U.S. Air Force Col. Rick N. Parsons, 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing commander, checks items on a list at Eglin Air Force Base sometime in the 1990s. Parsons downded an SU-7/17, making him the only wing commander to record an aerial victory in Operation Desert Storm. (Courtesy photo)
In the three weeks since the start of Operation Desert Storm, the 33rd TFW (P) scored a total of 16 combat kills, the most of any allied unit. The Nomads also had the greatest number of pilots in one squadron with aerial victories (12), most pilots with multiple victories (4), and the only wing commander to record an aerial victory.
Lt. Col. William Thiel, 58th Tactical Fighter Squadron commander, laid out the objectives before deploying: gain and maintain air superiority; kill ratio of XX to 0; no lost sorties due to operational or maintenance shortfalls. The 33rd TFW (P) achieved them all.
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Heavy snowfall and extreme cold can immobilize an entire region. Even areas that normally experience mild winters can be hit with a major snowstorm or freezing temperatures. Winter storms can result in flooding, storm surge, closed highways, blocked roads and downed power lines. Weather of this nature can also cause hypothermia. While Southern California is usually warm and sunny, temperatures in our nearby mountains and even the deserts can drop dramatically. Without proper heating, some homes within the city can become dangerously cold in the winter, especially for the ill and elderly. When it comes to cold weather, below are some quick facts that will keep you informed and prepared:
Off duty, Estrada dedicates his time to Adriana, his lovely wife of 23 years, his three children, Justin, Ryan, and Jessica, and his Goldendoodle puppy, "Duner." They enjoy off-roading excursions and desert camping trips.
According to Cordaro, there are more than a few parallels between working as a firefighter and serving in the military. "From the tiered command structure to the immersive training, to constantly looking out for your teammates, being a soldier helped prepare me for life as a firefighter," expressed Cordaro. On the other hand, the experience of working for the LAFD, working under pressure on high-stress incidents, and responding to severe trauma [medical] calls definitely helps prepare someone for the realities of life in a combat zone."
Though only 81 minutes in length, "Bad Day" packs a punch. Spencer Tracy stars as Macreedy, a one-armed man who arrives unexpectedly one day at the sleepy desert town of Black Rock. He is just as tight-lipped at first about the reason for his visit as the residents of Black Rock are about the details of their town. However, when Macreedy announces that he is looking for a former Japanese-American Black Rock resident named Komoko, town skeletons suddenly burst into the open. In addition to Tracy, the standout cast includes Robert Ryan, Anne Francis, Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine and Dean Jagger. Director John Sturges displays the western landscape to great advantage in this CinemaScope production.
When a ship carrying young Alec Ramsey (Kelly Reno) and a black Arabian stallion sinks off the coast of Africa, Alec and the horse find themselves stranded on a deserted island. Upon their rescue, Alec and horse trainer/former jockey Henry Dailey (Mickey Rooney) begin training the horse to become a formidable racer. Directed by Carroll Ballard and based on the Walter Farley novel of the same name, the film was executive produced by Francis Ford Coppola who finally persuaded United Artists to release the film after shelving it for two years. The film's supervising sound editor, Alan Splet, received a Special Achievement Award for his innovations including affixing microphones around the horse's midsection to pick up the sound of its hoof beats and breathing during race sequences. "The Black Stallion" was nominated for two Academy Awards, one for Best Supporting Actor for Mickey Rooney and one for Best Film Editing for Robert Dalva.Expanded essay by Keith Phipps (PDF, 375 KB)
At the heart of David Lean's antiheroic war epic about a band of British POWs forced to build a bridge in the wilds of Burma is the notion of men clinging to their sanity by clinging to military tradition. The film's cast, which reflects a broad spectrum of acting styles, includes Alec Guinness as the British commanding officer and Sessue Hayakawa as his Japanese counterpart, and William Holden as an American soldier who escapes from the camp and Jack Hawkins as the British major who convinces him to return and help blow up the bridge. Lean elects to keep the musical score to a minimum and instead plays up tension with nature sounds punctuating the action. For many film critics and historians, "Bridge on the River Kwai" signals a shift in Lean's directorial style from simpler storytelling toward the more bloated epics that characterized his later career.Sessue Hayakawa and Alec Guinness in a scene from "The Bridge On The River Kwai"
One of the most beloved of American films, this captivating romantic adventure directed by Michael Curtiz is the story of a world-weary ex-freedom fighter (Humphrey Bogart) who runs a nightclub in Casablanca during the early part of WWII. Despite pressure from the local authorities, led by the wily Capt. Renault (Claude Rains), Rick's cafe has become a haven for refugees. One of those refugees is Rick's true love who deserted him when the Nazis invaded Paris (Ingrid Bergman) and her Resistance leader husband (Paul Henreid). How the triangle would resolve itself wasn't known even to cast members until the last days of filming. Though often lacking logical cohesion, the film's dialog and the timeliness of world events swirling around Casablanca made the eventual Best Picture winner a favorite with wartime audiences.Expanded essay by Jay Carr (PDF, 565KB)
From 1910 to 1918, Edwin Thanhouser's New Rochelle, New York-based company was a prolific film studio producing more than 1,000 shorts of various genres. Though few of his movies survive, one that has is this short mystery in which a delivery boy is falsely accused of stealing $20,000. All hope seems lost until the boy's sister, who works as a film editor, uncovers celluloid evidence to free him -- a plot device that anticipates security cameras and eyewitness home videos by decades. Thanhouser, who co-directed with Lawrence Marston, demonstrates a command of visual storytelling that rivals D.W. Griffith's.Expanded essay by Ned Thanhouser (PDF, 524KB)
Daniel Taradash earned an Oscar for his adaptation of James Jones unadaptable explicitly gritty best-selling novel set in Hawaii just prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Director Fred Zinnemann translated the Taradash script into a lavish, star-studded blockbuster that won him and the picture Academy Awards. The epic featured Montgomery Clift as a soldier who boxes and bugles with equal skill, Donna Reed as a nightclub hostess (a prostitute in Jones's novel) with whom Clift falls in love, and Frank Sinatra, whose faltering career was rejuvenated with an Oscar for his performance as a wisecracking enlisted man at odds with a bullying sergeant played by Ernest Borgnine. At the center of the ensemble is Burt Lancaster as a sergeant involved in a torrid affair with his commander's wife, Deborah Kerr, their romance culminating in the famous lovemaking scene on the beach.
Based on the exploits of T. E. Lawrence during World War I, this renowned classic may play fast and loose with history and psychology, but its remarkable beauty is breathtaking. David Lean crafts this film, one of his many epics, with sweeping wide shots that capture the desolation of the desert. Peter O'Toole, who was nominated for an Oscar but lost to Gregory Peck for "To Kill a Mockingbird," plays Lawrence larger than life, albeit with marginal historical accuracy. Also starring Omar Sharif, Anthony Quinn, and Alec Guinness, the film took home a total of seven Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography (Freddie Young), and one for Maurice Jarre's memorably rousing score.Expanded essay by Michael Wilmington (PDF, 573KB)
From 1950 to 1980, Sidney Poitier ranked among the top American film stars ("No Way Out," "Blackboard Jungle," "Edge of the City," "The Defiant Ones," "Raisin in the Sun," "Paris Blues," "In the Heat of the Night," "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner"). In "Lilies," Poitier has another of his classic roles where he plays an itinerant worker who helps refugee East European nuns build a chapel in Arizona. The nuns cannot pay him for the work and implore him to do so by citing various Biblical verses (Sermon on the Mount). Poitier, for his part, is moved by their plight but also wants to demonstrate his skills as an architect and builder. The film serves as a parable highlighting mutual respect via common purpose, the austere Arizona desert landscape, the impoverished nuns, and a man they believe God sent to help them. For his portrayal, Poitier became the first African American to win the Oscar for best actor. 2b1af7f3a8