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The Troubleshooters
Dedicated to the brave men of WW2 who saved the world from Nazi Conquest!
Dedicated to the brave men of WW2 who saved the world from Nazi Conquest!


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In honor of my Father-in-law, Major James Vincent Southworth, US Army Retired. Jim joined the Marine Corps in 1950, partly because he got his heart broken by a girl, and partly because he was in love with that pretty blue Marine dress uniform, and he wanted to serve his country. He was shipped of to Korea, where he landed at Inchon, Korea with the 1st Marine Division as a Private, Rifleman.
Following the end of World War II and the postwar draw down of forces, by 1950 the division only possessed the strength of a reinforced regimental combat team. The division would be assembled on the battle field and would participate in the amphibious assault at Inchon under the orders of General MacArthur. "The Old Breed" was the unit chosen to lead the Inchon landing on 15 September 1950. At Inchon, the division faced one of its most daunting challenges, deploying so hurriedly it still lacked its third infantry regiment and ordered to execute an amphibious assault in a city the size of Omaha, Nebraska under the worst tidal conditions they had ever faced. After the landing they moved north and after heavy fighting in Seoul they liberated the city.
After the liberation of Seoul, the division was put back on ships and taken to the eastern side of the Korean peninsula and put ashore at Wonsan. As part of X Corps commanded by Army Major General Edward Almond the division was ordered to push north towards the Yalu River as fast as possible. The then commanding officer of the division, Major General O.P. Smith, did not agree with his superiors and had become convinced that they were stretched thin and that the Chinese Forces had entered the war. He purposely slowed his advance and consolidated along the way at every opportunity. The 1st Marine Division was attacked by ten Chinese infantry divisions on 27 November 1950. They fought their way out of the Chosin Reservoir against seven Communist Chinese divisions suffering over 900 killed and missing, over 3,500 wounded and more than 6,500 non-battle casualties mostly from frostbite during the battle. The greater part of the Chinese 9th Army was rendered ineffective as they suffered an estimated 37,500 casualties trying to stop the Marines' march out of the "Frozen Chosin".
During the Korean War the division suffered combat casualties of 4,004 dead and 25,864 wounded.
In Korea, Jim was awarded the Silver Star Medal for bravery. His unit was posted along a ridge, and the Chinese were on an opposing ridge, with a deep valley between them. Jim's unit was almost out of ammo, completely out of medical supplies and food after repeated massed attacks by thousands of Chinese. No relief was in sight, and it looked as though the Marines holding that ridge would be wiped out with the next attack.
Jim got an idea. In the darkness, he sneaked down the mountain to the valley. There, he placed fence posts in a long line, all spaced out a certain distance. To each fence post, he wired a high explosive mortar shell. He then heaped up dead Chinese bodies around the posts to hide them. He then ran wires from each of the mortar shells back up the mountain to the Marine position. At dawn, when the expected Chinese attack came, thousands more Chinese came pouring down the opposing mountain. Jim waited until the Chinese were fully in the valley near his fence posts, and then set off his charges, killing untold numbers of Chinese. The Marines on the ridge then opened fire and used the last of their ammunition. That broke up the Chinese attack, and the Marines were able to withdraw from the ridge to safety.
In Korea, Jim suffered frostbite to his feet. He was evacuated to a US Navy Hospital ship, then on to Japan to a military hospital for recovery. While there, two important things happened to Jim. First, he met, then later married a Japanese girl, Tokie Kakihara who later became my Wife, Katy's mother.
Second, while recovering in the hospital, the patient in the bed next to his was an American Army colonel. Jim and the colonel struck up a friendship, and the colonel admired Jim's knowledge and bravery. The colonel made Jim an offer he couldn't refuse. If he would leave the Marines, and join the Army, the colonel would make him an officer. Normally, to be an officer, one would have to have a college education, and attend Officer's Candidate School. Jim just had a High School diploma. And, as a Marine, he was just a Corporal, so jumping several ranks to Lieutenant was highly extraordinary. Jim jumped at the chance.
Jim worked his way up to the rank of Captain, and was sent to Vietnam during the Vietnam War, as part of the US Army's Big Red One 1st Infantry Division. There, he commanded a unit of Philippine soldiers who were in Vietnam as our allies. At some point, Jim was captured and briefly taken POW. He was rescued.
Jim returned to the US, and immediately went to work for NORAD as a NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) Officer. Because of his security clearance, as an Ordinance Officer, he was ordered to keep his brief POW status a secret from his family. All records of his POW status were stricken from his files. It was later explained to me that because Jim had control over nuclear missiles, that the Army did not want an enemy to try to use his former POW status to somehow coerce or use it against him to violate security.
Jim later retired from the Army as a Major with 24 years of service to his country. Jim opened a military museum in West Frankfort, Illinois to honor our service people, and show off his vast collection of US military uniforms and insignia. When the first Persian War started in Iraq, Jim tried to rejoin the Army. He was told that he was too old and too fat for the Army, but if he could lose some weight, they would take him. If they took him, he would have immediately been promoted to Lt. Colonel.
Jim began trying to lose weight. Sadly, on the morning of Feb. 20, 1991, Jim suffered a massive coronary and died at home. It wasn't until we walked into the funeral home, and saw that black POW flag hanging above his coffin, that his family finally learned that Jim had kept the Army's secret all those years, and never told them that he had been a POW in Vietnam. One of his Vietnam War Army buddies was there, and told me the whole story. To this very day, you will not find Captain James V. Southworth's name on any lists of Vietnam War POW's. He was true to the military, and true to his country until the very end, and he kept their secrets safe.
Rest in peace Jim!
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Recently, I did a post about Sgt. Ed Glofka, Company C, 702nd Tank Battalion Red Devils. Today, I get the heartbreaking news that my buddy Ed has passed away. Our mutual friend Bill Carley, also of Company C said he was notified by Ed's daughter-in-law today that Ed died at home alone yesterday, May 18, 2016. It breaks my heart to lose yet another old friend to the ravages of time like this. But, that time comes to us all. Ed lived one hell of a life. He entered service in 1943 as a member of Company C, 702nd Tank Battalion, fought through the war, and all the hell that it was, and came out the other side relatively whole and unscathed.
Ed was the commander of a 105mm Sherman tank C-17 and was highly respected by his fellow tankers as a tough, no-nonsense combat tanker. From the hedgerows of Normandy, France, the horrible battle at the Bloody Moselle River, all the way to Hitler's vaunted Siegfried Line, through the hell of the Battle of the Bulge, into Germany and across it, helping to liberate the Nazi "Labor" camp at Buchenwald, down to Austria and helping to liberate the Nazi "Labor" camp at Ebensee, and ending the war by chasing down the last fighting German soldiers in the Austrian Alps. Ed Glofka lived through it all. The hell he witnessed cannot be described in mere words.
Even at his advanced age, Ed's memory was as sharp as a tack. Of the hundreds of vets that I have interviewed over the years, Ed Glofka had the sharpest memory of them all. Ed was a historian's dream for me. And all of his memories checked out and were 100% correct! Ed helped me correct a story in my book about a 702nd officer who lied about his actions, and was awarded a medal for bravery. This officer was in fact, a coward, lied about his cowardice, then counted on his men not countering his lie with the truth, on the threat that he would make their lives hell. Ed told the truth, and the truth is now part of the historical record.
A little over a year ago, I got a request from members of the 80th Infantry Division Association, who were looking for veterans to take a free trip to Luxembourg to be honored for the liberation of a town that had been the scene of a particularly brutal battle during the Battle of the Bulge. Ed fought in that battle, among hundreds of others. Out of all the 702nd and 80th veterans that I knew, Ed was the only one still in good enough health to make the trip back to Luxembourg. He was reluctant at first, but I managed to talk him into it, so he could represent his fellow tankers of the Red Devils who had fought and died to liberate Luxembourg from Nazi domination. Ed, along with four men from the 80th Division made that trip. They were treated like the heroes they were by the good people of Luxembourg and Belgium. Ed had one hell of a good time, and was very happy that he made that trip, even though he got sick as a result. It was one of the happiest moments in his life. It made him deeply proud to represent the 702nd Tank Battalion Red Devils and the 80th Infantry Division Blue Ridgers!
I loved Ed Glofka deeply. He was my buddy. He was a sincerely, genuinely good man. He was very proud of his Polish ancestry, and knew Polish history better than anyone I have ever met. Ed was a devoutly religious man. Ed was very conservative in his politics, and deeply hated the way that our current president has run down our country and our military. Ed stayed current on what was going on the world, and he had strong opinions about what was going on. Ed was a true joy to talk to, for his blunt honesty, his sharp memory, and his friendly manner. I'm seriously going to miss this man.
To Ed, I'd say thank you for your great friendship, and thank you for being you. Thank you for helping to rid the world of a great evil, and serving your nation as a true patriot. Until we meet again!
A Red Devil never dies, he just rolls on!
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A friend of mine, who is not on Facebook asked me to post this, and encourage all my readers to follow his example and contact your congress and senate representatives. Folks, we NEED to do a hell of a lot better job taking care of our veterans and wounded warriors! His letter is self explanatory:
SUBJECT: Stop the Down-sizing of Hospital and Medical Care for Retirees at Fort Knox and other Military Posts.
Dear Senator:
Please stop the Medical changes intended to take place at Fort Knox. Once again, both the government and the nation have broken faith with our Military Retirees. We implore you to 1. stop the cut-backs that will affect both Active Duty and Retired Military Service Members and their families; and 2. stop the building of a “New Hospital” in lieu of repairs, expansion and re-staffing of the current Ireland Army Hospital.
Sir, beginning with the stoppage of Dental Services, Military Retirees – in addition to their eligible spouses and dependents – have been continually cheated of services which were promised if Service Members stayed within Service until Retirement, either Regular or Medical. Next, services at Military Hospitals were either down-sized, minimized or stopped altogether; presently if a Military Retiree has Tricare Standard or “Tricare for Life,” which is considered the same as Tricare Standard with the exception that it is only a Medicare Supplement in reality, is NOT eligible for most Clinical or Operative Medical Services at Ireland Army Hospital or other US Service Medical Facilities with the exception of Emergency Care whereupon the Retiree will be sent to a civilian hospital. Now we learn that a “new hospital,” which will be little more than a minor “Troop Medical Clinic,” is to be built and most, if not all, medical services that Retirees now depend upon will be gone, including Emergency Rooms. This is just another way of cheating Retired Service Members, as well as their spouses, out of the benefits they supposedly earned and were adamantly promised by the government.
These actions by government call the integrity of Congress as well as the Administration and Department of Defense into question. This plan at Fort Knox must be stopped immediately.
I consider this latest action by government at Fort Knox to be just another in the long line of insults and out-right thievery of Retiree benefits. In the case of many Military Retirees, the moment that we begin to any pension from the Veterans Administration our monthly “earned” Military Retirement Pension [ in my particular case that amounts to a confiscation of $2,000 per month or $24,000 per year – this is my Service Pension that I, like every Retiree, earned. ] These continuing and calculated thefts of services and monies from Military Retirees are deplorable and it is an insult, as well as Breach of Contract and thievery, to every Military Retiree and their family.
In honoring and upholding our family’s tradition, we have served in a direct line of 238 years of selfless service within the US Army. Beginning with the Revolution, our family served from Guilford Courthouse, Valley Forge, to Yorktown and all points between. Our family’s service extended through all of the major battles of the Civil War from “Bull Run,” Gettysburg to Appomattox Courthouse and practically every other battle. Our forefathers also served during the “Indian Wars” and other Conflicts, in combat during the World Wars encompassing both Europe and the Pacific –first as “Doughboys” and then “Dog Faces” - Viet Nam and the latest rounds of undeclared wars, to include “Covert/Black” Operations throughout the so-called “Cold War.” Nine (9) members of the extended Leonard family have been awarded the “Congressional Medal of Honor,” and Major General J.W. Leonard was the Commander of Fort Knox during the First World War. When I stand and gaze upon the Viet Nam memorial, the “Wall,” in grave solemnity, I see my own name inscribed thereupon staring back at me, albeit in this case it is sadly the name of another Leonard, a cousin, with whom I shared a near identical name.
Our family, both extended and immediate, has paid dearly over the centuries in both personal, military and political service to our Republic. Like so many other families, we have served much and bled much. In the so-called “Civil War” alone, I had Three (3) Great Great Great Grandfathers, Three (3) Great Great Grandfathers, One (1) Great Grandfather and at least Ten (10) Great Great Uncles who served. We have paid our dues. However, I must now advise our Grandsons to NOT follow the example of their forefathers to serve in the US Military Services and I vow that I hope to never see our Grandsons wear the uniform of our Republic because that Nation is no longer worthy of being served because it is untrustworthy. This nation has done nothing but lie to those who have fought to give it both continued life and freedom.
I implore you to prove me wrong in my estimate of the unworthiness of this government to cause our Patriots to continue to step forward to defend this once worthy Republic. Why should the youth of our Nation continue to volunteer and shed their blood to serve a government which only lies and reneges upon its promises to gain the Service Members’ sacrifice.
Any honorable Court within either this Commonwealth or Republic would all too quickly find Summary Judgment for “Breach” in favor of the Plaintiffs “Retirees” if this were a civil/business Cause of Action at Bar, and we both know this to be so. But only Congress can fight the “Sovereign” and stop these current actions that injure America’s Retired Service Members every day. I ask you, which Political Party will honor and care for the Retired Services Members of both the Fort Knox Community as well as throughout this nation?
We ask that you, as a man of honor, lead the charge in stopping the plans for construction of the “new hospital” at Fort Knox and intent to down-size services; we ask that you demand that the present Ireland Army Hospital be refurbished and that ALL services for both Active Duty and Retired Military Service Members, as well as Dependents, be not only retained but expanded.
Please use your influence to insure it is remembered that, in each generation and family, it has been the United States Service Member – particularly the Career Professional Military Service Member [Retiree] - who has secured the freedoms that we all enjoy. It will take your firm leadership to insure that the promise of Lincoln “… to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and orphan …” is held to be both an honored and perpetually sacred trust.
Dr. & Mrs. Jerry W. Leonard, J.D., Ph.D.
CPT, USA [Ret]
COL, KY-Aide de Camp
The entire Leonard Family
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Today, I want to post a tribute to my Uncle, Orban W. Parker. When I was a kid, I went to work for Orban. My grandma warned me about doing that, saying that all the other grandkids who'd gone to work for him ended up mad at him and hated working for him. I told grandma that I needed the job, and I wasn't worried about him making me mad. Orban was the hardest working man I have ever met in my life! He could be as tough as nails to work for, but in my experience, he was also always very fair to me, and very often, very generous. He had a philosophy about eating and working. If you expected to work hard, you needed to eat well to give your body the fuel it needed. When lunchtime rolled around, he and I would go to lunch. He always ordered our lunch, and he paid for it. The waitress would end up covering our table with food, so that every day's lunch looked like Thanksgiving Dinner to me! I'd eat until I was stuffed, and Orban would order me to eat some more. Occasionally, Orban would toss me the keys to my aunt's Cadillac, their lake house, and hand me a wad of cash, and tell me to go have a fun weekend. Yes, he worked my butt off, but he was not only fair, but taught me some valuable life lessons too. Today, I was doing some family research, and came across this article in the Independence Examiner from 2010 about Uncle Orban. I thought I'd share it with you all:
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A friend just sent me a link to this, a great tribute to the Pearl Harbor P-40 Boys!
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Was just telling a friend about this, and thought my readers might like to see it too.
Patton Museum 1985
Patton Museum 1985
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Earlier, my friend David Nelson commented on a photo that showed snow on the boardwalk in Wildwood, New Jersey. I mentioned to David my late friend Mike Szymanski. Mike was a platoon sergeant in Company A, 702nd Tank Battalion, Red Devils. He was from Wildwood, New Jersey, and for the last 20 years of his life worked at the Mariners Arcade on the Boardwalk. The locals called him Mr. Skeeball. Mike was a sweet man, and everyone who knew him, loved him. Whenever the Red Devils had a reunion, Mike would always bring Red Devil stuffed toys for all the ladies. He was a very generous and thoughtful man. Mike died in 2013.

I thought that maybe some of our Google readers might like to take a look at Mike's collection of wartime photos. You see, during the war, Mike was one hell of a soldier. He was the kind of man that other men counted on to help keep them alive. And, thanks to him, many did come home to their families. The ones that hurt Mike the most, were the boys he couldn't save. It wasn't that he didn't try, he did. Towards the end of his life, I still remember him crying his heart out during one of our talks, about a boy that died in his arms. That was the kind of man my friend Mike was. If you are ever in Wildwood, NJ on the Boardwalk, look for the public bench they named in his honor. If you find it, sit a spell, and remember my old friend, and say a prayer of thanks that it is because of men like him, that you are free to breath that fresh ocean air!
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It is my sad duty to announce the loss of my dear old friend, Bob Murrell. I have written an Editorial about Bob on the website:
Bob Murrell
Bob Murrell
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I have added a new story, that I am proud to have played a small role in. I call this story Robert A. Nelson's Legacy because while it is not directly about Robert, it is directly due to Robert teaching his kids about what is important, and to love their country and respect the service of our veterans:
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