The Scuttlebutt by Pat O'Connor

Welcome to the Scuttlebutt. We strive to provide information to local veterans and share a little bit about life in the military.

Last week we started reliving the “battle of the Bulge”. It occurred between Dec 16th ,1944 and Jan 25th, 1945. It was one of the bloodiest and biggest battles we have fought. By the end of the first week, the German army had advanced over 50 miles into territory that had been occupied by allied troops. Shortly after Christmas, General Patton was able to stop the advance of the Germans. By the end of December, Patton had helped turn the tide of the battle with victories at Bastogne and Saint Vith. After Christmas, the weather also improved, and the allies were able to resume bombing German positions. The Germans last major effort to win the battle of the bulge started on Jan 1st when they used over 1000 aircraft to attack the airfields in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. This effort failed when they lost too many of the Luftwaffe aircraft and by the 25th of January, the German army had been pushed back to their original battle lines. This set the stage for the “Battle of Berlin which started in April and led to the end of the war in Europe. The Germans lost over 100,000 men during this battle while the American losses were approximately 19,000 killed and about 70,000 wounded or captured. War is a terrible way to try to solve our differences. Unfortunately, when a rouge country tries to take over it’s neighbors and refuses to work thru diplomatic means, other countries must step up to help them out. This is why groups such as NATO and the United Nations are so vital.  We owe so much to the brave men and women who helped stop the German advance in Europe. If you know of a current veteran, or their family, who is having trouble and needs some help, please contact us at the numbers listed below. At the very least, please, be kind to others and PRAY FOR PEACE!

Our Military Hero’s: Pvt 1st Class Richard E. Cowan- US Army.

Private Cowan was a heavy machinegunner in a section attached to Company I in the vicinity of Krinkelter Wald, Belgium, when that company was attacked by a numerically superior force of German infantry and tanks. The first 6 waves of hostile infantrymen were repulsed with heavy casualties, but a seventh drive with tanks killed or wounded all but three of his section, leaving Pvt. Cowan to man his gun, supported by only 15 to 20 riflemen of Company I. He maintained his position, holding off the Germans until the rest of the shattered force had set up a new line along a firebreak. Then, unaided, he moved his machinegun and ammunition to the second position. At the approach of a Royal Tiger tank, he held his fire until about 80 enemy infantrymen supporting the tank appeared at a distance of about 150 yards. His first burst killed or wounded about half of these infantrymen. His position was rocked by an 88mm. shell when the tank opened fire, but he continued to man his gun, pouring deadly fire into the Germans when they again advanced. He was barely missed by another shell. Fire from three machineguns and innumerable small arms struck all about him; an enemy rocket shook him badly but did not drive him from his gun. Infiltration by the enemy had by this time made the position untenable, and the order was given to withdraw. Pvt. Cowan was the last man to leave, voluntarily covering the withdrawal of his remaining comrades. His heroic actions were entirely responsible for allowing the remaining men to retire successfully from the scene of their last-ditch stand.

On the Light Side? “I’ll get back to you on that”

While practicing auto-rotations during a military night training exercise, a Huey Cobra messes up and lands on its tail rotor. The landing is so hard it breaks off the tail boom. However, the chopper fortunately remains upright on its skids, sliding down the runway, doing 360s. As the Cobra slides past the tower, trailing a brilliant shower of sparks, this radio exchange takes place: Tower: "Sir, do you need any assistance?"

Cobra: "I don't know, Tower, we ain't done crashin' yet."

News Bulletins

ISIS slips from Syria into Iraq to Fight Another Day  Feb. 22

BAGHDAD — Islamic State fighters facing defeat in Syria are slipping across the border into Iraq, where they are destabilizing the country's fragile security, U.S. and Iraqi officials say.

Hundreds — likely more than 1,000 — ISIS fighters have crossed the open, desert border in the past six months, defying a massive operation by U.S., Kurdish, and allied forces to stamp out the remnants of the jihadi group in eastern Syria, according to three Iraqi intelligence officials and a U.S. military official.

Upcoming Events and Meetings

American Legion – – 3rd Wednesday at Legion Hall -Dinner at 1800 followed by meeting at 1900

VFW – 3rd Monday of month at Cameron Veteran’s Home Chapel -1900 hours

Contact information

For more information or to offer help: Contact Pat O’Connor (816) 575-2568

Veterans Clinic (CBOC) @ MVH (816) 632-1369

Veterans Crisis Hotline 1-800-273-8255

A good website is It has some of the latest news information as well as explaining veteran benefits. Also try

The Caldwell County News

101 South Davis
P.O. Box 218
Hamilton, MO 64644
Phone: 816-583-2116

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