May 1944 -- Interview with Dr. Ray Mitchell

By Gina Burgess
Lifestyles Editor
It is early 1944. The 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), better known as Merrill’s Marauders need replacements. A young volunteer named Ray Mitchell wants to volunteer to the Army. His father drives him and his cousin from Picayune to Camp Shelby just outside of Hattiesburg and drops them off at the gate. Only now, after being a father does Mitchell understand what must have been occurring in the chest of his father that day.

“Wanted: Volunteers for a Dangerous, Hazardous Mission in Jungle Warfare” stated the sign that young Mitchell saw.
“Pretty music was playing in my head,” he says in his memoirs, “as I signed. Take a long sea voyage to a beautiful, lush, green island in a far away land and forget those that are overburdened in the 65th Infantry Division at Camp Shelby. The salt air will do wonders for your health and attitude. Not only did I sign the paper, I took one back to my company and got thirteen more nice soldiers to agree to that beautiful trip with me. None of them speak to me any Moroni think I am the only survivor.”

That began Cpl. Mitchell’s trip around the world with a stop off in Burma and China chock full of horrors that we cannot imagine. Many on the ship that zig-zagged across the Atlantic Ocean had not volunteered for jungle warfare, which left those who had, the butt of many jokes during the 31 days it took to get to Bombay, India. That is where squads were formed and Cpl. Ray Mitchell was given 12 men to “look after”, some of them were cooks and bakers, military police and green (untrained) recruits.

Six days of train travel, took them to a beautiful meadow, smooth enough for aircraft to land. C-47 and C-46 transport planes landed and the troops quickly boarded. After a lengthy flight, they landed to load guns, ammunition and other supplies needed to fight a war. Guns were passed to each man.

“Keep the gun that lands in your lap. We’ll match you with your weapon later,” they were told.

On the seventh day from landing in Bombay, all noncoms (non-commissioned officers) were ordered to a meeting, and Cpl. Mitchell went.

“You will be flown into combat this morning,” those words still cause the muscles in his chest to constrict today.

“Your mind races,” he said. “‘Combat!’ We are just a bunch of men that were put together on a ship, we had not trained together for a single day. Some of my guys didn’t even know what a combat pack was. Others looked at the weapon they held like it was a snake. Some knew nothing about the M-1 rifle, they were not infantry but could use the carbine. Trades were made. We had several -03 rifles that the fellow in military police took. One fellow that was in cook/bakery school took a .45 pistol as I did. I could use any of them, but it was necessary to have each man with a gun he could use.”

This motley group’s first mission was to protect the Battalion Commander and Headquarters on the flight to combat. Mitchell didn’t even have time to tell his 1st Sergeant they were flying out.

The Battalion Commander wanted to know what was taking so long to land the plane, and sent Mitchell to the front of the plane to find out.

Mitchell was told, “You tell the old so and so there are a bunch of Jap Zeros over the landing site and we ain’t going in till they are gone. Now, if he’s in such an all fired hurry, he can jump out and walk.” Mitchell may have been young, but he was wise enough just to mention the Zeros to the Commander. After the “Jap Zeros” cleared the area below, they landed.

“We were told that the only men to stay on the plane were those flying it or those that got shot while we were in the process of landing,” Mitchell said. “We are digging in along the edge of the runway at Myitkyina, Burma. It is the end of May, 1944 and we have no idea of what we are suppose to do now that we are here.

“During the last part of the campaign for Myitkyina, we were pushed to move forward and take the city. We were tired, hungry, sick, but with the promise of a flight back to India, clean clothes, bath, back pay, the promotion that we had been put in for earlier, and a leave to rest, we fought on just a little harder During the period of our heaviest fighting we received word from the rear supply that we were using too much ammunition. That hurt our feelings. I have no idea what the supply was using as a comparison to gauge the amount used,” Mitchell said.

“We had some very bad days,” he added. “We were bombed twice by B-25s bombing from 5,000 feet. Why? The enemy had no anti-aircraft guns where we were. It was very devastating to be bombed at all, but by your own force with never any explanation, or a ‘sorry it happened.’ To dig out the bodies and pick up the body parts of your friends, stays with you the rest of your life.”

Mitchell was called to Battalion Headquarters the same day more than 200 men were ambushed and killed. Seventeen of the company made it back behind friendly lines.

“I remember it so well,” says Mitchell. “It was the day I became acting Sgt. Major of 2nd Battalion. I had then more than two hundred men missing in action. This number continued to climb until the battle ended in August of 1944, and the 5307th CUP was deactivated. “The “second Team” paid its dues although no one seems to read or hear about these men and what they experienced in those jungles.”

Several Battalion Commanders came and went, some so quickly it seemed to Mitchell they were there a week or less.“There was one major,” he said, “whose first order was for all officers and non-coms to wear their insignia of rank, you know how that went over.

“Fortunately, he tried to show one of the old Sargeant veterans that had served in Panama how to shoot an old beat up 37 mm antitank gun, but he forgot the recoil...he failed to listen to warnings. He got the full impact of that recoil in the face. He was evacuated with heavy lacerations to the face and eye area. I hope he’s still alive, and I hope his experiences mellowed his ways. He paid a heavy price.”

Mitchell and the rest of the 2nd Battalion pressed on, finally taking the city. When the city fell, Mitchell was given duty finding MIAs. He had to scour through lots of bodies that had lain in the jungle heat for days.

Merrill’s Marauders, named for their commander Brig. Gen. Frank Merrill, was a behind enemy lines fighting unit. They were sometimes 300 miles behind enemy lines in jungle so dense it was dark on the ground. Their mission took them on foot 1,000 miles, hacking through foliage, trudging over mountains and through valleys filled with mud, and through such furious rain it was more like a swift waterfall than rain.

By October of 1944 only 200 fighting-trim men were left of the 3,000-man force. Most had been struck down with insect born disease, others had been killed in the five major battles this force won and the 30 skirmishes won despite being far outnumbered.

In November 1945, Mitchell landed in Tacoma, Wash., and saw the sign, “Welcome Home! Job Well Done!” Mitchell said it was great to walk down that plank and set foot on the soil of a free nation. Can you put a price of freedom? “No way,” he says.

Part two The Burma Campaign is here.

Journalist investigated for doing his job--another Obama scandal

Fox News journalist James Rosen's phone records and personal emails were subpenaed under the pretense that Rosen was conducting a conspiracy instead of just doing his job, which is seeking information from a government official about what was going on in North Korea. Is this just another prong in a power-drunk government fork? This stems from a 2009 story that Rosen did concerning nuclear testing that North Korea conducted.

There are six security leak investigations ongoing in the Obama administration currently. Since 1917 there have been only three. I wonder how much of this is power-hunger, and how much is actually honest seeking out who is leaking what about government secrets. To me the most outrageous part is that Obama outted Seal Team 6, effectively putting a neon target on their backs and the foreheads of their friends and families. For someone (Obama) who has given tremendous evidence of a micro-manager to say, "I didn't know about it," is tantamount to saying "the American public is stupid and I can tell them what I want because I am president, the most powerful man in the world."

It seems to me that the current administration is chipping away at each freedom, kicking the legs of the Bills of Rights, and chopping up our Constitution. If Obamacare is implemented, and the thousands of new IRS agents are hired to police it, the government will be bigger and heavier than ever before. That means the head of the government will be to heavy to support, in my opinion.

I am praying that the whole truth comes into the light. Jesus said that nothing happens in secret that will not be brought into the light. Let us pray for truth to be brought into the light.

Kermit Gosnell number 2 -- abortionist Douglas Karpen

Just when I thought the horror was stopped with Gosnell's conviction, another horror story opens up. This guy's name is Douglas Karpen. His clinic in Texas was exposed by three whistle blowers, Deborah Edge, Gigi Aguliar, and Krystal Rodriguez. The stories they are telling are even more horrific with the born-alive babies heads being twisted off or gouged if the spinal cords were not snipped.

This seems like the so-called doctor enjoyed inflicting the cruel treatment to these innocent babies. It makes my stomach roil.

One of the informats, Deborah Edge, said that she wasn't aware that what Karpen was doing was illegal. I find this incredible. Here is someone watching a baby being born alive, spasming in excruciating pain, and not realizing it was illegal. She said,

“When he did an abortion, especially an over 20 week abortion, most of the time the fetus would come completely out before he cut the spinal cord or he introduced one of the instruments into the soft spot of the fetus, in order to kill the fetus,” said Deborah Edge, who worked as a surgical assistant for Karpen for about 15 years until leaving in March, 2011.
 You can read more about it here. But, I strongly caution you that the photos of the aborted babies are horrific and not for the fainthearted. I cannot imagine what these babies have suffered.

I have been praying that the truth would come out about these abortions. I have been praying that God would show those who think abortion is "okay" what it truly is: Murder. Perhaps these babies have not died in vain.

Honoring Mom -- the second grader way

=====  Friday's Thought For The Day (May 10, 2013) from Pastor Alan Smith =====


In honor of upcoming Mother's day, here are some humorous answers given by second grade children to the following questions about mothers:

Why did God make mothers?
1.  She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2.  Mostly to clean the house.
3.  To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?
1.  He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2.  Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring 3.  God made my mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?
1.  God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2.  They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

What kind of little girl was your mom?
1.  My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2.  I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.

What would it take to make your mom perfect?
1.  On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2.  Diet. You know her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your Mom, what would it be?
1.  She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2.  I'd make my Mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.
3.  I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

     I could say much about the godly attributes of Christian women, but allow me to say something about the motherly attributes of God.  We don't often think of God as being like a mother, but there is a motherly side of God.  Don't worry, this is not an attempt to be politically correct, and I have nothing but disdain for the versions of the Bible that change all references of God to a feminine gender.  But there are passages of scripture that compare God to a mother.

     Keep in mind that we're dealing with metaphors, figures of speech:  God is a father, a mother, a shepherd, a king, a fire, a shield, a rock.  All of those words provide comparisons to help us understand who Almighty God is and what he's like. 

     God said to the Jews, "As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you." (Isaiah 66:13).  God comforts us like a mother comforts her children.

     In Hosea 13:8, God said, "I will meet them like a bear deprived of her cubs; I will tear open their rib cage, and there I will devour them like a lion."   God protects us like a mother protects her babies.

     In Isaiah 49:15, God said, "Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb?  Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you."  God is even more devoted than a mother!

     I thank God for the godly mothers who will receive this e-mail.  But, beyond that, I thank God that He loves me as only a mother can -- without reservation, in spite of my shortcomings, and with a love that will never end!

Have a great day!

Alan Smith
Helen Street Church of Christ
Fayetteville, North Carolina 

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Vacation in Space, the Final Frontier

I now understand why God split everyone up and scrambled language at the Tower of Babel.

Genesis 10-11 tells the story of Nimrod and his plan to build a tower to the heavens. Today, what Nimrod was attempting is rather quaint until one understands the tower was for power over mankind and for turning worship toward demons instead of the one, true God.

On April 29, 2013 the goal toward commercial flights into space came one step closer to being achieved. 

Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin empire, which includes space transportation company Virgin Galactic and commercial airline Virgin Atlantic, called the achievement "without any doubt, our single most important flight test to date."

Read more:

This is one more step closer to Branson's goal of touring space as a regular business. What the Entrepreneur article does not talk about is this goal of Branson's and also of Elon Musk's started long before Obama cut funding to the United States' space program.

I think it is disgraceful that our astronauts have to piggy back on the Russians to get into space. Regardless of that, the epiphany of these courageous entrepreneurs to build a business into the final frontier is more than commendable. It proves more than ever that capitalism is a much stronger economic tool than socialism. There are no barriers, including the sound barrier that Branson's Virgin Galactic broke, in capitalism. 

This is why God scrambled the people and their language.

Genesis 11:6  And the LORD said, "Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. 7 Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." 8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city.

I like the way Webster translated it: and nothing will be restrained from them which they imagine to do.

Of course God knew that day would come when He created Adam. The fact that God had it recorded that man could do anything he imagined is huge. The only thing holding us back are our own fears and listening to the father of lies rather than to our Creator. The key concept here is that we are obligated to our Creator to bring Him glory and honor, not disgrace by pursuing our own glory and honor from perishable men.

It is an amazing thing for mere men to reach into space. I think it is even more amazing that men, without the help of government, are running a race to space in healthy competition without rancor.

12 ways to bring God glory...

Image from the black hole core of the Whirlpool Galaxy

According to Scripture...

Romans 4:20… [Abraham] did not stagger by unbelief at the promise of God, but was empowered by faith, giving glory to God,

Our faith gives glory to God. Abraham was one hundred years old when God told him Sarah would bear him a son. He fell down and worshiped God Almighty at this supernatural feat He would perform. What's more... when Sarah died, Abraham married again and had six more sons. Talk about glory to God!

Psalm 50:23 Whoever offers thanks glorifies Me; and he who prepares a way, I will show the salvation of God to him.

Our praises and thanksgivings give glory to God.

1 Corinthians 10:31 Then whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all things to the glory of God. 32 Be without offense both to Jews and Greeks, and to the assembly of God. 33 Even as I also please all in all things, not seeking my own advantage, but that of the many, that they may be saved.

Everything we do, we are to do to bring glory to God. Being without offense to anyone is a lot harder than reading the verse. We must buckle in for the bumpy ride that Satan is bound to cause so in order to do it, we must make a deliberate decision to put God first every day. Otherwise, our thought processes can get us into trouble by making self first.

We must be sensitive to our brothers and sisters around us. When I raise my hands to God in praise in church, I do so in a muted manner. Most of the folks in my church are uncomfortable with major displays of affection toward God. I still do it, but not to draw attention to myself. Although, sometimes I hear God shouting, “Wake up, Children! Wake up!”

Jesus told Peter how his death would glorify God.

John 21:19 But He said this signifying by what death he would glorify God. And having said this, He told him, Follow Me.

1Peter 4:14 If you are reviled in the name of Christ, you are blessed, because "the Spirit of God and of glory rests on you." Truly, according to them, He is blasphemed; but according to you, He is glorified. Isa. 11:2

1Peter 4:16 But if one suffers as a Christian, do not let him be ashamed, but to glorify God in this respect.

2 Thess 1:11 For which we also continually pray concerning you, that our God would you worthy of the calling, and would fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness, and work of faith in power, 12; so that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Allowing God to work through us brings Jesus glory and glory to God.

John 15:8 In this My Father is glorified, that you should bear much fruit; and you will be disciples to Me.

Philippians 1:11 being filled with fruits of righteousness through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

1Corinthians 6:20 You were bought with a price; then glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are of God.

Glorifying God should be done in unison... all saints.

Psalm 34:3 O magnify Jehovah with me; and let us exalt His name together
Rom 15:6 that with one accord and with one mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Because of this, receive one another as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.

Seriously, I take this to mean when we are a congregation, we are to worship in unison. We should not be each in our own little world while church is going on. The personal kind of worship is to be practiced when we are alone and this glorifies God in our body and our spirit. But, when we are together, it should be in one body, of one mind, in one accord, in order.

This list is by no means comprehensive. However, it gives a bear bones overview of how to glorify God and what is acceptable. I figure when one does enough genuine glorying of God then the false glorifying will become readily recognizable, kinda like the way bank tellers can spot counterfeit money just by feeling it.

1 Chronicles 16 is David's way of glorifying God in worship. He is not dancing inside the Temple in this exaltation. I think it is worthy to note that neither David, nor the priests nor the people ever danced inside the Temple. I believe it is also worthy to be noted that God was extremely emphatic about the conduct of the priests as they came into His presence. They were to come in fear and trembling, not riotous dancing, shouting and singing. Any slaying to be done was by God Himself in response to profane behavior of the priests who entered the Holy of Holies.

I strongly believe that the believers of today have forgotten the Holiness of God and Who God really is. He is Just as well as full of Mercy. He is not The Great Daddy-O, but is worthy of deep respect to the point of foreheads to the ground. I tremble with fear and disgust when I hear someone take the Lord's Name in vain or in curses. They know not what they do.

Since David danced before the Lord, can we assume that dancing would be equivalent to running down the aisles?

There is no reference to dancing in the Temple. There are about seven references to dancing before the Lord (one in Luke 15 the Prodigal Son parable). I admit that my search is not thorough, but I have not found any place in Scripture where it was holy or reverent or glorifying to God to run down the aisles (dancing) in the Temple.

The only place I find where there is great celebration in dance before the Lord is the invitation in Psalm 149. Here it is clearly a celebration and it is for everyone to dance. I find a correlation in Luke 15 when the Prodigal Son comes home and there is great celebration and dancing. But, not in the Temple. It is a group thing, not an individual thing.