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Today's Features

  • The capabilities of the World Wide Web to extend the horizons of research continue to amaze. In writing about the Pacific campaigns of World War II, I described my fellow officer Don Beck as follows:

  • In conducting research for my first book, Kentucky and the Bourbons: The Story of Allen Dale Farm, it was necessary for my wife, Susanne, and me to travel widely. In the United States, we visited Columbia, Tenn., and Nashville, St. Louis, Defiance. Mo., Columbia, Mo., Cumberland Gap and Davie County, N.C. We also made several trips to France to speak to Charette cousins and to visit museums and archives there.

  • Several months before the amphibious assault of Bougainville in November, 1943, by the Third Marine Division, Naval intelligence services had decoded an intercepted message regarding the plans of Admiral Yamamoto to visit three bases near that island. The information provided was so exact that on April 18, 1943, the Army Air Corps’ 339th Fighter Squadron, flying P-38’s based on Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, was able to intercept and destroy Yamamoto’s plane in the air over Bougainville.

  • South Pacific, the next performance at the Shelby County Community Theater, will open on July19. I recall seeing this highly popular musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein on Broadway shortly after its opening in April 1949. Manhattan was an easy subway commute from my duty station at the Naval Training Center on the Throggs Neck Peninsula in the Bronx.

  • Shortly after arriving back at San Pedro in May, 1939, I was detached from the Tennessee and ordered to report to the Marine Corps Base in San Diego. There I joined Company D, the machine gun company of the 1st Battalion, 6th Marines.

    I have been chronicling the early years of a Marine Corps career that began with my commissioning as a second lieutenant in 1937, upon graduation from the University of Washington, including descriptions of the Panama Canal, Bermuda, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Boston and, at some length, New York.

  • My 2-part series has been expanded to four parts. In the first two parts of this narrative, I have described my wonder, as a young Marine second lieutenant, upon visiting the East Coast for the first time.

    Upon my completion of officer training and indoctrination at the Marine Basic School in the Philadelphia Navy Yard in May 1938, I traveled to my next duty station, the USS Tennessee, a battleship then anchored off its home port, San Pedro, Calif.

  • Combat is the primary challenge of a Marine, but there are many days when fighting is far from the primary agenda.

    In the first days of a 30-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps, I was dispatched to the Marine Officers Basic School at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, my first trip east from my home in Washington state.

    I got a chance to learn much, and for five years I recorded these memories in a journal that now is part of the Filson Historical Society.

  • Combat is the primary challenge of a Marine, in fact the raison d’etre of any fighting service, but there are long periods of conditioning and training between battles, providing opportunities for new experiences, many unique to those in the military.

    As an honor graduate of the University of Washington’s Army ROTC program, I was offered a commission as a second lieutenant in the regular U.S. Marine Corps, effective July 1, 1937, a week before my 21st birthday. However, approval of military commissions that year were delayed in the Senate.

  • Dennis and Wanda Stivers will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on Dec. 30, 2014.

    They were married on Dec. 30, 1964 in Gainesboro, Tenn.

    Dennis is retired from General Electric in Louisville with 41 years service. Wanda worked for Western Kentucky Gas in Shelbyville for 25 years, followed by four years at Katayama American and four years with Alcan Packaging.

    The couple have four children, Jeff Stivers of Cincinnati, Ohio, Brian Stivers of Shelbyville, Tracey Stivers of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Stacey Marovich of Erlanger.