Words from the Commander:|
Greetings, Companions! Spring is here and the warm weather has already made a few cameo appearances in
preparation for what is to come. This is also the time of year we prepare for the ROTC awards and the
Summer Youth Leadership selections. So far, we have heard from at least six JROTC programs out of approximately
forty potential programs from the Corpus Christi area requesting our participation in their awards
ceremonies. We will have to determine the number of new requests we can afford to support this year as
we proceed through April. Once again, please let me know if you are able to personally make a presentation
at one of the school ceremonies. If you have done so in the past, you know how meaningful and rewarding the experience can be.
poles." Veterans who served between November 1, 1955 and May 15, 1975 will be recognized and presented
a Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin. No RSVP is needed in order to attend. Free parking will be available in the
LBJ Library visitors' lot (#38).|
The wall That Heals will also be onsite during these dates for you to visit, as well. Hope to see you at one of the recognition ceremonies!
Keep in mind that our Regional conference is in Dallas 13-15 May and our National Convention is in Baton Rouge, LA 8-13 August. Also, our end of year meeting will be on 12 May at the Crowne Plaza. We are expecting visits from the Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief and other guests. More details will be shared next month.
Finally, we desperately and sincerely need companions who can step forward to assume officer positions to sustain our chapter and keep it viable. Also, we need members! Remember our Companions unable to attend our meetings.
---COL (R) Leon Holland, USA
Rare Earth A new GAO report scolds DOD for failing to figure out which rare earth elements are critical to national security — China controls 100% the world market — and for not developing plans to make sure the United States has enough even though Congress passed a law telling them to five years ago. Each nuclear-powered fast attack submarine requires about 9,200 pounds of rare earth minerals; Anthony Marchese said his company a fulfilling a Defense Logistics Agency contract awarded last September to prove the value of Round Top Mountain, Texas rare earths deposit. They are producing “bench scale” amounts of yttrium, ytterbium and other rare earth minerals. The mountain could “supply 100 percent of the DoD rare earth element needs in the future.” [Source: http://www.4- traders.com | March 1, 2016 ++]
April 2016 God Is Calling—Now What? Chaplain Ernie Dean
As part of a large-scale and immediate effort to assess the urgent health care needs of Veterans and reduce patient wait times, the Department of Veterans Affairs conducted a second “Access Stand Down” 27 FEB. That countrywide, one-day event resulted in VA reviewing the records of more than 80,000 Veterans to get those waiting for urgent care off wait lists. Newly released results of the Access Stand Down show that 93 percent of Veterans waiting for urgent care have been contacted, with many receiving earlier appointments. Source: VA News Release | March 7, 2016
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is partnering with PGA REACH, the philanthropic arm of PGA of America,
to bring a specialized golf program to disabled Veterans. The program, PGA HOPE – Helping Our Patriots
Everywhere - is a therapeutic program to aid in the rehabilitation process for disabled Veterans. The purpose of PGA
HOPE is to help Veterans assimilate back into their communities through the social interaction the game of golf
provides. PGA HOPE is a two-step program, beginning with an introductory, “Down Range Clinic.” There are currently 50
programs across 20 PGA sections, enhancing the lives of more than 2,000 Veterans nationwide [Source: VA News Release | March 8, 2016 ++]
VA health care is still among the best options available for most veterans, offering care ranked comparably in patient satisfaction to the private sector, and for little to no cost to most veterans. According to an American Customer Satisfaction Index for 2013, VA’s health system earned satisfaction indexes of 84 for overall inpatient care and 82 for outpatient care, while the broader U.S. hospital industry received scores of 80 and 83 in the same categories, respectively [Source: Task & Purpose | Mike Connolly | March 3, 2016
The unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans fell to a near-historic low in February, hitting 4.7 percent, government data show. That figure, down a full point from the January rate of 5.7 percent, matches the unemployment rate for the youngest generation of veterans charted in August, which was the all-time low at the time it came out. [Source: Military Times | George R. Altman | March 4, 2016 ++]
There is an article in the The American Legion Online Magazinec | Ken Olson | February 19, 2016 about how hard it is for a veteran to get a job in the federal government through the web site USAJOBS.gov. Link for details.
When you sell your primary residence, you wont pay capital gains on any amount less than $250,000 (single) or $500.000 (married)
Many stores offer a senior discount, but you have to ask.
The Battle of Ormoc Bay was a series of air-sea battles between Imperial Japan and the United States
in the Camotes Sea in the Philippines from 11 November-21 December 1944, part of the Battle of Leyte
in the Pacific campaign of World War II. The battles resulted from Japanese operations to reinforce
and resupply their forces on Leyte and U.S. attempts to interdict them.|
Background-- After gaining naval control over the Western Pacific in mid-1944, the Allies attacked the Philippines in October, landing troops at Leyte Gulf on the east side of Leyte on 20 October 1944. The island of Leyte was defended by about 20,000 Japanese; American General Douglas MacArthur thought that the occupation of Leyte would be only a prelude to the major engagement on Luzon. For the Japanese, maintaining control of the Philippines was essential because their loss would enable the Allies to sever their oil supply lines from Borneo and Sumatra.
The Imperial Japanese Navy responded to this attack with a combined fleet attack that led to the Battle of Leyte Gulf from 23–26 October. In this massive naval engagement, the Japanese Navy was destroyed as a
strategic force. The Japanese commander in the Philippines,
General Tomoyuki Yamashita, he began to reinforce and resupply the garrisons
on Leyte; over the course of the battle the Japanese ran nine convoys to the island, landing around 34,000
troops from the 1st, 8th, 26th, 30th, and 102nd divisions. Ormoc City at the head of Ormoc Bay on the west
side of Leyte was the main port on the island and the main destination of the convoys.|
Decryption of messages sent using the PURPLE cipher alerted the Allies to the concentration of Japanese shipping around Leyte, but they initially interpreted this as an evacuation. However, by the first week of November the picture was clear, and the Allies began to interdict the convoys.
Operations-- TA-3 and TA-4 (Japanese) -- On 8–9 November, the Japanese dispatched two convoys from Manila to Ormoc Bay. The convoys were spaced one day apart so that the destroyers escorting the first convoy could double back and escort the second. However, the convoys were spotted on November 9 and attacked by land-based aircraft of the Fifth Air Force. On 10 November the 38th Bomb Group, based on Morotai, sent 32 B-25 Mitchells escorted by 37 P-47 Thunderbolts to attack TA-4 near Ponson Island. Reaching the convoy just before noon, the B-25s attacked at minimum altitude in pairs, sinking the two largest transports, disabling a third, and sinking two of the patrol craft escorts, at a cost of seven bombers, for which the group was awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation.
On 11 November, U.S. 3rd Fleet commander Admiral William F. Halsey ordered an attack by 350 planes of Task Force 38 on the combined convoys.
Four destroyers — Shimakaze, Wakatsuki, Hamanami and Naganami — and three transports were sunk. Rear Admiral Mikio Hayakawa went down with Shimakaze.
TA-5 (Japanese) -- Convoy TA-5 left Manila on 23 November for Port Cataingan and Port Balancan. Of the six transports, five were sunk by air attack.
U.S. destroyer sweeps -- Bad weather in late November made air interdiction less effective, and the U.S. Navy began to send destroyers into Ormoc Bay. Canigao Channel was swept for mines by the minesweepers Pursuit and Revenge, and the four destroyers of Destroyer Squadron 22 (DesRon 22) under the command of Captain Robert Smith (Waller, Pringle, Renshaw and Saufley) entered the bay on 27 Nov., where they shelled the docks at Ormoc City.
An Allied patrol plane radioed a message to the division noting that a surfaced Japanese submarine (I-46) was south of Pacijan Island and heading for Ormoc Bay. The division headed south to intercept; and, at 01:27 on 28 November, Waller's radar picked up the target just off the northeast coast of Ponson Island.:177 Waller disabled I-46 with her first shots and, unable to submerge, she could only return fire with her deck guns until she sank at 01:45.
TA-6 (Japanese) -- Two transports escorted by three patrol vessels left Manila on 27 November. They were attacked by American PT boats in Ormoc Bay on the night of 28 November and by air attack as the survivors left the area. All five ships were sunk. Another U.S. destroyer sweep on the night of 29–30 November in search of a reported convoy resulted only in the destruction of a few barges.
TA-7 (Japanese) -- A convoy of three transports departed Manila on 1 December, escorted by destroyers Take and Kuwa under the command of Lieutenant Commander Masamichi Yamashita. Two groups of transport submarines also took part in the operation. The convoy was docked at Ormoc City when it was engaged at 00:09 on 3 December by three ships of U.S. Destroyer Division 120 (DesDiv 120) under the command of Commander John C. Zahm (Allen M. Sumner, Cooper and Moale). The U.S. ships sank the transports as they were unloading but came under heavy attack from Yokosuka P1Y "Frances" bombers, shore batteries, submarines that were known to be in the harbor, and the Japanese destroyers. Kuwa was sunk and Commander Yamashita was killed. Take attacked Cooper with torpedoes and escaped, though with some damage. Cooper sank at about 00:15 with the loss of 191 lives (168 sailors were rescued from the water on 4 December by Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boats). At 00:33, the two surviving U.S. destroyers were ordered to leave the bay, and the victorious Japanese successfully resupplied Ormoc Bay once more. This phase of the Battle of Ormoc Bay has gone down in history as the only naval engagement during the war in which the enemy brought to bear every type of weapon: naval gunnery, naval torpedoes, air attack, submarine attack, shore gunnery, and mines.
Ormoc Bay U.S. troop landings -- On 7 December, the 77th Infantry Division, commanded by Major General Andrew D. Bruce, made an amphibious landing at Albuera, 3.5 mi (5.6 km) south of Ormoc City. The 77th Division's 305th, 306th, and 307th Infantry Regiments came ashore unopposed, but naval shipping was subjected to kamikaze attacks, resulting in the loss of destroyers Ward and Mahan.
Other operations All five transports of convoy TA-8 were sunk on 7 December by air attack, and the escorting destroyers Ume and Sugi were damaged. Convoy TA-9 entered the bay on 11 December and landed troops, but two escorting destroyers, Yuzuki (by air attacks) and Uzuki (by PT boats), were sunk and the third, Kiri, was damaged.