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This was a tradition for years on GCN and OOTS - the kickoff to countdown, and I thought I would bring it here. Basically, you post a picture that illustrates that day's "number" - so to start off, it's 100. @TheYancey would usually figure out a way to post some scantily clad model from the '60s or some crazy oddity. Some folks post cars or random things that coincide with that day's number; I usually post naval stuff because I'm a naval history nut. But you get the picture, and if its still confusing, you'll get the deal quickly enough. And on a side note, I know @Homebrewcock and others will pour one out for OrlandoGamecock, RIP, who took on this chore for years. 'Lando was a great guy and this and every countdown is dedicated to him!

On to kickoff, and everybody join in with your pix if you feel so inclined!

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This was a tradition for years on GCN and OOTS - the kickoff to countdown, and I thought I would bring it here. Basically, you post a picture that illustrates that day's "number" - so to start off, it

I will pour one out for Lando.  Maybe even blast some KISS for him.  Right before he passed I sent him Ace Frehley's latest album.  Not sure if it got there in time honestly.  Love ya Lando!!!!  You w

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Originally laid down as CL-100, the USS Newark, the ship was converted to an Independence-class CVL, CVL-30, the San Jacinto. The San Jacinto joined Task Force 58 in time to participate in the "Marianas Turkey Shoot" in June 1944, and was the carrier from which future US President George H.W. Bush flew his Grumman TBM Avenger.

USS_San_Jacinto_(CVL-30)_underway_at_sea

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DD-99, the U.S.S. Luce, was a Wickes-class destroyer laid down in 1918 and decomissioned and scrapped in 1936. The Wickes class was a huge leap forward in naval engineering in terms of speed and armament, and many "four stackers" served through World War II when they were transferred to the ship-needy British Navy as part of lend-lease.

1920px-USS_Luce_(DD-99)_at_the_Boston_Na

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I will pour one out for Lando.  Maybe even blast some KISS for him.  Right before he passed I sent him Ace Frehley's latest album.  Not sure if it got there in time honestly.  Love ya Lando!!!!  You were a great friend.

South Carolina Gamecocks LB #99 Derrick Little (1985 & 1987) | South  carolina, Carolina gamecocks, South carolina gamecocks

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2 hours ago, Homebrewcock said:

I will pour one out for Lando.  Maybe even blast some KISS for him.  Right before he passed I sent him Ace Frehley's latest album.  Not sure if it got there in time honestly.  Love ya Lando!!!!  You were a great friend.

South Carolina Gamecocks LB #99 Derrick Little (1985 & 1987) | South  carolina, Carolina gamecocks, South carolina gamecocks

Amen brother!

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"Old 98".  Legendary Michigan football player, Tom Harmon, father of former UCLA QB and NCIS star, Mark Harmon.

800px-Tom_Harmon_1938.jpg

He played football in the days when your nose was your face mask.

Tom_Harmon_1941_Michiganensian_p_193.png

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At the end of the 1940 season, Harmon won numerous awards, including:

  • On November 25, 1940, the Maxwell Memorial Club announced that Harmon had been chosen as the winner of the Maxwell Award as "the nation's No. 1 football player for 1940".
  • On November 28, 1940, Harmon was announced as the winner of the Heisman Trophy as the country's outstanding college football player with a record count of 1,303 votes.
  • On December 10, 1940, Harmon was named the male athlete of the year across all sports in annual polling of sports experts conducted by the Associated Press. Harmon received 147 points in the poll, nearly tripling the points received by runner-up Hank Greenberg.
  • Harmon was also a unanimous All-American, receiving first-team honors from the All-America Board, the Associated Press, Collier's Weekly, the International News Service, Liberty magazine, the Newspaper Enterprise Association, Newsweek, the Sporting News, and the United Press.
  • In mid-December 1940, Harmon was unanimously selected as the most valuable player in the Big Ten Conference.
  • Harmon and backfield teammate Forest Evashevski, described as Michigan's "two-man gang", were both selected by conference coaches for the third consecutive year as first-team players on the Associated Press All-Big Ten Conference team.

Career statistics and legacy

In his three seasons at Michigan, Harmon rushed for 2,151 yards on 399 carries, completed 101 of 233 passes for 1,396 yards and 16 touchdowns, and scored 237 points.  During his career, he played all 60 minutes eight times.  Harmon also scored 33 touchdowns, breaking Red Grange's collegiate record of 31 touchdowns.  He led the nation in scoring in both 1939 and 1940 (a feat that remains unmatched).  His career average of 9.9 points per game stood as an NCAA record for ten seasons.

Harmon was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954, the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1962, the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in 1974, and the University of Michigan Athletic Hall of Honor (as one of five inaugural inductees) in 1978.  In 2007, Harmon was ranked 16th on ESPN's Top 25 Players in College Football list. Harmon was also ranked fifth on the Big Ten Network's program "Big Ten Icons", honoring the greatest athletes in the Big Ten Conference's history.

In November 1940, Michigan's equipment manager announced that Harmon's jersey number, 98, would be retired when Harmon played his last game.  About 73 years later, Michigan un-retired Harmon's jersey as part of its Michigan Football Legends program. During a ceremony in September 2013, Harmon was honored as a Michigan Football Legend, and Devin Gardner was chosen as the first Michigan player since 1940 to wear the jersey.

His military service in WWII was equally the stuff of legends.

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Military service

In May 1941, the draft board in Lake County, Indiana, announced that Harmon had been classified as 1-B and deferred as a student until July 1, 1941.  In July 1941, Harmon was granted a further 60-day deferment based on his claim that he was the sole support for his parents.  In September 1941, he appeared in front of the draft board seeking a permanent deferment.  His request was denied, and he was classified as 1-A. Harmon, then working as a radio announcer in Detroit, stated that he intended to appeal the ruling.  His appeal was denied in October 1941, and he was given until November 1941 to enlist.

Harmon applied to enlist as a cadet in the United States Army Air Corps in early November 1941. He was granted permission to enlist as a cadet in March 1942.  Despite rumors that he had washed out of flight school, Harmon underwent his first 60 hours of flight training at the now defunct Oxnard Air Force Base in Camarillo, California, and then finished basic flying school at Gardner Army Airfield in Taft, California, in September 1942. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant and a twin-engine bomber pilot and assigned to Williams Field in Arizona in October 1942.

In April 1943, an Army bomber piloted by Harmon, and nicknamed "Old 98" after Harmon's football jersey number, crashed into the South American jungle while en route to North Africa. Harmon reported that he had been flying through heavy rain turbulence for two hours. When Harmon tried to fly the plane to an opening in the weather, there was a sharp crack from the right wing and engine, and Harmon was unable to pull the plane from a steep dive. After ordering his crew to bail out, Harmon parachuted from the plane at 1,500 feet. He ended up in a tree 20 yards from where his plane crashed. Out of a crew of six, Harmon was the sole survivor of the crash and spent several days working his way through jungle and swamp.  He ultimately came upon natives in Dutch Guiana who escorted him in a dugout canoe to a village, where he was taken by outrigger canoe to a base of the Antilles Air Command.

The newspaper article in the link below is pretty self-explanatory.

https://aadl.org/aa_news_19430424-harmon_en_route_pg5

Then he had a similar experience after getting shot down over China as a P-38 pilot.

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After a brief assignment as a Lockheed P-38 Lightning pilot in North Africa, Harmon was assigned to duty with the 449th Fighter Interceptor Squadron in China in the summer of 1943. In October of that year, while escorting bombers on a low-level mission over Kiukiang, Harmon's P-38 was shot down over the Yangtze River by a Japanese Zero during a dogfight. According to some accounts, Harmon shot down two Zeros in a dogfight over the Kiukiang docks and warehouses.  Harmon was forced to bail out into Japanese-occupied China. He was later rescued by anti-Japanese Chinese guerrillas.  Harmon was awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star for his actions with the 449th Fighter Squadron.

Harmon returned from China in January 1944.  In November 1944, Harmon's account of his war service was published by Thomas Y. Crowell Company under the title, "Pilots Also Pray".  He was promoted to the rank of captain in April 1945, and he was discharged from the military at the end of the war on August 13, 1945.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Harmon#Los_Angeles_Rams

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On March 15, 1990, Harmon suffered a heart attack at the Amanda Travel Agency in West Los Angeles after winning a golf tournament at Bel Air Country Club. He was taken to UCLA Medical Center, where he died at age 70.

Someone's life doesn't get any more hardcore than that of the late Tom Harmon.

Sa-lute!!

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The #98 RCA Ford Thunderbird John Andretti drove to victory in the 1997 Pepsi 400 at Daytona for Cale Yarborough.

1996-7-John-Andretti-Race-Used-Haas-Yarb

Excellent article in the link below.

https://nascar.nbcsports.com/2017/06/30/1997-pepsi-400/

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In commemoration of John Andretti, StarCom Racing is entering a replica of his Ford Thunderbird RCA paint scheme in the Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR at Darlington Raceway May 7-9.

In its seventh year, the weekend pays homage to NASCAR Hall of Famers, legends, team owners, and valuable sponsors throughout the racing industry. The 2021 Official Throwback Weekend is not era-specific, which has paved the way for the inspired John Andretti throwback car while bringing awareness to the #CheckIt4Andretti foundation.

The car—designed and sponsored by Bos Klein—is a replica of the paint scheme of the RCA car Andretti raced in the 1990s. The car features a red and white split design with the #CheckIt4Andretti logo prominently displayed. Quin Houff will race the replica.

StarCom-Racing-John-Andretti-2020-Throwb

https://starcomracing.com/2021/05/starcom-racing-to-honor-john-andretti-in-darlington-2021-throwback-race/

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Insignia of the 97th Bombardment Group.

97th_Bombardment_Group_-_Emblem.jpg

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The 97th Bomb Group flew the Eighth Air Force's first heavy bomber mission from the UK when they bombed a marshalling yard at Rouen on 17 August 1942. Just a month later though the Group were reassigned to the Twelfth Air Force and left England for the Mediterranean theater. Flying first with the Twelfth, and later with the Fifteenth, Air Force, the Group flew bombing missions in support of ground operations as well as bombing more strategic targets in Germany. The Group received a Distinguished Unit Citation for leading a strike against an aircraft factory at Steyr, Austria, on 24 February 1944 during Big Week, 20-25 February 1944.

http://www.americanairmuseum.com/unit/551

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1 February 1943: During World War II, the 414th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 12th Air Force, U.S. Army Air Forces, was on a mission to attack the docks at the port of Tunis in order to cut the supply chain to the German and Italian armies operating in Tunisia.

A single-engine Messerschmitt Bf 109G fighter defending the city collided with All American III, a Boeing B-17F-5-BO Flying Fortress, serial number 41-24406, which was under the command of Lieutenant Kendrick R. Bragg, Jr., U.S. Army Air Corps. The fighter cut diagonally through the bomber’s fuselage, carried away the left horizontal stabilizer and elevator, and damaged the flight control cables.

The rugged design and construction that made the Flying Fortress a legend allowed the airplane to fly another 90 minutes to its home base at Biskra Airfield, Algeria. Lieutenant Bragg made a careful landing, holding the tail off the runway as long as possible. None of the ten men aboard were injured.

https://www.thisdayinaviation.com/tag/97th-bombardment-group-heavy/

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After midnight back east, so here's my early entry for Tuesday: CVE-96, the USS Salamaua, a Casablanca-class escort carrier.

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At Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines in January 1945, a Japanese kamikaze plane, emerging from cloud cover, unexpectedly dove almost vertically towards Salamaua's flight deck. The speed of its descent, as well as the task group being on low alert, meant that the kamikaze was able to carry out its attack unmolested by anti-aircraft fire. Carrying two 551-pound (250 kg) bombs, it penetrated deep into the lower decks, leaving a 16-foot (4.9 m) by 32-foot (9.8 m) gaping hole in the flight deck and lighting a fire in the lower bulkheads that caused a pillar of smoke to rise from the hole. Admiral Durgin, querying Salamaua as to the origin of the smoke, received a reply that "Something just went through our flight deck". One of the bombs detonated near the tank tops, just above the bilge, narrowly missing the bomb stowage compartment. The blast sent debris from the engine and fuselage rocketing onto the flight deck, collapsing a number of bulkheads. Additionally, it sparked multiple fires throughout the flight deck, hangar deck, and engine room. Inside the hangar deck, aircraft were being readied for a strike, and the existence of armed munitions made the situation tenuous. The second bomb failed to explode, and was ejected through the starboard side of the ship at the waterline, near the engine, leaving a hole about 20-inch (51 cm) wide through which seawater rushed in. There was immediate loss of power, communications, and steering throughout the ship. The aft engine room was breached and flooded, rendering the starboard engine inoperational, albeit the flooding extinguished the engine room blaze.

Several fires were kindled, but most of the blazes were quickly put under control, with the exception of a major fire within the hangar deck, which was fed by gasoline saturated debris from the flight deck. Fighting the fire was further complicated by the loss of water main pressure along the aft of the ship, and by the detonation of hydrostatic fuses and various other ammunition. After 30 minutes, the blaze was contained, after a fight which first belayed, then prevented the detonation of more munitions. A more pressing concern was flooding, which an entire day of pumping could not alleviate. This resulted in the entire starboard engine being submerged, leading to the ship acquiring an 8° list to the starboard. The attack on Salamaua was the last successful kamikaze attack in the Philippines Campaign.

There were more kamikazes which followed up in the 10 minutes after the attack on Salamaua, but the Japanese had lost the element of surprise. One plane dove towards Tulagi, but was engaged by heavy anti-aircraft fire, including from Salamaua, and it veered towards Hoggatt Bay before being destroyed by a proximity-fuzed 5-inch shell. Another two planes tried to strike Salamaua, one passing above her port quarter before crashing into the sea, and another one detonating in midair as it approached her astern. Throughout this ordeal, she was able to keep up with her task group using her port engine. Fifteen men were killed, and 88 injured by the attack. At 19:25, she broke away from her task group to limp away for Leyte, accompanied by the destroyers Gridley and Ralph Talbot, along with the tug Apache.

 

 

USS_Salamaua_(CVE-96)_underway_off_San_F

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The Japanese Type 96 light machine gun.

type99.jpg

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Combat record

The Type 96 came into active service in 1936 and was intended to replace the older Type 11; however the Type 11 had already been produced in large quantities, and both weapons remained in service until the end of the war. The Type 96 was regarded as rugged and reliable, but its 6.5 mm bullets lacked penetration against cover, especially in comparison to other rifle rounds of the day such as the American .30-06 Springfield and the design was supplanted by the more powerful Type 99 light machine gun with the larger 7.7 mm bullet in 1937.

After World War II, it was used by Indonesian forces during the Indonesian National Revolution against Dutch forces notably during the attack on Jogjakarta 1949.  It was used by the Viet Minh and the North Vietnamese forces during the First and Second Indochina Wars.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_96_light_machine_gun

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The Chinese Type 96 second-generation main battle tank.

1920px-TankBiathlon2017Individual-02.jpg

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Type 96

Domestic version of Type 85-IIM. Also sometimes mistakenly referred to as the Type 88C.  Renamed Type 96 when put into PLA service.  In comparison to the Type 85 and Type 88, the Type 96 features a more powerful engine, improved electronics and a western-style turret. Type 96 was accepted by the PLA in 1996.

Type 96A

Additional "arrow shaped" modular armor similar to the Type 99 is installed on the turret front. The back of the hull is now completely flat compared to the Type 96.  The Type 96A was first revealed in 2006, but in-service tanks were first seen in a military parade in 2009.

The Type 96A is a third-generation upgrade of the Type 96. Its internal electronics may have been upgraded to Type 99 standards.[7] The visual profile of the Type 96A is similar to the Type 99. However, the Type 96A can be distinguished from the Type 99 by the driver's position of the left side of the hull.[6] FY-4 ERA was added on front upper glacis.  The vehicle is equipped with a thermal imager. Features an upgraded 800 hp (600 kW) engine.

A laser defense system similar to the Shtora has been installed as well.  Electro-optical jammers which are able to jam enemy guided missiles, rangefinders, and designators are found on the tank.

Type 96B

Variant first seen in July 2016 loaded on a Russia-bound train to participate in the 2016 Tank biathlon. It is equipped with an improved engine, improved high-performance gun with an upgraded fire-control system, new transmission, chassis, ventilation, communications and computer systems, exhaust and suspension. However it still doesn't feature a commander independent sight which is vital for hunter-killer capabilities.  Compared to the previous variants, the two exhausts that were originally located on the right side of the hull is now located on the rear hull with air vents. The specifications of the upgraded engine is believed to be 1200hp with a max speed between 65km/h to 74 km/h.

VT-2
Export variant of Type-96A. Debuted at the 2012 Defence Services Asia Exhibition.  Can be equipped with Remote Weapons Station and has a maximum speed of 70 km/h (on road). Capable of turning on its own axis.

 

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