On this day 65 years ago.........

June 4, 1944 - A hunter-killer group of United States Navy ships captures the German U-Boat U-505 marking the first time since the 19th century that a U.S. Navy vessel has captured an enemy vessel at sea. Rome fell to the allies today 65 years ago becoming the first Axis capitol to fall.

June 4, 2009 - With only 2 days left we are poised and ready to initiate Operation Western Phelons.

The tribute of the day goes to an individual, Capt.Quentin C. Aanenson, US Army Air Corps who flew his first combat mission 65 years ago today. See attached PDF! I encourage you to visit his website which is loaded with information about this truly great American who just left us recently. Also you can hear part of his story on YouTube at this address: www.youtube.com/watch?v=upaGSZnrJQI.

Thunderbolt Patriot

He is young in years, but his face doesn't show it. Fatigue is his constant companion. He has seen more than men should see; he has done more than men should do. He continues to function and do his job, almost as a reflex action.

He represents a generation of young warriors who have been assigned to fly the mighty Thunderbolt -- the most powerful and deadly one man weapon of the war. He bears the burden of his assignment with stoic dedication.

The burning spirit of patriotism he brought to the war is no longer visible. Yet somewhere down within him the spark has not been extinguished. But now he fights not for any "grand cause," but rather for his buddies in the squadron and the poor suffering foot soldiers on the ground, who count on him and his weapons to save them.

Most of his close friends are dead, so he protects his emotions by not making new friends. He has packed up too many footlockers, and sent too many "farewell letters" home to parents and wives. He cannot go through this again.

He lives, but his youth died 50 missions ago. He is haunted by the visions of past combat missions, as he has watched his friends burn to death or bail out and their chutes not open. He has become hardened; he no longer thinks of the Sixth Commandment, "Thou Shall Not Kill," as he pulls the trigger on his machine guns.

He is running on empty -- he has nothing more to give, but he knows he will be flying the first mission in the morning.

Home is an ethereal memory. Tomorrow is a fog. He deals only with today.

Who is this man of war? His name is his description.

He is the "Thunderbolt Patriot."

D-Day is just around the corner! We shall overtake our objectives vigorously and victoriously!

Ready to Ride. The final email is tomorrow.