Great Military Stories

Famous Coast Guard Unit: National Motor Lifeboat School

Famous Coast Guard Unit: National Motor Lifeboat School

The basic National Motor Lifeboat School (NMLBS) headquartered at Cape Disappointment on the Columbia River in Washington, sometimes in collaboration with the Advanced Helicopter Rescue School, is a grueling four-week program to earn the coveted Surfman badge in the US Coast Guard. Training is provided in four possible ascending stages: 47' MLB Introduction47' MLB Heavy Weather Coxswain47' MLB Surfman47' MLB Operations Supervisor "Metal clinked on metal as three small groups of US Coast Guard students and their instructors clipped canvas waist belts to both sides of their 47-foot rescue boats, vital lifelines for staying onboard when the big waves come.And on these waters, they always come." SURFMAN'S CREED I will to the best of my ability, pursue eachmission with the commitment, compassion,and courage inherent in the title"SURFMAN."I will endeavor to reinforce the worldwidereputation of our forefathers in theLifeboat Community.I will maintain a guardian's eye on my crewat all times,...

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The Ghosts of F.E. Warren AFB

The Ghosts of F.E. Warren AFB

Before F.E. Warren Air Force Base (F.E. Warren AFB) had the power to destroy most of civilization, it was a tiny Army outpost on the American frontier, built to protect Union Pacific Railroad workers. Being the oldest continuously active Air Force installation comes with a lot of history, but like most of the military, its history can get pretty bloody.  The Battles and Bloodshed of the Indian Wars at F.E. Warren AFB After 186 years of accidents, death, and destruction, you're bound to have a couple of ghosts hanging around, even in Wyoming – and F.E. Warren has all the ghosts you might expect.  Today, Warren is part of the Air Force Global Strike Command and has an estimated 150 nuclear missiles ready to go whenever North Korea gets too big for its britches. Needless to say, times were very different when it was first built by the Army in 1867. It was initially named Fort D. A. Russell and was built for the 30th Infantry and Company H of the U.S. 2nd Cavalry. Their mission...

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WW2 – The Battle of Leyte Gulf

WW2 – The Battle of Leyte Gulf

The Battle of Leyte Gulf, fought between October 23 to 26, 1944, was the largest and one of the most decisive naval battles of World War II. With some 200,000 sailors involved, it might be the largest naval engagement in history. This monumental clash occurred in the waters surrounding the Philippine island of Leyte and marked a pivotal moment in the Pacific Theater. With its complex array of naval engagements, the battle ultimately led to a resounding victory for the Allied forces, further weakening the Japanese Empire and hastening the war's end. By the fall of 1944, Japan's imperial ambitions faltered, and the Allies were steadily advancing towards the Japanese home islands. The strategically important Philippines was a primary target for the Allies, as its capture would facilitate the liberation of other Southeast Asian nations and disrupt Japan's supply lines. The Four Key Engagements: Strategy and Courage The Battle of Leyte Gulf unfolded as part of the larger operation that...

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Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe, U.S. Army (1988–2005)

Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe, U.S. Army (1988–2005)

Alwyn Cashe personified everything the U.S. Army could possibly want in a Soldier. He was calm, cool, collected, and dedicated not just to the mission. He was dedicated to his men. That dedication would ultimately result in Sgt. Cashe gave up his life to save six others.  The Heroism of Sgt. Alwyn Cashe: Dedication Beyond Duty Cashe was born into a poor family in Oviedo, Florida, in 1970. He joined the U.S. Army 1989 as a Supply Specialist, but by 1993, he was retrained as an infantryman. He served in the Army as a squad leader, a Drill Sergeant, and, ultimately, a Platoon Sergeant. His career included deployments in the 1991 Gulf War, the former Yugoslavia, and the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. But his second deployment to Iraq in 2005 would forever cement his legacy. On October 17, 2005, Cashe was deployed to Salah Ad Din Province, Iraq, with the U.S. Army's 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division. While on a nighttime mounted patrol near Samarra, his Bradley Fighting Vehicle was hit...

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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 Continental Army as a unified means for the colonies to fight Great Britain. Officially established on June 14, 1775, George Washington was named its commander in chief. But unconditional support was missing.  The Continental Congress came up with an inadequate and, in retrospect, a foolish requirement where each of the then-colonies were to send men and to supply and pay those men. Since few colonies were able to meet these requirements, the Continental Army was often inadequately supplied...

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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 the propeller fighters were outmatched by Soviet-built aircraft and Soviet-trained Chinese and North Korean pilots. MiG-15s were very good at intercepting B-29 Superfortress bombers and engaging their fighter escorts. They wreaked havoc on prop fighters. They were faster and more numerous than anything the United Nations forces could muster.  While the F-86 Sabre was sent to Korea to counter the growing MiG-15 threat, they would not arrive until December 1950. Until then, the U.S. Air Force...

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Civil War – Battle of Drewry’s Bluff (1862)

Civil War – Battle of Drewry’s Bluff (1862)

On May 15, 1862, the Battle of Drewry's Bluff, also known as the Battle of Fort Darling, was fought between Union and Confederate forces at a sharp bend on the James River near Richmond, Virginia. Union forces were stationed aboard warships in the river, and Confederate forces were high on a fortified bluff. Richmond was the Confederate capital and vulnerable to attack by the Union Army on land, and by the Union Navy through the navigable James River. In March 1862, Confederate Captain Augustus H. Drewry ordered the construction of fortifications and the installation of large guns on his property, which was on a 90-foot bluff above the James River, and just seven miles from Richmond. Early in May, Norfolk fell to Union forces and the Confederate ship C.S.S. Virginia took refuge to avoid capture. This left the James River at Hampton Roads exposed and open to Union warships. At Drewry's Bluff, Confederate forces filled the river with underwater obstructions, including debris, sunken...

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Sgt James M. Logan, U.S. Army (1936-1945)

Sgt James M. Logan, U.S. Army (1936-1945)

Texas native James M. Logan was the embodiment of the U.S. military's greatest tactical weapon: its Non-Commissioned Officer Corps. Every branch has some kind of saying about NCOs. They're the backbone of the Air Force, they lead the way in the Army, and in the Marine Corps, they wear special swords.  If you want to see how poorly an armed force without NCOs performs in combat, just look at how the Russians are doing in Ukraine. The Heroic Journey of Sgt. James M. Logan Sgt. James M. Logan was one of the first American troops to hit the beaches of Salerno on Sept. 9, 1943 and almost immediately, he and his fellow soldiers found themselves under a heavy German assault. Logan, unlike many of the men with him on the beaches that day, wasn't a conscript and would show the Nazis and Fascist defenders what it means to be a professional soldier. Logan grew up in Luling, Texas during the Great Depression. Like a lot of Americans at the time, he had to help the family make ends meet. By...

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Civil War – The First Battle Of Bull Run

Civil War – The First Battle Of Bull Run

Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard was sitting down to breakfast in the Virginia house of Wilmer McLean in 1861 when a cannonball burst into the room via the chimney. The destruction of the fireplace ruined the morning meal. Beauregard was using McLean's house as his headquarters for the First Battle of Bull Run. Three months had passed since the Confederate shelled Fort Sumter, South Carolina, and booted the Union garrison out of the state. The Federal army was making a play for the Confederate capital at Richmond, Virginia. It would not go the way the Union leadership hoped, nor would it go the way anyone expected. For the north, everything was wrong from the start. Unpredictable Events During the First Battle of the Civil War In the days that followed the attack on Fort Sumter, President Abraham Lincoln's call to arms saw the Union Army grow to a force of 200,000. Placed in command of the army in the field was a major suddenly promoted three grades to brigadier general, Irvin...

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Is the M2 “Ma Deuce” An Illegal Weapon of War?

Is the M2 “Ma Deuce” An Illegal Weapon of War?

The M2 Browning .50-caliber machine gun has been a favorite heavy infantry weapon since the end of World War I. That the weapon has remained in the U.S. arsenal for so long is a testament to its power and flexibility. And no wonder - it was designed by the legendary John Browning himself.  Although the M2 has come in many variants over the years, it has still proven an effective weapon from the last days of World War l, into World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and into the wars of today. And that's just the American conflicts it has seen. Britain, Australia, Israel, and Nigeria are just a few other countries that know the battlefield prowess of the "Ma Deuce." Rumors About M2 Browning Somewhere along the way, the rumor mill started in on the beloved favorite. The legend says that any weapons using a .50-caliber round cannot be pointed at people, according to the Geneva Convention. Gunners, it says, must aim for equipment instead. To kill an enemy on the...

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Korean War – The Pusan Perimeter

Korean War – The Pusan Perimeter

In the early days of the Korean War, things looked pretty bleak for the American and South Korean forces in the Korean Peninsula. The sudden Communist advance across the 38th parallel took the allies by complete surprise, and despite stiff resistance, North Korean troops almost pushed the U.S. and South Korea into the Sea of Japan. Those defenders fell back into a 140-mile battle line around the port city of Pusan (now Busan) at the southeastern tip of the peninsula. They determined that this Pusan Perimeter would be their last stand until they were either relieved or overrun.  For six weeks, the Americans and South Koreans held out until reinforcements could be brought en masse. After landing a large force in the North Korean rear at Incheon, the besieged troops inside the perimeter broke out of the line and sent the Communists scrambling back to the North Korean border - and beyond.  Logistics in the Battle of Pusan Perimeter On June 25, 1950, North Korea decided to...

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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. Joe Hooper's Early Life 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 from boot camp at San Diego, California he served as an Airman aboard USS Wasp (CV-18) and USS Hancock (CV-19). He was honorably discharged in July 1959, shortly after being advanced to Petty Officer Third Class. The next year, Hooper enlisted in the US Army as a Private First Class. After graduating Basic Training, he volunteered for Airborne School. From there he did tours of duty in Fort Bragg, Korea, and Fort Hood, eventually making his way to Fort Campbell's 101st Airborne Division....

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