usmc memorial

75 years ago today - December 7 1941

Destroyers USS Downes DD-375 (left) USS Cassin DD-372 (leaning against Downes) and the Battleship USS Pennsylvania BB-38.

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, USS Downes was in dry-dock with ‘Cassin’ and 'Pennsylvania’. The three came under heavy attack and an incendiary bomb landed between the two destroyers, starting raging fires fed by oil from a ruptured fuel tank. Despite heavy strafing, the crews of the two destroyers got their batteries into action, driving off further attacks by Japanese planes.
The dry-dock was flooded in an effort to quench the fires, but the burning oil rose with the water level and when the ammunition and torpedo warheads on board the destroyers began to explode, the two ships were abandoned. Later 'Cassin’ slipped from her keel blocks and rested against 'Downes’. Both ship’s hulls were damaged beyond repair but machinery and equipment were salvaged and sent to Mare Island Navy Yard where entirely new ships were built around the salvaged material and given the wrecked ship’s names and hull numbers.

USS Pennsylvania managed to escape the dubious honor of having been on Battleship Row during the attack on Pearl Harbor, but this fortunate set of circumstances also did not give her as much visibility in the public eye. For the older battleships present during the attack, 'Oklahoma’ and 'Arizona’ were destroyed and 'Nevada’ gained fame attempting to escape out of the harbor. And the newer “Big Five” battleships would be resurrected and some would be completely transformed to the point they were almost unrecognizable. But 'Pennsylvania’, stuck in drydock, became best known for being in the background. In this case, the background for the wrecks of the destroyers 'Cassin’ and 'Downes’.

'Pennsylvania’ sustained relatively minor damage during the Pearl Harbor attack, then spent much of 1942 training and conducting patrols of the United States west coast. In early 1943 she was sent to the Aleutians to help force out the Japanese forces on Attu and Kiska.

(Colourised by Royston Leonard from the UK)


A few favorite shots taken from a recent family shoot I did. It was trying, but the good ones made it all the worth while. I enjoyed capturing their moments, beauty, and love.

Locations: Browns Island, Richmond, Virginia & The Virignia War Memorial, Richmond, Virginia

This Veterans Day take the time to remember not only the men and women who volunteered to serve, but those who were drafted. Remember not only the men and women who served on the front lines, but those that served in the relative safety of the rear. Remember not only the men and women are proud of their service, but those who would rather forget it. Remember not only the men and women who served during peacetime, but those who served during wartime. 

Thank you, veterans, for your service.

[AP Photo/Matt Rourke]


“While most Americans are encouraged to spend and over consume during Memorial Day weekend, we will be honoring our brothers and sisters who have sacrificed their lives in our presence and in all previous wars. 

Marine Gunny Walgren’s version of John Glenn’s speech reminds everyone of the true meaning of this weekend.”


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Honor Memorial DayWorld War II Memorial, Washington DC

Today, May 25th, is the annual commemoration of all the men and women who gave their lives in service to their country. Keep them in your memory today, and always.

(Jeff Kubina)


Private Memorial Held for 12 Marines at MCBH

A private memorial was held this morning at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe for the 12 Marines who were killed in last week’s helicopter collision off Oahu’s North Shore. Officers of the Honolulu Police Department attended the memorial to pay their respects. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and the entire Marine ohana.

Decembers will never be the same for me. It was around the holidays this past year when my buddy Lance Corporal Tommy Li took his own life leaving his family, my unit and myself in utter shock and sadness. I know he wasn’t the most cheerful in the past year and he had his personal issues but I believed he could get past it. He could have. His NCOs (non commissioned officers), my good buddy Sgt. Nicko Requesto and Cpl. Alvin Mei tried all they could to get through to Tommy. We did all we could but at the end of the day, it was never enough. I saw the pain on his Staff Sergeant’s face. Tommy was the second Marine he lost to the same circumstances. Embracing Tommy’s family - his parents, it was so painful looking at all the hurt in their eyes at the loss of their boy. 

This is not how I want to remember Tommy. I want to remember him when he first checked in to my unit. I want to remember all the life he had. All the motivation. Tommy, you were stronger than you knew. You were a superhero to your friends, family, and me. You will always be my favorite grunt 0311 out there. 

You had so much fight in you. 

I now speak to my followers. You are stronger than you know. Take that pain and turn it into power. No matter how much you are struggling, there is always that light at the end of the tunnel. Keep moving forward. 

I’m going to leave you all with a joke that seemed dumb when Tommy was alive but one I will remember him by:

Why did Sally fall off the swing?

She had no arms.

Knock, Knock.

Who’s there?

Not Sally. 

It would mean the world to me if you all would reblog this in memory of Tommy.

I’ll see you in Valhalla brother. Let the maidens of Odin guide you on your journey.