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Showing posts from August, 2018


That's not a Corsair! It's an F4F, or Wildcat, the typical fighter of the Navy and Marines when World War II began.  For some time I've known what 4-F meant in the jargon of World War II. It meant a man of draft-eligible age had some sort of physical handicap that prevented them from qualifying for military service. Sometimes the handicap was minor (such as flat feet). Being rated 4-F might mean a young man would live with the perceived shame of not being "brave" enough to fight. Anecdotally, we hearf form the World War II era that some young men took their lives upon getting the news. From learning of Vic's story, though, I've learned what 2-B status meant. It meant one was employed in work considered necessary to the war effort and was therefore exempt from the draft. Vic was assigned 2-B status. He had worked for more than a year at an aeronautical hydraulics manufacturer when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. His skills were in need there.

The Air War in Korea

Victor Wieczorek in a photo from approximately 1950 when he was a Captain.  When word first came to me about this potential program, there was some doubt as to whether I would be part of a cohort traveling to France for World War I or to Hawaii for the Korean War. Candidly, my first hope was for the former. In retrospect, it sounds silly. I felt more of an intellectual curiosity about World War I. I thought some of what I would be learning about World War I would overlap with World War II. And, I might have misunderstood the tentative agenda, but I thought the World War I cohort would be visiting a cemetery that I found oddly fascinating in that area of France. A World War II tome I have enjoyed reading.  I didn't get my wish (obviously). And I'm very glad for that. My intellectual curiosity was satisfied by much of what I learned about the Korean War, a conflict about which I knew very little going in. Also, learning about the Korean War ended up eliding with mo