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Girding the Grand Army of the Republic

“During the Civil War, from 1 January 1861 through 30 June 1866, the national government purchased:

3,477,655 muskets, rifles, carbines, and pistols,

544,475 swords, sabers, and lances,

2,146,175 complete sets of infantry accouterments,

1,022,176,474 small arms cartridges, and

1,220,555,435 caps for small arms.” – Hartzler, Yantz & Whisker.

An impressive amount of munitions for any military of any age. When you take into account that the peacetime strength of the U.S. Army in 1860 was 16,000 and the Marines just another 3,500, it is even more so.

Springfield model rifled muskets stacked by the Soldiers from Company B of the 7th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment, fighting for the Union. July 1861

 

Happy birthday to the Corps and every EGA holder, everywhere

It’s been a long way from Tun Tavern. Some 243 years to be exact.

Harrier II at 40

Prototype AV-8B Harrier II pictured in front of a hangar at McDonnell Douglas in St. Louis, Missouri. Offering double the payload and combat radius of its predecessor, the AV-8B made its maiden flight on 9 November 1978, some 40 years ago today.

The above model was one of two generations and six main variants of the “jump jet” produced between the prototype Hawker Siddeley P.1127 first flew in 1960 and the Harrier II ended production in 1997. With less than 900 of all types produced, a Harrier in any condition is a rare bird indeed.

early Harrier Kestrel

While Harriers once served with the Indian Navy, Italian Navy, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, Royal Thai Navy, Royal Spanish Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps, just the Corps (124) and the Italians (30) still operate late-model aircraft refurbished in the 2000’s.

A U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier II aircraft assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 166 sits on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) in the Arabian Sea Oct. 20, 2013. The Boxer was underway in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class J. Michael Schwartz, U.S. Navy/Released)

They are expected to be replaced by the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II within the next decade.

97 years ago today: Dewey’s flagship, bringing home the saddest casualty back from ‘Over There’

A colorized image of the Unknown Soldier’s casket being carried off of OLYMPIA, which is featured in the background. Via Independence Seaport Museum. You can see Gen. Blackjack Pershing to the right, commander of the AEF, and an honor guard of Marines in blues.

On this date, November 9th, 1921, cruiser OLYMPIA arrived at the Washington Navy Yard carrying the Unknown Soldier of the first World War, having brought the casket across the stormy Atlantic Ocean from Le Havre, France. It was at this time that the casket was transferred from the hands of the U.S. Navy aboard OLYMPIA to the waiting Army contingent, who would then carry the body to Arlington National Cemetery for interment where he rests at the Tomb of the Unknowns today.

Halloween is nearing, and some ghosts are real

There are some things that are scarier than witches, goblins, and vampires.

“Ghost Trail,” by Kerr Eby; 1944.

Drawing, Charcoal, and Pastel on Paper; Framed Dimensions 29H X 46W NHHC Accession #88-159-DZ as a Gift of Abbot Laboratories

“Specter-like in the dark gloom of the Bougainville jungle, Marine riflemen slog up to the front lines during the bitter campaign for the tropic stronghold.”– official description.

Erby was Canadian-born illustrator best known for his renderings of soldiers in combat in the First and Second World Wars. In the prior, he served in the Army as camoufleur to the 40th Engineers in France. In the latter, Eby, then aged 51, tried to enlist but was turned down because of his age. Serving in the combat artist program, he traveled with Marines in the South Pacific and witnessed some of the fiercest fighting of the war, landing with the invasion force at Tarawa and living three weeks in a foxhole on Bougainville.

While on Bougainville he became ill with a tropical disease, one which weakened his health, passing away in Norwalk, Connecticut in 1946.

Guess who out-shot the Marines and NSWG?

A two-man team from the 75th Ranger Regiment bested a crowded field of snipers from around the world last week in the 18th Annual International Sniper Competition– for the second time in as many years.

The other 29 teams in the week-long match ranged from one from the II Jutland Dragoons from Denmark (8th lace) to one from the 890th Paratroopers if the IDF (19th place) and the Dutch Army’s 42nd Limburgse Jagers.

More detail, images and video in my column at Guns.com

yokosukasasebojapan.wordpress.com/

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