Pilots and Planes: Smithsonian on Capt. David McCampbell, World War II aviation and the Grumman Hellcat

Posted By on February 24, 2024

A few of the history oriented books I read in 2023 were about World War II Naval Aviation in the Pacific … after the previous years studying Navy and US Marine battles. As much as I enjoyed the books by several aviators who flew Corsairs (1, 2, 3, 4) … I really enjoyed reading last week about the Grumman F6F Hellcat in a Smithsonian article

Hellcat Smithsonian

Two Grumman F6F Hellcats streaked across the sky above the Philippines. Below them, armadas of ships clashed in an epic battle to control the sea around the island of Luzon, where American and Australian ground forces engaged the Japanese in bitter combat.

It was October 24, 1944, and the Battle of Leyte Gulf—the largest naval engagement in modern history—had just begun. The Hellcat pilots, U.S. Navy Capt. David McCampbell and his wingman Ens. Roy Rushing, were looking for trouble up ahead and they found it—a squadron of 60 Japanese aircraft, including bombers escorted by Zeroes, the feared fighter of the Japanese Imperial Navy.

Despite being overwhelmingly outnumbered, the American pilots never hesitated. Throttling their Hellcats’ powerful 2,000-horsepower engines, they ascended for the attack. From on high, they waded into the enemy on repeated sorties, each blasting away with six .50-caliber machine guns.

“We’d make an attack, keep our altitude advantage and speed, and go down again,” McCampbell recalled in a 1987 interview for the U.S. Naval Institute’s oral history project. “We repeated this over and over till we made about 20 coordinated attacks.”

The American pilots shot down a total of 15 planes—an achievement still unequalled in combat aviation. Both earned “ace in a day” status by downing five or more aircraft each on one mission. That day, McCampbell scored nine “kills”—seven Zeroes, also known as the Mitsubishi A6M Reisin, and two “Oscars,” the Nakajima Ki-43. None of the Japanese bombers reached their targets. With their formation so scattered, the enemy pilots had to abort their mission.


A blog filler, but humanitarian innovation worth mentioning

Posted By on February 23, 2024

Love to read a positive story or tidbit on social media … and this one about Kenton Lee and “The Shoe That Grows” caught my eye.

In 2007, our founder Kenton Lee traveled to Nairobi, Kenya after graduating college. He lived and worked at a small orphanage with some incredible kids. The Shoe That GrowsOne day, he was walking down a dusty road with all the kids when he noticed a little girl in a white dress walking next to him. As he looked down at her feet, he was shocked to see how small her shoes were. They were so small that she had to cut open the front of her shoes to let her toes stick out. That was the day that Kenton thought:

  • What if there was a shoe that could adjust and expand its size?
  • What if there was a shoe that could grow?

And the idea for The Shoe That Grows™ was born.


A simple yet debatable chart for “tart vs sweet” Apples

Posted By on February 22, 2024

As an Apple eater, I’ve personally always wanted a simple way to know which and why I enjoy certain Apples. After seeing this chart, I thought it was worth sharing. 

Apples - Tart to Sweet

Book: “The Fund” about Ray Dalio by Rob Copeland

Posted By on February 21, 2024

The Fund - by Rob Copeland
Once again I started a new book before finishing the last book (audiobook). This time it was on the recommendation of a business journalist that I enjoy (often quirky) and follow online.

The book is “The Fund” which so far seems to be a less than polite account of famed Wall Street legend Ray Dalio and how he build and ran his business. The author, Rob Copeland, exposes the “intricate workings of the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates.” He interviewed people on the inside and reveals the hiring practices, internal conflict and the uncomfortable work environment experienced by many of those who were part of the company. I was particularly attracted to the word “gripping” when it was used to describe the book. 

Legal questions require lay people to dig deeper: Amicus Brief

Posted By on February 20, 2024

As a non-lawyer and someone who rarely finds a reason (or interest) in learning about our legal system, discussions arise and certain terms batted around that require more understanding. Last week it was the term Amicus Brief so figured it was worth adding to MyDesultoryBlog.com as a “tidbit“… not that anybody reading really wants to know! 🙃 

What Is an Amicus Brief?

An amicus brief is a legal document filed in appellate courts intended to assist the court by offering additional relevant information or arguments the court may want to consider before making its ruling. Amicus briefs are filed by amicus curiae—Latin for “friend of the court”—a third party who has a special interest or expertise in a case and wants to influence the court’s decisions in a particular way.


Amicus Brief on ThoughtCo website

Music Monday: “Ride Captain Ride” by Blues Image

Posted By on February 19, 2024

Today’s Music Monday here’s a SiriusXM Yacht Rock pick from the late 60’s rock band Blues Image and their hit “Ride Captain Ride” from 1970. The lyrics Ride Captain Ride ani gifpretty much echo’s the band break up after setting sail and relaying that they are “never seen or heard from again. The Captain rides with his crew on a mystery ship, which disappears forever.”

Ok … so perhaps that’s a bit of a stretch … but I enjoyed connecting the dots! 😉 

  Blues Image – “Ride Captain Ride” | 1970

Sunday Filler John 3:16 share while busy with our family

Posted By on February 18, 2024

John 3:16

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
My Desultory Blog