Saturday, August 22, 2015

WWII Vet Irv Abramson and wife Doris celebrate their 68th!

Monday's Chicago Tribune on page 5 of Section 4, the Arts-Entertainment section, featured this photograph and happy announcement in the CELEBRATIONS Section honoring the couple's achievement.

Irv was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge and his very interesting memoir of service can be read and heard via the library's website  and then by clicking on the World War II Europe  tab on the left.   

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Dublin Airport Appeal to honor Patrick Gallagher, USMC, Viet Nam Hero

A follower of this blog supplied a photo of this electronic display in the hallway of  the departure gates for American flights at Dublin Airport. Passengers are requested to sign an online petition at  to honor the heroic  Irish immigrant from Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo. The petition requests the Secretary of Navy to have a United States Navy ship named for  Cpl Patrick "Bob" Gallagher on the 50th Anniversary of his death.

The following background and further details are provided at the above link.

  In July 1966, while other members of his unit slept, enemy fighters infiltrated the area, and on approaching his unit's position they threw grenades in on top of his squad. "Four of them had been manning a defense post at Cam Lo near the border with North Vietnam, when it was attacked by Communist forces. Patrick kicked a grenade out of their position before it exploded and, as the citation for the Navy Cross he was later awarded read, "another enemy grenade followed and landed in the position between two of his comrades. Without hesitation, in a valiant act of self-sacrifice, Corporal Gallagher threw himself upon the deadly grenade in order to absorb the explosion and save the lives of his comrades.

       "As the three other marines ran to safety two further grenades landed in the position and exploded, "miraculously injuring nobody". Patrick's squad leader ordered him to throw the grenade he was lying on into a nearby river. It exploded on hitting the water. "Through his extraordinary heroism and inspiring valor in the face of almost certain death, he saved his comrades from probable injury and possible loss of life," the citation continued. 

        "It is a pleasure to pin this on your breast," said Gen Westmoreland, commander of all US  forces in Vietnam, at the awards ceremony there. It is said that Patrick was told at the time that the only reason the military authorities decided to award Patrick the Navy Cross, and not the US forces' highest honor the Congressional Medal of Honor, was only that “the grenade had not exploded and killed him… if it had, he would have certainly been a shoe-in”. 

       Only months after receiving this prestigious Award, Patrick was killed in action in Vietnam.