//I added the following metatags
Posted (crates) in Miscellaneous, People, Personal Stuff on May-31-2010

     I’ve written before about my father’s best friend when he was growing up.  They both lived in the little dusty west Texas town of Truscott, but since their school burned down, they were bused to the nearby town of Crowell.  It was there at the Crowell high school that my father met my mother.

     The options were limited in that small town if you wished to take your girl on a date. Fortunately,  C. J.’s  father had a car and let his son use it, and he would drive my father and mother all about.  I have seen photos of all of them on the bridge over the North Wichita River, laughing and having fun. My father with his football letter jacket and a white scarf about his neck, standing besides my smiling mother, my father and C.J. standing with their arms about each other’s shoulders. There also photos of my dad and C.J. in their football uniforms. Dad played quarterback his senior year and C.J. fulback.  My mother was a cheerleader.

      Both my father and C.J. graduated from High School on a Friday, and on Monday, both left for their military training, my father into the army and eventually the army/airforce, and C.J. into the marines. My father survived the war, whereas C.J. died a hero’s death on the black sands of Iwo Jima (Fifth Marine Division), winning the Navy Cross, and leaving a hole in both of my parent’s lives.  My father is 86 and has lived a long, loving life, whereas C.J. died  (KIA Kelton, C.J. Pfc 5th Tank 5th Feb 22, 1945, Iwo Jima) at the age of 20 and his bones have lain in those dark volcanic sands of Iwo Jima for 65 years.

     And why do I write about C.J. Kelton now?  It is Memorial Day, and when I thought of whom I should hold in my memory for this day, I thought of C.J.  Fortunately, I have had no recent member of my family who has died while serving their country.

      I remember hearing about C.J. when I was about four years old, about how my father’s best friend died in “the war.”  I never thought much about him again until a few years ago when putting together comments by my mother and father, I learned more about him and wanted to know more about this young man who was so well liked by both of my parents.  My mother always talked about how sweet and good he was.  Also I was struck by the contrast between him and my father.  Both were from similar backgrounds and had similar lives, but C.J.’s life and future were cut so cruelly short.  I often wondered what would have happened if he had lived and had come back from that cruel war and had a family.  I have wondered about his mother and father and siblings that he left behind.  What has become of them?  Perhaps I shall never know.  I have searched online for any mention of his death, and today I found this:

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to C.J. Kelton (870869), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty while serving with the Fifth Tank Battalion, Division Service Troops, FIFTH Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces at Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, on 22 February 1945. With his platoon command tank struck and set afire by hostile shellfire during a perilous advance northward against a fanatic, determined enemy, Private First Class Kelton promptly dismounted from his own vehicle and braved the enemy’s shattering 47-mm. antitank, mortar and small-arms fire in a valiant attempt to rescue the entrapped crew. Boldly pressing forward under the withering barrage, he crossed the 25-yard open area and unhesitatingly entered the blazing tank and then, working tirelessly and with superb courage, personally extricated two of the three wounded men from the tank and carried them back to his own vehicle despite the incessant shellfire. By his daring initiative, outstanding fortitude and grave concern for the safety of others at great risk to his own life, Private First Class Kelton contributed to the saving of three fellow Marines who otherwise might have perished and his self-sacrificing efforts throughout upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Commander in Chief, Pacific Forces: Serial 32446 (July 12, 1945)
Born: at Kanima, Oklahoma
Home Town: Truscott, Texas http://www.homeofheroes.com/members/02_NX/citations/03_wwii-nc/nc_06wwii_usmcH.html

Posted (crates) in birding, Birds on May-3-2010
COSTA RICA BIRD SPECIES                  Bold type indicates new life species for me (40 out of 82 total species IDed) San Jose Volcun Poas Hwy to Tortuguera Tortuguera Arenal Volcano area Los Chiles Boat Trip Hanging Bridges Guanacaste  
Rock Dove (Common Pigeon) x                
House Sparrow  x             x  
White Wing Dove x         x   x  
Blue grey tanager x         x      
Great Tailed Grackle x   x x x x   x  
Turkey Vulture x x x x x x x x  
Black Vulture x x x x x x   x  
Violet Saberwing Hummingbrd   x              
Blue wing patch red rump     x            
Road side Hawk     x   x        
Ruddy Ground-Dove     x            
Blue black Grassquit     x   x        
Frigate Bird       x       x  
Red Breasted Blackbird       x          
Northern Jacana       x   x      
Great Blue Heron       x   x      
Little Blue Heron       x   x      
Snowy Egret       x   x      
Great Egret       x   x      
Cattle Egret       x       x  
Summer Tanager       x          
Tropical Kingbird       x   x      
Anhinga       x x x      
Collard Aracari       x          
Green Heron       x          
Bare-Throated Tiger-Heron       x   x      
Great Green Macaw       x          
Great Kiskadee       x x x   x  
Long Tailed Woodcreeper       x          
Ringed Kingfisher       x   x      
Green Kingfisher       x          
Bright rumped Attila       x          
Flycatcher–check       x          
Royal Tern       x       x  
Boat-Billed Heron       x   x      
American Pygmy Kingfisher       x          
Red-capped Manakin       x          
Black-Cheeked Woodpecker       x          
Keeled-billed Toucan       x          
Chestnut-Mandibled Toucan       x          
Palm Tanager       x          
Baltimore Oriole       x       x  
Golden-Hooded Tanager       x          
Purple Gallinule       x   x      
Montezuma Oropendula       x x        
Rufescent Tiger-Heron       x          
Great Patoo       x          
Osprey       x          
Lesser Yellow Legs       x          
Tricolored Heron       x          
Scarlet Rump Tanager     x x x x      
Mangrove Swallow       x x x      
Spotted Sandpiper       x   x   x  
Black-Necked Stilt       x          
Red winged Blackbird         x x      
Orange blue beak         x        
Clay colored thrush         x        
Band Tail Pidgeon         x        
Social Flycatcher         x        
Crested Guan         x        
Black cowled oriole         x        
Neotropical Cormorant           x      
Green-Backed Heron           x      
Olive-throated Parakeet           x      
Rufous tail Hummingbird           x x    
Amazon Kingfisher           x      
Limpkin           x      
Yellow tail Oriole (call)           x      
Black Throated Trogan             x    
White-tailed Kite             x    
Blue-and-Yellow Macaw             x    
Brown Pelican               x  
Sanderling               x  
Black Breasted Plover               x  
Wilson’s Plover               x  
Whimbrel               x  
Squirrel Cuckoo               x  
Common Black Hawk               x  
Laughing Falcon               x  
Black headed Trogan           x   x  
Fork-tailed Flycatcher               x