Memories of a Time When I was a young man.

This past Saturday, the ship that was my first duty station began it’s final journey. The Good Ship Independence was towed from the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard enroute to the breaker’s yard in Brownsville, Texas.

I reported aboard her in January of 1974 as a fresh faced 19 year old kid from the Montana Prairies. So began my adventure in the United States Navy.

I participated in the ammunition offload along with several other guys that I went through boot camp with. Then I was assigned to V-1 Division in the Air Department.

After a short period in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, we began working up for the upcoming deployment to the Mediterranean Sea.

I freely admit that I was absolutely terrified the first time I was on the flight deck for operations.

In the latter part of July 1974 we embarked the Air Wing and departed.

We covered the evacuation of US diplomatic personnel and their families from Nicosia, Cyprus. All available aircraft were armed. We then coordinated the Search and Recovery of TWA flight 847 which had crashed near the Greek coast. It was an eye opening experience to say the least and certain images remain in my mind to this day.

Finally, we were able to get some Liberty in Naples, Italy. Cold beer and playing tourist. Other ports of call included Cannes, Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona and a few more visits to Naples.

In early January we were relieved by USS America and headed for home. The North Atlantic in January is a rough place, I should add.

20 January saw us go pier side at Naval Station Norfolk. It was a bitter cold day and along with families, friends and a band was a troop of baton twirlers who in those costumes must have been freezing.

It has been a bit over 40 years since I departed The Good Ship Independence as a Petty Officer Second Class now. I know that things change over time and a lot of places that I was stationed have gone into the “dustbin” of history.

The media outlets in the Pacific Northwest gave coverage of Indy’s departure from Bremerton this past weekend.

The following photo is from a Facebook group I belong to………

To those who have been there, you understand.

 

14 February 1979 – This Day in Aviation

This is a rather unique story from my point of view. I have been thinking about getting a glider pilot ticket as there are fields in the area that have glider operations, including California City Municipal Airport.

I had never heard of this lady at all. She was an accomplished individual for sure. I thought it was worth a post here. I hope all enjoy it.

The full story is at the link.

 

Grob G102 Astir CS N75SW at Black Forest Gliderport, near Colorado Springs, Colorado. The mountain at the upper right of the image Pikes Peak. (Jim Freeman via “Abandoned & Little Known Airfields”)

14 February 1979: Flying her Grob G102 Astir CS glider from the Black Forest Gliderport, north of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Sabrina Patricia Jackintell soared to an altitude of 12,637 meters (41,460 feet) over Pikes Peak, setting a Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) World Record and Soaring Society of America National Record for Absolute Altitude.¹ This record still … Continue reading 14 February 1979 →

Source: 14 February 1979 – This Day in Aviation

In Memoriam of Apollo 1

I believe it was yesterday that marked the 50th anniversary of the tragedy of Apollo 1 that took the lives of Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee. It is still vivid in my mind.

An old shipmate of mine from days in the Argonauts of Attack Squadron 147 now works at NASA at Cape Canaveral. He was kind enough to send me some pictures of the launch pad from that day that is now abandoned in place.

Without further ado, here they are.

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24 December 1968 16:40:07 UTC, T plus 75:49:07 – This Day in Aviation

Does anyone remember this? I know I do. I saw it on CBC when we lived in Alberta, Canada out on the lonesome prairies.

William Anders: “For all the people on Earth the crew of Apollo 8 has a message we would like to send you.” In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved … Continue reading 24 December 1968 16:40:07 UTC, T plus 75:49:07 →

Source: 24 December 1968 16:40:07 UTC, T plus 75:49:07 – This Day in Aviation

Shakespeare died 400 years ago today — here are 21 everyday phrases he coined

I found this courtesy of Joy McCann from Business Insider. I never new a lot of these and I was reared in an academic household. Go Figure, Eh?

Shakespeare died 400 years ago today — here are 21 everyday phrases he coined

William Shakespeare wrote a lot of great plays, but he also coined and popularized a lot of words and phrases that we still use to this day.

 

“Puking”
“Puking”
Wikimedia
“The Seven Ages of Man: The Infant” by Robert Smirke, derived from a monologue in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.”
“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms. …”

How Shakespeare uses it: “Puking” was first recorded in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.” It was likely an English imitation of the German word “spucken,” which means to spit, according to Dictionary.com.

Modern definition: A synonym for the verb “to vomit.”

Source: “As You Like It,” Act 2, Scene 7

“Vanish into thin air”
“Vanish into thin air”
Wikimedia
Constantin Stanislavski as Othello.
“Then put up your pipes in your bag, for I’ll away. Go; vanish into air; away!” (Othello)

How Shakespeare uses it: The Clown says this to the musicians in “Othello” to make them go away.

But some have also suggested that there is a darker underlying meaning. Act 3 in Othello is the final act that suggests that all of this might have a happy ending. It gets pretty dark starting in Act 4. So the Clown might be symbolically asking musicians and all happy things to “vanish into thin air” because there’s no more room for them in the play.

A similar phrase is also found in “The Tempest.”

Modern definition: To disappear without a trace.

Sources: “Othello,” Act 3, Scene 1, “The Tempest,” Act 4, Scene 1
“There’s a method to my madness”
“There’s a method to my madness”
Wikimedia
Polonius from “Hamlet.”
“Though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t. Will you walk out of the air, my lord?”

How Shakespeare uses it: Polonius says it in “Hamlet,” basically suggesting that there is reason behind apparent chaos.

Modern definition: The meaning is the same nowadays, although the language is a bit updated into modern terms. It is also a Bee Gees song.

Source: “Hamlet,” Act 2, Scene 2

“Wild-goose chase”
“Wild-goose chase”
Wikimedia
“Nay, if they wits run the wild-goose chase, I have
done, for thou hast more of the wild-goose in one of
thy wits than, I am sure, I have in my whole five:
was I with you there for the goose?”

How Shakespeare uses it: Mercutio says that he can’t keep up with Romeo’s jokes and puns. Romeo tells him to continue, but Mercutio sees the endeavor as a “wild goose chase.”

A wild-goose chase was reportedly a real game back in 16th-century England in which “a horseman executed a series of difficult maneuvers which others had to repeat in close succession.”

Modern definition: A senseless — and probably hopeless — pursuit of an object or an end.

Source: “Romeo and Juliet,” Act 2, Scene 4
“The green eyed-monster”
“The green eyed-monster”
Wikimedia
Othello and Iago.
“Oh, beware, my lord, of jealousy!
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on.”

How Shakespeare uses it: Iago says this phrase as he plants doubts in Othello’s mind about his wife’s faithfulness. Merriam-Webster writes that he may have been evoking cats, given that they are “green-eyed creatures who toy with their prey before killing it.”

Modern definition: Now “the green eyed-monster” is an idiomatic expression for the noun “jealousy.”

Source: “Othello,” Act 3, Scene 3

“Break the ice”
“Break the ice”
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Katherina and Petruchio.
“… And if you break the ice and do this feat,
Achieve the elder, set the younger free
For our access, whose hap shall be to have her
Will not so graceless be to be ingrate.”

How Shakespeare uses it: Tranio suggests if Petruchio can “break the ice,” then he will be able to woo Katherina. By using the “ice” language, Shakespeare makes Katherina seem as cold as ice. Moreover, the fact that the ice needs to be broken suggests that she is hard to reach.

But the first actual usage of “break the ice” probably comes from Sir Thomas North’s 1579 translation of “Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans” — although in this case the phrase meant “to forge a path for others to follow,” alluding to the breaking of ice to allow the navigation of boats.

Modern definition: “Break the ice” still means to get to know someone.

Source: “The Taming of the Shrew,” Act 1, Scene 2
“Wear my heart upon my sleeve”
“Wear my heart upon my sleeve”
Wikimedia
Iago not rocking a heart on his sleeve.
“For when my outward action doth demonstrate
The native act and figure of my heart
In compliment extern, ’tis not long after
But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
For daws to peck at: I am not what I am.”

How Shakespeare uses it: Devious Iago basically says that if his outward appearance reflected what he was thinking, then his heart would be on his sleeve for birds to peck at — which is not a good idea in his eyes. And so he adds that he is actually not what he appears to be.

Notably, Iago’s motives for his antagonistic behavior are never fully revealed — so it is interesting that he is the character who has immortalized this phrase.

Modern definition: To show one’s feelings openly.

Source: “Othello,” Act 1, Scene 1

“Swagger”
“Swagger”
Wikimedia
Oberon, Titania, and Puck with dancing fairies.
“What hempen home-spuns have we swaggering here,
So near the cradle of the fairy queen?
What, a play toward! I’ll be the auditor;
An actor too, perhaps, if I see cause.”

How Shakespeare uses it: Puck, a mischievous sprite, uses the term “swagger” to mean “insolent.” It might have been a frequentative form of “swag,” which means “to sway.”

The word is also found in “Henry IV: Part 2” where Mistress Quickly gives a speech about super-aggressive men who visit her tavern, where the meaning of swagger suggests the meaning of boasting or bragging.

Additionally, the term is also found in “King Lear,” where it most closely means “blustering.” Although, here it is spelled “zwaggered.”

Modern definition: Jay Z used “swagger” and “swag” in several songs back in the early 2000s. Soulja Boy also used the word — “she likes my swag.” Since then, it has been often used in modern song lyrics.

Sources: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Act 3, Scene 1, “Henry IV: Part 2,” Act 2, Scene 4, “King Lear, Act 4, Scene 6
“All of a sudden”
“All of a sudden”
Wikimedia
Katherina in “The Taming of the Shrew.”
“I pray, sir, tell me, is it possible
That love should of a sodaine take such hold?”

How Shakespeare uses it: Apparently, Shakespeare might have thought that “all of a sudden” was a more poetic way of saying “suddenly” so he had the character Tranio in “The Taming of the Shrew” say it that way.

Although, Shakespeare wasn’t the first to use “sudden” — John Greenwood used it in 1590.

Modern definition: The meaning is the same, although we now spell it “sudden” rather than “sodaine.” The word is spelled in the modern way in newer printings of “The Taming of the Shrew.”

Source: “The Taming of the Shrew,” Act 1, Scene 1

“A heart of gold”
“A heart of gold”
Wikimedia
Lewis Waller as Henry V.
“The king’s a bawcock, and a heart of gold,
A lad of life, an imp of fame;
Of parents good, of fist most valiant. …”

How Shakespeare uses it: King Henry disguises himself as a commoner in the play and asks Pistol, who is unaware of the disguise, whether he considers himself to be better than the king. Pistol responds with the above quote.

Modern definition: To be extremely kind and helpful.

Source: “Henry V,” Act 4, Scene 1
“One fell swoop”
“One fell swoop”
Wikimedia
Macduff.
“He has no children. All my pretty ones?
Did you say all? O hell-kite! All?
What, all my pretty chickens and their dam
At one fell swoop?”

How Shakespeare uses it: Macduff says this after finding out that his family and servants have been killed. Shakespeare’s use of the hunting bird’s’ “fell swoop” imagery reflects the ruthlessness and deadliness of the attack.

Modern definition: In one, sudden act.

Source: “Macbeth, Act 4, Scene 3

“Devil incarnate”
“Devil incarnate”
Wikimedia
“O worthy Goth, this is the incarnate devil
That robb’d Andronicus of his good hand.” (Titus Andronicus)

“Yes, that a’ did; and said they were devils incarnate.” (Henry V)

How Shakespeare uses it: Lucius calls Aaron the Moor the “devil incarnate” — aka a devil in the flesh — after all the suffering he causes his family. Chief among them, convincing Demtrius and Chiron to rape Lavinia and framing Martius and Quintus for the murder of Bassianus.

Shakespeare also reused the phrase about a decade later in “Henry V.”

Modern definition: The meaning of the phrase is more or less unchanged.

Sources: “Titus Andronicus,” Act V, Scene 1, “Henry V,” Act 2, Scene 3
“Stuff that dreams are made on/of”
“Stuff that dreams are made on/of”
Wikimedia
Prospero and Miranda.
“We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.”

How Shakespeare uses it: This phrase is not as cheerful as we use it today. Prospero is saying that peoples’ lives — and his magic — are like dreams: We experience them, and then they totally evaporate without leaving any lasting evidence. “Sleep” likely refers to death here.

Modern definition: Nowadays, we say “stuff that dreams are made of” rather than “on.” And it also refers to some sort of fantasy things or life that we could only dream of having.

Source: “The Tempest,” Act 4, Scene 1

“To come full circle”
“To come full circle”
Wikimedia
The wheel of fortune from Boccaccio.
“Thou hast spoken right, ’tis true;
The wheel has come full circle: I am here.”

How Shakespeare uses it: Edmund says the phrase at the end of “King Lear,” highlighting how he has “completed a cycle” where his diabolical actions have come back to haunt him.

Shakespeare was also probably referencing Fate — and the “Wheel of Fortune” — from ancient and medieval philosophy, which thus introduced the question of free will versus everything being determined by fate.

Modern definition: Completing a cycling, getting back to the beginning.

Source: “King Lear,” Act 5, Scene 3
“In my heart of heart”
“In my heart of heart”
AP
Lawrence Olivier as Hamlet
“Give me that man
That is not passion’s slave, and I will wear him
In my heart’s core, ay, in my heart of heart,
As I do thee.”

How Shakespeare uses it: While speaking with Horatio, Hamlet says this phrase noting that if there’s a man who is “not passion’s slave” — aka, a master of his emotions — then he’ll put him close to his heart. Using the language “heart’s core” right before suggests that Hamlet means some very deep, central part of his heart/emotions.

Modern definition: Nowadays, we pluralize the second “heart” to say “in my heart of hearts.” The phrase refers to one’s inner-most, secret thoughts.

Source: “Hamlet,” Act 3, Scene 2

“Too much of a good thing”
“Too much of a good thing”
Wikimedia
Rosalind dressed as a man, Ganymede.
“Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing?
Come, sister, you shall be the priest and marry us.
Give me your hand, Orlando. What do you say, sister?”

How Shakespeare uses it: This phrase may have been a proverb dating to the late 15th century, but Shakespeare was the one who has it immortalized in print.

Rosalind is pretending to be a man named Ganymede while she is with Orlando, with whom she is in love. He’s also in love with Rosalind — and doesn’t know she is Ganymede — and practices how he would woo Rosalind with Ganymede. At one point, Rosalind/Ganymede suggests that they have a pretend wedding, and asks if one can ever have too much of a good thing.

Modern definition: Too much good might backfire and be bad.

Source: “As You Like It,” Act 4, Scene 1
“All that glitters is not gold”
“All that glitters is not gold”
Wikimedia
Portia from “The Merchant of Venice.”
“All that glitters is not gold;
Often have you heard that told:
Many a man his life hath sold
But my outside to behold:
Gilded tombs do worms enfold.”

How Shakespeare uses it: Shakespeare seems to be the first person to have written this phrase, although the idea was not new.

The Prince of Morocco, one of Portia’s suitors in “The Merchant of Venice,” much choose out the correct casket to get his bride: one gold, one silver, and one lead. The gold one has an inscription on it which reads “All that glitters is not gold … gilded tombs do worms enfold.” But he picks it anyway …

Modern definition: Basically, just because it’s shiny and nice on the outside, doesn’t mean that that’s true of the inside.

Source: “The Merchant of Venice,” Act 2, Scene 7

Shakespeare died 400 years ago today — here are 21 everyday phrases he coined

 

Eddie Rickenbacker – His Life and Accomplishments

The man had a colorful growing up, to say the least!

A short biography about Captain Rickenbacker that was on my Facebook news feed this morning from Disciples of Flight.

Captain Eddie Rickenbacker Consider it luck, skill, or just plain determination: Captain Eddie Rickenbacker survived, by his own count, 135 brushes with death before finally succumbing at the respectable age of 82.  He flew numerous combat missions in World War 1 and survived multiple serious airplane crashes after the war.  Learn more about the dangerous,

Source: Eddie Rickenbacker – His Life and Accomplishments

1 December 1984 – This Day in Aviation

After four years of planning and preparation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) intentionally crashed a Boeing 720 airliner to test an experimental fuel additive intended to reduce post-crash fires, and to assess passenger survivability. An anti-misting agent was added to standard commercial JP-5 jet fuel to create AMK, or “Anti-Misting … Continue reading 1 December 1984 →

The full article with pictures is at the link………………………….

Source: 1 December 1984 – This Day in Aviation

KRISTALLNACHT-NIGHT OF BROKEN GLASS……………………………

A NATIONWIDE POGROM

“Kristallnacht, literally, “Night of Crystal,” is often referred to as the “Night of Broken Glass.” The name refers to the wave of violent anti-Jewish pogroms which took place on November 9 and 10, 1938. This wave of violence took place throughout Germany, annexed Austria, and in areas of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia recently occupied by German troops.”

Shattered storefront of a Jewish-owned shop destroyed during Kristallnacht (the "Night of Broken Glass"). Berlin, Germany, November 10, 1938.
Shattered storefront of a Jewish-owned shop destroyed during Kristallnacht (the “Night of Broken Glass”). Berlin, Germany, November 10, 1938. — National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.

DESTRUCTION OF SYNAGOGUES AND BUILDINGS
“The rioters destroyed 267 synagogues throughout Germany, Austria, and the Sudetenland. Many synagogues burned throughout the night in full view of the public and of local firefighters, who had received orders to intervene only to prevent flames from spreading to nearby buildings. SA and Hitler Youth members across the country shattered the shop windows of an estimated 7,500 Jewish-owned commercial establishments and looted their wares. Jewish cemeteries became a particular object of desecration in many regions.

The pogrom proved especially destructive in Berlin and Vienna, home to the two largest Jewish communities in the German Reich. Mobs of SA men roamed the streets, attacking Jews in their houses and forcing Jews they encountered to perform acts of public humiliation. Although murder did not figure in the central directives, Kristallnacht claimed the lives of at least 91 Jews between 9 and 10 November. Police records of the period document a high number of rapes and of suicides in the aftermath of the violence.”

The above are from the post at the United States Holocaust Museum.

The rest will be at the link at the bottom.

This is an event that needs to be spread far and wide. Please see to that.

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005201

The Intense Images Of Afghanistan’s Long And ‘Distant War’

Robert Nickelsberg is the uncle of a friend of mine. He does excellent work. The photos are really amazing.

On the first day of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in May 1988, an Afghan soldier hands a flag to a departing Soviet soldier in Kabul. "This was the first time journalists had full access to Kabul," Robert Nickelsberg says. It marked his first year covering Afghanistan. "It was a historical turning point for the Cold War and actually foreshadows the chaos that will descend on the country."
On the first day of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in May 1988, an Afghan soldier hands a flag to a departing Soviet soldier in Kabul. “This was the first time journalists had full access to Kabul,” Robert Nickelsberg says. It marked his first year covering Afghanistan. “It was a historical turning point for the Cold War and actually foreshadows the chaos that will descend on the country.” Courtesy of Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

There are more photos in the NPR post at the link below as any further commentary on my part would not match what is in the post.

http://www.npr.org/2015/10/28/452014515/the-intense-images-of-afghanistans-long-and-distant-war

 

Hawker Hurricane: Gratuitous Plane Pr0n

I came across this website http://www.aviation-history.com/index.html

It has short narratives on a myriad of aircraft and I was definitely interested.

First Up: Hawker Hurricane, which was instrumental in the RAF winning the Battle of Britain.

I figured it may be of interest to some…………………….so here it goes……….

Often underrated, the Hurricane shouldered the lion’s share of Britain’s defense during the ” Battle of Britain”. It was the first fighter monoplane to join the Royal Air Force and the first combat aircraft adopted by that arm capable of exceeding 300 mph in level flight.

“The early history of the Hurricane is an interesting parallel in many ways with that of theSupermarine Spitfire in with which it was to form an immortal partnership. While the Spitfire was an entirely new concept based on specialized experience, the Hurricane was the logical outcome of a long line of fighting aircraft. Although the two airplanes broadly met the same requirements, they represented entirely different approaches to the same problem. The two approaches were reflected to an interesting degree in their respective appearances; the Hurricane workmanlike, rugged and sturdy, the Spitfire slender and ballerina-like. One was the studied application of experience, the other a stroke of genius.”

The rest of the piece is at the following link. Please read and enjoy.

http://www.aviation-history.com/hawker/hurrcane.html

Commander Cody, Canned Heat, Marshall Tucker Band

We caught a good one this past weekend at The Historic Pozo Saloon, up in the hills above Santa Margarita.

Commander Cody and The New Planet Airmen, Canned Heat and The Marshall Tucker Band……………………What a Splendid Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hippies, Bikers, Cowboys, Old Warhorses, etc…………………..even them Cowgirls in Daisy Dukes and Cowboy Boots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Commander Cody and The New Planet Airmen
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Canned Heat
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The Lady is Pat, age 70 and a Cancer Survivor
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Yeah, it was like that…………………..
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A Most Delicious Brew!
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Caught in the act!!!!!!!!!!!
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The Marshall Tucker Band!
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Speaks for itself!
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Caught in the act, part deux
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These two were having a really good time!
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This gentleman simply said to take his picture!

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A giant gun marked with a skull and crossbones and a list of vessels sunk by its shells: Eerie pictures of a German warship and HMAS Sydney which sunk off Australia in 1941 along with 725 crew

From The Daily Mail comes this interesting bit of history……………………

“The first images of two warships which sunk after a deadly battle during World War II have emerged.

The wrecks lie 20 kilometres apart from each another about 200 kilometres west of Steep Point, Shark Bay in Western Australia, north-west of Perth, and sunk in November 1941.

The German raider HSK Kormoran and the light cruiser HMAS Sydney were re-discovered in 2008 with an expedition to the wrecks going out earlier this year.

Researchers from Curtin University and the Western Australian Museum captured 700,000 high resolution images of the two ships with the help of two remotely operated underwater vehicles lowered to 2.5km on the ocean.”

The German raider HSK Kormoran (pictured) was rediscovered and captured under the ocean 
The German raider HSK Kormoran (pictured) was rediscovered and captured under the ocean
Light cruiser HMAS Sydney (pictured) sunk after a deadly battle during World War II
Light cruiser HMAS Sydney (pictured) sunk after a deadly battle during World War II

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3158738/A-skull-cross-bones-marked-gun-called-Linda-list-warships-sunk-s-guns-Eerie-pictures-emerge-German-ship-sunk-Australian-coast-1941-725-sailors-died.html#ixzz3jHoitG50
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