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Friday, November 13, 2015

WARD HEELERS

 I think the first act curtain fell on Chicago's innocence just after five on Monday afternoon, 27 November, 1905. That was when 38 year old Marshall Field  Jr, the eldest son of MarshalI Field and heir to $150 millions (about $10 billion today),  died at Chicago’s Mercy hospital. He had been admitted five days earlier with a gunshot wound to the abdomen, and now he was dead. And there has never been a good explanation as to just how he had been shot.
The official story was that while in his bedroom that morning Marshall (above) had been cleaning his gun, dropped it and the gun had gone off. The butler and a nurse said they had immediately rushed to his aide. But a reporter for the Daily News tried to replicate the accident with an identical weapon, but it  refused to discharge. The papers were afraid of losing advertising from the Marshall Field Department stores, then the largest retail chain in America, so the public questions  stopped there - for the time being.
The Field’s mansions, father’s and son’s (above), stood next to each other on “Millionaires Row” - Prairie Avenue on Chicago’s south side. The row was home to Pullman, Armour, Sears, and the Fields. In fact 70 of the most powerful families in America lived within a square mile of each other, and this was not a place usually visited by public scandal. After the funeral, Marshall’s widow and three children moved in with his father. But it stood no chance of being a happy home. The very next year the elder Field died of pneumonia, and the widow returned to her native England, leaving behind an open wound - caused, many believed, by a section of Chicago called the Levee
Less than a half mile from Millionaires Row,  the Levee District was home to sin and vice of unsurpassed depravity and popularity. It was bordered by 18th street on the north, 23rd street on the south, South Clark on the west and South Wabash Avenue on the east. And at its immoral center was the Everleigh Club. 
For eight years Ada and Minna Everleigh (above) were “Queens of the Levee”, running one of the most popular brothels in the Chicago. Minna (right) famously greeted each customer with a delightfully wicked, “How’s my boy?”
Their thirty girls catered to an upscale clientele, charging $50 just to get in the front door of 2131-2133 South Dearborn (above). Once inside the plush parlor, extras were extra. It was common knowledge that for years Marshall Field Jr. had been a regular at the Everleigh Club, and the rumor was that Marshall had been shot at the club by one of the girls, or had shot himself there,  because he was being blackmailed by one of the "ladies".  Those kinds of events were not unheard of in The Levee.
One door to the south of the Everleigh Club was Ed Weiss’s bawdy house, "The Capital", and to the north was "The Sapphro", run by his brother Lou Weiss. In fact, jammed into the Levee were dozens houses of prostitution; Dago Franks, French Em’s, Old 92, and in direct cutthroat competition with the Everleigh sisters was Madam Vic Shaw’s House at Dearborn and Cullerton. In between the whore houses were opium dens, cocaine factories, gambling joints, peep shows and bars - lots and lots of bars.
Ringmasters of this sin circus -  the Princes of the Levee -  were two men; the big, blustery city alderman, John J. Coughlin (right), and his diminutive doppelganger, Michael "Hinky Dink" Kenna (left). 
The gimlet eyed “Hinky Dink” (above) received his nickname because he stood just 5 feet tall. He was normally “…glum and quietly dressed”, and usually chewing on a cigar. He was a teetotaler, and his wife was a temperance worker. He also was an Alderman, as well as owning and operating several bars and gambling houses in the Levee, the most famous of which was The Workingman’s Exchange on Clark Street. 
Here barflies, bums, tramps, the unemployed and the homeless could find beer for a nickel, a free lunch and, come election day, a job as a “repeater”, for this was where politics and vice crossed paths. Given pre-marked ballots by “Ward Heelers” who walked the district, these "repeaters" were transported to various polling places, where they would trade their pre-marked ballots for blanks. On returning to "The Exchange", their blanks could be exchanged for fifty cents each. While they drank a free beer, their new ballots would be marked and the game would go another round. In twenty years neither "Hinky Dink" nor "Bathhouse" John Coughlin ever lost an election.
“Bathhouse” earned his nickname because he had once worked as an attendant at a bath house, a Levee euphemism for a gambling joint. Coughlin was over sized and overdressed and prone to outbursts of poetry, such as his infamous compositions  “She sleeps by the Drainage Canal” and “Why did they build the lovely lake so close to the horrible shore?”  His typical “Signs of Spring “concluded, “There are many other signs of spring which come by wireless wire; One of which is Yours Sincerely, who is tuning up his lyre. Just to twang a song to nature 'bout the brooks and fields of green; O, I wonder if I'm understood; I wonder, yes, I ween.”
One of Chicago’s mayors asked Hinky Dink if Bathhouse was just crazy or a drug addict. Hinky Dink replied, “To tell you the god’s truth, Mayor, they ain’t found a name for it yet.” These two men had a genius for skimming protection money from the Levee. Their enforcement arm was the Chicago Police, and in addition to their weekly take,  of up to a thousand dollars per establishment,  they sold tickets to the annual First Ward Ball. In the words of historian, "Every employee of a house of ill-repute or gambling den, every robber, pickpocket, safe-cracker, and streetwalker, and every bartender, bawdy house entertainer, and low groggery proprietor, all were required to buy tickets…”
The Ball was held each December, and Ike Bloom, owner of “Freiberg’s Dance Hall”, was responsible for selling the tickets. Ike was half clown and half cold blooded killer, whose club was “the most notorious place in Chicago”, which was quite a charge, considering Chicago. The ball was billed as a charity, and in 1906, as the press began to reviel the Levee on their front pages, a reporter from the Tribune asked Hinky Dink where all money raised went. Hinky Dink replied, “Charity, education, burying the dead, and general ward benefits for the people” Asked what he meant by ‘education’, Hinky got a little testy. “It consists of hiring good halls and good speakers to teach the people of the First ward to vote the straight Democratic ticket.” And that was the end of that interview.
Each year the First Ward Ball grew in size and sank in reputation. The 1908 festivity attracted “20,000 drunken, yelling, brawling revelers” who filled the Chicago Coliseum on South Wabash Avenue and clogged the streets outside. When the Law And Order League tried to stop the orgy, they inspired Bathhouse to write, “Strike up the march, professor, and I will lead the way; We'll trip the light fantastic too, until the break of day. Who knows that ere another ball, we'll be outside the city hall; Be gay, but not too gay.” And Hinky Dink groused, “Whenever you hear one of them fellows shouting that Hinky Dink is a menace to society and that he has horns, just keep your hand on your watch. Savvy?”
One newspaper  attempted to describe the scene inside the Coliseum. “The crowd was so enormous that when women fainted – a common occurrence – they had to be passed overhead from hand to hand towards the exits. Cigar smoke settled on the floor in such thick fogs that visibility was no greater than 30 feet in any direction. The noise of shuffling feet and murmuring overpowered the sound of the dance band, and fist-fights and shoving erupted in all quarters. When Lyman Atwell, photographer for the Tribune…began setting up his flash and tripod, security notified (Bathhouse) who…personally jumped on Atwell, breaking his camera and knocking him to the ground…
"As usual, things started to get interesting at midnight, when the regiments of madams and their inmates showed up, led by the Everleigh Sisters. This caused another influx of thousands of men to attempt to enter the building…”  Hinky Dink lorded over the affair from a table off the main floor. Then, at midnight, Bathhouse, wearing a green jacket, a mauve vest, lavender pants and a stove pipe silk hat led a winding Conga Line called The Grand March. Said the newspaper, “The most infamous party in Chicago history lasted until 5 a.m., when the last drunken revelers staggered out…”
But since the death of the Fields, the millionaires had been speaking with their feet, abandoning their mansions, and moving to the suposedly safer northern suburbs. One newspaper observed that Prairie  Avenue had become undesirable to those for whom it was affordable, and un-affordable to those for whom it was desirable. With each wave of press coverage the reformers were gaining power. The establishments in the Levee began to scatter. The 1908 First Ward Ball would prove to be the last.
The mayor finally ordered the Everleigh club (above) closed,  in October of 1911. The sisters walked away with $1,000,000 in cash. Minna took the loss philosophically. “If it weren't for married men”, she admitted, “we couldn't have carried on at all, and if it weren't for cheating married women we could have made another million.” Minna died in 1948, Ada died in 1960. She was 93.
Bathhouse John Coughlin served 46 years as a Chicago Alderman. He died in 1938, $50,000 in debt. “Hinky Dink” Kenna spent his last years alienated from his family, living in a suite in the Blackstone hotel and cared for only by a male nurse. He died in 1946 and left behind a million dollars…in cash. His will stipulated that $33,000 of it should be set aside to construct his mausoleum. His bitter children had Hinky’s will set aside. Instead they marked his passing with an $85.00 wooden tombstone. 
At Hinky’s funeral, half the pews were empty, and few sent flowers. As one old First Ward lobbygog (Ward Heeler) put it, “If you don't go to other people's funerals, they won't go to yours.”
In truth it was not the reformers or the Law and Order League that put the Levee out of business. And few were foolish enough to believe that all those sinners had repented. What killed the Levee was the arrival of Prohibition in 1920, which freed the sinful  Levee from its confinement, providing it profits to spread and multiply. The new Prince of Chicago sin was “Big Jim” Colosimo, the man who brought Al Capone to Chicago and who married Madam Victoria Shaw. As Hinky Dink explained, “Chicago ain't no sissy town.” And Marshall Field Jr. would have certainly agreed.
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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

THE SILVER LINING

I have noticed that in all things, drama attracts drama -  which as often confuses as it sheds light. Forty miles east of Coeur de'Alene, Idaho, there is proof of this. Through fissures opened by dramatic continental collisions over a billion years ago, water percolated up through sedimentary rocks. And where it pooled and cooled it left behind veins of silver, lead, and zinc. Then 190 million years ago this shattered wreckage was struck again, theatrically folding forested ridges upward until they broke, then shoving the amputated segments atop their own abandoned limbs, stacking the veins haphazardly through the new mountains. Fifty million years ago erosion found the weak points in the fault lines, opening the land to ambition and greed and human drama.
Burke Canyon Creek, like a hundred other streams in the panhandle of Idaho, divides two of these ridges. To the southeast the 6,000 foot high twin Grouse Peaks are separate by a mile from the 6,000 foot high Tiger Peak to the northwest. Between them, at just 2,500 feet above sea level, snakes the 300 foot wide “Silver Valley”.  Burke Canyon is so narrow, in the winter the bottom receives only two hours of sunlight. Shopkeepers had to close their awnings when the narrow gauge trains carried out the ore down the center of the canyon. The dead had to be carried out the same way, since there was no space to bury them in the canyon.
 But by 1891, the 11 mile long, constricted, twisting valley was dotted with one-street towns and the 100 mines they served; The Bunker Hill, The Burke, The Star-Morning, The Standard-Mammoth, the Hercules, The Gem, The Poorman Tigar, The Union, The Sunshine, the Frisco, The Tamarack.and The Hecla were the biggest.
In less than a hundred years humans would extract from this dramatic landscape $5.5 billion worth of metal, including 37,00 metric tons of silver – half of all silver mined in the United States - 8 million tons of lead, and 3 million tons of zinc These were no paper profits. This was production,  rare metals pried from the earth. But the handful of owners who risked their capital to exploit this bonanza, and the 3,500 hard-rock miners who risked their lives a mile and more beneath this canyon for $3.50 a day, were all digging their own graves.
In the fall of 1891 the railroads which transported the ore once it was out of Burke Canyon, announced they were raising their rates $2 a ton. The Mine Owners Association, which effectively owned the canyon, responded by shutting down production. Three thousand miners were laid off, and untold store clerks, cooks, maids and laundresses lost their incomes as well. The standoff continued until the following April of 1892, when a compromise was reached and the mines announced they would reopen. But because of increased overhead the mines would rehire only 2,000 men, would add six hours to an already six day workweek, and for the 500 hundred unskilled miners, there would be a pay cut of fifty cents a day.
The workers at each mine formed unions, and were unified in their demand - $3.50 a day for all workers, skilled and unskilled. The Owners Association refused, and in June began advertising for replacement workers. Soon, every train which arrived in Wallace, Idaho, at the foot of the canyon, carried miners (“scabs”) from Michigan and Wisconsin. Union miners took to greeting the new arrivals with fists and clubs. The Owners hired Pinkerton “guards” to protect the replacement workers. Tensions increased, threats increased, violence increased. Two of the mines reopened with union miners, and two, the Gem and the Frisco, reopened with non-union miners.
When the sun rose over the narrow canyon on Monday, 11 July, 1892, the hills overlooking the Gem were covered with armed union men. At first light, the shooting began. After several hours of unproductive gunfire, the miners switched to more familiar weapons. A black powder bomb exploded a building (above) housing one of the stamps which broke up the ore before shipment. After a little more shooting the company men surrendered. The human cost was three dead. 
The union men marched their prisoners across the narrow street to saloons in the town of Gem, while company men still on mine property began sniping at them. Women and children ran for their lives, fleeing either up or down the canyon. Fifty more company men arrived and surrounded the saloons where their men were held. Three more men were killed, this time union men, and eventually, the union men surrendered in their turn.
Meanwhile, shooting had also begun at the Frisco mine, and three more company men had been killed. Yet another surrender prevented further loss of life. The sheriff and Federal Marshals escorted these company men down the canyon to Wallace. Pro-union forces now occupied both mines and had captured 2,000 rounds of ammunition, to boot. All of this had isolated the largest mine further up the canyon, the Bunker Hill, in tiny Burke, Idaho.
On day two of the “Burke Canyon War”, Federal troops arrived in Cataldo, twenty miles to the west, but the union men threatened to blow up the mines if they moved any closer. That left the company men in the closed Bunker Hill Mine cut off from support, heavily outnumbered and out gunned. The company men walked out without putting up any further fight.  All non-union mines in the Silver Valley were now shut down. It was only a matter of time before all would be forced to sign union contracts. It looked like the Union had won. And then somebody did something really dramatic, and really stupid.
It happened in Cataldo, where the narrow gauge railroad met the head of navigation for the Cour d'Alene River. There had once been a Mission nearby, and as daylight began to fade that Tuesday evening, 130 company men from the Gem and Frisco mines were gathered on the dock, waiting for a boat to allow them to escape this insanity. They had already been shot at and some had even been blasted. Then, out of the shadows, men now appeared on horseback and started shooting into the unarmed crowd. Panicked men began running in every direction, some even jumping into the lake. It does not appear that anyone was actually killed in this shadowed fusillade, but it was claimed that 17 were wounded. It was labeled “The Mission Massacre”, and most public sympathy for the union cause died right there.
On Wednesday, 13 July, 1891, Idaho Governor Wiley placed the entire county under martial law. A thousand state milita appeared, followed by a small but vocal army of reporters. Before the week was out 400 union men were under arrest. So backed up would the courts become, that it would be a year before some of prisoners would have their chance to defend themselves. Very few would be found innocent. Many served years in prison. All union men were forced out of the mines, and the Owners Association reigned triumphant. The Wallace Free Press summed up what was lost, when it noted, “Those who live by the sword shall die by the sword, is an old proverb, and labor is not trained in that school.”
Eight years later they all did it again. This time the Bunker Hill mine was blown up. But again the owners won. Six years later the two sides went at it again,  and then Governor - Frank Steunenburg - called out National Guard troops. This time,  he boasted, “We have taken the monster by the throat, and we are going to choke the life out of it.” Union men responded by blowing up the governor. It took the skills of lawyer Clarence Darrow to keep the union man convicted of the Governor's murder, out of the electric chair . But the tit for tat never really ended, which helped ensure that by 1920 the 5,000 non-union miners in Silver Valley were the highest paid workers in the state.  They had to be, to get them to stay. 
But almost unnoticed at first, the real cost of all this drama began to surface. Around 1900 farmers downstream began complaining that the spring floods on the Coeur d'Alene River had poisoned their fields and killed their livestock. By the 1930's the south fork of the Coeur d'Alene river had become a dead zone. People drinking from the river became sick, even losing their hair. The farmers sued the mine owners, but the courts, already used to crush the union, now crushed the farmers. Still, there was so much lead in the Burke Canyon Creek, the miners began calling it “Lead Creek”. After the World Wars the price of silver began to fall. The mines began to close. And as they did, their political power began to wane.
In May of 1972,  91 miners died in a fire in the Sunshine Mine. And this time the disaster brought in the new Environmental Protection Agency. And what they found, scared them. In  Burke Canyon Creek between Burke and Wallace they could find no fish. By measurement, the water carried 550 pounds of zinc every day into the Coeur d'Alene River – so much that when the stream pooled, the water was yellow . Twenty miles of streams in surrounding areas could support no fish, and 10 miles of tributaries of the Coeur d”Alene River had “virtually no life” in them. In those waters outside of Silver Canyon, lead and zinc levels were fifty times the federal safe water quality standard. How had it spread so far outside the canyon?  
Every day each mine had been dumping between 40 and 60 tons of lead into the air. Rain settled this poison into the  Coeur d'Alene river, and had contaminated Lake Coeur d'Alene, which had contaminated 160 miles of the Spokane River, which flowed out of the lake. Water fowl were dying each year in thousands, 21 bird species were at risk of local extinction. And human children living in the valley had the highest levels of lead in their blood ever seen - in the world.
The result was the 21 square mile Bunker Hill Superfund Site. When this cleanup is finally finished (if ever), it could cost taxpayers $1.4 billion – or just about 20% of the value of the ore removed from the “silver canyon” over the last century, to enrich a few mine owners. In 1996, after twenty years of cleanup effort, EPA scientists put healthy trout in water from the Burke Canyon Creek. All were dead in four hours. Today, if you take a drive up Silver Canyon, you will pass the abandoned mine buildings, surrounded by chain link fences. Those fences were erected by the EPA, to protect curious tourists dieing from curiosity.
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Sunday, November 08, 2015

MAKING PEACE - Eight - Last

I suppose it was predictable. Having already destroyed the 22 largest cities in Japan, in June of 1945 the 20th Air Force Bomber Command, headed by General Curtis LeMay, ordered implementation of the “Empire Plan” - the saturation and fire bombing of the next largest 25 cities, with populations between 330,000 and 62,000 people. 
As part of this plan, on the night of Thursday, 19 July, 1945, 127 B-29 bombers flying from the Mariana Islands, dropped 954 tons of incendiaries on the city of Fukuoka (above), - population 300,000 -  burning out 85% of the town (1 ½ square miles) and killing 10,000 civilians.
Moments after the noon broadcast of Emperor Hirohito's speech accepting the American conditions for surrender, Japanese officers at the Western Army Headquarters at Fukuoka, Japan, 60 miles northwest of Nakasaki, ordered that 16 American prisoners of war be brought to the Aburayama “execution grounds”, a hill southwest of the port city. The blindfolded and handcuffed prisoners arrived at 3:30 on the afternoon of Wednesday, 15 August - three hours after the military officers had been told by their Emperor they must “endure the unendurable”.
The victims were divided into four groups and taken to four different locations in field shielded from civilian witnesses by bamboo groves  Lieutenant Hiroji Nakayama demonstrated the correct “"etiquette, according to old customs” to be used in executing the prisoners. The first prisoner, still blindfolded and handcuffed, was made to sit. Then his throat was cut from ear to ear, causing near immediate death. And only then was the head removed with a single blade slice. Unfortunately Nakayama was able to demonstrate this “humane” form of execution to only one of the four groups. Most of the prisoners were butchered. The bodies were then transported by truck to the nearby crematorium. The officers were then ordered to be certain “...no evidence of the execution remained...”  These were men demonstrating the honorable method of murdering their enemies.
In September of 1925, Anthony “Tony” Marchione was born in Pottstown, Pennsylvania (above), about 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia. . He was the first born child of Italian immigrants, and at the age of 14 he got an after school job at a bakery to help support his three sisters. He was so good with his trumpet, he also made extra cash in a “swing band” playing at local dances. But after graduating high school in June of 1943 Tony took a full time job making shell casings at a local war plant. But the 5 foot 6 inch, 125 pound brown eyed Marchione knew he would soon be drafted. He was interested in aviation, so before his draft notice arrived in the mail, on 20 November, he joined the United States Army, requesting service in the Army Air Corps.
Private Anthony Marchione – serial number 33834700 – received basic training in Miami, Florida. The army never considered Tony for flight training. So after basic, he volunteered as an aerial gunner. He was transferred to the Florida panhandle for the 6 week, 290 hour gunner's training. Then Corporal Marchoine was transferred to a B-24 squadron being assembled in Arizona. 
Three months later, while waiting orders to ship out for Italy, Tony's crew was one of five chosen for further training in Oklahoma in photo reconnaissance. After another 3 months becoming proficient at loading both 50 caliber machine guns and film cartridges, in December of 1944, Marchione (above, front row, 2nd from right) and his crew were transferred to Clark Field, on Luzon, in the Philippines.
Sargent Anthony Marchione arrived at Clark Field in May of 1945. After several missions over Luzon and even photographing the coast of China, on Saturday 11 August, he moved 900 miles north to Yontan airbase (above), on Okinawa,  just 250 miles south of Kyushu island. Here, members of his unit were used to support missions by the newly arrived B-32's  
And it was at Yonton, on Wednesday, 15 August, when the “happy day...arrived”, meaning the Emperor's speech accepting surrender terms. But in the same letter Tony spent more time discussing the “fresh pork and potatoes” – served at dinner. “Boy, that was really a treat after those darn rations.” .
On Thursday, 17 August, three B -32's (above)  from Yonton flew 956 miles to Tokyo, taking photos of the bomb damage, and testing Japanese compliance with the Emperor's promise on 16 August, that all hostilities had ceased. The big planes were attacked by Japanese aircraft, but no crew members were injured That afternoon Tony added his name to the list of volunteers to fly the next mission, just about the same time that officers in McArthur's Manila headquarters decided to tests Japanese compliance again the next day.
Four more B -32's lifted off from Yonton airfield before 7 in the morning, Friday, 18 August, 1945. It was mission number 320 A-8. Two of the 60 ton bombers ran into mechanical trouble and were forced to turn back. The remaining two, including the B-32 named Hobo Queen II , commanded by Lieutenant J.R. Anderson, and co-pilot Lieutenant Richard E. Thomas, and carrying, in addition to their regular crew, Photographer Staff Sergeant Joseph Lacharite and photographer's assistant Sergeant Anthony Marchione, cocontinued to the “target” at 20,000 feet. From his letters to friends and family, it was clear Tony was not seeking “action”, but an opportunity to move up the list for earlier discharge, which a combat mission would give him.
But a little before 11:00:that Friday morning the two American aircraft were attacked by 14 Zeros and 3 Shiden-Kai fighters over Tokyo. Thirty years later one of the Japanese pilots, Sadamu Komachi, justified defying orders and launching the attack because he cold not bear to see the American bombers flying serenely over a devastated capital, where 120,000 had died on one March night..
As the bombers flew their photo mission, tail gunner, Sergeant John Houston, spotted fighters approaching. “They were coming in from my 11 o’clock, three or four moving from my left to right. I just put the sight on them and started shooting. One fighter came so close I couldn’t miss. I gave him about 50 rounds and saw hits on the wings and fuselage. He kept coming until he was within about 100 feet, and then he just blew up.” Twenty millimeter cannon fire peppered Hobo Queen II, hitting one of the bombers four engines. “Feathering” that prop, Thomas radioed for the second B-32 to slow down so he could keep up,. Suddenly a Japanese voice crackled over the radio, in perfect English. “Yes, please, slow down so I can shoot you down too.”
Sergeant Burton Keller was in the nose, firing at the fighters that seemed to be trying to ram his plane. Lt Thomas saw the same thing and put the Hobo Queen II into a turning dive, to pick up speed and outrun the fighters.
.As he did so the Zero's made another attack. Later Sargent Lacherite explained, “Rounds came right through the skin of the plane and hit me in both legs. I got spun around and landed on the floor. I grabbed the cord from one of the barracks bags that carried camera gear and wrapped it around one leg as a tourniquet. Then I wrapped an intercom cord around the other leg as Tony pulled me to a cot raised a few inches off the floor.” Tony then called Lt.Anderson over the intercom, telling him Lacherite had been badly wounded.
As Tony turned back to assist Joe, a last Zero(above) spewed the Dominator with 20 mm cannon shells. One blasted through the bomber's paper thin aluminum skin, and hit Tony in the chest, knocking him across the fuselage. A crew member was then able to reach the two wounded men. “When I got there, Tony was bleeding from a big hole in his chest. He was still conscious...He said ‘Stay with me,’ and I said ‘Yes, I’ll stay with you.’ I did the best I could to stop the bleeding and I held him in my arms.” Other crewmen tended to Lacharite. They used compresses to try and stop the bleeding from Tony's chest, and he was given oxygen and plasma. But thirty minutes later, the 19 year old Italian American kid who liked playing the trumpet, died in a soldier's arms, one month short of his 20th birthday, 10,000 feet over the Sea of Japan..
Anthony Marchinoe was the last American killed in combat during World War Two. The next day Emperor Hirohito personally ordered the propellers on all Japanese combat aircraft be removed..
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