The Roaring 20’s

“The Roaring 20’s were more than just a fun time. The spirit of the Roaring Twenties was marked by a general feeling of discontinuity associated with modernity and a break with traditions. Everything seemed to be feasible through modern technology. New technologies, especially automobiles, moving pictures and radio proliferated ‘modernity’ to a large part of the population. Formal decorative frills were shed in favor of practicality in both daily life and architecture. At the same time, jazz and dancing rose in popularity, in opposition to the mood of the specter of World War I. As such, the period is also often referred to as the Jazz Age.” (Copied from Wikipedia)

World War I was over and things changed in America, but not for long. It seems someone is always trying to take over the world. As you know World War II was on the horizon and when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 the United States were force into war. I am not here to discuss all that transpired during WWII. Rather I am here to honor my Dad who fought in that war. It is Veteran’s Day and I cannot think of a better way to honor my children’s grandfather than to honor and thank him for his life and his service to our country.

Insignia of the 312th Bomb  Squadron WWII

Insignia of the 312th Bomb Squadron WWII

Dad was a part of the Roaring 20’s. Oh, he was but a child when the change started after WWI. With the draft of WWII knocking on his door, he joined the US Army and was assigned to the 5th Air Force and then to the 312th Bombardment Group stationed in the Philippines. Here was his first deployment under enemy fire. The Roaring 20’s were given their name by the fact that they would fly the Douglas A20 Havoc Attack Bomber. Now I don’t know if you have ever been around one of these planes, but if you have you know that they roar with great volume. Consequently, the Roaring 20’s were born.

Douglas A20G Havoc Attack Bomber -WWII (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-20_Havoc)

Douglas A20G Havoc Attack Bomber -WWII
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-20_Havoc)

Sadly, I never took the time to ask dad about his days in the US Army Air Force. I wish I had so I could tell my children and grand children about them. I did pick up a few stories from him over the years that he would convey in brief conversation. One was a time when his assigned bomber had problems and he couldn’t fly a mission. His commander gave him his plane for the mission (how nice of him). When he returned to base a jeep promptly drove out to pick him up and take him the debriefing room. When the driver saw that it was not the commander, he put it in gear and drove away. Dad never understood why since the jeep was there he couldn’t go ahead and pick him up anyway. Instead he picked no one up. Dad walked from the tarmac to the debriefing as usual.

Commander of the 312th Bomb Group. He was 90 years old in this picture.

Commander of the 312th Bomb Group. He was 90 years old in this picture.

Before WWII was over Dad earned his Captain Bars

Before WWII was over Dad earned his Captain Bars

I remember asking him one time if he had ever been shot. He told me no, the closest he came was a shell about 6 inches behind his seat. He was thankful for that.

I was privileged in 1986 to go to the 312th Bomb Group Reunion in Brownsville, TX. It was a long and tiring drive, but worth every minute. I got to spend hours alone with my Dad. A time I will always cherish. After our arrival we were placed on a bus and driven to the local air field. It was such a special time. Here I am with my Dad, watching him and his war cronies’ fall in love with their plane all over again. You see, the next day there was going to be an air show on this field. The owner of the only known A20G Attack Bomber was going to fly in the show. He heard about the 312th reunion of men who had flown them in WWII and requested they come out and see it the day before. Below are pictures I took of some of them. The pilot flew around the base a couple of times and I heard the boys shouting like they had just come back from a mission.

I watched Dad as he walked around the plane and then walked the steps up to the cockpit. I wondered what he was thinking; what thoughts and memories he must have had about the war, and the missions, and this plane. Foolishly I never asked; one regret I will always have with me.

Dad  looking in the Cockpit of the A20G

Dad looking in the Cockpit of the A20G

Cockpit of the Douglas A20G Havoc Attack Bomber WWII

Cockpit of the Douglas A20G Havoc Attack Bomber WWII

I have to say I was proud of him that weekend. I knew my Dad had been a special part of ending WWII. I grew in respect for his patriotism to America. He was proud of his country and being in the Roaring 20’s. I honor him on this Veteran’s Day along with all his buddies. Each was special and we owe them so much. They are all gone now, but they left their mark in the history of the United States of America, and in our lives.

Dad holding the propeller of an A20G

Dad holding the propeller of an A20G

One page of Dad's Flight Record and Log.

One page of Dad’s Flight Record and Log.

At the air show the next day the A20 Havoc crashed and killed the pilot. It was a sad day.  I watched his face as the news was given. A deep and solemn regret grew on his face. I know that Dad and the men who were blessed to see this A20G must have thought back to the many times they lost a friend who was shot down over the jungles of the Philippines. This was the only A20G left at the time. It is so hurtful to know someone you were flying next to is now gone. It is that way in every war. Now, I understand there are about 3-4 other A20G’s that have been pulled from the jungles of the Philippines and restored. After the war most were taken on a barge, chopped up and dumped in the Pacific Ocean for the fish to enjoy.

MEMBERS OF THE GREATEST GENERATION

These are some of the men Dad fought with in WWII. Dad is in the middle with pens in his pocket and his usual smile.

These are some of the men Dad fought with in WWII. Dad is in the middle with pens in his pocket and his usual smile.

ad on the lefft with a cowboy ht on. The men were his friends that he fought with and their wives who waited patiently for their husbands.

Dad on the left with a cowboy hat. The men were friends he fought with along with their wives who waited fearfully and patiently for their husbands.

My older brother is a disabled veteran; I am as well. We followed in Dad’s footsteps and served our country with great pride during the Viet Nam Era. And so it is that today, while I specifically honor Dad, I also want to honor all veterans who have sacrificed so much for our safety and our freedom!.

Thank You, Dad, For Your Service ! ! !

Thank you all Veteran’s for your service and sacrifice ! ! !

Front 4-Gun Turret of the Douglas A20G Havoc Attack Bomber WWII

Front 4-Gun Turret of the Douglas A20G Havoc Attack Bomber WWII

For more information on the

Douglas  A20G Havoc Attack Bomber 

follow this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-20_Havoc

 

 

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31 thoughts on “The Roaring 20’s

  1. What a great post, Andy! Thank you for your service, your brother’s and your dad’s. There’s a great story about something that happened to my dad in North Africa during WW II. I wish I’d thought to tell it today. I’m gonna try to remember than next year. Blessings, Natalie 🙂

  2. Thank you for sharing this. I’m sure there were tears of joy and sorrow as you composed this article. I really appreciate all the pictures you included. What stood out to me the most was your dad’s signature on the page from the flight log. How elegant and wonderful. Penmanship is a lost art today. Recently I read that they even changed the name to ‘handwriting’ to make it more PC. (sigh)

    Thanks again.

    • Hey Karl! Thank you for your comment. A lot of emotion did pass through me while writing this. I took almost two days to write it. I could’ve written book about my Dad and it was hard to keep on track. Yes, I loved Dad’s penmanship. My great grandfather was a preacher. He went to seminary at Mississippi College in the early 1190’s. I am fortunate to have one of his Bible Commentaries. His signature is absolutely beautiful. I wish mine was half as good as my Dad’s but unfortunately it is not. I am thankful for type. It is sad, too, that the school systems are now considering taking cursive off the curriculum 😦 (What are we coming to?) Thanks again!
      Andy

  3. Wonderful tribute to your father Andy for Veteran’s Day.

    I wrote a post today in honour of Armistice Day as we call it in the UK (Rememberance Sunday being the day before) and I found out information about my husband’s uncle Stan who went down with the HMS Hood when it was destroyed by the Bismarck in 1941. He was 22 years old. His brother, who served as a ‘Desert Rat’ was my husband’s father.

    Wonderful, evocative photos of your dad and those he served with. I wonder why we don’t talk more to our parents about the war? My mother was a young girl when the war broke out. I know some things but I would love to know so much more, especially about my dad’s father.

    Thank you for sharing this and to your dad and all who served with him. We shall never forget…

    • I loved your Armistice Day post. It was wonderful. When I was a child we called it Armistice Day as well. I don’t know when or why they changed it to Veteran’s Day. That is such interesting history on your husbands Uncle Stan. It’s one of the many lives we tragically will never get to meet. Why don’t you spend the time you have left with your mom to ask her about her memories of WWII. I would for you to share that with me. I am always interested in the memoirs of peoples lives. It will be great for you children and grandchildren too! Great opportunity to ask about your Dad’s father too. My Dad’s father died when I was only 4. I only remember his funeral. I am asking older relatives about their memories about him now and discovering many stories that I have never heard before. Good Luck and God Bless!
      Andy

  4. Sorry, posted too soon! Wanted to also say thank you to you too Andy and your brother for your service and for your sacrifice in Vietnam. It is people like you that we remember on this day (or yesterday as it is now for us) and may God Bless You in all things.

  5. I really appreciated your sharing your story of going to the reunion with your Dad, a special moment for both of you. Its true that generation is sadly passing on , and we owe them a great debt for their courage and sacrifice. My dad served in the RAAF The Royal Australian Air-force, as a gunner on Lincolns and Liberators, he served in New Guinea and Malaysia too.

    Thanks
    Ron

    • Thanks Ron, for your comment. Thank your Dad, too, for his service if he is still with us. The Allies were a great force together during the war and I am thankful to all for their service. Gpd Bless you Ron! Stay in Touch!
      Andy

  6. Hi Andy, with being a bit lost in understanding War although I do appreciate the great sacrifices these Men, Doctors and Nurses made for us, I asked Ron instead to comment in this regard and as usual posted his comment for him but as I did, I read again where you mentioned, the discontinuity associated with modernity and a break with traditions.

    Yes some change is good but although some can be beneficial in others can also cause problems. Ron says if it works don’t fix it and I agree, today they don’t want consistency, it’s change for change sake not just for advancement and with the change comes problems that would not have happened if they had left things the way they were, of course they think we need to get with it! 🙄

    Thank you for sharing Andy about your Dad and don’t be too upset that you did not ask him about his war experiences, many would prefer not to talk about them, they have painful memories, some can resolve them some can’t and so they bury them, which causes more problems. No doubt your Dad shared what he wanted to and your grateful and proud of him and that is what is important.

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne

    • Hey Anne & Ron! Sorry I haven’t been in touch lately but I will as soon as I can.I’m getting so many followers now ( I am grateful for each one) that I can hardly keep up with the comments, lol. As for change I believe it was what Wikipedia said about the Roaring 20’s after WWI. I agree we do not necessarily need change but with time it inevitably comes whether we want it or not. Unfortunately war changes things and when it is over we are happy for something that is different than the damage and loss of life we see around us, and so it is this kind of change I am speaking of. However I prefer there be no war but the Bible speaks of it throughout the Word of God. It is an expected part of our lives. I wish that we could enjoy the peace that only the Lord can provide in our world, but as long as men love the darkness it will never happen. It is through His Son Jesus Christ that we experience the joy we are given by His blood and so we live to share that peace with others, even when there is little peace in our world. Does that make sense? I believe God has ordained things to happen as they do. He created us and this world and he knows those He has chosen and whom He loves. That is our joy and it comes with change when we make our decision to follow Him.

      Also I know what you mean about some who do not want to discuss the war they were in. My father-in-law was in the Marines in the Philippines during WWII and he refuses to talk about it. He came home with horrible nightmares and was sick for several years before he pulled himself out of it. Thank you Anne and Ron for your comments and I look forward to more conversations via email.
      Love in Christ!
      Andy

  7. Thank you Andy for your service in Vietnam, in Australia you men are now getting the recognition you deserve for the many sacrifices you all made.

    What a lot of people don’t understand, is that God does not willingly plan suffering and hardship for us (see below) Satan controls this world but God does stand up against injustice and cruelty and protects His victimized Children especially His little ones.

    Lamentations 3: 33 For God doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.

    God is Love and can do no evil and will put a stop to it if needed as we can see with the world wide flood and the wars that have continued over the years that were not caused just for greed and power by all involved. But for Him to stop evil completely the world would have to end now but He is patient giving us time, He does not want anyone to perish , which means eternal separation from Him

    Jeremiah 29 :11-12 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne

  8. You have a great blog! I have enjoyed exploring it and especially this post. It is important to put down family history when one becomes the “older generation.” Thanks for the visit and like for one of my posts!

    • Thank you for your visit and comments. I found your blog to be really unique and different, that’s why I was drawn to it. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and God Bless! Andy

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