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The Cold War AEW Atlantic Barrier

“Argentia Approach, Navy 1313, 25 miles southeast, requesting your present weather.”  “Navy 1313, this is Argentia Approach, present weather 200 feet obscured; visibility one-half mile in blowing snow; wind south southwest 28, gusts to 45 knots; duty runway 25 GCA standing by on channel 17.”

“Argentia Approach, this is Navy 1313. Roger your weather; request clearance to GCA frequency.”  After another GCA approach to field minimums the pilot of Navy 1313, a radar-converted Super Constellation, completes another circuit of the North Atlantic Barrier, the seaward extension of the DEW Line.

THE BARRIER FORCE maintains a 24-hour-a-day, year-round airborne surveillance of the broad reaches of the North Atlantic Ocean. Since 1 July 1956, 10,000 such flights have taken off and landed at the U.S. Naval Station, Argentia, Newfoundland. Flight Number Ten Thousand was flown in early March.

Each completed harrier flight represents a distance greater than the Great Circle mileage from New York to Los Angeles. All the flights together represent a total of more than 23,000,000 miles, or the equivalent of 50 round trips to the moon.

The Atlantic Barrier has been one of the important components of our blueprint for defense of the North American continent against enemy attack, in which each of the armed services has played a role.

The barrier has one specific objective__to detect any surprise move against North America.

By its mere existence, the Atlantic Barrier has served as a deterrent against hostile attack by eliminating the element of surprise from any potential aggressor’s plans of attack.
NAVAL AVIATORS WHO FLY the Barrier have a tough job. To them, flying the Barrier has meant more than 120,000 hours, and 23 million miles, in the air since 1956. To the United States, it has meant safety.

The WV-2s, from which they scan 45,000 square miles of the Atlantic, look very much like their Super Constellation sister ships with the exception of a 7-foot-high, fin-like dome atop the fuselage and a massive mushroom-shaped bulge underneath, both of which contain radar antenna.

The interior of the WV-2 is a precision radar laboratory which is kept in top-notch condition with complete sets of maintenance gear stored on board to permit in-flight repairs.

In spite of the frequent sub-zero temperatures on the Atlantic Barrier, the WV-2’s cabin must be air-conditioned to offset the heat given off from the five tons of electronic equipment she carries.

Flying the Atlantic barrier

soups on

NOTE:  Can not remember anytime, a taxi was aborted.


Navy Plane Crashes in Newfoundland

Oct 18 1958


EVENT: Navy aircraft 141294 crashed into Placentia Bay 1000 feet short of runway during CGA landing trying to get under weather; flight from NAS Patuxant River, MD to NAS Argentia. According to the US Naval Aviation Safety Center Accident Brief No. 10, May 1960: “The ceiling was reported indefinite 200 feet, visibility 2 miles in drizzle and fog. A precision approach was commenced to the duty runway. The approach was within tolerances and normal until after passing through GCA minimums, at which time the aircraft went below glide path and the pilot was instructed to take a waveoff. The waveoff was not executed until after the aircraft had actually made contact with the runway. After climb out, GCA was contacted and a second approach was requested to commence with no delay. The pilot advised GCA that the runway was in sight just before GCA gave him a waveoff on the first approach. The second approach was again normal until the final controller gave the instructions, “Approaching GCA minimums.” The aircraft immediately commenced dropping below glide path. An emergency pull up was given, but the aircraft collided with the water [Placentia Bay] and came to rest 2050 feet east of the approach end of the runway. It sank in 26 feet of water and 11 persons lost their lives.” LOSS: 11 of 29-man crew & passengers killed: CREW: LT Donald A. Becker, PPC, CDR Raymond L. Klassy, VW-13, ENS Donald E. Mulligan, Lyle W. Foster, American Red Cross, A. S. Corrado, Robert N. Elliot, AN, R. J. Emerson, Clarence J. Shea, J. E. Strange, William Jerome Taylor, AD3 (body never recovered), and D. D. Wilson.


“My God and I”

“Last night I died” is the beginning of a good book on grief, death and dying encountered in a Pastoral Care course at Southwestern Seminary. Willing to top that for a testimony to the grace of God and to Rehab and other Medical personnel who refused to give up on this 76 year old tennis player, I died 6 times, three on the tennis court at McClennan Tennis center, close to the Seminary, and three in the ambulance on the way to John Peter Smith ER. That was four years ago, and the last visit with the cardiologist showed a normal EKG.
What if any of those people had given up on reverence for life and me from Jim who administered CPR on the tennis court so well as to break ribs, to the ambulance attendants to the ER doctor, to the Heart Surgeon, to Global Rehab, to Burleson Rehab, and Nike who cared for us. However this is about “My God and I”, realizing of course that this is somewhat poetic in that the God of the Universe, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator of all humanity is given the majority credit for the passing from dying 6 times to a normal EKG in 4 years. Oh, and the little group of nurses, doctors, and others participating in the tennis drills at McClennan that prayer while Jim worked should be added since they obviously had faith that God’s grace could intervene through prayer. Yes, and the family that prayed, especially my wife who during her recent palliative and hospice care repeated about dying that “it is not up to me”, a testimony of faith in God, even as she has done for years through many illnesses and 40 years of Nursing.

My God and I go in the field together;
We walk and talk as good friends should and do;
We clasp our hands, our voices ring with laughter;
My God and I walk through the meadow’s hue.
We clasp our hands, our voices ring with laughter;
My God and I walk through the meadow’s hue.

Some heart experts had their doubts on what God could and would do in a reverence for life, what Ron Panzer of the Hospice Patients Alliance would call “human pride” in the fatal flaw of medical personnel {some that must go by the guidelines of the American Heart Institute} like all humanity of taking credit to exclude a God that they really do not believe much. The marvelous heart surgeon at John Peter Smith did not do that, and when on the first visit with him after the quadruiple heart bypass and when I thanked him heartily, said something to the effect that it wasn’t me, and pointed above. What Ron Panzer said about pride in palliative and hospice care–

But proud man is a thief and unjust in what he does, because he denies others what they need. He steals what is due God and takes it for himself. Man refuses to give God the adoration and reverence He deserves and places faith in the lies that lead man to believe there is a good way that is not part of God’s will (Proverbs 14:12). How can we understand such a terrible blunder?
Several cardiologists and others wanted to insert a defibrillator during the early stages of rehab, however adjusted from the norm apart from God’s grace when the blood flow increased in the first year and then again the second year to above the American Heart Association’s standard for a triple chamber that would monitor remotely by telemetry, that would shock the heart when necessary albeit bring one to their knees, and in my personal opinion decrease the quality of life. Since my God and I walk together, another way to say, there is assurance that the place where God lives and reigns is my eternal home, both CPR and the gadget implant was turned down. It must be admitted that an exceptional and practical and experienced Cardiologist {the same that had shown us previously that my wife almost 9 years after open heart displayed the curative powers of the human body itself that God designed, in that little arteries of blood flow grew around the heart to increase blood flow} at the Cardiac Hospital in Lubbock recommended that coreg in some cases does increase blood flow, and online some real cases were recorded how that with good exercise, low salt, and a good food management routine blood flow could be increased.

Trying to play God should be minimized is what Ron repeats, and in your own mind if not in your speech and actions acknowledge that He above all others is in control. It can be added, for His own children God is working out something good for that patient which is not obvious to us; and that it is in His own good time.

The end here, no pun intended, should be with a quote from Orr in his book “I died last night”:

“There are those who think it will be reincarnated, while others believe it will be absorbed into the universe. Still some say nothing at all will happen, or worse, that the soul will burn up or dissolve. If you believe in Jesus Christ, however, you know that there are only two possible destinations for your soul, should you die right now.”

Restoring Reverence for Life: Palliative/Hospice

And download a sample of I DIED LAST NIGHT at

Linden, Cass County, Texas

You talk about a drive down memory lane, this view of driving into Linden looks peaceful, but even more peaceful in 1935 and then again in 1941 {as peaceful as you can get at the start of World War II} because Mama McMichael’s {Bonnie Elizabeth Kelly McMichael’s} house was just to the left of the car and from her old homestead {after she was married to entering Linden past mama to leftThomas Bruce McMichael in the Hugo Indian Territory} was nothing but woods all the way into the court house; and at the dip in the road shown to the left was set back further in the woods a path across the creek and one of those classic one room school houses.  To the right almost downtown was the First Baptist Church Mama always took us to, and continued as her habit, part of God’s grace and guidance, in Shreveport at Queensboro Baptist Church.  In the recent photo {1996 on Google Earth} of the house shown below, it has changed little.  Looks like the famous pear and fig trees of her preserves mama lindenhave disappeared from the back, much also of the shrubs and flowers around the house.

In fact, it appears from the 1865 census, that great-grandfather John Bruce back from the Civil War lived in the same house where he and Francis Carline Lanier McMichael raised 3 children.  The burial place of John Bruce {Bartlett} is a mystery, as somewhat less is that of his father, Judge Griffin C. McMichael, but in the Linden Cemetery #1 both Carline Lanier, Thomas Bruce, and Mama are buried.

bruce and bonnie mc

Francis Carline Lanier






Since great-grandmother Lanier was shown in a Hugo Indian territory census post civil war, one could also speculate that John Bruce got caught in the run for Indian territory, or died there while he and his son Thomas Bruce were building houses.  Some have tried to speculate that Sgt. John Bruce died in a Virginia Hospital after release from a nothern prison camp.  (Nelson’s 10th Infantry was captured at Arkansas Pass in 1862.Sgt John Bruce

This civil war photo is on display at SMU, and was the subject of a blog of confederate soldiers killed in the Civil War, John B and Rufus Edwards.  And the blog also sports a image of a notice from the physician in the Virginia hospital as to the death and belongings of John Bruce.

     1935 The years of depression continued in 1935 with unemployment still running at 20.1% , and the war clouds were gathering as Germany began to rearm and passed the Nuremburg laws to strip Jews of their civil rights, and Mussolini’s Italy attacked Ethiopia. The Gallup Poll was introduced and a reformed drinker

1935 Ford sedan

1935 Ford Tudor Sedan

named Bill Wilson formed Alcoholics Anonymous on June 10th , also for the first time a completely synthetic fibre was produced called nylon by a Dupont chemist. Also this was the year of the birth of “Swing” by Benny Goodman and the world was ready to boogie. Persia is renamed to Iran.   {}

     1941 The war in Europe continued to dominate world affairs but a new threat was growing which would soon involve America as the Japanese caused a threat Asia in the Pacific and preparations for war continued . The British Prime Minister Winston Churchill addressed the joint session of congress asking for help in the form of Arms . The US still continued as normal with 2 great movies produced that year that would stand the test of time “Citizen Kane” and “Dumbo”. After many years where parents had decided what teenagers wore a new revolution was happening where teenagers became fashion conscious , also drive in Movies and drive in fast food were growing in popularity. On December 7th 1941 the US was attacked by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii more than 2400 American servicemen were killed that day and America entered the WAR . And with neutrality ended some 950 tanks were sent to Britain together with food, trucks, guns and ammunition.
     1909 was a year of many “firsts.” U.S. Navy engineer Robert E. Peary became the first man to reach the North Pole. The first transcontinental auto race took place between New York and Seattle, and up in the sky, French engineer Louis Bleriot made the first English Channel crossing in a heavier-than-air machine. The United States Mint was preparing a first of its own: a regular-issue U.S.

1909 S VDB Lincoln Cent Choice BU RED

1909 Lincoln head penny, now worth $1,225. on ebay.

coin honoring an actual person. Defying a tradition that dated back to George Washington’s presidency, plans were made to honor the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth with a new cent featuring a bust of the beloved president.


One Merit Badge at a Time

How do you explain and organize a life? The answer is, you don’t, you just live it and then try to make some sense out of all the emotional memories. Far be it to get into the discussion now of what makes a life–environmental influences, DNA, and motivations learned early in childhood; but it is certain that most of the credit must be given to your gene heritage that goes all the way back to Scotland. scotland map with shires in 1840 McMichaelsCertainly, no matter what the ups and downs in life, the comforts and discomforts, the challenges and routines (initially wrote boredom but with a low threshold of boredom, lack of a personal challenge, not the same as recognition which will be explained later in the “merit badge approach” was not tolerated for long, and my wife agrees), our forefathers come to the forefront of overcoming obstacles in forging the Scot Irish American heritage.

Having died 6 times–3 on the McClennan tennis court seminaryclose to Seminary hill, and 3 in the ambulance on the way to JPS Hospital, in the last four years there has been some timejps er to strive with a sorting out like might have been done in previous data analysis on missiles or airplanes, and like aaircraft-planes_other_f-16_90077 half Aerospace Engineer and half Baptist Preacher. Most have a career, and that is commendable like my son has Walnut Valley Baptist Churchdone in working his way u p from cleaning airplanes while getting an A&P to Manager, mainly with the same Company he manages now; and likewise my Father, who starting as a truck driver with a 6 grade education went up the ladder to mechanic, safety manager, terminal manager, and then vice president and ICC practitioner.

What can I say? A good part time job at Connaly funeral home in Waco and the nominal completion of a freshman year at Baylor with merit badges in AFROTC drill team, ROTC rifle team, a highlight Bible course in NT from Woodfin, diverse experiences with funerals andpat neff hall emergency ambulance runs–a lot of ladder time from the upstairs where Joe Jim Hill and I slept to the ground and the ambulance for midnight runs; however I can blame Lt Nordick, our ROTC instructor for flying our drill team to San Anton to march in the Battle of Flowers parade, creating an insatiable motivation that only pilots can know, to fly.

Having earned the Military merit badges on up to Aviation Electronics Technician First Class Petty Officer, most would have retired with 20 and taking enroute the recognition of Chief and/ or electronics officer. (After graduation with a BS in physics in 1965, I did turn down the recognition of an intelligence officer back in the Navy at Grand Prairie.}

Seemingly falling {really grace, guidance, and prayer} into Pastor of the Walnut Baptist Church for my first civilian job, a position generally held by older and more experienced preachers and pastors, with full time pay and home and the opportunity for Bible at Ouachita, reaching the community and constructing an educational buiding, most would have made that a career. Field Service Technician with GD on the Atlas Missiles and the Minuteman, most did make that a career; associate professor of electronics at ENMU after graduation, certainly most would have settled down to that as a career. You get the point that it was different for me through going back to GD FW as an Engineer and retiring, through a second retirement at Raytheon Missiles, orsm3 first launch anyone of 4 subsequent short time contract employments, Lockheed Martin on the C-130J, Pax River on the Viking and flight test on the Truman, flight test of helicopters at Bell Textron Mirable Canada, and the Future Combat System that gave us the drones at Rockwell Collins.

You get the point, and now it is even tiring for me; however then it was exciting and when Ann and I settled down, we thought, to our mountain home, looking back, it was fortunate to have such interesting jobs. Some of it makes me nervous now, not then, as Ann said, “You are not afraid of the devil himself.”