History

ep 29: “The Bomb” is 75

Ever since the American occupation of the Marianas, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa, the main Japanese islands had been under constant bombardment by long-range bombers of the United States. The city of Tokyo and many other cities on the Japanese mainland were leveled by day-and-night firebomb raids. As Italy and Germany had already done, Japan was paying the price for its grandiose plans for world conquest. But the island nation wasn’t ready to surrender.

Then the United States unveiled the biggest surprise in the history of warfare. It was the deadliest weapon ever designed–the atomic bomb. And although the initial test detonation at Trinity was several times more powerful than scientists had predicted, U.S. officials questioned if it would be enough to compel Japan’s surrender.

On August 6, 1945, “Little Boy” provided an answer.

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ep 27: Snooze You Loose

Most of you have probably heard of Antonio López de Santa Anna, the self-proclaimed “Napoleon of the West,” and the story of the Alamo. What you probably haven’t heard is how, just a few months after the Alamo, Santa Anna parked his army directly next to Sam Houston’s much smaller American force by the San Jacinto River and ordered everyone to take a siesta. Houston literally caught the Mexican force napping and after convincing himself that the scene before him wasn’t some heat-induced hallucination, he plowed his troops through Santa Anna’s army while they slept, crushing them in just 18 minutes!

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ep 18: “I Was A Soldier”

The fateful day that changed the course of Sergeant Major Charles  Morris’ life was June 29, 1966. On a search-and-destroy mission in Xuan Loc, South Vietnam, he came within 20-feet of a Viet Cong machine gunner and was shot in the chest. He returned fire and took out the machine gun nest as the platoon came under heavy fire from an enemy force that significantly outnumbered them. For the next eight hours, Sergeant Morris refused medical attention as he continued to direct and encourage his men. He would earn the Medal of Honor for his actions that day.  

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ep 17: Accommodation Medals

Cover ArtLast seaman laid to rest in USS Arizona; Astronaut reenlists 800 soldiers; Air National Guard wants some Space Force action; Drone pilots get a medal; Good-bye South Korea curfew; Revealing DNA tests; Pentagon sets rules for Skynet; No. 1 coffee; Social justice finds the Air Force song; Tin Can at 20,000-feet.

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ep 16: Knuckleheads

Internet porn hits home; Basic training and intro to military discipline; M16 necklace; Marching and airplane-watching; Gun-wielding drunk-driver on base; The EEO freeze; Busted, promoted, then busted again; The man with $200 in his pocket; Honey? Did you do something wrong?; Pushup Ninja; The Black Flag; Follow the matrix; Clap for the Air Force Song, dammit!; Why Chief Hanks is right; and The Shirt said to sweep the parking lot.

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ep 12: Giant Voice

This is the story of Chris, who takes a job hauling a mobile long-range acoustic device from Florida to San Diego which results in a spiraling digression into the hilarious deficiencies of the giant voice system at Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea, with a few stops along the way prompted by a snake, a couple of blown tires, and the Radiator Springs-like hardtop of the southwest. This show is our tribute to USAF Command Post Communication.

 

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ep 11: Bringing Out The Dead

e11 Cover ArtWhat happens to the bodies after a battle? This is an aspect of military life that often goes unnoticed because we’re more focused on the living. Still, we can’t just ignore those killed on the battlefield. And thanks to the Grave Registration Service (what is now Mortuary Affairs), they’re not forgotten. These professionals ensure those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice are treated with dignity, reverence, and respect.

And they do! Just ask Kevin Bacon!

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ep 9: Pits: The Last Full Measure

Everyday folks probably aren’t too familiar with Bill “Pits” Pitsenbarger, but now, tens of listeners of this podcast will know him and the heroic act that earned him the Air Force Cross and eventually, after a push from some old Viet Nam vets, the Medal of Honor. And for those who don’t listen to our podcast, there’s a movie coming out on October 25 that will tell Pitts’ story, but we’re gonna tell it first!

So, who was Bill Pitsenbarger?

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ep 8: Recovering the Kee Bird

On February 20, 1947, the Kee Bird, a US Army Air Forces B-29 Superfortress, lifted off the runway and into the sky above Ladd Field near Fairbanks, Alaska. It’s Cold War mission was Top Secret, would take them to the North Pole and back, and involved photo-reconnaissance and mapping of the Arctic areas as part of a Strategic Air Command effort to monitor for Soviet activity and develop attack routes over the North Pole. This was the Kee Bird’s seventh mission and it was to be it’s last, as the pilot, Lt Vern Arnett, grew disoriented in a storm over the polar ice pack and turning to the south eventually made an emergency landing on a small frozen lake in northern Greenland. Although Lt Arnett put the B-29 down successfully and with no injuries to his 11-man crew, the plane was badly damaged and would not fly. So, they settled down for what would be a three-day wait for rescue.

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ep 7: Apollo 11 at T+50-Years

The Digression Podcast Guys were 6 and 2 when Neil Armstrong stepped down from the ladder of the Lunar Module, “Eagle”, onto the surface of the moon. In fact, it’s very likely, they were asleep at the very moment the United States won the space race. In retrospect, that really sucks, but what the hell, no one can experience every major event that occurs within their lifetimes. Hell, we often understand the significance of a historical event only in retrospect (like the Battle of Coral Sea, for example). Still, it’s great to be alive now to remember the day when the underdog United States came from behind to kick some Russian ass 240,000 miles from the planet Earth:July 20, 1969, the Eagle landed! Suck it, Ivan!

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