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David Evans (RAAF officer) (Ian Rose)
Air Marshal David Evans, AC, DSO, AFC (born 1925) is a retired senior commander of the Royal Australian Air Force, and a writer and consultant on defence matters. He joined the RAAF in 1943, and was converting to Beaufort bombers when World War II ended. From 1948 to 1949, he flew C-47 Dakota transports in the Berlin Airlift, and became a VIP captain with the Governor-General's Flight in 1954. In the 1960s he was twice posted to No. 2 Squadron, flying Canberra jet bombers: first as a flight commander in Malaysia in 1960–62 and then as commanding officer during the Vietnam War in 1967–68. Evans held senior staff positions in the early 1970s, before serving as Officer Commanding RAAF Base Amberley from 1975 until 1977. He then became Chief of Air Force Operations, enhancing the RAAF's strategy for the defence of Australia to fully exploit the "air-sea gap" on the northern approaches to the continent. Promoted to air marshal, he took over as Chief of the Air Staff in 1982, focussing on morale, air power doctrine, and improving defensive capabilities in northern Australia. Retiring from the RAAF in May 1985, Evans wrote and lectured on defence matters, as well as standing for election in Federal politics. He was a board member and advisor to British Aerospace Australia from 1990 to 2009, and Chairman of the National Capital Authority from 1997 until 2003.
MacArthur c. 1945
Douglas MacArthur (Hawkeye7
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur (1880–1964) was Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II, and in the Korean War. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the Philippines Campaign. He was one of only five men ever to rise to the rank of General of the Army in the U.S. Army, and the only man ever to become a field marshal in the Philippine Army. Raised in a military family in the American Old West, MacArthur graduated top of his class at West Point in 1903. During the 1914 United States occupation of Veracruz, he was nominated for the Medal of Honor. He rose to the rank of brigadier general in World War I, was again nominated for a Medal of Honor, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross twice and the Silver Star seven times. From 1919 to 1922, he served as Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. His next assignment was in the Philippines, where in 1924 he was instrumental in quelling the Philippine Scout Mutiny. In 1925, he became the Army's youngest major general. As Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, he was involved in the expulsion of the Bonus Army protesters from Washington, D.C. in 1932. He retired in 1937 to become Military Advisor to the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines. MacArthur was recalled to active duty in 1941 as commander of U.S. Army Forces Far East. A series of disasters followed, culminating in the invasion of the Philippines by the Japanese. MacArthur's forces were soon compelled to withdraw to Bataan. In March 1942, MacArthur, his family and his staff scaped to Australia, where MacArthur became Supreme Commander, Southwest Pacific Area. For his defense of the Philippines, MacArthur was awarded the Medal of Honor. After more than two years of fighting in the Pacific, he fulfilled a promise to return to the Philippines. He officially accepted Japan's surrender on 2 September 1945, and oversaw the occupation of Japan from 1945 to 1951. He led the United Nations Command in the Korean War until he was removed from command by President Harry S. Truman on 11 April 1951, and later became Chairman of the Board of Remington Rand.
Bismarck in 1940
German battleship Bismarck (Parsecboy)
Bismarck was the first of two Bismarck-class battleships built for the German Kriegsmarine during World War II. Named after Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, the ship was laid down in Hamburg in July 1936 and commissioned in August 1940. Along with her sister Tirpitz, Bismarck was the largest battleship ever built by Germany, and the heaviest built by any European power. She conducted only one offensive operation, codenamed Rheinübung, in May 1941. Bismarck, along with the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, was to break out into the Atlantic Ocean and raid Allied shipping from North America to Great Britain. The two ships were detected off Scandinavia, however, and British naval units were deployed to block their route. At the Battle of Denmark Strait, Bismarck engaged and destroyed the battlecruiser HMS Hood, pride of the Royal Navy, and forced the battleship HMS Prince of Wales to retreat with heavy damage. A relentless pursuit by the Royal Navy followed, involving dozens of warships. While steaming for the relative safety of occupied France, Bismarck was attacked by Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers from the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal; one hit was scored that jammed the battleship's steering gear and rendered her unmanoeuvrable. The following morning, Bismarck was destroyed by a pair of British battleships. The cause of her sinking is disputed: some in the Royal Navy claim that torpedoes fired by the cruiser HMS Dorsetshire administered the fatal blow, while German survivors argue that they scuttled the ship. In June 1989, Robert Ballard discovered the Bismarck's wreck. Several other expeditions have since surveyed the sunken battleship in an effort to document the condition of the ship and to determine the cause of the ship's loss.
HMS Agincourt
HMS Agincourt (1913) (Sturmvogel 66 and The ed17)
HMS Agincourt was a dreadnought battleship built in the United Kingdom in the early 1910s. Originally part of Brazil's role in a South American naval arms race, she held the distinction of mounting more heavy guns (fourteen) and more turrets (seven) than any other dreadnought battleship constructed, in keeping with the Brazilians' requirement for an especially impressive design. Brazil ordered the ship as Rio de Janeiro from the British Armstrong Whitworth shipyard, but the collapse of the rubber boom and a warming in relations with the country's chief rival, Argentina, led to her sale while under construction to the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans renamed her Sultan Osman I, after the empire's founder. The ship was nearly complete when World War I broke out, and British Admiralty fears of a German–Ottoman alliance led to her seizure for use by the Royal Navy. This act was a major contributor to the decision of the Ottoman Empire to support Germany in the war. Renamed Agincourt by the British, she joined the Grand Fleet in the North Sea. The ship spent the bulk of her time during the war on patrols and exercises, although she did participate in the Battle of Jutland in 1916. Agincourt was put into reserve in 1919 and sold for scrap in 1922 to meet the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty.
HMS Hermes off Yantai, China, c. 1931
HMS Hermes (95) (Sturmvogel 66
HMS Hermes was an aircraft carrier of the Royal Navy, begun during World War I and finished after the war ended. She was the world's first ship to be designed and built as an aircraft carrier, although the Imperial Japanese Navy's Hōshō was the first to be commissioned. Hermes spent the bulk of her early career assigned to the Mediterranean Fleet and the China Station. She returned home in 1937 and became a training ship in 1938. Shortly after World War II began, the ship was assigned to Dakar to cooperate with the French Navy in hunting down German commerce raiders and blockade runners. With the establishment of Vichy France in June 1940, Hermes blockaded Dakar and attempted to sink the French battleship Richelieu with depth charges underneath her stern as well as torpedoes from Fairey Swordfishes. In February 1941, she supported Commonwealth forces in Italian Somaliland during the East African Campaign and in the Persian Gulf during the Anglo-Iraqi War. Hermes refitted in South Africa between November 1941 and February 1942 and then joined the Eastern Fleet in Ceylon. After the raid on Colombo on 5 April by the Japanese, Hermes was sent to Trincomalee, but had left the harbour when the Japanese attacked it on 9 April. She was spotted near Batticaloa by a Japanese scout plane and then attacked by several dozen dive bombers; 307 men were lost in the attack.
Jim Rowland (right) in South Korea, 1953
James Rowland (RAAF officer) (Ian Rose)
Air Marshal Sir James Anthony (Jim) Rowland, AC, KBE, DFC, AFC (1922–1999) was a senior commander in the Royal Australian Air Force, serving as Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) from 1975 to 1979. He later held office as Governor of New South Wales from 1981 to 1989, and was Chancellor of the University of Sydney from 1990 to 1991. Born in rural New South Wales, Rowland cut short his aeronautical engineering studies at the University of Sydney to join the RAAF in 1942. He was posted to Britain and served as a bomber pilot with the Pathfinders in the air war over Europe, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1944. The following year he was forced to bail out over Germany following a collision with another Allied aircraft, and spent the rest of the war as a prisoner. After repatriation and demobilisation, Rowland gained his engineering degree and rejoined the RAAF. He became a test pilot, serving with and later commanding the Aircraft Research and Development Unit in the 1950s, and also a senior engineering officer, being closely involved in preparations for delivery to Australia of the Dassault Mirage III supersonic fighter in the 1960s. In 1972 he was promoted to air vice marshal and became Air Member for Technical Services, holding this post until his elevation to air marshal and appointment as CAS in March 1975. He was the first engineering officer to lead the RAAF, and the first man to personally command it in a legal sense, following abolition of the Australian Air Board in 1976. Knighted in 1977, Rowland retired from the Air Force in 1979 and became Governor of New South Wales in January 1981. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1987. Retiring from the Governorship in 1989, he held a place on several boards as well as the Chancellorship of the University of Sydney. He died in 1999.
Melville Island (centre) in 1878
Melville Island (Nova Scotia) (Nikkimaria
Melville Island is a small peninsula in Nova Scotia, Canada, located in the Northwest Arm of Halifax Harbour, west of Deadman's Island. It is part of the Halifax Regional Municipality. The land is rocky, with thin, acidic soil, but supports a limited woodland habitat. The site was discovered by Europeans in the 1600s, though it was likely earlier explored by aboriginals. It was initially used for storehouses before being purchased by the British, who built a prisoner-of-war camp to hold captives from the Napoleonic Wars and later the War of 1812. The burial ground for the prisoners was on the adjacent Deadman's Island. Melville Island was used as a receiving depot for slaves escaping the United States, then as a quarantine hospital for immigrants arriving from Europe (particularly Ireland). It briefly served as a recruitment centre for the British Foreign Legion during the Crimean War and was then sold to the British for use as a military prison. The land was granted to the Canadian government in 1907, which used it to detain German and Austro-Hungarian nationals during the First World War. During the Second World War, prisoners were sent to McNabs Island instead, and ammunition depots were kept on Melville Island. The peninsula now houses the clubhouse and marina of the Armdale Yacht Club. Melville Island has been the subject of a number of cultural works, most of which concern its use as a prison.
Hudner in 1950
Thomas J. Hudner, Jr. (Ed!)
Thomas Jerome Hudner, Jr. (born 1924) is a retired United States Navy officer and a former naval aviator. He rose to the rank of captain and received the Medal of Honor for his actions in trying to save the life of his wingman, ensign Jesse L. Brown during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War. Arriving near Korea in October 1950, Hudner flew support missions from the USS Leyte. On 4 December 1950, Hudner and Brown were among a group of pilots on patrol near the Chosin Reservoir when Brown's Corsair was struck by ground fire from Chinese troops and crashed. In an attempt to save Brown from his burning aircraft, Hudner intentionally crash landed his own aircraft on a snowy mountain in freezing temperatures to help Brown. In spite of these efforts, Brown died of his injuries and Hudner was forced to evacuate, having also been injured in the landing. Following the incident, Hudner held a number of positions in the U.S. Navy aboard several ships and with a number of aviation units, including a brief stint as first officer of the USS Kitty Hawk during a brief tour in the Vietnam War, before retiring in 1973. In subsequent years, he has won several awards and worked for various veterans organizations in the United States. He is currently living in retirement in Concord, Massachusetts.
William the Conqueror (Ealdgyth
William I (c. 1028–1087), usually known as William the Conqueror and sometimes as William the Bastard, was the first Norman King of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. Descended from Viking raiders, William was the son of the unmarried Robert I, Duke of Normandy by his mistress Herleva. His illegitimate status and his youth caused some difficulties for him after he succeeded his father, as did the anarchy that plagued the first years of his rule. His marriage in the 1050s to Matilda of Flanders provided him with a powerful ally in the neighbouring county of Flanders. In the 1050s and early 1060s William became a contender for the throne of England, then held by his childless relative Edward the Confessor. There were other potential claimants, including the powerful English earl Harold Godwinson, who was named the next king by Edward on the latter's deathbed in January 1066. William argued that Edward had previously promised the throne to him, and that Harold had sworn to support William's claim. William built a large fleet and invaded England in September 1066, decisively defeating and killing Harold at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066. After further military efforts William was crowned king on Christmas Day 1066, in London. He made arrangements for the governance of England in early 1067 before returning to Normandy. Several unsuccessful rebellions followed, but by 1075 William's hold on England was mostly secure, allowing him to spend the majority of the rest of his reign on the continent. William's final years were marked by difficulties in his continental domains, troubles with his eldest son, and threatened invasions of England by the Danes. In 1086 William ordered the compilation of the Domesday Book, a survey listing all the landholders in England along with their holdings. William died in September 1087 while leading a campaign in northern France, and was buried in Caen. His lands were divided after his death: Normandy went to his eldest son, Robert, and his second surviving son, William, received England.

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Abbasid invasion of Asia Minor (782) (Cplakidas
The Abbasid invasion of Asia Minor in 782 was one of the largest operations launched by the Abbasid Caliphate against the Byzantine Empire. The invasion was launched as a display of Abbasid military might in the aftermath of a series of Byzantine successes. Commanded by the Abbasid heir-apparent, the future Harun al-Rashid, the Abbasid army reached as far as Chrysopolis, across the Bosporus from the Byzantine capital, Constantinople, while secondary forces raided western Asia Minor and defeated the Byzantine forces there. As Harun did not intend to assault Constantinople and lacked ships to do so, he turned back. The Byzantines, who in the meantime had neutralized the detachment left to secure the Abbasid army's rear in Phrygia, were able to trap Harun's army between their own converging forces. The defection of the Armenian general Tatzates, however, allowed Harun to regain the upper hand. The Abbasid prince sent for a truce and detained the high-ranking Byzantine envoys, who included Empress Irene's chief minister, Staurakios. This forced Irene to agree to a three-year truce and pay a heavy annual tribute. Irene then focused her attention to the Balkans, but warfare with the Arabs resumed in 786, until mounting Arab pressure led to another truce in 798, on terms similar to those of 782.
HMS Hood in Australia, March 1924
List of battlecruisers (Parsecboy
Over the course of the first half of the 20th century, many navies constructed or planned to build battlecruisers—large capital ships with greater speed but less armor than battleships. The first battlecruisers, the Invincible class, championed by the British First Sea Lord John Fisher, appeared in 1908, two years after the revolutionary battleship HMS Dreadnought. Germany responded the same year with its first battlecruiser, SMS Von der Tann. Over the next decade, Britain and Germany built a further twelve and six battlecruisers, respectively. HMAS Australia was constructed for the Royal Australian Navy, and entered service in 1913, and Japan followed with Kongō and her three sisters from 1911 through 1915. The British and German battlecruisers saw extensive service during World War I between 1914 and 1918, including in the Battles of Heligoland Bight and Dogger Bank, and most famously in the Battle of Jutland on 31 May and 1 June 1916, where one German and three British battlecruisers were sunk. In the interests of avoiding another crippling naval arms race, Britain, Japan, the United States, France and Italy, signed the Washington Naval Treaty in 1922, which included a moratorium on new capital ship construction. Only a handful of battlecruisers survived the arms limitation regime. During World War II, the surviving battlecruisers saw extensive action, and many were sunk. The four Japanese Kongō-class ships had been rebuilt as fast battleships in the 1930s, but all were sunk during the conflict. Of the three British battlecruisers still in service, HMS Hood and Repulse were sunk, but Renown survived the war. The only other battlecruiser in existence at the end of the Second World War was the ex-German Goeben, which had been transferred to Turkey during the First World War and served as Yavuz Sultan Selim.
Bristol Boxkite over Point Cook, 1916
Central Flying School RAAF (Ian Rose
Central Flying School (CFS) is a Royal Australian Air Force training unit, located at RAAF Base East Sale, Victoria. It operates the Pilatus PC-9 turboprop trainer. The school is responsible for training flight instructors, setting flying standards, and auditing flying practices. It is also home to the "Roulettes" aerobatic team. CFS was the first military aviation unit to be formed in Australia, in 1913, when its role was to provide basic flying training. Its current form dates from World War II, when it was re-established to train flight instructors for the Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS). CFS was inaugurated at Point Cook, Victoria, in March 1913, and trained over 150 pilots of the Australian Flying Corps during World War I. It was disbanded in December 1919, and the newly formed RAAF's No. 1 Flying Training School took on its function in 1921. Re-formed under EATS at Point Cook in April 1940, CFS relocated to New South Wales the following month, based first at Camden, then at Tamworth from April 1942, and finally at Parkes from January 1944. It returned to Point Cook in September 1944. By the end of World War II, the school had produced more than 3,600 instructors. It transferred to East Sale in November 1947. Since 1962, CFS has been responsible for three aerobatic display teams. The first was called "The Red Sales" and flew De Havilland Vampire jet aircraft. A second team, "The Telstars", was formed in 1963, also flying Vampires. The Telstars disbanded in 1968, just after taking delivery of new Macchi MB326H jets, when the RAAF curtailed display flying. The Roulettes formed in 1970, flying the Macchi, and continued to operate the type until 1990, when the team completed its conversion to the PC-9. As well as the Roulettes, CFS is responsible for the display work of the Air Force Balloons.
James Bryant Conant in 1948
James Bryant Conant (Hawkeye7
James Bryant Conant (1893–1978) was a chemist, a transformative President of Harvard University, and the first U.S. Ambassador to West Germany. Graduating from Harvard with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1916, Conant served in the U.S. Army during World War I, working on the development of poison gases. He became an assistant professor of chemistry at Harvard on September 1, 1919, and the Sheldon Emery Professor of Organic Chemistry in 1929. He was one of the first to explore the sometimes complex relationship between the chemical equilibrium and the reaction rate of chemical processes. He investigated the biochemistry of oxyhemoglobin, and published three papers on using polymerized isoprene to create synthetic rubber. In 1933, Conant became the President of Harvard University. He dispensed with a number of customs, including class rankings and the requirement for Latin classes, and abolished athletic scholarships. He instituted an "up or out" policy, under which scholars who were not promoted were terminated. His egalitarian vision of education diversified the student body. He promoted the adoption of the Scholastic Aptitude Test and co-educational classes. During his presidency, women were admitted to Harvard Medical School and Harvard Law School for the first time. Conant was appointed to the National Defense Research Committee (NDRC) in 1940, becoming its chairman in 1941. He oversaw vital wartime research projects, including the development of synthetic rubber, and the Manhattan Project, which developed the first atomic bombs. On July 16, 1945, he was among the dignitaries present at the Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range for the Trinity nuclear test, the first detonation of an atomic bomb, and was part of the Interim Committee that advised President Harry S. Truman to use atomic bombs on Japan. After the war, he served on the Joint Research and Development Board (JRDC) that was established to coordinate burgeoning defense research, and on the influential General Advisory Committee (GAC) of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). He taught undergraduate courses at Harvard on the history and philosophy of science, and wrote books explaining the scientific method to laymen. In 1953 he retired as President of Harvard and became the United States High Commissioner for Germany, overseeing the restoration of German sovereignty, and then was Ambassador to West Germany until 1957.
Photo of a modern fighter aircraft flying with its landing gear extended
One of the RAAF's first F/A-18Bs in October 1985
McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet in Australian service (Nick-D
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has operated McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet fighter aircraft since 1984. The Australian Government purchased 75 "A" and "B" variants of the F/A-18 in 1981 to replace the RAAF's Dassault Mirage III fighters. The Hornets entered service with the RAAF between 1984 and 1990, and 71 remain in operation as of 2012. The other four Hornets were destroyed in flying accidents during the late 1980s and early 1990s. To date, the only combat deployment of the RAAF's Hornets was as part of the Australian contribution to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. During the invasion, 14 Hornets flew patrols over Iraq, as well as close air support sorties to assist coalition ground forces. RAAF F/A-18s also provided security for the American air base at Diego Garcia between late 2001 and early 2002, and have protected a number of high-profile events in Australia. Since 1999 the RAAF has put its Hornets through a series of upgrades to improve their effectiveness. However, the aircraft are becoming increasingly costly to operate and are at risk of being outclassed by the fighters and air-defence systems operated by other countries. As a result, the RAAF will begin to retire its F/A-18s in the late 2010s, with the last aircraft leaving service in the early 2020s. Under current Australian Government planning they will be replaced by up to 72 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighters.
Đurišić (left) making a speech to the Chetniks
Pavle Đurišić (Producer and Peacemaker67
Pavle Đurišić (1909–1945) was a Montenegrin Serb Chetnik commander who led a significant proportion of the Chetniks of Montenegro during World War II. Beginning in early 1942, he increasingly collaborated with the Italians in actions against the Yugoslav Partisans. In 1943, he carried out several massacres against the Muslim population of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sandžak and participated in the anti-Partisan Operation Weiss alongside Italian troops. He was captured by the Germans in May 1943, then escaped and was re-captured. After the capitulation of Italy, he was released by the Germans and began to collaborate with them and the Serbian puppet government. In 1944, he created the Montenegrin Volunteer Corps with assistance from the Germans, Milan Nedić, and Dimitrije Ljotić. In late 1944 he was decorated with the Iron Cross 2nd Class by the German commander in Montenegro. He was killed by elements of the Armed Forces of the Independent State of Croatia near Banja Luka after he was captured in an apparent trap set by them and Sekula Drljević.
Stanisław Koniecpolski
Stanisław Koniecpolski (Piotrus)
Stanisław Koniecpolski (1590 or 1594 – 1646) is regarded as one of the most capable military commanders in the history of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. He was also a magnate, a royal official (starosta), a castellan, a member of the Polish nobility (szlachta), and the voivode (governor) of Sandomierz from 1625 until his death. He led many successful military campaigns against rebelling Cossacks and invading Tatars. From 1618 he held the rank of Field Crown Hetman before becoming the Grand Crown Hetman, the military commander second only to the King, in 1632. Koniecpolski's life was one of almost constant warfare. Before he had reached the age of 20, he had fought in the Dymitriads and the Moldavian Magnate Wars. Later, in 1620, he took part in the Battle of Cecora (Ţuţora), during which he was captured by Ottoman forces. After his release in 1623, he defeated the Ottomans' Tatar vassals several times between 1624 and 1626. With inferior numbers, during the Polish–Swedish War of 1626–29, Koniecpolski stopped the Swedish forces of Gustavus Adolphus from conquering Prussia and Pomerania before the war was concluded with the Truce of Altmark. In 1634, he defeated a major Turkish invasion at Kamianets-Podilskyi (Kamieniec Podolski), in the Ukraine, while in 1644, his victory against the Turks at the Battle of Ochmatów brought him international fame and recognition.
Vannevar Bush, ca. 1940–44
Vannevar Bush (Hawkeye7
Vannevar Bush (1890–1974) was an American engineer, inventor and science administrator known for his work on analog computers, for his role as an initiator and administrator of the Manhattan Project, for founding Raytheon, and for the memex, an adjustable microfilm viewer with a structure analogous to that of the World Wide Web. In 1945, Bush published As We May Think in which he predicted that "wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready made with a mesh of associative trails running through them, ready to be dropped into the memex and there amplified". The memex influenced generations of computer scientists, who drew inspiration from its vision of the future. For his master's thesis, Bush invented and patented a "profile tracer", a mapping device for assisting surveyors. It was the first of a string of inventions. He joined the Department of Electrical Engineering at MIT in 1919, and founded the company now known as Raytheon in 1922. Starting in 1927, Bush constructed a differential analyzer, an analog computer with some digital components that could solve differential equations with as many as 18 independent variables. An offshoot of the work at MIT by Bush and others was the beginning of digital circuit design theory. Bush became Vice President of MIT and Dean of the MIT School of Engineering in 1932, and president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington in 1938. Bush was appointed to the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) in 1938, and soon became its chairman. As Chairman of the National Defense Research Committee (NDRC), and later Director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD), Bush coordinated the activities of some six thousand leading American scientists in the application of science to warfare. Bush was a well-known policymaker and public intellectual during World War II, when he was in effect the first presidential science advisor. As head of NDRC and OSRD, he initiated the Manhattan Project, and ensured that it received top priority from the highest levels of government. In Science, The Endless Frontier, his 1945 report to the President of the United States, Bush called for an expansion of government support for science, and he pressed for the creation of the National Science Foundation.
Abel on a 1990 commemorative stamp
Vilyam Genrikhovich Fisher (Adamdaley
Vilyam "Willie" Genrikhovich Fisher (1903–1971) was a Soviet intelligence officer. He is generally better known by the alias Rudolf Ivanovich Abel which he adopted when arrested on charges of conspiracy by FBI agents in 1957. Born in the United Kingdom to Russian émigré parents, Fisher moved to Russia in the 1920s and served in the Soviet military before undertaking foreign service as a radio operator in Soviet intelligence. He later served in an instructional role before taking part in intelligence operations against the Germans during World War II. After the war, Fisher began working for the KGB, which sent him to the United States where he worked as part of a spy ring based in New York City. In 1957, for his involvement in what became known as the Hollow Nickel Case, the U.S. Federal Court in New York convicted Fisher on three counts of conspiracy as a Soviet spy and sentenced him to 45 years' imprisonment. Fisher served just over four years of his sentence before he was exchanged. Back in the Soviet Union, he lectured on his experiences before dying in 1971 at the age of 68.
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