On May 8, 1945, the Allies accepted the formal surrender of Nazi Germany. The capitulation of the last Axis power in Europe marked the end of World War II there. The war in the Pacific, however, was still raging. American troops, along with the rest of the Allies, began to reorient their forces to concentrate on fighting the Japanese. But they didn't have to work for very long. Just a few months later, the Japanese Empire also surrendered. On August 15, 1945, the Japanese forces officially...
Military Campaign Stories
PVT Jimi Hendrix, U.S. Army (1961-1962)
Jimi Hendrix, an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter, widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music is one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. Did you know Jimi Hendrix briefly served in the U.S. Army? James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was born in 1942 in Seattle while his father Al Hendrix, drafted into the Army during World War II, was imprisoned in an Alabama stockade. Drafted just three days after marrying Jimi’s...
Service Reflections of Capt Bill Darrow, U.S. Marine Corps (1963-1983)
Both my parents were in the Navy during WWII. My Mother was one of the first WAVES, and my Dad was a POW at Bataan and an officer in the Navy. I have three brothers who were all in the Navy during the Korean War. During my grade school years, I attended Peekskill Military Academy in NY and was further schooled at home with Calvert School. I graduated from High School in Belvidere, NJ.
At 17, I briefly attended a Business School in Pennsylvania but soon got bored. Then, I decided to join the Navy and carry on the family tradition. There was a long narrow hallway in the post office where the recruiters were located, with the Navy recruiter on my right and the Marine Corps recruiter on my left. I stood in the hall between the two offices. Turning to my right to go into the Navy recruiting office, I noticed that the Navy Chief was wearing a soiled uniform. Next to him was a coffee pot that looked like it hadn’t been cleaned since the Spanish American War. He was overweight and didn’t seem to be too interested in the young man beginning to enter his office. Just before I walked into that somewhat messy office, I heard someone with a deep, commanding voice speak to someone else he called Corporal. I turned and saw the most chiseled-faced, lean man with a very short neat haircut and wearing a shirt with creases in it that could cut your finger on. I couldn’t help but stare at the very clean office with posters of fighting men, jets, carved Marine Corps logos, and an NCO sword hung neatly on the wall. Another man with fewer stripes on his shirt walked across the office
WW1 – Battle of Saint-Mihiel
The United States entered World War I on April 6, 1917, when it declared war on Germany. The declaration came after a series of provocative acts from the German military and diplomatic corps. U.S. troops arrived in Europe by June 1917 but were largely ill-prepared for the kind of fighting taking place on the western front. Preparation for the Saint-Mihiel Battle For months, American soldiers were used to augment French and British forces in Europe. As training improved and the number of...
Gen Louis H. Wilson, U.S.Marine Corps (1941–1979) – Medal of Honor Recipient
There have been a few Commandants who had been recipients of the Medal of Honor, but Louis H. Wilson was the last. And given that the entire ranks of the modern Marine Corps are currently devoid of any officers with the nation's highest military honor it could be quite some time before the world would ever see it again. His tenure as the nation's top Marine from 1975 to 1979 would be one of remarkable transitions. The World War II generation had all but faded out, and the Commandant who...
The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor by Jake Tapper
The Outpost is the heartbreaking and inspiring story of one of America's deadliest battles during the war in Afghanistan, acclaimed by critics everywhere as a classic. At 5:58 AM on October 3rd, 2009, Combat Outpost Keating, located in frighteningly vulnerable terrain in Afghanistan just 14 miles from the Pakistani border, was viciously attacked. Though the 53 Americans there prevailed against 40 Taliban fighters, their casualties made it the deadliest fight of the war for the fight for the...
Service Reflections of ETCM Gene Treants, U.S. Navy (1966-1996)
It was the summer of 1966, and I was between my Sophomore and Junior years at College. I knew I might be in trouble with my deferment since I majored in beer and girls with a minor in partying. One of my best friends had decided to go into the Navy but had not yet joined. He worked on a survey crew, and I worked construction with my dad’s company. I was doing everything from electrical work, plumbing, carpentry, swimming pools, and you name it, but the work was never-ending. The days began at about 0700 on the job site and ended at too damn late.
One particularly hot and miserable day, after I had worked in an attic, removing insulation from a fire area, I had just about had it. My dad had left about noon for some meeting and left me in charge, and we had lots of work to finish. We finally completed the job at 6:30 pm, cleaned up, and left. When I got home, my dad was pissed it had taken so long and told me that I was not doing a good enough job. I told him if he spent time on the job instead of going off and doing other things, maybe we could have finished on time. Of course, he was not happy with my answer and told me that I was not working hard enough. I said that was fine and that I was done. I quit. The next day he asked me why I was not dressed, and I said I had quit since I was not a good enough worker. He left in a huff, and that was all it took.
2LT Jack “Jackie” Robinson, U.S. Army (1942-1944)
Hall of Fame Major League Baseball Player, Social Reformer, famed baseball player and civil rights advocate, Jack "Jackie" Robinson became the first African-American to play in modern major league baseball. Jack "Jackie" Robinson Was Assigned to a Segregated Army Cavalry Unit at Fort Riley In 1942, Jack Robinson was drafted and assigned to a segregated Army cavalry unit in Fort Riley, Kansas. Having the requisite qualifications, Robinson and several other black soldiers applied for...
The Only Thing Worth Dying For by Eric Blehm
'The Only Thing Worth Dying For' is the harrowing true story of eleven Green Berets who fought alongside the future leader of Afghanistan to topple the Taliban in southern Afghanistan and bring hope to a nation during the early days of the Global War on Terror, or Operation Enduring Freedom— when the Soldiers on the ground knew little about the enemy, and their commanders in Washington knew even less. How Eleven Green Berets Fought for a New Afghanistan On a moonless November night, in the...
Service Reflections of CAPT Dee Norton, U.S. Coast Guard (1980-2005)
I graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Law Enforcement. The Coast Guard was making all kinds of drug busts on the oceans and ports, which appealed to me. I wanted to get out and make a difference, and this seemed like a good opportunity.
My first assignment out of Officer Candidate School was to a 378 foot Coast Guard Cutter – Mellon, based out of Seattle, Washington.
SFC Ronald Rosser, U.S. Army (1946-1962) – Medal of Honor Recipient
Medal of Honor Recipient Ronald Rosser passed away on Wednesday Aug 26, 2020 in Bumpus Mills, Tenessee at the age of 90 from issues related to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He was awarded the medal for his bravery during the Korean War. Ronald Rosser was born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1929. His father was a coal miner. When he turned 17, his mother gave birth to twins. He decided there wasn't enough room for him at home, so he followed his brother into the military in 1946. He served for three years and...
Service Reflections of SFC David McConnell, U.S. Army (1980-2000)
I believe I knew I would be a Soldier when I grew up at about age 5. My childhood next-door neighbor shared a story about when I was that age. She said that I was marching up and down the driveway between our two houses with a broom over my shoulder. When she asked me what I was doing, I just snapped around and said, “I’m Guarding,” and went right back to marching up and down the driveway.