Tag Archives: World War II

Run For The Candy!

by Kimberly A. Cook

It’s candy day! Forget the kids, this holiday is for us grown-ups who really need an excuse to sugar-load. There are no calories on Halloween. Trust me. They roll over to November first. So enjoy yourselves.


How cute is this garden center ghost?


Today is our last day of bright sunshine for awhile. The rains are coming and cold temperatures. Today I am protecting faucets,  putting the fuchsias in the garage and stowing away my beloved lawn swing. I was only able to use it for six days this summer. better than none.

Right on schedule my Emergency Preparedness 5-day supply backpack arrived to put in the car. Given the horrendous weather we’ve had this year, maybe I should have bought two and one small cat one for Spec Ops Cat. (They need to make kitty and doggie emergency backpacks too.)


Candy days! But not my favorites.


Learned logistics from my military days; if you don’t have supplies, you don’t have them when you need them. Another reason why I hoard purple ink pens and Post it Notes. And copy paper. And printer ink. And three-ring binders. You get the picture.


Peanut M&Ms! My favorite. Along with Dove Dark Chocolate. Did you know M&Ms were developed in 1941 for World War II troops C-rations? Plus Tootsie Rolls helped save the lives of Marines at the Chosin Reservoir battle during the Korean War? Patriotic candy! 

So your one big decision today is what treat are you going to have? I let myself have one. It can be a piece of pie, or candy or a cinnamon roll. For some reason, cinnamon rolls have been prominent picks lately.

Enjoy Halloween.  Indulge but don’t overdo. And remember; running for the candy burns calories. Sweet!



Candy links:

M&Ms History – http://www.mars.com/global/about-us/history

Marine Corps and Tootsie Rolls – http://www.usmc-mccs.org/articles/how-tootsie-rolls-accidentally-saved-marines-during-war/

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World War II Birds Take Flight In Madras, Oregon

by Kimberly A. Cook                  (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Spent last week in Sisters and Madras, Oregon shopping, relaxing, digging thundereggs, and soaking in hot tubs. One fabulous exhibit we stumbled upon is the Erickson Aircraft Collection in Madras, Oregon.

Nestled in a refurbished World War II aircraft hangar at the Madras airport were more than twenty military aircraft complete with floor diapers for their oil leaks. They are still dripping oil since most of these rare birds are still flown on a regular basis.


This B-17G is so big I could have backed up to the highway and still not get all of her in my wide angle lens. Notice the ball turret gunner “bubble” underneath. Very tight quarters.

Aircraft on display include a B-17G Bomber, P-51D Mustang, FM-2 Wildcat and even a ME-109 Messerschmitt. While wandering all around with my camera, I could not locate the Vought F4U Corsair, a favorite of my Dad’s. Found out it was in the shop for a tune up. Guess I will have to go back!

This collection started in the 1970’s by Jack Erickson and then his grandson Mike Oliver caught the airplane bug and serves as the General Manager of the Collection today. Pretty sure he might have been the one leading a tour of folks around the collection while we were there; the red Corvette parked out front a give away perhaps?

Since Madras served as a training base for B-17 pilots during World War II, it is the perfect place to host these fabulous machines. The stories of the men who flew these beauties were nicely displayed in the collection, especially since so many were local boys.


USS Ranger magic strikes again. “Heavenly Body” is at Madras, Oregon. Priceless! 

The women were not left out either with the role they played building these machines on display. Since USS Ranger magic is everywhere, one of the photos featured the time a B-25J Mitchell flew off the USS Ranger in San Diego, CA harbor to commemorate the Doolittle Raid.


Here she is!

Many of those Doolittle Raid pilots were drawn from the local area. Think USS Ranger was giving me a sign. If you get a chance, venture over and visit this amazing collection in Madras, Oregon.

Check them out at http://www.ericksoncollection.com

P.S. Did I mention there is an air show too? Must make another trip…..



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Honor With Remembrance Those We’ve Lost

by Kimberly A. Cook                    (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

While we go about this long weekend spending time with families and friends, we must remember why we have Memorial Day. That is the day the nation honors and remembers the men, women and military animals who have given their lives in defense of freedom.

We take time to honor and remember those who have given the greatest sacrifice since we became a nation. Take a few minutes this weekend to think about and thank those who gave all for our country. Say a prayer for their friends and families who go on without them.

There are thousands of individual stories of these brave military service members who didn’t come home to their loved ones. Below is one story of a veteran who honors our fallen every day by using his talent.

Stay safe this long weekend and enjoy your freedoms; they were earned at the highest cost. Freedom isn’t free.

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It’s Snoopy Happy Dance Friday!

by Kimberly A. Cook             (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

It’s time! The new “Peanuts” movie opens today. Does life get any better than that? Snoopy is my hero from his military service to his Joe Cool shades and fantastic Latin dance moves. Plus he’s a writer, I have his books. Looks like this movie has it all.

What better way to spend the weekend than a visit with the Peanuts gang. Crank up the sound and let’s all boogie with Snoopy! A dog’s work is never done.

Happy Quirky Friday and have a great weekend!

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Did You Eat “Military” Candy On Halloween?

by Kimberly A. Cook              (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

Some folks are amazed how easy it is for me to find military connections for my writing and blog posts. The history of the United States revolves around our men and women patrolling and fighting around the globe and in space to protect our freedom. One of my favorite research topics has always been the role that candy plays in the military.

Part of my patriotic candy stash!

Part of my patriotic candy stash!

If you ate M&Ms, Hershey chocolate bars, Tootsie Rolls or Necco wafers this last Friday, you ate candy either developed for and or supplied to our troops in their rations. American troops in Iraq prized the Peanut M&Ms since they didn’t melt in the heat. The Marines at The Chosin Reservoir in Korea were air dropped Tootsie Rolls and it saved their lives. World War II soldiers were given Hershey chocolate bars, Tootsie Rolls, Mars Candy bars and Necco wafers in their rations.

Aside from being treats and sugar for energy, candy was also a way to connect with locals. My Dad told a story about being in occupied Japan on patrol in the neighborhoods. Since he was among the first troops in after Japan’s surrender, locals were afraid of what the American GIs might do to the Japanese.

He said they came down a street and kids were outside playing. The children stopped in fright when they saw the soldiers. Dad called one kid over and gave him some of his Necco wafers. Dad ate one himself and then showed the child through pantomime to share with the other kids. The young one did as he was shown and the kids all scattered inside their homes. Later on, the children would come out to get the treats when troops came by, beginning détente after a brutal war.

Who knew the power of candy for improving world relations? One never knows how one single gesture can affect so many lives. To the Hershey company who produced more than a billion ration candy bars during World War II and Necco wafers and Tootsie Rolls who did the same, I feel it’s my patriotic duty to support these companies year-round.

The astronauts even chose M&Ms as the first candy to go into space.  If there is one thing we all have to do on this planet, it’s eat, so it might as well be patriotic candy. Especially on Election Day. Got any military candy stories?

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Have You Checked Out A Local Historical Society?

by Kimberly A. Cook                  (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

The only thing I like better than going on vacation to Maui is to do book research while there. My passion for hunting the quirky was indulged this past week while on the beautiful Valley Isle, even though Mother Nature provided a heat wave too.

The Maui Historical Society has a list of their archive items online on their website. I checked it out a couple of months ago while getting ready for the trip. I spied a group of documents titled World War II and a gem about one Navy ship. Decided I had to check out the file.

Bailey House Museum of the Maui Historical Society in Wailuku.

Bailey House Museum of the Maui Historical Society in Wailuku.

Called the Society when we arrived and made an appointment later in the week to review the file plus two others. Can’t wait to tell you about those gems later this Fall. (I keep saying Fall because I’m not ready for it.)

I felt so official, having my appointment, my notepad and camera along. They provided white cotton gloves to view the items, so not only did I feel like Mickey Mouse, but I was in hog heaven for a good hour. Paid for copies to be made of the items I wanted to take home. Took some non-flash photos of others.

Discovered a gem in the file about the Navy ship and some hand written letters which related to it too. Score! To me there is nothing like original research and archival documents. In this age of digital everything, for me there is true romance in touching paper other human hands used to write letters and communicate.

In the Museum basement reviewing archive documents with my fabulous white gloves. Hair explained by heat wave.

In the Museum basement reviewing archive documents with my fabulous white gloves. Hair explained by heat wave.

Call me old school, but it really gives you a feel for the person and the times when you can touch the photos, see the loops of their hand writing and bond with history.

If you have a certain area of interest, genre or passion, check it out at your local historical society. You may be excited with new inspiration and support the local keepers of the past. It’s a win for everyone!

Are you a history detective? Explore your local historical societies and museums today.




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A Legacy of Love and Laughter

by Kimberly A. Cook                        (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

Unexpected events caused me to take a blog break last month. While I am dedicated to make my two posts a week, other things are more important. After a lovely Thanksgiving Day with family, my Dad went into the emergency room the next afternoon and he passed on Dec. 8.

This is my favorite Army Air Corps photo of my Dad. I think he looks like Elvis!

This is my favorite Army Air Corps photo of my Dad. I think he looks like Elvis!

It was an intense time for my family and about mid-week I remembered the blog.  I made a quick post and hoped all would understand later. My close friends knew and they left some nice comments of support. It was the hardest and most amazing thing I have ever done, being with my Dad those ten days.

Grief and letting go is a process and my family is moving through it; my mother, sister and brother-in-law, plus nieces all doing what we need to do. My Dad was a great guy. He loved to laugh and take care of “his girls.” We have many wonderful memories. He was also a terrific storyteller.

Dad left me a couple of projects to finish. I interviewed him on cassette tape in 1999 about his days on the railroad, he started in 1942 and retired in 1981, steam engines to diesel. Those tapes and transcripts are gold to me now. He also wrote down his own Army Air Corps military stories from World War II for me in 2005. I have those to research and write-up. I also have a ton of photos, since I think I became the family paparazzi.

So a few words for my blog readers. Ask about family stories, audio record and film your relatives. Don’t wait. Do it now.  It brings me great comfort to know I still have projects I can do with my Dad. Make sure you can do the same.


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