World War II

WW2 – The Wereth 11 – Murder in the Ardennes

WW2 – The Wereth 11 – Murder in the Ardennes

In the early hours of December 16, 1944, Adolf Hitler's army launched a massive surprise attack on Allied lines across the frozen, forested landscape of Belgium. Caught off-guard, the Americans fell back into defensive positions. For a few desperate days before Christmas, the outcome of the war in Europe hung in the balance.   Desperate battles to stem the German advance were fought at St.-Vith, Elsenborn Ridge, Houffalize, and Bastogne. As the Germans drove deeper into the Ardennes in an...

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George H.W. Bush And the Chichi Jima Incident

George H.W. Bush And the Chichi Jima Incident

By the summer of 1944, continuous successes against the Japanese placed Allied forces on the doorsteps of its mainland. Convinced an invasion of Japan was necessary for a final victory, military commanders began planning for an amphibious landing on the strategically located Iwo Jima, roughly 575 miles from the Japanese coast. Once in the hands of the Allies, Iwo Jima would be a perfect place where B-29 bombers, damaged over Japan, could land without returning all the way to the Mariana...

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What Rotten EGGS by Daniel M. White

What Rotten EGGS by Daniel M. White

During World War II, the Coast Guard built its LORAN, or long-range navigation systems, a network of land-based transmitting stations that would give military ships and aircraft a means of accurately navigating to their destinations.  After the war, the LORAN became the primary means by which the entire world navigated the oceans. LORAN stations were built wherever there was local support for them, but those who worked at these remote locations often found themselves far from home,...

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SSgt Bernice Frankel (Bea Arthur), U.S. Marine Corps (1943-1945)

SSgt Bernice Frankel (Bea Arthur), U.S. Marine Corps (1943-1945)

Bernice Frankel, better known as Bea Arthur, of the U.S. Marine Corps between 1943 and 1945, went on to be one of television’s best-loved sitcom stars. As one of the nation’s beloved Golden Girls, she was outspoken in and out of the character of Dorothy Zbornak, advocating for the rights of women and minorities. Yet she was also an intensely private person who kept many details of her life to herself for decades. Bea Arthur’s Military Career Bea Arthur was born Bernice Frankel in May 1922 to a...

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WW2 – D-Day – The Longest Day

WW2 – D-Day – The Longest Day

It was a cloudy, breezy morning on Tuesday, June 6, 1944 as the largest seaborne invasion in history began when British, Canadian and American troops set off across the unpredictable, dangerous English Channel from Portsmouth, England. Their destination: the beaches at Normandy, France. As the 5000-ship convoy carrying over 150,000 men and nearly 30,000 vehicles made its way across the choppy channel, thousands of paratroopers and glider troops were already on the ground behind enemy lines,...

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Maj Richard Bong, U.S. Army Air Forces (1941–1945)

Maj Richard Bong, U.S. Army Air Forces (1941–1945)

Richard Ira "Dick" Bong, was born September 24, 1920, in St. Mary's hospital in Superior, Wisconsin. He was the first of nine children born to Carl T. Bong and Dora Bryce Bong, living on a farm near the small town of Poplar, Wisconsin, about 20 miles southeast of Superior. Dick's father came to the United States from Sweden at the age of seven, and his mother was of Scots-English descent. Dick grew up on the family farm and attended the Poplar Grade School. Richard Bong then attended the...

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The Hauntings of Okinawa

The Hauntings of Okinawa

There are many historical military places where you can experience ghostly specters, cold spells, and reports of things moving around all by themselves. Ghostly cavalry forces still protect F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming. Houses on Fort Leavenworth feature terrifying child ghosts. Baltimore's Fort McHenry is a veritable who's who of the afterlife, with reports of people seeing Abraham Lincoln, Edgar Allen Poe, and even Chief Black Hawk.  Nowhere in the U.S. military, however, is more...

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SSG Wilson Watson, U.S. Army (1942-1966)

SSG Wilson Watson, U.S. Army (1942-1966)

Within the ranks of the military, there exists a certain rivalry between those who serve on the front lines and those who serve in the rear with the gear. While all jobs contribute to putting Americans in the fight, the Marines have long prized their beloved infantry above all. In modern terms, it is referred to as the "grunt versus POG debate" with POG referring to "persons other than grunts." In Vietnam, one might have heard the term REMF. Whatever one might call those in the rear, it would...

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Famous Military Units – Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11

Famous Military Units – Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11

The Naval Mobile Construction Battalions are perhaps one of the most misunderstood military units across the armed forces. More commonly known as Seabees, these units are a reasonably new phenomenon with only eighty years of shared history. And surprisingly, this force has been redesignated multiple times to embrace the spirit of their mission and contend with political maneuvering among US Naval and Marine infrastructure. Moreover, as a support organization, the Seabees are typically not...

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Dutch Girl by Robert Matzen

Dutch Girl by Robert Matzen

Twenty-five years after her passing, Audrey Hepburn remains the most beloved of all Hollywood stars, known as much for her role as UNICEF ambassador as for films like Roman Holiday and Breakfast at Tiffany's. Several biographies have chronicled her stardom, but none has covered her intense experiences through five years of Nazi occupation in the Netherlands. According to her son, Luca Dotti, "The war made my mother who she was."  Audrey Hepburn's war included participation in the Dutch...

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Lt Gen Lewis “Chesty” Puller, U.S.Marine Corps (1919-1955)

Lt Gen Lewis “Chesty” Puller, U.S.Marine Corps (1919-1955)

"Lewis Burwell ' Chesty' Puller, born in the 19th century, fought in the heaviest fighting of the 20th century and is now a legend in this century. The most decorated Marine to ever wear the uniform, and also the most beloved, Puller left a mark on the Marine Corps that would define its culture for years to come." - Michael Lane Smith Biography of Lewis "Chesty" Puller The son of a grocer, Lewis "Chesty" Puller was born June 26, 1898, at West Point, Virginia, to Matthew and Martha Puller....

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A Veteran-inspired Watchmaker Brought Back the Iconic Watch A-11 that Won World War II

A Veteran-inspired Watchmaker Brought Back the Iconic Watch A-11 that Won World War II

Timing can be critical when conducting a military operation. During World War II, it wasn't just the men in combat who depended on accurate timing. The rest of the millions of Allied service members and potentially the entire free world relied on precision watches. Like many things produced during World War II, the A-11 watch was developed for use by the U.S. military. The A-11 Watch Was Designed to Be the Timepiece that Survived the War Like most critical supplies, the Allies knew that...

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