Suffer the little children: The Oklahoma City Bombing 20 years later.

April 19, 2015
Firefighterbabyocb

Fireman Chris Fields removing infant Baylee Almon (who later died) from destruction. Photo by Charles H. Porter IV. (smaller size than actual photo to conform to Fair Use) Won the Pulitzer Prize for its impact. Loction of actual photo http://www.pulitzer.org/works/1996-Spot-News-Photography

Just after 9 am on Wednesday April 19, 1995 a massive explosion destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. This was a work day and the building was full of office workers just starting their day. The lower level had a daycare centre where employees could leave their children to be looked after while they were at work.

Murrah_Building_-_Aerial.-US Army Corp of Engineers-PublicDoman

Alfred P. Murrah Building after the bombing. Photo by US Army Corps of Engineers.

The bomb killed 168 people and injured more than 680 others. Included in the death toll were 19 children under the age of six. A massive rescue operation took place over the next days to find and help others trapped in the debris of the building.

The explosion destroyed or damaged 324 buildings within a 16-block radius. Glass was shattered in 258 other buildings and 86 cars were destroyed. An estimated $652 million dollars damage resulted.

The Oklahoma City Bombing was the worst act of domestic terrorism in American history. Timothy McVeigh the mastermind behind the terrible crime was captured within 90 minutes. Oklahoma State Trooper Charlie Hanger stopped him for driving without a license plate. The officer arrested him for illegal weapons possession. Investigators used forensic evidence to link him to the attack. Terry Nichols, Michael and Lori Fortier were identified and arrested as accomplices.

The bombers rented a large truck from Ryder, packed it full of explosives and parked it in front of the building. The bomb was timed to detonate just after the start of the work day when the maximum number of people would be in the building.

The bombers were tried and convicted in 1997. The Federal government executed McVeigh by lethal injection on June 11, 2001. Terry Nichols received life in prison without parole. The Fortiers testified against McVeigh and Nichols. Michael got 12 years in prison with Lori receiving immunity for her testimony.

Today the Oklahoma City Memorial sits on the site and annual remembrance services are held on the day. The memorial consists of a chair for each victim. There are 19 small chairs representing the children.

Reading about this event and seeing the pictures I know that evil exists. The victims in this bombing weren’t soldiers, but office workers and children. Innocents going about their everyday routines. Tragically this day they never returned home to their families and friends. The shockwave of the blast still echoes today 20 years later.

Advertisements

“Near Miss: The Attempted Assassination of JFK” – Smithsonian Documentary

September 20, 2013

Image

Smithsonian Channel, part of the Smithsonian Museum, just announced they will air a documentary November 17, 2013 on the Kennedy assassination attempt. It is called “Kennedy’s Suicide Bomber” and was produced by Raw Cut TV a UK company. I provided much of the information to one of Raw Cut’s researchers many months ago. This movie is based at least partly on my book referenced in the title of this blog posting.

The problem is they never notified me of the final production and I’m not sure if they will be crediting me with my contribution. I realize that they almost certainly did additional research but I put them on to many of the sources and also furnished them with so-called rare documents related to this. I am presently making contact with both companies to discuss my concerns. Fortunately I documented my research every step of the way. I also documented all my contacts with Raw Cut. Smithsonian and Raw Cut need to make sure I am credited somewhere in this documentary. That’s all I ask.

In any event the show will be great publicity for this “near miss”. Just remember “Near Miss: The Attempted Assassination of JFK” is the only book ever written concerning this and its potential impacts. The book was published in December 2010 and is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Googlebooks, Kobobooks and others. The author is me – Steve B. Davis.

Link:

Near Miss – The book by Steve B. Davis


B-17 Flying Fortress: Up close and personal with a legend.

September 7, 2012

Nose art featuring Betty Grable’s famous pinup. Photo: Steve Davis

Recently I had a chance to get up close and personal with a World War II legend, the famous American B-17 Flying Fortress.

The B-17 was a heavy, multi-engined (4) bomber used in the Allied strategic bombing of German war industries. The Flying Fortress was heavily armed and had a crew of 10, pilot, co-pilot, navigator, radio operator, bombadier, and gunners.

There was a tail gunner at the rear, a ball turret under the plane, two waist gunners at the midsection, top turret, and forward guns. Even with this impressive armament losses were heavy. The problem in the beginning was lack of fighter support all the way to the targets in Germany. Because of fuel constraints the fighters had to turn back and return to base, then the German fighters attacked. The B-17 was known for its ability to absorb damage and yet still limp home to base. Eventually long range fighters were developed such as the P-51 Mustang and the P-47 Thunderbolt which could escort the bombers all the way to the target and back home. This reduced the Allied losses significantly.

The Commemorative Air Force, Arizona Wing based out of Mesa, Arizona visited Calgary as part of the Calgary Aviation Expo. This particular B-17 is restored and flight ready, in fact, it flew all the way up to Calgary from Arizona.

It is known as the “Sentimental Journey” and is adorned with one of the most famous pinup pictures of World War II as its nose art. Permission was granted by Betty Grable’s widower Harry James to use the poster art. It is beautiful to say the least. Crews painted these on their planes as good luck charms.

It’s hard to imagine, but most of the crews of these fearsome craft were in their late teens and early twenties. It was not unusual for the commander to be only 18 or 19 years of age. Sadly many of these young men never came back.

The most famous movies made about these planes and the young men who flew them are “Twelve O’Clock High” with Gregory Peck, and “Memphis Belle” with Matthew Modine. Real B-17s along with actual wartime footage was used in both these films.

Some of the young men who flew in these planes later became famous, James Stewart and  Clark Gable, the actors, Tom Landry, NFL player and coach of the Dallas Cowboys, Norman Lear, producer of All in the Family, and Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek.

It is wonderful to see these planes restored and used to tell the history of that era.


eBook Published – Near Miss: Attempted Assassination of JFK

January 2, 2011

My book has now been ePublished  and so far is available at the following sites.

Check it out, http://tinyurl.com/2432nrz Amazon, and http://tinyurl.com/24jlqrc Barnes and Noble.

If this interests you please consider purchasing it at the low price stated.

It will soon be available at Borders.com and Kobobooks.com


%d bloggers like this: