Great Military Stories

The Passing Of “Rosie The Riveter”

The Passing Of “Rosie The Riveter”

Rosalind P. (Palmer) Walter passed away at the age of 95. She is known to millions as the original inspiration for the "Rosie the Riveter" character. She is appreciated by many for her years of service and support for public broadcasting. Rosalind P. Walter's Early Life Walter grew up in a wealthy family in Long Island. Her father was Carleton Palmer, who was president and chairman of E.R. Squibb and Sons (which is now part of Bristol Myers Squibb). Squibb and sons sold penicillin, which was in high demand due to the war. Walter's mother was W. Bushnell, who taught literature at Long Island University. When the US entered World War II, Walter did not go off to college as she could have but rather supported the war effort by working in an airplane factory. "Rosie The Riveter" Is An Allegorical Cultural Icon In the United States With most of the country's men off serving in the military, women rose up to take the jobs those men vacated. Walter worked the night shift attaching rivets to...

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Jack Hinson – A Civil War Sniper Hell Bent on Revenge

Jack Hinson – A Civil War Sniper Hell Bent on Revenge

Jack Hinson, better known as "Old Jack" to his family, was a prosperous farmer in Stewart County, Tennessee. A non-political man, he opposed secession from the Union even though he owned slaves. Friends and neighbors described him as a peaceable man, yet despite all this, he would end up going on a one-man killing spree. Jack's plantation was called Bubbling Springs, where he lived with his wife and ten children. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, he was fiercely determined to remain neutral. Grant Had Stayed at the Jack Hinson Estate When Union Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant arrived in the area in February 1862, the Jack Hinson hosted the man at their home. The General was so pleased with the plantation that he even turned it into his temporary headquarters. Even when one of their sons joined the Confederate Army, while another joined a militia group, Jack remained strictly neutral. They were content to manage their plantation despite the ongoing conflict. Grant had stayed at...

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Iraq War – The Second Battle of Fallujah

Iraq War – The Second Battle of Fallujah

On March 31, 2004, a private contractor's convoy was traveling through Fallujah when it was ambushed by heavily armed insurgents. Safeguarding the convoy were four Blackwater USA employees - Scott Helvenston, Jerry Zovko, Wesley Batalona, and Michael Teague. The four were killed by machine gunfire and a grenade thrown through a window of their SUVs. Their charred bodies were dragged from the burning wreckage of their vehicles by a mob, mutilated, dragged through the streets, and two were hung on display from a bridge over the Euphrates river as the crowd celebrated below.  U.S.- Led Operation to Retake Fallujah Begin The public display of the beaten and burned bodies of the four security contractors triggered worldwide outrage. In response to the gruesome slaughter of the private security guards, a U.S.-led operation to retake Fallujah began on April 4, 2004 - only four days after the macabre incident. Within a week, a third of the city had been retaken, but due to the considerable...

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Eugene Bullard: World’s First Black Fighter Pilot

Eugene Bullard: World’s First Black Fighter Pilot

A largely unsung and non-known hero of the World War One was the fascinating Eugene James "Jacques" Bullard of the Lafayette Flying Corps. Biography Eugene Jacques Bullard Bullard was born in a three-room house in Columbus, Georgia, the seventh of ten children born to William (Octave) Bullard, a black man who was from Martinique, and Josephine ("Yokalee") Thomas, a Creek Indian. His father's ancestors had been slaves in Haiti to French refugees who fled during the Haitian Revolution. They reached the United States and took refuge with the Creek Indians. An adventurer by nature, he left the small town of Columbus and moved to Atlanta by himself while still in his teenage years. He had been told that the way to escape racial prejudice was to head to Europe, particularly France (he once said he witnessed a near lynching of his dad). A long time back his father had pointed out to him that Bullard was a French name and that at least one ancestor had hailed from there. Stirred by all the...

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Lt. Col. Charles Kettles, U.S. Army (1953-1978)

Lt. Col. Charles Kettles, U.S. Army (1953-1978)

During the early morning hours of May 15, 1967, personnel of the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, were ambushed in the Song Tra Cau riverbed near the Duc Pho District in the South Central Coast of Vietnam by an estimated battalion-sized force of the North Vietnamese Army. The NVA attacked with numerous automatic weapons, machine guns, mortars, and recoilless rifles from a fortified complex of deeply embedded tunnels and bunkers that were effectively shielded from counter fire. Maj. Charles Kettles Volunteered to Lead a Flight of Six UH-1D Upon learning that the 1st Brigade had suffered casualties during an intense firefight with the enemy, then - Maj. Charles Kettles volunteered to lead a flight of six UH-1D helicopters to carry reinforcements to the embattled forces and to evacuate wounded personnel. As the flight approached the landing zone, it came under witheringly deadly enemy fire from multiple directions, with reinforcements hit and killed before they could even leave the...

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The USS Recruit in Union Square

The USS Recruit in Union Square

In 1917 the U.S. Navy built a full-size battleship in New York City's Union Square Park near the entrance to the subway and faced south. It would stay there for the next three years. The ship - USS Recruit - was commissioned as a normal seagoing ship, under the command of Acting Captain C. F. Pierce and with a complement of thirty-nine bluejackets from the Newport Training Station. It functioned as a recruiting office and training center with sailors training on the ship to demonstrate a small part of navy life to potential civilian recruits. The Navy also offered public access and tours of the ship, allowing civilians to familiarize themselves with how a Navy warship was operated. The accommodations aboard USS Recruit included fore and aft full officer's quarters, a wireless station, doctor's quarters and examination rooms to assess the health of potential candidates, a heating and ventilation system that was capable of changing the temperature of the air inside the ship ten times...

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Lieutenant Mark Baden – Heroic Pilot Just Managed to Land and Save His Buddy’s Life

Lieutenant Mark Baden – Heroic Pilot Just Managed to Land and Save His Buddy’s Life

Being launched off the flight deck of an aircraft carrier is a normal routine, but adrenaline junkie pilots love the radical feel of about 4 Gs. On July 9, 1991, an A-6 Intruder modified to be a refueling aircraft was shot off the Abraham Lincoln in the Persian Gulf. Lieutenant Mark Baden was the pilot and had his friend and navigator (BN), Lieutenant Keith Gallagher beside him. It was Gallagher's birthday, and he advised Mark Baden when they returned it would be his 100th trap recovery on an aircraft carrier. A mid-air collision had occurred a few days earlier, and Mark Baden was slightly nervous. On top of all the other odd circumstances, he was actually assigned the plane with his name emblazoned on the side - unlike in the movies, the pilots don't always fly the plane with their name. He made all the normal checks and touched all the buttons and switches. Satisfied he was ready for anything, the aircraft was blasted off the end of the carrier to accomplish the mission: to refuel...

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Did a Scottish Soldier Really Play Bagpipes at Normandy?

Did a Scottish Soldier Really Play Bagpipes at Normandy?

On June 6, 1944, the Allied forces launched Operation Overlord, the largest and most complex amphibious landing in history until that point. Invading Hitler's Fortress Europe was no small matter, even with all the preparations and forethought Allied planners made in advance of the landings. In the years and decades that followed, D-Day became one of the most thoroughly studied and documented events of World War II. Still, it seems like more and more personal stories, fascinating accounts, and even urban legends from the invasion emerge every day.  Only those who were there can really know what it was like to hit the beach that day. But given recollections from veterans, photos and film reel taken that day, and Steven Spielberg's realistic depiction of the event in the 1998 film "Saving Private Ryan," we have a pretty good idea of what it looked like. Legend of the Scottish Soldier So it's all the more shocking to hear the legend of the Scottish soldier who walked up and down...

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Cpt Daniel Inouye, U.S. Army (1943-1947) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Cpt Daniel Inouye, U.S. Army (1943-1947) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Senator Daniel Inouye served in the United States Senate from 1963 until his death in 2012. At the time of his death, he was America's second-longest sitting Senator, which is not at all surprising considering he could easily be considered one of World War II's hardest men to kill. Daniel Inouye's Early Life This Japanese-American, who faced discrimination and segregation, had every reason to sit this war out if he so chose with a bitter heart. But considering he was raised by a father who told him the following upon enlisting by his account: “My father just looked straight ahead, and I looked straight ahead, and then he cleared his throat and said, ‘America has been good to us. It has given me two jobs. It has given you and your sisters and brothers education. We all love this country. Whatever you do, do not dishonor your country. Remember – never dishonor your family. And if you must give your life, do so with honor.” Daniel Inouye was born in 1924 in Honolulu Hawaii, which as a...

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Famous Navy Unit: USS Liberty

Famous Navy Unit: USS Liberty

Three years before President Truman courageously recognized Israel's statehood, the first international leader to do so, the keel of a vessel named SS Simmons Victory was laid down in Portland, Oregon, designated as a Fleet Issue Ship assigned the duty of carrying munitions and general cargo at the end of WWII across the PTO. From the onset of troubles in Korea, the ship made nine Far East voyages in support. The History of USS Liberty By 1964 it had been converted to a Technical Research Ship and reclassified AGTR-5 of the US Navy, christened USS Liberty in honor of the ten states with settlements of that name. Its first log entry included this rhyme by Mustang Lt. Lester Morserf, Jr: "… With a spirit of Trust and "Get the Job Done."We each did tremble as her colors were raised,With pride for the symbol, we all have praised –And vow to add fame through duties done well,To its historic name – the Liberty Bell." USS Liberty served with the Atlantic Fleet on many seas and to many...

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Lost Battalion

Lost Battalion

Immediately after Japan's December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and other American bases in the Pacific, the United States declared war on Japan. Several days later Nazi German and Italy declared war on the U.S., embroiling the world into World War II. The war heightened American prejudice against German Americans and Italian Americans but the racism directed against Japanese Americans was particularly vicious. The calculated response culminated in the forced removal and unconstitutional incarceration of 120,000 residents of Japanese ancestry, including the complete elimination of communities and individuals from the entire West Coast of the United States. This racism was precipitated by the attack on Pearl Harbor but it had deep antecedents in the near half-century of legal, social, and economic policies directed against Asians in general within the United States. As the war progressed, however, more American units were needed to successfully fight the Axis powers. One such unit...

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