John M. ‘Jack’ Holmes, World War II B-24 crewman who later became an engineer, dies

John M. “Jack” Holmes Sr., who flew secret missions during World War II in Europe as an Army Air Corps B-24 crewman, and later became a Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co. engineer, died April 22 in his sleep at his Parkville home. He was 95.

Jack Milton Holmes was born in Baltimore and raised on Presbury Street. He was the son of Edward Holmes, a Baltimore Sun worker, and Irene Holmes, a homemaker.

He attended Baltimore Polytechnic Institute as a pre-engineering student, but left in the 11th grade to take a job in 1940 at Bartlett & Haywood Co., an iron foundry. There, he operated a milling machine that produced gun carriages.

At 18 he was accepted as an aviation cadet and enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1942 with the hope of becoming a pilot. At various training bases around the country he studied physics, meteorology and flying, then made a series of solo flights.

“He succeeded in school in ways he hadn’t expected before,” said his son, John M. “Jack” Holmes Jr. of Stoneleigh.

While attending flight school at Pine Bluff, Ark., in 1944, he married his high school sweetheart, the former Rita J. “Reet” Owens. The two met at the Walbrook Movie Theater, where he worked as an usher.

The marriage nearly didn’t take place after his commanding officer denied him an overnight pass. However, upon returning from a solo flight in the afternoon, he found a note on his bunk from a sympathetic commandant of cadets who wrote: “The old man has gone duck hunting. Congratulations! Be back by 8 a.m.”

Mr. Holmes was assigned as an armorer aboard a Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber, responsible for the airplane’s guns as well as being a top-turret gunner.

“He washed out before becoming a pilot. At that time, a lot of the guys who wanted to be pilots were being washed out because the need for pilots had decreased,” his son said in a telephone interview.

While waiting to fly to Europe with his fellow B-24 crewmen, word arrived at Chatham Field near Savannah, Ga., on Christmas Eve 1944 that his wife had given birth back in Baltimore to their first child, Dianne “Dee” Holmes.

He was anxious to see his wife and new baby, but knew getting a pass was highly unlikely.

“Getting a pass was impossible — so I wrote my own, and headed for the Savannah station,” he said in a family memoir. “An MP [military policeman] asked about my pass, so I knew he knew it was a fake, but he let me go. I didn’t tell him about my daughter. Who would believe it anyway?”

Arriving on Christmas, Mr. Holmes reunited with his wife and was able to hold his baby daughter. It was a short visit, as he had to return to Chatham Field by Christmas night. At Baltimore’s Penn Station, packed with wartime travelers, he was unable to purchase a ticket and was officially AWOL. He was, however, able to hop aboard a slowly moving Silver Meteor streamliner passing through the station. A conductor told him the train would not make a stop, but would slow down around 4 a.m. near Savannah so he could jump off.

He did so, and made his way back to base ”undetected,” he recalled. “Was it worth all of that trouble just to see Reet and my new daughter? Yes, it was great!”

In 1945, Mr. Holmes departed from Chatham Field to Europe.

Mr. Holmes and his crew were assigned to the 15th Air Force’s 885th Bombardment Squadron at Rosignano, Italy, southwest of Florence. Their mission was to drop supplies, weapons and Allied agents to partisan groups behind enemy lines in northern Italy and Yugoslavia. They did not know they were participating in secret Office of Strategic Services night missions aboard the B-24s, some of which were painted black with blacked-out windows.

“The 855th bomb squad was a kind of a secret affair, which we didn’t really know then,” Mr. Holmes recalled in the memoir.

“The bomb bay door had been replaced by a chute through which they dropped supplies and ammunition,” his son said. “Some of the Allied agents were afraid to jump from a plane flying so low.”

If an Allied agent who had jumped into enemy territory was captured, he would be treated as a spy and executed.

The crew “received no explanation or information about the missions … drop targets were usually in mountain valleys lit by a bonfire,” wrote his grandson, Will Holmes of Stoneleigh, who interviewed his grandfather for a school project. “Planes occasionally returned with bullet holes on the top of wings and fuselage.”

“Sometimes we flew so low the mountains were above us and they were shooting down at our plane,” Mr. Holmes said in the memoir. “The charts weren’t always so accurate, so sometimes a mountain wasn’t where the pilot expected it to be.”

A 1945 article in Stars and Stripes reported that the 885th “never dropped a bomb in almost 3,000 sorties.”

Mr. Holmes and his crew were bound for the Pacific Theater when the dropping of the atomic bomb ended the war.

He was discharged in November 1945.

“There was no record of their service … when they spoke to discharging officers,” his son said. “Because the missions were kept off the books and were secret, they had to explain what they had done.”

Mr. Holmes returned to Baltimore, where he went to work for C&P Telephone Co. as an installer. He eventually became an engineer, and during his final years with the company managed a pre-construction planning group that worked with the companies building office towers during Baltimore’s redevelopment.

He retired in 1979.

Mr. Holmes was an accomplished carpenter who learned to repair clocks and built several of them. He liked to play golf at the Longview Golf Course in Timonium and also enjoyed relaxing aboard his cabin cruiser, The Impulse.

He also liked taking trips to the Outer Banks, Cape Hatteras and the Shenandoah Valley, and visiting historic sites in the Mid-Atlantic, with his grandson.

Mr. Holmes’ wife of 62 years died in 2006; and his daughter died in 2012.

A Roman Catholic prayer service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Johnson-Fosbrink Funeral Home, 8521 Loch Raven Blvd., Baynesville.

Mr. Holmes is survived by his son and grandson.

———

© 2018 The Baltimore Sun

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Our Economy Is Getting Stronger. Will Congress Get in the Way?

The U.S. economy is trending upward. The number of jobless claims continues to plummet. This is no surprise, considering the benefits businesses and workers are seeing as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the rollback of several harmful federal regulations.

Lower taxes means Americans get a pay raise. Take-home pay is increasing, and businesses are investing, giving out bonuses and expanding benefits.

This is great news.

But it leads the nation to a crossroads: Either these trends will yield tangible economic prosperity, or the federal government will get in its own way. It all depends on the policy decisions Congress makes.

Wall Street Data

For the third time in four weeks, an article from The Wall Street Journal stated, the number of Americans claiming new unemployment benefits fell. This signals “continued health in the labor market.”

Initial jobless claims are an indicator for the number of layoffs across the nation. They decreased by 1,000 to an adjusted 232,000 last week, the article said, which aligns with levels last seen in the 1970s. This is a good sign for the health of the U.S. labor market.

Another article from The Wall Street Journalpublished just a couple hours later, also pointed to positive signs but gave a warning, as well.

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index is indicating “robust economic growth throughout 2018,” said a director at the board. The index takes into consideration 10 different components including initial claims for jobless benefits, factory orders and the S&P 500’s price change.

“However,” he continued, labor market components made negative contributions in March and bear watching in the near future.”

The United States Could Be Its Own Worst Enemy

There are two policy areas that could determine the longevity of these good signs: immigration and tariffs. Both issues have the potential to be volatile as Washington, D.C., goes back and forth, leaving them, so far, unresolved.

Although immigration and the economy may be considered two separate issues, they are intertwined. As the economy grows, as indicators show it is, the demand for labor and greater productivity will increase. As businesses expand, they’ll need to start pulling Americans back into the labor force who stopped working and stopped looking for work over the past several years.  As markets expand, there will be new opportunities for creative and hard working minds to meet those needs.

Moreover, with a quickly aging workforce, and the number of U.S seniors set to double by 2050, our nation’s economic vitality will hinge on our ability to embrace these realities and adapt accordingly.

But, if U.S. immigration policy remains as it is right now — mired in uncertainty regarding DACA and other issues — industry demand for workers and entrepreneurs will not be met. Without a large, vibrant and productive workforce, economic growth will be stunted.

The current protectionist moves coming out of the White House, including tariffs and the retaliatory exchanges we’ve seen in their wake could present an even greater threat to economic growth.

“Trading partners often respond with tit-for-tat retaliatory measures that can quickly escalate into a full-blown trade war that could sharply constrict trade,” Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Prosperity said in a statement submitted to the House Ways and Means Committee April 12. “In today’s global economy, the damage would be significant.”

An open market is a net win-win for everyone — consumers, companies, countries. Policies that put limitations on that freedom swings the pendulum toward a lose-lose situation. Tariffs will raise prices for American consumers and raise production costs for American businesses, killing jobs in more ways than one.

Wait and See?

Washington is teetering on the brink of enormously consequential decisions on both immigration and trade. Failing to maintain pro-growth, free-market policy in either of these areas would be devastating to the economy.

We need to keep our employers strong and competitive, with access to the labor and the consumers they need, to be competitive in a 21st century globalized economy.

As Congress debates these issues, we can either sit back and wait to see what it decides to do, or we can demand they do what’s best for our economy.

We believe that the economic growth in this promising, post-tax reform era can continue. But that can only happen if we allow innovation and entrepreneurship to flourish. The wrong policy decisions on immigration, trade and taxes could prevent us from achieving the American Dream.

Tell Congress to defend the American Dream, today.

 

For further information or to set up an interview with AFP Director of Policy Akash Chougule, please email Gabrielle Braud at [email protected]

The post Our Economy Is Getting Stronger. Will Congress Get in the Way? appeared first on Americans for Prosperity.

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Missouri Lawmakers to Consider Greitens Impeachment at Special Session

(From UPI)

Missouri’s General Assembly has voted to hold, for the first time in state history, a special session — to decide possible impeachment for Gov. Eric Greitens.

Lawmakers announced late Thursday they had 138 House and 29 Senate signatures, more than enough to exceed the amount needed to call the session.

The special session, which would begin May 18 after the legislature adjourns its regular session for the year, would mark the first time in Missouri history that lawmakers called for the special session instead of the governor.

Greitens faces felony charges — accused of blackmailing a woman for sex and computer tampering, for misusing a veterans charity’s donor list.

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Hawaii’s Kīlauea Volcano Lava Outbreak Prompts Evacuations

Kīlauea Volcano

(From UPI)

Authorities in Hawaii ordered thousands of residents to evacuate Thursday after a volcano on one of the state’s largest islands began emitting lava.

Hawaii County Civil Defense urged about 10,000 residents in the Puna community of Hawai’i island to leave the area after lava from the Kīlauea Volcano was seen seeping out of cracks in the road, according to Hawaii News Now.

The American Red Cross of Hawaii opened an emergency shelter for evacuees at Pahoa Community Center.

Earlier Thursday 4.6-magnitude earthquake shook Hawai’i island at around 10:30 a.m., causing rockfalls and a possible collapse into the crater of the Kīlauea ‘s Puu O’o vent, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said.

A cloud of pink ash and smoke was sent into the air after the quake as officials warned residents along the east rift zone of the volcano to prepare to evacuate in advance of an eruption that could come with very little warning.

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Kansas, Oklahoma Approve Religious Veto on LGBT Adoptions

(From AP News)

State lawmakers in Kansas and Oklahoma have approved legislation to grant legal protections to faith-based adoption agencies that cite their religious beliefs for not placing children in LGBT homes.

Supporters of such measures argued that the core issue is protecting a group’s right to live out its religious faith, while critics saw them as attacks on LGBT rights. Both Kansas and Oklahoma have GOP-controlled legislatures and governors, but in Kansas, the proposal split Republicans.

The Kansas Senate approved a bill early Friday morning, 24-15, that would prevent faith-based agencies from being barred from providing foster care or adoption services for the state if they refuse to place children in homes violating their “sincerely held” religious beliefs. The House had approved it late Thursday, 63-58.

The action in Kansas came after the Oklahoma House voted 56-21 for a similar measure, sending it to Gov. Mary Fallin, who has not said whether she would sign it. Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer supported his state’s legislation, with his administration arguing that it would encourage faith-based groups to place more abused and neglected children in state custody.

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Bitcoin Cash Wiki Article Suffers From Edit Warring and Vandalism

For instance looking at the discussion on the editor’s ‘talk page’ and the Bitcoin Cash article’s revisions page many of the arguments and edits revolve around calling the cryptocurrency … comment content based on politics or personal opinions.

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Dick’s Sporting Goods Hired Three Gun Control Lobbyists In April

I used to like Dick’s. They carry Brooks running shoes which are in my experience fantastic. Now I guess I’ll just buy my running shoes online. Dick’s capitulated. They crumbled. They chose.

We understand why they did it. They didn’t want a shooting to be tied to them. But they should have stood for principal, not to mention the Constitution. They figured selling yoga pants to gun controllers was more profitable than selling hunting rifles. Fine. We understand. There are plenty of other places to spend money.

(From The Federalist)

Dick’s Sporting Goods, which announced in February it would no longer sell rifles to anyone under the age of 21, hired three Beltway lobbyists to lobby Congress for gun control, according to federal records reviewed by The Federalist.

The lobbying records show Dick’s hired two Democrats and one Republican from Glover Park Group, a DC-based government affairs firm, for “[l]obbying related to gun control.” No other policy issues were listed in the disclosure form filed by the firm. The disclosure forms show Dick’s pro-gun control lobbying effort began official on April 27, 2018. The official registration form noting Dick’s retention of Glover to push for gun control was filed on Monday morning.

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FEC hit with lawsuit over ignoring civil complaint accusing Clinton, DNC in election scheme ($84 MILLION in donations improperly distributed?)

We need to turn this into a poster.

 

That the Hillary camp did this, and to this point has gotten away with this is typical Washington/Clintonish corruption. On a pretty big scale though. Of course it does seem that the Clinton campaign was committed to “going big”.

(From Fox News)

“Based on publicly available FEC records, repeatedly throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, HVF would purportedly transfer funds to its constituent political committees, which included between 34 and 40 state parties,” reads a passage from a copy of the complaint. “On the very same day each of these transfers supposedly occurred, or occasionally the very next day, every single one of those state parties purportedly contributed all of those funds to the DNC.”

The complaint filed against the FEC said previous reports showed a series of transactions in which the HVF disbursed contributions to its state party committee members — and they would receive the funds on the same day. The HVF would also allegedly disburse funds to up to 40 state parties at the same time, and those parties would send the money back within 24 hours.

One can’t do that under the law – it appears.

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CORPORATE BLUE STATE REFUGEES: Wall Street Slaps Down NYC Again With AllianceBernstein’s Move to Nashville

It is sad to say but New York, a city born of commerce (like all the best cities) doesn’t appreciate markets and entrepreneurialism like it should. It’s hard to do business there. Too hard for some.

My great grandfather founded a marine insurance company in the city. But that was another time.

(From Bloomberg)

AllianceBernstein Holding LP is moving its corporate headquarters and about 1,050 jobs to Nashville, Tennessee, the company said in a filing Wednesday, concluding a months-long search that evaluated cities on attributes including housing, cost of living, education and weather.

While some of the firm’s traditional Wall Street functions — including portfolio management, sell-side research and trading, and private wealth management — will stay in New York, workers from finance, legal, sales and marketing teams, among other functions, will start relocating this year. AllianceBernstein Chief Executive Officer Seth Bernstein will join them in Nashville in 2020, according to an internal memo.

“I see Nashville as a game-changer for AB in terms of our ability to source, develop and retain talent, provide a high quality of life for our employees, increase our competitive edge in an increasingly challenging marketplace,” Bernstein said in the memo.

This is a trend that is just gathering steam now. Why should a business stay and suffer the unceasing BS one must suffer in places like New York, Chicago, or California? At some point it just doesn’t make sense no matter how good the restaurants are.

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