Posts Tagged ‘WWII’

The complete NBC broadcast day of D-Day is now on the air at Rat Patrol Radio! Whatever time you tune in, you will be hearing the same thing America heard at that same time on June 6, 1944.


A WWII veteran of the British 1st Airborne Division remembers the battle of the “bridge too far,” as he recalls the attack on Arnhem.

GENESEO, N.Y. (AP) — The next time the American military transport plane known as Whiskey 7 drops its paratroopers over Normandy, France, it will be for a commemoration instead of an invasion.

Seventy years after taking part in D-Day, the plane now housed at the National Warplane Museum in western New York is being prepared to recreate its role in the mission, when it dropped troops behind enemy lines under German fire.

At the invitation of the French government, the restored Douglas C-47 will fly in for 70th-anniversary festivities and again release paratroopers over the original jump zone at Sainte-Mere-Eglise.

“There are very few of these planes still flying, and this plane was very significant on D-Day,” said Erin Vitale, chairwoman of the Return to Normandy Project. “It dropped people that were some of the first into Sainte-Mere-Eglise and liberated that town.”

Museum officials say the twin-prop Whiskey 7, so named because of its W-7 squadron marking, is one of several C-47s scheduled to be part of the D-Day anniversary, with jumpers made up of active and retired military personnel. But it is believed to be the only one flying from the United States.

The plane will fly to France by way of Labrador, Greenland, Iceland, Scotland and Germany, each leg 5 ½ to 7 hours. Vitale compared it to trying to drive a 70-year-old car across the country without a breakdown. “It’s going to be a huge challenge.”

Among the 21 men it carried in 1944 was 20-year-old Leslie Palmer Cruise Jr., who also will make the return trip to France, his fifth, and be reunited with the craft — once it’s on the ground. He is flying commercially from his Horsham, Pa., home outside Philadelphia.

“With me, it’s almost, sometimes, like yesterday,” Cruise, now 89, said by phone, recalling his first combat mission. “It really never leaves you.”

Aviation artist and very close friend John Mollison has a new video series where he interviews WWII pilots and draws the aircraft they flew. This episode features an interview with 93 year-old Corsair pilot Claude Home.

Interviews like these are extremely important, as we have already lost most of these brave soldiers, sailors and airmen.

A big RPR salute to John and Claude! I can’t wait for the next episode!


Today is the annual Pearl Harbor special broadcast that we do every December 7th. This year, I’ve added more of the longer half-hour special reports and analysis, and fewer “filler” songs. I hope people don’t get too bored, and perhaps get a good idea of what the nation experienced as our nation was plunged into war.  I also have FDR’s complete “Day of Infamy” speech to Congress asking for a declaration of war against the Empire of Japan.

I’d love to hear your feedback after the show!

Starting at 3am EDT, we are proud and honored to present the annual Complete Broadcast Day of D-Day. This is 24 hours of everything that went out over the air on CBS on June 6, 1944, rebroadcast by Rat Patrol Radio at the same time of day as originally aired!

This is probably as famous among our listeners as our Christmas playlist is, and Rat Patrol Radio was one of the first webcast stations ever to present these historic broadcasts in this format. This year marks our ninth year saluting the men who stormed Fortress Europe to put an end to Nazism. Join me as we relive the electrifying events of one of the most momentous events of the 20th Century.  (I still choke up and get goosebumps at 10pm when FDR leads the nation in prayer.)

photo San Diego Union-Tribune

After 14 years of fundraising, a memorial to the 52 US submarines lost in action in WWII has been dedicated in San Diego. Located at Liberty Station, a mixed-use development on the grounds of the former naval training center in San Diego, the “52 Boats Memorial” consists of 52 black granite memorials, each devoted to one of the lost subs and listing their crew. Behind each memorial is a Libery Elm tree.

90% of the funds raised to remember the sacrifices of the lost submariners were from private donations. Over 3,500 US submariners lost their lives in WWII, one out of every five who served.

10 news San Diego story

San Diego Union-Tribune photo gallery

As some folk know, I work as a freelance historical researcher. I wanted to share this particular item with all my listeners. This is a very rare Honolulu Star-Telegram newspaper from December 7, 1941.

I’ll be posting more things on my business site,, as I get photos taken. All these items are scheduled to be listed on eBay this week, and I’ll have links to each auction at Freelance Historian.

Here’s a neat mini WWII history of the Jeep.  I never knew that the Germans on the Eastern Front scrambled to get captured Jeeps from the Russians, since the Kubelwagons couldn’t handle the mud!

(Awesome photos of a restored Jeep, too. I love the old “meatball” emblem.)

In a story broken by Interfax, Gen. Vasily Khristoforov, the head archivist of the Federal Security Service (the successor of the KGB,) has revealed that the bodies of Adolf Hitler, Eva Braun and those of the Goebbels family were burned, ground to dust, and thrown in an East German river in 1970 on orders of KGB chief and later Soviet Premier Andropov.

According to recently declassified Soviet documents, the Soviet Army discovered the bodies of Hitler and Braun in a shell crater outside the Reichstag Bunker, where the Germans had burned them.  After forensic examination, the bodies were secretly buried in a forest near Rathenau, Germany in June 1945.  The next year, the remains were exhumed and buried in a secret location on a Soviet Army base in Magdeburg, East Germany.

As long as the remains were on property of the Soviet Army, their existence could be hidden. But when the decision was made in 1970 to turn the Army base over to the East German government, Soviet leadership feared the possibility of the remains being discovered and becoming a shrine to Hitler. Therefore, the bodies of Hitler, Braun and the Goebbels family were exhumed by a special KGB contingent, burned in a large bonfire, ground to dust and dumped in the Biederitz River.

Gen. Khristoforov told Interfax that the only physical remains of the Nazi Fuhrer are a piece of jawbone and a skull fragment that are in FSB archives.  He dismissed the claims of two US scientists questioning the authenticity of the remains, noting that they did not receive any DNA samples from the remains, and in any event “even if you take the fragments kept in our custody, it is unclear what these data can be compared with.”

CNN report on this story, with photos.