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  1. Past hour
  2. Yesterday
  3. Black River Santa

    Santa Claus Flew a Piper Cub

    Santa Claus Flew a Piper Cub By Black River Santa On Christmas Eve 1944, the beleaguered American defenders holding the little Belgian town of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge, were low on everything except courage. An airdrop the day before had brought in some supplies but the few, exhausted medics, who tended to wounded GIs in dank cellars throughout the town, had no penicillin and damn little of anything else. When the Germans surrounded the town on December 19, they captured nearly all of the medical personnel and supplies. According to one trooper named Ernie Cummings, who was there with the 101st Airborne, the handful of medics had no choice but to amputate the growing number of gangrenous and frostbitten limbs. Back at headquarters, they were frantically trying to get medical supplies through to Bastogne but the foul weather ruined any hopes for another airdrop. Instead, they turned in desperation to some of the smallest members of the massive American air armada – the single-prop, unarmed Piper Cub L-4s, known affectionately as “grasshoppers.” The Piper Cub was designed in the 1930s and was a popular civilian sport plane. During the war, it was used for reconnaissance flights and made an ideal spotter plane for artillery and armor, but the slow-moving, low-flying, grasshoppers were also vulnerable to all types of ground fire. At the 28th Division HQ, volunteers were requested from the ranks of the Piper Cub pilots that spotted for the division artillery. The men were told that they would fly in at night and face heavy enemy fire. They were also warned that there was no airstrip near Bastogne to land on, and no lights to guide them in. Every one of the plucky grasshopper pilots stepped forward to volunteer. One, who insisted the loudest and most adamantly, was a young lieutenant from Far Hills, New Jersey named Kenneth B. Schley, Jr. As the tiny planes were loaded with vital penicillin, the weather worsened and an icy fog began to envelop the airfield. Back at HQ, the brass was beginning to have second thoughts, and shortly aftr the planes took off, they aborted the mission. Kenneth Schley had anticipated the recall, so as a precaution, he turned off his radio so that there would be no turning back. Alone, he bounced along through the frigid, starless night relying on his compass to guide him to Bastogne. Along the way he dodged bursts of flak, machine gun tracers, small arms fire, and anything else the enemy could throw at him. After 30 minutes under intense fire, Schley finally reached Bastogne. As warned, he couldn’t see any lights or signs of a landing strip. He buzzed the town several times, swooping down to rooftop level and gunning his engines hoping to be heard but there was still no sign. Determined to get the supplies through at any cost, he decided to crash land. Just then, a double row of flashlights flickered on below, outlining a makeshift landing strip. For the astonished troopers of the 101st Airborne, it was as if old St. Nick had dropped in himself. For the wounded lying in the cellars of the surrounded and besieged town, there couldn’t have been a better Christmas present. Schley spent the night in one of crowded cellars. He was so impressed with the tenacity of the men of the 101st, he tried to enlist the next morning. When he was told that it was appreciated but not possible, he decided to get back to work. Against the advice of his new comrades and superior officers, Schley hopped back into his Piper Cub on Christmas morning and flew back over enemy lines to his unit. For his “gallantry and complete disregard for personal safety” that foggy Christmas Eve, Kenneth B. Schley, Jr. was awarded the Silver Star. Lt. Kenneth B. Schley, Jr. (left). A Piper Cub L-4 Grasshopper (right)
  4. Last week
  5. Felix Estridge

    Sign the Santa Claus Oath by Proxy

    There has been quite a bit of feedback on the Oath proxy pages and their reference still to 2010. They have been updated for anyone who still wants to sign it by proxy for placement into the Oath Book once it is removed from storage inside the time capsule in 2035. Those files now replace the old ones here.
  6. Felix Estridge

    Santa Claus Oath Proxy

  7. Santa M

    The Professional Santa Claus’ Podcast - Episode 23

    I do desire to be a life long learner. Thank you for your encouragement!
  8. TamaleClaus

    National Christmas Center is Coming Back!

    It is most fortunate that it opens in 2021, it should take you that long to ensure enough. Count me in
  9. Schwindy

    National Christmas Center is Coming Back!

    Well you have to admit: You @Drosselmeyer You sir have taught them well! They learned it from watching, reading, and working off your lead! HELLO>>>>>>>>>> LOL!
  10. Santa M

    The Professional Santa Claus’ Podcast - Episode 22

    So wonderful! Thanks so much for the podcast. would love the opportunity to audition to sing in a Santa quarter
  11. Drosselmeyer

    National Christmas Center is Coming Back!

    and - the shenanigans have already begun . . .
  12. Black River Santa

    National Christmas Center is Coming Back!

    Maybe we should camp out front and be the first ones in! I like chocolate chip, by the way
  13. Drosselmeyer

    National Christmas Center is Coming Back!

    well I suppose we should wait until the gentleman has the place set up before we invade the establishment.... however - when the time comes - any of you all are welcome to crash at my North Pole annex here in Wilmington - I am only about 80 minutes from the new location of the Christmas center - if anyone doesn't want to meet up yonder we can certainly get a rest and start from here.... but let me know so I have plenty of milk and cookies on hand....
  14. Santa Johnny Boy

    National Christmas Center is Coming Back!

    Oh yeah, I'm in!!!
  15. Schwindy

    National Christmas Center is Coming Back!

    ohhhhhh goooooddieeee You too I would love to see and meet and shake your hand You too my friend are yet but another Hero! To me anyway!
  16. SCSanta

    National Christmas Center is Coming Back!

    If it is humanly possible, I will be IN as well!
  17. Schwindy

    National Christmas Center is Coming Back!

    So for the rest of you .... You see what Patrick is saying here don't you? I mean it's as plain for ALL OF US TO SEE. HE WANTS IN AS WELL, He'll be waiting for the date and time to be set so he too can make the ROAD TRIP! LOL
  18. SCSanta

    National Christmas Center is Coming Back!

    My wife and I went to Miller's a few years ago when we were in the Lancaster area. I think that was the first time I truly realized I had gotten old, because that place whooped my oversized butt, which never would have happened when I was in my prime!
  19. Schwindy

    National Christmas Center is Coming Back!

    I'm IN I'm IN I'm IN I'm IN I'm IN I'm IN
  20. Black River Santa

    National Christmas Center is Coming Back!

    I'm always up for Shenanigans!
  21. Drosselmeyer

    National Christmas Center is Coming Back!

    @Schwindy @Santa Johnny Boy @Black River Santa @Santa Bill Reiller . . . . .
  22. Schwindy

    National Christmas Center is Coming Back!

    And once we see where the new place is located, I'd be willing to bet Miller's isn't too far away! ONE of the VERY BEST Smorgasbord's around that area https://www.millerssmorgasbord.com And then @Drosselmeyer and then it's a road trip for sure!!! When we figure it all out we could set a date and time to follow. COUNT ME IN, it will be well worth the almost 2 hour drive NOT TO MENTION the gang of people we might be able to solicit to follow us into MORE TROUBLE FOR THE DAY!! I'm in in in in!
  23. Black River Santa

    Zipper in place

    Outstanding! Wish I had your sewing skills.
  24. Santa Bill Reiller

    National Christmas Center is Coming Back!

    Sounds like something to add to the bucket list!!!
  25. Drosselmeyer

    National Christmas Center is Coming Back!

    Road Trip !!!!
  26. Schwindy

    National Christmas Center is Coming Back!

    @Black River Santa If @Schwindy and @Drosselmeyer say it is so, then... This is GREAT NEWS!!! JUST So everyone knows To the best of my knowledge no monies have been ........ WAIT A MINUTE Doug where did that $20 GO?!?! It was here a minute ago! Special counsel being assigned to figure this OUT! Attention CN shoppers schwindy IS NOT giving away money!!!!! but does highly endorse this GREAT NEWS about the Christmas Center Museum for all to see! I highly recommend it to be on ones bucket list!
  27. Black River Santa

    National Christmas Center is Coming Back!

    If @Schwindy and @Drosselmeyer say it is so, then... This is GREAT NEWS!!!
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    • If You Have the Post Christmas Blues You’re Doing Christmas Wrong
      The post-Christmas blues are a very real thing. Once the date of December 25th has passed the specter of December 26th is an ominous marker to many. It sits there on the calendar like the Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come. Silent and foreboding, the very image of the hooded Angel of Death it seems to be. And why not?

      Just about anywhere you look Americans are tossing trees to the curb, ripping down lights from rooftops and radio stations are flipping back to everyday music. What took months to build gets deconstructed in a matter of a couple of days.
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