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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Your Dying Spouse 350 - Oh, The Unfairness Of It All!

Facing pain and more pain, and deterioration unto death, one might be the slightest bit tempted to say, "This is unfair! I had a LIFE!"

"Why me?"

Tempting, but for the eample of someone you probably never heard of, Bruno Peter Gaido.

On February 1, 1942, peter Gaido was an Aviation Machinist's Mate 3rd Class (AMM3/C), serving on the aircraft carrier Enterprise. On that day Enterprise had struck the Japanese-held Marshall Islands, and as she retired came under attack from a group of Japanese bombers led by Lt. Nakai Kazuo.

Gaido saw the attack developing, and ran to an SBD Dauntless dive-bomber parked on Enterprise's deck. He climbed into the rear cockpit, and unshipped the .30 caliber machine gun mounted there, and began firing.

It became a personal duel; Gaido crippled Nakai's aeroplane, but the Japanese bomber continued on in attempt to become a proto-kamikaze, and crash aboard the carrier. It hit the ship a glancing blow, and its wing sheared off the tail of the SBD from which Gaido was firing.

After the impact Gaido stood in his seat, and continued fire into the bomber's wreckage...and then picked up a fire bottle to help extinguish the flames that billowed up around him.

And then he disappeared into the bowels of the ship, afraid that he would get in trouble for ghis unconventional actions.

He didn't. Admiral William Halsey gave him a spot promotion to AMM1/C, a big jump for an enlisted man.

You'd think the fates would have been kind to Peter Gaido. You would be wrong.

Four months later, flying from the Enterprise with pilot Ensign Frank O' Flaherty, Gaido was part of the strike that sank the Japanese carrier Kaga (one of the carriers that attacked Pearl Harbour) at the Battle of Midway, on June 4, 1942.

Their SBD damaged and losing fuel, O'Flaherty and Gaido had to land in the water near the Japanese fleet. They were picked up by the destroyer Makigumo, and were tortured into revealing some information about the composition of the American fleet.

And then they were tied together, and thrown into the sea to drown.

When I think life's unfair, I think of Bruno Peter Gaido and Frank O'Flaherty.

Bruno Peter Gaido AMM1/C (from www.findagrave.com)

The wrecked SBD from which Gaido fought on Feb. 1 1942 (form here)

Ensign Frank O'Flaherty (from www.findagrave.com)

The musical theme can be nothing else but this:

 I do ask that you be patient with my replies to your comments (which we treasure). I'm trying to stay caught up.

Still hoping to get the new and improved version of Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart up and running in the near future. Just haven't had the energy to do it yet...but if you would like to read it, please say so in your comment and I'd be glad to send you a PDF (which should fit your Kindle).

I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.

Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.


And marley has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.

If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

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  1. Hi there, Andrew! Such a heartbreaking story...and yet oddly so inspiring at the same time. My life is so much less intense and dramatic, and yet how easy it is to cry "unfair!" when those inevitable snafus and "challenges" arise. Much to ponder...
    Thanks for sharing with us over at Coffee and Conversation, friend.

    Continually praying for you and Barb for grace and peace and mercy for each day.

    1. Pat, thank you so much for stopping by, and getting to know these gentle heroes who we lost far too early.

      Barb and I truly appreciate the prayers. They're really needed; things are kind of bad.

  2. I'm so grateful for the bravery and commitment these two men had fighting for our country. But you are like these men, Andrew. You are fighting a battle that will one day get the best of you. And like these two amazing patriots, your legacy of bravery will go on and on. Your hard work will not be forgotten and will be a resource for those who are walking in your and Barbara's shoes--benefitting so many. Thank YOU for your service--both military and here.

    1. Beth, I am so honoured by your words, and all I can really say is, Thank You.

      I am trying my best to make this a resource, soething that's not singular to my story. It is hard sometimes!

      So glad you're here!

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Rachel. I truly appreciate your being here to read this post.

  4. Even though I'm a pacifist, I admire the bravery of those trying to do what is right. Thank you for sharing this. - Marie (mlsgregg.com)

    1. Marie, thank YOU. I am really grateful that you stopped by to read this story. You are in our daily prayers.

  5. Thank you for sharing that beautiful music. I'd never heard that song before.

  6. Thank you for helping us to keep it all in perspective. I had not heard the story of Bruno Peter Gaido before. Thank you for sharing. What a brave man. And I must say that you are a brave man, too. I continue to pray for you and Barbara.

    1. Rachel, I'm so glad that you stopped by to read Peter Gaido's story. He's always been a large figure in my consciousness, for the courage he displayed, and the poignancy of his passing.

      I'm so honoured by your words and prayers; and you are in our prayers.