WWII Vets we've been blessed with knowing. - Page 2

WWII Vets we've been blessed with knowing.

This is a discussion on WWII Vets we've been blessed with knowing. within the Bob & Terry's Place forums, part of the The Back Porch category; My father in law who dropped out of high school and joined the navy in 43. Served on a supply ship in the pacific transporting ...

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  1. #16
    Senior Member Array Bubblehead751's Avatar
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    My father in law who dropped out of high school and joined the navy in 43. Served on a supply ship in the pacific transporting wounded near the end.

    The 20 odd WWII subvets my ship took to sea in the early 90’s. I’ll never forget the look on their faces when I told them the ship was air conditioned.

    The military wives. I often think they have the toughest job.
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  2. #17
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    My dad served for 6 years, primarily in Germany. He would not talk about his experiences too much.

    Our family physician and good friend of my parents. He also would not discuss his experiences.

    My mother was from East Germany and her family helped with he resistance in Suhl. She got out with the allied troops a few days before the Russians came in (allies handed over the territory to them)

    Dad passed away in '98. Mom remarried around '03. He was from the same region of Germany as my mom. He served in the German army and lost a leg below the knee at the Russian front. He discussed the war at length with me. What was most interesting was his (and my mom's) take on how Hitler gained control. Looking back, I wish that I had videoed the discussions....extremely informative and much more nuanced than what we read in history books. They both were adamant that the average German knew nothing about the concentration camps. He died 3-4 months ago at 97.
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  3. #18
    VIP Member Array OldChap's Avatar
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    My other hero was my father-in-law. He spoke even less about his experiences than my dad did. He joined the army in 1940 and originally was placed in a military police battalion. He was assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division and was shipped to England in late 1943. Before D-Day, he was retrained as a machine gunner. His regiment went ashore on D-Day +1. He never spoke at all about the horrors he saw on the beach. After being wounded twice in the push across France, he was reassigned as a rifleman.

    The 2nd ID fought in numerous but the only battle my F-I-L would mention was the Battle of the Bulge, and then only about how bitterly cold it was. He took part in the liberation of a Nazi death camp, and as per his usual he only commented to us in the least number of words possible. He said of the whole experience, it was just not fit for talk in his home. He passed away a few years before my dad.

    The only photo I am sure is of the 2nd ID on D+1 - Omaha Beach.

    WWII Vets we've been blessed with knowing.-aa0goxk.jpg

    And the Division marker at Omaha.

    WWII Vets we've been blessed with knowing.-800px-2nd_infantry_division_monument-_omaha_beach-_wn_65.jpg
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  5. #19
    Senior Member Array Bubblehead751's Avatar
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    And my grandfather who was an army intelligence officer in the European and pacific theater with the bronze star to prove it. Came home after VJ so weak that my grandmother didn’t even recognize him. I’m told he never spoke about it. Served in Korea as well
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  6. #20
    VIP Member Array LimaCharlie's Avatar
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    I was in the Navy in formation before going to SERE training. A young Lt.jg in front asked if anyone had been in SERE before. A couple of guys raised their hands and were excused. He asked if anyone else thought they didn't need to go to SERE. An older guy next to me raised his hand. The Lt.jg sauntered back and with his hands on his hips asked, "What makes you think you don't need to go to SERE?" The guy answered, "I was in the Bataan Death March and a prisoner of war in Japan." The Lt.jg turned white, looked like he was going to faint, and stammered, "I'm sorry, of course you don't need to go." I served a year with him in Viet Nam. He never talked about his experience during WWII. He had been out of the Navy for several year after WWII, but came back in and served in Viet Nam.
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  7. #21
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    My Uncle Merced who turned 20 the day before wading ashore on D-Day. He fought through the hedge rows, in Bastogne, and liberated dozens of French and German villages. He drove a half track with quad 50 cal. machine guns firing into German troop concentrations. He was the "high way patrol" on the auto bahn when Germany capitulated, stopping chauffeur/orderly driven German staff cars and making the officers themselves remove all their military insignia. He just turned 95.

    My Uncle Bonifacio was in the Navy on a supply ship, the USS Liberty, participating in everything from Tarawa to Iwo Jima to Okinawa. While delivering supplies to the on shore troops, they were strafed, bombed and brought hundreds of wounded service men to hospital ships. He lost many comrades in arms and never spoke very much of his service. He died two years ago at the age of 95.

    My Uncle Arsenio was a rifleman in the Army, was killed, and buried, in Belgium at the age of 20, in April, 1945.

    They were all ranchers and farmers in New Mexico and joined the service as soon as they turned 18.

    There are so many other family members that were and are part of the Greatest Generation.
    "Fiel pero desdichado"
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  8. #22
    Senior Member Array Bubblehead751's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LimaCharlie View Post
    I was in the Navy in formation before going to SERE training. A young Lt.jg in front asked if anyone had been in SERE before. A couple of guys raised their hands and were excused. He asked if anyone else thought they didn't need to go to SERE. An older guy next to me raised his hand. The Lt.jg sauntered back and with his hands on his hips asked, "What makes you think you don't need to go to SERE?" The guy answered, "I was in the Bataan Death March and a prisoner of war in Japan." The Lt.jg turned white, looked like he was going to faint, and stammered, "I'm sorry, of course you don't need to go." I served a year with him in Viet Nam. He never talked about his experience during WWII. He had been out of the Navy for several year after WWII, but came back in and served in Viet Nam.
    Sounds like someone is a retired Frog?
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  9. #23
    VIP Member Array LimaCharlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubblehead751 View Post
    Sounds like someone is a retired Frog?

    Spent a year as an advisor on swift boats.
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  10. #24
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    My father served on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. I waited until too late in his life to ask him questions about his service. Almost every time I could get him talking about his service, he would choke up and start sobbing. I decided then that I would document my service, so the kids could read it without my emotion getting in the way. I find that it is far less emotional to write it than it is to talk about it. I'm leaving a lot of it out, of course.

    Recently my wife, who is also a combat vet, asked me an innocent question about some activity I was involved in when she and I were stationed in Vietnam. I got so choked up that I couldn't speak for nearly half an hour. Emotion can really suck...
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  11. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by LimaCharlie View Post
    I was in the Navy in formation before going to SERE training. A young Lt.jg in front asked if anyone had been in SERE before. A couple of guys raised their hands and were excused. He asked if anyone else thought they didn't need to go to SERE. An older guy next to me raised his hand. The Lt.jg sauntered back and with his hands on his hips asked, "What makes you think you don't need to go to SERE?" The guy answered, "I was in the Bataan Death March and a prisoner of war in Japan." The Lt.jg turned white, looked like he was going to faint, and stammered, "I'm sorry, of course you don't need to go." I served a year with him in Viet Nam. He never talked about his experience during WWII. He had been out of the Navy for several year after WWII, but came back in and served in Viet Nam.
    My first maintenance chief at Robins AFB was a Bataan survivor. Colonels addressed him as Sir. He was tall and really skinny, like he never regained his weight. When he spoke, everyone listened.
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  12. #26
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    My Dad - Enlisted in the Navy on Dec. 8, 1941. He served on two destroyers and a minelayer in the North Atlantic. Saw two ships torpedoed - one directly in front of them, and one directly behind, in a convoy. He received a minor injury on the minelayer when a mine unexpectedly went off while it was being deployed. He passed away in 2002. He would have turned 100 this past March.

    My Maternal uncle, also USN. He was a Lt. Commander, serving as 2nd Officer on a heavy cruiser in the Pacific when it took two hits from Kamikazes, one of which hit the bridge, and killed most of the senior officers. He received a battlefield promotion to Captain, and my understanding was that he was the youngest Captain in the USN at the time. He served out the war, then made a career in the Navy.

    My other Maternal uncle - served in the Army in Europe. I don't know many details of his service, but I believe he was in France, post-D-Day. He never talked about it.

    My Fraternal uncle - also Army, also in France after D-Day. He suffered a non-combat-related injury, and died in his late 40's from long-term complications from it in 1971.

    It's hard for us to grasp the sacrifices the Greatest Generation made for us. I think it's safe to say the last couple of generations don't have ANY grasp of it!
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  13. #27
    VIP Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    My dad turned 18 in 45. He was called to training but was sent home at the end of the war. He was then sent to Korea but when they found out he could read and write in German he was redirected to be an occupying force in germany.
    My maternal grandfather landed on Omaha Beach on June 9 or 10th. Then became a replacement in the battle of the bulge. We believe he was in a glider at night and crashed into a field.
    The only two things he ever talked about [ until he was very old] was that while he was guarding german prisoners A large german woman approached the line and then pulled a double barrel shotgun out of her dress. He shot her right in the face. He said he had shot at lots of people but from a long enough distance that he did not see what happened to them. But that woman bothered him till he died.
    The other thing he talked about was opening up one of the death camps in the last days of the war. He would not talk about it at all until shortly before he passed.
    I had another Uncle who during the battle of Midway was arrested as a draft dodger! He had "borrowed" his older brothers ID and joined the Navy. When his own draft notice came His Mother tossed it [ He was already in the Navy]. She told them where to find him though. He spent a month in the brig, and they shipped him back to San Diego for another month or so. He said his Captain and a few Admirals came to see him and when he finally got to explain it They sent him back to his ship. He served through Korea, and was injured and pushed out about when Vietnam was heating up. He stayed with the Navy as a GS13? He was head of the Motor Pool at Pendleton Marine base, and was in charge of Richard Nixon's fleet of Limousines.
    He talked fondly of his time in. and said he would have remained in forever. He liked his time at sea!

    My father in law was in the Navy and was stationed in the Bikini Islands. He was on his ship when they tested the Bomb. He died of multiple brain tumours in 79.

    I worked with a guy who had been on Batton. He was a really heavy guy that always had his pockets stuffed with food. always had food stuffed in his car. He died of a heart attack before I understood what Batton was.

    The WWII generation were the Craftsmen and Tradesmen that I learned from, Several of my teachers in High School were WWII vets. A good number of my friends dads were vets also. I think in some way everyone served. It was a different time. DR

  14. #28
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    Howdy!

    I had a good friend I met fulltime RVing and would visit with him every year when we returned to or homebase in Livingston Texas. He was a retired US Army Major. When we first met we talked about our military service. He told me, “when I joined the US Army they didn’t call us Airborne back then we were Paratroopers”. His first combat jump was D-Day into Normandy. He went on to serve in Korea and two tours in Vietnam before retiring. Sorry to say my friend passed away this year. I am proud to have been a friend to such an great American Veteran.

    “Happy Trails
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  15. #29
    Distinguished Member Array TSKnight's Avatar
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    Met a young woman while doing physical therapy following shoulder surgery. She had a hip replacement and we were often on adjacent machines. I was reading about the Tuskegee airmen one day when she said that she had met some of them. We talked quite a bit over the next few months. Amazing woman.
    During WWII she had flown bombers from the U.S. to Britain. She never saw combat, yet had more hours in the air than many combat pilots.

    I can only imagine what it took to live through that time.
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  16. #30
    Senior Member Array DZUS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    In that line:

    Billie, my best bud's dad. Served on a cruiser in the Pacific that was nearly sunk. Could never shake the demon alcohol that followed him through life.

    Jack, my second father. The best pal a 10-year-old kid could have. Served on an anti-tank crew in Italy. He'd give you the shirt off his back or plow your lower forty if you couldn't, but the demon alcohol made him totally unreliable as a father to his own kids and husband.

    Harry, a Pacific Marine and boyhood pal of my Seabee dad. Died too young, a complication of too much alcohol.

    Buster, a Seabee pal of Dad's. They remained close friends until Buster's death.

    Many of the dads in my neighborhood growing up. A Navy pharmacist mate, a supply truck driver on the Red Ball Express in Europe, an infantryman who would never talk about the war but walked with a permanent limp, and others.
    My Dad, a physician who served in the Pacific during WWII, and who carried a pride in the USArmy thereafter.

    My Uncle Bert, a B17 pilot who flew twice as many missions than required

    Mu Uncle Rod, a dentist during WWII, who is 101, and who my brothers and I will be visiting in a few months.

    .
    Armed And Harmless
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    Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
    - - Sir Winston Churchill, 1941

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