Military Campaign Stories

Make Peace or Die by Charles Daly

Make Peace or Die by Charles Daly

As many readers of the Dispatches Newsletter might be aware, "Make Peace or Die" is the motto of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. For Charles Daly, it became a regular choice he would have to make, time and again, over the course of his entire life.  "Make Peace or Die: A Life of Service, Leadership, and Nightmares" is everything the name promises it to be. At times terrifying, the book is always engrossing and descriptive. It’s one of the finest personal recollections of the Korean War...

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“Let’s Roll” Todd Beamer – Hero of UA Flight 93

“Let’s Roll” Todd Beamer – Hero of UA Flight 93

The years since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, have seen a lot of changes in the cultural fabric of the United States and in the armed forces. With the 20-year anniversary of that tragic day, it’s important for us to look back and remember some of the heroes that emerged from the ashes of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and United Flight 93. One of those heroes was a civilian named Todd Beamer. Beamer died when United 93 crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. But his...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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WW2 – The Heroes Of Eager Beavers

WW2 – The Heroes Of Eager Beavers

In 1943, several U.S. airmen went on a suicide mission. Two men, who were part of Eager Beavers, on the mission were awarded a Medal of Honor - the only time in WWII that two men received the same award for the same engagement. Interestingly, their careers didn't start out well. Biography of Lt Col Jay Zeamer Jr. Jay Zeamer, Jr. got his wings in 1941 at Langley Field. All his classmates became pilots and got their own planes and crews, but not Zeamer. Although he could fly and had a passion...

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PFC Shizuya Hayashi, U.S. Army (1942 – 1945)

PFC Shizuya Hayashi, U.S. Army (1942 – 1945)

During the Italian Campaign of World War II, German troops were faced with a sight they had never expected: Japanese-American soldiers. These troops were members of the 100th Infantry Battalion, which was comprised entirely of Nisei (children of Japanese Immigrants) troops. What makes this story all the more amazing is knowing how these troops, and their families, had been treated by a scared and hateful populace at home. Their families, friends, and neighbors were being imprisoned by the...

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Firehammer by Ric Hunter

Firehammer by Ric Hunter

If you'd like to know what it's like to pilot a high-performance jet in training and combat - without risk and actually having to get into one - you cannot do better than to read Ric Hunter's just published 'Firehammer.' A resident of Burnsville, retired Col. Hunter had 27 years and 4,000 hours of high-performance jet time, and was commander of an F-15 C Eagle squadron. His book describes the last days of the Vietnam War, including the SS Mayaquez rescue and the final evacuation of military...

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Women Of The Vietnam War

Women Of The Vietnam War

It has been estimated that as many as 11,000 women served in Vietnam or in other locations, but over 90% served as nurses. Women Of The Vietnam War served as nurses in evacuation hospitals, MASH units and aboard hospital ships. Others worked in support roles in military information offices, headquarters, service clubs, and various other clerical, medical, and personnel positions. Servicewomen in Vietnam experienced many of the same hardships as their male counterparts and served...

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WW2 – The Battle Of Dutch Harbor

WW2 – The Battle Of Dutch Harbor

The Aleutian Islands are known for their rugged, treeless tundra and almost perpetually foul weather, but during the early days of World War II, they were considered a valuable piece of real estate. Fresh off their success at Pearl Harbor, the Japanese were looking to consolidate their gains in the Pacific while also stymying any potential U.S. attacks against their home islands. The Aleutians - situated at the center of the shortest route between the United States and Japan - were viewed as a...

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