Random Thoughts

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Caption: A Great Shark (was Great White Shark – but that term has been determined to be racist)


From the Mail Bag:

Q – Has a US Navy SEAL, UDT Operator, or Diver ever been eaten by an alligator, crocodile, or shark?

A – I had to look this one up. A crocodile, alligator, or shark has never eaten a Navy SEAL on a mission. There has only been one fatal shark attack on a UDT operator, and this is the story.

April 20, 1963 – US Navy UDT frogman LT John Gibson (UDT 22) vacationed at St Thomas, Virgin Islands with his girlfriend, Donna Waugh. He suggested they swim in the bay from one end to the other. She did not wish to swim, but she agreed to walk along the shore while he swam and would meet him on the other side.

She thought she heard him scream. When she looked out over the water, he showed no signs of distress. However, when he got nearer to the shore, she noticed his hand was missing, and the stump was bleeding.

She entered the water to save him and swam toward LT Gibson. She saw a shark on the surface and returned to shore, looking for help. A tourist in the area saw what happened and began to throw rocks at the shark from the shore.

Donna Waugh found two men on shore with a fishing boat. She told them what happened, and they launched the boat immediately. They maneuvered the boat in the bloody water, placing it between the shark and LT Gibson. Eventually, they were able to get him into the boat, but he died of his injuries.

The shark consumed his hand, parts of his shoulder, his thigh, and hip. The bite on his thigh severed his femoral artery, and a doctor said he probably died seconds after that happened.

The following day, over a dozen UDT operators (also on vacation with LT Gibson, their Platoon OIC) set out to catch the shark. They set hooks with goat meat attached to barrels. After a long day of nothing, they checked the hooks, and on the last one, they realized they had caught a shark.

When they examined the shark, they found LT Gibson’s watch and some of his remains inside the shark, so they knew it was the one that killed him.

Donna Waugh was later presented with the US Treasury Gold Life Saving Medal for her selfless actions.

Q – Favorite Navy Prank

A – There are three. The one is likely familiar to Old NFO – you send the young swabbie out for a can of prop wash. Another is when the medic demands that the new (young) guy deliver a stool sample to the XO. The third scenario occurred in Panama. A few old chiefs set up a lawn chair on an old rusty Panamanian Naval vessel that stored US Navy spares and dry goods. They had a fishing pole with a line running down into the bilge. They sent a young sailor down into the bilge to ‘fish’ worried that the keel would eventually rust out and the ocean would start coming in. Their first warning would be a fish inside the bilge, which they couldn’t see in the murk, so a caught fish would be their warning system, hence bilge fishing.


Bullet Points:

** Pedo Joe is running for President on the democrat party’s ticket – no debates, no convention, nomination by acclamation. I am in favor of Pedo Joe running. RUN, JOE, RUN! RFK is ignored and is running as an independent, and I predict he’ll get more votes than the most popular president in history if the votes are counted fairly. Some democrats propose that Kamala Harris, the most popular vice president in history, should run instead of Pedo Joe because of his severe dementia. What are your views on this clown car?

Naturally, they are paving the way for the return of President Trump and four years of revenge.

** (h/t Frank) Trouble in Montana…

** The Anaconda – War Map Update – The IDF has stretched its control to the areas marked in blue, but the contested area along the coast is very close to folding as Hamas loses turf and hard spots. The checkpoint that will allow civilians to leave opens periodically.

“You can’t negotiate peace with somebody who has come to kill you.” – PM Golda Meir

** November 6, 2023: Russian and Gaza-based hackers are joining the war in Gaza. They are doing this by attacking Israeli infrastructure targets. (h/t Claudio) I’m sure that Israel will forgive them.


In 1192


In Jerusalem Today


William’s Winter Campaign

William defeated Harold Godwinson at Hastings in 1066, but the peace was not won, meaning William did not dominate England even though he toppled the king.

The winter of 1069–1070 was one of the most savage and brutal England had ever seen. A series of campaigns waged by the Conqueror of England was carried out to subdue rebellions in the country’s north. These campaigns were called The Harrying of the North.

The population of the north before William of Normandy’s conquest of England was referred to as Anglo-Scandinavian. They had been left mostly to their own devices, and communication with the country’s south was infrequent. Anglo-Saxon kings had primarily left them alone as long as they didn’t cause problems. But despite having submitted to William, Edgar Ætheling, grandson of Edmund Ironside and a claimant to the throne, began to rebel against the new King of England, encouraging the powerful earls of the north to join him in overthrowing King William.

After several attacks on William’s representatives in the North, the Conqueror took up arms and marched North. The rebels fled every time William got close, refusing to meet him on the battlefield; elsewhere in the country, other smaller rebellions were quashed by William’s earls. The king decided it was time to do something drastic, something that would end all rebellion.

Having negotiated with the Danes for a price to abandon their alliance with Edgar and return home (Danegeld), he turned his attention to targeting the rebels, where it would hurt the most. Some historians today describe it as an act of genocide.

William’s army spread out, leaving a trail of total destruction in their wake; whole villages were burnt to the ground, food ruined, and livestock slaughtered. Anyone who survived the widespread massacre would soon die of starvation through the coming harsh winter weeks. Their orders were to burn, destroy, and instill terror into the population. Chroniclers of the time say William ‘salted the earth,’ making it unusable and showed “such cruelty unseen before,” punishing the innocent with the guilty (Kill them all, God will know his own). Some estimates put the death toll at 150,000. The devastating effects of the Harrying could still be seen in the diminished food stocks and the displacement of the people of the north fifty years after the event.

Later in the Domesday Book, up to 60% of all land in the area was marked down as “wasteas est or hoc est vast” (it is wasted). After the savage putdown of the rebels, William replaced all Anglo-Saxon earls and leaders with Normans, effectively stamping out the Anglo-Saxon nobility for good.


Identify the Aircraft



Identify the Military Vehicle




26 thoughts on “Random Thoughts

  1. (1) Helldiver SB2C
    (2) Ha! Damfino. Somebody else can go to war in that thing, leave me out.
    (3) Looks like an Israeli M60, IDK the name or model designation.
    (4) I think that’s an IKV 91.

    – Kle.

      1. They started by copying the Swimwagen, then decided to go big to show capitalist roadies what Socialist engineering looks like.

        Heartily concur with Klebert.

  2. Identify the Aircraft:
    1. Curtiss SB2C Helldiver

    Identify the Military Vehicle:
    2. Chinese Type 63 APC
    3. Magach 3 (M48) with Blazer ERA tiles
    4: Ikv 91

  3. Good old military pranks.
    “Hey Pvt. Smith. Go to the C company motor pool and see if they have a box of muffler bearings.”

  4. Once upon a time pranks involved trips to the lumber yard and/or hardware store: a nickel’s(yes, a long, long time ago) worth of knotholes, a board stretcher, and items of similar nature.

      1. For us Scouts it was a Left Handed Smoke Shifter or a Sky Hook, right before heading out on a Snipe Hunt.

  5. The “drunk grizzlies” in Montana.

    I don’t know, man. 63 Grizzlies in 43 years sure doesn’t sound like a problem to me. Some years one, some years two, to average out to around 1-1/2 per year.

    I just have the feeling that if they bothered to keep statistics longer, there’d probably be some number of bears that got killed by a train as long as there have been trains. Is the number going up? If so, is it because all our efforts to save the wild animals are working and there are more bears?

    How do they know they were drunk? Did they make the Griz pee in a cup?

    1. I’d be curious as to the average age of the bear also. Are they just going for the grain because they are old and it is easy pickings and they are unable to hunt wildlife and climbing into the high country is too much work?

      I’d almost pay money to see somebody make a grizzly pee in a cup…almost and it would have to be with me in a running truck with a good escape route. I have seen a couple of bears in the wild and somehow they look bigger than they do in photographs.

  6. Used to be at Fort Wainwright outside Fairbanks, in fact give or take a few days 50-years ago from this very instant, “rookie” privates, those defined as privates who had not done a winter up there yet, were sent out on moose guard to prevent the moose from coming too close to the barracks. Somebody would draw up a duty roster and get the first shirt to sign it and the senior NCO’s would appoint one of the junior NCO’s to be sergeant of the moose guard and it was great fun until some spoilsport would get tired of all these privates shouting “go away moose” half the night in the snow and freezing temperatures and clue them in.

    1. I learned to stay well away. When I lived up in Quebec for a few years you’d occasionally read about a bull moose in rut charging a train. It usually killed the moose but if the moose hit an empty car it could derail the train. Kind of a Pyrrhic victory.

      1. Heh. Eielson AFB with a huge training area was about 20 miles down the road and we went down there a lot to play army. One time during the rut, a very large and very amorous bull moose had a VW Bug penned up by the main gate, going at it. The occupant of the Bug did not appear nearly as amused as we were.

  7. Went to St. Croix, did a micro amount of snorkeling. Not for me. Don’t like not being able to see all around me. Yet I appreciate those who enjoy underwater pursuits (brother has been all over diving), my mother would say “You’re not a water baby.”. LT Gibson was an expert…swimming across a bay was no big deal…but “death smiles on us all”…a sad ending, and she was amazingly courageous.

  8. Pranks? I was the victim of a “Wahoo Check” on an F-15 Eagle. I was sent down the intake of said F-15 (engine not running). Put a lit flashlight at the bottom of the engine pointed toward the rear. Had to spin first-stage rotor vanes by hand while someone at the exhaust end of that engine was looking for light from the flashlight. The observer at the tail finally yelled “WAHOO!” after several minutes. I was skunked. Revenge came several assignments later when “pickles” (newly-minted Airmen) were sent looking for “left-hand monkey-wrenches”, “smoke shifters”, “prop-wash”, “exhaust samples”, etc.

  9. UDT story:
    What kind of shark was it? A Bull shark ? Given geographic location ,shallow murky water sounds like a Bull. Although I have seen hammerheads in shin deep water chasing down schools blue s. Maybe Tiger? Great read. Thanks LL

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