Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 26

United States begins Berlin Airlift; on June 26, 1948

United States begins Berlin Airlift; on June 26, 1948.

Berlin Airlif: On this day in 1948, U.S. and British pilots begin delivering food and supplies by airplane to Berlin after the city is isolated by a Soviet Union blockade.

When World War II ended in 1945, defeated Germany was divided into Soviet, American, British and French zones of occupation. The city of Berlin, though located within the Soviet zone of occupation, was also split into four sectors, with the Allies taking the western part of the city and the Soviets the eastern. In June 1948, Josef Stalin's government attempted to consolidate control of the city by cutting off all land and sea routes to West Berlin in order to pressure the Allies to evacuate. As a result, beginning on June 24 the western section of Berlin and its 2 million people were deprived of food, heating fuel and other crucial supplies.

Though some in U.S. President Harry S. Truman's administration called for a direct military response to this aggressive Soviet move, Truman worried such a response would trigger another world war. Instead, he authorized a massive airlift operation under the control of General Lucius D. Clay, the American-appointed military governor of Germany. The first planes took off from England and western Germany on June 26, loaded with food, clothing, water, medicine and fuel.

By July 15, an average of 2,500 tons of supplies was being flown into the city every day. The massive scale of the airlift made it a huge logistical challenge and at times a great risk. With planes landing at Tempelhof Airport every four minutes, round the clock, pilots were being asked to fly two or more round-trip flights every day, in World War II planes that were sometimes in need of repair.

The Soviets lifted the blockade in May 1949, having earned the scorn of the international community for subjecting innocent men, women and children to hardship and starvation. The airlift--called die Luftbrucke or “the air bridge” in German--continued until September 1949, for a total delivery of more than 1.5 million tons of supplies and a total cost of over $224 million.

When it ended, the eastern section of Berlin was absorbed into Soviet East Germany, while West Berlin remained a separate territory with its own government and close ties to West Germany. The Berlin Wall, built in 1961, formed a dividing line between East and West Berlin. Its destruction in 1989 presaged the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union and marked the end of an era and the reemergence of Berlin as the capital of a new, unified German nation.History Channel / Wikipedia video

Wikipedia  Image: Berlin Blockade - Berlin Airlift (Maps, Propaganda, Planes dropping supplies, Candy Bomber), Berlin Wall) Cold War) (Google Image Search)

Understanding Military Terminology

Understanding Military Terminology - Direction finding

(DOD) Direction finding: A procedure for obtaining bearings of radio frequency emitters by using a highly directional antenna and a display unit on an intercept receiver or ancillary equipment. Also called DF. (Wikipedia)

The Old Salt’s Corner

Careening a sailing vessel is the practice of beaching it at high tide. This is usually done in order to expose one side or another of the ship's hull for maintenance and repairs below the water line when the tide goes out. This practice is also known as to “heaving down”.

The process could be assisted by securing a top halyard to a fixed object such as a tree or rock to pull the mast over as far as possible. Maintenance might include repairing damage caused by dry rot or cannon shot, tarring the exterior to reduce leakage, or removing bio organisms such as barnacles to increase the ship's speed. One exotic method was the ancient practice of beaching a ship on a shingle beach with the goal of using wave action and the shingle to scour the hull.

A beach favored for careening was called a careenage. Today, only small vessels are careened, while large vessels are placed in dry dock.

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin’”

Not to get too technical….but according to chemistry, alcohol is a solution.

“What I Have Learned”

Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama (born July 6, 1935)

Bizarre News (we couldn’t make up stuff this good – real news story)

Bizarre News (we couldn’t make up stuff this good – real news story)

Ottawa man named “Popadick” arrested for indecent exposure

Ottawa man named “Popadick” arrested for indecent exposure

In April, police in Ottawa, Ontario, arrested a 62-year-old man as the one who had been indecently exposing himself to visitors to Mooney’s Bay Park. Detained was Donald Popadick, whose family name (according to diligent journalism by the National Post) is present in only three Canadian households and is perhaps derived from the Serbian name Popadic. (Popadick’s arrest was made by Sergeant Iain Pidcock.)National Post (Photo: Love Valley in Cappadoccia, Herakles Kritikos, Shutterstock)

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Why do we call someone who is Left-Handed a “SOUTHPAW”?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Why do we call someone who is Left-Handed a “SOUTHPAW”?

When the first baseball diamonds were laid out, there were no night games. To keep the afternoon or setting sun out of the batters’ eyes, home plate was positioned so that the hitter was facing East, which meant the pitcher was facing West. Most pitchers threw with their right arm, but the rare and dreaded left-hander’s pitching arm was on the more unfamiliar South side, and he was referred to, with respect, as a “southpaw”.World Wide Words / Wikipedia

Image: Southpaw - Chicago White Sox (Google Image Search, Sport Illustrated - MLB Mascot)

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Kick the bucket”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Kick the bucket:” Long ago, when slaughtering a pig you tied its back legs to a wooden beam (in French buquet). As the animal died it kicked the buquet.Wikipedia

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang - U.S. Navy

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Fart Suit: Dry suit worn by aviators when flying over extremely cold water. Keeps out the cold water and keeps everything else in.

Skosh: Perilously close to minimum acceptable levels. Example: The F-5 usually lands skosh on fuel. Originates from the Japanese word sukoshi, meaning little.

Sleep 'til you're hungry, eat 'til you're tired: The working day of an aviator as described by a surface sailor.

Wolf Ticket: Highly suspect information. Can refer to malicious scuttlebutt, exaggerated “no-shitters”, or blatantly phony sea stories.

Just for MARINES - U.S. Marines

Just for MARINES

By the Numbers: In sequence. From the beginning. Used to indicate that the action would have to be done precisely as directed.

By your leave...: A phrase spoken by a junior when overcoming a senior prior to passing. Also a request to be allowed to depart. Usually followed by “sir” or “ma'm”.

Cadet: A student at the U. S. Military Academy, U. S. Air Force Academy, Reserve Officer Training Corps units as well as other officer procurement organizations. See Aviation Cadet.

Military Acronyms

Navy Acronyms

RDC - Rapid Deployment Capability

RDT&EN - Research, Development, Test & Evaluation Navy (appropriation)

RFI - Request for Information

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VFA-213 - Strike Fighter Squadron 213: “Black Lions” NAS Oceana, Virginia

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

In 1994, a child caused an Airbus to crash into the side of a mountain. How?

In 1994, a child caused an Airbus to crash into the side of a mountain: On March 23, 1994, another routine flight was supposed to occur between Moscow and Hong Kong. The pilot of the Airbus A310-304, Yaroslav Kudrinsky, let his two children inside the flight deck. The boy, Eldar, and his sister, Yana, were allowed at the controls while on the flight to Hong Kong.

The father set the plane on autopilot. His plan was to only give the children the feeling that they were controlling the plane; he thought he could safely remain in control the entire time.

When the boy was playing, he accidentally disabled the autopilot settings. The aircraft shot down in a nosedive at an angle steeper than 45 degrees. The first officer tried to correct the problem and prevent disaster but failed.

63 passengers and 12 crew members died when the plane crashed into a hill in the Alatau mountain range of South-Central Russia. Within two hours, a search was begun to find the wreckage. There was still hope that survivors could be found.

Many wondered if terrorists were behind the crash, but that possibility was eliminated thanks to the voice recorder in the cockpit. (OMG Facts)

Photo: Airplane! Cast (Everett Collection, Google Image Search)


1949: Philadelphia Eagles Defeat Los Angeles Rams in Quagmire for NFL Championship on December 18, 1949

Sports 1949 Wikipedia

World Series Champions: The New York Yankees win four games to one over the Brooklyn Dodgers

NFL Champions: Philadelphia Eagles win 14-0 over the Los Angeles Rams

All-America Football Conference Champions: Cleveland Browns win 21–7 over the San Francisco 49ers

NBA Champions: Minneapolis Lakers win four games to two over the Washington Capitols

Stanley Cup Champs: Toronto Maple Leafs win 4 games to none over the Detroit Red Wings

U.S. Open Golf: Cary Middlecoff

U.S. Open Tennis (Men/Ladies): Richard A. Gonzales / Margaret Osborne duPont

Wimbledon (Men/Women): Ted Schroeder / Louise Brough Clapp

NCAA Football Champions: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

NCAA Basketball Champions: Kentucky

Kentucky Derby: Ponder

Image: December 18, 1949 - Philadelphia Eagles win 14-0 over the Los Angeles Rams for the NFL Championship.

Famous Quotes 1949: The Road-runner “Meep Meep”

Famous Quotes 1949 Wikipedia

● “Meep Meep”

~The Road-runner!”

● “What a dump.”

~ Bette Davis, in “Beyond the Forest”

● “Just because we have won victory, we must never relax our vigilance against the frenzied plots for revenge by the imperialists and their running dogs. Whoever relaxes vigilance will disarm himself politically and land himself in a passive position.”

~ Mao Tse Tung

● ““We are now confronted with something quite as wicked but in some ways more formidable than Hitler, because Hitler had only the Herrenvolk pride and anti-Semitic hatred to exploit. He had no fundamental theme. But these fourteen men in the Kremlin have their hierarchy and a church of Communist adepts, whose missionaries are in every country as a Fifth Column, awaiting the day when they hope to be the absolute masters of their fellow-countrymen and pay off old scores. They have their anti-God religion and their Communist doctrine of the entire subjugation of the individual to the State. Behind this stands the largest Army in the world, in the hands of a Government pursuing Imperialist expansion, as no Czar or Kaiser had ever done.”

~ Winston Churchill

● ““Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equipped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and perhaps weigh 1.5 tons”

~ Popular Mechanics, March 1949

Image: Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner (Created by Chuck Jones, Michael Maltese)



● On a Canadian two dollar bill, the flag flying over the Parliament building is an American flag.

● Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.

● Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.

Answer to Last Week's Test

What fruit did Eve give to Adam in the bible?

Answer: Fig, not an apple.ChristianBibleReference.org

Joke of the Day

You Might Be A Redneck Jedi Knight if:

Your Jedi robe is a camouflage color.