In the news: Sunken Japanese Carriers found near Midway

Last week, an undersea exploration venture founded by Microsoft’s Paul Allen succeeded in locating the Kaga and the Akagi, two of the four carriers sunk by United States aircraft during the climactic Battle of Midway in June 1942. Located by scientists aboard the research vessel Petrel, these wrecks represent an extraordinarily important find for historians, and provide some closure for the families of those men who are entombed with the ships.

Japanese Navy Aircraft Carrier Kaga.jpg
The Kaga. Notice how the smokestack is pointed down towards the water.

The Kaga, incidentally, is the first sunken Japanese carrier to be discovered after the war.

Not only does this come as good news for researchers, but it is certainly a promising development for the makers of Midway, Roland Emmerich’s upcoming film about the battle.

For more information on this story, check out the Washington Post article here.

Fall Updates and Resolutions

I apologize for not having posted for awhile. This past summer has been, well . . . eventful.

It began with two weeks of being sick with what I thought was severe food poisoning. Once I began doubting whether or not I was going to heal on my own, I went to the emergency room, where I soon learned that I had a severe colon infection and, in all probability, ulcerative colitis. Two subsequent colonoscopies confirmed the diagnosis. I was in the hospital for three days, ended up having to cancel a much-anticipated trip to St. Louis with my daughter to visit friends and family, cut short and modified at considerable expense a research trip to Nebraska (one of these days I will write a rant-post against Priceline), and began learning how to live with this insanely arbitrary illness. The good news right now is that it looks like my case will not be severe enough to warrant a colectomy, but the bad news is that until I get my new treatment approved by my insurance and medical group I will be on Prednisone, which is the devil’s drug. I still don’t feel 100%, but I’ll get there.

Anyway, my summer came off to a (shall we say?) crappy start . . . but then it started to get better. I had a nice time teaching a six-week long American History to 1877 course up in Grass Valley, which was a long but mostly pleasant commute that landed me in a classroom with an excellent view of the surrounding pine forests and mountains. I also managed to complete and submit my book revisions, which took a lot more time than I anticipated, but mainly because I stubbornly kept finding things I wanted to change or add. I will have more updates on this project in the coming weeks and months, but for now the tentative publication date is early fall 2020. Stay tuned . . .

The summer culminated in three fantastic trips: Disneyland with my wife’s family, Vancouver with my family and my mother in law, and Tokyo with one of my closest friends. Suffice it to say I didn’t do a lot of work during those three weeks, but it was a great way to end an unusually lopsided though not entirely unhappy summer break.

So, here we are at the start of the fall semester . . . leaves are starting to change, students are starting to worry about their grades, and I’m beginning to work on my grandpa’s letters project again. As of now I have all of the letters digitized up through the end of 1942. The real bottleneck – and joy – at this point is sifting through them. I’m going to try to write more posts than I need (going to try to post two a week, plus one or two other posts about other history-type things), and ideally will do so with the notion of eventually incorporating parts of them into the book I am planning and researching on the subject. In the meantime, we are beginning to fundraise for the Earthshaking documentary, and I hope that between this site and my other social media stuff I can be web-savvy/engaged enough to create an online audience that is sufficiently large and willing to buy my forthcoming book. For all these endeavors, your advice and tips are most appreciated!

Between my recent medical issues, the completion of my book, and a lot of idle thought while commuting between Orangevale and Grass Valley, I am approaching this fall as something of a personal and professional reboot. I am working to become healthier, working on actualizing my many projects, and hoping to reconcile all these things with life as a dad, husband, and teacher. We’ll see what comes of it, but in the meantime . . . please keep checking in as I tell my grandpa’s story about the War. And while Pearl Harbor may be the most iconic and salient event in his letters, his story does not end there. In fact, it is only the beginning . . .

I hope that everyone reading this has a happy and productive fall. Pumpkin spice if you got ’em . . .