Welcome to Talking Proud, Service & Sacrifice

“Talking Proud” honors service and sacrifice, focused mainly on our military, and where I can, on Canada’s as well. Feel free to send me a note using the Contact Form and, if appropriate, I will post your comments in our Letters section. My name is Ed Marek, and I run this site on my own, as a hobby. That said, a donation is always uplifting.

“Sacrifice: Without Fear There Is No Courage”



My wife, Mary Ellen, was a career ER RN who succumbed to lung cancer in 2001, after a 14 month fight. My daughters, their families and I have teamed up on what we call The Sunlight Project to raise money on Ellen’s behalf but also on behalf of the survivors, those now afflicted, and those who might become afflicted. The project was formed in 2001 and since then has raised $59,963, almost $60,000. Please join with me to maintain and build the momentum. Click here or on the logo above to get more information and consider a donation. You can donate right from that page. All money goes to the American Cancer Society. Thanks. Ed Marek, editor


Kapyong: Aussies - Canadians - New Zealanders beat back massive Chinese attack targeted at Seoul

Had they not held, the UN might well have surrendered the peninsula to the Chinese


If you were to study the Korean War in any depth, you would find yourself tracking one battle after another from the initial invasion to the regrouping at the Pusan Perimeter to the breakout from Pusan, the march to the Yalu on the Chinese border, the withdrawal below the 38th parallel, and then a push back above the 38th to the armistice that established a Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) roughly following the 38th parallel as the border between the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the former best known as South Korea, the latter as North Korea. Selecting a battle from all of them that ensued and labeling it as crucially important is a challenge indeed. We are about to look at one of those battles that was crucially important --- the Battle of Kapyong, also known as the Battle of Gapyong, April 22-25, 1951. It was fought, in the main, by the British 27th Commonwealth Brigade, led by the 3rd Royal Australian Regiment and the 2nd Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry, supported by the 1st Middlesex Regiment, the 16th Royal New Zealand Artillery, and the Indian 60th (Parachute) Field Ambulance platoon. Had the allies failed to hold at Kapyong, it is no too far fetched to say that there would have been a good chance the United Nations Command (UNC) would have folded its tent and left the peninsula. February 26, 2014. Go to story.

An American Naval Aviator died today


Jeremiah Denton, Jr., RAdm, USN (Ret) died on March 28, 2014, age 89. On July 18, 1965 Commander Denton led a squadron of 28 A-6 Intruder ground attack fighters on his 12th mission over North Vietnam, launching from the USS Independence in the South China Sea. His target was a complex of military warehouses at Thanh Hoa, 75 miles south of Hanoi. As he approached the Thanh Hoa bridge, his aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft artillery (AAA), it went into a tail spin, he and his bombadier-navigator Lt. Bill Tshudy bailed out, and they were captured. During that ordeal, he ruptured a tendon in his left thigh. He was held in POW camps for seven years and seven months. The enemy beat him, starved him, tortured him, put him in solitary confinement and in cofffin-like boxes. He led his fellow POWs to resist, and devised ways for POWs to communicate. After 10 months capture, the enemy brought him before Japanese TV. He pretended to be blinded by the lights and began blinking, and incredibly blinked the word “torture” in Morse code when asked how he was being treated. The enemy later learned of his message and beat him for an entire night. He received the Navy Cross and was promoted to captain, and later to rear admiral. In 1980 he was elected to the US Senate representing Alabama and served until 1987. (032814)

Meet Britain’s “Bomb Magnet” - to receive Military Cross


Warrant Officer First Class (WO1) Patrick Hyde, 4th Battalion British Rifles, has been struck by enemy explosions 17 times in Afghanistan, and by the grace of God, has escaped serious injuries every time. His Brothers in Arms have nicknamed him the “Bomb Magnet.” In July 2013, an Afghan soldier stepped on an IED, blew off his own leg, and injured Hyde with shrapnel to his left leg, stomach, left hand and right side of his face. He was medevac’d out and was okay. On this tour, he has been hit by 11 IEDs while in a vehicle and twice while on foot. Two other times, his armored troop carrier was hit by rockets. He had been struck by an IED while in Iraq previously. He has been tapped to receive Britain’s Military Cross, the third-level military decoration awarded to officers for gallantry. Hail Britannia! (032414)

Comin’ for you --- a special photo gallery


You see, nice try in your attempt to destroy the bridge. But the thing is, the engineers fixed it up well enough and the Marines crossed it because they’re comin’ for you.

This is a special photo gallery. Employ our forces the way they ought to be employed, be an enemy of the US, and as our enemy please know our men and women are “Comin’ for you” and they’ll get you. I began this effort on February 3, 2014. It will grow as we spot appropriate photos. February 11, 2014. Go to gallery.

HH-43 SAR pilot’s diary, 1964-1965, Vietnam


It is not often that we get access to a fairly detailed diary of a combat air commander from the Indochina War. We have such a diary written by Lt. Colonel (and earlier major) Archie Taylor, shown here with one of his HH-43 Huskie Search and Rescue (SAR) and Local Base firefighting and crash Recovery (LBR) helicopters. His diary comes in two parts. First, as commander, Det 4, Pacific Air Rescue Center (PARC) during October 1964-May 1965. He, his crews and his HH-43F Pedros were located at Bien Hoa AB, Republic of Vietnam (RVN), located outside Saigon. Second, we have his notes during the period May-October 1965 when he served at the Search and Rescue Center (SAR) located with Air Operations Center (AOC) at Tan Son Nhut AB, Vietnam, outside Saigon. He worked the SAR problem while there. Archie, while working in the SAR Rescue Center, kept notes, sometimes sketchy and filled with acronyms and call signs to capture segments of SAR missions worked from the TACC. I have had to work with just these notes. I have taken a different approach with these notes than I did in the first section while he was with Det 4, PARC. My vision here is that he was working the SAR problem in the TACC and taking very brief notes for himself to keep things straight in his mind while the SAR effort was or was not underway. Usually his notes do not describe a full and complete SAR endeavor, but they do give an insight into the kinds of things that occurred during a SAR, and these are interesting and history worthy. I decided to take the individual sets and try to correlate them with the official record of what happened in order to give more meaning to his notes. Go to story. November 16, 2013

Airborne Peripheral Reconnaissance, Cold War losses

“Silent Sacrifices”


The “Cold War” followed immediately after then end of WWII. The Cold War was a sustained state of political and military tension largely between the US as the leader of the West, which included the NATO Western European nations, and the Soviet Union (USSR), as the leader of the East, which included the Warsaw Pact nations. Each of the leaders had nuclear weapons and the ability to deliver them. That we did not know what was going on behind the “Iron Curtain” to the east formed the foundation of the need to find out. From that grew almost immediately the requirement to fly airborne reconnaissance over the USSR and around the periphery of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact. This report touches on those flights flown over the USSR, but is focused on those that flew along the periphery of the Soviet Union and were shot down by Soviet fighter aircraft. August 7, 2013. Go to story.