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Larece Galer brings you the latest military news. To submit items for this column or the online listings, send them to: The News-Herald, Attn.: Larece Galer, 7085 Mentor Ave., Willoughby, OH 44094; fax to 440-975-2293; or via email to

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Facebook teaches history

I was never a huge fan of Facebook. I started using it because my daughter moved out of state and it offered a quick way to stay connected. I have to admit I am becoming fonder of checking and posting to Facebook.
One of the first “likes” I made was to the International Women’s Air and Space Museum. The museum in Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport has always held a fascination for me since it is airplanes, female pilots and history.
A recent post made by the museum caught my attention. The post concerned a little known bombing group called Nachthexen. Translated from German, it means “Night Witches.” I had never heard of the Soviet 588th Night Bomber Regiment. Chalk up another point in favor of Facebook.
With a little research, I found the Soviet 588th was a female squadron that used Po-2 wood and fabric biplanes to bomb German troops. These gals were either very brave or totally nuts.
The Polikarpov Po-2 had a top cruising speed of 94 mph — much slower that the stall speed of the German Me-109, the aircraft charged with shooting the Night Witches out of the sky. These gals used the old and slow airplanes to their advantage: The Po-2 was very maneuverable and by throwing the plane into a tight turn, the Me-109 could not follow.
Each of the female pilots is said to have flown 1,000 missions and the unit completed 23,000 sorties. The ladies dropped an estimated 3,000 tons of bombs on the Germans. Thirty of these brave women were killed in action.
Since I saw the Facebook posting, the research into these women has fascinated me. I learned that the German high command offered an Iron Cross to any pilot who could shoot a Night Witch out of the sky. The Iron Cross was one of the highest honors awarded to the military in Germany at that time.
24th Annual Marine Corps League golf outing
The annual Col. J.M. Chambers Detachment 555 of the Marine Corps League will host its 24th annual Golf Classic beginning at noon, Saturday at Madison Country Club.
Entrance fee is $120 per player and includes 18 holes of golf in a scramble format, lunch, cart and a steak dinner at Gunny’s Hall immediately following the golf. Trophies will be awarded to the first-place team and numerous skills prizes, such as long drives, closest to the pin, etc., also will be awarded.
To play or to be a sponsor, call Gene Deka at 440-668-8777.
Euclid Vets Classic Car Cruise
The Euclid Veterans Association will host a Classic Car Cruise-In from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Tizzano’s Party Center parking lot, 1361 E. 260th St. in Euclid, just south of Route 2.
Any and all classics up to 1979 are welcome. There is no charge for the show, but donations for the wounded will be gratefully accepted. Dash plaques will be given to the first 100 cars.
Donations will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project and Veteran’s Best Friend. For details, call Al Nagy at 216-289-1632.
Chardon Post to host Chinese auction
Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary of Post 6519, 752 Water St. in Chardon, will host a Chinese auction and bake sale from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Aug. 3. There will be more than 100 items to bid on. Tickets are priced six for $4; 12 for $7; or 20 for $10. Winner need not be present. Just put your name and phone number on the ticket.
For details, call Paula Geiss at 440-625-0192.
GI get-together at Burton Post
Atwood-Mauck Post 459, 14052 Goodwin St. in Burton, will host a GI get-together from 8 a.m. to noon Aug. 10, at the post home. The event is free to veterans and coffee and doughnuts will be served. For details, call Bo at 440-834-8764.
Free day for Veterans at county fair
Veterans Day at the Lake County Fair will be Aug. 14. There will be free admission for all honorably discharged veterans, and please make sure you sign in at the Veteran Service Commission booth.
A special program to honor veterans will be at 1800 hours and normally lasts about an hour. Color guards are invited to participate in the presentation of the colors. Colors will be retired in place.
This year, the program will memorialize the ending of both the Korean and Vietnam wars. All veterans will be honored.
Vintage Quilts at D-Day Conneaut
Conneaut Quilters Guild will sponsor a vintage World War II quilt show Aug. 16-17 at the D-Day Conneaut event. Sue Reich, a national authority on quilts of the era, will bring 40 vintage quilts from 1941 to 1945 with patriotic and military themes.
The quilt display will be part of the annual D-Day re-enactment in Conneaut. For more details, visit or
Annual steak roast Aug. 17
American Legion Post 459, 14052 Goodwin St. in Burton, will host its annual steak roast from 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 17 at the post home. Tickets in advance are $17 per person and available from any post member. Tickets are $21 per person at the door. For details, call Bo at 440-834-8764.
Veterans Hospitality Dinner served in Kirtland
A Veterans Hospitality Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. Aug. 21 at Old South Church, 9802 Chillicothe Road in Kirtland. The dinner and dessert are free and families are welcome. This is a family event to bring area veterans together in appreciation of your service.
Register in advance at to assure adequate food and staff.
To submit items for this column or the online listings, send them to: The News-Herald, Attn.: Larece Galer, 7085 Mentor Ave., Willoughby, OH 44094; fax to 440-975-2293; or via email to

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