How the Air Force makes the 'smell of victory' - We Are The Mighty
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How the Air Force makes the ‘smell of victory’

“I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” That line from the classic war movie Apocalypse Now ranks as one of cinema’s all-time bests. But just how, exactly, do you make napalm? How do you produce the flammable liquid that, as Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore would say, smells like victory?


While the Oxford Dictionary describes napalm as a mixture of gasoline and certain types of soap, the definitive, World War II version used a combination of phosphorous, naphthalene, and palmitate. Modern napalm is a mix of gasoline, benzene, and polystyrene.

How the Air Force makes the ‘smell of victory’
An Ecuadorian air force Kfir aircraft drops napalm on a target range during the joint US and Ecuadorian Exercise BLUE HORIZON. (USAF photo)

The mixture is designed to stick to a target and burn hot for a long time. Oh, and it has its own oxidizer, so you can’t smother it and water won’t put it out. As you might imagine, prepping bombs for a napalm strike is a complicated procedure. In some rare cases, the mixture would leak from bombs like the M47, which was the primary delivery system for napalm weapon during the Vietnam War.

According to a United States Army document, the M47 was a “chemical bomb.” Officially classified as a 100-pound bomb, the actual weight depended on what it was loaded with. This bomb could carry a form of napalm known as Incendiary Oil, but it also could carry white phosphorous, mustard gas, or a field-expedient mixture of rubber and gasoline.

How the Air Force makes the ‘smell of victory’
Sgt. Jamal G. Walker and Lance Cpl. Carl Feaster tighten the sway braces on a Mark 77 napalm bomb while loading it onto the wing pylon of a Marine Strike Fighter Squadron 321 (VMHA-321) F/A-18A Hornet aircraft. The Mark 77 is the modern version of the napalm bomb. (US Navy photo)

The current “napalm” bomb in the American arsenal is the Mk 77. This bomb replaces the gasoline with kerosene, and it was used during the early stages of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Battle of Tora Bora, and during Operation Desert Storm.

In general, the use of napalm has declined as more and more precision-guided bombs have entered service.  Still, there is something to be said about dropping napalm on the bad guys.

See how some of the older napalm bombs were prepared and dropped in the video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4GkljbxTGU
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This Medal of Honor recipient took care of business at the Super Bowl

Super Bowl LII kicked off with a coin toss — naturally — but this year the NFL added a patriotic element.


This year, 16 Medal of Honor recipients stood on the field, shoulder-to-shoulder, as one of their own took care of business and officially flipped the traditional coin like the operator he is.

After the stadium announcer introduced Marine veteran Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams, he gave the crowd a prideful and enthusiastic “thumbs-up.”

While wearing his Marine Corps League Garrison cover, Williams flipped that NFL coin like a seasoned champ; no surprise there — how the former WWII flamethrower earned his network TV spot is an incredible story of heroism and badassery.

Related: This Navy veteran is ‘sleeping over’ at Sunday’s big game

A strong toss, sir. (Image via GIPHY) Before joining the Marine Corps, Williams took part in Civilian Conservation Corps, a public relief program operated by the U.S. Army. After the events at Pearl Harbor, Williams requested his release and quickly enlisted in the Marine Corps so he could get right into the fight.

His unique training earned him a role as a demolition operator — and he would certainly put his skills to good use. In 1945, he was sent to the Japanese island of Iwo Jima to lay siege against the enemy.

Williams served in a reserve unit and he was told he probably wouldn’t even be utilized in the fight, but things changed quickly under the brutal barrage of enemy fire.

Also Read: This sailor has one of the most impressive resumes you’ll ever see — and he’s not done yet

How the Air Force makes the ‘smell of victory’
Marines clearing enemy caves with grenades and BARs.

After numerous American casualties, Williams was thrust into battle and ordered to engage the Japanese’s well-fortified pill boxes with his deadly flamethrower.

Under the guidance of a Marine officer, he was given a few riflemen for protection as he dashed toward the Japanese stronghold to burn them out of their position.

Due to the enemies’ muzzle smoke, Williams managed to identify their well-concealed positions and light them up.

“It almost like a dream, like it’s really not real,” he recalled.

Williams climbed to the top of the pill box and stuck the barrel of his flamethrower into the small air vent and fired. During his time on the bloody island, Williams single-handedly knocked out seven different concealed enemy positions.

Now Read: This SEAL was shot 27 times before walking himself to the medevac

How the Air Force makes the ‘smell of victory’

On Oct. 5, 1945, Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams was presented with the Medal of Honor by President Truman.

Check out Medal of Honor Book‘s video below to listen to Woody’s incredible story from the legend himself.

(MedalOfHonorBook, YouTube)
MIGHTY BRANDED

Watch these spec ops vets explain the differences between Rangers, SEALs, PJs, Green Berets, and Recon

In Michael Bay’s “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi”, the actors were mentored by the type of warfighters they portray in the film in order to accurately depict their abilities and experiences. Each of these men was a member of an elite group called the Global Response Staff, which draws from the full suite of special operations units.


We Are The Mighty partnered with “13 Hours” to bring together spec ops vets of each branch to discuss the differences between Army Rangers and Green Berets, Air Force Pararescuemen, Navy SEALs, and Marine Recon.

Their explanations are specific and nuanced and explained as only those who’ve “been there and done that” can.

MIGHTY TACTICAL

Here’s why we love the Bradley Fighting Vehicle

The M1 Abrams main battle tank gets a lot of attention and respect. As well it should; it has a very enviable combat record — not to mention a reputation that is simply fearsome.


After all, if you were facing them and knew that enemy shells fired from 400 yards away bounced off the armor of an M1, you’d want to find some sort of white fabric to wave to keep it from shooting at you.

But the Abrams doesn’t operate alone. Often, it works with the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, or BFV. The “B” could also stand for “badass” because the Bradley has done its share of kicking butt alongside the Abrams, including during Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Read more about why we love the Bradley here.

Articles

Watch Russian marines playfight on the beach

We’ll admit it. Russian marines are pretty badass. Like, that’s not sarcastic. Recent reports show them fighting in Aleppo, Syria, and they have a pretty decent combat record dating back to 1705.


But that’s part of what makes it so great that they made a combatives video where they telegraph their punches like they’re the Russian bad guys in a Steven Seagal movie.

How the Air Force makes the ‘smell of victory’
(GIF: YouTube/Max Kalinin)

But you can kind of forgive a military unit for rehearsing the combat moves and telling their dudes to lean in when it includes a legit drop kick:

How the Air Force makes the ‘smell of victory’
Yeah, there’s no way to stage a drop kick to the chest where it doesn’t hurt. (GIF: YouTube/Max Kalinin)

Plus, you pretty much have to stage the combat once you start letting guys swing entrenching tools at one another:

How the Air Force makes the ‘smell of victory’
He flipped that dude hard enough that the E-tool gets airtime. (GIF: YouTube/ Max Kalinin)

For more Russian Kung Foo action, check out the full video below:

MIGHTY TRENDING

This Air Force vet tells the story behind ‘Suicide Butterflies’ and her other tattoos

Heather Hayes was an Air Force mechanic who deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan and has tattoos that tell the story of her time in uniform.


To Hayes, “tattoos are a journey.”

One of them is a Banksy graffiti piece called “Suicide Butterflies” that depicts a woman shooting herself and the resulting damage morphing into butterflies.

“It’s kind of intense I suppose,” Hayes said. “Basically it’s a symbol of something really tragic turning into something really beautiful.”

Hayes’s story is part of a series presented by We Are The Mighty. War Ink: 11 for 11 features 11 combat veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan using tattoos to tell their stories on and off the battlefield. Each week for the next 11 weeks, a different tattoo’d veteran will share his or her story.

Do you have a tattoo that tells the story of your war experiences? Post a photo of it at We Are The Mighty’s Facebook page with the hashtag #WeAreTheMightyInk. WATM will be teeing up the coolest and most intense ones through Veteran’s Day.

Video Credit: Rebecca Murga and Karen Kraft

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Watch the Coast Guard help rescue 36 fishermen from a burning ship

Coasties (as the other branches of the military tend to label members of the U.S. Coast Guard) often come off as black sheep of the family of military veterans, which isn’t fair. They are members of the military and serve in deployed locations in the Middle East and elsewhere, they just happen to be under the Department of Homeland Security, and not the Department of Defense. Coast Guard basic training is difficult as all get out, despite what other branches tend to believe. The day to day life of the USCG isn’t a walk in the park either. And when all is said and done, having a primary mission of saving lives, especially those who could not save themselves, is a mission worthy of respect.


This day was no different. The 229-foot Glory Pacific No. 8 fishing boat was a Papua New Guinea-flagged ship which caught fire some 2,070 miles off the coast of Hawaii. The Coast Guard dispatched a C-130 Hercules to locate the ship based on its emergency beacon. The found the Glory Pacific engulfed in flames, unmanned and adrift. They coordinated the rescue of the ships 36 crewmembers with another civilian ship in the area, the Lomalo, out of the Marshall Islands, using smoke flares. Lomalo will take the rescued crew back to their home port.

It’s all fun and games to make fun of the Coasties, and as you do, just hope you’re never stranded adrift in the middle of 2,000 miles of ocean. That’s a lot of crow (or seagull) to eat.

 

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This animation shows every nuclear bomb explosion in history

Just how many times has a nuclear bomb been detonated? The number is much higher than many people might guess.


The video below reveals a staggering total — and it is a subject that is out of mind, largely because all but two of the times that nuclear weapons have detonated were tests. Furthermore, the United States hasn’t even conducted a test since 1992.

To put that into perspective, in that year, Major League Baseball still had only 26 teams. The NFL was at only 28 teams, and Cleveland still had the original Cleveland Browns while the Los Angeles Rams were still three years away from their two-decade sojurn in St. Louis. Michael Jordan and the Bulls were two-thirds of the way through their first three-peat.

This video takes about three minutes — and after it, you should come away feeling sobered at just how many times the most powerful weapon in human history has exploded, and thankful that it has only been used in anger twice.

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This Marine always hated the dehydrated pork product in his MRE

Navy veteran and Food Network Allstar, August Dannehl cooks a four course meal for his fellow vets based on stories from their service. A braised pork belly inspired by the MRE’s feared dehydrated pork product, Chicken Tagine inspired by a training mission in Morocco – these elements provide the backdrop for a holiday celebration between veterans.


When vet comic James P. Connolly (host of WATM’s “Vet on the Streets” series) was in the Marine Corps, he experienced a rawer version of the MRE. Without pomp and frills, many of the early MREs contained something called Dehydrated Pork Product. The only solution to this madness was the tiny Tabasco sauce bottle slipped into the box.

Braised Pork Belly with Cipollini Jam and Tabasco Caramel

Inspired by James’ memory of the early MRE with ”Dehydrated Pork Product”

Ingredients

Pork Belly

2 lb pork belly

2 cups cola

2 cups beer

1/2 cup soy sauce(low salt)

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup ginger (thinly sliced)

4 garlic cloves

1 large onion (diced)

2 large carrots (diced)

2 strips bacon

 

Cipollini Jam

1 lb cipollini onions (sliced)

1 cup cola

1 cup red wine vinegar

 

Tabasco Caramel

1 tb butter

1/4 tabasco sauce

2 tb agave syrup

2 tsp xanthan gum

 

Also need 

extra virgin olive oil 

salt and pepper to taste

scallions (chopped) for garnish 

 

Prepare

Prepare the pork belly by scoring the skin crossways and placing in a large plastic bag with ginger, 2 cloves garlic, soy sauce and brown sugar. Seal bag and let sit in refrigerator overnight.

Heat olive oil in medium sauce pan and add cipollini to sweat. Once translucent, about 3-5 minutes, add cola and vinegar, reduce heat to lowest possible and reduce until the consistency of thick jam.

Meanwhile, heat tabasco, agave syrup and butter over medium heat for 2 minutes. Once heated, add xanthan gum and stir until tabasco separates into thick caramel-like syrup.

Preheat oven to 300°. Render bacon in large, oven-safe pan over medium heat, add onion, the rest of the garlic, carrots and sauté for 5 minutes. Raise temperature of pan to high and add a tb or so of olive oil to pan. Add pork belly mixture, starting skin side down and let cook for 3 mins of each side.

Add cola and beer and let cook for 10 minutes. Once liquid is reduced by 1/4 place entire pan in oven and let braise for 2 hours covered then 1 hour uncovered until the meat is very tender.

To serve heat skin of belly with kitchen torch(or broiler) for 2 mins to crisp skin and serve with tabasco caramel and cipollini jam.

Music courtesy of Jingle Punks:
Dramatic Classical Hip Hop – Trent Williamson

Thug Piano-JP – Pailboy

 

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‘Earning the Tab – Pt. 3’ – Lisa faces the biggest gut check of her life

The U.S. Army’s Ranger School is beyond tough. Sixty percent of those who start the course fail within the first four days. One third of all soldiers “recycle” one of the three phases.


In Part 3 of this amazing series by Army veteran Rebecca Murga, Maj. Lisa Jaster continues her quest to make history by being among the first females to complete Ranger School and earn the right to wear the tab. Nineteen females started the course; 3 remain. Lisa has already recycled the Darby phase (phase one). Will she make it to the end?

Watch ‘Earning the Tab – Pt. 1’ here. Watch Pt. 2 here.

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