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Douglas XB-42 Mixmaster, an experimental bomber aircraft, designed for a high top speed. The unconventional approach was to mount the two engines within the fuselage driving a pair of contra-rotating propellers mounted at the tail in a pusher configuration, leaving the wing and fuselage clean and free of drag-inducing protrusions.

Two prototype aircraft were built, but the end of World War II changed priorities and the advent of the jet engine gave an alternative way toward achieving high speed.

B-42_Mixmaster.jpg

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Sikorsky S-42 four-engine seaplane.   The famed Pan Am Clipper.

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Flying for Pan American Airways, a total of ten S-42s were built, manufactured by the Vought-Sikorsky Aircraft Division of the United Aircraft Corporation in Stratford, Connecticut. The prototype first flew on March 30, 1934.

Pan American was the sole customer for the S-42. The S-42 Pan Am Clipper surveyed the route from the US West Coast to China, making the first survey flight from Alameda, California to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in April 1935.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikorsky_S-42

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#42 Shed Diggs (1984-87).

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I will let the video tell the story of Shed and Jordan Diggs, who both wore the #42 for us.

The video was released in January 2016.  Shed was released and was finally able to watch his son play ball in person later that year during the 2016 season, Jordan's last season here.

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https://medium.com/gamecocksonline-com/my-signature-jordan-diggs-9ec6c5ea4522

My takeaway from their story is the commitment of both Shed and Jordan to their family, which undoubtedly got reinforced during both their times here, is what got them through the difficult times and kept them together.  Shed was committed to taking care of his family to the point of taking some risks after losing his job only to have the odds catch up to him.

A great story of both overcoming pitfalls and also avoiding them.  Sa-lute.

Here is a comparison of Shed's and Jordan's stats while they were here:

#42 Weak-Side LB/Left DE Shed Diggs (1984-87)  
             
Year Solo Ast Tkl TFL Sacks Int
1984 4 30 34 2 2  
1985 14 51 65 5 2  
1986 44 19 63 5 1  
1987 24 23 47 3 2  
Tot 86 123 209 15 7  
             
#42 Spur/Safety Jordan Diggs (2012-16)      
             
Year Solo Ast Tkl TFL Sacks Int
2012 4 1 5 1 0  
2013 16 9 25 4 0  
2014 28 9 37 5 2  
2015 25 23 48 0.5 0 1
2016 12 13 25 1 0  
Tot 85 55 140 11.5 2 1

They played different positions, but Shed's 209 tackles tell the story of that Fire Ant defense that always gave us a chance to win games on Saturdays.  Sure, the game has changed some since then, but the Defense always needs to be there.

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USS Savannah, CL-42.

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Invasion of Salerno

Savannah returned to Algiers on 10 August 1943 in order to train with U.S. Army troops for the Operation Avalanche amphibious landings to be made at Salerno, Italy. Leaving Mers-el-Kebir Harbor, Algeria, on 5 September, her Southern Attack Force entered Salerno Bay a few hours before midnight of the 8th.

Savannah was the first American ship to open fire against the German shore defenses in Salerno Bay. She silenced a railroad artillery battery with 57 rounds, forced the retirement of enemy tanks, and completed eight more fire support missions that day. She continued her valuable support until the morning of 11 September 1943, when she was put out of action.

A radio-controlled Fritz X PGM gravity bomb had been released at a safe distance by a high-flying German warplane and it exploded 49 ft (15 m) distance from Philadelphia. Savannah increased her speed to 20 kn (23 mph, 37 km/h) as a KG 100 Dornier Do 217 K-2 bomber approached from out of the sun. The USAAF's P-38 Lightnings and Savannah's anti-aircraft gunners, tracking this warplane at 18,700 ft (5,700 m), failed to stop the Fritz X bomb, trailing a stream of smoke. The bomb pierced the armored turret roof of Savannah's No. 3 gun turret, passed through three decks into the lower ammunition-handling room, where it exploded, blowing a hole in her keel and tearing a seam in the cruiser's port side. For at least 30 minutes, secondary explosions in the turret and its ammunition supply rooms hampered firefighting efforts.

Savannah's crew quickly sealed off flooded and burned compartments, and corrected her list. With assistance from the salvage tugs Hopi and Moreno, Savannah got underway under her own steam by 1757 hours and steamed for Malta.

Savannah lost 197 crewmen in this German counterattack. Fifteen other sailors were seriously wounded, and four more were trapped in a watertight compartment for 60 hours. These four sailors were not rescued until Savannah had already arrived at Grand Harbor, Valletta, Malta, on 12 September.

In literature and popular culture

The Battle of Sicily: How the Allies Lost Their Chance for Total Victory (Mitcham & von Stauffenberg; 1991) described Savannah in the 11 July 1943 Amphibious Battle of Gela, Sicily, as having fired 500 rounds from its fifteen six-inch guns onto the Italian Livorno Division, and was said to have broken the back of the Italian attack against U.S. Army Rangers who then took 400 Italian prisoners; Rangers Lead the Way (Taylor, 1996) characterized Savannah as "the Rangers' favorite cruiser" for this action. Taylor also credited Savannah with firing on German forces from twelve miles away to enable U.S. forces to seize the first high ground overlooking Gela.

In the 1980 movie "The Big Red One," Lee Marvin's character Sergeant Possum praised Savannah for firing on enemy artillery from miles offshore, as Hermann Göring's Panzer division approached Possum's position in a cave with their backs to the sea, Possum exclaiming that "the U.S. Navy saved our ass."

Memorial plaque to the ship in Savannah, GA.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Savannah_(CL-42)

The first Navy ship in WW2 to be hit by one of the first guided missiles was pretty smart at gunnery herself. 

Sa-lute.

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USS Gantner, APD-42.  Formerly DE-60.

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USS Gantner (DE-60/APD-42), a Buckley-class destroyer escort of the United States Navy, was named in honor of Boatswain's Mate Samuel Merritt Gantner (1919-1941), who was killed in action during the Japanese attack on the Hawaiian Islands.

Gantner was launched on 17 April 1943 by the Bethlehem Steel Company, Quincy, Massachusetts, sponsored by Mrs. Samuel M. Gantner, widow of Boatswain's Mate Gantner; commissioned at the Boston Navy Yard on 23 July 1943, with Lieutenant Commander Barklie M. Henry in command.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Gantner_(DE-60)

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The late Tom Seaver.

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George Thomas Seaver (November 17, 1944 – August 31, 2020), nicknamed "Tom Terrific" and "the Franchise", was an American professional baseball pitcher who played 20 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB). He played for the New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox, and Boston Red Sox from 1967 to 1986. A longtime Met, Seaver played a significant role in their victory in the 1969 World Series over the Baltimore Orioles.

With the Mets, Seaver won the National League's (NL) Rookie of the Year Award in 1967, and won three NL Cy Young Awards as the league's best pitcher. He was a 12-time All-Star and ranks as the Mets' all-time leader in wins. During his MLB career, he compiled 311 wins, 3,640 strikeouts, 61 shutouts, and a 2.86 earned run average, and he threw a no-hitter in 1978.

In 1992, Seaver was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the highest percentage of votes ever recorded at the time.  Along with Mike Piazza, he is one of two players wearing a New York Mets hat on his plaque in the Hall of Fame. Seaver's No. 41 was retired by the Mets in 1988, and New York City changed the address of Citi Field to 41 Seaver Way in 2019. Seaver is also a member of the New York Mets Hall of Fame and the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame.

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

Seems appropriate given the Mets' long-time minor league affiliation with Columbia that recently ended.

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The late Brian Piccolo.

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Louis Brian Piccolo (October 31, 1943 – June 16, 1970) was an American professional football player, a running back for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL) for four years. He died at age 26 from embryonal cell carcinoma, an aggressive form of germ cell testicular cancer, first diagnosed after it had spread to his chest cavity.

Piccolo was the subject of the 1971 TV movie Brian's Song, with a remake TV movie of the same name filmed in 2001. He was portrayed in the original film by James Caan and by Sean Maher in the 2001 remake.

Early life

Piccolo was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the youngest of three sons of Joseph and Irene Piccolo. The family moved south to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, when Piccolo was three, due to his parents' concerns for his brother Don's health. Piccolo and his brothers were athletes, and he was a star running back on his high school football team although he considered baseball his primary sport. He graduated from the former Central Catholic High School (now St. Thomas Aquinas High School) in Fort Lauderdale in 1961.

Piccolo played college football at Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; his only other scholarship offer was from Wichita State. He led the nation in rushing and scoring during his senior season in 1964, and was named the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Player of the Year, yet went un-selected in the both the AFL and NFL drafts.

In the balloting for the Heisman Trophy won by John Huarte of Notre Dame, Piccolo was tenth, just ahead of Joe Namath of Alabama and future teammate Gale Sayers of Kansas.

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

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BB-41, USS Mississippi, was with USS Idaho doing Atlantic patrol work when the Pearl Harbor attack occurred; immediately transferred back to the Pacific and fought throughout the war, including the Battle of Surigao Strait.

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1280px-USS_Mississippi_(BB-41),_USS_West

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On 7/19/2021 at 12:19 PM, Swayin said:

The P-47 Thunderbolt, affectionately known as "The Jug."

P47N_437th_Fighter_Squadron_Iwo_Jima_194

I’m sorry to backtrack, because I forgot about the count, but I couldn’t let this post go by without mentioning it. 
My grandfather was one of the engineers who helped design this plane, and he was the head of the cowl department at Republic Aviation on Long Island, while these planes were in production. 
He was a very determined man. He grew up poor, and did not have money to go to school, but instead, went to the library, and studied every book he could get his hands on to learn, and taught himself how to be an engineer. He was incredibly proud of this plane, and how durable it was. He used to tell me about how shot up the plane would be, but still got the boys home. 
A few years ago, I stood in the Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, VA, where the P-47 stands next to the Enola Gay, and had tears in my eyes, as I looked at my grandfather’s legacy. He would have been so proud!  I am not a big aviation buff, but this plane holds a special place in my heart. 
Thanks for posting it, Swayin!

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3 minutes ago, Cockyandproud said:

I’m sorry to backtrack, because I forgot about the count, but I couldn’t let this post go by without mentioning it. 
My grandfather was one of the engineers who helped design this plane, and he was the head of the cowl department at Republic Aviation on Long Island, while these planes were in production. 
He was a very determined man. He grew up poor, and did not have money to go to school, but instead, went to the library, and studied every book he could get his hands on to learn, and taught himself how to be an engineer. He was incredibly proud of this plane, and how durable it was. He used to tell me about how shot up the plane would be, but still got the boys home. 
A few years ago, I stood in the Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, VA, where the P-47 stands next to the Enola Gay, and had tears in my eyes, as I looked at my grandfather’s legacy. He would have been so proud!  I am not a big aviation buff, but this plane holds a special place in my heart. 
Thanks for posting it, Swayin!

Oh wow what an incredible story! Little tidbits like this often sift into the countdown. So awesome to hear that little bit of family lore.

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