New Mexico Casualties from the USS Arizona, 12/7/1941

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On a Sunday morning just after 7:00 AM local time on December 7, 1941, two radar installations had picked up large groups of aircraft heading toward Hawaii from the north. A flight of B-17 was due in from the United States and no alarm was sounded. When the first aircraft appeared, it bore the “red sun” insignia of the Japanese navy. The devastating attack on Pearl Harbor followed. The core of the Pacific Fleet, namely five battleships, three destroyers and seven more ships were either sunk or badly damaged, two hundred airplanes were destroyed, about 2,400 Americans were killed and around 1,200 more were wounded. Although the attack on Pearl Harbor is well remembered, Japanese attacks were also carried out elsewhere in the Pacific, including the large installations in the Philippines.

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Fort Bascom and the “Bascom Affair”

The remains of old Fort Bascom is located roughly about ten miles north northeast of Tucumcari.  It was situated near a horseshoe bend of the Canadian River and is located near the eastern border of San Miguel County, just north of Quay County.  The fort was established early in the Civil War and was abandoned in 1870.

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John D. Anderson, Pearl Harbor Survivor

John Delmer Anderson was a long time weatherman on KBIM television in Roswell, New Mexico.  He had started his career at KSWS radio broadcasting country music after attending Eastern New Mexico University in Portales.  John was one of twelve children.  He had been born in 1917 to Edwin Sigfrid and Laura Lavina Stokes Anderson.  After a sequence of events, John came to live in southeastern New Mexico and was a well-known broadcaster on KBIM for dozens of years.

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The Chase Brothers, WWII Casualties

Albert Bacon Fall Chase was killed in action in World War II, in a 1944 incident involving the Japanese ship Shinyō Maru, known as a “Hell Ship.”  His brother, William Greene Chase, had also died one year earlier during World War II in a noncombat incident at Camp Bullis near San Antonio, Texas.  Both were from Lincoln County in southern New Mexico, were two of the sons of Clarence C. and Alexina Fall Chase and were also grandsons of Senator Albert Fall.

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Joe P. Martinez, Medal of Honor Recipient

Joseph Pantaleon Martinez was born in Taos, New Mexico.  Private Martinez distinguished himself in World War II by his valor in combat, though he gave up his life in doing so.  Private Martinez was born July 27, 1920 to Jose Manuel Martinez and Maria Eduvigen Tafoya.  By the time the United States had declared war on Japan in World War II, Private Martinez had moved to Ault, Weld County, Colorado.  He enlisted in the United States Army from Ault in 1942 at the age of 22.  At the time, he was 5’7” and weighed 145 lb. and was a single man, though at some point thereafter he is believed to have married.  He had been working on a farm in Ault prior to his enlistment.

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White Sands and the Early Days of the American Space Program

As we come to the fiftieth anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 flight, it is nice  to recall that Dr. Robert H. Goddard had predicted in a report that he wrote one hundred years ago in 1919 that it should be possible to reach the Moon by rocket.  Some of the earliest research in rocketry was done in and around Roswell, New Mexico by Dr. Goddard (1882-1945).  Goddard contributed greatly to the technology of rocketry, although the United States government did not seem to get fully behind this work until the years immediately prior to World War II.  By then, Goddard was near the end of his life, although he was rightfully credited for many fundamental discoveries in this area including the use of liquid fuel, patents for gyroscopic control systems, the use of vanes inside the rockets to assist control, the development of gimbal steering and the use of multiple rocket stages, among many others.

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Santiago S. Analla, WWII Casualty

Private Santiago S. Analla was born in 1917 to Francisco Montoya and Florentina Peña Analla.  Santiago enlisted in the Army on March 26, 1941 in Santa Fe.  At the time of his enlistment, he was shown to have had a grammar school education and his occupation was listed as a farm hand.  His marital status was single according to the records and he listed his residence as in Tinnie, Lincoln County, New Mexico.  The next official mention of Private Analla is from the United States Government’s World War II Prisoners of War and World War II Prisoners of Japanese.  Santiago was apparently taken prisoner on or before May 7, 1942 while he was serving in the Coastal Artillery Corps, Army Mine Planter Service.  Analla was attached to Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 200th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army.

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Fort Fillmore

Fort Fillmore was first set up by Col. Edwin V. Sumner in the  fall of 1851 to provide a military presence in the area and to protect settlers and travelers passing through the area on the way west.  Sumner was born in 1797 and was a career Army officer.  He was a native of Massachusetts and had joined the army as a young adult in 1819.  During his career, Sumner had served in the Black Hawk War.  He went on to command military forts in the Anglo expansion across what is now the northern United States.  Sumner’s nickname was “Bull” or “Bull Head” which he acquired during the Mexican-American War.  During the Battle of Cerro Gordo on April 18, 1847 in Veracruz, Mexico, a legend began when a musket ball reportedly bounced off his head during the battle.  He was awarded battlefield promotions during the Mexican-American War and was appointed military governor of the New Mexico Territory in 1851.  Sumner died in 1863 while still serving in the Union Army during the Civil War.  The military installation known as Fort Sumner in eastern New Mexico was named for him and the current town of Fort Sumner took its name from the fort.

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Hiroshi H. Miyamura

We have probably encountered people who have done heroic and selfless things, and not even known who they were.  We would like to highlight them as we come across their stories.  One was Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura who was born in Gallup, New Mexico.  His parents had come to Gallup with other family members in 1923 and opened a lunch stand.  His aunt had a boarding house out of town that served miners of all nationalities who worked in the nearby coal mines.

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Edward Hatch

Edward Hatch was born in Bangor, Maine on December 22, 1832.  He served in the U. S. Army in the 1800s and rose to the rank of Brigadier General.  Hatch was the son of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Scott Hatch.  He did not start out to have a military career.  After attending Norwich Military Academy in Vermont, he became a lumber dealer in Iowa and later served as a merchant seaman, both unlikely prefaces to a military career.  Hatch joined the U. S. Army prior to the Civil War, entering as a private.  He helped organize the 2nd Iowa Cavalry and in 1861 was serving there with the rank of Captain as the war began.

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