World War II

American GIs Battle a German Sniper in Snowy WWII Thriller ‘Recon’

American GIs Battle a German Sniper in Snowy WWII Thriller ‘Recon’

"Recon," a good old-fashioned World War II movie, turns out to be one of the few films that are trying to make a big impact in theaters this fall.  The movie follows four American soldiers over the course of a day after they are sent on a possible suicide mission over a mountain. An old Italian partisan leads them, and no one can be sure of his loyalties. The men witnessed their Sergeant kill an Italian civilian just before this assignment, so no one really knows whether they are supposed...

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The Bombing of Balikpapan: August 13-18, 1943

The Bombing of Balikpapan: August 13-18, 1943

In the early morning hours of August 13, 1943, twelve US B-24 Liberators from the 380th Bombardment Group (also known as the Flying Circus), began a low approach over the harbor of Balikpapan, Borneo. They were about to break records for the longest bombing run in history. Their 17-hour non-stop flight would take the Japanese completely by surprise and result in destruction in Balikpapan. Intelligence had suggested that Balikpapan refineries were producing half of Japan’s WWII aviation fuel....

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PFC Harold Agerholm, U.S. Marine Corps (1942-1944) – Medal of Honor Recipient

PFC Harold Agerholm, U.S. Marine Corps (1942-1944) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Harold C. Agerholm had a quiet start to his life. After qualifying from school in Racine, Wisconsin, he worked as a multigraph operator for the Ranch Manufacturing Company. Then in July 1942, he joined the Marine Corps Reserve. Upon completing his recruit training in San Diego, California, Agerholm was sent to the Headquarters and Service Battery, 4th Battalion, 10th Marines, and 2nd Marine Division. He received further training for eleven months with his battalion in Wellington, New Zealand....

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Destroyed Military Records. A Disaster with Long-Lasting Repercussions

Destroyed Military Records. A Disaster with Long-Lasting Repercussions

In 1973 a devastating fire in the National Personnel Records Center destroyed about 17 million military personnel files. A loss with long-lasting repercussions, it affects our understanding and knowledge of many individual WWII stories. Here in New Orleans, the destructive power of fire and especially water is well known. Large disasters such as floods, earthquakes, and fires affect our national consciousness, and their devastating power often goes beyond the destruction of buildings and...

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Military Myths & Legends: Native American Contributions in the U.S. Military

Military Myths & Legends: Native American Contributions in the U.S. Military

Throughout American History, Native Americans have distinguished themselves with bravery and courage in military service to their country, often without enjoying the same rights and privileges afforded other soldiers.  During WWI, more than 10,000 Native Americans served in the American Expeditionary Force. The majority were volunteers, and most were not considered U.S. citizens. Only U.S. citizens were eligible for the draft. Despite this, the government required Native American men to...

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Ernie Pyle – Famous WWII War Correspondent

Ernie Pyle – Famous WWII War Correspondent

American journalist Ernest Taylor "Ernie" Pyle was one of the most famous war correspondents of WWII. Using his folksy writing style, Pyle connected with his readers and brought the realities of the battlefront to living rooms across America. At his peak, his columns appeared in 400 daily and 300 weekly newspapers. His devoted readers included political and military leaders and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. His coverage of campaigns in North Africa, Italy, and France earned him a Pulitzer...

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MajGen. Keith L. Ware U.S. Army (1941–1968) – Medal of Honor Recipient

MajGen. Keith L. Ware U.S. Army (1941–1968) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Maj. Gen. Keith L. Ware was born in Denver on November 23, 1915. His military career began on July 9, 1941, when he undertook his basic training at Camp Roberts, California, following his induction into the Army under the Selective Service Act. He attended Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry on July 18, 1942. Assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division, he sailed on October 22, 1942, from Hampton Roads, Virginia, and was part of the...

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American Doolittle Raid and the Brutal Japanese Reprisals (1942)

American Doolittle Raid and the Brutal Japanese Reprisals (1942)

Everyone knows about Pearl Harbor and Japan dragging the USA into World War II. Still, fewer are aware of the American Doolittle raid and the brutal Japanese reprisals to this daring counterpunch. Approximately five months after the Japanese attempt to cripple the American Pacific fleet, an unprecedented strike on the heart of the Japanese Empire was launched by the intrepid pilot Lt. Col. James Doolittle of the United States Army Air Force. While the United States boosted the American...

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2LT Jack “Jackie” Robinson, U.S. Army (1942-1944)

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, Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to play in modern major league baseball. In 1942, 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 admission to an Officer Candidate School (OCS) located at Fort Riley. Although the Army's initial July 1941...

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