December 1943 (1)

Pacific Paratrooper

Crewmen wheel bombs to aircraft during the Marshall raids. Crewmen wheel bombs to aircraft during the Marshall raids.

1-6 December – The Big Three [or aka Second Cairo Conference], restarted with Turkish President, Ismet Inonu in attendance.  Despite his country being technically neutral, he pledged friendship to the Allies.  Gen. Eisenhower was chosen to command the Normandy invasion at this meeting.

Operation Buccaneer, a previously planned assault of Japanese targets in Burma was cancelled.  FDR reneged on a private promise to Chiang Kai shek.  The Nationalist leader, in response, attempted to demand more money and matériel in exchange for his troops’ cooperation to fight.  But – US Treasury Secretary, Morgenthau, flatly refused to take the plan to Congress.

Australian troops (center of pix) scale 'Shaggy Mountain" Australian troops (center of pix) scale ‘Shaggy Mountain”

1-8 December – the Australian troops on New Guinea captured Huanko on the 1st of the month.  They continued forward to take Wareo on the 8th and set off to Wandokai.

4 December…

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Home Is Where The Nose Is


“I wanted to tap my heels together three times in that bakery!” the woman said as she sat down beside me for the flight back home to Virginia.

I glanced at her feet expecting ruby slippers.

“Smell this.” she leaned towards me and opened a paper sack containing several blackberry pastries. “I loved France but the smell of blackberries made me miss childhood summers at home!”

“Well, there’s no place like it!” I added.

I was fortunate to do some traveling over the last year and found myself captivated by the beauty and history of various cities in Colombia, Spain, and France. Every day, in every city I visited, I’d daydream about what life might be like to leave the place I’ve always called home and live abroad in such majestic locales. I doubted that a hint of blackberries, or anything else for that matter, could cause me to pine…

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Last photographs

The Journey of My Left Foot (whilst remembering my son)


Sunday 6th March

On this date, last year, (it was a Friday), you had your penultimate infusion of chemotherapy. It was a day case appointment, finishing late afternoon.
You were so close to completing the treatment.


On the way home, it was your choice to stop at a fish and chip restaurant for dinner.
And, you ordered sweet and sour chicken! Now there’s a choice.
You did eat most of it.
For dessert you had a jelly and ice cream sundae. It looked good, but if I remember, you couldn’t finish all of it.

You didn’t look unwell, ill or like someone deteriorating. You weren’t struggling. Yes, you were tired; the chemotherapy treatment made you want to sleep for most of the day.

The last photographs of you: such a happy, contented face.

Who knew you only had barely a week?
And our lives would change forever.

I wish I…

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