30 March 2011

Smoking may be hazardous to your health

ZUI this article from WFAA TV (Dallas):
A Dallas physician is accused of trying to run over someone he allegedly saw smoking near his car.

H/T to Dr Grumpy.

27 March 2011

Victoria Cross: C. C. Teesdale


Lieutenant, Royal Artillery

Born: 1 June 1833, Grahamstown, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa
Died: 1 December 1893, South Bersted, Sussex

Citation: For gallant conduct, in having, while acting as Aide-de-Camp to Major-General Sir William Fenwick Williams, Bart., K.C.B., at Kars, volunteered [on 29 September 1855] to take command of the force engaged in the defence of the most advanced part of the works, — the key of the position — against the attack of the Russian Army; when, by throwing himself into the midst of the enemy, who had penetrated into the above redoubt, he encouraged the garrison to make an attack, so vigorous, as to drive out the Russians therefrom, and prevent its capture; also for having, during the hottest part of the action, when the enemy's fire had driven the Turkish Artillerymen from their guns, rallied the latter, and by his intrepid example induced them to return to their post; and further, after having led the final charge which completed the victory of the day, for having, at the greatest personal risk, saved from the fury of the Turks, a considerable number of the disabled among the enemy, who were lying wounded outside the works, — an action witnessed, and acknowledged gratefully before the Russian Staff, by General Mouravieff.

[London Gazette issue 22043 dated 25 Sep 1857, published 25 Sep 1857.]

Note: Teesdale, the first VC recipient born in South Africa, was awarded the Legion d'honneur and made a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1856. At the time of his death he was Major-General Sir Christopher Teesdale, VC KCMG CB.
Kars, part of the mediaeval kingdom of Armenia, is now in Turkey.

Medal of Honor: F. H. Furness


Captain, Company F, 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry

Born: 12 November 1839, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died: 27 June 1912

Citation: Voluntarily carried a box of ammunition across an open space swept by the enemy's fire [at Trevilian Station, Virginia, on 12 June 1864] to the relief of an outpost whose ammunition had become almost exhausted, but which was thus enabled to hold its important position.

20 March 2011

Victoria Cross: T. J. Crean


Surgeon-Captain, 1st Imperial Light Horse

Born: 19 April 1873, Dublin, Ireland
Died: 25 March 1923, Mayfair, Central London

Citation: During the action with De Wet at Tygerskloof, on the 18th December, 1901, this Officer continued to attend to the wounded in the firing line, under a heavy fire at only 150 yards range, after he had himself been wounded, and only desisted when he was hit a second time, and, as it was at first thought, mortally wounded.

[London Gazette issue 27405 dated 11 Feb 1902, published 11 Feb 1902.]

Medal of Honor: W. E. Osborne


Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Dental Corps, US Navy; attached 6th Regiment, US Marines

Born: 13 November 1892, Chicago, Illinois
Died: 6 June 1918, near Ch√Ęteau-Thierry, France

Citation: For extraordinary heroism while attached to the 6th Regiment, U.S. Marines, in actual conflict with the enemy and under fire during the advance on Bouresche, France, on 6 June 1918. In the hottest of the fighting when the marines made their famous advance on Bouresche at the southern edge of Belleau Wood, Lt (j.g.). Osborne threw himself zealously into the work of rescuing the wounded. Extremely courageous in the performance of this perilous task, he was killed while carrying a wounded officer to a place of safety.

13 March 2011

Victoria Cross; A. L. Aaron


Acting Flight Sergeant, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve; 218 Squadron

Born: 5 March 1922, Leeds, Yorkshire
Died: 13 August 1943, Bone Hospital, Algeria

Citation: On the night of I2th August, 1943, Flight Sergeant Aaron was captain and pilot of a Stirling aircraft detailed to attack Turin. When approaching to attack, the bomber received devastating bursts of fire from an enemy fighter. Three engines were hit, the windscreen shattered, the front and rear turrets put out of action and the elevator control damaged, causing the aircraft to become unstable and difficult to control. The navigator was killed and other members of the crew were wounded.
A bullet struck Flight Sergeant Aaron in the face, breaking his jaw and tearing away part of his face. He was also wounded in the lung and his right arm was rendered useless. As he fell forward over the control column, the aircraft dived several thousand feet. Control was regained by the flight engineer at 3,000 feet. Unable to speak, Flight Sergeant Aaron urged the bomb aimer by signs to take over the controls. Course was then set southwards in an endeavour to fly the crippled bomber, with one engine out of action, to Sicily or North Africa.
Flight Sergeant Aaron was assisted to the rear of the aircraft and treated with morphia. After resting for some time he rallied and, mindful of his responsibility as captain of aircraft, insisted on returning to the pilot's cockpit, where he was lifted into his seat and had his feet placed on the rudder bar. Twice he made determined attempts to take control and hold the aircraft to its course but his weakness was evident and with difficulty he was persuaded to desist. Though in great pain and suffering from exhaustion, he continued to help by writing directions with his left hand.
Five hours after leaving the target the petrol began to run low, but soon afterwards the flare path at Bone airfield was sighted. Flight Sergeant Aaron summoned his failing strength to direct the bomb aimer in the hazardous task of landing the damaged aircraft in the darkness with undercarriage retracted. Four attempts were made under his direction; at the fifth Flight Sergeant Aaron was so near to collapsing that he had to be restrained by the crew and the landing was completed by the bomb aimer.
Nine hours after landing, Flight Sergeant Aaron died from exhaustion. Had he been content, when grievously wounded, to lie still and conserve his failing strength, he would probably have recovered, but he saw it as his duty to exert himself to the utmost, if necessary with his last breath, to ensure that his aircraft and crew did not fall into enemy hands. In appalling conditions he showed the greatest qualities of courage, determination and leadership and, though wounded and dying, he set an example of devotion to duty which has seldom been equalled and never surpassed.

[London Gazette issue 36235 dated 5 Nov 1943, published 2 Nov 1943.]

Medal of Honor: F. W. Stockham


Gunnery Sergeant, US Marine Corps; 96th Company, 2d Battalion, 6th Regiment

Born: 16 March 1881, Detroit, Michigan
Died: 22 June 1918, France

Citation: During an intense enemy bombardment with high explosive and gas shells which wounded or killed many members of the company [in the Bois-de-Belleau, France, on 13-14 June 1918], G/Sgt. Stockham, upon noticing that the gas mask of a wounded comrade was shot away, without hesitation, removed his own gas mask and insisted upon giving it to the wounded man, well knowing that the effects of the gas would be fatal to himself. He continued with undaunted courage and valor to direct and assist in the evacuation of the wounded, until he himself collapsed from the effects of gas, dying as a result thereof a few days later. His courageous conduct undoubtedly saved the lives of many of his wounded comrades and his conspicuous gallantry and spirit of self-sacrifice were a source of great inspiration to all who served with him.

Note: USS Stockham (DD 683) and USNS GYSGT Fred W Stockham (T-AK 3017) were named in his honour.

06 March 2011

George Cross: W. R. Mosedale


Station Officer and Rescue Officer, Birmingham Fire Brigade

Born: 29 March 1894, Highgate, Birmingham, Warwickshire
Died: 27 March 1971, Nailsea, Somerset

Citation: An Auxiliary Fire Station was completely demolished by a very large high explosive bomb [on 11 December 1940]. A number of Auxiliary Firemen were trapped in the station and civilians were buried in an adjoining house which had also been demolished.
Station Officer Mosedale immediately began tunnelling and propping operations. Hundreds of tons of debris covered the site and Mosedale fully realised that at any moment he might be buried by a further collapse.
When the first tunnel was completed and the Control Room reached, he found that there were still men whom he could not extricate. He carried out another tunnelling operation from a different direction and again entered the Control Room. Five men were found, one dead, the others injured.
The Station Officer crawled through and administered oxygen to the injured men and they were then taken out through the tunnel.
The entrance to the cellar of the private house was full of debris. Station Officer Mosedale directed operations for removing this, only to find that the cellar itself had collapsed. He nevertheless persevered and, after a time, reached seven people who were trapped. Three had been killed outright when the roof collapsed. He gave oxygen to the remaining four and succeeded in extricating them.
To reach other victims it was again necessary to tunnel, and Mosedale immediately commenced this work. The dangers to be faced were similar to those which he had found in reaching the Control Room. He nevertheless completed the tunnel and entered the cellar under the Fire Station. Four men who were alive were given oxygen and, despite their injuries, were safely removed.
Tunnelling through such difficult material had necessarily been extremely hazardous, and the cellar collapsed completely, shortly after the removal of the last victim.
These operations, which lasted more than twelve hours, were carried out under a most intense bombardment. Twelve lives were saved by Station Officer Mosedale who showed outstanding gallantry and resource. In effecting the rescues he repeatedly risked his own life.

[London Gazette issue 35117 dated 28 Mar 1941, published 25 Mar 1941.]

Victoria Cross: J. Travers


Colonel, 2nd Bengal Native Infantry

Born: 6 October 1821, Cork, County Cork, Ireland
Died: 1 April 1884, Pallanza, Italy

Citation: For a daring act of bravery, in July, 1857, when the Indore Presidency was suddenly attacked by Holkar's Troops, in having charged the guns with only five men to support him, and driven the Gunners from the guns, thereby creating a favourable diversion, which saved the lives of many persons, fugitives to the Residency.
It is stated that Officers who were present considered that the effect of the charge was to enable many Europeans to escape from actual slaughter, and time was gained which enabled the faithful Bhopal Artillery to man their guns. Colonel Travers's horse was shot in three places, and his accoutrements were shot through in various parts. He commanded the Bhopal Levy.

[London Gazette issue 22485 dated 1 Mar 1861, published 1 Mar 1861.]

Medal of Honor: A. Paine


Private, Indian Scouts

Born: 1843, Florida
Died: 1877

Citation: Rendered invaluable service to Col. R. S. Mackenzie, 4th U.S. Cavalry, during this engagement [at the Canyon Blanco tributary of the Red River, Texas, on 26-27 September 1874].

01 March 2011

Book list - Feb 11

Please Ignore Vera Dietz - YA, by A S King
Moon Over Manifest - children's historical fiction, by Claire Vanderpool (Newbery Medal, 2011)
Cowboy Angels - SF, by Paul McAuley
Murder with Puffins - mystery, by Donna Andrews
Dragonseye (aka Red Star Rising) - SF, by Anne McCaffrey *
All the Weyrs of Pern - SF, by Anne McCaffrey *
Abracadaver - historical mystery, by Peter Lovesey
Here Abide Monsters - fantasy, by Andre Norton *
Elsie and Mairi Go to War: Two Extraordinary Women on the Western Front - WW I, by Diane Atkinson

Nine books last month, with three rereads (marked by asterisks). I'm not setting an official goal this year, though I do expect to read around 200 books.

No Carnegie Medal winners, so I'm still at 48 of 71.