Bernard F. (Mac) McCarty was the quintessential citizen warrior of “Fightin’ Forties” America. He is representative of the hundreds of thousands of Marines, soldiers, sailors, an Bernard d airmen who selflessly cast aside the safety and comfort of civilian life to risk everything in the all out struggle for the survival of their country. Mac quickly made the tough transition from civilian life to become a highly decorated Marine.
In 1943, Mac enlisted in the US Marine Corps and at the ripe old age of 29 was the oldest recruit at Basic Training, promptly earning him the nickname “Grandpa.” While assigned to the Independence class small Aircraft Carrier USS Cowpens, from Oct 1943 – Aug 1945 Mac was in charge of a 20MM Oerlikon antiaircraft battery, and defended the ship from Kamikaze and other airborne attacks during a long list of brutal naval battles.
On 30 Aug 1945, Mac served as bodyguard for Cowpens’ Skipper Captain Herbert S. Duckworth, Commander of Naval Air Operations in the Tokyo Bay Area during the occupation of Japan. Orders show that Mac and Capt Duckworth were both aboard the first of eight TBM Avenger Torpedo Bombers that landed that day on Yokosuka Naval Plane Base. A yellowed Kansas City Star article proudly proclaims, “Pfc Bernard F. McCarty made history today by becoming the first Marine of the American occupational forces to set foot on Japanese soil.”
Although supplemented by newspaper articles, official documents, and military orders, Mac tells much of his story first hand. He was an experienced journalist. In a lenghty16,703-word letter to his wife Martha written just a few days after arriving in Japan, he gave an extremely interesting and eloquent description of his landing at Yokosuka, being the first Marine to set foot on Japanese soil, razing old glory over a Japanese base, his first impressions of Japan and the Japanese people, and life as a member of the initial American occupational forces. He documented his experiences with a number of photos (included in eBook) taken in and around the base, some of which show him interacting with Capt Duckworth, Admiral McCain, and other dignitaries. Mac was also an accomplished artist, and produced many pen and ink drawings of life aboard the Cowpens and at Yokosuka.
Mac always considered himself a Marine until the day he died. His uniform perpetually hung in the bedroom closet, and his M1 carbine was always close at hand; clean, locked ‘n’ loaded, and ready for action.
Mac was certainly not a unique individual. Actually quite the opposite is true. Like all four of the McCarty brothers, almost every able-bodied man and many women of Mac’s generation shared similar wartime experiences. Many were less fortunate and gave up much more than just two or three years of their lives. After the passing of well over sixty years, recounting Mac’s military experiences now serves as a reminder to us all of the similar sacrifices and countless contributions made by those other nameless thousands who also answered the same call, and those thousands of patriotic Americans who still choose to do so today.
Print Book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1493721860
In July 1972, the 512th MAW was deactivated at Carswell Air Base in Fort Worth, Texas and replaced by the 301 Tactical (TAC) Fighter Wing (FW). The unit then began the tough transition from huge C-124 Globemaster transports to then state of the art F-105 Thunderstick II (Thuds), which were replaced by newer F-4 Phantoms ten years later, and F-16 Fighting Falcons ten years after that.
Over forty years have passed since that day in July 1972 when Lt Col Robert (Col Bob to most) Johnston landed our first Thud at Carswell and delivered it to the newly formed 301st TFW. A good number of us from those early days at Carswell, and many that came aboard during the following ten or fifteen years, stuck around and served together until retirement, some clear up to the new millennium and beyond. Having known each other for thirty or forty years, and served together almost that long, to many of us, the 301st became more like an extended family than a place of work. After all this time, a large number of us still gather together for lunch on the first Wednesday of every month to catch up on old friendships and recall events from our many years together in the 301st.
Some of us have written and posted remembrances of our days of yore on our 301st FW Page, MyFamily.com, some of which attracted comments that, in a few cases, turned into a lengthy running written dialogue. In honor of the 301st FW 40th Reunion in July 2012, I collected all of these writings and comments, did some minor editing and revising, combined everything into this single document, and added a large number of photos of people, places, and events from our first twenty years of Thuds and Phantoms.
If you were part of the unit, you will recall many fond memories. If you were not, you will gain insight into how we turned a trash-hauling outfit into a world-class fighter unit, and what sort of troops it took to make that happen.
This book is dedicated to all my Sig Ep brothers that put up with all my bullshit back in our days of yore at Baker University in Baldwin City, KS. Even though written from my perspective—my remembrances of being at Baker from 1963-1967—if you were at Baker—or any small Midwestern university for that matter—any time in the ‘60s, you shared similar experiences too and reading all of this should bring back quite a few memories. I have also included over 100 photos of people, places and things from that era.
Yeah, I know, ya haven’t read a poem since ya got out o’ school. But this ain’t Browning, Shakespeare, Frost, or that old weird Dickenson lady. Pulp Poetry is t’ verse what pulp fiction is to prose. It’s cheap an’ sordid an' got no redeemin’ social value, but it’s sure really fun t’ read. Stuff your boring old high school English teach would hate—but you won’t. Okay—‘Nuff said! Just give it a shot. You’ll be glad ya did.
Print Book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1493625764
In the Eighties and Nineties, I wrote feature articles and took photographs for eight national and international motorcycle magazines. My article Rock ‘N’ Roll Bikers appeared in the January 1995 issue of the British magazine The Classic Bike. The article told the story of Buddy Holly and the Crickets stopping off in Dallas on 13 May 1958 on their way home from New York to Lubbock, after completing Alan Freed’s “The Big Beat” tour, to buy motorcycles at Miller’s Motorcycles (now Big D Motorcycles) in Oak Cliff, TX (suburb of Dallas). Being a motorcycle magazine, quite a bit of the interesting non-motorcycle back-story was edited out. After almost twenty years, I decided to re-edit the manuscript, add all the other information and photos I have, and republish it, along with an explanation of how I was able to garner the photos and all the information.
Large 8½ X 11 Book with over 30 full page color photos.
Over one-hundred-fifty years ago, thong trees were frequently created by Indians throughout the Ozark Mountains to mark trails, point directions, or mark sources of water, shelter and good hunting, or post any other information they wanted to pass along. Many thong trees grew to tremendous girth and height, with the snouts resembling full-grown, head down charging buffalo, or horses. While thong trees can still be found scattered all over the Ozark Mountains of Missouri and Arkansas, they seem to be extremely prevalent in Northwest Arkansas in and around Newton County. This book contains many interesting photos of thong trees the author discovered while hiking the trails along the Buffalo National River, and exploring the back roads of rural Newton County, AR.
Large 8½ X 11 book containing over 40 color photos.
Train loving Brothers Don and Bob Shank have created a living railroad museum in the historic Upper Rio Grande River Valley of Colorado with their (new) Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. Since 2009, they have offered the public the opportunity to ride the historic rails of the over 120-year-old Creede Branch in their one of a kind open sided Silver Streak rail vehicle. Every year, from May until October, the D&RG runs daily rail excursions from South Fork along the rugged Upper Rio Grande River and its palisades, through scenic mountain meadows, past 1,000-foot cliffs and historic structures up to Wagon Wheel Gap. With special arrangements, they offer an extended ride clear up to the Wason Wye just south of Creede.