April 06, 2014

Plum Crazy

Plum Crazy 3
This is my *new* car. A 2007 Dodge Charger Daytona R/T "Plum Crazy" No. 970/1400. Note the purple shirt the handsome eye candy is wearing. It was purchased before the car was. Plum Crazy 1
BU2 Call took the pics on my BB.

April 6, 2014 at 03:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 16, 2007

History Repeats Itself

Have We Learned Nothing from History?

During WWII, the Japanese were searching for a way to demoralize the American forces that they faced. The Japanese psychological warfare experts came up with a message that they thought would work well. They gave the script to their famous broadcaster "Tokyo Rose" and everyday she would broadcast this same message packaged in various ways hoping to have an impact on American GI morale. What was the message? It had three main points:

1. Your President is lying to you.

2. This war is wrong and illegal.

3. You cannot win the war.

Sound familiar? Maybe it's because the U.S. mainstream media and the Democrat Party has picked up the same message and is broadcasting it to our troops. The only difference is that they claim to support our troops before they demoralize them.

Come to think of it, Tokyo Rose used to tell the troops she was on their side.
Tokyo Rose was wrong then just like the mainstream media and Democratic Party are wrong now.
Japan lost their war and Tokyo Rose was convicted of Treason.

If only we could get the same results for the media and some of those Democrats.


- Joatmoaf -

June 16, 2007 at 02:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack (0)

June 13, 2007

Muslim and Jewish Comparrisons

The global Islamic population is approximately 1,200,000,000, or 20% of the world population...

They have received the following Nobel Prizes:

Literature:
1988 - Najib Mahfooz.

Peace:
1978 - Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat
1994 - Yaser Arafat

Physics:
1990 - Elias James Corey
1999 - Ahmed Zewail

Medicine:
1960 - Peter Brian Medawar
1998 - Ferid Mourad


The global Jewish population is approximately 14,000,000, or about 00.02% of the world population...

They have received the following Nobel Prizes:

Literature:
1910 - Paul Heyse
1927 - Henri Bergson
1958 - Boris Pasternak
1966 - Shmuel Yosef Agnon
1966 - Nelly Sachs
1976 - Saul Bellow
1978 - Isaac Bashevis Singer
1981 - Elias Canetti
1987 - Joseph Brodsky
1991 - Nadine Gordimer World

Peace:
1911 - Alfred Fried
1911 - Tobias Michael Carel Asser
1968 - Rene Cassin
1973 - Henry Kissinger
1978 - Menachem Begin
1986 - Elie Wiesel
1994 - Shimon Peres
1994 - Yitzhak Rabin

Physics:
1905 - Adolph Von Baeyer
1906 - Henri Moissan
1907 - Albert Abraham Michelson
1908 - Gabriel Lippmann
1910 - Otto Wallach
1915 - Richard Willstaetter
1918 - Fritz Haber
1921 - Albert Einstein
1922 - Niels Bohr
1925 - James Franck
1925 - Gustav Hertz
1943 - Gustav Stern
1943 - George Charles de Hevesy
1944 - Isidor Issac Rabi
1952 - Felix Bloch
1954 - Max Born
1958 - Igor Tamm
1959 - Emilio Segre
1960 - Donald A. Glaser
1961 - Robert Hofstadter
1961 - Melvin Calvin
1962 - Lev Davidovich Landau
1962 - Max Ferdinand Perutz
1965 - Richard Phillips Feynman
1965 - Julian Schwinger
1969 - Murray Gell-Mann
1971 - Dennis Gabor
1972 - William Howard Stein
1973 - Brian David Josephson
1975 - Benjamin Mottleson
1976 - Burton Richter
1977 - Ilya Prigogine
1978 - Arno Allan Penzias
1978 - Peter L Kapitza
1979 - Stephen Weinberg
1979 - Sheldon Glashow
1979 - Herbert Charles Brown
1980 - Paul Berg
1980 - Walter Gilbert
1981 - Roald Hoffmann
1982 - Aaron Klug
1985 - Albert A. Hauptman
1985 - Jerome Karle
1986 - Dudley R. Herschbach
1988 - Robert Huber
1988 - Leon Lederman
1988 - Melvin Schwartz
1988 - Jack Steinberger
1989 - Sidney Altman
1990 - Jerome Friedman
1992 - Rudolph Marcus
1995 - Martin Perl
2000 - Alan J. Heeger

Economics:
1970 - Paul Anthony Samuelson
1971 - Simon Kuznets
1972 - Kenneth Joseph Arrow
1975 - Leonid Kantorovich
1976 - Milton Friedman
1978 - Herbert A. Simon
1980 - Lawrence Robert Klein
1985 - Franco Modigliani
1987 - Robert M. Solow
1990 - Harry Markowitz
1990 - Merton Miller
1992 - Gary Becker
1993 - Robert Fogel

Medicine:
1908 - Elie Metchnikoff
1908 - Paul Erlich
1914 - Robert Barany
1922 - Otto Meyerhof
1930 - Karl Landsteiner
1931 - Otto Warburg
1936 - Otto Loewi
1944 - Joseph Erlanger
1944 - Herbert Spencer Gasser
1945 - Ernst Boris Chain
1946 - Hermann Joseph Muller
1950 - Tadeus Reichstein
1952 - Selman Abra ham Waksman
1953 - Hans Krebs
1953 - Fritz Albert Lipmann
1958 - Joshua Lederberg
1959 - Art hur Ko rnberg
1964 - Konrad Bloch
1965 - Francois Jacob
1965 - Andre Lwoff
1967 - George Wald
1968 - Marshall W. Nirenberg
1969 - Salvador Luria
1970 - Julius Axelrod
1970 - Sir Bernard Katz
1972 - Gerald Maurice Edelman
1975 - Howard Martin Temin
1976 - Baruch S. Blumberg
1977 - Roselyn Sussman Yalow
1978 - Daniel Nathans
1980 - Baruj Benacerraf
1984 - Cesar Milstein
1985 - Michael Stuart Brown
1985 - Joseph L. Goldstein
1986 - Stanley Cohen (& Rita Levi-Montalcini)
1988 - Gertrude Elion
1989 - Harold Varmus
1991 - Erwin Neher
1991 - Bert Sakmann
1993 - Richard J. Roberts
1993 - Phillip Sharp
1994 - Alfred Gilman
1995 - Edward B. Lewis

The Jews are not demonstrating with their dead on the streets, yelling and chanting and asking for revenge.

The Jews are not promoting brain washing their children in military training camps.

The Jews are not teaching their children how to blow themselves up and cause maximum deaths of Jews and other non Muslims.

The Jews don't hijack planes, nor kill athletes at the Olympics.

The Jews don't traffic slaves, nor have leaders calling for Jihad and death to all the Infidels.

The Jews don't have the economic strength of petroleum, nor the possibilities to force the world's media to see "their side" of the question.

The leaders of most oil producing Muslim countries are extremely wealthy while the citizens live in poverty, and that fact explains to a large extent why they have such enmity towards them.

Isreali leaders have usually proven themselves in harrowing, and often, life threatening situations.

Muslim leaders usually inherit their positions.

Perhaps the world's Muslims should consider investing more in standard education and less in blaming the Jews for all their problems.


Call me crazy, but as far as Decency, Honor, Courage, Motivation, and yes, Righteousness is concerned, I'm going to side with the Jews.


- Joatmoaf -

June 13, 2007 at 09:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)

April 02, 2007

USS Jason Dunham (DDG-109)

Navy Names New Guided-Missile Destroyer USS Jason Dunham

The Department of Navy announced March 23 that the Navy's newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer will be USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109), honoring the late Cpl. Jason L. Dunham, the first Marine awarded the Medal of Honor for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Donald C. Winter, made the announcement in Dunham’s hometown of Scio, N.Y.

"Jason Dunham, the friendly, kind-hearted, gifted athlete who followed his star in the United States Marine Corps went on to become one of the most courageous, heroic, and admired Marines this great country has ever known," said Winter. "His name will be forever associated with DDG 109. May those who serve in her always be inspired by the heroic deeds of Jason Dunham, and may all of us strive to be worthy of his sacrifice."

In May of 2004 Cassandra posted a touching article from the Wall Street Journal about the self sacrafice of Marine Cpl. Jason L. Dunham here.
The WSJ article was written by Michael M. Phillips from the book, The Gift of Valor which gives a unique perspective on who Cpl. Dunham was.

I can't add anything to what has been written about Cpl. Dunham that would be any better than what has already been written by others. I'm not expressive enough, or eloquont enough. But I can say that I'm grateful for his sacrifice and the sacrifices of all members of our Military.
I'm grateful that they are willing to give up much, and in some cases, like Cpl. Dunham, to give up all, to do a nasty job that must be done.

That the U.S. Navy would name a new warship after a Marine speaks volumes of the regard they hold him in.
It's the highest Honor the Navy can bestow.

Jan. 16, 2007 - Inducted into the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes

USS Jason Dunham (DDG-109)

Jasom Dunham Memorial and Homepage


SALUTE!


- Joatmoaf -


April 2, 2007 at 10:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

March 04, 2007

Saving The Environment

Do you recycle?
Not only cans for the money, but paper, plastic, glass, hypodermic needles, condoms and anything else that could possibly be recycled?

Are you the type of person who will only drive your solar powered car if you have to go more than 20 miles, otherwise you'll ride your bicycle because you hate to waste solar energy?

If that is you then you need to see THIS VIDEO.

Go ahead, look at it.
You know you want to.


- Joatmoaf -

March 4, 2007 at 02:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

February 24, 2007

The Final Inspection

The Marine stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

"Step forward now, Marine,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?"

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
"No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand.

There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the Marine waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you Marine,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell."

UPDATE

Amy brings us Part II, and a little clarification.

The poem was written by Sgt. Joshua Helterbran of the 224th Engineer Battalion. After he found it circulating around he wrote a part II which he did sign :

Part II

I'm very saddened by America today,
when they take credit for what others say.

I wrote a poem because of problems in my past,
how was I to know that it was going to last.

It has been read by all and loved the same,
but indeed at the end there is no name.

The name is simple for those who know,
it's not Kilmer, Longfellow, Service, or Poe.

It's a soldier who has fought for his country so true,
He's proud of the ole Red, White and Blue.

You now know the poem the one and the same,
The Final Inspection is the name.

I wrote it because of the trials so true,
and of my buddies who died for country and you.

So take this poem, take it as you trod,
because in Heaven I'll see my God.

He will look at me and say don't be sad,
others read your poem and you made them glad.

Now step forward my son and look your best,
and come inside with all the rest.

by: Sgt Joshua Helterbran

- Joatmoaf -

February 24, 2007 at 12:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)

January 27, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY VRWC !!!

On This Day

January 27, 1998

First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, appearing on NBC's "Today" show, charged the allegations against her husband were the work of a "vast right-wing conspiracy."

Coining the name of a movement that many of us are proud, card carrying members of is Hillary's greatest political acheivement.
Approximately one Chronon later I became a member.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY VRWC !!!


- Joatmoaf -

January 27, 2007 at 07:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 25, 2007

A Musical Parody

This is from the Xena Netforum of about 10 years ago. It's an excellent example of what can be done with a popular TV program and some very clever contributors.
I bring you...

XENA MEETS GILBERT AND SULLIVAN

[We join our operetta already in progress. The infamous Pirates of Pergamum have just seized a bevy of beautiful Mytilenean maidens, and are attempting to carry them off for matrimonial purposes. Gabrielle intervenes, with a recitative (well, it's better than a pan flute solo):]

[Gabrielle] Hold, scoundrels! Ere ye practice acts of villainy
Upon the peaceful and agrarian,

Just bear in mind, these maidens of My-TIL-ene
Are guarded by a buff barbarian!


[Pirates] We'd better all rethink our cunning plan;
They're guarded by a buff barbarian.


[Maidens] Yes, yes, she is a buff barbarian.

[Xena leaps in from the wings, with a tremendous war cry, does a mid-air somersault, and lands on her feet on the Pirate King's chest.] [Xena] Yes, yes, I am a buff barbarian! [The orchestra starts up.]
I am the very model of a heroine barbarian;
Through Herculean efforts, I've become humanitarian.
I ride throughout the hinterland -- at least that's what they call it in

Those sissy towns like Athens (I, myself, am Amphipolitan).
I travel with a poet who is perky and parthenian
And scribbles her hexameters in Linear Mycenian
(And many have attempted, by a host of methods mystical,
To tell if our relationship's sororal or sapphistical).


[Chorus] To tell if their relationship's sororal or sapphistical!
To tell if their relationship's sororal or sapphistical!
To tell if their relationship's sororal or sapphisti-phistical!


[Xena] My armory is brazen, but my weapons are ironical;
My sword is rather phallic, but my chakram's rather yonical

(To find out what that means, you'll have to study Indo-Aryan).
I am the very model of a heroine barbarian!


[Chorus] To find out what that means, we'll have to study Indo-Aryan --
She is the very model of a heroine barbarian!


[Xena] I wake up every morning, ere the dawn is rhododactylous

(Who needs to wait for daylight? I just work by sensus tactilis.)
And ride into the sunrise to protect some local villagers
From mythologic monsters or from all-too-human pillagers.
I hurtle towards each villain with a recklessness ebullient
And cow him with my swordwork and my alalaes ululient;
He's frightened for his head, because he knows I'm gonna whack it -- he's
Aware that his opponent is the Basileia Makhetes!

[The music crashes to a halt, as the Chorus stares at Xena in utter confusion. She sighs.] It's Greek. It means "Warrior Princess"! [Light dawns on the Chorus, and the music resumes.] Sheesh . . .

[Chorus] He knows that his opponent is the Basileia Makhetes!
He knows that his opponent is the Basileia Makhetes!

He knows that his opponent is the Basileia Makhe-makhetes,


[Xena] Because I've got my armor, which is really rather silly, on
(It's cut so low I feel like I'm the topless tow'rs of Ilion,
And isn't any use against attackers sagittarian).
I am the very model of a heroine barbarian!


[Chorus] It isn't any use against attackers sagittarian --
She is the very model of a heroine barbarian!


[Xena] In short, when I can tell you how I break the laws of gravity,
And why my togs expose my intermammary concavity,
And why my comrade changed her dress from one that fit more comfily

To one that shows her omphalos (as cute as that of Omphale),
And why the tale of Spartacus appears in Homer's versicon,

[She holds up a tomato:]
And where we found examples of the genus _Lycopersicon_,
And why this Grecian scenery looks more like the Antipodes,
You'll say I'm twice the heroine of any in Euripides!

[Chorus] We'll say she's twice the heroine of any in Euripides!
We'll say she's twice the heroine of any in Euripides!
We'll say she's twice the heroine of any in Euripi-ripides!


[Xena] But though the kinked chronology, confusing and chimerical
(It's often unhistorical, but rarely unhysterical),

Would give a massive heart attack to any antiquarian,
I am the very model of a heroine barbarian!


[Chorus] 'Twould give a massive heart attack to any antiquarian --
She is the very model of a heroine barbarian!

[As the orchestra plays the final chords, a wild Xenaesque melee ensues, and the curtain has to be brought down.]

- Joatmoaf -

January 25, 2007 at 10:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 24, 2007

Acceleration Vs Speed

Dragster


Many people think that speed and acceleration are the same thing, but that's only true in the sense that I and a newborn child are the same.

While I have reached a measure of stability in life, the newborn is just starting on its journey.
Speed is the goal. Acceleration is the journey.

I like speed. Fast music, fast cars. Things like that I like fast but the thing about cars I like the most is acceleration.
When I put my foot about 1/4 inch down on the gas pedal my mighty Mopar answers by pushing me gently back into the leather seat. When I push my foot down about half way I feel like I don't really need seatbelts due to the force gripping me to the seat.

I bring this up because of Top Fuel Dragsters. I absolutely love 'em. I get almost orgasmic just watching a race.

I'm not talking about some namby/pamby Daytona or Indy racer, no. I'm talking about some serious horsepower.

To give you an idea of what I mean:

Under full throttle, a Top Fuel dragster engine consumes 11.2 gallons of nitro methane per second; a fully loaded 747 consumes jet fuel at the same rate with 25% less energy being produced.

A stock Dodge 426 Hemi V8 engine cannot produce enough power to drive the dragster's supercharger.

With 3000 CFM of air being rammed in by the supercharger on overdrive, the fuel mixture is compressed into a near-solid form before ignition. Cylinders run on the verge of hydraulic lock at full throttle.
At the stoichiometric 1.7:1 air/fuel mixture for nitro methane the flame front temperature measures 7050 degrees F ( 3900 degrees C ).


Nitromethane burns yellow. The spectacular white flame seen above the stacks at night is raw burning hydrogen, dissociated from atmospheric water vapour by the searing exhaust gases.

Dual magnetos supply 44 amps to each spark plug. This is the output of an arc welder in each cylinder.
Spark plug electrodes are totally consumed during a pass. After 1/2 way, the engine is dieseling from compression plus the glow of exhaust valves at 1400 degrees F. The engine can only be shut down by cutting the fuel flow.

If spark momentarily fails early in the run, unburned nitro builds up in the affected cylinders and then explodes with sufficient force to blow cylinder heads off the block in pieces or split the block in half.

In order to exceed 300 mph in 4.5 seconds dragsters must accelerate at an average of over 4G's. In order to reach 200 mph well before half-track, the launch acceleration approaches 8G's.

Dragsters reach over 300 miles per hour before you have completed reading this sentence.

Top Fuel Engines turn approximately 540 RPM's from light to light! but stop & ponder the fact that the engine is only used for apx 4 to 5 seconds.

Including the burnout the engine must only survive 900 revolutions under load.

The red-line is actually quite high at 9500 rpm.

The Bottom Line; Assuming all the equipment is paid off, the crew worked for free, and for once NOTHING BLOWS UP, each run costs an estimated $1,000.00 per second. The current Top Fuel dragster elapsed time record is 4.441 seconds for the quarter mile 10/05/03, (Tony Shumacher). The top speed record is 333.00 mph (533 km/h) as measured over the last 66' of the run (09/28/03 Doug Kalitta).
Putting all of this into perspective: You are riding the average $25,000 Honda MotoGP bike. Over a mile up the road, a Top Fuel dragster is staged and ready to launch down a quarter mile strip as you pass. You have the advantage of a flying start. You run the RC211V hard up through the gears and blast across the starting line and past the dragster at an honest 200 mph (293 ft/sec). The tree' goes green for both of you at that moment. The dragster launches and starts after you. You keep your wrist cranked hard, but you hear an incredibly brutal whine that sears your eardrums and within 3 seconds the dragster catches and passes you. He beats you to the finish line, a quarter mile away from where you just passed him. Think about it, from a standing start, the dragster had spotted you 200 mph and not only caught, but nearly blasted you off the road when he passed you within a mere 1320 foot long race course.

Troxelfire22606
Melanie Troxel (right, with engine on fire) beat Bob Vandergriff in the first round of the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.


All that from a car that must weigh at least 2150 lbs. and have an engine no larger than 500 cubic inches.
One Top Fuel Dragster 500 c.i. engine makes more horsepower than the first four rows at the Daytona 500.
I'll take acceleration over speed any day. Speed is the destination but acceleration is the journey!


- Joatmoaf -


January 24, 2007 at 07:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

November 17, 2006

G.I. Joe

This should have been posted on the 15th. It would have made it a more appropriate memorial, but I've been playing a lot of catch up lately and missed it.
Sorry about that but here it is anyway.


It Came Down to One Marine

On Nov. 15, 2003, an 85-year-old retired Marine Corps colonel died of congestive heart failure at his home in La Quinta, Calif., southeast of Palm Springs.

He was a combat veteran of World War II. Reason enough to honor him. But this Marine was a little different. This Marine was Mitchell Paige.

It's hard today to envision -- or, for the dwindling few, to remember -- what the world looked like on October 26, 1942.

The U. S. Navy was not the most powerful fighting force in the Pacific. Not by a long shot. So the Navy basically dumped a few thousand lonely American Marines on the beach on Guadalcanal and high-tailed it out of there.

You Navy guys can hold those letters. Of course Nimitz, Fletcher and Halsey had to ration what few ships they had. I've written separately about the way Bull Halsey rolled the dice on the night of Nov. 13, 1942, violating the stern War College edict against committing capital ships in restricted waters and instead dispatching into the Slot his last two remaining fast battleships, the South Dakota and the Washington, escorted by the only four destroyers with enough fuel in their bunkers to get them there and back.

Those American destroyer captains need not have worried about carrying enough fuel to get home. By 11 p. m., outnumbered better than three- to-one by a massive Japanese task force driving down from the northwest,every one of those four American destroyers had been shot up, sunk, or set aflame. And while the South Dakota -- known throughout the fleet as a jinx ship -- had damaged some lesser Japanese vessels, she continued to be plagued with electrical and fire control problems.

"Washington was now the only intact ship left in the force," writes naval historian David Lippman. "In fact, at that moment Washington was the entire U. S. Pacific Fleet. She was the only barrier between (Admiral) Kondo's ships and Guadalcanal. If this one ship did not stop 14 Japanese ships right then and there, America might lose the war. .."

On Washington's bridge, Lieutenant Ray Hunter had the conn. He had just seen the destroyers Walke and Preston "blown sky high." Dead ahead lay their burning wreckage. Hundreds of men were swimming in the water and the Japanese ships racing in.

"Hunter had to do something. The course he took now could decide the war," Lippman writes. "'Come left,' he said. ... Washington's rudder change put the burning destroyers between her and the enemy, preventing her from being silhouetted by their fires.

"The move made the Japanese momentarily cease fire. Lacking radar, they could not spot Washington behind the fires. ..." Washington raced through burning seas. Dozens of destroyer men were in the water clinging to floating wreckage. "Get after them, Washington!" one shouted.

Sacrificing their ships by maneuvering into the path of torpedoes intended for the Washington, the captains of the American destroyers had given China Lee one final chance.

Blinded by the smoke and flames, the Japanese battleship Kirishima turned on her searchlights, illuminating the helpless South Dakota, and opened fire. Finally, as her own muzzle blasts illuminated her in the darkness,Admiral Lee and Captain Glenn Davis could positively identify an enemy target.

The Washington's main batteries opened fire at 12 midnight precisely. Her radar fire control system functioned perfectly. During the first seven minutes of Nov. 14, 1942, the "last ship in the U. S. Pacific Fleet" fired 75 of her 16-inch shells at the battleship Kirishima. Aboard Kirishima, it rained steel. At 3:25 a. m., her burning hulk officially became the first enemy sunk by an American battleship since the Spanish-American War. Stunned, the Japanese withdrew. Within days, Japanese commander Isoroku Yamamoto recommended the unthinkable to the emperor -- withdrawal from Guadalcanal.

But that was still weeks in the future. We were still with Mitchell Paige back on the god-forsaken malarial jungle island of Guadalcanal, placed like a speed bump at the end of the long blue-water slot between New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago ... the very route the Japanese Navy would have to take to reach Australia.

On Guadalcanal the Marines struggled to complete an airfield. Yamamoto knew what that meant. No effort would be spared to dislodge these upstart Yanks from a position that could endanger his ships. Before long,relentless Japanese counterattacks had driven supporting U. S. Navy from inshore waters. The Marines were on their own.

As Platoon Sgt. Mitchell Paige and his 33 riflemen set about carefully emplacing their four water-cooled 30-caliber Brownings, manning their section of the thin khaki line which was expected to defend Henderson Field against the assault of the night of Oct. 25, 1942, it's unlikely anyone thought they were about to provide the definitive answer to that most desperate of questions: How many able-bodied U. S. Marines does it take to hold a hill against 2,000 desperate and motivated attackers?

Nor did the commanders of the mighty Japanese Army, who had swept all before them for decades, expect their advance to be halted on some God- forsaken jungle ridge manned by one thin line of Yanks in khaki in October of 1942.

But by the time the night was over, "The 29th (Japanese) Infantry Regiment has lost 553 killed or missing and 479 wounded among its 2,554 men," historian Lippman reports. "The 16th (Japanese) Regiment's losses are uncounted, but the 164th's burial parties handled 975 Japanese bodies. ... The American estimate of 2,200 Japanese dead is probably too low."

You've already figured out where the Japanese focused their attack,haven't you? Among the 90 American dead and seriously wounded that night were all the men in Mitchell Paige's platoon. Every one. As the night of endless attacks wore on, Paige moved up and down his line, pulling his dead and wounded comrades back into their foxholes and firing a few bursts from each of the four Brownings in turn, convincing the Japanese forces down the hill that the positions were still manned.

The citation for Paige's Congressional Medal of Honor picks up the tale: "When the enemy broke through the line directly in front of his position, P/Sgt. Paige, commanding a machinegun section with fearless determination, continued to direct the fire of his gunners until all his men were either killed or wounded. Alone, against the deadly hail of Japanese shells, he fought with his gun and when it was destroyed, took over another, moving from gun to gun, never ceasing his withering fire."

In the end, Sgt. Paige picked up the last of the 40-pound, belt-fed Brownings -- the same design which John Moses Browning famously fired for a continuous 25 minutes until it ran out of ammunition, glowing cherry red, at its first U. S. Army trial -- and did something for which the weapon was never designed. Sgt. Paige walked down the hill toward the place where he could hear the last Japanese survivors rallying to move around his flank, the belt-fed gun cradled under his arm, firing as he went.

And the weapon did not fail.

Coming up at dawn, battalion executive officer Major Odell M. Conoley was first to discover the answer to our question: How many able-bodied Marines does it take to hold a hill against two regiments of motivated, combat-hardened infantrymen who have never known defeat?

On a hill where the bodies were piled like cordwood, Mitchell Paige alone sat upright behind his 30-caliber Browning, waiting to see what the dawn would bring.

One hill: one Marine.

But "In the early morning light, the enemy could be seen a few yards off, and vapor from the barrels of their machine guns was clearly visible," reports historian Lippman. "It was decided to try to rush the position."

For the task, Major Conoley gathered together "three enlisted communication personnel, several riflemen, a few company runners who were at the point, together with a cook and a few messmen who had brought food to the position the evening before."

Joined by Paige, this ad hoc force of 17 Marines counterattacked at 5:40 a.m., discovering that "the extremely short range allowed the optimum use of grenades." They cleared the ridge.

And that's where the unstoppable wave of Japanese conquest finally crested, broke, and began to recede. On an unnamed jungle ridge on an insignificant island no one had ever heard of, called Guadalcanal.

But who remembers, today, how close-run a thing it was -- the ridge held by a single Marine, in the autumn of 1942?

When the Hasbro Toy Co. called some years back, asking permission to put the retired colonel's face on some kid's doll, Mitchell Paige thought they must be joking.

But they weren't. That's his mug, on the little Marine they call "G.I. Joe."

And now you know.


Vin Suprynowicz
October 26, 2005


- Joatmoaf -

November 17, 2006 at 10:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack (1)