Showing posts with label World War II. Show all posts
Showing posts with label World War II. Show all posts

Thursday, March 30, 2017

U.S. Marine Corps women's boot camp, 1943

By Jack Brummet

This is a photo of my mom, Betty, in Marine Corps boot camp in 1943. She's in the top row, fourth from the left. On her right is her friend Loa (she named my sister after her).


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Victor Lundy's sketchbooks

By Jack Brummet

Victor Lundy, born in NYC in 1923, was an art and architecture student who later enlisted during World War II. Throughout training and when he was deployed in Europe, he kept a set of sketchbooks of the people and scenes around him. After the war, he became a famous/successful architect. You can find selections from the sketchbooks here, on Retronaut.


Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Pearl Harbor Day, 75 years later

by Jack Brummet

Remembering Pearl Harbor. My Uncle Bill enlisted in the Navy the next day (I think!). Both of my parents enlisted―father in the navy too (he had already served in the army) and my mother Betty in the Marine Corps. 

My mother remembers Japanese kids being led out of Ballard High later, on their way to the internment camps. Some of the students lined up and booed.


Thursday, June 09, 2016

The bulletproof bible

From the 1950's.  They still make bulletproof Bibles in 20016, but instead of a gold-plated cover, they use high tech plastics and Kevlar.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Mahatma Gandhi's 1939 letter to Adolf Hitler

By Jack Brummet, World War II Ed.

I have not been able to determine if the Chancellor responded to Gandhi's letter. . .


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The fake town that hid Seattle's Boeing plant No. 2 from the Japanese during World War II

By Jack Brummet, Seattle history ed.

After Pearl Harbor, Boeing Plant No. 2 in Seattle (where B 17 bombers were built) was put under heavy camouflage to prevent a Japanese aircraft attack. The roof of the huge plant was covered with fake houses, streets, and trees. No Japanese planes came anywhere near the factory (my Mom was a riveter there before she enlisted). The plant is under the darker area in the center of the above photograph. The middle shot shows employees (allegedly, but they seem like models/actors) hanging out on the roof, and a view of the roof from street level.

A closer view of the 35-acre roof of Boeing Plant 2, with homes built of canvas, trees and shrubs made of board and mesh, and streets of oil and dirt:


Friday, April 11, 2014

Easter eggs for Hitler

By Jack Brummet, World War II Ed.

On Easter Sunday, 1945, almost 70 years ago now, Sergeant William E. Thomas and Private First Class Joseph Jackson put together a special “Easter Eggs” gift for Adolph Hitler and the German Army.

Special Eastern eggs for Hitler, 1945

Monday, January 27, 2014

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Heinrich Hoffman's stunning photos of The Fuhrer that Hitler ordered destroyed

By Jack Brummet, World War II Ed.

This strange set of photos show Hitler posing for photographer Heinrich Hoffmann while listening to a recording of his own speeches. Adolph Hitler wanted to see what he would look like to the German people as he delivered his thunderous speeches.  

After seeing the photographs, Hitler ordered Hoffmann to destroy the negatives.  Hoffman instead tucked them away, where they were discovered by the Allies after the war.  
Egon Hanfstaengl, the son of Hitler's foreign press officer, said in a documentary, Fatal Attraction Of Hitler: "He had that ability which is needed to make people stop thinking critically and just emote."

These photographs are considered to be in the public domain in the US due to their status as seized Nazi property (otherwise their copyrights would not yet have expired).


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A caricature of Betty Jones Brummet

By Jack Brummet

My mom--Betty Jones Brummet--is turning 90 years old this week.

This image is a caricature an artist drew of her when she was on a weekend pass from The Marines during World War II (about 1944).


Churchill addresses troops in the Roman amphitheatre at Carthage, Tunisia

By Jack Brummet, WW II Ed.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill addresses British troops in the old Roman amphitheatre at Carthage, Tunisia, on June 1st, 1943.  

Used by permission of the British Imperial War Museums, © IWM (NA 3255).


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ezra Pound: Canto 120

By Ezra Pound [1]
[Richard Avedon's 1958 photos of Ezra Pound, shortly after he was released from his 13 year stint in St. Elizabeth's mental hospital in Washington, D.C., where he was committed in lieu of being tried for treason for his broadcasts from Italy during WW II]
"I have tried to write Paradise
Do not move
let the wind speak
that is paradise
Let the Gods forgive what I
have made
Let those I love try to forgive
what I have made.”
[1] E.P. wrote many wonderful and some baffling works.  I truly love a lot of the Cantos.  The problem with liking E.P. are the broadcasts, and his virulent rants about the the Jews and the alleged international banking conspiracy.  He broadcast hundreds of addresses over Italian radio, paid for by the Italian government.  And of course, when the Americans liberated Italy, one of the first persons they came looking for was Ez.   So, how do you reconcile this?  Do good works somehow ameliorate the invective and hate speech?  I've read about anti-Jewish comments coming from people I admire (just a sampling: Harry Truman, T.S. Eliot, Lennin, Churchill, Martin Luther, George Washington), , and whose work I love. My best friend (R.I.P.) had a thing about Jewish people...not hatred I don't think, but a very deep mistrust  Do you forgive and forget, or forgive but never forget?  Maybe it all falls under "hate the sin; love the sinner."

Of the mainly poor blue collar families people I grew up with, there was plenty of animosity toward African-Americans.  Until I was maybe in high school, I don't think I ever heard anyone describe them as black, or even negro.  Except on television.  They used the other four words--the n word, the c word, the j word, and the s word.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Great Britain's attempt to turn Adolf Hitler into a woman

By Jack Brummet,
Military History Editor

When World War II seemed like it would never end, with Germany's unending pursuit of real estate, America dragging her feet, and the relentless Blitzkrieg pounding London almost nightly, British spooks cooked up a plan to insinuate Hitler’s food with female sex hormones (e.g., estrogen) in hopes of taming the killer inside him.

Counterintelligence agents came up with a plan to smuggle doses of estrogen into his food to make him less aggressive.  The Fuhrer, natch, had a battery of food tasters.   But estrogen is colorless, tasteless, and odorless, and works slowly.  The food tasters would never detect it.

[Editor's note:   This reminds us of the wacky CIA plans cooked up in the 60's to poison Fidel Castro's cigars, and another one to slip him drugs that would make his beard and hair fall out.]

The Allied plan to nudge Hitler into womanhood is just one of the many bizarre plots detailed in a cool new book: Secret Weapons: Technology, Science And The Race To Win World War II, by Brian Ford.  You could buy a copy here.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Two Marines: Betty & William Jennings Bryan Jones

My mom, Betty Echo Jones, and her father William Jennings Bryan Jones in about 1943.  My grandpa had re-enlisted in the Marines when World War II started (he had also been in the Marines in World War I). 

This picture was taken by one of the Seattle newspapers as part of a "human interest story" when my mom enlisted in the Marines during World War II.  The photo did not please her mother, who had long since divorced my grandpa.

click to enlarge

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Notes from World War II (Pacific Theatre) in my dad's US Navy Bluejacket's Manual

By Jack Brummet
Folk Life Editor

My father, John Newton Brummet, Jr. [I'm his namesake] enlisted in the army when he was about 17.  He was honorably discharged sometime before World War II began.  After war was declared, he enlisted in the Navy, according to his notes, on August 26, 1942, about nine months following Pearl Harbor.  Following his notes, he sailed from Alaska to the South Pacific, and visited many of the hotspots of the war against Japan.  It would be fascinating to know more about his adventures, but alas, he died at the age of 42 in 1964.   This Bluejacket's Manual is one of the very few artifacts of his I possess. 

John Brummet clowning in the army

Even though he dropped out of school in the 8th grade, his penmanship far surpasses mine, despite having graduated from college.  Different times, for sure.  His notes in the manual start on the flyleaf, and continue for four pages. He first lists his family's addresses, and then every location he visited.  The last page, facing the title page, lists each ship he was on during the war.  I am guessing he kept notes partly because he was bored, and because you were not allowed to disclose either your ship, or your locations in letters.  I transcribed the writing as best I could, but several references are too garbled to verify.

As always, click the images to enlarge. 

He lists where he was stationed at the time he started making notes in his manual. He then lists the addresses of his two brothers--Gould and Romey. Romey was not drafted and did not enlist (I think I remember he was 4F maybe?] He lists his parents last-- with addresses in both Laramie, Wyoming (where my dad grew up) and one address in Everett, Wash., where they seem to have moved sometime during the war. At the bottom of the page, he writes out his hometown Laramie, Wy. again.

He writes other notes, and starts listing the sites and countries he visits:

John Newton Brummet Jr.
Armed Guard Center Pacific

Gould B. Brummet
Co. J. 378th Inf. Camp Swift. Texas

Romey J. Brummet
2423 East 13th St.
Cheyenne, Wyoming

Mr. and Mrs. J.N. Brummet [yes, I am the namesake of a namesake, or the 3rd]
2606 Rockefeller
Everett, Wash.

506 Canby Street
Laramie, Wyoming

Laramie, Wy.

[next page]
U.S. Navy

Johnny Brummet

Enlisted August 26, 1942

A.G.C. Pac.

San Francisco

What a day --

Jap. German War

5-8-43 [not sure what the significance of this date is, or why it is out of sequence]

Dutch Harbor A. [Alaska]
November 31 - 1942

Kodiak Dec. 7. 1942
Pearl Harbor

Jan 1 1943
Pearl Harbor [Hawaii]

Feb 18 1943
Oahu Hawaii

Honolulu Hawaii
March 30 1943

Equator June 24 -43

Habert Tasmania
July 15 43

Freemantle ?? [Austrailia] Aug. 1

New Hebrides [a group of islands that became independent in 1980, after years of British and French rule. It is now the nation of Vanuatu.]
January 12 1944

22 years old 1-27-44

[garbled -- trip?]

December 24 - 43

Espiritu Santo [this was the largest island in the New Hebrides/Vanuatu]

[garbled] Pallukula Bay? Pollupula Bay?

42 [garbled]

Russell Isl. [note: in South Queens Land Australia


[next page]


March 1 44

[garbled -- Could See Salvo?? - Lulogii??? - I can't find references to these]

[garbled] Site Bay NH [New Hebrides]

Havanna Harbor NH

Aukland NZ [Nw Zealand]
April 24

Fila New Hebrides

[garbled - Pallukula Bay??]

30 Days

Guadal. May 13

Pearl Harbor Aug. 14 44

Eniwetok Aug 24 44 [one of the Marshall Islands and the sight of savage battles]

Saipan Sept 14 44

Marshall Isl. Oct. 1 44

Fensehhaven?? New Guinea [there IS a Finchhaven New Guinea]
Nov 24 44

[entry completely garbled]

[second column on this page]

Eniwetok March 16-45

Ulithia March 20-45

Pallau March 23-45

Manilla Philippines March 31-45

Eniwetok May 3-45

Manilla June 29-45

Palawan P.I. (Phillipine Islands) 7-15-45

Manilla Luzon 7-20-45

Palawan P.I. 7-13-45 (??)

Leyte P.I. 8-19-45

SS J Fletcher Ferrall
11-2-44 - 5-27-43

SS Charles D. Postom
6-1-43 - 9-15-43

SS Mathew B, Bready
10-25-43 - 11-17-43

SS Lawrence Gianelli
12-14-43 - 7-9-44

MV Cape Florida
8-24-44 - 1-27-45

SS Sea Shark