"DEDICATED TO HONORING AND PRESERVING THE PATRIOTIC LEGACY OF
THOSE WHO HAVE SERVED IN THE UNITED STATES MILITARY"
The DIXIE DEVIL DIVER was actually started over 50 years ago...it just did not have a name at the time. My Grade School buddies and I spent endless hours scouring the shelves of the many "war surplus" stores that popped-up after WWII in my hometown of Des Moines, Iowa, and where authentic battlefield equipment and artifacts were both plentiful and cheap in the late 1940s. As time progressed I accumulated wartime posters, uniforms, flight jackets, souvenirs, edged weapons, personal gear and home front items. As a result, today I have a very large and diverse collection of valuable military memorabilia, so I have decided to turn it into a full time family business.
�In addition, I have traveled extensively in the Pacific area visiting and exploring WWII islands and battle sites. On Iwo Jima I have been to the top of Mt. Suribachi 550 feet above the black sand invasion beaches and down inside Japanese caves and tunnels three stories deep under the ground. In the Philippines I have walked the path of the brutal Bataan Death March with American vets who survived this deadly ordeal, from the starting point at Marvelis to San Fernando Pampanga and onto the end at the POW camps of O'Donnell and Cabanatuan.
On Corregidor in Manila Bay I explored the 800' length of the Malinta Tunnel deep within the island and then scaled the 400' high Malinta Hill which is still heavily saturated with shrapnel from WWII. I have walked the ghostly streets of the ancient walled city of Intramuros where so many combatants perished... within the massive walls and surrounding moats of this 16th Century enclave 19,000 Japanese holdouts laid in wait to face-off against U.S. and Filipino troops in the final violent battle for Manila City. The rubble and destruction still visible today bears testimony to the brutal nature of this combat.
I have navigated "The Slot" where Japanese warships of the Tokyo Express battled the U.S. Navy. We sailed from Guadalcanal/Tulagi in the Solomons passing over Iron Bottom Sound off Savo Island and Cape Esperance and north up to New Georgia and Gizo Island. Along the way I passed over the site in the Blackett Straits where Kennedy's PT-109 was rammed and sunk by the Japanese Destroyer Amagiri, and then swam ashore on Plum Pudding Island in the Ferguson Passage just as Ensign Kennedy and his crew had done in the black waters of the Pacific that night in 1943. I explored Olasana and Naru Islands, Vangunu and Gavutu in the Florida Island group, Kolombangra , Rendova, and the PT Boat Base on Lumbari. I walked the runway on Vella LaVella from which Pappy Boyington and his Black Sheep Squadron took-off in their Corsairs to take-on Japanese Bombers and Fighters.
I traversed across the vertical face of 560' Mt. Lasso on Tinian in the Marianas, crawling through the many Japanese caves captured by U.S. Marines in 1944. I have stood on the runway from where the Enola Gay took off to drop the Atomic Bomb on Japan, and explored the remnants of General Paul Tibbets 509th Bomb Group camp. I sweated through the jungles of Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Peleliu, Roi Namur, Corregidor and Tulagi, Saipan, Guam, Kwajalein, and explored the remains of the Japanese seaplane base on Wojte in the Marshalls. The list goes on, and I have written and had published accounts of my experiences. However, my fondest memories will always be of the WW-II Vets I met in my travels and who fought the battles and flew the missions. I will always have have the greatest respect and appreciation for their sacrifices; they are indeed "The Greatest Generation". I consider my own Generation to be the second greatest, because we had the good fortune of being raised by these patriotic men & women of the WW-II era.