Great Military Stories

Famous Army Air Force Units – 336th Fighter Squadron

Famous Army Air Force Units – 336th Fighter Squadron

The annals of Air Force history are rich with the performance and accomplishments of individual units, but often reflect specific battles, a conflict, or other such moments in time. Due to ever-changing budgets, technology, restructuring, and more, tenure alone is a barrier to the creation of longstanding unit heritage and tradition. Nonetheless, select organizations can trace a significant lineage with associated individual and group exploits. Perhaps not well known to other than their sister...

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Was Mr. Rogers a Vietnam-Era Sniper?

Was Mr. Rogers a Vietnam-Era Sniper?

At some point in their military career, U.S. troops will likely hear the rumor that television's Mr. Rogers, host of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," was a death-dealing, hardcore Vietnam-era sniper in either the Army Special Forces, Navy SEALs, or the Marine Corps.  Fred Rogers and his past are just one more file to add to the mounting list of military myths and urban legends. It might be fun to think of a man as smart and wholesome as Fred Rogers picking off a North Vietnamese general or Viet...

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Operation Ivory Coast – The Son Tay Raid

Operation Ivory Coast – The Son Tay Raid

It has been called the most daring raid of the Vietnam War; Operation Ivory Coast was an effort to rescue prisoners of war who had been held by North Vietnam for years. It did not rescue any of the prisoners, but it did change the way U.S. Special Operations planned and executed its missions.  By 1970, the United States not only knew that hundreds of American POWs were being held by the communist North Vietnamese, but they also knew those prisoners were being subjected to torture and...

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Lt. Russell J. Brown, U.S. Air Force (1948-1955)

Lt. Russell J. Brown, U.S. Air Force (1948-1955)

Jet fighters first made an appearance in the German Luftwaffe during World War II, but the technology had come a long way by the time the Korean War started in 1950. At first, the North Korean air forces were flying Soviet-built propeller-driven fighters, and the United States forces were flying American-made P-51 Mustangs and Vought F4U Corsairs. As the war dragged on, both sides got substantial upgrades.  When the Korean People's Air Force started flying the MiG-15, it was clear that...

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The First Purple Hearts

The First Purple Hearts

It might come as a surprise to many, but the United States did not offer its troops medals or ribbons as uniform decorations until the Medal of Honor was introduced by President Lincoln during the Civil War. It was only offered to enlisted troops in July 1862, but by December, it was made available to officers who displayed exceptional gallantry.  Until that point in U.S. military history, military medals were more of a European tradition. Medals and ribbons were seen as a custom...

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Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone, U.S. Marine Corps (1934-45)

Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone, U.S. Marine Corps (1934-45)

Today's United States Marines have many idols. Unsurprisingly, these are often other Marines, Marines who served in wars past but distinguished themselves and exemplified what it means to call oneself a United States Marine. Few of these idols loom as large as Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone.  Basilone was born to an Italian family in Upstate New York and raised in New Jersey. He was working as a golf caddy when he decided to join the Army in 1934. It was, of course, years before the United...

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Famous Air Force Units – 6th Special Operations Squadron (Commando)

Famous Air Force Units – 6th Special Operations Squadron (Commando)

To those not deeply immersed in US Air Force operations, the 6th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) may appear a bit of an enigma as Commando is most often associated with ground units. The squadron's title actually derives from roots reaching back to WWII together with hard-fought experience, all leading to a mission that's responsive to contemporary, global needs. Constituted initially as a fighter squadron, the 6th SOS acquired broad skills extending through Vietnam and beyond, keying...

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The Revolutionary War – The Penobscot Expedition

The Revolutionary War – The Penobscot Expedition

The U.S. Navy has had its wins and losses since its birthday on Oct. 13, 1775. Its victories are too numerous to count. While its losses are few and far between, two devastating losses stand out among all the others.  Its most memorable significant loss is, of course, a day that continues to live in infamy. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor devastated the Navy's Pacific Fleet but did not cripple it. The Navy's first-ever significant is on par with Pearl Harbor but is often forgotten:...

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Mustache March

Mustache March

Every November for the past few years, more and more American men are adopting the custom of growing out their mustaches to raise awareness about men's health issues. "Movember," as it's come to be called, raises awareness on such topics as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men's suicide.  "Mustache March" is a Military Tradition to Honor Robin Olds The men of the United States Air Force adopted a similar custom, except theirs comes in March and for a very different reason....

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Cpl Daniel Dwain Schoonover, U.S. Army (1952-1953)

Cpl Daniel Dwain Schoonover, U.S. Army (1952-1953)

Pork Chop Hill is one of the most infamous battle sites of the Korean War. A communist force met an equal number of United Nations troops twice in the spring and summer of 1953. They fought over a North Korean hill that, in retrospect, had little strategic value. The Importance of Pork Chop Hill Whether the hill was essential to the overall war effort or not, the American and United Nations troops who fought for the position did so with courage and valor, the way they would attack any...

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The Last Stand Of The Glorious Glosters

The Last Stand Of The Glorious Glosters

By April 1951, the Korean War had raged for nearly a year. The initial assault by North Korea into separate South Korea had been driven back to the 38th parallel - the border between the two nations. The North, aided by Chinese soldiers and Soviet resources, was still intent on conquering the South. United Nations troops, predominantly American but including forces from elsewhere in the world, were protecting the South. The Communist Army had been weakened by supply problems over the winter,...

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