sunk when it was rammed by USS Monaghan. The fourth could not steer properly and beached on the windward side of Oahu, its surviving crew member becoming the first Japanese prisoner of war. It is unknown what happened to the fifth submarine, but it is believed to have been sunk during the raid.

0342 – USS Condor, on routine mine-sweeping patrol, spots the periscope of one of the midget subs in restricted waters off the entrance to the Harbor. USS Condor‘s skipper thinks the sub is probably one of ours that strayed into a restricted area by mistake. Nevertheless, since he has no guns or depth charges himself, he sends a message to the captain of the destroyer USS Ward on patrol nearby.

0500 – Two reconnaissance planes take off to scout Pearl Harbor and Lahaina Roads, Maui.

0600 – The first wave of 183 planes is launched.

0630 – USS Ward observes a submarine trailing the supply ship USS Antares into the Harbor and sinks her. The commanding officer sends a message informing the fleet commander.

0706 – Two army privates, manning a mobile radar station in the hills above Opana Point, contact a lone a/c but are not alarmed. However, soon afterward they receive signals of many more approaching planes so they report to the officer at Ft. Shafter who decides it is a formation of Army B-17s expected in Hawaii that day or a/c from the USS Enterprise and tells the soldiers not to worry about it.

0748 – The first Japanese bombs land at Kaneohe Naval Air Station.

0755 – Hicham Air Field and Wheeler Air Field are hit simultaneously.

0757 – The cruiser USS Raleigh is the first ship in Pearl Harbor to be hit, taking a torpedo in her port side. Within seconds, USS Utah takes two direct hits and USS Helena is hit by a torpedo directly amidship. Her clock stops at 0757.

0800 – As the band plays the national anthem and the flag is being raised, the decks of the USS Nevada are strafed by attacking planes. Not one member of the band or the Marine Corps color guard is hit, but the flag is in shreds.

0805 – Bombs begin falling in Honolulu. Roads leading to Pearl Harbor are strafed and three civilian employees on their way to work are killed. On a local radio station, announcer Webley Edwards repeats over and over, “This is not a maneuver…this is the real McCoy!” At Hickam Field, three civilian firemen are killed and elsewhere city and plantation firemen are frantically battling blazing fires.

Later assessments show that shells fell in 40 locations in the city; 68 civilians were killed, others were seriously wounded or hurt by the explosions, fores and falling debris.

0850 – The second wave of 167 planes reaches Pearl Harbor and is met by a concentrated screen of antiaircraft fire from Americans finally able to mobilize and attempt retaliation.

After 0800 – The 12 B-17 bombers expected earlier at Hickam Field arrive to a scene of of chaos and confusion, and an angry swarm of Japanese Zeros. The American planes had been disarmed to lighten the load and so have no means of defending themselves. However, though under ferocious attack, all manage to land safely.

Soon after – 18 dive bombers from the carrier USS Enterprise arrive and are greeted with hostile fire from both Japanese and nervous Americans. Thirteen of the USS Enterprise planes finally land at Ford Island and Ewa, but only nine of them are undamaged. The survivors are refueled and take off at 1210 to join a vain hunt for the enemy force.

Between 0800 & 1100 – At Hickam and Wheeler Fields, a/c conveniently grouped together on the runways, are devastated by enemy bombs and strafing. On the windward side of the island at Kaneohe, seaplanes on the ground are smashed and burned and personnel slaughtered in deadly strafing. Of an estimated 394 planes at Oahu air fields that morning, only 11 fighters become airborne.

At Pearl Harbor, the devastation continues. The waters around Ford Island are covered with a violently flaming oil slick engulfing the wounded men trying desperately to reach safety. Heroic acts are common place as small boats brave the burning sea to rescue the dying.

1000 – The last planes of the 2nd wave depart to return to the Japanese carriers which have now edged 40 miles closer to the scene of battle.

1300 – All but 29 planes are safe aboard the Japanese carriers. Japanese pilots and personnel aboard the ships in the armada are ecstatic. They can not believe the completeness of the surprise, their incredibly low casualty rate, and the absence of any effective resistance. They are sure they have dealt a death blow to the American military structure. The Japanese commander of the air attack urgently recommends that the planes be refueled and allowed to return and attack again, but Fleet Commander Nuaumo refuses.

1330 – The Japanese task force turns and heads for home.

Let Us Not Forget Those Who Have Gone Before Us

CARRIERS DAMAGED – 1960

“NEWSPAPER ARTICLE – 1960

12 Men Hurt As 2 Carriers Are Damaged:

NORFOLK, VA. (AP) – an aircraft carrier and a Navy ammunition ship collided in the Caribbean yesterday and a boiler blew up aboard a 2nd carrier off the Virginia coast Tuesday, the Navy said…(No date(s) were provided with this information that came to this editor). Twelve men were injured in the two accidents.

The ammunition ship USS Diamond Head and the carrier USS Independence collided while replenishing, causing extensive damage to the Diamond Head. Crewmen quickly confined damage on the Diamond Head. Crewmen extinguished a fire in the ship’s forecastle and the forward magazine was flooded.

A 20-ft long hole was punched in the Diamond Head’s right side 12 ft above the waterline. One crewman received minor injuries. The ship proceeded to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the Independence resumed operations. No one was injured aboard the Independence.

The boiler ruptured aboard the carrier USS Intrepid Tuesday, the Navy said, injuring 11 men. One man, Airman Steven J. Yhlean of Blue Island, Ill., suffered serious burns. Three others were hospitalized and seven were treated.

A Navy spokesman said the accident occurred in the No 2 fire room when a shaft broke in a water pump feeding the boiler. The feed pump disintegrated, scattering metal parts, some of which broke the boiler casting.

The Intrepid was en rout from Norfolk for sea operations. A spokesman said it would not be necessary for the ship to enter a shipyard for repairs.”

Article submitted by FCM Joseph Salinarco, V-3 Division, 1959-1963

Let Us Not Forget Those Who Have Gone Before Us

“TWINS who served…”

“Sir:

As per requested…following is some information regarding me and my twin brother Alfons. We have served aboard three (3) combat ships in the Pacific and they were the USS Henderson, USS Gambier Bay and the USS Intrepid. We were assigned to the Intrepid on December 8, 1944 at Hunters Point, CA and served aboard her until December 31, 1945. When aboard the Gambier Bay we survived when she was sunk during the surface battle in the Battle of Leyte Gulf on October 25, 1944. We were awarded 30 days Survivor’s Leave and our Leave Papers read…”Report to the U.S.S. Intrepid (CV-11) at Hunters Point, CA”.

Ed Krzemecki, Former Intrepid Crewman”

 Newspaper Notice:

“Twins Serve Together” – U.S.S. INTREPID (CV 11): Alfons Krezemecki, shipfitter 2/c and his twin, Edward, shipfitter 2/c served aboard the a/c carrier where planes took part battering Okinawa prior to Marine and Army landings. Both Al and Ed were never separated during their service in the Navy, even in combat, since they enlisted together in the Navy.”

Forced to abandon ship from the USS Gambier Bay, they lashed themselves together before going over the side. The Gambier Bay was one of the two (2) U.S. CVSs sunk after the heroic stand against – at that time – a Jap battle fleet of superior speed and gunpower.

 Much of the history of the Intrepid belongs to the tale of repairing battle damage, and is a tribute to the repair party training program and to the valiant efforts of the men who risked their lives to fight fires and rescue trapped personnel.

Few experiences of naval life could exceed the havoc and the terror of a major conflagration. Planes burn fiercely and ammunition explodes – all within a slippery, slanting space made black as night by the heavy smoke. Yet these men knew they must do – and did it. The ship lived and salvage work began.

Does anyone remember Intrepid’s mascot dog that had one black eye? His name was “Pooch”?

 A PATHETIC AFTERMATH of the battle was the plight of the survivors of U.S. sunken ships off Samar. The men from the Gambier Bay, the Saint Lo, the Johnston, Hoel and Roberts, were left in the water, hanging onto rafts, nets, and wreckage, suffering from thirst, sunburn, and attacks by sharks, for two days before rescue ships arrived to take them onboard. This failure was a disgrace to the Seventh Fleet authorities charged with responsibility for the rescue of personnel.

Many died from thirst, wounds and exhaustion. Two men were known to have perished from the attacks of sharks, Those still alive were picked up on the morning of October 27th by sub-chasers and LCI’s from Leyte Gulf.

Let Us Not Forget Those Who Have Gone Before Us

Roll of Honor Aircrewman

“January 4, 1999

Dear John (Blog editor)

Enclosed is some of the info you requested regarding my Distinguished Flying Cross. Along with some before and after photos that I would like returned if possible. I have included a rough draft of a bio that will be presented to the nominating committee by my sponsor for induction into the “Enlisted Combat Aircrew Roll of honor” at the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum aboard the USS Yorktown in Charleston, SC. Also included is a consolidated list of the 3 combat flights recorded in my flight log book that made me eligible for the DFC. Congressman Bill Pascrell will be presenting the medal to me later this evening with family and friends being present.

Sincerly,

Steve Mihalovic, ARM1/C, Radioman/Gunner, Former Intrepid Crew Member”

_____________________________________

Chief of Naval Operations

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS to…

AVIATION RADIOMAN FIRST CLASS

STEPHEN R. MIHALOVIC

UNITED STATES NAVY

…for service as set forth in the following:

CITATION:

     For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight with Bombing Squadron SIX from 19 November 1943 to 13 August 1945. In the successful completion of  23 missions, Petty Officer Mihalovic contributed materially to the success of Unites States efforts. By his undaunted courage, superb airmanship, and unyielding devotion to duty in the face of hazardous flying conditions, Petty Officer Mihalovic reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

For the President,

J.D. Johnson

Admiral, United States Navy,

Chief of Naval Operations

________________________________________

COMBAT DECORATIONS:

Distinguished Flying Cross

Air Medal w/3 Gold Stars

Navy Unit Citation w/1 Star

Asiatic/Pacific Area w/5 Stars

Air Medal w/3 Gold Stars…

…in lien of a 2nd, 3rd and 4th Air Medal

Missions served from the USS Enterprise (CV 6), USS Intrepid (CV 11), USS Hancock (CV 19)

Mihalovic

(L)Frank Doria, Hector Giannasca, Mr/Mrs. Bob/Gwen Kofnovec, Tony Zollo,  Steve & wife

Let Us Not Forget Those Who Have Gone Before Us

“That can’t be the Intrepid…!”

“June 23, 1999

Dear John (Blog editor)

About 8 yrs ago I was driving down town on 12 Ave when I saw #CV11 on this big aircraft carrier. I said to myself…”That can’t be the Intrepid I was on!”

Well! The next day I went on the Intrepid and sure found out when I met former crew members – Joe Liotta and Frank Doria. After asking how this ship got here they mentioned Mr. Fisher so many times.

I got to know Mr. Fisher very well. The greatest guy I ever met. God be with him always.

Thank you.

Hector Giannasca, Former Crewmember”

Let Us Not Forget Those Who Have Gone Before Us

“I went over the side…”

“June 21, 1999

Hi John (Blog editor)

God bless Zachary Fisher. Five (5) yrs ago I visited the Intrepid for the 1st time since I served aboard her for 2 year during World War II, 1943-1944. I flew off the Intrepid in a T.B.F. Torpedo plane, the Avenger as a Radio Radar Operator. The Intrepid received he award as the Best Ship in the Fleet.

Intrepid was first hit with a Torpedo and 5 times with Japanese Kamakazies. When you see the Fighting I film on the History Channel, you will see my plane go over the side 90 ft upside down after being hit with anti-aircraft fire while photographing Kwayalein in the Marshall Islands.

Zachary Fisher knew the history of the Intrepid and he was determined to save this historic ship for posterity.

I was proud to have served aboard the Intrepid. She is now a definite part of history. Zachary Fisher was always ready to help the military, Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard. He was a true Patriot who loved this country, the United States of America.

Joe Liotta, Former Crewmember, 1943-1944″

Let Us Not Forget Those Who Have Gone Before Us

FCM – John McCain, Ltjg, USN

John Sidney McCain III (born August 29, 1936) a former crew member A-1 Sky Raider Squadron (VA-65) who served a tour aboard the USS Intrepid (’61-’62) is an American politician and the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican presidential nominee in the 2008 United States election.

mccainthen

Autographed photo in this Blog author’s cruise book

McCain followed his father and granfather, both four-star admirals, into the U.S. Navy, graduating from the Naval Academy in 1958. He became a naval aviator, flying ground-attack a/c from the aircraft carriers Intrepid, Enterpirise, Oriskany and Forrestal. During the Vietnam War, he was almost killed in the ’67 USS Forrestal fire.. In October 1967, while on a bombing mission over Hanoi, he was shot down, seriously injured, and captured by the N. Vietnamese. He was a POW until 1973. McCain experienced episodes of torture, and refused an out-of-sequence early repatriation offer. His war wounds left him with lifelong physical limitations.

He retired as a Navy Captain in 1981 and moved to Arizona, where he entered politics. Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982, he served two terms, and was then elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986, winning re-election easily four times, most recently in 2010. While generally adhering to conservative principles, McCain at times has had a media reputation as a “maverick” for his willingness to disagree with his party on certain issues. After being investigated and largely exonerated in a political influence scandal of the ’80s as a member of the Keating Five, he made campaign finance reform one of his signature concerns, which eventually led to the passage of the McCain-Feingold Act in 2002. He is also known for his work towards restoring diplomatic relations with Vietnam in the ’90s, and for his belief that the war in Iraq should be fought to a successful conclusion. McCain has chaired the Senate Commerce Committee, opposed spending that he considered to be pork barrel, and played a key role in alleviating a crisis over judicial nomiations..

McCain ran for the Republican presidential nomination in ’00 but lost a heated primary season contest to George W. Bush. He secured the nomination in 2008 after coming back from early reversals, but lost to Democratic candidate Barack Obama in the general election. He subsequently adopted more orthodox conservative stances and attitudes and largely opposed actions of the Obama adminstraion.

The Smugglers of Misery – Part V

The Smugglers of Misery – Part V

Full-Scale Attack. In recent months, significant efforts have been launched to do something about the illicit drug traffic into the United States. For instance:

  • Operation Intercept, a program of rigorous border inspection ordered last year, dramatically cut the flow of Mexican drugs, at least temporarily. Operation Intercept, which caused long delays a border check-points, was followrd by Operation Cooperation, a joint U.S. Mexican drive designed to slash smuggling and also drug production south of the border. Six thousand Mexican soldiers were sent on “search and destroy” missions in areas where marijuana is heavily cultivated. And for the first time, Mexico imposed controls on the sale of amphetamines and barbiturates. New legislation is being drafted by Mexican authorities to punish drug producers and smugglers.
  • A vitally important agreement was reached last January with the French government to curb the illicit processing of heroin in that country. Pressed by Washington, Paris has pledged a stepped-up campaign against drug  traffickers, with 10,000 French policemen to be trained in narcotics work.
  • At the insistence of President Nixon, nearly 700 new agents and inspectors are being hired by the woefully under-manned Customs Bureau.
  • Most important, perhaps, the President has declared an all-out war on organized crime. Federal strike forces have been set up in major cities to combat the syndicates that control narcotics and other rackets.

The Attorney General has received permission to wire-tap major drug traffickers. A comprehensive anti-crime package is moving through Congress. Administration officials expect no overnight victories. The are taking on immensely powerful, well-entrenched criminal groups. But the government’s full-scale attack is long overdue and deserves the determined support of every citizen.

The End

 Source: The Reader’s Digest, April 1970, by William Schulz

______________________________________________

As an added Special Feature to this story readers may be interested in searching your local library, or the Internet, for the book “THE HUNT FOR “ANDRE” by Nathan M. Adams

The books ‘Forward’ reads…

For five frustrating years, U.S. Customs and narcotics agents, trying to plug a major heroin pipeline into the United States, dogged the heels of a mysterious man known to them as “Andre.” He posed, among other things, as a restaurateur in Asuncion, Paraguay, but in reality he masterminded the world’s largest heroin smuggling operation.

Reader’s Digest reporter Nathan M. Adams retraces the danger-packed trail which finally led to the capture and incarceration of the man who has been called the biggest drug boss of them all.”

This issue was reprinted with permission from the March 1973 READER’S DIGEST (c) copyright 1973

by The Reader’s Digest Assn., Inc.

The Smugglers of Misery – Part IV

The Smugglers of Misery – Part IV

Couriers and Codfish.

Some of the most ingenious techniques of all were practiced by a Geneva-based syndicate headed by ex-convicts Andre Hirsch and Robert more. Syndicate couriers would board Trans World Airlines flights in one European city, say Frankfurt, and deplane in another, usually London. Wile aboard, they hid six-kilo lots of heroin (stuffed in men’s socks) behind lavatory waste receptacles. American-based couriers would then board the plane at its first U.S. stop – perhaps New York, perhaps Washington – retrieve the heroin in flight and get off at a second U.S. city, usually Denver or St. Louis. There would be no necessity to through Customs. The couriers would return to New York, contact their buyer and receive $51,000 for each six-kilo load.

The operation worked smoothly for some time, with the U.S. couriers sending back as much as one million dollars a month, usually via secret Swiss bank accounts. Then, in July 1968, a TWA maintenance worker discovered the heroin and alerted Customs. The couriers were arrested, as were their U.S. buyers.

But within a month Hirsch had another scheme under way.* A 23-yr-old Parisian, Christian Serge Hysohion, was dispatched to New York with instructions to set up the Panamanian Chemical and Food Co., Inc., a dummy import firm ostensibly handling Spanish food-stuffs. Then, in the Spanish port of  Malaga, large quantities of heroin were sealed in cans of codfish and pzella, and shipped to hysohion in New York. On December 10, 1968, the S.S. Raunda sailed with 702 cases of the tins. On January 31, 1969, another 400 cases left aboard the S.S. Grundsunda. In New York, the dope was to be separated from the legitimate foodstuffs and sold to a syndicate contact.

Unknown to Hirsch and Hysohion, however, a globe-girdling investigation by New York-based Customs agents, Edward Coyne and Albert Seeley, had uncovered the operation.

When the Ragunda docked in late February, Coyne was on the scene. Using a high-powered X ray, he examined the 700 cases, discovering six (6) in which heroin was secreted.

Coyne and Seeley bided their time. Undercover agents followed the precious shipment as it was delivered on March 7 to Hysohion’s home in Queens, and kept up an around-the-clock surveillance. On march 8 an accomplice arrived from Paris, and early the next morning the two left, carrying a large leather satchel stuffed with heroin. Hailing a cab, they headed for Grand Central Station to hide the stuff in a public locker. The never made it.

Customs agents arrested Hysohion and his partner and seized 62 lbs of heroin. Twenty-four hours later, the Grundsunda docked, and Customs grabbed another 62 lbs of the deadly white powder. Ultimately, more than 30 ring members were arrested, but in less than two years of operation, Hirsch and his coterie had shipped more than 800 obs of pure heroin into the United States, enough to push tens of thousands of addicts closer to their grave.s

* Mori was arrested by French police as a fugitive in May 1968, extradited to the United States, and convicted of smuggling. He is now appealing his conviction while serving a 20 year sentence in federal prison.

See ‘The Smugglers of Misery – Part V’

 Source: The Reader’s Digest, April 1970, by William Schulz

 Article posted with permission from Former WWII Intrepid Crew Member and former U.S. Customs agent, Edward ‘Ed’ Coyne