Friday, July 7, 2017

BLOG-A-VERSARY....AGAIN

On this very day, July 7, 2010...my adventure into the blog world began.  Now begins the eighth year.  Just over 300,000 page visits [302,671] among the posts, and 794,073 for all blogs started since then.  The blog world continues.  Hard to believe that 333 posts have been written among these seven years for this blog. [1,633 post for all blogs combined]   Prior to blogging, a family newsletter dedicated to the JONES surname was published from 1989.  This newsletter was titled: The Jones Genealogist, thus the name of the blog spot is taken.  Happy Anniversary...may the post keep coming till the cows come home.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Wings of Valor : Aerial Gunner

Once the plane got off the ground and into the air...and the navigator got the plane to its desired position...and the bombardier got their bomb load to the target...the coming and going often depended upon the aerial gunner.  On the B-17 "Flying Fortress" bomber there were up to 13 -50 caliber machine guns. [Lucky number I guess.]



Upper turret, belly turret, nose turret, and tail gunner all had their assigned guns.  During an air battle, all crew members (except the pilots)  joined the fighting.  A bullet with wings it is.  Fire at will. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Wings of Valor : Bombardier

Once the Pilot/Co-Pilot got the bomber into the sky, and the Navigator got the plan where it was assigned to attack, the Bombardier was to get the pay load onto the target.  The wings shown is that of the fellow who took control of the plan to get the bombs on target.


A bomb heading downward in the middle of the view finder.  Bombs away!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Wings of Valor : Navigator

The role of the pilot was to get the plane off the ground and into the air. [wings shown last post]  Once airborne, the navigator was to get them where they were assigned.  The wings worn by the one who controlled the course of the plain is shown below.


There was a special symbol placed in the center of the wings.  It seems to have been the symbol of a gyrocompass of sorts.  This was a compass consisting of a continuously driven gyroscope whose spinning axis is confined to a horizontal plane so that the earth's rotation causes it to assume a position parallel to the earth's axis and thus point to the true north.  True north indeed it is.



Are there any folks out there who might be able to better explain this symbol and its meaning?

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wings of Valor : Pilot

Valor can be defined as strength of mind or spirit that enables a person to encounter danger with firmness.  The U.S. Army Air Forces, June 1941 to September 1947, gave qualification badges to those who were active among the various Air Forces [1st Air Force to 20th Air Force] who participated in WWII.  These came to be called "wings" and  represented the various roles the individual had among the air crews.  The following posts will show these worn by the air crews.

The first is that of the "Pilot".


Wings centered by a shield.  In bomber groups this would also be worn by the Co-Pilot.  These were formed from sterling silver, and the words "sterling" appears on the back side in very small print.

According to the text by A. Timothy Warnock, the United States Air Force was first called "the Aeronautical Division, U.S. Army Signal Corps" from August 1907 to July 1914.  It was then called "Aviation Section, U.S. Army Signal Corps" from July 1914 to May 1918.  It was then described as "U.S. Army Air Service" from May 1918 to July 1926.  This was changed to "U.S. Army Air Corps" from July 1926 to June 1941.  During WWII, it was the "U.S. Army Air Forces" from June 1941 until September 1947 when it was formed into a distinct branch of service the United States Air Force (USAF).  The wings to be shown are from the WWII period of valor.

Ref. : United States Air Force Combat Medals, Streamers, and Campaigns, by A. Timothy Warnock, Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1990.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Almost 40

Looking back in time is usually the major part of a genealogist's activity.   Family ancestors uncovered, and their story recorded is often the goal.  Today however... in the present... finding this picture of my oldest as a child, brought to mind the realization that she is about to turn 40. 


Here she stands.  Hair blown, investigating everything around her, it was difficult at times even to get her to stand still long enough for a picture.  This must have been one of those days.  A birdhouse with Cardinal was in front leading the way. [Kentucky State bird it is.]  That look of ..."what's next"...graces the face.  Wow...almost 40 years ago.   The future is still being explored, and the present is still being lived.  Hum...more family stories to be written.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Kentucky Barns

For a nine year old, the 1950s in Central Kentucky had a few things certain.   Church on Sundays, getting spanked at home if you got spanked at school, the "Voice" of the Kentucky Wildcats   [Cawood Ledford], and tobacco barns.  You know those stately, wood, black painted structures that had all those openings along the sides, and a shining metal roof.  A Sunday drive around the Bluegrass country side seeing tobacco growing in every field, would certainly need somewhere to resided after being cut.  On long drives, you could count the barns you observed while hanging out one of the back windows.

Here is all that remains today...


Time has past.  The tobacco fields are long gone.  Most of the remaining barns look somewhat like the one above.  Not what you would call "stately".