Cooley Hurd's Journal
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Harry Flood Byrd, Jr. (December 20, 1914 – July 30, 2013) was an American politician. He represented Virginia in the United States Senate from 1965 to 1983. He is most notable for leaving the Democratic Party in 1970 and becoming an Independent, although he continued to caucus with the Democrats. He was the son of Harry F. Byrd, Sr., whom he replaced as senator. On October 20, 2009, with the death of retired U.S. Senator Clifford P. Hansen, a Wyoming Republican, Byrd became the oldest living former senator.
WINCHESTER — Harry F. Byrd Jr., who made history with his Independent run to the U.S. Senate in 1970, died this morning at his home in Winchester. He was 98.
His name may have preceded him into the Senate, but it was his declaration of independence and two successful elections as an Independent candidate that made his own name in that chamber.
Harry Byrd Jr. was the first Independent to win election to the U.S. Senate with a majority of the vote despite facing a challenge from both major parties.
Byrd was already a newspaper publisher, World War II lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy, and 18-year Virginia state senator when he joined the U.S. Senate in November 1965. He came to the Capitol to fill the seat his retiring father and namesake had held the previous 32 years.
In 1970, the final statewide office holder of Virginia’s dominant political family of the 20th century made the country take notice.
Byrd broke from the Democratic Party when he refused to sign an oath to support the Democratic nominee for president in 1972, without knowing who would be selected. He ran as an independent.
Cross gently, Senator.
Posted by Cooley Hurd | Tue Jul 30, 2013, 11:24 AM (4 replies)
Following his service in World War II, Day joined the Army Reserve and received a direct commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Iowa Air National Guard in 1950, and was called to active duty in 1951 for Undergraduate Pilot Training in the U.S. Air Force. He served two tours as a fighter-bomber pilot during the Korean War flying the Republic F-84 Thunderjet. Promoted to captain, he decided to make the Air Force a career and was augmented into the Regular Air Force. He then transitioned to the F-100 Super Sabre in 1957 while stationed at RAF Wethersfield in the United Kingdom.
Anticipating retirement in 1968 and now a major, Day volunteered for a tour in Vietnam and was assigned to the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing at Tuy Hoa Air Base in April 1967. At that time, he had more than 5,000 flying hours, with 4,500 of them in fighters. On June 25, 1967, with extensive previous service flying two tours in F-100s, Major Day was made the first commander of Detachment 1, 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 37th Tactical Fighter Wing based at Phu Cat Air Base. Under the project name "Commando Sabre", twin-seat USAF F-100Fs were evaluated as a Fast Forward Air Control ("Fast FAC") aircraft in high threat areas, given that F-4 Phantom II aircraft were in high demand for strike and Combat Air Patrol (CAP) roles. Using the call sign Misty, the name of Day's favorite song, his detachment of four two-seat F-100Fs and 16 pilots became pioneer "Fast FACs" (Forward Air Controllers) over Laos and North Vietnam. All Misty FAC crews were volunteers with at least 100 combat missions in Vietnam and 1,000 minimum flight hours. Tours in Commando Sabre were temporary and normally limited to four months or about 50-60 missions.
Prisoner of war
On August 26, 1967, Major Day was flying F-100F-15-NA, AF Serial No. 56-3954, call sign "Misty 01", on his 26th Fast FAC sortie, directing a flight of F-105 Thunderchiefs in an air strike against a surface-to-air missile (SAM) site north of Thon Cam Son and west of Dong Hoi, 20 mi (32 km) north of the DMZ in North Vietnam. Day was on his 65th mission into North Vietnam and acting as check pilot for Captain Corwin M. "Kipp" Kippenhan, who was upgrading to aircraft commander. 37 mm antiaircraft fire crippled the aircraft, forcing the crew to eject. In the ejection, Day's right arm was broken in three places when he struck the side of the cockpit, and he also experienced eye and back injuries.
Kippenhan was rescued by a USAF HH-3E, but Day was unable to contact the rescue helicopter by survival radio and was quickly captured by North Vietnamese local militia. On his fifth night, when he was still within 20 mi (32 km) of the DMZ, Day escaped from his initial captors despite his serious injuries. Although stripped of both his boots and flight suit, Day crossed the Demilitarized Zone back into South Vietnam, becoming the only U.S. prisoner of war to escape from North Vietnam. Within 2 mi (3 km) of the U.S. Marine firebase at Con Thien and after 12–15 days of evading, he was captured again, this time by a Viet Cong patrol that wounded him in the leg and hand with gunfire.
Taken back to his original camp, Day was tortured for escaping, breaking his right arm again. He then was moved to several prison camps near Hanoi, where he was periodically beaten, starved, and tortured. In December 1967, Day shared a cell with Navy Lieutenant Commander and future Senator and presidential candidate John McCain. Air Force Major Norris Overly nursed both back to health, and McCain later devised a makeshift splint of bamboo and rags that helped heal Day's seriously atrophied arm.
On March 14, 1973, Day was released after five years and seven months as a North Vietnamese prisoner. Within three days Day was reunited with his wife, Doris Sorensen Day, and four children at March Air Force Base, California. On March 4, 1976, President Gerald Ford awarded Day the Medal of Honor for his personal bravery while a captive in North Vietnam.
Day had been promoted to Colonel while a prisoner, and decided to remain in the Air Force in hopes of being promoted to Brigadier General. Although initially too weak to resume operational flying, he spent a year in physical rehabilitation and with 13 separate medical waivers, was returned to active flying status. He underwent conversion training to the F-4 Phantom II and was appointed vice commander of the 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
After being passed over for nomination to brigadier general, Day retired from active duty in 1977 to resume practicing law in Florida. At his retirement he had nearly 8,000 total flying hours, 4,900 in single engine jets, and had flown the F-80 Shooting Star, F-84 Thunderjet, F-100 Super Sabre, F-101 Voodoo, F-104 Starfighter, F-105 Thunderchief, F-106 Delta Dart, F-4 Phantom II, A-4 Skyhawk, A-7 Corsair II, CF-5 Tiger and F-15 Eagle jet fighters.
Following his retirement, Day wrote an autobiographical account of his experiences as a prisoner of war, Return with Honor, followed by Duty, Honor, Country, which updated his autobiography to include his post-Air Force years. Among other endeavors, in 1996 Day filed a class action lawsuit for breach of contract against the United States government on behalf of military retirees who were stripped of their military medical care benefits at age 65 and told to apply for Medicare. Although winning the case in the district court in 2001, the judgment against the U.S. was overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2002. The U.S. Congress later redressed this situation by establishing the "TRICARE For Life" (TFL) program, which restored TRICARE military medical benefits for career military retirees over the age of 65, making the retirees eligible for both programs with Medicare as the primary payer and TRICARE as the secondary payer.
Political activity and controversy
Day was an active member of the Florida Republican Party, was involved in the 527 group Swift Vets and POWs for Truth, and campaigned with John McCain in 2000 and 2008. In the months leading up to the 2004 U.S. presidential election, Day appeared in television advertisements—along with other members of the 527 group Swift Vets and POWs for Truth—decrying John Kerry's anti-war activities following his military service during the Vietnam War and declaring him "unfit" for service and of a "dishonest" disposition for comments and actions made by Kerry after the Vietnam War, including his testimony before Congress in Washington, D.C. During a 2008 teleconference with reporters from the Miami Herald, Day made comments regarding John McCain's stance on the Iraq War, stating that "I don't intend to kneel, and I don't advocate to anybody that we kneel, and John doesn't advocate to anybody that we kneel." Also during this interview he sparked controversy by making a broad generalization about what some saw as an ideological divide between Islam and America: "the Muslims have said either we kneel, or they're going to kill us." In the same interview when questioned about the role of 527 organizations in contemporary American politics, particularly his work for the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, Day stated "the bottom line is this: 527 groups can do very effective, truthful things, and the Swift Boat attack was totally truthful."</snip>
A hero who was intellectually dishonest towards the end. What a complicated legacy...
Posted by Cooley Hurd | Sun Jul 28, 2013, 08:24 AM (1 replies)
PIERMONT — Four people were injured late Friday and two others were missing after a boat struck a barge in the Hudson River just south of the Tappan Zee Bridge.
Rescue workers searched almost three hours for the two missing boaters, one woman and one man, using boats and helicopters between Piermont and the Tappan Zee Bridge. The search was called off shortly before 1:30 a.m. today.
The crash, involving a 21-foot Stingray powerboat, was reported at 10:40 p.m., said Ali Flockerzi, a U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman. The vessel struck a barge. There are numerous barges moored north and south of the bridge – some holding cranes and others holding equipment – as work on the new Tappan Zee bridge ramps up.
Authorities said the crash occurred about a half-mile from the bridge, on the Rockland side of the river.
Having captained my own 30-footer thru these waters, it's incomprehensible how this could happen, unless alcohol was involved.
Posted by Cooley Hurd | Sat Jul 27, 2013, 08:35 AM (0 replies)
George Zimmerman, who has been in hiding since he was acquitted of murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, emerged to help rescue someone who was trapped in an overturned truck, police said today.
Sanford Police Department Capt. Jim McAuliffe told ABC News that Zimmerman "pulled an individual from a truck that had rolled over" at the intersection of a Florida highway last week. Florida Highway Patrol is now handling the case, McAuliffe said.
The crash occurred at the intersection of I-4 and route 417, police said.
It's the first known sighting of Zimmerman since he left the courtroom following his acquittal last week on murder charges for the death of Martin. Zimmerman, 29, shot and killed Martin, 17, in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26, 2012. The jury determined that Zimmerman shot Martin in self-defense.
Posted by Cooley Hurd | Mon Jul 22, 2013, 11:45 AM (102 replies)
What THIS means is that I can pick a fight with anyone I want, and if they defend themselves, I can shoot them in the heart.
Posted by Cooley Hurd | Sat Jul 13, 2013, 09:05 PM (137 replies)
(Reuters) - Princess Fawzia Fuad, a daughter and sister of Egyptian kings and the first wife of the last Shah of Iran, died on Tuesday in Alexandria, a member of the former royal family and a senior local police officer said.
Princess Fawzia Fuad of Egypt and Iran (5 November 1921 – 2 July 2013) was an Egyptian princess who became Queen of Iran as the first wife of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
She is also known as Fawzia Chirine, having remarried in 1949. Although her royal titles were no longer recognized by the Egyptian government after the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 international protocol dictates that former monarchs and members of former ruling royal families still retain titles obtained whilst a member of a reigning monarchy. She was the oldest member of the deposed Muhammad Ali Dynasty residing in Egypt. Her nephew, Fuad, who was proclaimed King Fuad II of Egypt and Sudan after the Revolution, resides in Switzerland.
Posted by Cooley Hurd | Tue Jul 2, 2013, 07:30 PM (9 replies)
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