The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #3154   Message #15373
Posted By: dick greenhaus
28-Oct-97 - 01:03 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: WWII and Patriotic Songs
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics
Captain Colin p. Kelly, Jr. was America's first hero of WW II. He was credited at that time with attacking and sinking the Japanese battleship Haruna off Luzon in the Philippines on Dec. 10, 1941. While returning to base, Kelly's B-17 was set on fire by Japanese airplanes and one waist gunner was killed. Kelly then ordered the remainder of the crew to bail out. All were saved but Kelly who died when the B-17 crashed to the ground.

Subsequently, President Franklin D. Roosevelt posthumously conferred the Distinguished Service Cross upon Kelly for his sacrifice.

It was not until after WW II had ended that it was learned that Kelly's airplane had attacked a light cruiser named Ashigara and not the Haruna.

At that early period of the war, the Haruna was operating hundreds of miles away off Malaysia.

Popular mythology of 1941 had Kelly sinking the Haruna by crashing his damaged B17 into it. Wars require heroes.