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WW II thoughts?


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9 hours ago, cedar farm said:

Unfortunately those who are defeated don't want to be interviewed about their war experience's. It's to late now, but I wish there more first hand accounts from German and Japanese veterans.

Years ago a workmate met a flying fortress pilot, they got talking and the gent was  talking réminiscences about his war happenings it was suggested that he should put in print his stories and he did that and I got one and it was great reading, after I told my workmate he should keep in touch with the gent because these are gold, to late, he had passed away, the stories are memories now, but we have to keep these memories awake so this doesn't happen again, vétérans day, memorial day, armistice day, remembrance day, they all have to be saluted because as we see with the socalled "woke" crowd change is in the air and socialist reset is on the minds of the azzhats who we have given the right of power and remembering the past wars is not on their todo list and it sure as helll should be.

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2 hours ago, bob_carr said:

And because the Guard units usually have their numbers concentrated in a community, when they are deployed into combat the number of casualties can really devastate the community.  I recall the 138th Artillery Unit from Bardstown taking a significant hit after the 1968 Tet Offensive.  That resulted in Bardstown having the  highest per capita casualty rate of any community in the US.  I imagine the circumstances for units deployed in WWII would be similar.  I know they were part of many campaigns and assault landings.  One unit, the African-American 39th Infantry Regiment from the streets of Harlem was referred to as the "Helll Fighters" and earned significant recognition from the French Army to which they were assigned.

I noticed 39th Infantry Regiment nickname was tagged for profanity.  Think of the opposite of "Heaven"'.

I have a propensity for language that doesn't fit the server censor, I did one little change, I hope you don't mind.😇

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1 hour ago, Rawleigh99 said:

Look up the Bedford Boys from Virginia.  There is a large memorial to them in Bedford, VA.  Company A of the 116th Guard Regiment had a 90% casualty rate on Omaha Beach at Normandy.  Only 18 out of 230 not wounded or killed.  35 were from the Town of Bedford, and of those 24 were killed.  They suffered the greatest proportion of losses of any town in the United States according to what I read.

That is correct.  The casualty rate suffered by the Bardstown Unit was for losses in Vietnam.

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2 hours ago, Dasnake said:

we see with the socalled "woke" crowd change is in the air and socialist reset is on the minds of the azzhats who we have given the right of power and remembering the past wars is not on their todo list and it sure as helll should be.

 

The MEDIA, with their LIES and slander about those who HONORABLY (a word that the MEDIA knows nothing about) served in Vietnam were at the very beginning, and MAY have invented the word "woke", by their treatment of those men and women.

 

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2 hours ago, Rawleigh99 said:

Amazing picture!  What type of revolver did your Dad carry mike?  Webley or one of the American ones that were sent over?

Smith and Wesson  455   Calibre   (NB !!)..not   the 38 S and W  , of normal issue to Officers

..I have it at home.....It is 'legal ' in the sense that it is registered....

The local Police ''deactivated the Revolver...They removed the firing  pin...

The 'Firing  pin" was returned , some months later...by post...enclosed in a match box  !!!!!

The ''Old School Cops '' were more at ease with some of the BS   (Bovine Excrement )..in those days..today that firearm would be deactivated by welding a plug in the Bbl....

Mike

Rawleigh..I will get to photo it yet..for you ....:)

 

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Dads best friend was an original Recon Marine. He was probably more of an uncle to me than my own uncles. He was repairing his motorcycle on Dec 7th 1941. He enlisted a few days later. He was 17 and like many others, I think he lied about his age. 

Some stories.......

During his training there were 3 guys from some street gang in his unit that were always calling him "dumb farmer" he said one night he had enough and put 2 of them in the hospital. He was called into a colonels office fully expecting to be put in jail or kicked out. Instead he was ordered to report to such and such place on such and such day. He said there were probably 100 guys in the quonset hut non knew why they were there. They were told they were going to be a special unit, and they were going to train until they wished they were dead. He said it was several weeks before they were told what they would really be doing.

As was mentioned already many just told funny stories.......

They often worked with the Navy UDT teams. UDT reconned the beaches and water, the Marines reconned inland. He said they probably reconned over a 100 islands in the pacific. On one recon they found some sort of fruit trees and they started eating the fruit. The fruit was delicious, but within a few minutes they started throwing up, stomach cramps and the sh'its. The liquid kind. They had all stripped naked from the waist down and when they linked up with the UDT guys they asked what was the problem. One guy said something like "I'll show you" and bent over and let go a stream. He said the UDT guys refused to let them in the raft and made them hang on to the gunwales and swim along side back to their pickup point.  

Another was scary, but afterward funny........ (Glen mentioned that this was his fault.) They were reconning an island that was supposed to have only natives, He was walking point, it was dark, and he walked them right into the middle of a Japanese camp of 50 or so. The camp covered a large area, and being dark, they probably thought they were just Japanese soldiers. They hid in vegetation and gradually crawled back out the way they came. He never lived that one down and they laughed about it later but scary at the time.

I have a book about the battle of Okinawa that he gave me. It is signed by the author. Glen's picture is in it and he is mentioned. 

After Okinawa several Recon Marines and Navy UDT were in a submarine off the coast of Japan. They knew they were going to be going in to recon for an invasion, and he said they fully expected that some would not be coming back. He said they waited and waited and no orders came. They were then sent back out to sea to wait some more. He said it was night and he was topside getting fresh air when they were told the bomb had been dropped. That's how close we came to invading.

There are other stories he told me. Many I'm guessing he told no one else and many were not funny. I asked him once about writing his stories down. He passed two years ago. He outlived his wife and his only son. But he did leave me a notebook of some writings and stories. They will stay in my safe. I think that is where he would have wanted them.

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Ahhh the humor of war, the old man gave me this one, one afternoon during the fighting for ortona they stopped for the night in a small town nearby, and him and some others from his unit checked out the local area and found a rectory that had its own wine supply and barrels, they found the easiest way to sample was lay down underneath the tap and have a brother turn the tap until the guy on the floor got his fill then return the favor, he said they had a lot of smiles on their faces for the first time in a long time.

Another one was one of the DRs had a habit of parking his bike and finding and borrowing enemy sickles, the MPs had enough of this and chased him down one night on the cobblestone roads of the little towns they house cleaned through, he ran past their group one night with the cops on his butt and duece and half in his way, he slabbed the bike went under the duece slid out the other side and took off down the road, but from what I understood his freewheeling days were over, Ive got a picture of paps old friend and myself who passed in '19 at a 101, he also road DR.

Another one was a platoon of his guys were spread out single file to cleanout a farm house, as they came around a corner of the house a german machine gun was sitting up high and picked off the guys coming around the corner, one member carried a bren (for you maybe not familiar with the bren its a topfeed light machinegun like your BAR) as he came round the corner he jumped as high as he could and opened fire, when he hit the ground both gunners were dead, as a postscript to this story when this fellow returned to civvy life he could not adjust to the mundane life and took to high stakes bank robbery, he went down in the late 40s trying a hit on a bank in Vancouver I believe.

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 I think about this from time to time. So many witnessed the true horrors of war, so many paid the ultimate sacrifice giving their lives for their country. So many more just had their lives taken from them for simply existing. My Uncle, Dads brother went through northern Italy with the 10'th mountain division. Arriving sometime in 1944, they fought in some really rough terrain. They were working their way up this steep slope when my uncle's buddy in front of him stepped on a land mine mortally wounding him. Uncle Charlie received several shrapnel wounds to his face and arms. He was patched up a bit and had to keep going, it was not until two days later that he got proper medical attention. He rarely talked in any real detail about his experiences during the war, most of what I heard was what he had told my Dad. Uncle Charlie suffered from PTSD and and fought a long battle with alcohol.

Dads best friend, room mate in college and best man at his wedding was a tail gunner in a B17. He flew a good number of missions and was credited with shooting down a Luftwaffe FW 190 fighter that got in his sights. He used to tell the story of that day which I remember from many years back.

"The plane came up from six o'clock low, may have been gaining altitude for another frontal attack or something but all of a sudden I realized he was right there. I had him right in my sights and fired a long burst, black smoke came out and then he started diving down. The ball turret gunner watched him go down spewing fire and smoke. We were lucky, many planes and crew didn't come back he said. It was he!l."

As I mentioned in the other thread Dad was on a depot, receiving base in England, I can't for the life of me remember where. A large number of the aircraft used in England arrived at this base. They were fitted out and flown to the various bases all over. Damaged planes that were flyable arrived for repairs and some that needed maintenance such as new engines were fixed up and returned to service. Dad got to co pilot many different airplanes delivering them to bases, his favorites were B17's P 47's and C47's.  He hated B26's and did not care for B24's, "how's it fly? Like it looks! The Liberator flew like a dump truck compared to a B17 he would say. He also got to go on several photo reconnaissance missions in Photo versions of P38's and De Havilland Mosquitos.

This is the part I think about : Dads brother and best friend went through he!l and saw a lot of terrible things. My Dad had the time of his life. Just the way it worked out I guess, Dads eyesight prevented him from being a pilot which is what he wanted so badly. Probably saved him.

 

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Great pic @mike newman and story. You always have great pics. The Japanese soldiers in Asia didn't understand why Japan surrendered. They felt they were winning.

When dad was in China he said the jap soldiers were stripped to their underwear.  They hosed them down with DDT. Then they stuck the hose down their underwear, to kill crabs.

He also piloted a smaller boat up a long river. He picked up some soviet officers and brought them back down. The story reminded me of apocalypse now in some ways.

There were several Japanese concentration camps in Arkansas. They were over in the delta. Hot humid and full of mosquitoes. No AC back then... they called it 'refrigerated air' at the fancy establishments that had it.

The last WWII vet I knew died a few years ago.

Thx-Ace 

 

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Grandad served in France in WWI. Uncle was a Pathfinder, as such he jumped a couple days ahead of D-Day. He then went on to take part in the Battle of the Bulge. When he passed my cousin found his Pathfinder patch and a Bronze Star awarded for action during the Battle of the Bulge. His family never knew. He and I had talked off and on over the last years of his life, but he never mentioned any of this. I did find out that during the winter he always slept with a window open. He had to have the cold.

Our neighbor whose farm bordered ours served in the Pacific as a Marine. People used to talk about him as "not being all there". He was a bachelor and lived with his dad. I helped them make hay since I was old enough to throw bales. I remember very well the day we were eating lunch and the topic of sleeping came up. He said he always slept with the lights on. Being just a kid, I asked him why, and he said it kept the ghosts away. I didn't know until later what he meant.  I was probably 10 or so when I heard my mom waking my dad one morning saying that Warren was sitting in our yard with a rifle. Dad went out and Warren told him that he was just following orders to stand guard until the sun came up. He had several episodes like that but never hurt anyone. He would just get up and walk the 2 miles home. After his dad passed. he lived in a camper (of sorts) dad used to check on him every few days.

Dad never served. Being the oldest, and grandad a WWI vet he was given a deferment to stay home and farm. 

This is a great thread. Brings back memories.

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42 minutes ago, acem said:

 

The last WWII vet I knew died a few years ago.

Thx-Ace 

 

We are seeing the end of that generation, I personally knew one WW1 vet, a great uncle fought at ypres, he was gassed and had a hard time, both living and being alive, I met him very early '60s, he passed mid '60s, I remember the early aughts and three WW1 vets were present in wheelchairs at the cérémonies and their passings were noted over the next few years, until the teens when the last in the world had passed.

The "war to end all wars" bled into WW2 which gave us korea then 'nam and assorted skirmishes before and after 1900, and what the bloody helll is there to show for any of it, we all have relatives, we all have stories, we all have lives that we enjoy, now look at my biitch, I can't say for certain but I think things could/would be a lot different if it wasn't for those sacrifices, and as far as the idiots we have mandating to us now, we should honor the generations who gave us this lifestyle and make sure we can get OUR act together to clean house of the bunch running NA now.

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There was a strong isolationist movement in the USA until pearl harbor. It's leader, or public front, was Charles Lindbergh. If Japan had not bombed pearl harbor nor invaded the Philippines things would be different. Japan would control most all of the western pacific and Eastern Asia. They would have been able to take Siberia and kept communism out. They would have continued on be controlled by the military hierarchy.

Interestingly, they probably would not be known for high quality. They actually learned that from the US after the war.

Germany would control all of Europe (at least to the Ural mountains), north Africa and the Middle East. European countries would have survived in their colonies which may not have gained independence. 

Nuclear weapons would have been invented much later and we probably wouldn't have gone to the moon.

The Nazis were the real wildcard. They were so ideological. Willing to cut off their nose to spite their face. There is no telling what they would have done. And remember they were socialists. National Socialist Party.

IMHO YMMV

THX-ACE 

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My grandmother was put on a boat when she was 10 and sent to the USA. She grew up in the Holstein area of Germany. I think she came to the USA in '08. She was here for 2 wars. I never asked her what it was like to have been German during those times. Especially WWII. I often wonder why I didn't ask, and always wish I had. My mother would have been in grade school when the war started and she would have been a generation removed. 

 

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1 hour ago, dads706 said:

My grandmother was put on a boat when she was 10 and sent to the USA. She grew up in the Holstein area of Germany. I think she came to the USA in '08. She was here for 2 wars. I never asked her what it was like to have been German during those times. Especially WWII. I often wonder why I didn't ask, and always wish I had. My mother would have been in grade school when the war started and she would have been a generation removed. 

 

Thats a good topic for conversation, look at the german lashback by citizens in WW1, I can't or am able to comprehend what they went, the only thing I can relate to is how indians were treated and talked about 60 years ago, not through myself but my old man.

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My BIL's dad passed last night at 100. A B24 gunner he was, indeed, one of the greatest generation. He was living in an assisted living home, still had all his marbles, had his dinner, went to his room and just stopped. A good way to go having survived the war and raised good kids.

Mu own father was working in the Navy yard and deferred. I believe that always bothered him.

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9 hours ago, New Englander said:

My BIL's dad passed last night at 100. A B24 gunner he was, indeed, one of the greatest generation. He was living in an assisted living home, still had all his marbles, had his dinner, went to his room and just stopped. A good way to go having survived the war and raised good kids.

Mu own father was working in the Navy yard and deferred. I believe that always bothered him.

My condolences newey, take care.

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A thought that fits here IMO.  This was in a book I'm reading about the pioneers who settled the remote parts of Australia -

"Frequently I have heard the expression "They don't make 'em like that any more", but expect they do; it's the times they don't make any more.  Perhaps fortunately".  

Seems "the great anonymous they" are h*** bent on making the times again for them to re-appear

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11 hours ago, New Englander said:

My BIL's dad passed last night at 100. A B24 gunner he was, indeed, one of the greatest generation. He was living in an assisted living home, still had all his marbles, had his dinner, went to his room and just stopped. A good way to go having survived the war and raised good kids.

Mu own father was working in the Navy yard and deferred. I believe that always bothered him.

My father in law feels that way about Vietnam. He had two brothers sent to Vietnam(not at the same time) and he got sent to Germany. He was in the artillery and said all they did was drink beer, shoot at hills and make the locals mad. He hates when he goes to a veterans event and people ask where he was sent. But my BIL did two tours of Iraq and one in Afghanistan so FIL is proud of that.

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4 hours ago, mike newman said:

..love these   old aircrtaft pictures...was going to put it on the "Awesome  Picture Thread''...

...but it belongs on this thread.....

..Lancaster

Mike

1663718802839 lancaster.jpg

A friend of years agone was a Lancaster flight engineer flying out of UK.  Two things I remember -

He had been put through the Rolls Royce Merlin school for flight engineers and had the ultimate respect for them. Reckoned they knew the product so well that they could tell you how to go to about 99% of killing a Merlin without actually succeeding.

And one flight emergency landing had them land at a US bomber airfield and great over night hospitality.  Next morning it took 3 B17 bomb trains to unload the Lanc.

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My grandfather was in the Swiss army in the war years, his age group where the first ones patroling the borders and my grandfather's division shot down few German Bombers flying over Swiss territory. There where numbers of close calls.  

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4 hours ago, mike newman said:

..love these   old aircrtaft pictures...was going to put it on the "Awesome  Picture Thread''...

...but it belongs on this thread.....

..Lancaster

Mike

1663718802839 lancaster.jpg

that's the Canadian Lancaster. it gives you goosebumps when it does a fly over

 

I am fortunate to live close to the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Ass. as well  and they fly over occasionally. I believe they were WW2 training aircraft. they also have a distinctive roar to the engine

harvards.jpg

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20 hours ago, dads706 said:

My grandmother was put on a boat when she was 10 and sent to the USA. She grew up in the Holstein area of Germany. I think she came to the USA in '08. She was here for 2 wars. I never asked her what it was like to have been German during those times. Especially WWII. I often wonder why I didn't ask, and always wish I had. My mother would have been in grade school when the war started and she would have been a generation removed. 

 

  My grandparents moved to the farm I am on today in 1923.  They being of German descent were poorly received in a community that consisted mostly of people whose families came over 150 years prior from England.  Most of my school years were during the 1970's and carrying a German surname I could say that I was not the most popular kid in school for that.  I actually had a 4th grade teacher mildly mock my background and if I thought dad would not go off of the deep end I would have said something.  If I could go back in time and talk to the Kaiser before the war I would tell him that it was not worth it for Germany to go to war.  That Germany and Germans suffered far more than he could imagine and for a far greater period of time.  

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3 hours ago, cedar farm said:

My father in law feels that way about Vietnam. He had two brothers sent to Vietnam(not at the same time) and he got sent to Germany. He was in the artillery and said all they did was drink beer, shoot at hills and make the locals mad. He hates when he goes to a veterans event and people ask where he was sent. But my BIL did two tours of Iraq and one in Afghanistan so FIL is proud of that.

But in Germany the potential threat was great. If war started in Germany at that time, the fighting would have been intense, possibly going nuclear. Dad served in Korea and a friend was sent to Germany at the same time. When I was a kid they had discussions about this subject. There is no disrespect for serving in Europe during the cold War.

Thx-Ace 

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