Eyewitness to history: Who was Elton C. Fay?



Eyewitness to history: Who was Elton C. Fay?

Elton C. Fay, was an Associated Press reporter who covered the Pentagon from the days of World War II to the Vietnam War. His death was recorded in a common obituary and stated that he died at his Silver Spring, Md., home after a long illness. He was 81. (September 1, 1982)

I originally got interested about him when I found the article below about the hectic days before the Nautilus was completed. But the more I researched, the more I realized what an interesting life he had. There is not much available about his private life other than some social events recorded in the newspaper archives. But it was his work with the military that made him such an interesting person.

Fay was one of only a few reporters who was briefed before Gen. Jimmy Doolittle’s bombing raids on Japan in…

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How Donald Duck & Dumbo Helped to Win the War

Pacific Paratrooper

Just one day after Pearl Harbor, Walt Disney received his first military contract and began creating promotional reels, war bond advertisements, short training and instructional films, and other WWII materials.  Also at this time, he received requests from military units all over the world requesting Disney-designed insignia’s and mascots.

David Lesjak, a former employee and Disney historian says, “Insignia helped build morale.  Having a cartoon character you grew up with on your plane or shoulder patch helped remind you of home.  In my mind it was a happy diversion from the horrors of war.”

Hank Porter @ Disney

One of the purest expressions of Walt Disney’s genuine patriotism during the war years was his decision to establish a unit devoted to producing customized military unit insignia free of charge for U.S. armed forces and their allies.  Headed by the talented draftsman, Hank Porter, whom Walt referred to as a…

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Warship Wednesday, Aug.21, 2019: Of Long Lances and Lobsters


Here at LSOZI, we are going to take off every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1833-1946 period and will profile a different ship each week. These ships have a life, a tale all their own, which sometimes takes them to the strangest places. – Christopher Eger

Warship Wednesday, Aug.21, 2019: Of Long Lances and Lobsters

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Catalog #: 80-G-K-3971Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Catalog #: 80-G-K-3971

In this beautiful original color photograph, we see the modified Brooklyn-class light cruiser USS St. Louis, often also seen written as “Saint Louis”, (CL-49) at Tulagi, Solomon Islands, circa 1943. At the time this image was taken, the cruiser had already seen much of the Pacific War and would see much more.

Significantly different from the seven other ships of the Brooklyn-class, St. Louis and her follow-on sister USS Helena (CL-50) was…

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USS George Bancroft SSBN 643 – Pax Per Scientiam



Looking back over the US Navy’s history, there are many moments that define greatness or the aspiration for greatness. John Paul Jones heroic deeds certainly set the tone for what the future Navy would look like. The words “I have not yet begun to fight” will always stand out as the benchmark of bravery in the face of enormous odds.

Skill and courage were always important parts of seagoing men. The lessons passed down through the ages were absolutely critical to success and each generation added their own learning to the collective set of governing principles. The schools were the ships that sailed in the harshest and calmest of seas and the learning was critical to always bringing out best to the battle.

But technology was something that crept into the mix and challenged even the most experienced sailors and officers. Sails would someday give in to steam and steam…

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A Map of Australia During World War II


One of the indirect consequences of World War II was the rapid expansion of Australian infrastructure. American, British and Australian war plans all assumed that the defensive line would be held at Singapore and the Dutch East Indies, and that the bulk of the fighting would occur in the Central and North Pacific regions. When the line was broken, thousands of troops and millions of pounds of war material had to be rerouted through Australia, which did not have the capacity to handle the sudden growth. Construction was soon underway and formerly quiet Australian cities expanded to accommodate Allied soldiers training for war. This undated map shows the extent of the projects.

Map of Australia during WWII (Lex McAulay Collection)

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79th U.S. Airborne Birthday

Pacific Paratrooper

16 August,  National Airborne Day

The history of United States Airborne Forces did not begin on the training fields of Fort Benning, Georgia, as some believe. In fact, the origin of Airborne Forces in the U.S. military began with a familiar name to American military history, Brigadier General William L. “Billy” Mitchel (1879-1936).

As well as being considered the spiritual father of the United States Air Force, which he advocated for fiercely during his tenure in the military, BG Mitchell was the first to imagine airborne tactics and sought the creation of U.S. Airborne Forces.

BGeneral Billy Mitchell, the father of the U.S. Airborne

It is not recorded exactly when he organized a demonstration of Airborne Infantry for U.S., Russian and German observers. However, according to records
 at Ft. Benning, Georgia, it is confirmed that BG Mitchell held the demonstration “shortly after World War I” at Kelly Field, in San…

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