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Before Yankee career, Yogi Berra was part of D-Day Invasion
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Jul 21, 2019 13:44:36   #
slatten49 (a regular here)
 
Written By Marc Lancaster

Yogi Berra will be remembered by many for his light-heartedness and goofy sayings, but the Hall of Fame catcher participated in one of history's most storied battles while still a teenager.

Seaman Second Class Lawrence P. Berra was on a rocket boat stationed off the coast of Normandy on June 6, 1944, barely three weeks after his 19th birthday. He and the other six men in the 36-foot craft provided fire support for the invasion that came to be known simply as D-Day and remained in the area for nearly two weeks after the initial landings.

As recounted last year in The Jersey Journal by his longtime friend Ed Lucas, Berra was an 18-year-old playing Class B ball in Norfolk, Va., in 1943 when his draft number was called. Rather than taking his chances in the Army, Berra enlisted in the Navy at Norfolk.

After going through basic training, the St. Louis native found a niche for himself almost by accident.
"They asked for volunteers to go on a rocket boat," he told YES Network in 2009. "I didn't even know what a rocket boat was."

But Berra learned how to crew the small boats, saying the hardest part was learning to handle the twin .50-caliber machine guns in heavy seas: "You ever try shooting a machine gun on a 36-footer? You could shoot yourself."

He eventually got the hang of it, though, and found himself in the middle of the action for Operation Overlord, the invasion of Europe. The rocket boats were carried across the English Channel on a larger ship and lowered over the side before their crews jumped in. The small boats moved in close to the coastline off the beach code-named Utah and were told to be on the lookout for German planes.

"We were told to shoot anything that moved," Berra told author Gary Bloomfield in "Duty, Honor, Victory: America's Athletes in World War II."

"I am not sure if he said 'moved' or 'any plane below the clouds,' but we all shot at the first plane below the clouds and we shot down one of our own planes. The pilot was mad as hell, and you could hear him swearing as he floated down in his parachute. I remember him shaking his fist and yelling, 'If you bastards would shoot down as many of them as us, the goddamn war would be over.'"

That was a relatively light moment, but it was the exception during Berra's time in combat. One of his boat's crew members was killed after going on shore in France, and he witnessed numerous other deaths - not to mention the damage he inflicted while manning the boat's machine guns.

Berra and his crew also participated in Operation Dragoon, the invasion of southern France, in August 1944. He wasn't discharged from the Navy until 1946, when he resumed his nascent baseball career.

The diminutive catcher made his big-league debut with the Yankees on Sept. 22, 1946 - 69 years to the day before he died at age 90. He always remained thankful for the opportunity to live the life he did when so many of his peers never got the chance to do so.

"I'm proud of it," he told YES in 2009. "I'm still alive to see it, still alive to hear about it."

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Jul 21, 2019 17:48:15   #
lpnmajor (a regular here)
 
slatten49 wrote:
Written By Marc Lancaster

Yogi Berra will be remembered by many for his light-heartedness and goofy sayings, but the Hall of Fame catcher participated in one of history's most storied battles while still a teenager.

Seaman Second Class Lawrence P. Berra was on a rocket boat stationed off the coast of Normandy on June 6, 1944, barely three weeks after his 19th birthday. He and the other six men in the 36-foot craft provided fire support for the invasion that came to be known simply as D-Day and remained in the area for nearly two weeks after the initial landings.

As recounted last year in The Jersey Journal by his longtime friend Ed Lucas, Berra was an 18-year-old playing Class B ball in Norfolk, Va., in 1943 when his draft number was called. Rather than taking his chances in the Army, Berra enlisted in the Navy at Norfolk.

After going through basic training, the St. Louis native found a niche for himself almost by accident.
"They asked for volunteers to go on a rocket boat," he told YES Network in 2009. "I didn't even know what a rocket boat was."

But Berra learned how to crew the small boats, saying the hardest part was learning to handle the twin .50-caliber machine guns in heavy seas: "You ever try shooting a machine gun on a 36-footer? You could shoot yourself."

He eventually got the hang of it, though, and found himself in the middle of the action for Operation Overlord, the invasion of Europe. The rocket boats were carried across the English Channel on a larger ship and lowered over the side before their crews jumped in. The small boats moved in close to the coastline off the beach code-named Utah and were told to be on the lookout for German planes.

"We were told to shoot anything that moved," Berra told author Gary Bloomfield in "Duty, Honor, Victory: America's Athletes in World War II."

"I am not sure if he said 'moved' or 'any plane below the clouds,' but we all shot at the first plane below the clouds and we shot down one of our own planes. The pilot was mad as hell, and you could hear him swearing as he floated down in his parachute. I remember him shaking his fist and yelling, 'If you bastards would shoot down as many of them as us, the goddamn war would be over.'"

That was a relatively light moment, but it was the exception during Berra's time in combat. One of his boat's crew members was killed after going on shore in France, and he witnessed numerous other deaths - not to mention the damage he inflicted while manning the boat's machine guns.

Berra and his crew also participated in Operation Dragoon, the invasion of southern France, in August 1944. He wasn't discharged from the Navy until 1946, when he resumed his nascent baseball career.

The diminutive catcher made his big-league debut with the Yankees on Sept. 22, 1946 - 69 years to the day before he died at age 90. He always remained thankful for the opportunity to live the life he did when so many of his peers never got the chance to do so.

"I'm proud of it," he told YES in 2009. "I'm still alive to see it, still alive to hear about it."
Written By Marc Lancaster br br Yogi Berra will b... (show quote)


Of all shapes and stripes.

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Jul 21, 2019 18:58:27   #
Parky60 (a regular here)
 
slatten49 wrote:
Written By Marc Lancaster

Yogi Berra will be remembered by many for his light-heartedness and goofy sayings, but the Hall of Fame catcher participated in one of history's most storied battles while still a teenager.

Seaman Second Class Lawrence P. Berra was on a rocket boat stationed off the coast of Normandy on June 6, 1944, barely three weeks after his 19th birthday. He and the other six men in the 36-foot craft provided fire support for the invasion that came to be known simply as D-Day and remained in the area for nearly two weeks after the initial landings.

As recounted last year in The Jersey Journal by his longtime friend Ed Lucas, Berra was an 18-year-old playing Class B ball in Norfolk, Va., in 1943 when his draft number was called. Rather than taking his chances in the Army, Berra enlisted in the Navy at Norfolk.

After going through basic training, the St. Louis native found a niche for himself almost by accident.
"They asked for volunteers to go on a rocket boat," he told YES Network in 2009. "I didn't even know what a rocket boat was."

But Berra learned how to crew the small boats, saying the hardest part was learning to handle the twin .50-caliber machine guns in heavy seas: "You ever try shooting a machine gun on a 36-footer? You could shoot yourself."

He eventually got the hang of it, though, and found himself in the middle of the action for Operation Overlord, the invasion of Europe. The rocket boats were carried across the English Channel on a larger ship and lowered over the side before their crews jumped in. The small boats moved in close to the coastline off the beach code-named Utah and were told to be on the lookout for German planes.

"We were told to shoot anything that moved," Berra told author Gary Bloomfield in "Duty, Honor, Victory: America's Athletes in World War II."

"I am not sure if he said 'moved' or 'any plane below the clouds,' but we all shot at the first plane below the clouds and we shot down one of our own planes. The pilot was mad as hell, and you could hear him swearing as he floated down in his parachute. I remember him shaking his fist and yelling, 'If you bastards would shoot down as many of them as us, the goddamn war would be over.'"

That was a relatively light moment, but it was the exception during Berra's time in combat. One of his boat's crew members was killed after going on shore in France, and he witnessed numerous other deaths - not to mention the damage he inflicted while manning the boat's machine guns.

Berra and his crew also participated in Operation Dragoon, the invasion of southern France, in August 1944. He wasn't discharged from the Navy until 1946, when he resumed his nascent baseball career.

The diminutive catcher made his big-league debut with the Yankees on Sept. 22, 1946 - 69 years to the day before he died at age 90. He always remained thankful for the opportunity to live the life he did when so many of his peers never got the chance to do so.

"I'm proud of it," he told YES in 2009. "I'm still alive to see it, still alive to hear about it."
Written By Marc Lancaster br br Yogi Berra will b... (show quote)

Fifty great “Yogisms.”

1. When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

2. You can observe a lot by just watching.

3. It ain’t over till it’s over.

4. It’s like déjà vu all over again.

5. No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded.

6. Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical.

7. A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.

8. Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.

9. We made too many wrong mistakes.

10. Congratulations. I knew the record would stand until it was broken.

11. You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.

12. You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you.

13. I usually take a two-hour nap from one to four.

14. Never answer an anonymous letter.

15. Slump? I ain’t in no slump… I just ain’t hitting.

16. How can you think and hit at the same time?

17. The future ain’t what it used to be.

18. I tell the kids, somebody’s gotta win, somebody’s gotta lose. Just don’t fight about it. Just try to get better.

19. It gets late early out here.

20. If the people don’t want to come out to the ballpark, nobody’s going to stop them.

21. We have deep depth.

22. Pair up in threes.

23. Why buy good luggage, you only use it when you travel.

24. You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.

25. All pitchers are liars or crybabies.

26. Even Napoleon had his Watergate.

27. Bill Dickey is learning me his experience.

28. He hits from both sides of the plate. He’s amphibious.

29. It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.

30. I can see how he (Sandy Koufax) won twenty-five games. What I don’t understand is how he lost five.

31. I don’t know (if they were men or women fans running naked across the field). They had bags over their heads.

32. I’m a lucky guy and I’m happy to be with the Yankees. And I want to thank everyone for making this night necessary.

33. I’m not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.

34. In baseball, you don’t know nothing.

35. I never blame myself when I’m not hitting. I just blame the bat and if it keeps up, I change bats. After all, if I know it isn’t my fault that I’m not hitting, how can I get mad at myself?

36. I never said most of the things I said.

37. It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.

38. If you ask me anything I don’t know, I’m not going to answer.

39. I wish everybody had the drive he (Joe DiMaggio) had. He never did anything wrong on the field. I’d never seen him dive for a ball, everything was a chest-high catch, and he never walked off the field.

40. So I’m ugly. I never saw anyone hit with his face.

41. Take it with a grin of salt.

42. (On the 1973 Mets) We were overwhelming underdogs.

43. The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase.

44. Little League baseball is a very good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets.

45. Mickey Mantle was a very good golfer, but we weren’t allowed to play golf during the season; only at spring training.

46. You don’t have to swing hard to hit a home run. If you got the timing, it’ll go.

47. I’m lucky. Usually you’re dead to get your own museum, but I’m still alive to see mine.

48. If I didn’t make it in baseball, I won’t have made it workin’. I didn’t like to work.

49. If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be.

50. A lot of guys go, ‘Hey, Yog, say a Yogi-ism.’ I tell ’em, ‘I don’t know any.’ They want me to make one up. I don’t make ’em up. I don’t even know when I say it. They’re the truth. And it is the truth. I don’t know.

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Jul 21, 2019 19:03:28   #
slatten49 (a regular here)
 
Parky60 wrote:
Fifty great “Yogisms.”

1. When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

2. You can observe a lot by just watching.

3. It ain’t over till it’s over.

4. It’s like déjà vu all over again.

5. No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded.

6. Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical.

7. A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.

8. Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.

9. We made too many wrong mistakes.

10. Congratulations. I knew the record would stand until it was broken.

11. You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.

12. You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you.

13. I usually take a two-hour nap from one to four.

14. Never answer an anonymous letter.

15. Slump? I ain’t in no slump… I just ain’t hitting.

16. How can you think and hit at the same time?

17. The future ain’t what it used to be.

18. I tell the kids, somebody’s gotta win, somebody’s gotta lose. Just don’t fight about it. Just try to get better.

19. It gets late early out here.

20. If the people don’t want to come out to the ballpark, nobody’s going to stop them.

21. We have deep depth.

22. Pair up in threes.

23. Why buy good luggage, you only use it when you travel.

24. You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.

25. All pitchers are liars or crybabies.

26. Even Napoleon had his Watergate.

27. Bill Dickey is learning me his experience.

28. He hits from both sides of the plate. He’s amphibious.

29. It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.

30. I can see how he (Sandy Koufax) won twenty-five games. What I don’t understand is how he lost five.

31. I don’t know (if they were men or women fans running naked across the field). They had bags over their heads.

32. I’m a lucky guy and I’m happy to be with the Yankees. And I want to thank everyone for making this night necessary.

33. I’m not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.

34. In baseball, you don’t know nothing.

35. I never blame myself when I’m not hitting. I just blame the bat and if it keeps up, I change bats. After all, if I know it isn’t my fault that I’m not hitting, how can I get mad at myself?

36. I never said most of the things I said.

37. It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.

38. If you ask me anything I don’t know, I’m not going to answer.

39. I wish everybody had the drive he (Joe DiMaggio) had. He never did anything wrong on the field. I’d never seen him dive for a ball, everything was a chest-high catch, and he never walked off the field.

40. So I’m ugly. I never saw anyone hit with his face.

41. Take it with a grin of salt.

42. (On the 1973 Mets) We were overwhelming underdogs.

43. The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase.

44. Little League baseball is a very good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets.

45. Mickey Mantle was a very good golfer, but we weren’t allowed to play golf during the season; only at spring training.

46. You don’t have to swing hard to hit a home run. If you got the timing, it’ll go.

47. I’m lucky. Usually you’re dead to get your own museum, but I’m still alive to see mine.

48. If I didn’t make it in baseball, I won’t have made it workin’. I didn’t like to work.

49. If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be.

50. A lot of guys go, ‘Hey, Yog, say a Yogi-ism.’ I tell ’em, ‘I don’t know any.’ They want me to make one up. I don’t make ’em up. I don’t even know when I say it. They’re the truth. And it is the truth. I don’t know.
Fifty great “Yogisms.” br br 1. When you come to ... (show quote)

Thanks, Parky. As they're classic, I always enjoy re-reading 'em

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