05 January, 2013

Frank Merrill



Frank Dow Merrill is best remembered for his command of Merrill's Marauders, officially the 5307th Composite Unit, in the Burma Campaign of World War II. Merrill's Marauders came under General Joseph Stilwell's Northern Combat Area Command. 

General Besson


Frank Schaffer Besson, Jr., was born on May 30, 1910 in Detroit, Michigan. His father was a West Point graduate and an officer in the Corps of Engineers . Frank S. Besson, Jr. In March 1969, General Besson left AMC to become chairman of the Joint Logistics Review Board, formed to review logistic activities in support of the Vietnam War. He retired in July 1970 and was promptly recalled to active duty to establish procedures to implement the board's recommendation. He permanently retired in October 1970. While in retirement, General Besson was nominated by President Richard M. Nixon as one of the founding directors of the National Rail Passenger Corporation, which ran Amtrak. He was also director of the Services National Bank in Alexandria and of ECR International. On July 15, 1985, General Besson died of cancer at Walter Reed Army Medical Centergraduated seventh in his class from theUnited States Military Academy in 1932. In 1935, he received a master's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His early career was noted for the role he played in the development of portable military pipelines, steel landing mats for airplanes, and steel treadway bridges. He is credited with the studies leading to the Army 's adoption of the Bailey Bridge, used extensively in all theaters in World War II.
  • He became Assistant Director of the Third Military Railway Service (with rank of Lieutenant Colonel) in 1943, and was promoted to Director (with rank of Colonel) the following year. As Director of the Third Military Railway Service in Iran from 1944 to 1945, Besson ensured the flow of war materials to the Russian forces through the Persian Corridor. He was promoted to brigadier general, becoming, at 34, the youngest general officer in the Army Ground Forces and Chief of the Railway Division. Toward the end of World War II, he was Deputy Chief Transportation Officer of the Army Forces in the Western Pacific and, when Japan's collapse was imminent, assumed full control of railroads in Japan. During the first year of occupation, General Besson directed the rehabilitation of the Japanese rail system, moving more than 200,000 troops and 150,000 tons of supplies in the first two months.
  • Subsequent assignments included a tour as Assistant Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), where General Besson formulated logistics plans and overall programs to meet the complex requirements of the fifteen nations of the NATO alliance. His efforts in instituting a system for "costing out" five-year programs, thereby bringing force goals into consonance with available resources, earned him the first Distinguished Service Medal to be awarded at SHAPE headquarters.
  • General Besson stimulated both military and commercial adoption of containerization and improved water terminal practices. He introduced the roll-on/roll-off technique for the rapid loading and discharge of wheeled and tracked vehicles. He further refined these concepts upon assuming command of the Transportation Center and School at Fort Eustis, Virginia in 1953. General Besson was the Chief of Transportation, U.S. Army from March 1958 until April 2, 1962, when he took charge of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.
  • General Besson was the first Commander of the Army Materiel Command, formed in 1962 during a major Army reorganization. During his command, the mammoth logistical organization, with an annual budget exceeding $14 billion and an inventory of $21 billion, employed more than 160,000 civilian personnel, in addition to its military complement of 14,000. As the first AMC Commander, General Besson was charged with consolidating six Army technical service organizations into a single command without disrupting effective materiel support for the Army. His success resulted in his receiving the Merit Award of the Armed Forces Management Association in 1963. On May 27, 1964, 53-year-old Frank Besson became the 75th officer in the U.S. Army's 189-year history to wear the four stars of a full general. He was the first Army officer to achieve that rank as head of a logistical organization in peacetime.

  • In March 1969, General Besson left AMC to become chairman of the Joint Logistics Review Board, formed to review logistic activities in support of the Vietnam War. He retired in July 1970 and was promptly recalled to active duty to establish procedures to implement the board's recommendation. He permanently retired in October 1970. While in retirement, General Besson was nominated by President Richard M. Nixon as one of the founding directors of the National Rail Passenger Corporation, which ran Amtrak. He was also director of the Services National Bank in Alexandria and of ECR International. On July 15, 1985, General Besson died of cancer at Walter Reed Army Medical Center

Richard Greene



Richard Marius Joseph Greene was a noted English film and television actor. 

Valentin Danilov



Valentin Danilov is a Russian physicist, whose research deals with the effect of solar activity on space satellites. On November 2004, he was found guilty and sentenced to 14 years for espionage.

Charles Eames

Charles Eames, Jr. was born in St. Louis, Missouri. Charles was the nephew of St. Louis architect William S. Eames. By the time he was 14 years old, while attending Yeatman high school, Charles worked at the Laclede Steel Company as a part-time laborer, where he learned about engineering, drawing, and architecture (and also first entertained the idea of one day becoming an architect).


Charles briefly studied architecture atWashington University in St. Louis on an architecture scholarship. After two years of study, he left the university. Many sources claim that he was dismissed for his advocacy of Frank Lloyd Wright and his interest in modern architects. He was reportedly dismissed from the university because his views were "too modern." Other sources, less frequently cited, note that while a student, Charles Eames also was employed as an architect at the firm of Trueblood and Graf. The demands on his time from this employment and from his classes, led to sleep-deprivation and diminished performance at the university.

While at Washington University, he met his first wife, Catherine Woermann, whom he married in 1929. A year later, they had a daughter, Lucia.

In 1930, Charles began his own architectural practice in St. Louis with partner Charles Gray. They were later joined by a third partner, Walter Pauley.

Charles Eames was greatly influenced by the Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen (whose son Eero, also an architect, would become a partner and friend). At the elder Saarinen's invitation, Charles moved in 1938 with his wife Catherine and daughter Lucia to Michigan to further study architecture at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he would become a teacher and head of the industrial design department. In order to apply for the Architecture and Urban Planning Program, Eames defined an area of focus—the St. Louis waterfront. Together with Eero Saarinen he designed prize-winning furniture for New York's Museum of Modern Art" Organic Design in Home Furnishings" competition. Their work displayed the new technique of wood moulding that Eames would further develop in many moulded plywood products, including, beside chairs and other furniture, splints and stretchers for the U.S. Navy during World War II.

In 1941, Charles and Catherine divorced, and he married his Cranbrook colleague Ray Kaiser, who was born in Sacramento, California. He then moved with her to Los Angeles, California, where they would work and live for the rest of their lives. In the late 1940s, as part of the Arts & Architecture magazine "Case Study" program, Ray and Charles designed and built the groundbreaking Eames House, Case Study House #8, as their home. Located upon a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and hand-constructed within a matter of days entirely of pre-fabricated steel parts intended for industrial construction, it remains a milestone of modern architecture.

Charles Eames died of a heart attack on August 21, 1978 while on a consulting trip in his native Saint Louis, and now has a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame.

Ben Chapman



William Benjamin "Ben" Chapman was an American outfielder and manager in Major League Baseball who played for several teams, most notably the New York Yankees.