Octogenarian receives the Distinguished Flying Cross!

Better late than never!

Last week Octogenarian Retired Air Force Col. Claude M. Schonberger is happy to finally get his DFC, albeit 65 years late!

Schonberger in the Pentagon Hall of Hero’s receiving his Distinguished Flying Cross for his heroic actions as a B-24 Liberator bomber pilot on Feb. 16, 1945.

General Deptula gave the medal presentation:

“Courage — there are those who attempt to define this small corner of the human soul with eloquent words,” Deptula said.

“And then, there are those who define it with their actions; who under great personal risk and danger, and not without fear, but rather in the resolute and firm sense of duty to service before self, act in spite of that fear in the almost certain consequences of the most selfless of ways that show us what courage really is.

“We call those who show us this courage ‘heroes,'” the general continued, “and I’m both honored and humbled to be in the presence of just such a hero today: Col. Claude Schonberger.

For aviators, we recognize those heroes and their tenacity with the Distinguished Flying Cross.”.

Col Schonberger now joins the elite ranks of those airmen who distinguished themselves with extraordinary heroism in aerial combat.

December 7th and December 8th 1941 were on the same day, different date!

December 7th and December 8th were the same day!

I was confused about the nuances of the International Date line!

My father was at Clark Field (19th bomb group) on Luzon in the Philippines on the morning of December 8th, 1941, and he said that they were listening to the radio reports about December 7th Pearl Harbor attack at breakfast when the Japanese bombs started exploding around them.


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Many people think that the Japanese waited a day to attack the Philippines, but it was actually the same physical day, just a few hours later!

How could this be?

How can it be the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was on December 7th , at about 8:00 AM while the Philippines, only -6 time zone hours to the West, was already into December 8th?

If I am in England at 8:00 AM, I know that it’s 2:00 PM in America, on the same day, and I would expect that the Philippines to have been six hours earlier on the same day, 3:00 AM on December 7th.

But that’s wrong!

But going west from Hawaii, it’s +18 hours, so that at 9:00 AM on December 7th, 1941 was 3 AM in the Philippines.

It’s bizarre, on one side of the International Date Line it’s the same hour, but a different day!

When you pass through the International Date Line at 7:00 AM on Sunday, it becomes 7:00 AM on Monday, with NO change to the hour!

The history of “sugar” tit pacifiers

Recently, pious Catholic Mel Gibson was chastised for saying “What do you think you’re looking at, sugar tits?”, to a female police officer.

While everybody knows that Mel is not too bright, he also used horrible grammar.

I’m not a grammar Nazi, but the correct term is “Sugar Tit” is always singular, and it’s boorish to pluralize it.


The correct term is “sugar tit”, never “sugar tits” . . .

But I suppose it’s too much to expect proper tit grammar from a drunken Australian . . .

What’s a sugar tit?

But most folks don’t know that “sugar tit” was a common term in Colonial America, and it was not considered a nasty at all!

There is even a town named Sugar Tit in South Carolina:


Sugar Tit, South Carolina

The town of Sugar Tit has trouble with Yankee tourists stealing their signs, and I hear that they finally gave up making them:


An anonymous thief with a stolen Sugar Tit sign

Hello there, sugar tit!

The phase “Sugar Tit” was never indended to be a nasty word at all; it was the accepted colonial American term for a baby pacifier!

The term “sugar tit” used to be a Southern term of endearment, used when somebody is sweet, and in the 1800’s it was not offensive for a gentleman say “Hello Sugar Tit” when greeting sweet young a lady.

Unfortunately, people with dirty minds think that it had to do with breasts and it’s time to set the record straight.


A sugar tit has nothing to do with a woman’s breats

Back before they had rubber pacifiers in the mid 1800’s, Momma’s would soak a piece of cloth or smooth bone in molasses and stick it in the baby’s mouth, hence the name “Sugar Tit”.

There was also a “gum stick” variant of the sugar tit, made from smooth carved bone which was soaked in a sweet sorghum molassas solution:


A gumstick sugar tit pacifier

Sadly, today we have far more sophisticated baby pacifiers, and the sugar tit has been lost to history: