Great Military Stories

Bennie Adkins, Vietnam Warrior & Hero, Dead at 86

Bennie Adkins, Vietnam Warrior & Hero, Dead at 86

By George Winston Presented with the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama in 2014, Bennie Adkins distinguished himself as a war hero during three tours of duty between 1963 and 1971, later creating a charitable foundation to help returning veterans to attend further education and settle into civilian life. President Obama said at the time, 'to be honest, in a battle and daring escape that lasted four days, Bennie performed so many acts of bravery we actually don't have time to talk about...

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The Day the South Nearly Won the Civil War

The Day the South Nearly Won the Civil War

It has become an accepted historical fact that the South could not have won the American Civil War. The North's advantages in finance, population, railroads, manufacturing, technology, and naval assets, among others, are often cited as prohibitively decisive. Yes, the South had the advantage of fighting on the defensive, this with interior lines, but those two meager pluses appear dwarfed by the North's overwhelming strategic advantages, hence defeat virtually a foregone conclusion. But if...

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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. 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....

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Chamberlain’s Lost Medal of Honor Found in a Book

Chamberlain’s Lost Medal of Honor Found in a Book

By Richard Sisk The long-lost Medal of Honor belonging to the "Lion of Little Round Top" has been found. The Medal awarded to then-Colonel (and later Maj. Gen.) Joshua L. Chamberlain, for his "distinguished gallantry" in leading the 20th Maine volunteers on the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, came by mail to the Pejepscot Historical Society in Maine in July from a donor who wished to remain anonymous. Historians from the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, and the U.S....

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The Only Woman Ever to Join the French Foreign Legion

The Only Woman Ever to Join the French Foreign Legion

By Shahan Russell The Legion Etrangere is better known as the French Foreign Legion - a military organization open to men who are foreign nationals. In 1945, however, the Legion made one exception (and so far, the only one) for a very deserving person. Susan Mary Gillian Travers was born in London on September 23, 1909, to a wealthy family. Her father was Francis Eaton Travers, a Royal Navy Admiral, who married the heiress Eleanor Catherine Turnbull for her money. Theirs was not a happy home,...

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Sgt. Alvin York (1941–1947)

Sgt. Alvin York (1941–1947)

Sergeant Alvin York was seemingly born to a hardscrabble existence and anonymity in death, but World War One changed that forever. The story of York is one that twists and turns like the Mississippi river as he went through redemption and battled personal demons. At the end of it, all was the story that could have secured fame, finance, and his future - but York turned his back on it all to go back to the simple life and try and make a positive impact on the community in which he lived. York's...

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Major General Smedley Butler, U.S. Marine Corps (1898–1931)

Major General Smedley Butler, U.S. Marine Corps (1898–1931)

Smedley Butler may be the best-known double Medal of Honor recipient and one of the most popular military Generals in U.S. history. Butler served 33 years in the Marine Corps and had a role in the Spanish-American War in Cuba, the Philippine-American War in Manila, the Boxer Rebellion in China, the Banana Wars in the Caribbean, the Mexican Revolution, and World War I. Butler's first Medal of Honor was earned during the Mexican Revolution when the then-major fought block to block in the streets...

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Japanese Tried A Second Raid on Pearl Harbor

Japanese Tried A Second Raid on Pearl Harbor

Everyone knows about the first bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Less well known, however, was the second attack. And there was almost a third. The first one was just a warm-up. The Imperial Japanese Navy planned several more attacks on the U.S. mainland - starting with California and Texas. It was called Ke-Sakusen (Operation Strategy), better known as "Operation K." Its aim was four-fold: (1) to assess the damage at Pearl Harbor; (2) to stop the ongoing rescue and...

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The Battle of Saipan

The Battle of Saipan

War inevitably equals mass casualties, whether numbering in the dozens or the hundreds, or the hundreds of thousands - this truth that has accompanied war for thousands of years. A generally accepted fact is that these casualties, whether civilian or military, are usually the direct result of enemy soldiers attacking, disease, and famine in the wake of an invasion. Sometimes, however, other means account for mass deaths in war. Such was the case of Saipan's Battle in the Second World War when...

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U-2 Pilot Col. Merryl Tenesdal (1994-2017)

U-2 Pilot Col. Merryl Tenesdal (1994-2017)

Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Merryl Tengesdal is the first African American female U-2 pilot in history and is the first African American woman to fly the Air Force's U-2 Dragon Lady Spy Plane. She is the only black woman alongside five white women and two black men to fly spy planes. Tengesdal was born Merryl David in 1971 in the Bronx, New York. She excelled in math and science classes in grade school and high school and graduated from the University of New Haven in Connecticut in 1994...

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