So where do I keep all this stuff???THE WAR ROOM
Above: The front entrance to what was once a living room. The US flag on the ceiling once flew over the USS
Arizona. No, I am not a Nazi sympathizer - far from it - the German flags are genuine and they are what they are - momentos
from another time and part of the collection of this military historian. They symbolize something we should never forget.
Too many of us already have. The silk Japanese flag at the top left is real as well. The smaller German flag is a banner used
on tanks for aircraft recognition, the larger one is a Kriegsmarine (Navy) flag.
Above: The set of shelves with some of my helmets and other memorabilia. The Nazi flag is signed by several
GI's and dated April 20, 1945...Hitler's last birthday. The shell of the 1930's radio was found in the attic of an old farmhouse
in Pennsylvania. At the bottom of the case to the left is a parachute, given to me by an old French bar owner in Normandy
in 1973...he had kept it since he found it in his yard on the morning of June 6, 1944. Above it is the SBD Dauntless, above
that a German Afrika Corps pith helmet, and above that a German air raid warden's helmet. On the top shelf is a German WW
I helmet. Next to it is one of my son's earliest models, a 1/32 scale ME-110. The broom at the right of the picture is a late
model Wal Mart.
Above: One of the covered walls of the war room. A Japanese flag, covered with good wishes from friends and
companions of the original owner, hangs atop the wall. Original newspapers and magazines from WWII hang on the wall, as well
as a Desert Storm T-shirt (to right of flag), signed by at least one member of each branch of the service during the parade
in Washington, D.C., given for the returning troops of Desert Storm.
Above: The aircraft showcase. A store-bought wooden B-29 sits on top - the "Enola Gay" of Hiroshima, signed by Paul
Tibbets, the pilot. Next to it is a fabulous SU-27, built by my son when he was 14. If he keeps up his talent, by the time
he is my age, he will make my talent look like finger painting. The He-111 at the center bottom of the case is also his.
Above: The far corner of the War Room. A C-47 sits in the corner - one of my first dioramas and a testament that things
can always get better. To the left, an F-15 built by my son. On the surrounding walls, large drawings that I used to make
in my early teens. My heart, even then, was with the Navy. Clockwise from top left: the USS Missouri in her Atlantic camoulflage,
the USS Alabama with a fictitious camoulflage, the French battleship Richelieu wearing Bismarck type camoulflage, and a
destroyer. The shirt is a hand made "Victory shirt" from World War I, made by French women as a tribute to the American soldiers
who came to France in 1917.
Above: GO NAVY!!! The Navy case in the War Room, with the USS Iowa on top. A Curtiss Helldiver, a notoriously unreliable
aircraft that I prophetically named "Joelyn Ann", is below left. The Helldiver never lived up to its expectations, and
never adequately replaced the older Dauntless as the premier dive bomber of the war for the US Navy. The destroyer is the
USS Melvin, a Fletcher class destroyer. I extensively modifed this Lindbergh kit (see below).
Above: The Navy case. With all due respect and sincere admiration for all the other branches...my heart has always been
with the Navy. Above is the USS Monterey, below the USS Melvin and U-47. The Melvin is an old Lindbergh model that I extensively
modified - I had to scratchbuild all the 20mms and depth charge racks, and modified all the original 40mms with springs,
shell clips and canvas covers made from Kleenex. The ship is wired inside and out, with red lights inside and white spots
in all the searchlights. It is painted in the standard MS22 antisubmarine camoulflage of WWII. The Flag is a 48
star flag given to me by a WWII veteran. The various mugs and patches are from ships I have visited, among them the USS
Enterprise, USS Monterey and the USS Iowa.
Above: The Aegis cruiser USS Monterey, a fine ship with awards and honors to prove it. My neighbor Bill and the
ship had the mutual honor of serving together - he was Command Master Chief aboard her for some time. During that time, I,
of course, managed a full day aboard and subsequently built this model. Bill also served aboard the USS Seawolf, shown in
the pamphlet behind the ship. He is total Navy, and epitomizes the true blue serviceman.
Above: A close up of the Enola Gay and my son's SU-27. The shell to the right is a spent US 105mm casing. Inside are
some plastic leaves and German minefield warning flags from WW II.