The Untold Story of Luis Noriega Medrano – Chapter One

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Luis Noriega Medrano

Research by Clarence Simonsen

All photos except when noted are part of the collection of Luis Noriega Medrano’s family.


Luis Noriega Medrano

Chapter One

Born in the state of Zacatecas, Mexico, in the town of Guadalupe, in 1904, Luis became a first generation Mexican from Spanish born parents. His father Juan Manuel Noriega Reza and his mother Eloisa Medrano. Luis Noriega Medrano’s paternal ancestors came from the Principality of Asturias, a coastal community in north-west Spain, and the exact date his ancestor arrived in Mexico is not known.

The Mexican Revolution began on 20 November 1910, and soon developed into a multi-sided civil war, producing a number of national heroes, social and political reform, but most important the bloodshed resulted in a new Mexican constitution. The conflict changed Mexico forever, with a cost of over one million dead and millions of other people uprooted and displaced around the country. The…

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Douglas Munro, Coast Guard Hero – Intermission Story (24)

Such courage!

Pacific Paratrooper

Painting of Doug Munro providing support from his LCP, by Bernard D’Andrea

The United States Coast Guard was founded on a tradition of taking small boats into dangerous conditions to save lives. This skill made Coast Guard coxswains an indispensable part of the Pacific Theater  and Smitty would whole-heartedly agree.  Coast Guardsmen proved their worth time and time again as they expertly handled small landing craft in and out of almost any situation. No man better exemplifies this prowess than Douglas A. Munro.

Signalman 1st Class, Douglas Munro

Born in Vancouver in 1919, Douglas Munro attended Cle Elum High School in Washington state.  He attended the Central Washington College of Education for a year before enlisting in the Coast Guard in 1939. He spent his first two years on board the Cutter Spencer,  a 327-foot Treasury-class cutter which patrolled out of New York, and later Boston.

While on the Spencer

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Richard “Chick” Harmer

The story of VF(N)-101 begins…

A tribute to Richard "Chick" Harmer and US Navy Night Fighter Squadron VF(N)-101

This is how I first met Lieutenant Commander Richard Harmer.

Through a photo sent by Lieutenant John Kelly’s son.

At first this blog was created to pay homage to Lieutenant John Kelly and after to these other unsung heroes.

But then it evolved with a comment made by Bob Brunson.

He told me about Tom Harmer, Richard Harmer’s son. Tom and I made contact, and I have not stop writing since. First about this picture which had a wrong caption. Tom did not know who wrote it. Certainly not his father!

I just had to make the caption right to pay homage to these 39 aviators seen on a group picture taken on July 15, 1942 aboard USS Saratoga.

The caption said also that there were half of these men who had died in the battle. I had to make certain.

Ensign Robert L. Price was one of them.

Lieutenant (junior…

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Remembering VF(N)-101

A blog about U.S naval aviators in World War II.

A tribute to Richard "Chick" Harmer and US Navy Night Fighter Squadron VF(N)-101

How can VF(N)-101 best be remembered?

I created this blog back in 2015 when Flight Lieutenant John Kelly’s son sent me this picture of his father on a group picture.

vfn-101

Collection John Kelly (courtesy Gunnar Kelly)

This is how I got started with writing a blog with the idea of remembering unsung heroes.

Faces but with just a name. 

Richard Emerson  Harmer was also smiling, as well as other night fighter naval pilots from VF(N)-101 aboard the Enterprise, but I did not know him… 

vfn-101-richard-emerson-harmer

Then Bob Brunson, another naval pilot on that picture, found my blog and I could add a name to another smiling face.

robert-brunson

Bob Brunson who knew Richard Harmer’s son gave me his email to contact him. What evolved from this contact was more than 3 gigabytes of files about his father Richard Harmer.

Photos like this one…

Documents…, and foremost his complete 1944 diary.

I just…

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Australian Prisoners of War Memorial.

Australian Prisoners of War Memorial.

A friend is remembering…
Australian Prisoners of War.

Paol Soren

More than 35000 Australian POWs have their names recorded on the 130m long black granite wall that makes up part of the  Memorial in the Ballarat Gardens. More names are added if they are discovered. The names are listed alphabetically. No one’s rank or serial number is recorded. All prisoners were equal. 

In front of the marble monument is a garden of Yakka bushes; a quintessential Australian plant. The granite pavement is made up of narrow stones laid to represent a railway, the most infamous of all being the notorious Burma Rail that the Japanese built during the Second World War and on which 12,621 Allied POWs died during the construction. The dead POWs included 6,904 British personnel, 2,802 Australians, 2,782 Dutch, and 133 Americans. Thousands more Asian locals were conscripted as forced labour and also died.

The wall is broken in the middle by seven stone  obelisks which stand as sentinels over our prisoners…

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19 May, 1942 – No.9 B&G School, Mont-Joli, Quebec

More about Preserving the past… No.9 Bombing and Gunner School – May 19, 1942

British Commonwealth Air Training Plan

Collection Leonard E. J. Cote (courtesy Mark Cote)

Collection Leonard E. J. Cote (courtesy Mark Cote)

Category A

+ HALAMKA, P/O A.F. (Pilot)

+ ROOKE, Cpl C.J. – RCAF

+ SHAW, LAC I.J. – RAAF

+ WEAL, LAC K.G. – RNZAF

Battle Mk. I
Ex RAF L5207.
Serving at No. 9 Bombing and Gunnery School, Mt.-Joli, PQ at time of crash.
first date: 22 July 1941
last date: 3 July 1942
Taken on strength
Struck off, after Category A crash on 19 May 1942

Accident report

About the pilot (body never recovered)

About the accident (Rooke’s death certificate)

Clarence Rooke was a teacher before he enlisted.

About the other two airmen

Name: WEAL, KENNETH GEORGE
Initials: K G
Nationality: New Zealand
Rank: Leading Aircraftman
Regiment/Service: Royal New Zealand Air Force
Age: 19
Date of Death: 19/05/1942
Service No: 413287
Additional information: Son of Arthur Thomas Weal and Christina Weal, of…

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