30 April 2008

FY09 MCPO selectees

The new E-9 list is out. I only recognise one name - a corpsman I served with on the Jacksonville. Congratulations, Doc!

WTHS class of '73 (+/- 1) reunion

Just in case anybody who graduated from Waukegan High School in the early '70s should stumble across this, the following is copied from here:
Event Date: 9/13/2008
Event Name: Class of 73 (72 and 74) Block Party

Details: We have scheduled the 35th class reunion for Saturday - Sept 13th, 2008. The city of Waukegan, which is extremely excited to have us celebrating in Waukegan, will be blocking off the section of Genesee Street in front of Hussey's Downtown Tavern so we can have a block party type event. There will be a tent, food, drink, music and plenty of other entertainment. In addition to the Waukegan class of 1973, it has been expanded to include the classes of 1972 and 1974.

We are developing a contact list for this event and would appreciate you forwarding ANY information you might have for people in the classes of 1972, 1973 and 1974. Names, e-mail and regular mail addresses, phone number (whatever you may have) can be sent to wkgnclassof1973@att.net for inclusion in the list. Even if you don't plan on attending this reunion, please send us your information so we can update the records for future correspondences.

Other: We are eager to add new members to the planning committee, especially people from the classes of 1972 and 1974. Even if you are not sure you can afford the time, not have anything to offer, etc. we can use everyones input - so please consider joining us. If you have any questions, please email wkgnclassof1973@att.net.

27 April 2008

Victoria Cross: C. C. Dobson


Commander, Royal Navy

Born: 1 January 1885, Barton Regis, Bristol
Died: 26 June 1940, Chatham, Kent

Citation: For most conspicuous gallantry, skill and devotion to duty on the occasion of the attack on Kronstadt Harbour on the 18th August, 1919. Commander Dobson organised and was in command of the Coastal Motor Boat Flotilla. He led the flotilla through the chain of forts to the entrance of the harbour. Coastal Motor Boat No. 31, from which he directed the general operations, then passed in, under a very heavy machine-gun fire, and torpedoed the Bolshevik Battleship "Andrei Pervozanni," subsequently returning through the heavy fire of the forts and batteries to the open sea.

(London Gazette Issue dated 11 Nov 1919, published 11 Nov 1919.)

Note: Lieutenant G C Steele, of CMB 88, was also awarded the Victoria Cross for this operation; four other officers received the DSO (including Lieutenant A W S Agar VC), and seven received the DSC.

Medal of Honor: C. L. Thomas


First Lieutenant, US Army; Company C, 614th Tank Destroyer Battalion (Towed)

Born: 1920
Died: 15 February 1980, Detroit, Mich.

Citation: For extraordinary heroism on December 14, 1944, near Climbach, France. LT. Thomas armored scout car was subjected to intense enemy artillery, self-propelled gun, and small arms fire. Wounded by the initial burst of hostile fire, LT. Thomas signaled the remainder of the column to halt and despite the severity of his wounds, assisted the crew to obtaining cover. Upon leaving the scant protection which the vehicle afforded, LT. Thomas again was subjected to a hail of enemy fire which inflicted multiple gunshot wounds in his chest, legs, and left arm. Despite the intense pain LT. Thomas ordered and directed the dispersion and emplacement of two antitank guns which effectively returned the enemy fire. He refused to be evacuated until he was certain his junior officer was in full control of the situation.

Note: Lieutenant (later Major) Thomas was originally awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. This was upgraded later to the Medal of Honor, and the medal was presented posthumously on 13 Jan 1997 by President Clinton.

This day in history: 27 Apr

1521: Explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed by natives in the Philippines.

1749: Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks was performed in Green Park, London, to celebrate the end of the War of the Austrian Succession.

1805: US Marines, commanded by Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon and led by former consul William Eaton, with Berber and Arab mercenaries, captured the town of Derna, Tripoli (now Libya).

1865: 1700 people - most of them Union survivors from Andersonville Prison - died when the steamboat Sultana, carrying 2400 passengers, exploded and sank in the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tennessee.

1915: The French armoured cruiser Leon Gambetta was sunk by the Austrian submarine SM U 5, commanded by Linienschiffsleutnant Georg von Trapp.

1941: German troops entered Athens.

1967: The official opening ceremonies for Expo 67 were held in Montreal, Canada. (It opened to the public the next day.)

2002: The last successful telemetry was received from space probe Pioneer 10. The last signal from the probe, which had been launched from Cape Canaveral on 2 Mar 1972, was received on 23 Jan 2003.

In addition to Magellan (1480-1521), Jean Bart (1650-1702), Zebulon Pike (1779–1813), Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), George Alec Effinger (1947-2002) and Mstislav Rostropovich (1927-2007) died on this date.

And happy birthday to Edward Gibbon (1737*–1794), Samuel F B Morse (1791–1872), Ulysses S Grant (1822–1885), Edward Whymper (1840–1911), Walter Lantz (1899–1994), Jack Klugman (1922-TBD), Casey Kasem (1932-TBD), Judy Carne (1939-TBD), HRH the Prince of Orange (1967-TBD) and Emma Taylor-Isherwood (1987-TBD).

* 27 Apr 1737 Old Style; 8 May 1737 New Style.

25 April 2008

"Spring Goeth All in White"

This little poem was mentioned in a book I was reading earlier this week (Over the Gate, by Miss Read), so I looked it up. It was written by English poet Dr Robert Seymour Bridges OM (1844-1930), who was Poet Laureate from 1913 until his death.

"Spring Goeth All in White"

Spring goeth all in white,
Crowned with milk-white may:
In fleecy flocks of light
O'er heaven the white clouds stray:

White butterflies in the air;
White daisies prank the ground:
The cherry and hoary pear
Scatter their snow around.

Click on the "Poetry Friday" button at left for this week's round-up, which is hosted by Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect. (Susan, of Susan Writes, has done a round-up of previous round-ups here.)

20 April 2008

Victoria Cross: Reeves, Gorman and Scholefield


Seaman, Royal Navy; Naval Brigade

Born: 1828, Portsmouth, Hampshire
Died: 4 August 1862, Portsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire


Seaman, Royal Navy; Naval Brigade

Born: 21 August 1834, Islington, London
Died: 18 October 1882, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Seaman, Royal Navy; Naval Brigade

Born: 16 April 1828, London
Died: 15 February 1858, at sea aboard HMS Acorn

Joint Citation: At the Battle of Inkerman, 5th November, 1854, when the Right Lancaster Battery was attacked, these three seamen mounted the banquette, and, under a heavy fire, made use of the disabled soldiers' muskets, which were loaded for them by others under the parapet. They are the survivors of five who performed the above action.
(Letter from Sir S. Lushington, 7th June, 1856.)

(London Gazette Issue 21971 dated 24 Feb 1857, published 24 Feb 1857.)

Seaman Gorman's medals

Note: Under the rules at the time, the Victoria Cross could not be awarded posthumously, so the other two men - whose names were not recorded - did not receive the medal.

Medal of Honor: A. C. York


Corporal, US Army; Company G, 328th Infantry, 82d Division

Born: 13 December 1887, Fentress County, Tenn.
Died: 2 September 1964, Nashville, Tenn.

Citation: After his platoon had suffered heavy casualties [near Chatel-Chehery, France, 8 October 1918] and 3 other noncommissioned officers had become casualties, Cpl. York assumed command. Fearlessly leading 7 men, he charged with great daring a machinegun nest which was pouring deadly and incessant fire upon his platoon. In this heroic feat the machinegun nest was taken, together with 4 officers and 128 men and several guns.

19 April 2008

RIP: Germaine Tillion

Germaine Tillion
30 May 1907 - 19 April 2008

ZUI this article from the International Herald-Tribune:
French Resistance fighter and celebrated anthropologist Germaine Tillion died on Saturday, her association said. She was 100.

Tillion died at her home in Saint-Mande, in the Paris region, the head of the Germaine Tillion Association, Tzvetan Todorov, said by telephone.


Tillion — who was sent in 1943 to the Nazi camp for women and children in Ravensbruck, Germany, for her work with France's underground Resistance network — was the recipient of the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor, one of France's highest distinctions. She was one of only five women to have received such an honor, the government said Saturday.

After the end of World War II, Tillion devoted herself to documenting the history of France's Resistance to German occupation. She was also a prominent voice against the French colonial presence in Algeria and spoke out against torture.

Tillion was born on May 30, 1907, in the southern town of Allegre. Her father was a judge and her mother, a writer.

Those who read French can learn more here.

ZUI also this article dated 2 June 2007 from The Telegraph:
A darkly comic operetta written by a French Resistance heroine is to have its premiere today in Paris, more than 60 years after she secretly wrote it in the Nazi concentration camp of Ravensbrück.

Germaine Tillion, who turned 100 this week, had kept Le Verfügbar aux Enfers (The Campworker goes to Hell), in a drawer at her home in east Paris because she thought "people would get the wrong idea and think we were enjoying ourselves".

The acclaimed ethnologist and historian wrote the three-act work over several months in 1944 within a tiny notebook, which she kept hidden inside the all-women camp.


The author used her ethnologist's powers of observation to depict the brutality of camp life, but the dialogue is shot through with black humour.

At one stage, a character jests that the camp offers "all creature comforts - water, gas, electricity - especially gas". In another scene, the starving characters embark on an imaginary gastronomic tour through France.

NASA news

I haven't been paying much attention to the space programme lately. Space shuttle Endeavour (mission STS-123) landed safely at Kennedy Space Center on 26 March, bringing General Léopold Eyharts back from his stay on board the ISS. Discovery (STS-124) is currently scheduled to be launched on 31 May, with a crew consisting of commander Cdr Mark E Kelly (USN), pilot Cdr Kenneth T Ham (USN), mission specialists Karen L Nyberg, Col Ronald J Garan Jr (USAF) and Col Michael E Fossum (USAFR), and ISS crewmember Akihiko Hoshide (JAXA).

In other news, ZUI this NASA press release dated 15 April:
NASA is extending the international Cassini-Huygens mission by two years. The historic spacecraft's stunning discoveries and images have revolutionized our knowledge of Saturn and its moons.

Cassini's mission originally had been scheduled to end in July 2008. The newly-announced two-year extension will include 60 additional orbits of Saturn and more flybys of its exotic moons. These will include 26 flybys of Titan, seven of Enceladus, and one each of Dione, Rhea and Helene. The extension also includes studies of Saturn's rings, its complex magnetosphere, and the planet itself.


Based on findings from Cassini, scientists think liquid water may be just beneath the surface of Saturn's moon, Enceladus. That's why the small moon, only one-tenth the size of Titan and one-seventh the size of Earth's moon, is one of the highest-priority targets for the extended mission.

Cassini discovered geysers of water-ice jetting from the Enceladus' surface. The geysers, which shoot out at a distance three times the diameter of Enceladus, feed particles into Saturn's most expansive ring. In the extended mission, the spacecraft may come as close as 15 miles from the moon's surface.

Cassini's observations of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, have given scientists a glimpse of what Earth might have been like before life evolved. They now believe Titan possesses many parallels to Earth, including lakes, rivers, channels, dunes, rain, snow, clouds, mountains and possibly volcanoes.


Unlike Earth, Titan's lakes, rivers and rain are composed of methane and ethane, and temperatures reach a chilly minus 290 degrees Fahrenheit. Although Titan's dense atmosphere limits viewing the surface, Cassini's high-resolution radar coverage and imaging by the infrared spectrometer have given scientists a better look.

Other activities for Cassini scientists will include monitoring seasons on Titan and Saturn, observing unique ring events, such as the 2009 equinox when the sun will be in the plane of the rings, and exploring new places within Saturn's magnetosphere.


Cassini launched Oct. 15, 1997, from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on a seven-year journey to Saturn, traversing 2.2 billion miles. It is one of the most scientifically capable spacecraft ever launched, with a record 12 instruments on the orbiter and six more instruments on the European Space Agency's Huygens probe, which piggybacked a ride to Titan on Cassini. Cassini receives electrical power from three radioisotope thermoelectric generators, which generate electricity from heat produced by the natural decay of plutonium. The spacecraft was captured into Saturn orbit in June 2004 and immediately began returning data to Earth.

ZUI also this press release dated 16 Apr:
Several instruments that will help NASA characterize the moon's surface have been installed on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO. The powerful equipment will bring the moon into sharper focus and reveal new insights about the celestial body nearest Earth.


Four of six instruments have been mated to the spacecraft, with one to be installed soon and one to arrive in the near future. The instruments are:

The Lyman-Alpha Mapping Project was built and developed at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. The instrument will map the entire lunar surface in the far ultraviolet spectrum and search for surface ice and frost in the polar regions. It will provide images of permanently shadowed regions that are illuminated only by starlight.

The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation, or CRaTER, was built and developed by Boston University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. CRaTER will characterize the lunar radiation environment, allowing scientists to determine potential impacts to astronauts and other life. It also will test models on the effects of radiation and measure radiation absorption by a type of plastic that is like human tissue. The results could aid in the development of protective technologies to help keep future lunar crew members safe.

Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment was built and developed by the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Diviner will measure surface and subsurface temperatures from orbit. It will identify cold traps and potential ice deposits as well as rough terrain and other landing hazards.

The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter was conceived and built by scientists and engineers at Goddard. The instrument will measure landing site slopes and lunar surface roughness and generate high resolution three-dimensional maps of the moon. The instrument also will measure and analyze the lunar topography to identify both permanently illuminated and shadowed areas.

The Russian-built Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector has arrived from the Institute for Space Research in Moscow. The detector will create high-resolution maps of hydrogen distribution and gather information about the neutron component of lunar radiation. Its data will be analyzed for evidence of water ice near the moon's surface.

The remaining instrument, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera from Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz., will provide high resolution imagery to help identify landing sites and characterize the moon's topography and composition. It should arrive at Goddard in May.

Also on board will be the Mini-RF Technology Demonstration experiment sponsored by NASA's Exploration Systems and Space Operations Mission Directorates. The miniaturized radar will be used to image the polar regions and search for water ice. The communications capabilities of the system also will be tested during the mission.

The satellite is scheduled to launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., in late 2008 on an Atlas V rocket. It will spend one year in low polar orbit on its primary exploration mission, with the possibility of three more years to collect additional detailed scientific information about the moon and its environment. That information will help ensure a safe and productive human return to the moon.

Soyuz TMA-12 was launched from Baikonur on 8 April, taking Russian cosmonauts Sergei A Volkov and Oleg D Kononenko, and South Korean bioengineer Yi So-yeon, up to the ISS. ZUI this press release dated 19 April:
NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, the first female commander of the International Space Station, returned to Earth at approximately 4:30 a.m. EDT Saturday, ending a mission during which she conducted five spacewalks and set a new record in American spaceflight.

Whitson and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, members of the 16th crew to live and work aboard the station, safely landed their Soyuz spacecraft in the steppes of Kazakhstan. Spaceflight participant So-yeon Yi also returned to Earth aboard the Soyuz. The landing was approximately 295 miles from the expected landing site, delaying the recovery forces’ arrival to the spacecraft by approximately 45 minutes.

Whitson, 48, has accumulated more time in space than any U.S. astronaut in history. She and Malenchenko, who launched to the station on Oct. 10, 2007, spent 192 days in space. This was Whitson’s second flight to the station. She served almost 185 days as a flight engineer on the Expedition 5 crew, which launched June 5, 2002, and returned to Earth Dec. 7, 2002. Whitson has totaled 377 days in space during two missions. On April 16, she surpassed the 374-day record set by astronaut Mike Foale during his six flights.

Malenchenko, 46, a Russian Air Force colonel, completed his third long-duration spaceflight. He spent 126 days aboard the Russian space station Mir in 1994, and commanded Expedition 7, spending 185 days in space in 2006. He also was a member of the STS-106 crew of shuttle Atlantis on a 12-day mission to the station in 2000. He has accumulated 515 days in space during his four flights. That is the ninth highest total of cumulative time.

The Expedition 16 crew worked with experiments across a wide variety of fields, including human life sciences, physical sciences and Earth observation. Many of the experiments are designed to gather information about the effects of long-duration spaceflight on the human body, which will help with planning future exploration missions to the moon and Mars.

And finally, ZUI this article from AFP:
NASA wants astronauts who will return to the moon to take one long step for mankind.

The US space agency hopes to build moon bases that can house astronauts for stays of up to six months, with an intricate transportation and power system, Carl Walz, director of NASA's Advanced Capabilities Division, said Friday.

NASA is examining different designs for lunar outposts but that they could be inspired by the orbiting International Space Station (ISS), he said.

"We need to establish a long, extended presence on the moon, up to six months -- same as the time we spend at ISS," Walz, a veteran astronaut, told AFP during a forum on the future of NASA at the University of Miami.


US space officials plan to return to the moon by 2020 and build permanent outposts on the surface of Earth's natural satellite.

The space agency will also need to design transportation, communication and power systems for the lunar surface as well as give the astronauts the ability to venture out of their bases for scientific research, Walz said.

Happy birthday

... to Edna Parker. ZUI this article from Yahoo! News:
Maybe it was a lifetime of chores on the family farm that accounts for Edna Parker's long life. Or maybe just good genes explain why the world's oldest known person will turn 115 on Sunday, defying staggering odds.


On Friday, Edna Parker laughed and smiled as relatives and guests released 115 balloons into sunny skies outside her nursing home. Dressed in pearls, a blue and white polka dot dress and new white shoes, she clutched a red rose during the festivities.

Two years ago, researchers from the New England Centenarian Study at Boston University took a blood sample from Parker for the group's DNA database of supercentenarians.

Her DNA is now preserved with samples of about 100 other people who made the 110-year milestone and whose genes are being analyzed, said Dr. Tom Perls, an aging specialist who directs the project.


Only 75 living people — 64 women and 11 men — are 110 or older, according to the Gerontology Research Group of Inglewood, Calif., which verifies reports of extreme ages.

Parker, who was born April 20, 1893, was recognized by Guinness World Records as the oldest of that group last August after the death of a Japanese woman four months her senior.

A widow since her husband, Earl, died in 1938 of a heart attack, Parker lived alone in their farmhouse until age 100, when she moved into her son Clifford's home.


Fifteen years later, her room at the Heritage House Convalescent Center in Shelbyville, Ind., about 25 miles southeast of Indianapolis, is adorned with teddy bears and photos of her five grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great grandchildren. She's outlived her two sons, Clifford and Earl Jr.

17 April 2008

European feudalism coming to an end

ZUI this article from the BBC:
The UK Privy Council has approved proposed changes to the governing body of a Channel Island which still operates a feudal system of government.

Sark's ruling body, the Chief Pleas, breaches the European Convention of Human Rights because landowners have got a seat automatically for 450 years.

The Chief Pleas had already approved new reforms for an elected chamber.

A lawyer for millionaires Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay, who own nearby Brecqhou island, said they will appeal.

Advocate Gordon Dawes said the approval will be disputed in the High Court in London as the reforms do not address the role of the seigneur and seneschal.

The seigneur is the head of the Chief Pleas and retains feudal rights and the seneschal is president of the Chief Pleas and head of the judiciary.


Sark has been governed by a mix of landowners and elected people's deputies since the 1600s.

Owners of the island's 40 tenements (divisions of land) currently have an automatic seat in the Chief Pleas, with islanders choosing 12 deputies.

They will be replaced by the new 28-member chamber, which was approved following a referendum [on 21 Feb 2008] for islanders voting for democracy.

The Privy Council's approval enables Sark's judiciary and parliament to be significantly modernised.


The government there can directly trace its roots back to Queen Elizabeth I, who once granted the ruling "Seigner" a fief on the tiny Channel Island.

The unelected descendents of 40 families brought in to colonise Sark, after the French abandoned it in 1553, have governed life on the island ever since.

But its feudal system of government started coming under pressure in 2000 in the light of human rights laws.

Two proposals for reform were rejected in 2005 and 2007 until the island's historic referendum.

16 April 2008

RIP: Barbara McDermott

Barbara McDermott
15 Jun 1912 - 12 Apr 2008

ZUI this article from the New Haven (CT) Register:
Barbara Anderson was just 2 years, 10 months, 21 days old when a torpedo smashed into the RMS Lusitania while she was eating lunch.

She remembered it vividly until her death Saturday, almost 93 years later. She was the last American survivor of the German submarine attack on the British luxury liner.

Barbara McDermott (her married name) liked to talk about her experience, said her daughter, Elizabeth DeLucia of Wallingford.


On May 7, 1915, the U-boat fired a torpedo at the Cunard liner off Ireland’s south coast. The ship sank within 18 minutes; 1,198 people lost their lives, according to Lusitania.net.

Barbara and her mother survived, along with 747 others, according to Michael Poirier of Pawtucket, R.I., a trustee of the Titanic International Society, who met McDermott several times. But more difficulties lay ahead. Her brother, born in England, died in infancy, and her mother, who had tuberculosis, died less than a year after that.

She returned to Connecticut Christmas Day 1919 aboard the Lusitania’s sister ship, the Mauretania, according to information Poirier compiled. She was raised by her father and stepmother. She settled in East Haven with her husband, Milton McDermott, now deceased, and had two children.


Besides DeLucia, McDermott leaves a son, George McDermott of Connellsville, Pa., five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

ZUI also this article dated 21 Jul 2002.

Mrs McDermott's death leaves 93-year-old Audrey Lawson-Johnston, 93, of Bedfordshire, England, as the last living survivor of the Lusitania.

RMS Lusitania

15 April 2008

Medal of Honor awarded for Iraq

ZUI this article from the Los Angeles Times:
Tears glistening on his face, President Bush posthumously presented the Medal of Honor on Tuesday [8 April] to a Navy SEAL from Garden Grove who saved the lives of American snipers in Iraq by throwing his body on top of an insurgent's grenade.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor, 25, died during a firefight on Sept. 29, 2006, in an Al Qaeda-controlled section of Ramadi. During a solemn ceremony in the White House East Room, his parents, George and Sally, accepted the nation's highest award for bravery on his behalf.

The presentation, which took place as Army Gen. David H. Petraeus offered an Iraq update on Capitol Hill, was a reminder of the very human cost of a war in which more than 4,000 American servicemen and -women have died since 2003.

Monsoor is the first sailor and first Californian to receive the Medal of Honor as a result of combat in Iraq.

"We will not let his life go in vain," the president said, noting that the area where Monsoor was killed had been transformed into one of the safest places in the war-torn country.

ZUI also Monsoor's biography at the US Navy website:
Michael enlisted in the U.S. Navy March 21, 2001, and attended Basic Training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill. Upon graduation from basic training, he attended Quartermaster “A” School, and then transferred to Naval Air Station, Sigonella, Italy for a short period of time.

Petty Officer Monsoor entered Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training in Coronado, Calif., and subsequently graduated with Class 250 on Sept. 2, 2004 as one of the top performers in his class. After BUD/S, he completed advanced SEAL training courses including parachute training at Basic Airborne School, Fort Benning, Ga., cold weather combat training in Kodiak, Alaska, and six months of SEAL Qualification Training in Coronado, graduating in March 2005. The following month, his rating changed from Quartermaster to Master-at-Arms, and he was assigned to SEAL Team 3 Delta Platoon. He deployed with his platoon to Iraq in April 2006 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and was assigned to Task Unit Bravo in Ar Ramadi.

From April to Sept. 29, 2006, Mike served as a heavy weapons machine gunner in Delta Platoon, SEAL Team 3. During combat patrols he walked behind the platoon point man with his Mk 48 machinegun so that he could protect his platoon from a frontal enemy attack. Mike was also a SEAL communicator. On 15 operations, he carried a rucksack full of communications equipment in addition to his machinegun and full ammunition load-out. Collectively it weighed more than 100 pounds. He bore the weight without a single complaint, even in the midst of the 130 degree Western Iraqi summer.

Mike and his platoon operated in a highly contested part of Ramadi city called the Ma’laab district. During their deployment, Mike and his fellow SEALS came under enemy attack on 75 percent of their missions. On May 9, 2006 Mike rescued a SEAL who was shot in the leg. He ran out into the street with another SEAL, shot cover fire and dragged his comrade to safety while enemy bullets kicked up the concrete at their feet. For this brave action, he earned a Silver Star.


Petty Officer Monsoor was subsequently awarded the Bronze Star as the Task Unit Ramadi, Iraq Combat Advisor from April to September 2006. His leadership, guidance and decisive actions during 11 different combat operations saved the lives of his teammates, other Coalition Forces and Iraqi Army soldiers.

******* *** *******


Master at Arms Second Class (SEAL), US Navy; Naval Special Warfare Task Group Arabian Peninsula

Born: 5 April 1981, Long Beach, California
Died: 29 September 2006, Ar Ramadi, Iraq

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Automatic Weapons Gunner for Naval Special Warfare Task Group Arabian Peninsula, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 29 September 2006. As a member of a combined SEAL and Iraqi Army sniper overwatch element, tasked with providing early warning and stand-off protection from a rooftop in an insurgent-held sector of Ar Ramadi, Iraq, Petty Officer Monsoor distinguished himself by his exceptional bravery in the face of grave danger. In the early morning, insurgents prepared to execute a coordinated attack by reconnoitering the area around the element’s position. Element snipers thwarted the enemy’s initial attempt by eliminating two insurgents. The enemy continued to assault the element, engaging them with a rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire. As enemy activity increased, Petty Officer Monsoor took position with his machine gun between two teammates on an outcropping of the roof. While the SEALs vigilantly watched for enemy activity, an insurgent threw a hand grenade from an unseen location, which bounced off Petty Officer Monsoor’s chest and landed in front of him. Although only he could have escaped the blast, Petty Officer Monsoor chose instead to protect his teammates. Instantly and without regard for his own safety, he threw himself onto the grenade to absorb the force of the explosion with his body, saving the lives of his two teammates. By his undaunted courage, fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of certain death, Petty Officer Monsoor gallantly gave his life for his country, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

13 April 2008

Victoria Cross: N. G. Chavasse


Captain, Royal Army Medical Corps; attached 1/10th Battalion The King's (Liverpool) Regiment

Born: 9 November 1884, Oxford
Died: 4 August 1917, near Ypres, Belgium

Citation: For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty.
During an attack [on 9 August 1916, at Guillemont, France] he tended the wounded in the open all day, under heavy fire, frequently in view of the enemy. During the ensuing night he searched for wounded on the ground in front of the enemy's lines for four hours.
Next day he took one stretcher-bearer to the advanced trenches, and under heavy shell fire carried an urgent case for 500 yards into safety, being wounded in the side by a shell splinter during the journey. The same night he took up a party of twenty volunteers, rescued three wounded men from a shell hole twenty-five yards from the enemy's trench, buried the bodies of two Officers, and collected many identity discs, although fired on by bombs and machine guns.
Altogether he saved the lives of some twenty badly wounded men, besides the ordinary cases which passed through his hands. His courage and self-sacrifice were beyond praise.

(London Gazette Issue 29802 dated 26 Oct 1916, published 24 Oct 1916.)

Citation: For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when in action.
Though severely wounded early in the action [on 31 July 1917 at Wieltje, Belgium] whilst carrying a wounded soldier to the Dressing Station, Capt. Chavasse refused to leave his post, and for two days not only continued to perform his duties, but in addition went out repeatedly under heavy fire to search for and attend to the wounded who were lying out.
During these searches, although practically without food during this period, worn with fatigue and faint with his wound, he assisted to carry in a number of badly wounded men, over heavy and difficult ground.
By his extraordinary energy and inspiring example, he was instrumental in rescuing many wounded who would have otherwise undoubtedly succumbed under the bad weather conditions.
This devoted and gallant officer subsequently died of his wounds.

(London Gazette Issue 30284 dated 14 Sep 1917, published 14 Sep 1917.)

Note: Captain Chavasse is one of only three men who have been awarded the Victoria Cross twice.

Medal of Honor: A. H. Wilson


Second Lieutenant, 6th US Cavalry

Born: Springfield, Ill.

Citation: While in action against hostile Moros [at Patian Island, Philippine Islands, 4 July 1909], when, it being necessary to secure a mountain gun in position by rope and tackle, voluntarily with the assistance of an enlisted man, carried the rope forward and fastened it, being all the time under heavy fire of the enemy at short range.

09 April 2008

"The Police are the Public, and the Public are the Police."

The quote is from The Rt Hon Sir Robert Peel, Bt. ZUI this excellent article on police theory by LawDog.

RIP: Charlton Heston

Charlton Heston
4 Oct 1923 - 5 Apr 2008

ZUI this article from the Los Angeles Times:
Charlton Heston, the Oscar-winning actor who achieved stardom playing larger-than-life figures including Moses, Michelangelo and Andrew Jackson and went on to become an unapologetic gun advocate and darling of conservative causes, has died. He was 84.

Heston died Saturday at his Beverly Hills home, said family spokesman Bill Powers. In 2002, he had been diagnosed with symptoms similar to those of Alzheimer's disease.

With a booming baritone voice, the tall, ruggedly handsome actor delivered his signature role as the prophet Moses in Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 Biblical extravaganza "The Ten Commandments," raising a rod over his head as God miraculously parts the Red Sea.

Heston won the Academy Award for best actor in another religious blockbuster in 1959's "Ben-Hur," racing four white horses at top speed in one of the cinema's legendary action sequences: the 15-minute chariot race in which his character, a proud and noble Jew, competes against his childhood Roman friend.


John Charles Carter was born Oct. 4, 1923, in Evanston, Ill. His father, Russell Whitford Carter, moved the family to St. Helen, Mich., where Heston lived an almost idyllic boyhood, hunting and fishing.

He entered Northwestern University's School of Speech in 1941 on a scholarship from the drama club. While there, he fell in love with a young speech student named Lydia Clarke. They were married March 14, 1944, after he had enlisted in the Army Air Forces. Their union was one of the most durable in Hollywood, lasting 64 years in a town known for its highly publicized divorces, romances and remarriages.

After the war, he went on countless auditions as a stage actor in New York. His professional name was a combination of his mother's maiden name, Charlton, and the last name of his stepfather, Chester Heston.

He made his Broadway debut opposite legendary stage actress Katharine Cornell in Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra" as Proculeius, Caesar's aide-de-camp.


In 1949, he attracted the attention of veteran film producer Hal Wallis. Without an audition, Wallis signed Heston to an independent contract for five pictures with the option he could accept other roles.

Heston's first picture for Wallis was the 1950 film noir "Dark City" opposite femme fatale Lizabeth Scott. He played a troubled World War II veteran, and the film did respectable business.

But it was his chance meeting on the Paramount Pictures lot with DeMille that propelled Heston to stardom. The role that the flamboyant director wanted him for was the rugged circus manager in the 1952 big-top spectacular, "The Greatest Show on Earth," which won the Academy Award for best picture.

Over the next three years, Heston made 11 movies, playing Buffalo Bill Cody in "Pony Express" and Andrew Jackson in "The President's Lady."

Then DeMille entered his life again, casting Heston as Moses in "The Ten Commandments."

ZUI also this article from the Washington Post:
Heston, who died Saturday night at 84, was a towering figure both in his politics and on screen, where his characters had the ear of God (Moses in "The Ten Commandments"), survived apocalyptic plagues ("The Omega Man") and endured one of Hollywood's most-grueling action sequences (the chariot race in "Ben-Hur," which earned him the best-actor Academy Award).

Better known in recent years as a fierce gun-rights advocate who headed the National Rifle Association, Heston played legendary leaders and ordinary men hurled into heroic struggles.


The actor died at his home in Beverly Hills with his wife, Lydia, at his side, family spokesman Bill Powers said. He declined to comment on the cause of death or provide further details Sunday.

One of the biggest box-office draws of the 1950s, '60s and '70s, Heston's work dwindled largely to small parts and narration and other voice roles from the 1980s on, including an uncredited cameo as an ape in Tim Burton's 2001 remake of "Planet of the Apes."

Shirley Jones, who co-starred with Heston in one of his last leading roles in the 1999 drama "Gideon," said his talent as an actor sometimes is forgotten because of the epic characters he played.

"To me, he was the consummate leading man. He was tall, he was handsome, he was sensitive, he was gruff when he had to be. He was a great cowboy, he was perfect for those historical roles," Jones said. "He could do everything, and there aren't many actors around today who could."

In 2002, near the end of his five years as president of the NRA, Heston disclosed he had symptoms consistent with Alzheimer's disease.


Heston and his wife had a daughter, Holly Ann, and a son, Fraser Clarke, who played the infant Moses in "The Ten Commandments."

In the 1990s, Heston's son directed his father in several TV and big-screen films, including "Treasure Island" and "Alaska."

The Hestons celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1994 at a party with Hollywood and political friends. They had been married 64 years when he died.

Heston can be found here at IMDb.

He was far from my favourite actor*, but I have to admit he was great. That I recall, I've seen him in Planet of the Apes, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, The Omega Man, Earthquake, Midway and Gray Lady Down; the first and third of those are my favourites from that list. (No, I haven't seen either Ben-Hur** or The Ten Commandments.)

* Just for the record, my favourite living actors (in order of birth) are James Garner, Clint Eastwood, Sean Connery, Tommy Lee Jones and Brendan Fraser; my favourite dead actors (in the same order) are Groucho Marx, John Wayne and Dean Martin.

** Though I did read the book when I was a kid.

07 April 2008

RIP: Kaku Yamanaka

Kaku Yamanaka
11 Dec 1894 - 5 Apr 2008

ZUI this article from the Associated Press:
Kaku Yamanaka, Japan's oldest person, has died of old age in central Japan, officials said Saturday. She was 113.

Yamanaka died at a hospital where she was taken early Saturday after falling ill at a nursing home in Yatomi City in Aichi prefecture (state), an official at her nursing home said on condition of anonymity, citing policy.

Born on Dec. 11, 1894, Yamanaka became Japan's oldest person when Tsuneyo Toyonaga, 113, died in February. It was not immediately clear who had become Japan's new oldest person, and Health Ministry officials were not available for comment Saturday.

According to the Gerontology Research Group (GRG), Yamanaka was the sixth-oldest person in the world at the time of her death. They now list Chiyo Shiraishi (born 6 Aug 1895) as the oldest living person in Japan and the 13th-oldest person in the world.

Yamanaka is the third supercentenarian to die since the death of Arbella Ewing on 22 Mar 08. The others were Charlessa Wiggins of Illinois (9 Feb 1898-29 Mar 2008) and Yakup Satar of Turkey (11 Mar 1898-2 Apr 2008).

The GRG's list of validated living supercentenarians (people who have reached their 110th birthday) currently includes 78 people (11 men and 67 women), ranging from Edna Parker of Indiana (born 20 Apr 1893) to Dr Leila Denmark of Georgia (born 1 Feb 1898). Twenty of them - four men and sixteen women - live in Japan.

RIP: Yakup Satar

Yakup Satar
11 Mar 1898 - 2 Apr 2008

ZUI this article from Alalam News:
Turkey's last surviving World War I veteran, who fought the British at Basra more than 90 years ago, has died aged 110, press reports said Thursday.

Yakup Satar, father of six and grandfather of some 50 grandchildren, died late Wednesday surrounded by his family in the town of Eskisehir, northwest of Ankara.

Hurriyet newspaper said Satar had been conscripted into the Ottoman army, allied to Germany during the 1914-18 war, and was sent to the Mesopotamian front.

As an infantryman, he fought British-led forces at Basra, now in southern Iraq and still a hotspot, and was taken prisoner at Kut in 1917.

There are twelve WWI veterans still living. Satar's death leaves 107-year-old Franz Künstler, a former Austrian soldier now living in Germany, as the only surviving WWI veteran from the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey).

06 April 2008

Victoria Cross: J. C. C. Daunt and D. Dynon


Lieutenant, 11th Bengal Native Infantry

Born: 8 November 1832, Autraches, Normandy, France
Died: 15 April 1886, Bristol


Serjeant, 53rd Regiment

Born: September 1822, Killmannon, Queen's County, Ireland
Died: 16 February 1863, Dublin, Ireland

Joint Citation: Lieutenant Daunt and Serjeant Dynon are recommended for conspicuous gallantry in action, on the 2nd of October, 1857, with the Mutineers of the Ramgurh Battalion at Chota Behar, in capturing two guns, particularly the last, when they rushed at and captured it by pistoling the gunners, who were mowing the detachment down with grape, one-third of which was hors-de-combat at the time.
Lieutenant Daunt is also recommended for chasing, on the 2nd of November following, the Mutineers of the 32nd Bengal Native Infantry across a plain into a rich cultivation, into which he followed them with a few of Rattray's Sikhs. He was dangerously wounded in the attempt to drive out a large body of these Mutineers from an enclosure, the preservation of many of his party, on this occasion, being attributed to his gallantry.

(London Gazette Issue 22601 dated 25 Feb 1862, published 25 Feb 1862.)

Lieutenant Daunt's medals

Medal of Honor: F. Williams


Seaman, US Navy; USS Marblehead (C 11)

Born: 19 October 1872, Germany

Citation: On board the U.S.S. Marblehead during the operation of cutting the cable leading from Cienfuegos, Cuba, 11 May 1898. Facing the heavy fire of the enemy, Williams displayed extraordinary bravery and coolness throughout this period.

01 April 2008

Ninety years

ZUI this article from the MoD Defence News:
Events have been taking place around the UK today, Tuesday 1 April 2008, to celebrate 90 years since the formation of the Royal Air Force.

Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy joined dignitaries and serving military and civilian personnel outside the MOD's headquarters building on London's Victoria Embankment. The assembled crowds watched a spectacular fly-past by the world famous Red Arrows, who flew in formation with four Typhoon aircraft along the River Thames to the London Eye giving Londoners the chance to see the fly-past, the first time this has been done.


Elsewhere personnel at RAF Stations around the country also marked the 90th anniversary. In Yorkshire RAF Linton-on-Ouse played its part at York Minster with a flypast by a formation of nine Tucanos.

Station commander Group Captain Mark Hopkins took the salute before performing the ceremony of turning the page of the Book of Remembrance which contains the names of over 18,000 airmen from over 15 countries who died on wartime missions from RAF airfields in Yorkshire and the North East. Gp Capt Hopkins said:


The events to mark the 90th anniversary began over the weekend with the unveiling of a Westminster City Council Green Plaque at the site of the RAF's first headquarters in The Strand, Central London. A special Service of Commemoration was held at the Central Church of the RAF, St Clement Danes, near the Royal Courts of Justice, also in the Strand and a number of veterans marched to mark the occasion.

The parade before the annual celebration and thanksgiving church service at St Clement Danes, London

Retired Squadron Leader Ian Blair DFM (right) and Senior Aircraftman Mark Lount stand under the wing of the RAF Museum's gate guardian Spitfire

Royal Air Force photographs © Crown Copyright/MOD 2008.

Royal Marine recommended for VC

ZUI this article from The Guardian:
A Royal Marine who threw himself over a grenade in southern Afghanistan to shield his comrades from the explosion has been recommended for a Victoria Cross.

Lance Corporal Matthew Croucher, 24, who escaped with a nosebleed after his rucksack took the force of the blast, would be the first marine since 1945 to win Britain's highest military honour.

His three colleagues, who suffered only cuts and bruises in the incident, recommended that the marine reservist from Birmingham be honoured for his bravery.

ZUI also this article from The Times:
Lance Corporal Croucher and his troop were on patrol last month near their base in Sangin, Helmand province, when he stepped into a tripwire that pulled the pin from a boobytrap grenade.

He said: “I thought, I’ve set this bloody thing off and I’m going to do whatever it takes to protect the others. I’m very tight with the three other guys. There have been a few times when they have saved my bacon.

“I knew a grenade like this has a killing circumference of about five metres. So I got down with my back to the grenade and used my body as a shield. It was a case of either having four of us as fatalities or badly wounded, or one.”


Although medical staff wanted to evacuate him, Lance Corporal Croucher insisted on finishing his mission. His colleagues passed a citation – which has to be considered by various committees before any awards are given – to their commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart Birrell, soon afterwards.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said: “We’re months away from a decision. But clearly this guy is very brave. And very, very lucky.”

The Victoria Cross was introduced by Queen Victoria in 1856 to reward acts of valour during the Crimean War. Only two have been awarded since 2000. Such is the level of courage required for the medal that it is estimated that the chances of surviving an act worthy of its award are one in ten.

Newbery Medal books

Last March, I took a look at a list of the 86 winners (now 87!) of the John Newbery Medal, which is presented annually to the author of "the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children." I was somewhat shocked to discover that I had only read seven of the books. So I've been reading my way through the list, and here's the current status. (Dates in red are the ones I had read before I started my current programme; dates in purple are the ones I've read since I started.)

1922: The Story of Mankind, by Hendrik Willem van Loon
1923: The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle, by Hugh Lofting
1924: The Dark Frigate, by Charles Hawes
1925: Tales from Silver Lands, by Charles Finger
1926: Shen of the Sea, by Arthur Bowie Chrisman
1927: Smoky, the Cowhorse, by Will James
1928: Gay Neck, the Story of a Pigeon, by Dhan Gopal Mukerji
1929: The Trumpeter of Krakow, by Eric P. Kelly
1930: Hitty, Her First Hundred Years, by Rachel Field
1931: The Cat Who Went to Heaven, by Elizabeth Coatsworth
1932: Waterless Mountain, by Laura Adams Armer
1933: Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze, by Elizabeth Lewis
1934: Invincible Louisa: The Story of the Author of Little Women, by Cornelia Meigs
1935: Dobry, by Monica Shannon
1936: Caddie Woodlawn, by Carol Ryrie Brink
1937: Roller Skates, by Ruth Sawyer
1938: The White Stag, by Kate Seredy
1939: Thimble Summer, by Elizabeth Enright
1940: Daniel Boone, by James Daugherty
1941: Call It Courage, by Armstrong Sperry
1942: The Matchlock Gun, by Walter Edmonds
1943: Adam of the Road, by Elizabeth Janet Gray
1944: Johnny Tremain, by Esther Forbes
1945: Rabbit Hill, by Robert Lawson
1946: Strawberry Girl, by Lois Lenski
1947: Miss Hickory, by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
1948: The Twenty-One Balloons, by William Pène du Bois
1949: King of the Wind, by Marguerite Henry
1950: The Door in the Wall, by Marguerite de Angeli
1951: Amos Fortune, Free Man, by Elizabeth Yates
1952: Ginger Pye, by Eleanor Estes
1953: Secret of the Andes, by Ann Nolan Clark
1954: ...And Now Miguel, by Joseph Krumgold
1955: The Wheel on the School, by Meindert DeJong
1956: Carry On, Mr Bowditch, by Jean Lee Latham
1957: Miracles on Maple Hill, by Virginia Sorensen
1958: Rifles for Watie, by Harold Keith
1959: The Witch of Blackbird Pond, by Elizabeth George Speare
1960: Onion John, by Joseph Krumgold
1961: Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O'Dell
1962: The Bronze Bow, by Elizabeth George Speare
1963: A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle
1964: It's Like This, Cat, by Emily Neville
1965: Shadow of a Bull, by Maia Wojciechowska
1966: I, Juan de Pareja, by Elizabeth Borton de Trevino
1967: Up a Road Slowly, by Irene Hunt
1968: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler, by E L Konigsburg
1969: The High King, by Lloyd Alexander
1970: Sounder, by William H Armstrong
1971: Summer of the Swans, by Betsy Byars
1972: Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, by Robert C O'Brien
1973: Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
1974: The Slave Dancer, by Paula Fox
1975: M C Higgins, the Great, by Virginia Hamilton
1976: The Grey King, by Susan Cooper
1977: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred D Taylor
1978: Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
1979: The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin
1980: A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal, 1830-1832, by Joan W Blos
1981: Jacob Have I Loved, by Katherine Paterson
1982: A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers, by Nancy Willard
1983: Dicey's Song, by Cynthia Voigt
1984: Dear Mr Henshaw, by Beverly Cleary
1985: The Hero and the Crown, by Robin McKinley
1986: Sarah, Plain and Tall, by Patricia MacLachlan
1987: The Whipping Boy, by Sid Fleischman
1988: Lincoln: A Photobiography, by Russell Freedman
1989: Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, by Paul Fleischman
1990: Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry
1991: Maniac Magee, by Jerry Spinelli
1992: Shiloh, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
1993: Missing May, by Cynthia Rylant
1994: The Giver, by Lois Lowry
1995: Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech
1996: The Midwife's Apprentice, by Karen Cushman
1997: The View from Saturday, by E L Konigsburg
1998: Out of the Dust, by Karen Hesse
1999: Holes, by Louis Sachar
2000: Bud, Not Buddy, by Christopher Paul Curtis
2001: A Year Down Yonder, by Richard Peck
2002: A Single Shard, by Linda Sue Park
2003: Crispin: The Cross of Lead, by Avi
2004: The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread, by Kate DiCamillo
2005: Kira-Kira, by Cynthia Kadohata
2006: Criss Cross, by Lynne Rae Perkins
2007: The Higher Power of Lucky, by Susan Patron, illustrated by Matt Phelan
2008: Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village, by Laura Amy Schlitz

So the count is now 45 down, 42 to go.

Of the three I read this quarter, I'd have to say I enjoyed The Giver the most.

Book list - Mar 08

Dealing with Dragons - YA fantasy, by Patricia C Wrede
The Last Battle Station: The Story of the USS Houston - WW II, by Duane Schultz
Searching for Dragons - YA fantasy, by Patricia C Wrede
The House with a Clock in Its Walls - YA gothic, by John Bellairs *
Calling on Dragons - YA fantasy, by Patricia C Wrede
Hatchet - YA, by Gary Paulsen
For Biddle's Sake - children's fantasy, by Gail Carson Levine
Rusty's Space Ship - children's SF, by Evelyn Sibley Lampman *
Betty Zane - historical fiction, by Zane Grey
The Perennial Boarder - mystery, by Phoebe Atwood Taylor
Star Ka'at - children's SF, by Andre Norton and Dorothy Madlee *
Diplomatic Corpse - mystery, by Phoebe Atwood Taylor
Archer's Goon - YA modern fantasy, by Diana Wynne Jones
War Pilot - aviation history, by Richard C Kirkland
Callahan's Crosstime Saloon - SF, by Spider Robinson
The Alpine Advocate - mystery, by Mary Daheim
Spaceship Medic - SF, by Harry Harrison
The Witches of Karres - SF, by James H Schmitz *
Day of Infamy - WW II, by Walter Lord *
Up the Line - time travel, by Robert Silverberg
Blandings Castle - humour, by P G Wodehouse
Edge of Time - SF, by David Grinnell (Donald A Wollheim) *
The Figure in the Shadows - YA gothic, by John Bellairs
Uller Uprising - SF, by H Beam Piper *
Paths to Otherwhere - SF, by James P Hogan *
Star Ka'at World - children's SF, by Andre Norton and Dorothy Madlee *
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen - children's modern fantasy, by Alan Garner *
The Alpine Betrayal - mystery, by Mary Daheim
Silver Pigs - mystery, by Lindsey Davis
Shadows in Bronze - mystery, by Lindsey Davis
Venus in Copper - mystery, by Lindsey Davis
The Giver - YA SF, by Lois Lowry (Newbery Medal, 1994)
The Chimneys of Green Knowe (aka The Treasure of Green Knowe) - children's, by Lucy M Boston *

33 books this month; asterisks mark the 11 rereads. To reach my goal of 208 books this year I need to read 17.33 per month, so I'm now (67 books) well ahead of track (52).

The one Newbery Medal winner brings my total thus far up to 45 of 87.