adding my voice to the hue and cry: crimes against humanity – convention on the rights of a child


I am not an attorney. I am not a politician. I am not a renowned author. I am, however, a concerned American citizen who happens to be a blogger with a voice that today adds to the hue and cry already surrounding an administration that has lost its way in serving the best interests of the American people and our democracy. I would like to add a case to the numerous litigations currently being filed against our leaders for Crimes against Humanity and for compromising our ratification of  the Convention on the Rights of a Child.

I am naming in my case the following people: President Donald J. Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Attorney General Jeff Sessions,  Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckebee Sanders, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, Secretary of Veteran Affairs David Shulkin, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

Convention on the Rights of the Child Adopted by the United Nations and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989
entry into force 2 September 1990, in accordance with article 49 (ratified by the United States in 1990)

Excerpts from the convention:

Article 9

  1. States Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities subject to judicial review determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures, that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child. Such determination may be necessary in a particular case such as one involving abuse or neglect of the child by the parents, or one where the parents are living separately and a decision must be made as to the child’s place of residence.
  2. In any proceedings pursuant to paragraph 1 of the present article, all interested parties shall be given an opportunity to participate in the proceedings and make their views known.
  3. States Parties shall respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both parents to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the child’s best interests.
  4. Where such separation results from any action initiated by a State Party, such as the detention, imprisonment, exile, deportation or death (including death arising from any cause while the person is in the custody of the State) of one or both parents or of the child, that State Party shall, upon request, provide the parents, the child or, if appropriate, another member of the family with the essential information concerning the whereabouts of the absent member(s) of the family unless the provision of the information would be detrimental to the well-being of the child. States Parties shall further ensure that the submission of such a request shall of itself entail no adverse consequences for the person(s) concerned.

Article 10

  1. In accordance with the obligation of States Parties under article 9, paragraph 1, applications by a child or his or her parents to enter or leave a State Party for the purpose of family reunification shall be dealt with by States Parties in a positive, humane and expeditious manner. States Parties shall further ensure that the submission of such a request shall entail no adverse consequences for the applicants and for the members of their family.
  2. A child whose parents reside in different States shall have the right to maintain on a regular basis, save in exceptional circumstances personal relations and direct contacts with both parents. Towards that end and in accordance with the obligation of States Parties under article 9, paragraph 1, States Parties shall respect the right of the child and his or her parents to leave any country, including their own, and to enter their own country. The right to leave any country shall be subject only to such restrictions as are prescribed by law and which are necessary to protect the national security, public order (ordre public), public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others and are consistent with the other rights recognized in the present Convention

Additionally, in 2002 an International Criminal Court was established in the Hague in the Netherlands. The Rome Statute provides for the ICC to have jurisdiction of crimes against humanity.

Article 7 of the Rome Statute states crimes against humanity means any of a number of things including “deportation or forcible transfer of population …intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health…as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population with knowledge of the attack…whatever their status all migrants are entitled to have their human rights protected…because their own government cannot or will not protect them, they are forced to seek international protection.”

To repeat, I am not an attorney, but I can read the codes of conduct my country has agreed to over the years. The recent forcible separation of more than 3,000 children from their migrant families seems to me to be a crime against humanity and especially criminal acts toward children. I would like to see everyone involved, either by taking action to create and enforce such a policy or serving as an accomplice to such crimes by not resigning from their positions in protest of these heinous acts, be indicted by the International Criminal Court.

This is the best I can do with my voice. Perhaps some of my readers will have their consciousness raised as to the seriousness of wrong actions against defenseless children with no intention of reuniting them with their families in an expeditious manner. I personally find this policy created and implemented by my own government to be reprehensible and if I choose to say nothing, I am equally complicit.

In the midst of the daily dramas and chaos that characterize this administration, I cannot forget the children who are being unfairly detained today in Texas camps and prisons…every day, every night. Migrants Matter.

Stay tuned.

 

 

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BREAKING NEWS – REVISED WORLD CUP SCORE!


RUSSIA – ONE

USA – ZERO

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meanwhile, back at the casita…


so it ain’t Vegas, Baby but…

while the cat’s away, etc.

fun is fun, right?

Just kidding, Pretty!

(photo shop courtesy of Donna Magrath)

P.S. Through the magic of Las Vegas wedding venues, Spike, Charly, Donna and I watched the Wedding via live streaming. Perfect. The brides were gorgeous, happy and all about their love which made us all happy at casita de Cardinal, too. Before the wedding, Pretty was overcome with emotion and tearful with beautiful bride Robin. Bless her heart.

 

 

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the Main Event in Las Vegas showing today!


So the Aces game wasn’t quite what we hoped it would be for Pretty and friends, but A’ja Wilson was gracious (as always) after the game to share a photo op with Pretty and Number One Son Drew.

Thanks, A’ja for continuing to be not only a great athlete for the Aces but also an awesome person in “real life” off the court as well.

Guess who else loves A’ja?

Robin Gottlieb (l) and Meghan Cole (r)

Oh yes, they do and these girlfriends are the real reason for Pretty’s trip to Las Vegas. Today is their WEDDING DAY, and we wish we could have been there, too. But for now we are sending them hugs and kisses from Casita de Cardinal and wishing them the very best happiness and joy and loads of fun for the Main Event this evening. You girls rock!

Robin and Meghan at Clark County Marriage License Bureau

making it official!

Stay tuned.

P.S. Pretty, don’t forget to come home. Spike, Charly and I are lost without you. Donna thinks I am too bossy now; she is also way past ready for you to come home.

P.S.P.S. I lifted these pictures from Facebook and am using them without anyone’s permission. Mea culpa to all.

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A’ja and the Aces


Pretty and Number One Son landed safely in Las Vegas and from all social media accounts are having a grand time. Thanks to all of you who are concerned about Pretty’s whereabouts and our welfare at casita de Cardinal. We have a friend who has been staying with us for several weeks while she is in transition so Pretty left us in good hands while she goes gallivanting with Drew.

Tonight they are going to see Gamecock women’s basketball G.O.A.T. A’ja Wilson playing professionally in the Women’s National Basketball Association as she plays in her new home court at MGM Resorts Mandalay Bay Events Center with the Las Vegas Aces. A’ja was the Number One draft choice by the Aces, a new franchise that relocated from San Antonio this year, and has been having a terrific rookie year with the Aces.  Question: who’s surprised? Answer: not even one Gamecock fan.

Pretty and me in Dallas as A’ja led Gamecocks to

only NCAA Championship in basketball

in program history in 2017

And while Pretty, Number One Son Drew and a small group of Gamecock fans will be cheering our A’ja at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas tonight, Charly, Spike and I will be watching on the WNBA League Pass which is a lifesaver for A’ja groupies.

Wave to us from the game, Pretty…go A’ja and the Aces!

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

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the hideout – revisited


Alas, Pretty and Number One Son Drew are winging their way toward Las Vegas on this Friday the 13th. and all of us at Casita de Cardinal will be happy to know they have landed safely tonight. Charly, Spike and I were quite the forlorn threesome when Pretty and her suitcase rolled out of the house this morning. Luckily, I have had an epic Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Semifinal match that lasted over 6 hours to keep my mind occupied today, but tennis has not been a source of comfort for Charly and Spike, I’m afraid. Sigh. Oh, well, it is Friday the 13th.

In times like these, I often resort to pictures of previous places I have been that make me happy to revisit. One such place was on a trip Pretty and I took 9 years ago with two of our favorite friends, Linda and Beth, to a dude ranch called the Hideout in Shell, Wyoming. Yeehaw. We cowboy.

Beth (l.) gets credit for planning the adventures

Pretty embraced the concept…

Linda (l.) and a wannabe cowgirl Kristi the Kid from Scotland

another wannabe cowgirl (me) on the left with

real cowgirl Linda and guide Stewart on the trail

my horse the oversized Wapiti who was wonderful,

but oh, so very WIDE…ouch, my aching butt

this cowgirl needed lots of breaks

this cowgirl didn’t ever need a break

the views on the trail were almost as gorgeous as the smiles

BUT as fate would have it, I was happiest when I was playing Scrabble…

…and Wapiti was in the pasture having fun with the other horses

I hope all of my friends in cyberspace have a safe Friday the 13th., a great weekend and wonderful memories of your own Hideouts when you need them.

Stay tuned.

P.S. We miss you, Pretty.

 

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tennis anyone? you betcha


For tennis fans, when July rolls around, the sounds of tennis balls flying off rackets held by seasoned warriors or hopeful newcomers, tennis balls traveling through the air at record speeds or strategic spins, landing on immaculately prepared grass courts with awkward bounces that require extraordinary hand-eye coordination to even be struck by another racket held by an adversary across a 3-ft net –  for that first fortnight in July and for those fans, the air is filled with the electric sights and sounds of Wimbledon, The Championships at the All England Club, the 3rd of 4 annual Major tennis tournaments but arguably the most revered for its traditions and longevity.

The first week of the two-week tournament at Wimbledon for 2018 is a wrap, as we say in the entertainment industry. I have had my usual bleacher seats in front of a tv this week – the same seats I’ve had for the past 51 years since the color telecasts started. My television sets have changed through the years, but my love of the game has remained steadfast. And cheerio, the addition of the Tennis Channel with its 24-7 coverage of the sport year round has been an awesome addition for Pretty and me.

Pretty once told me many years ago when we were in the middle of a dispute about how much time she devoted to playing tennis (which took her away from me) that “I had tennis before you. I’ll have tennis after you.” That put everything in perspective, let me tell you. As it turns out, she now has tennis with me in the bleacher seats but still longs to be able to return to the courts one day.

Today is Sunday in the middle of The Championships at Wimbledon so the players who survived the first week are resting to prepare for Manic Monday tomorrow when both the women’s and men’s singles round of 16 will be played. The winners of these matches will move on to the quarterfinals, and two of them will win the finals at the end of this week.

The women’s draw has been full of shocking upsets in week one with only one of the top seeds, Karolina Pliskova, remaining. And then, of course, all eyes including mine will be on Serena Williams who won the most important title of all last year when she and her husband served up their daughter Olympia who is the cutest baby ever. Serena has moved on to the second week, and I will be following her progress as I have followed her for the past 20 years. That’s right…t-w-e-n-t-y years. Serena at the age of 35 won her 23rd. major title which set the record for most women’s singles titles in the Open era when she won the Australian Open in 2017.

As for the men in the second week, what can I say? Names that now define a Golden Age of tennis are chasing the Wimbledon title again. Roger Federer who at 37 apparently embodies the ageless body of Dorian Gray had he been a tennis player. The passionate Spaniard Rafael Nadal whose Vamos! inspires the enthusiasm of crowds like touchdowns in a Super Bowl. Winners of the past 6 tennis majors, Federer holds 8 Wimbledon singles titles and Nadal two. Novak Djokovic, another tennis titan,  is trying to reclaim his place among the greats but battling the most difficult opponent of all in recent years: himself. Two Americans, veteran big server John Isner, and unseeded unknown Mackenzie McDonald also will play on the big stage on Manic Monday.

And so sports fans, as The Red Man used to call his friends in cyberspace, Pretty and I will be on pins and needles starting at 7 am tomorrow as we cheer for our favorites from the bleacher seats at Casita de Cardinal. Time and tennis march on.

Stay tuned.

VAMOS!

(Nadal at the Olympics in 2016)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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a man of letters (11 – final) – Homecomings, Reunions and Mysteries in the summer of 1945


One by one the young men returned in late spring and early summer from the second world war to their families and new beginnings. Glenn Morris, our letter writer, and his brother Ray came home to the small rural town of Richards, Texas from England …Charlie and Marion Boring, Selma’s brothers and C.H. Boring, Selma’s first cousin returned from the Pacific seas…against the odds, they all came home safe and sound. Well, safe for sure. As for “sound” we will never know because discussions of the war were rare. Their experiences on the battlegrounds in the air and on the oceans remained their secrets for the rest of their lives.

Glenn at home with his father and mother

Glenn’s dog Scooter part of the welcoming committee

In August, 1945 a letter arrived from England addressed to Mrs. George P. Morris, Richards, Texas USA. The letter writer was E. Hughes from Doncaster, England. She had been the home away from home for the Morris brothers who were stationed in England during the war. From one mother across the Pond to another…

“Dear Mrs. Morris,

Many thanks for your letter. I was very pleased you appreciated my letter. I expect you have Ray home now. We do miss him but let’s thank God the whole war is over &  your boys won’t have to face that Pacific. I cheered hearing that any of the U.S. A. boys who stayed with me wouldn’t have to face that ordeal. Fancy Glenn being with you when my letter arrived. I could just imagine him saying that about the Yorkshire pudding

Yes, Mrs. Morris, my dear son arrived home safely & we’ve had a lovely 10 days with him. We had his coming home party last Saturday & what a party. Ray will tell you what a lively house this is.

Like you, dear, I didn’t know what to do when the telegram came saying he had landed in England. I laughed and cried together. So I know your feeling when that great big son of yours arrives. He’s a great guy. We’ve put his photo on the piano. I often talk to him.

Pleasure to hear you have 3 children. We only  have the 2 boys & my grandson who really is a beautiful child. I’ll send you some snaps when we can obtain some films for the camera. He’s so proud of his dear daddy. Ask Glynn to send me a picture of his wife. She sounds a jolly good sort of a girl. We get very few American boys here now. I see a few was here for J.V. Days; everybody went wild. Tell Ray the Market Tavern was crowded when we got in. You couldn’t get a seat anywhere. My son who works there was tired out…we was all dancing on the Market top.

Give Ray this message from Shelia, “She sends her regards to him & if she weren’t marrying Nash, he stood the second chance.” She’s a sweet person.

I’ll enclose you the recipe of Yorkshire Pudding. It’s really good with roast beef, mutton, or pork. We seldom have a dinner without it in England as it’s very tasty with onions cooked. Let’s hope you make a success of it. It needs a lot of beating up.

Well dear, space is short and time marches on. Give my love to my two boys from their Limey Mum. So I’ll say cheerio,

Sincerely yours,

E. Hughes

Regards from all the young at heart to Ray & Glynn”

Yes, the big family news was that when Glenn came home for furlough in May, 1945 he and Selma got married.  Not too long afterwards, Ray married a Texas woman named Mavis Williams who was the younger sister of his mother’s brother’s wife. He had luckily been the second choice of Shelia, his girlfriend in England.

Ray at home in Richards

Much to the dismay of their families, Glenn and Selma decided against a wedding at the First Baptist Church where they were members. Instead, they eloped.

Richards News in Grimes County Review

by Mrs. Cornelia Garvin

(June 06, 1945)

Mrs. Cornelia Garvin had this to say in her article:

“First Lieut. L. Morris and Miss Selma Boring surprised their friends Tuesday when they drove away Tuesday to Willis, returned and announced they were married. Glenn is at home on a thirty-day furlough, after completing his missions. The son of Mr. and Mrs. G. P. Morris, Selma the daughter of Mrs. Louise Boring, and just returned from college at Waco. Both these young people have a host of friends who wish them every happiness in their new voyage they have begun.”

Selma and Glenn in Richards

The Richards News also included this nugget:

“Mrs. J. V. Bech of Pass Christian, Miss., is here for a visit with her parents,  Mr. and Mrs. George Morris. “

Mrs. J. V. Bech is better known to all of you as Lucy, Glenn’s sister, who was married to Terrell when the boys left home. Terrell did also make it home from the war, but Lucy had married another Navy man known as Jay Bech at some point in the interim years. Terrell continued to visit the Morris family in Richards for many years, but he was never mentioned at family gatherings.

Lucy

Glenn and Selma honeymooned by train to Miami, Florida. That trip turned out to be not quite the Hollywood movie image of their dreams, but they survived it and began  a new life together after a war that had forever changed the two teenagers who were forced to grow up quickly. Thankfully, they both came from loving families that continued to support them in their married life.

Selma was 18 years old when she married Glenn who was 20 at the time. In eleven months they  would become parents of a baby girl they named Sheila – a name Glenn chose from his brother’s girlfriend in England – with the middle name Rae, a feminine version of his brother Ray’s name.

Scooter and Selma in 1945

My father’s letters continued after his marriage to my mother, and later on he wrote to me when I was in college in the 1960s. I will look forward to another series on those entertaining letters, but for now I will leave my family as they were at the end of World War II with all my friends in cyberspace.

Thank you all so very much for reading and for your comments. This journey has been a bittersweet one for me with a roller coaster of emotions. From letter to letter, I’ve had tearful moments interspersed with laughter as I imagined the characters I knew so very well. I hope you were able to see them with me and that you will be inspired to realize the mysteries you may also have tucked away in a box or drawer somewhere. Life is about new discoveries – ask questions you want to know before it’s too late. Open the unopened. Explore. Remember.

And stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

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a man of letters (10) – some of us are lucky


March, 1945 began as February had ended – with more missions to fly (Reuthingen and Bohlen) – but with an unexpected visit from a friend who had been with him in navigation school in Texas and an equally unexpected promotion. In a letter dated March 06th. he wrote the following:

“Dear Folks,

Today I got a letter from you, Mama, and a Valentine box of candy, of which both were appreciated same. I get about as many packages now as I do letters. Well, I have about 10 more missions to go. Really going to town. Tremendous amount of speed.

Art Montana just came over to see me. I had about a day and a half with him. He has 12 missions in. I told him I had more hours on oxygen than he’s got in his whole stay in the Air Corps. He’s looking good. He says I’m gaining weight. I do weigh about 10 stones now. That’s British for 140 pounds. A stone is equivalent to 14 pounds. I don’t think the scales are right. I know I’m not that heavy. Although my eyelids feel like they weigh tons sometimes. Not so good, huh?

Mort and Montana are at the same field. They don’t run around together much. Mort drinks quite a bit. Montana takes a drink occasionally, but not excessively.

I had good news in one way today, but it’ll mean a little more work for me. Oh, well. I guess I can stand anything for a while. Understand I’m not moaning. Silver looks better than gold anyway, doesn’t it?

Well, folks, I guess you’ve had it for tonight.

I love you, Glenn Lewis”

Glenn Lewis wanted to tell his parents about his promotion from second to first lieutenant on March 6th. His insignia changed from a gold bar to a silver one. He had mixed emotions about the change with good reason. The March targets continued at a relentless pace.

Gelsenkirchen, another industrial center for the Third Reich…Kassel again…Koesfeld…Hamelin, a town in lower Saxony, famous for its medieval tale of The Pied Piper of Hamelin. No fairy tales being told that day as the smoke rose from its ruins.

Zoesen…Molbes…Berlin again…Dorsten…Recklinghausen…each city and town a dot on a map that became worn with repeated markings. Every day brought more assignments and more waiting for orders to fly.

On April 1, 1945 the newly promoted 1st. Lieutenant Morris wrote the following letter to his girl back home, Selma, who was in the middle of her second semester at Baylor University in Waco:

“Dearest Darling,

Today, Easter Sunday, I went to church. I was very happy to make it. I thought I wouldn’t be able to. (I know, don’t end a sentence with a preposition.) Oh well, some of us are lucky.

I hope you had a nice service. I’ll enjoy a good church service when I get back.

I got your beautiful picture, and it doesn’t flatter you contrary to what you said. It is a lot like you, but there are a lot of things I see in you that can never be captured in a picture, if you know what I mean. There’s something about you that would make a good boy leave a good home. Even me.

I just listened to Jack Benny. How about that? You wouldn’t think I could but that’s combat for you.

Well, Love of my Life, until soon,

I love you,

Glenn”

Selma

1st. Lieutenant Glenn Morris

Finally, on April 07, 1945 the Flying Fortress flew its 35th. and last mission that targeted an air field in Wesendorf, a city in Lower Saxony. Lieutenant Glenn Morris and almost all of his crew had been lucky to survive a second world war which destroyed millions of people around the globe. D-Day was two months away in June, the atomic bombs in Japan would follow in August; but for these men of the Flying Fortress the war was effectively over.

On April 20, 1945 Lt. Morris wrote to his parents one final time from  Europe.

“Dear Kids,

It shouldn’t be too long now. Get the black-eyed peas and fried chicken ready.

I love you,

Glenn”

In a world before the internet with its instantaneous communications via social media, Skype, email, iPhones, iPads, and smart phones – in a world before smart tvs or any tvs for that matter, a young boy became a man while he penned letters to his family and girlfriend back home in a tiny southeast Texas town still divided into black and white by one Main Street with no traffic lights. From the flowery love letters to the letters characterized as much by what they didn’t say as what they did, the idealism of his youth underwent extraordinary trials by fire.

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

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a man of letters (9) – bombs away…and away…and away


February, 1945 brought new targets for the twenty-year-old Richards, Texas homeboy 2nd. Lieutenant Glenn Morris, navigator for a B-17 bomber called The Fortress in the  365th. bomber squadron of the Eighth Air Force stationed in England during WWII.

Ludwigshafen, a city on the Rhine opposite Mannheim, on February 1st…tons of bombs dropped on two chemical plants supplying vital chemicals to the German military efforts…two days later (February 03) The Fortress finally made it to Berlin, the capitol of Hitler’s Third Reich…six days later on the 9th. the mission was a smaller town called Lutzendorf…

Flying at altitudes of 20,000 feet for most bombing runs meant long hours of very cold temperatures in confined cramped spaces where the oxygen was “scarce,” to quote Glenn’s description of the experience during training exercises. Smoke from the fires below and the gunfire surrounding The Fortress during its missions made his eyes burn and breathing even more difficult. The sounds of machine guns reverberated in his sleep at night. The sights of cities burning beneath him seared into his memory forever. Death and destruction. The call of bombs away and away and away couldn’t be tuned out at night when he waited for sleep to come.

After the Lutzendorf mission, the crew had a break for several days. On February 12th, Lt. Morris wrote the following letter to his parents – it’s the only correspondence preserved from that month. He was so happy getting his letters from home – even his daddy wrote to his son. I would love to have that letter.

“Dear Folks,

Just a line to let you know I’m O.K. I’m doing better about the writing, am I not? I will write when I have time. You know I will, cause I’m supposed to.

I got my haircut today. I’m looking very sharp in my leather jacket. You didn’t know I had one, did you?

Yesterday I went to church. It was the first time I’ve been in England. It was the first time I’ve had a chance. I can remember when I seldom missed a Sunday. Do you remember, too?

I got 3 letters from you, Mama, and one from you, Daddy. The latest one was the 23rd. of January. I get your letters very quickly. Keep writing direct mail. I like them better. Well, kids, you’ve had it. I love you,

Glenn”

George Morris with his son Glenn in Richards, Texas

Lt. Glenn Morris the navigator

 list of missions flown by Lt. Morris

in his own handwriting on personal stationery

An even dozen bombing runs were made in February, 1945…Dresden, Bdadnnitz, Nuremberg (twice), Wittenberg, Hamburg (the second largest city in Germany where the new U-boats were under construction, but the mission failed due to cloud cover), Munich (the third largest city in Germany, located in Bavaria at the northern edge of the Alps near Austria, near Hitler’s infamous Eagle’s Nest where Nazi leaders gathered for strategic planning), Berlin again and Saist, a much smaller town.

Tail Gunner Pfc. Klepps killed in action

during mission in February, 1945

Twenty-three bombing runs completed by the end of February, and one member of the crew of The Fortress had gone home without his buddies.

(image from Wikipedia)

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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