Tag Archives: World War II

Book Submitted For Publication- Yeah!!

After two decades of research and three years of writing, my manuscript that is tetatively titled, Hitler: Prescription For Defeat has been submitted for publication. Few people who have not written a book understand how arduous the process really is.

In my case my editor for Carrying The Black Bag: A Neurologist’s Bedside Tales requested I expand the chapter on Hitler’s illnesses from my prior book into a full length book. She believed such a book would appeal to a substantial audience. The new book covers much more than his Parkinson’s disease by including his coronary artery disease, his intestinal problems, other more minor illnesses, his medications along with discussion of his very unusual personality. The impact of his poor health and abnormal personality is discussed in terms of their effect on three major battles (Operation Barbarossa which was the Invasion of the Soviet Union, The Battle of Normandy, and The Battle of the Bulge) in World War II. Suffice it to say, we can be grateful Hitler was so sick and screwed up!

Since this book was requested by my editor, here’s hoping this provides “a leg up” on acceptance. Am keeping my fingers crossed. Even then the process would take the remainder of the year and no doubt further revisions, gathering of the Forewords, help with marketing, hiring a publicist, and completion of an Appendix. The road is long.

Nevertheless, I am greatly relieved by completing this step in the process. Also I am most appreciative of friends and family who have acted as readers and encouragers (I’m looking at you LaNelle, Madelyn, Janet, Tom, and Trudy among others).

In the meantime I would hope you would give my earlier book a look. Carrying The Black Bag has been very well reviewed and describes wonderful people who placed their faith in my medical hands, and by so doing, shared their incredible narratives. From such heroic and brave individuals came a volume that says much good about the human condition. It also includes a surprising amount of humor. The book can be purchased from Amazon or your local book stores. Also please check out the website http://tomhuttonmd.com for further information and reviews of my book.

Carrying the Black Bag book

I’ll try to keep you updated on the progress of the new book. Also hopefully now I will have time to place more blog posts. Recently all my creative energies have been focused on completing the Hitler book. Now I should have more time to write on other topics. Thanks and hope you keep reading…

Morning Symphony

Trudy and I continue to “camp out” in our guesthouse while our home undergoes renovation and restoration. Because of a flood, our wooden floors required replacing and we had to move out for three weeks. While we were at it, we decided to do a bit of updating as well. Fortunately we had a guesthouse to move into rather than having to move to a motel (a dog friendly one, of course). We plan on moving back to our usual house in just a few days. Hoorah!

While we have felt frustration over our inability to access certain items, my morning routine has remained unchanged. It begins with a canine symphony, or should I call it a canine cacophony?

You see, after I shower and begin to dress for the day, my two Border collies, Bandit and Bella, begin barking like crazed dogs. They become so excited by the prospect of going out onto the ranch. They are not at all patient


“Two-footed humans sure move slowly!”

.

Jack, our little brown dog, appears nonplussed by the whole matter. If anything Jack places himself between the Borders and me, attempting to prevent the overly excited collies from jumping up  while I totter about on one leg, putting on my jeans.

I am a good dog in the morning, not like those noisy Border collies.”

I’ve found that the barking of the Border collies cannot be suppressed. I try repeatedly to shush them verbally, but to no avail. I even resort to gently squeezing their jaws together. Nothing works. Bella, bless her little canine heart, has even taken to nipping at my legs (very disconcerting for me), if I don’t move along at her desired pace. She clearly herds me in the direction of the pickup and becomes visibly frustrated if I need to double back.

Unfortunately, even on reaching the pickup, the morning symphony of dog barking doesn’t stop. My good neighbor and friend, Tom Norris, says he can always tell where I am on the ranch because of the dogs’ barking. You see, sounds carries very well in Live Oak Valley.

I suppose my dogs’ barking is a new form of G.P.S., i.e. godawful pet sounds! Or maybe it should be C.P.S, Canine Positioning System. Eventually the dogs stop barking, although I suspect it may be because of doggie hoarseness.

My frequency of blog posting (and FB posting) has slowed lately. This absence results from the time I’ve  devoted to writing another book. I am entering the final phases of finishing my next book (well prior to sending it off to potential agents and publishers and the lengthy process that is sure to follow). My book is tentatively titled Hitler: Prescription for Defeat.

The book seeks to answer the “Holy Grail” of questions about Hitler- that is, what was it that affected his reasoning to the extent that he made such colossal blunders in judgement toward the end of World War II. The premise of my book is that Hitler’s failing health and abnormal personality largely explain his errors in judgment and aided the Allies in achieving victory. The book goes into Hitler’s major and minor illnesses along with describing his unusual personality characteristics and how these aspects worked against him. His health is spliced into a number of the major battles of World War II. Wish me luck!

I have  received feedback from my beta readers on Hitler: Prescription For Defeat and have made the necessary edits. I feel so grateful for the time and expertise of Janet, LaNelle, Tom, and Madeline for carrying out this helpful task. Thank you. Extra sets of eyes prove very useful!

By the way, if you haven’t had a chance to read my first book, Carrying The Black Bag: A Neurologist’s Bedside Tales, I hope you will pick it up at your favorite bookstore or order a copy. The book has won awards, and received generous comments from Amazon readers. These reviews on Amazon are extremely welcome and encouraging.

Carrying the Black Bag book

My absolute favorite feedback about Carrying The Black Bag came in the form of a picture from a family member who was at the time training as a Pediatric surgical nurse.

This young reader gave me a great morale boost by reading my book between surgical cases

Taylor McNeill, a surgical nurse and dear niece, reading my book between cases

The days at Medicine Spirit Ranch are lengthening and warming, and it won’t be long until Central Texas looks like the picture below. Spring with the wildflowers is hard to beat!

Bluebonnets and Paints

John Howard Hutton- In Memorium

I’ve been overwhelmed by the emails and card expressing condolences regarding my Dad’s recent death. These expressions of sympathy have helped and I thank you. Below I offer a bio that I wrote, much like what I published six months ago for my mother. I hope this might interest to some of you. I will soon return to more traditional topics for Views From Medicine Spirit Ranch.

The Life Journey of
John Howard Hutton
April 11, 1921 – June 14, 2017

     Howard Hutton, the only child of John Francis Hutton and Kate Frances (Lincoln) Hutton, began his life’s journey April 11, 1921 at his grandparent Lincoln’s home in Liberty, Missouri. He was two months premature and at birth weighed a mere three pounds. Howard was not expected to survive, being even too small for a crib. His parents instead bedded him down in a shoe box.

Howard later relished telling the story of how the local doctor, to stimulate his tiny heart, placed a few drops of whiskey into his mouth; an occurrence, he later claimed, that led to his fondness for distilled spirits.

When asked as a small child to introduce himself, he would respond, “Hoppy Hutton, three years old,” an endearing affectation to be sure, but actually resulting from his difficulty pronouncing his given name. The family moved to Kansas City, Missouri where Howard attended Central High School and where he was a good student. He also sang in the high school choir. Howard was an affable youth who enjoyed riding his bicycle and interacting with the teen and young adult group at the First Baptist Church in Kansas City, Mo. It was there he met his future wife, Adele Catherine Greenway.

Following high school Howard attended Kansas City Junior College. Howard and Adele shared a backseat in a carpool for KCJC and became better acquainted. Soon after they began to date.

Howard’s life journey then took him to the University of Missouri in Columbia where he studied Criminal Justice and Sociology. Adele followed the following year. Toward the end of the fall semester of Howard’s senior year, his plans to enter the field of criminology suddenly changed when on December 7, 1941 Japanese military forces attacked Pearl Harbor. This event rattled the structure of daily lives, altering myriad life journeys.

Following the dastardly sneak attack, Howard was filled with outrage and patriotic fervor. He joined the military, choosing the U.S. Army Air Forces. Howard found the idea of flying airplanes extraordinarily appealing.

The following May, he officially entered the U.S. Army Air Forces. His love for Adele amidst an uncertain and shifting world stage prompted him to hasten his marital plans. Howard proposed marriage to his “Chipper” who was then completing her junior year at MU. Adele accepted and they married June 20, 1942. Adele skipped her promising senior year of college to trail Howard to various military bases about the country. Such was her dedication and love for Howard that she chose to join together their life journeys. Both Howard and Adele considerably broadened their view of the world by living in multiple communities from California to the Gulf Coast and from Texas to the Dakotas.

Howard’s service during World War II consisted mainly of being an instructor pilot. How many of his trainees went on to demonstrate bravery and heroism in European and Asian action is unknown. How many of his trainees gave their country what in Abraham Lincoln’s words were “their last true measure of devotion” is also unknown. Nevertheless, Howard helped to weed out those unfit for flying and less likely to survive, and to train, to his best of his ability, those who went on to fight in the air battles of World War II. His good nature and boundless patience served him well throughout his assignment to the pilot training program.

His military journeys for initial flight training took him to Santa Anna, California and for primary basic training to Gardner Field in Taft, California. While in Taft, his daughter, Joan Adele was born March 1, 1944. He then took advanced training at Luke Field at Phoenix, Arizona and had many other military postings.

Howard requested transfer to B-29s, believing the massive, long-range bomber would play a pivotal role in concluding the war with Japan. He wished to contribute to achieving victory in World War II in a more direct way than via pilot training. He took his training in B-29’s most likely at Gulfport Mississippi, but was also stationed at Roswell, New Mexico, another B-29 training base.

As an aside, during training for the B-29, Howard and crew flew gunnery practice for fighters in which they would trail a target for the fighters to shoot at. He recalled receiving a request to slow up his greater than 350 mile per hour B-29 Superfortress that was powered by four Wright 3350 turbocharged engines generating 2200 horsepower, as the fighters couldn’t even catch him, much less hit the target. Whenever Howard related this story, he did so with a broad smile on his face.

Despite strategic losses in 1943 and 1944, the Imperial Japanese forces refused to capitulate. The U.S. Air Forces commanded by General Hap Arnold had tried to bomb Japan into submission with high altitude daytime bombing raids. This approach had proven largely ineffective.

Under the leadership of General Curtis Lemay, low altitude and incendiary night bombing began and wreaked a fiery havoc on the largely wooden Japanese cities. It also led to a greater loss of the B-29 bombers and their crews due to their vulnerability at low altitudes to anti-aircraft fire. More pilots and crews were needed to continue the air onslaught.

Following a prolonged B-29 bombing campaign, General Douglas MacArthur championed a straight up invasion plan (Operation Olympic), consisting of first attacking the southernmost Japanese home island, Kyushu. But rather than the 80 thousand defenders anticipated, Japan had in place nine divisions comprising some half million, well dug in defenders. Japan also held back over 900 hidden aircraft for suicide missions along with providing training for terrestrial kamikazes and for the piloting of suicide boats. The American invasion plan would likely have resulted in up to a million American casualties.

In 1945 large numbers of the technically advanced, long range B-29 Superfortresses began rolling off the Boeing production lines. The B-29 was the most expensive military project of World War II (even greater than the Manhattan project).

Production of the highly advanced B-29s had proved difficult due to the need for many technical changes. The airplanes were known to go directly from the production plants to the modification plants.
By the end of 1944 Boeing had delivered only 100 B29s of which only fifteen proved airworthy. Moreover, the initial losses of these bombers and their crews were high due to mechanical malfunctions, fires, and mission losses.

Following heavy bomber training in 1945, Howard and crew transferred to a military base in North Dakota for a final shakedown. About this time Howard ran into a thorny staffing problem with one of his crew that greatly perplexed him. Something simply did not click with the assigned co-pilot such that Howard made the difficult decision to remove him from the crew. Howard disliked having to take this action, but did so in the interest of crew cohesiveness. He then added a more capable and cooperative co-pilot to the crew. The eleven-man crew then worked together well. As a final humanizing gesture, Howard named his flying ship, the Kansas City Kate, in honor of his beloved mother.

The high-spirited and well-prepared crew of the Kansas City Kate finally received their departure orders for Tinian, a small island in the South Pacific to join in the bombing campaign of Japan. They packed items not destined to go overseas and shipped their boxes home.

As they prepared for their overseas journey, something unexpected occurred. Another B-29, the Enola Gay, based at Tinian and piloted by Colonel Paul W. Tibbits, dropped an A-bomb (Little Boy) on Hiroshima. This was followed three days later by the B-29 Bockscar, piloted by Major Charles W. Sweeney, dropping a plutonium bomb (Fat Man) on Nagasaki.

President Harry Truman from Independence, Missouri, not far from where Howard had been born, had ordered the dropping of the atom bombs. He did this to save countless American lives and in the hope of avoiding the calamity of having to invade Japan. One of the lives he saved may have been that of a young First Lieutenant B-29 pilot who hailed from nearby Liberty and Kansas City, Missouri.

Shortly after the dropping of the atom bombs, the Imperial forces of Japan surrendered. Howard in mock bravado offered an alternative explanation for the Japanese surrender, in which he claimed, “They heard I was coming and decided it was time to give up.”

After the Japanese surrender the U.S. military services began to reduce their ranks and Howard mustered out. Howard’s next journey returned him to Kansas City, Missouri. No doubt any disappointment at not having shipped out for the South Pacific was more than offset by his joy of going home. Not long after his homecoming his second child, John Thomas Hutton, was born December 26, 1945.

Howard likely pondered resuming a career in Criminal Justice as this was his original career plan, but the flying bug had bitten him badly. Unable to immediately obtain a job as a pilot, Howard supported his growing family by working as a postal employee and by selling lamps as a traveling salesman. He thought of himself as a poor salesman, his honesty and truthfulness reducing the effectiveness of his sales pitch.

Trans World Airlines (TWA) hired him only to furlough him during a downturn. Mid-continent Airlines, based in Kansas City, then hired Howard. It merged in 1952 with Braniff Airlines. Only then did Howard’s career as a pilot become assured.

Given the shortage of housing units following the war, Howard and Adele initially lived with Adele’s parents (Grace and Charley Corp), and Adele’s sister, Grace, and her husband, Verd Schwarz. The stone and brick house on Benton Boulevard was crowded, boisterous, and loving.

Howard eventually moved his family to a new veterans housing development in Kansas City that offered greater room and privacy. The family promptly and aptly dubbed the new development, “Mud Hill,” as no grass existed in any of the yards.

The family continued to expand with the births of David Howard on September 7, 1950, and James Philip on January 28, 1954, both in Kansas City. The family relocated from “Mud Hill” to a new planned J. C. Nichols development, in Prairie Village, Kansas. The development had meandering streets, large lots, big setbacks from the street, and provided ample public art and decorative fountains. This represented one of the first planned communities in the United States and the philosophy underlying it influenced such communities as Beverly Hills and Westwood in Los Angeles, and Highland Park and River Oaks in Texas.

Howard commuted to the airport in Kansas City, Missouri while his family attended school and settled in among the rolling hills of Kansas’s suburbia. A common site on Canterbury Road was Howard running, huffing and puffing, behind bicycles while teaching his children how to ride. Again his ability to train was evident.

In 1957 Howard realized in order to advance or perhaps even to maintain his career, he would need to relocate to Braniff’s home base in Dallas, Texas. He knew the magnitude of Adele’s sacrifice by leaving behind her extended family for the unknown terrain of north Texas. Nevertheless, his very career required he undertake this new journey. With effort and careful planning, Howard paved the way for his family, built a new brick home in Richardson, and moved his family during the summer of 1957.

Grace Schwarz, Adele’s sister, had a proud saying about the family’s attitude, “While our family might not have the millions, it still has the airs! “

Never was this truer than when the Hutton family arrived in Dallas during a terrifically hot summer. The family soon learned that Texas cars had the luxury of air conditioning, whereas their blue 1950 Buick Special did not. At Joan’s urging and with Howard’s acquiescence, the family would roll up their car windows and steam down Central Expressway or across Texas highways, acting to the passing cars, as if it were frosty cold inside. It’s surprising that young Jimmy survived this over-heated act of Hutton hubris.

The growing family created increased financial needs. To his credit but adding substantially to his sleep deficit, Howard routinely bid night flights because they paid more. He proved to be an excellent provider for “The Hungry Hutton’s” as he often referred to his family.

Howard was able to rear four children and pay for four bachelor degrees, a master’s degree, two medical degrees, and still was able to take his wife on many exciting trips about the world. Howard and Adele journeyed to pre-revolutionary Cuba, Europe multiple times, to the Soviet Union, to Egypt, to many South American countries, to the Caribbean, Hawaii, Japan, Korea, and Thailand among others.

Howard had few hobbies except boating, but he always possessed a high energy level. He used this attribute for extensive yard work, making additions to the house, volunteering in the schools, and assisting with his children’s recreational activities. Howard taught all four children to drive. During these risky ventures, his patience and even-tempered nature likely reflected his experience in the Army Air Forces Training Command when training even riskier novice pilots and at much greater speeds.

Howard also served as Asst. Scout Master, as an elder at First Presbyterian Church of Richardson, and supported a mission of the local Methodist Church to sponsor a recently arrived Vietnamese family. Howard taught the father how to drive a car. No doubt the Vietnamese man learned to corner with the wide, sweeping airplane-like turns characteristic of all who learned their driving skills from Howard. He also stocked shelves for a time at the Richardson Food Pantry.

In his career as a commercial Braniff pilot alone, Howard ably logged an incredible 26,942 flying hours and covered an estimated distance of 8,108,260 miles! To put this in perspective, he flew the equivalent of over 824 times around the circumference of the earth or over 27 round trips between the earth and the moon. What a journey!

Howard flew thirty-two years for Braniff International during which he piloted the following commercial aircraft: DC-3, BAC 1-11, DC-6, DC-7, DC-8, Convair 240, 340 and 440, Martin 404, Lockheed Electra L-188, Boeing 720, 727, 707, and the Boeing 747. He retired as an international captain flying the jumbo 747 to Asia and Hawaii. He was always at his best and proudest when he put on his snappy blue pilot’s uniform and donned his pilot’s cap ablaze with gold captain’s braid.

Howard retired at the mandated age of 60 and lived for the next 30 years in Richardson, Texas. He was asked decades after his retirement if he still dreamed of flying. His honest, heartfelt, and emphatic answer was, “every night!” No longer able to fly commercially, Howard continued his air journeys in his dreams.

He was serving as President of the Braniff Retired Pilots Association when Braniff International entered bankruptcy. He sacrificed much  time for his fellow pilots with long hours of uncompensated service, fighting to save their pensions. His efforts finally culminated in his testifying before the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, where his arguments proved partially successful.

Perhaps Howard Hutton’s most prominent personality characteristic was his amiability. He wanted to be liked and he liked other people. The writer of this bio cannot recall ever seeing his father truly angry. This emotional steadiness contributed to his success as a pilot and to his ability to get along with virtually anyone.

Due to failing health and advanced age, Howard and Adele in 2010 made a final move from Richardson to Athens, Texas and he entered South Place Nursing Home near the home of daughter, Joan.

In November 2016 with Adele’s earthly journey completed, she preceded Howard in death at the ripe old age of 95. On June 15, 2017 Howard died peacefully in his sleep at age 96, leaving behind his children; Joan, Tom, David, and Jim and his grandchildren; Jeff King, Heather King, Andy Hutton, Katie Hutton O’Neal, Christopher Hutton (deceased), Elizabeth Hutton, Margot Hutton, and Jessica Hutton. He also left behind former colleagues and friends. Howard, you shall be missed.

On June 15, 2017 Howard embarked on his final journey that is beyond all human comprehension. To paraphrase the poem “High Flight,” Howard slipped the surly bonds of earth for the last time and in smooth air, with the wind at his back flew toward the setting sun for his final flight west and… to touch the face of God.

King Edward Vlll and Wallis Simpson: An Historical Snippet

Most are familiar with the story of King Edward Vlll abdicating the British throne to “marry the woman I love”. Wallis Simpson was an American socialite with two living prior husbands who became the mistress of Edward, the then Duke of Windsor. When he became king, she wished to divorce her husband, marry Edward, and become Queen of England. Naturally this shuffling of bedrooms created quite a stir in the UK and its Dominions.

OSTENSIBLY to avoid a constitutional crisis, the king abdicated to marry Mrs. Simpson, as the British press was fond of calling her. In August of 1939, Edward and Wallis, Duke and Duchess of Windsor, boarded a commercial liner going from Lisbon to the Bahamas. There they would sit out the war, carrying out mostly ceremonial functions in the British territory.

According to a now deceased close family friend who worked for the U.S. State Department , another reason existed for their virtual exile that Wallis tartly characterized as her own “Saint Helena” in reference to Napoleon’s six year exile by the British. This family friend, Fletcher Warren, shared this story with me one evening years after his retirement from the State Department. I never forgot his shared insights or his gentle nature.

Fletcher Warren who went on to a distinguished career as U.S. ambassador to several major countries described certain curious facts about the Duke and Wallis Simpson while in the Bahamas. He had been asked to monitor Edward and Wallis during their stay there. While acting as a liaison with the U.S. Department of State, he also was tasked with watching their activities and those with whom they fraternized.

While both Edward and Wallis had been suspected Nazi sympathizers and had ongoing relationships with Nazi officlals, to my knowledge no documented conspiracy with the enemy has been previously shown.

Mr. Warren described to me finding cryptic messages intended for Nazi spies sewn into Edward’s and Wallis’ clothing that was going out for cleaning. Their ruse to provide sensitive information to the enemy was discovered by Mr. Warren and the messages read. These actions were directly against the interests of the UK and would have represented treason. But what does a government and its allies do with an ex-king and his wife, a Duchess, who are so involved?

One thing would be to maintain a cover story related to the Duchess being unacceptable because of a lesser offense, say being a three time divorcee, and then encouraging the King to abdicate. Such a story of marital infidelities appealed to prurient interest but left the royal family unscathed from charges of treason. Such a charge conceivably might have brought down the British monarchy.

Based on Mr. Warren’s information, I strongly suspect  suspicions of Nazi leanings by Edward and Wallis were precisely on target. Their friendly dealings with Nazis and their statements of support for Nazi Germany after the outbreak of WW11 speak to this end. It is clear that the British government did not trust Wallis Simpson. The snippet of information shared herein suggests they also did not trust their own, recently abdicating king.

Makes for an interesting snippet don’t you think?