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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Gov. Branstad orders flags at half-staff to honor World War II pilot


Gov. Terry Branstad has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in Iowa from 5 p.m. April 11  until 8 a.m. April 14 in honor of U.S. Army Air Corps First Lt. Louis L. Longman, formerly of Clinton. 

Mr. Longman, a 26-year old Clinton native serving with the 433rd Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group, 5th Air Force, U.S. Army Air Corps, was last seen April 16, 1944, as his unit returned from a B-25 bomber escort mission over Hollandia, New Guinea. A Lockheed P-38 "Lightning" fighter pilot, Mr. Longman was on the return leg of the mission in a P-38J aircraft when his unit encountered severe weather in the Markham Valley. His last reported location was in the vicinity of Bogadjim, New Guinea, as his formation broke up. The 5th Air Force lost 53 pilots and crewmen that day in what became known as "Black Sunday."

Mr. Longman was officially declared deceased on Feb. 27, 1946, but his remains were never recovered. In February 2005, the Joint Prisoners of War/Missing in Action Accounting Command - Central Identification Laboratory (JPAC) received information of a possible aircraft crash site in Madang province, Papua New Guinea. In August 2007, human remains, as well as parts of a U.S. P-38J aircraft were recovered by a JPAC Investigation Team. Additional remains and physical evidence were also recovered in 2009 and 2010 by JPAC personnel.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Please Report Stolen Identities of Tyler Davin

There have been numerous reports of someone posing as my son, Tyler Davin, using his photos on dating websites and Facebook.  I have seen numerous Facebook accounts going by Peter Tyler Davin, Allan Davin, Nick Davin, Nicholas Davin, Clarence Sanchez, Sargant Care Davin, Richard Davin, and Timothy Davino, all using photos of Tyler.  There are more photos being used other than the ones below. 

If you come across someone posing as Tyler, please email me at nancy.davin@yahoo.com along with the URL of the website and the username of the individual posing as Tyler Davin.

PLEASE DO NOT SEND THIS PERSON ANY MONEY AND DO NOT ENGAGE HIM IN CONVERSATION.  REPORT IT TO THE AUTHORITIES.




Thank you.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Airman Missing from Vietnam War Accounted For

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Vietnam War, were recently accounted for and will be buried in a group burial ceremony.

Army Staff Sgt. Lawrence Woods of Clarksville, Tenn., will be buried as part of group on March 21, at Arlington National Cemetery, in a ceremony honoring the servicemen who were lost in an aircraft crash on Oct. 24, 1964.

Woods and seven other service members were aboard a C-123 Provider aircraft that crashed when it was struck by enemy fire while resupplying the U.S. Special Forces camp at Bu Prang, Vietnam. Also on board the aircraft were Air Force service members Capt. Valmore W. Bourque, 1st Lt. Edward J. Krukowiski, 1st Lt. Robert G. Armstrong, Staff Sgt. Ernest J. Halvorson, Staff Sgt. Theodore B. Phillips, Airman 1st Class Eugene Richardson and Army Pfc. Charles P. Sparks. Shortly after the crash, U.S. forces arrived at the site and recovered remains of seven of the crew members, but they could not locate Woods. The remains for the seven crew members were individually identified and the men were laid to rest at that time.

In early 1997, a joint U.S./Kingdom of Cambodia team investigated the crash site and found it to be on the Vietnam side of the border. Subsequently, a joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam team surveyed the site in 1999, and confirmed that the wreckage correlated to a U.S. C-123 Provider aircraft.

In 2009-2010, U.S. and Vietnamese teams excavated the site and recovered human remains and additional evidence, including a metal identification tag from the aircraft's commander.

To identify those remains, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command used forensic and circumstantial evidence, which allowed them to account for Woods.

Today there are 1,642 American service members that are still unaccounted-for from the Vietnam War.

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, call 703-699-1169 or visit the DPMO Web site at www.dtic.mil/dpmo.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thanks to Gettysurg Flag Works

I've always wanted an American flag.  

I never found one that I was happy enough with (most I found were made in China and printed on nylon fabric).

Several weeks ago I received an email from Mike Cronin, Founder and CEO of Gettysburg Flag Works.  Mike is a former Vietnam era veteran and his company specializes in flags.  He founded his business to show support for his country and our troops. 

As a "thank you" and recognition of my support for military families through My Yellow Ribbon, Mike offered to send me the flag of my choice.  What a thoughtful gesture.

My flag was delivered yesterday, a beautiful flag with embroidered stars, clearly quality-made and  MADE IN THE U.S.A.!

Typically, I don't accept offers such as these because most of the ones I receive want something in return, usually in the form of an advertisement.  Mike wanted nothing in return.

As my sincerest thank you to him for his service and generous offer, I'm writing this post to thank him and his staff for, not only the high quality 3' x 5' flag he went, but also the pole and mount at no cost.  

If you're in the market for an American flag, I suggest looking at Gettysburg Flag Works.

Thank you, Mike, and Gettysburg Flag Works!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Writing My Way Back Home - Veterans Writing Workshop

When:     Friday, March 28, 2014 at 5:00 pm to Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 1:00 pm (CDT)

Where:    Veterans Memorial Building, 50 2nd Ave Bridge, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Open to all current and former military personnel, spouses, and teen dependents

We each have a story to tell and the WRITING MY WAY BACK HOME weekend workshop will help you gain the tools and confidence to tell it well. By using reading and writing exercises to explore deployment and wartime experiences—the fear, the boredom, anxieties, thrills, brutality, tears and beauty—we learn how to write a story and make it compelling. Workshop participants will explore the many approaches possible to write about the self to produce personal stories, poetry, fiction and blogs by the end of the weekend. Opportunities to work one-on-one with professional writers during the weekend, as well as an online follow up, will help continue the writing and revision process. No writing experience is needed to attend this workshop. A public reading for course participants interested in reading excerpts from their work will complete the weekend.


Click here to register.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Airman Missing From Vietnam War Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

U.S. Air Force Col. Francis J. McGouldrick Jr. of New Haven, Conn., will be buried Dec. 13, at Arlington National Cemetery.  On Dec. 13, 1968, McGouldrick was on a night strike mission when his B-57E Canberra aircraft collided with another aircraft over Savannakhet Province, Laos.  McGouldrick was never seen again and was listed as missing in action.

After the war in July 1978, a military review board amended his official status from missing in action to presumed killed in action.

Between 1993 and 2004, joint U.S/Lao People's Democratic Republic (L.P.D.R.) teams attempted to locate the crash site with no success.  On April 8, 2007, a joint team located a possible crash site near the village of Keng Keuk, Laos. 

From October 2011 to May 2012, joint U.S./L.P.D.R. teams excavated the site three times and recovered human remains and aircraft wreckage consistence with a B-57E aircraft.

In the identification of McGouldrick, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, such as mitochondrial DNA which matched McGouldrick's great nephew and niece.

Today there are 1,644 American service members that are still unaccounted-for from the Vietnam War.  

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO website at www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call 703-699-1169.
 


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Nation’s Top Veterans Announced for Distinguished Awards



American Veterans Center Names 2013 Honorees from WWII to Operation Iraqi Freedom

WASHINGTON, October 29, 2013 – Today, the American Veterans Center (AVC), which represents all who have served our country, announced the top veterans for its distinguished 2013 honors. These seven war heroes have served in conflicts ranging from WWII to Operation Iraqi Freedom, and all have shown bravery and valor above and beyond the call of duty during combat. The seven heroes will be awarded at the American Veterans Center Honors, just before Veterans Day.


“The American Veterans Center honors these distinguished veterans who have each made American military history in some extraordinary way. Their service spans over 70 years and we hope that all Americans of all generations can celebrate the extreme bravery of these seven men and the impact they’ve had on our country,” says Jim Roberts, President of the AVC.

The seven honorees for the 2013 American Veterans Center Honors are:

  • Chester Nez, (New Mexico)The last survivor of the original “29 Navajo Code Talkers”, who helped devise a code based on his native language, that confounded the Japanese military and helped win WWII. Eager to help his country, Nez lied about his age and enlisted in the 10th grade.
  • Lt. General Frank Petersen, Jr. (Maryland)The first African-American Marine Corps aviator and the first African-American Marine Corps General.
  • Senator Bob Kerrey (Nebraska) In addition to his political career, Senator Kerrey served in the Vietnam War as a Navy SEAL officer, and was awarded the Medal of Honor in a battle that severely wounded him.
  • Clint Romesha (North Dakota)A U.S. Army Staff Sergeant who received the Medal of Honor for actions during the Battle of Kamdesh during the war in Afghanistan. 
  • Frederick James Kroesen, Jr. (Virginia) A four-star U.S. Army General and commander of NATO Central Army Group, who commanded troops in WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, and earned the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal.
  • Col. George “Bud” Day (Florida) POSTHUMOUSA U.S. Air Force colonel and pilot who served during WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, where he was a prisoner of war for more than 5 years.  He is the only recipient of both the Medal of Honor and the Air force Cross. 
  • Chris Kyle (Texas) POSTHUMOUSA Navy SEAL known as the most lethal sniper in American military history.  He served four tours in the second Iraq conflict and was awarded both the Bronze Star, and the Silver Star Medals multiple times.

A detailed list of AVC Honorees, including details about their service as well as photographs of each, is available at http://www.americanveteranscenter.org/events/avchonors/. The five living honorees will accept their awards at the Honors Gala on November 9th at 7:00pm at the Renaissance Washington, D.C. Hotel. Family members of the deceased honorees will accept on their behalf.

Interviews from AVC leadership and veteran honorees available upon request.

About the American Veterans Center: The American Veterans Center (AVC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational foundation dedicated to preserving and promoting the legacy of our military personnel. The Veteran’s Day events are held annually in Washington D.C. For more information, visit www.americanveteranscenter.org.
 

Friday, October 11, 2013

WWII Airman Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, from World War II, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors

Army Air Force 1st Lt. Robert G. Fenstermacher, 23, of Scranton, Pa., will be buried on Oct. 18, in Arlington National Cemetery. On Dec. 26, 1944, Fenstermacher was a pilot of a P-47D Thunderbolt that was on an armed-reconnaissance mission against targets in Germany, when his aircraft crashed, near Petergensfeld, Belgium.

A U.S. military officer reported seeing Fenstermacher’s aircraft crash. Reaching the site shortly after impact, he recovered Fenstermacher’s identification tags from the burning wreckage. No remains or aircraft wreckage was recovered from the crash site at that time and Fenstermacher was declared killed in action.

Following the war, the U.S. Army Graves Registration Service (AGRS) investigated and interviewed a local Belgian woman who told team that an aircraft crashed into the side of her house. The team searched the surrounding area, but was unsuccessful locating the crash site.

In 2012, a group of local historians excavated a private yard in Petergensfeld, Belgium, recovering human remains and aircraft wreckage consistent with a P-47D. The remains were turned over to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC).

To identify the remains, scientists from JPAC used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, such as dental comparisons, which matched Fenstermacher’s records.

There are more than 400,000 American service members killed during WWII, and the remains of more than 73,000 were never recovered or identified.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.

WWII Marines Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that two U.S. Marines missing in action from World War II, have been accounted for and are being returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Henry S. White, 23, of Kansas City, Mo., and Staff Sgt. Thomas L. Meek, 19, of Lisbon, La., will be buried as a group in a single casketrepresenting the two servicemen, on Oct. 18, at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. 

On July 21, 1943, White and Meek were crew members of an SBD-4 Dauntless dive-bomber that departed Turtle Bay Airfield on Espiritu Santo Island, New Hebrides, on a night training mission and failed to return.  During the training mission, the aircraft was reported as crashed on a coral cliff on nearby Mavea Island.  In September 1947, a U.S. Army Graves Registration Service team investigated the crash on Mavea Island, but recovered no remains. In 2012, a JPAC team excavated the crash site on Mavea Island, Republic of Vanuatu, and recovered the remains of White and Meek and non-biological evidence amid the aircraft wreckage, which included U.S. and Australian coins dating to 1942 and earlier, U.S. military captain's bars, and a military identification tag that correlates to Meek by name and service number.  What was found at the crash site, along with the remains, correlate circumstantially to White and Meek, however, no individual identifications were possible.

There are more than 400,000 American service members that were killed during WWII, and the remains of more than 73,000 were never recovered or identified.       

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.

Missing Airmen from Vietnam War Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of two U.S. servicemen, missing from the Vietnam War, have been accounted for and will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Robert E. Pietsch, 31, of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Maj. Louis F. Guillermin, 25, of West Chester, Pa.,will be buried as a group Oct. 16, in a single casket representing the two servicemen at Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C.  Guillermin's individual remains weres buried Oct. 5, 2013, in Broomall, Pa. 

On April 30, 1968, Guillermin and Pietsch were on an armed-reconnaissance mission when their A-26A Invader aircraft crashed in Savannakhet Province, Laos.  Witnesses saw an explosion on the ground and did not see any signs of survivors.  Search and rescue efforts were unsuccessful, and Guillermin and Pietsch were listed as Missing in Action.

 In 1994, a joint U.S./Lao People's Democratic Republic (LPDR) team, lead by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), surveyed the crash site in Savannakhet Province, Laos.  The team recovered human remains and evidence, but was unable to fully survey the site due to the presence of dangerous unexploded ordinance. 

In 2006, joint U.S./LPDR teams assisted by Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel cleared the site and gathered additional human remains and evidence, such as personal effects and crew-related equipment.

The remains recovered were analyzed by scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory using circumstantial evidence and forensic analysis, such as mtDNA comparisons. Portions of the remains were individually identified as Guillermin through an mtDNA match from a hair sample from Guillermin's medical file.  The rest of the remains recovered were not individually identified, but correspond to both Pietsch and Guillermin.

There are more than 1,640 American service members still unaccounted-for from the Vietnam War.  

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO web site at www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Airmen from Vietnam War Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of Air Force pilots Maj. James E. Sizemore of Lawrenceville, Ill., and Maj. Howard V. Andre Jr., of Memphis, Tenn., have been identified and will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors on Sept. 23 at Arlington National Cemetery.

On July 8, 1969, Sizemore and Andre were on a night armed reconnaissance mission when their A-26A Invader aircraft crashed in Xiangkhoang Province, Laos. Both men died in the crash but their remains were unaccounted for until April 2013.

In 1993, a joint U.S./Lao People's Democratic Republic team investigated an aircraft crash site in Laos. They recovered aircraft wreckage from an A-26. The team was not able to conduct a complete excavation of the site at that time.

Twice in 2010, joint U.S./Lao People's Democratic Republic teams conducted excavations of the crash site recovering human remains, aircraft wreckage, personal effects and military equipment associated with Sizemore and Andre.

In the identification of the remains, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, such as dental comparison which matched Sizemore's records.

There are more than 1,640 American service members that are still unaccounted-for from the Vietnam War.

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, call 703-699-1169 or visit the DPMO website at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Two Missing U.S. Servicemen from WW II Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that two U.S. servicemen, missing in action from World War II, have been identified and are being returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

Army Air Force 2nd Lt. Valorie L. Pollard of Monterey, Calif. and Sgt. Dominick J. Licari of Frankfort, N.Y. will be buried as a group in a single casket, on Sept. 19 at Arlington National Cemetery. The individually-identified remains of Licari were buried on Aug. 6 in Frankfort, N.Y.

On March 13, 1944, Pollard and Licari were crew members of an A-20G Havoc bomber that failed to return to base in a country now known as Papua New Guinea. The aircraft crashed after attacking enemy targets on the island. In 2012, the A-20G crash site in the mountains of Papua New Guinea was excavated and the remains of Licari and Pollard were recovered.

There are more than 400,000 American service members that were killed during WWII, and the remains of more than 73,000 were never recovered or identified.

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO website at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call 703-699-1169.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Marine Missing from Korean War Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of a U.S. service member, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Marine Corps Pfc. Jonathan R. Posey Jr., 20, of Dallas, will be buried Aug. 12 in Arlington National Cemetery. In December 1950, Posey, assigned to L Battery, 4th Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, was serving provisionally as an infantryman with the 7th Marine Regiment at Yudam-ni in the vicinity of the Chosin Reservoir. On Dec. 2, 1950, Posey was killed in action while the 5th and 7th Marine Regiments were withdrawing to Hagaru-ri.

In 1954, United Nations and Communist Forces exchanged the remains of war dead in what came to be called "Operation Glory." All remains recovered in Operation Glory were turned over to the Army Central Identification Unit for analysis. Those that were unable to be identified were interred as unknowns at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii, known as the "Punchbowl."

In 2012, analysts from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command reevaluated
Posey's records and determined that portions of the remains recovered from Operation Glory should be exhumed for identification. To identify the remains, scientists from JPAC used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, such as dental and radiograph comparison, which matched Posey's records.

Using modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously recovered from North and South Korea. More than 7,900 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO web site at www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.
 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Veteran Hiring Tips

Reprinted from the Corridor Business Journal, 7/8/2013

In honor of the Fourth of July, the Corridor Business Journal launched a website dedicated to hiring veterans at www.cbjveterans.com. There are stories on the benefits of and how to hire veterans, as well as feature stories about veterans who have found jobs locally following military service.

The website is the online version of the CBJ Veterans in the Workplace magazine that published in May. To read the digital version, visit http://bit.ly/1834FEB