Albuquerque Journal | By Dan Boyd: Navajo Code Talker and Longtime New Mexico Lawmaker, Dies at 94
SANTA FE — New Mexico state Sen. John Pinto, the longest-serving member of the state senate and one of the longest-serving Native American legislators in U.S. history died Friday in Gallup. He was 94.
A World War II-era Marine who trained as a Navajo Code Talker, Pinto was a beloved figure in the state Senate — where he had served since 1977 — and his death prompted an outpouring of testimonials from current and former state officials and fellow lawmakers.
John Pinto (December 15, 1924 – May 24, 2019) was an American politician. He served as a Democratic member of the New Mexico Senate from 1977 to his death in 2019, making him the longest-serving member in the Senate. Pinto represented the 3rd District, which includes the Four Corners area and spans much of western San Juan County, as well as a portion of western McKinley County. Much of the district is made up of the Navajo Nation; it includes the towns of Shiprock, Sheep Springs, and most if not all of Gallup.
Pinto was born in Lupton, Arizona, in the Navajo Nation. Pinto served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II and was a Navajo code talker. He was a teacher and organizer for the National Educational Association. He died in Gallup, New Mexico, on May 24, 2019 at the age of 94.
Military.com | By Richard Sisk: Barbed Wire and a French Castle: A Soldier’s Account of D-Day
Former Army Tech Sgt. John Trippon finally told his family how he got those scars on his chest and stomach 70 years after the D-Day invasion of Hitler’s Fortress Europe on June 6, 1944.
Trippon, a combat engineer, and his unit from the 6th Engineers Special Brigade of the First Army, under the command of Gen. Omar Bradley, were in the second invasion wave that wove its way to Omaha Beach in landing craft, past floating bodies and German obstacles.
The Associated Press | By Chris Carola: WWII Researcher: Sea Wreck Must Be Plane of US MIA Pilot
The aircraft, lying on coral reef about 70 feet down, is the same type of F4U-4 Corsair that 2nd Lt. John McGrath was flying when he crashed off Iriomote Jima in July 1945, researcher Justin Taylan said this week.
“This is the only American aircraft lost at that precise spot,” said Taylan, the founder of Pacific Wrecks, an organization that researches and catalogues WWII crashes.
McGrath, of Troy, New York, is still officially listed by the U.S. military as one of nearly 73,000 American MIAs from WWII. He was 20 when his aircraft disappeared.
Military.com | By Richard Sisk: Purple Hearts Finally Awarded to Coast Guard Crew Killed in World War I
Purple Hearts were not awarded by the U.S. during World War I, but resumed in World War II. The award was extended to the Coast Guard in 1942. In 1952, Congress made the awarding of the Purple Heart retroactive to April 5, 1917.
However, the crew of the Tampa was not eligible for the Purple Heart until 1999, Schultz said. The search for descendants has continued since then.
By Anastasia Dawson, Tampa Bay Times: 70 years later, WWII vet gets medals he didn’t know he earned during the Battle of Iwo Jima
By David Vergun: Vice President Commends Cadets’ Commitment to Service at Academy Graduation
By Katie Lange: NASCAR’s Dillon Tests Out Coast Guard’s ‘Big Jet Ski’
Robin Olds (July 14, 1922 – June 14, 2007) was an American fighter pilot and general officer in the U.S. Air Force. He was a “triple ace”, with a combined total of 16 victories in World War II and the Vietnam War. He retired in 1973 as a brigadier general.
The son of Army Air Forces Major General Robert Olds, educated at West Point, and the product of an upbringing in the early years of the U.S. Army Air Corps, Olds epitomized the youthful World War II fighter pilot. He remained in the service as it became the United States Air Force, despite often being at odds with its leadership, and was one of its pioneer jet pilots. Rising to the command of two fighter wings, Olds is regarded among aviation historians, and his peers, as the best wing commander of the Vietnam War, for both his air-fighting skills, and his reputation as a combat leader.
Olds was promoted to brigadier general after returning from Vietnam but did not hold another major command. The remainder of his career was spent in non-operational positions, as Commandant of Cadets at the United States Air Force Academy and as an official in the Air Force Inspector General’s Office. His inability to rise higher as a general officer is attributed to both his maverick views and his penchant for drinking.
Olds had a highly publicized career and life, including marriage to Hollywood actress Ella Raines. As a young man he was also recognized for his athletic prowess in both high school and college, being named an All-American as a lineman in college football. Olds expressed his philosophy regarding fighter pilots in the quote: “There are pilots and there are pilots; with the good ones, it is inborn. You can’t teach it. If you are a fighter pilot, you have to be willing to take risks.”