Great Military Stories

Battle of Ia Drang Valley

Battle of Ia Drang Valley

There have been thousands upon thousands of battles and scrimmages fought by Americans since coming to the New World. Combat veterans will tell you each is important, but there are those battles that have a greater impact, often changing the nature of the conflict or even the defining moment in who wins and who loses the war. In this issue, we begin with the four-day Battle of the Ia Drang Valley.  Along the Cambodia border in the Central Highlands, roughly 35 miles southwest of Pleiku...

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Heroes of Hill 488

Heroes of Hill 488

During the Vietnam War, one of the 1st Marine Division's primary area of operation was the southern two provinces of I Corps - Quang Tin and Quang Ngai, located in the southern portion of South Vietnam's I Corps Military Region. Astride the boundary between Quang Nam and Quang Tin provinces is the populous, rice-rich Que Son Valley, considered as strategically important in controlling South Vietnam's five northern provinces. For that reason, it was a principal focus for the Marines in I...

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Four-Legged Military Hero – MWD Lucca

Four-Legged Military Hero – MWD Lucca

During the long war in Iraq and Afghanistan, coalition forces relied on thousands of military working dogs to help keep them safe by detecting explosives, finding illegal drugs, searching for missing comrades, or targeting enemy combatants. Dozen died in the line of duty. Others struggle with wounds and post-traumatic stress. Many have earned recognition for heroism. Among the heroes is Lucca, a highly skilled German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois mix trained to sniff out explosives and protect the...

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Korea – the Forgotten War

Korea – the Forgotten War

Calling the war in Korea, the "forgotten war" has been part of the American lexicon since 1951. However, why it was called that in the first place is not completely understood. To understand how the words and, more importantly, how its meaning became part of our national mentality, one must first appreciate the history of what was occurring on the Korean peninsula before, during, and following the war. Korea was ruled by Japan from 1910 until the closing days of World War II in 1945 when the...

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Bayonet Charge

Bayonet Charge

Following World War I, Americans reached the conclusion that our country's participation in that war had been a disastrous mistake, one which should never be repeated again. This resulted in a major segment of the population becoming "isolationist" hoping to avoid dragging the country into another disastrous foreign war. Lewis Lee Millett Enlisted Into the National Guard While Still in High School Even when Nazi German invaded Poland in 1939 and began conquering and controlling much of...

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Civil War’s Only Woman Doctor

Civil War’s Only Woman Doctor

Mary Edwards Walker, was an American feminist, abolitionist, prohibitionist, alleged spy, prisoner of war and surgeon. She is also the only woman ever to receive the Medal of Honor. Mary Walker became the Army's First Female Surgeon Prior to the American Civil War, she earned her medical degree, married, and started a medical practice. The practice didn't do well, and at the outbreak of the War Between the States, she volunteered with the Union Army as a surgeon. Despite her training, however,...

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Turning Point in Vietnam War

Turning Point in Vietnam War

Most military historians and analysts agree the 1968 Tet Offensive was the turning point in the war in Vietnam. They reason that many Americans, seeing the bitter fighting raging up and down South Vietnam on the evening news, fostered a psychological impact that further generated an increased anti-war sentiment. Although the Tet Offensive began on January 31, 1968, when the North Vietnamese and Vietcong forces launched massive, well-coordinated surprise attacks on major cities, towns, and...

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Maj Richard Ira “Dick” Bong, USAAF (1941–1945)

Maj Richard Ira “Dick” Bong, USAAF (1941–1945)

Richard Ira "Dick" Bong, was born September 24, 1920, in St. Mary's hospital in Superior, Wisconsin. He was the first of nine children born to Carl T. Bong and Dora Bryce Bong, living on a farm near the small town of Poplar, Wisconsin, about 20 miles southeast of Superior. Dick's father came to the United States from Sweden at the age of seven, and his mother was of Scots-English descent. Dick grew up on the family farm and attended the Poplar Grade School. He then attended the Poplar High...

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Legion of the United States

Legion of the United States

When the 13 American Colonies initially began resisting Britain, they had no organized military. Individual states fielded militias and troops, but a unified military was lacking. In part, this was a result of wary attitudes among many members of the public who did not support the idea of an organized military force acting on behalf of all of the colonies. The Continental Congress also shared this view.   After a few defeats, however, the Continental Congress reluctantly established the...

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America’s Secret War

America’s Secret War

The guerrilla war was not going well for the Viet Cong in the late fifties. Badly needed supplies moving down jungle trails from North Vietnam were constantly being spotted by South Vietnamese warplanes and often destroyed. To give themselves a fighting chance, existing tribal trails through Laos and Cambodia were opened up in 1959. The North Vietnamese went to great lengths to keep this new set of interconnecting trails secret.  The first North Vietnamese sent down the existing tribal trails...

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