The Fertile Crescent


Many scholars believe that urbanization—the formation of cities—first occurred in the Fertile Crescent.

How did the Fertile Crescent get its name?

The term “Fertile Crescent” was coined and popularized by James Henry Breasted, an Egyptologist at the University of Chicago. In Ancient Times: A History of the Early World, originally intended as a high school textbook, Breasted wrote: “The earliest home of men in this great arena of Western Asia is…a kind of cultivable fringe of the desert, a fertile crescent having the mountains on one side and the desert on the other.”


The Fertile Crescent is the boomerang-shaped region of the Middle East that was home to some of the earliest human civilizations. Also known as the “Cradle of Civilization,” this area was the birthplace of a number of technological innovations, including writing, the wheel, agriculture and the use of irrigation. The Fertile Crescent includes ancient Mesopotamia.

What Is the Fertile Crescent?

American archaeologist James Henry Breasted coined the term “Fertile Crescent” in a 1914 high school textbook to describe this archaeologically significant region of the Middle East that contains parts of present day Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, PalestineIsraelSyria, Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Cyprus.

On a map, the Fertile Crescent looks like a crescent or quarter-moon. It extends from the Nile River on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula in the south to the southern fringe of Turkey in the north. 

The Fertile Crescent is bounded on the west by the Mediterranean Sea and on the East by the Persian Gulf. The Tigris and Euphrates rivers flow through the heart of the Fertile Crescent. The region historically contained unusually fertile soil and productive freshwater and brackish wetlands. These produced an abundance of wild edible plant species. It was here that humans began to experiment with the cultivation of grains and cereals around 10,000 B.C. as they transitioned from hunter-gatherer groups to permanent agricultural societies.



Supreme Court Ethics. Too Little Too Late

  Supreme Court to adopt ethics code after scrutiny of undisclosed gifts


About time. The reputation of the Supreme Court is in the sewer. The prestige of the court is non existant. Very pathetic. 

They were pulling crap that a military person would get court martialled for and most federal employees who pulled something like this would and should be fired. Thomas, Alioto, and Sotomayer should resign, but they won't. They should be impeached, but they won't.  A worthless bunch of mediocrities that have disgraced the Supreme Court and contributed to the growing distrust in our government.


Ralph Jim Chipman - Finally Home - Rest In Peace - Semper Fi

Our Marine Classmate from OCS and the Basic School at Quantico, VA in 1968 -1969 is finally home.

Semper Fi

Utah Vietnam War Veteran Finally Being Laid To Rest

AMERICAN FORK, Utah — A Utah veteran who went missing in action during the Vietnam War is now finally being laid to rest. 

U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Ralph Jim Chipman went missing 50 years ago. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency found his remains in August and they will arrive in Utah at 1:13 p.m. on Nov. 9, 2023.

Chipman’s family members, the American Fork Police, the Utah Highway Patrol and the Patriot Guard Riders will escort Capt. Chipman from the Salt Lake City International Airport to the Anderson and Sons Mortuary in American Fork. 

Then on Nov. 11, 2023, Capt. Chipman will be honored and laid to rest.

According to the release, Utahns are invited to watch the cemetery procession at 12:30 p.m. on Center Street in American Fork from 100 North to 600 North. There will also be a jet flyover around 1 p.m.

“After 50 years the day our family has been waiting for has finally come!” Scot Chipman, Capt. Chipman’s son, said in a release. “Our family wants to thank all of those that have made this day possible.” 

Capt. Chipman is also memorialized through the Freedom Tree in Robinson Park, American Fork. According to the release, the Freedom Tree will be lit throughout November in red, white and blue to honor Chipman’s and other Missin in Action soldiers’ sacrifices.

Capt. Chipman goes missing in action

According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, Capt. Chipman was the pilot of an A-6A Intruder, which was the world’s first all-weather attack bomber. According to the Naval History and Heritage Command, the plane was capable of deploying weapons under zero-visibility conditions.

On Dec. 27, 1972, Capt. Chipman was flying in a nighttime combat mission with two other crew members, according to the DPAA. Chipman, his co-pilot Capt. Ronald Wayne Forrester and another crew member flew over the northern area of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

According to the DPAA, the plane indicated it was entering its target area. Then all radio communications were lost and the plane never returned to base.

According to the release, search and rescue teams couldn’t find “any trace of the aircraft or the crew.”

After that, the Marine Corps listed Chipman as Missing in Action, according to the DPAA. Then in July 1974, Capt. Chipman’s status changed to killed in action.

He left behind his wife Susan, 4-year-old son Scot, and 18-month-old son Matthew. 

Finding soldiers that were Missing in Action or POWs

It’s the job of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency to account for missing military personnel in past U.S. conflicts. The Agency has worked with the governments of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia for almost three decades to account for soldiers lost during the Vietnam War.

Through those partnerships, the Agency conducts “investigations to collect evidence, investigate leads, and conduct excavations.”This process helped the DPAA to identify Capt. Chipman’s remains on Aug. 2, 2023.

According to the release, two excavations led to the discovery of Capt. Chipman’s dog tags, some bone fragments, and teeth. The teeth were verified to be Chipman’s through DNA testing.

Your Basic School Classmates remember and honor you. Welcome Home.

Semper Fi



I had not seen anything about this in our class emails or blog. Ralph "Jim" Chipman is no longer MIA. His remains have been identified and he will be laid to rest tomorrow.


Some gave all.

Semper Fi

Tony Gasper


I went to the website of the funeral home in American Forks https://www.andersonmortuary.com/ 
and was able to send a card to Susan and family. Jim, Mike Greene and I were the 3 Marine amigos at Vance AFB flight school.

Rest In Peace

Robert E. Freeburg AIA
Honolulu, Hawaii
Tel: (808) 383-7908


If anyone can take a short video of the funeral procession / Fly over, please send it to me and we will post it on the blog.




Bob - thanks for giving me the idea and I sent a message also on behalf of our TBS class; and Tony thanks for bringing this to our attention; very inspiring and at the same time gets you choked up.

SF Arnold

Craig I hope you get something you can put on the web site.

Arnold Punaro


Will do

Craig Hullinger


I have a Ralph Chipman story. Bob is correct, Ralph, who had the bunk right next to mine throughout OCS, was very quiet. On the first night of OCS, we'd been issued our Marine Corps skivvies and tees and told to put them on. Ralph didn't do it because, as he explained to Sgt. Arnold, our platoon sgt., the underwear he was wearing when he came aboard signified he'd been married in the Mormon Tabernacle, and he was required by his faith to wear it. Arnold was having none of that, and, after a few seconds of profane roaring, ordered Ralph to change. Ralph just stood there in silence, so Arnold ordered two other candidates to take off his ceremonial garb. This was done without resistance from Ralph, after which he donned the Marine issue as ordered, while Arnold wadded up the Mormon undies and tossed them in a basket with confiscated cigarettes, etc. 

About half an hour later, Captain Moffett, our platoon commander, appeared with Ralph's Mormon gear neatly folded. He explained to Ralph that it was not the Corps' intent to interfere with his religion, and gave permission for him to wear it. So, off came the Marine stuff and on went the Mormon stuff. 

About half an hour after that, Sgt. Arnold reappeared. He told Ralph that, while he could wear his Mormon underwear, he had to wear his Marine underwear over it. So Ralph went all the way through OCS wearing two sets of underwear. 

The news that JIm's remains have been found and are to be interred in his hometown is good news that triggered the foregoing memory and a flood of others about what a fine, level-headed, helpful friend Jim was. I wish his family every comfort. 

Semper Fi,

Chris Britton


The video of Ralph Jim Chipman arriving in Utah, and a short interview with his widow. 


 Thanks to Bob Freeman for sharing.

R. Jim Chipman Obituary

American Fork

Ralph Jim Chipman was born on August 15, 1943, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Curtis and Faye Chipman. He was the second son in a family of four boys; Max, Jim, Kenneth Ray, and Joe. In Jim’s own words, his life was filled with hard work, close family ties, and lots of wonderful experiences. When he was only a year and a half old, the family moved to American Fork to the farm that had been owned by Jim’s grandpa, Elmer Chipman. They raised turkeys, chickens, sheep, grain, peas, and sugar beets. While Jim was at home, he always had farm chores to do after school which often kept him out of trouble and taught him to work hard.

Jim attended elementary school in American Fork, American Fork Junior High, and graduated from American Fork High School. Jim lettered in tennis at the high school but his first love was basketball. He wasn’t tall enough to play high school ball, but he played church basketball and was known for his long shots, even from the half-court line. Their ward team competed in the regional finals, which in those days was a big deal.

After high school graduation, Jim enrolled at BYU where he majored in Business Management with an emphasis in banking and finance. After his first year at BYU, he was called on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints serving in the Eastern Atlantic States. He loved teaching the gospel and he learned how to study which helped him at school when he returned home. Jim was always active in the church and served in many callings in his short life.

The summer after his mission, he went to work for Savage Brothers Inc. Neal Savage was a great mentor, boss, and friend for many years and financially supported part of Jim’s mission. Jim operated a heavy-duty loader at a construction site in Ogden. He also worked for his brother, Max, building boat seats and upholstering the inside of boats.

During his junior year at BYU, Jim married Susan Smith, daughter of Leland and Joyce Smith, on June 17 in the Salt Lake Temple. While in his senior year, Jim received his first draft notice so he applied for a deferment to finish his last year of college. A day or two after graduation, he went to the draft board office and they were preparing his second draft notice. He had always dreamed of flying airplanes but the Air Force had no openings for pilots. However, the Marines needed pilots so he was sworn into the Marines the next day and put on deferred enlistment.

After a short time with General Foods as a sales representative, he started his basic training and officer candidate school in Quantico, Virginia, and then on to pilot training at Vance Air Force base in Enid, Oklahoma. After pilot training, he was stationed at Cherry Point Naval Air Station to learn how to fly like the Navy, including training to fly on an aircraft carrier. At Cherry Point, he also learned to fly the A-6 Intruder. He was promoted to First Lieutenant and then to Captain just before he received orders to serve in Vietnam.

In 1972, Jim flew several missions a week in Vietnam as part of the war effort. On December 27, 1972, Jim’s plane was shot down over North Vietnam and he and his navigator, Ron Forrester, were listed as missing in action. This past July 2023, while a recovery team was investigating a crash site in Vietnam, they found Jim’s dog tags and some remains that were positively identified as belonging to Captain Ralph Jim Chipman. After more than 50 years, part of Jim is being returned to American Fork where he grew up.

Jim is survived by his wife, Susan Richards, and his two sons, Scot Lee Chipman and Matthew Curtis Chipman.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of R. Jim Chipman, please visit our flower store.

You can leave a rememberance about our comrade Ralph Jim Chipman in three places.


The Great American Road Trip

"In the early summer of 1919, Dwight Eisenhower was in a funk. Needing a way to break out of his doldrums, the future president found excitement in an endeavor still undertaken by millions today—the great American road trip."

Click to read the full story.