Categories
A Victory! Hard Nosed Folks Both Good & Bad Manly Stuff Soldiering War

Roy Benavidez: The Lazarus Soldier

Categories
Manly Stuff Our Great Kids Soldiering The Green Machine This great Nation & Its People War

Audie Murphy: The Most Decorated US Soldier Ever… Who Later Became a Movie Star

Categories
Darwin would of approved of this! Manly Stuff Paint me surprised by this Real men

Florida Man went out in style! Fatal car crash in Florida sends fireworks store up in flames

As a native Californian, I want to thank the Sunshine State for making us look so much better! GrumpyFatal car crash in Florida sends fireworks store up in flames

John Marcano, 53 went out with a bang!

Categories
Manly Stuff Our Great Kids Some Red Hot Gospel there! The Green Machine War Well I thought it was funny!

I know that I wasn’t & would of been shocked if they hadn’t

Categories
A Victory! Manly Stuff Our Great Kids Paint me surprised by this Real men

Boy, 11, rushes back into burning apartment to save 2-year-old sister By FOX TV Digital Staff (What a Stud!!!!!!!!! Grumpy)

Salisbury Fire Department photo

Firefighters in Maryland say an 11-year-old boy suffered minor burns after racing back into a burning apartment building to rescue his 2-year-old sister.

The blaze broke out Tuesday evening on the second floor of a two-story apartment building in Salisbury, which is in Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

According to the state fire marshal’s office, the boy fled the building when smoke alarms started going off, but then he realized his sister was still inside. That’s when he went back up to the burning second floor to rescue her, suffering a minor burn to his arm in the process.

316801579_442034208118644_2288023325924632088_n.jpg

Salisbury Fire Department photo

The boy’s injuries were so minor that he did not need to be treated at the scene. His sister, meanwhile, was not hurt.

The children’s names were not released.

316808067_442034218118643_3144583475325877309_n.jpg

Salisbury Fire Department photo

Salisbury firefighters had the blaze under control within 10 minutes, but two of the eight apartments were left uninhabitable as a result of the fire. The Red Cross was helping the displaced residents.

Investigators ruled the fire accidental, blaming an “unspecified electrical event” in a second-floor bedroom outlet.

Categories
A Victory! All About Guns Manly Stuff One Hell of a Good Fight

Petty Officer Michael Thornton: Quite Possibly the Baddest Man in the Entire World by WILL DABBS

Petty Officer Michael Thornton was a highly decorated career Navy SEAL who distinguished himself in combat in Vietnam.

Michael Thornton was born in 1949 in South Carolina. He graduated from high school in 1966 and immediately enlisted in the US Navy.

SEAL training is legendarily grueling.

In 1968 Thornton was one of sixteen BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) graduates out of a starting class of 129.

The fictional war hero John Rambo had nothing on real-world Navy SEAL Mike Thornton.

Four years later on a bullet-swept beach in North Vietnam, Petty Officer Thornton made John Rambo look like a Sunday School teacher.

Naval Special Warfare soldiers were still pulling covert missions at the very end of the war in Vietnam. Mike Thornton is in the center. Note the blue jeans.

The war in Vietnam was winding down, and Michael Thornton was one of only a dozen Navy SEALs remaining in the country. On October 31, 1972, Thornton formed a team along with a SEAL officer named Thomas Norris and three South Vietnamese Special Forces operators.

Vietnam-era Navy SEALs were masters of unconventional warfare.

Their mission was to gather intelligence and capture prisoners for interrogation from the Cua Viet Naval Base north of Quang Tri. Thornton had worked with his three South Vietnamese counterparts before and trusted them as brothers.

SEAL stands for Sea/Air/Land. Waterborne insertions are their specialty.

The plan was to insert via rubber boat launched from a South Vietnamese junk. At dusk, they launched their small boat and then swam the last mile to reach their objective. In the darkness, they found that they had made a navigation error and landed well within North Vietnam. Advancing inland past numerous enemy positions they simply continued the mission.

Though the mission was a quiet reconnaissance and prisoner snatch, Thornton’s SEAL detachment was loaded for bear.

Their intelligence gathering complete, the small Naval Special Warfare team encountered a pair of North Vietnamese soldiers patrolling on the beach and attempted to capture them. When this operation went awry one of the NVA troops escaped and ran toward the jungle to alert his comrades. Thornton gave chase and was forced to shoot the man with a handgun, drawing the attention of some fifty NVA regulars located nearby. The result was a simply epic firefight.

Aggressive fire and maneuver kept the enemy confused concerning the size of Thornton’s small unit. The effective use of LAW (Light Antitank Weapon) rockets by the South Vietnamese SEALs helped slow down the attacking NVA troops.

Thornton picked up a load of shrapnel in his back from an NVA grenade early on but kept on fighting. The five allied warriors fired and moved constantly to keep the attacking NVA troops confused about the modest size of their small detachment.

Thornton attempted to call in friendly naval gunfire from American destroyers offshore but return fire from NVA shore batteries pushed the warships out of range. Over the next four hours, the five frogmen kept around 150 enemy troops at bay. With the coming dawn, however, things began to look bleak.

Only courage and implacable force of will got Mike Thornton and his team off that hostile beach.

The five sailors charged toward the water’s edge with Thornton in the lead and Norris taking up the rear. In the process, the unit commander took a round to the head and was presumed dead. When one of the South Vietnamese operators informed Thornton he ran back through blistering NVA fire to recover the body of his fallen friend. He arrived to find four NVA soldiers gathered around Norris’ inert form and killed them all.

As he lifted the limp man to his shoulders he observed that the whole side of his head seemed to be missing. Norris was, however, still breathing.

Thornton killed several of the pursuing NVA soldiers by firing his CAR15 assault rifle one-handed while carrying his severely injured commander to the water’s edge.

Running four hundred yards under fire carrying Norris on his shoulders, Thornton still managed to effectively engage the attacking NVA soldiers by firing his CAR15 assault rifle one-handed.

Mike Thornton’s extraordinary feat of heroism is memorialized in bronze outside the Navy UDT/SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, Florida. Mike Thornton is on the left. Tommy Norris is on the right.

Tom Norris had previously called naval gunfire in on his position from a nearby heavy cruiser requesting a five-minute delay on the fire mission. When he was struck in the head and immobilized the timeline for the extraction fell apart. The supporting cruiser ultimately fired 104 five-inch high explosive rounds onto the beach.

When Naval gunfire support finally impacted, the two SEALs were blown fully twenty feet into the air. Petty Officer Thornton regained his senses, again hefted his buddy, and charged for the ocean. Once at the water’s edge Thornton found that one of his South Vietnamese comrades had been shot through the buttocks and was unable to swim.

Mike Thornton was not the sort of man to quit just because he was peppered with shrapnel and abandoned on a hostile Vietnamese beach.

Shoving both the severely wounded Norris and the South Vietnamese soldier into the surf, Thornton dragged them both out into open water. Once out of small arms range, Thornton bandaged Norris’ head wound as best he could. He subsequently trod water, keeping himself and his two injured comrades afloat for another three hours. The supporting vessels had presumed the patrol lost and retreated to safety.

Tommy Norris had an AK47 strapped to his body as Mike Thornton carried him into the surf. Thornton used this weapon to alert friendly troops in a South Vietnamese junk.

One of the South Vietnamese frogmen was eventually picked up by a friendly junk and reported both Americans killed. In desperation, Thornton fired Norris’ AK47 into the air and got the attention of an American SEAL onboard. Once taken aboard the South Vietnamese junk, the team was transported to the USS Newport News, the heavy cruiser that had recently fired in support of their extraction.

The heavy cruiser USS Newport News provided fire support to the beleaguered SEAL detachment. Surgeons onboard the vessel were the first to treat injured SEAL Thomas Norris.

Mike Thornton personally carried his friend Tom Norris into the big warship’s operating room only to be told that the severely injured man was beyond saving. Thornton insisted that the surgeon try his best regardless.

Mike Thornton was awarded the Medal of Honor roughly one year after his actions that saved his fellow operators.

A year later Michael Thornton was presented with the Medal of Honor by President Richard Nixon.

Thornton went on to a long and distinguished career in US Navy Special Operations.

Mike Thornton eventually served as an instructor at the BUD/S course in Coronado. He also did an exchange program with the elite British Special Boat Squadron and became a founding member of SEAL Team Six. Thornton was eventually commissioned and left the Navy as a Lieutenant in 1992.

Mike Thornton saved Tommy Norris’ life in 1972 on a beach in North Vietnam.

Tom Norris’ story did not end in the operating room of the Newport News in 1972. He survived his ordeal after a nineteen-hour emergency surgery. Multiple surgical procedures and many months of hospitalization later he was medically discharged from the Navy.

Tom Norris went on to complete training at the FBI academy despite the grievous nature of his injuries.

Not satisfied with medical retirement Norris applied for and received a waiver to attend the FBI academy at Quantico, Virginia. He went on to serve twenty years as a special agent in the FBI.

Tom Norris was eventually awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on a previous mission. The details of his exploits were memorialized in the movie BAT21.

Tom Norris was himself awarded the Medal of Honor for an extraordinary mission to rescue downed American pilots some six months prior to his wounding on that North Vietnamese beach. His exploits were immortalized in the book and movie BAT21. Thornton and Norris were two of only three Navy SEALs to be awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War. Norris’s MOH mission was incredible in its own right and will likely be the focus of our efforts at some point in the future.

The Guns

Vietnam-era Navy SEALs carried a variety of unconventional weapons. Note the Stoner Light Machine Guns and AK 47 rifles in this team photo.

Vietnam-era Navy SEALs had great latitude in selecting their personal weapons.

Navy SEALs in Vietnam occasionally obtained their weapons from some unconventional sources.

A good friend who served as a SEAL in Vietnam in 1970 carried an M14, a Colt 1911A1, and a Browning pump 12-gauge shotgun stoked with buckshot whenever he went downrange. The shotgun carried a total of nine rounds onboard and was the product of a particularly successful night of poker soon after he arrived in the country. He cut the wooden buttstock down into a pistol grip and slung the gun over his shoulder on a makeshift single point sling.

The SEAL on the right is packing a Stoner 63 LMG. The one on the left has a highly modified M60 machine gun.

While the Stoner 63 light machinegun was a SEAL favorite, Michael Thornton carried a COLT CAR15 during his MOH mission.

The technical designation for the CAR15 was the XM177E2 Colt Commando. Issued with two slightly different barrel lengths, this stubby little carbine eventually evolved into today’s M4.

This compact carbine was a shortened version of the standard M16A1 that armed most of the conventional troops deployed during the war.

The CAR15 was popular for its modest weight and fast handling characteristics.

Sporting either a 10 or 11.5-inch barrel, a telescoping aluminum stock, and a sound moderator, the 5.56mm CAR15 was popular among aircrews, dog handlers, and Special Forces troops. By the end of the war, there were only about one thousand 30-round magazines available for these weapons in Vietnam. Special operators like Navy SEALs typically got first dibs.

The AK47 saw its first widespread use against American forces during the Vietnam War. American soldiers developed a healthy respect for the gun’s extraordinary reliability and exceptional firepower.

Tom Norris carried a captured AK47 during this mission. Special Forces troops frequently employed enemy weapons on clandestine operations. This practice would minimize the possibility of hostile troops distinguishing them by the sound of their gunfire. The AK47 was a rugged and effective assault rifle that was readily available in the latter stages of the war.

Mikhail Kalashnikov developed the most widely distributed combat rifle in human history as he recovered from wounds incurred fighting the Germans on the Eastern Front during World War 2.

Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov developed the gun that would become the AK47 during the waning months of the Second World War. Firing a true intermediate 7.62x39mm cartridge via an unnaturally reliable long-stroke gas-operated system, the AK47 found its way into the hands of communist soldiers and insurgents around the globe. With more than 100 million of these tough guns in service, these weapons will be found anyplace men kill each other for untold generations to come.

Denouement

Mike Thornton’s dedication to country, mission, and teammates was awe-inspiring. He is shown here along with Tommy Norris, the SEAL whose life he saved during his MOH operation. If that picture doesn’t move you then something about you is broken.

Michael Thornton’s superhuman display of courage and stamina eclipses anything depicted in a Hollywood epic. That the man he rescued did himself earn the Medal of Honor on an unrelated mission simply speaks to the caliber of the warriors that served with the US Navy SEALs during the protracted war in Southeast Asia.

Mike Thornton is a legendary American hero.

While the causes and prosecution of the war in Vietnam are certainly open for debate, none could dispute that Michael Thornton’s actions on that dark Vietnamese beach were the stuff of legend. Mike Thornton was and is a true American hero.

Navy SEALs in Vietnam pioneered unconventional warfare in an asymmetric battlefield.

 

Categories
A Victory! Hard Nosed Folks Both Good & Bad Manly Stuff One Hell of a Good Fight

Sergeant York “Over the Top” Battle Scene – What a Stud!!!!!!!

Categories
Allies Manly Stuff Soldiering This great Nation & Its People

The Greatest Marine of all Time! – General John A. Lejeune

Categories
Manly Stuff Soldiering Some Red Hot Gospel there! The Green Machine

GUNCRANK DIARIES: THE TRUE MEASURE OF A MAN WRITTEN BY WILL DABBS, MD

The inside of a CH47D Chinook helicopter on fire is the very embodiment of chaos.
Photo: Public domain

 

You’ll never really know until you get there. We imagine how we might perform when we’re finally facing that really bright light, but we can’t ever be sure. The fine line between selfless valor and rank cowardice is often a diaphanous, ethereal thing. CW4 Ron Bender, however, was the real deal — a true American hero.

The CH-47D Chinook helicopter was flying from Fort Hood, Texas, back to Fort Sill, Okla., with a load of soldiers on board. It was a routine mission, one I have flown myself many times. A tripped chip detector latch on the Number 2 (right-hand) engine transmission was the first indication something was amiss.

A Chinook sports five transmissions and three hydraulic systems. There is a transmission for each rotor system, another for each engine, and a combining transmission to mix everything together. The chip detector consists of a pair of magnetized electrodes across which flows the circulating transmission fluid. If enough ferrous material builds up on the electrodes, the latch trips to inform the flight engineer the transmission requires urgent inspection.

Helicopters being helicopters, the crew found a handy field and set down. The two crewmembers pulled the chip detector, cleaned it off and reinstalled it. They ran up the aircraft and all was well. In accordance with regulations, they could fly the aircraft legally, but they’d need to take a more detailed look once they got home. As they approached the nearby small town of Chico, Texas, at their cruising altitude, the engine transmission disintegrated.

 

The CH47D Chinook is an amazingly complex aircraft. There’s quite a lot to go wrong in such a complicated machine. Photo: Public domain

Something Truly Horrible

 

The affected engine ingested the pulverized transmission and exploded. Turbine wheels spinning at astronomical speeds broke loose and scythed through the aft end of the aircraft, severing hydraulic and fuel lines along the way. The combination of atomized hydraulic fluid and several thousand pounds of jet fuel created a fearsome blaze. The whole rear end of the aircraft was now on fire.

The airflow in a Chinook is from the tail to the nose. This curious phenomenon is the result of Bernoulli’s Effect and the aerodynamic design of the machine. That means smoke and fumes originating anywhere in the aircraft end up in the cockpit. In short order, the accumulated passengers could no longer breathe. Being human, they unfastened and moved toward the front of the aircraft in search of breathable air and a part of the aircraft not on fire.

The First Sergeant for the Chinook unit was along for the ride. He was fit and an impressive specimen. Realizing nothing good could come from having a dozen or so terrified people crammed up into the cockpit while the pilots struggled to maintain control of the burning aircraft, he posted himself in the small passageway leading to the pilots’ station. The 1SG locked his arms on the sides of the passage and was promptly pushed over onto his back. He ended up on the floor with his head on the center console. From this vantage, he had a clear view of both pilots.

The aircraft was in an emergency descent and on fire, yet he reported that the pilots were calm and professional throughout, maneuvering the aircraft to avoid nearby populated areas. The cockpit filled with thick, acrid smoke as the aircraft neared the ground. At that point, everybody on board was a passenger. The massive aircraft slammed into the ground at an estimated 130 knots. That’s roughly 150 miles per hour.

The aircraft bounced up and sideways and then rolled. The cockpit broke free at the forward transmission, spewing gyrating helicopter components liberally across the countryside. The 1SG was unceremoniously ejected at some point, remaining inexplicably intact as he flew through the disintegrating aircraft parts. In one of those quirky little miracles, the man landed on his hands and knees and bounced his head against the ground hard enough to crack the visor cover on his helmet. He was otherwise unhurt.

The Pilot-in-Command, CW4 Bender, was also ejected from the aircraft. The First Sergeant and a few locals reached the dying man still strapped in his seat. His last words were, “Did I miss the little town?” If ever you wondered what a true hero looked like, that was it.

 

With all that energy bound up within those moving parts, helicopter crashes are seldom pretty. Photo: DoD

Denouement

 

Eighteen souls were onboard tail number 86-01643 that fateful afternoon outside of Chico, Texas. Ten of them perished. The post-crash accident investigation fully exonerated the flight crew. In the face of literally unimaginable horror, they all performed magnificently.
Many folks expire peacefully in some facility someplace. Others meet eternity in a more chaotic fashion. On February 25, 1988, CW4 Ron Bender and his crew gave their lives to save a small Texas town. I am simply in awe of such men as these.

Categories
I WANT ONE ASAP!!! Manly Stuff

Real OLD SCHOOL!