Profiles in Courage

The Only U.S. Woman POW in WWII Europe

The Only U.S. Woman POW in WWII Europe

On September 27, 1944, a C-47 assigned to the 813th Medical Air Evacuation Squadron lifted off from England into the clear morning sky. Its destination was a landing field at St. Trond, Belgium, to pick up casualties. Since the aircraft usually carried military supplies and troops on the outbound flight and casualties on the return trip, it was not marked with the Red Cross. Aboard the aircraft was 24-year-old Texas-born Second Lt. Reba Whittle, an experienced flight nurse with 40 missions and...

read more
Side-By-Side

Side-By-Side

Friday morning February 2, 2008 was cold in Baghdad but since Friday is a big shopping day, shoppers crowded the markets throughout the city. At one of Baghdad's most popular gathering places, the al-Ghazl animal market, hundreds of closely packed shoppers moved from stall to stall when suddenly and without warning, a huge explosion shattered the silence, killing dozens of Iraq's. Twenty minutes later, another bomb ripped through an open air market in south eastern Baghdad. The two suicide...

read more
Col Pierre Julien Ortiz, U.S.M.C. (1942-54)

Col Pierre Julien Ortiz, U.S.M.C. (1942-54)

The first thoughts that come to mind when one thinks about World War II Marines is them landing on bloody beaches and fighting in steamy jungles of the Pacific. But this was not the role of Marine Pierre Julien Ortiz, who served in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. His exploits and dare-devil attitude were things of fiction yet they were all real. He was an American and a Frenchman with a Spanish name and he lived in remarkable times and did remarkable things. His life was a series of...

read more
Bravest Submariner Who Earned 5 Navy Crosses

Bravest Submariner Who Earned 5 Navy Crosses

Ask any Marine who was Lieutenant General Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller and each would quickly respond by saying. "Why, he was the greatest, bravest and most highly decorated Marine in Marine Corp history." Another would inevitable say, "He was not only a tough, no nonsense Marine he is also the only one awarded five Navy Crosses." Both would be right. During his career, Puller fought guerrillas in Haiti and Nicaragua, and participated in some of the bloodiest battles of World War II and...

read more
Irena Sendler

Irena Sendler

Often, non-combatant civilians risk their lives by performing quiet yet extraordinary acts of selflessness and gallantry that require just as much bravery as a soldier charging head-on into enemy fire. Irena Sendler was one such civilian. She was a gentle but determined Polish social worker who managed to smuggle 2,500 children out of the Warsaw Ghetto during the Second World War. As amazing as this feat was, she was only internationally honored for her immense bravery toward the end of her...

read more
Col Ola Lee Mize, U.S. Army (1950-1981)

Col Ola Lee Mize, U.S. Army (1950-1981)

Biography by Ola Lee Mize Ola Lee Mize was born August 28, 1931, in Albertville, Alabama as the son of a sharecropper. He was forced to leave school after just the ninth grade to help his family put food on the table, as was very common throughout the United States in that era. Mize tried several times to enlist in the Army but was rejected for being too light at just 120 pounds. He finally got in when his mother signed an affidavit to affirm his age since a tornado had destroyed all his...

read more
CPT Joe Ronnie Hooper, U.S. Army (1956-1978)

CPT Joe Ronnie Hooper, U.S. Army (1956-1978)

Joe Ronnie Hooper had his share non-judicial punishments (authorized by Article 15 of UCMJ), racked up 115 confirmed kills and was awarded the Medal of Honor. He was also one of the most decorated soldiers in American international combat. Brief Navy Service Born in the summer of 1938 in South Carolina, Joe Ronnie Hooper was relocated as a child to Moses Lake, Washington where he attended Moses Lake High School. Originally a Navy man, Hooper first enlisted in December of 1956. After graduation...

read more
VADM John D. Bulkeley, U.S. Navy (1933-1975)

VADM John D. Bulkeley, U.S. Navy (1933-1975)

John D. Bulkeley was a Vice Admiral in the United States Navy and one of its most decorated naval officers. Bulkeley received the Medal of Honor for actions in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He was also the PT boat skipper who evacuated General Douglas MacArthur from Corregidor in the Philippines.  Biography of John D. Bulkeley John D. Bulkeley was born in New York City and grew up on a farm in Hackettstown, New Jersey, where he graduated from Hackettstown High School. He was a 1933...

read more
MajGen Frank Baldwin, U.S. Army (1861-1906)

MajGen Frank Baldwin, U.S. Army (1861-1906)

Receiving the Medal of Honor for valor in combat puts one in the hallowed company of but a few thousand individuals to ever grace the earth. But by the time you earn two Medals of Honor, you are one of 19 persons to have ever done so. Perhaps it is because the Medal of Honor is quite often awarded posthumously but receiving two and living to talk about it is a rare feat in the world. Frank Baldwin would do just that in the 1800s and live to become a General by World War 1. His first would come...

read more
Sgt Henry Johnson, U.S. Army (1918-1919) – America’s First World War Hero

Sgt Henry Johnson, U.S. Army (1918-1919) – America’s First World War Hero

Henry Johnson was a World War I soldier who singlehandedly beat back a German assault while critically wounded. He was a great American hero and received the highest military honor of two different countries. One of those countries, however, his very own, didn't bestow that medal until nearly 100 years after his service in WWI. The honor this man deserved was not awarded by the U.S. government upon his return home, because he was black. But that racism was eventually overcome, if only by the...

read more