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david leigh-smith
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On This Day...December 13th.

December 13, 2018 · in News · · 12 · 1.7K

Astronauts Cernan and Harrison Schmitt, two of the three-man crew of Apollo 17, were the last men to walk on the Moon on December 13, 1972. Commander Cernan made a brief speech before boarding the module, saying: “We leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return - with peace and hope for all mankind.”

Bf 109F-2 flown by Oberfeldwebel Albert Espenlaub, El Adem, Libya. 13th. December 1941. Although Espenlaub survived the crash landing he was shot dead as a POW in February '42, whilst trying to escape.

Following the photo a few days ago of Santa on an M3. tank in England, here he is masquerading as Pilot Fred Fazan in a Typhoon, handing presents to Dutch children at No. 122 Wing's airfield at Volkel, Holland, 13 December 1944.

The German battleship Graf Spee, sank in the first major sea battle of WWII at the Battle of River Plate, December 13th, 1939. Three Royal Navy cruisers, the Exeter, Achilles, and HMS Ajax engaged with the German ship and inflicted enough damage that the captain of the Spee sought refuge in Montevideo (Uruguay) and ultimately took the decision to scuttle the ship.

Illustrating the awful and primitive conditions of field medicine, a US marine surgeon operates on a soldier wounded by Japanese sniper fire, Bougainville, 13 Dec 1943.

Reader reactions:
6  Awesome

12 responses

  1. Bravo David, another excellent set.

  2. The last photo is ghoulish. Rule #1 for surgeons; wear a shirt.

  3. Love the Apollo shot!

  4. Thanks, Gary. Appreciated.

  5. As usual a nice selection of thought provoking photos. Much appreciated!

  6. The death of the Graf Spee always gets me. So much pathos.

    Really enjoying the series, David. Hope you are well, my brother. Things are Christmas crazy here, but plugging along.

    • Thanks, David. Always great to hear from you.

      • By the way, I love Buenos Aires. Visiting that city--and looking out over the Rio de Plata where this all went down--changed my life. Of all the places I've visited, Argentina and Spain...yow...these spots could be second homes.

  7. Fine pictures and "history," David.

    I would think that the shirtless surgeon was doing whatever he could to stay cool ... and not sweat right into his patients! We know it was taken on Bougainville: that's basically jungle, right? Hot. Sweaty. Sticky. No proper light, either except from the entrance. I'll bet there wasn't much ventilation down in that "bunker," either. Sorry, Mon ... I'm not trying to rag on you but there it is! Shirtless Surgeons unite!

    LoL! I couldn't help myself ...

  8. No, your right - I wasn't making the Bougainville connection in my head when I noted that. I showed this photo to a workmate. I said "look - this guy doesn't even have a shirt on". He said "Oh yes, but he's wearing a mask."

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