The Christy Collection

Incredible Military Stories 

MajGen Joshua Chamberlain, U.S. Army (1861 – 1866) – His Lost Medal of Honor

MajGen Joshua Chamberlain, U.S. Army (1861 – 1866) – His Lost Medal of Honor

The long-lost Medal of Honor belonging to the "Lion of Little Round Top" has been found. It awarded to then-Colonel (and later Maj. Gen.) Joshua Chamberlain, for his "distinguished gallantry" in leading the 20th Maine volunteers on the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, came by mail to the Pejepscot Historical Society in Maine in July from a donor who wished to remain anonymous. The Location of Joshua Chamberlain's Original Medal of Honor Historians from the Smithsonian Institution, the...

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SSgt Bernice Frankel (Bea Arthur), US Marine Corps (1943-1945)

SSgt Bernice Frankel (Bea Arthur), US Marine Corps (1943-1945)

Bernice Frankel, better known as Bea Arthur, of the US 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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Unforgotten in the Gulf of Tonkin by Eileen A. Bjorkman

Unforgotten in the Gulf of Tonkin by Eileen A. Bjorkman

When Air Force Maj. Alan Saunders arrived in Vietnam in June 1963; true combat search and rescue (CSAR) as we know it today was just beginning to form. Saunders was bringing his experience fighting World War II in the jungles of Burma to Det. 3, Pacific Air Rescue Center in Tan Son Nhut. Maj. Alan Saunders and his experience fighting World War II Saunders knew that the jungle didn't burn and create smoke around the wreckage of a downed aircraft. Nor did it easily cough up a surviving pilot,...

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Ted Williams’ Cryogenically Frozen Head

Ted Williams’ Cryogenically Frozen Head

Despite urban legends that say otherwise, Walt Disney was not the most famous person who had their remains cryogenically frozen in the hopes of a future revival. Disney wasn't frozen at all - but baseball legend and Korean War veteran Ted Williams was.  The legend of Ted Williams' frozen body has been the subject of rumor and speculation that it was just as much a myth and urban legend as that of Walt Disney's. Mostly because his will stated that he wanted to be cremated. In the end, a...

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The Battle of Manila Bay

The Battle of Manila Bay

The first major battle "The Battle of Manila Bay" of the Spanish-American War was also one of the U.S. Navy's most resounding victories. Much has been written about how and why the Spanish-American War started, what the catalyst for the war was, and who's to blame for it all. Once Spain declared war on the United States and the U.S. Congress responded in kind, the U.S. Navy was ready for action. When the war broke out, the Spanish had a formidable squadron of ships stationed in the...

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Capt Francis Gary Powers, U.S. Air Force (1950 – 1963)

Capt Francis Gary Powers, U.S. Air Force (1950 – 1963)

Soviet Air Force pilot Capt. Igor Mentyukov was sitting at a bus station in Perm when he was recalled to base and ordered to get into his Sukhoi Su-9 wearing whatever he had on. He was not wearing a flight suit or any other gear, and his fighter was currently unarmed. His orders from Moscow were to take off immediately and pursue an enemy aircraft flown by American CIA pilot Francis Gary Powers at high altitude - and ram it.  He headed toward his plane and took off, headed for certain...

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SCPO Mike Day, U.S. Navy Seal

SCPO Mike Day, U.S. Navy Seal

Senior Chief Petty Officer Douglas "Mike" Day was the first to breach a small room while on a house raid in Iraq's Anbar Province in April 2007. The moment he walked in, he felt like a sledgehammer hit him. It was the first of many bullets he would take in the next few minutes. The entire gunfight was about to take place inside of a 12-foot room. Day and his fellow U.S. Navy SEALs were tasked with taking down a terror cell run by al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), the group that years later would morph...

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Famous Army Units – 100th Infantry Battalion

Famous Army Units – 100th Infantry Battalion

With much of the world already at war, December 7, 1941 proved not only a day that would live in infamy but for most Americans, an event that would redefine their world. This impact was no more significant or immediate than for US citizens of Japanese ancestry and in particular second-generation Americans, or Nisei.  Since 1937 the Japanese invasion of China and atrocities inflicted on civilian populations sickened most of the world, punctuated by the undeclared attack on Pearl...

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Famous Army Units – 1099th Transportation Company

Famous Army Units – 1099th Transportation Company

The Vietnam War from its outset presented novel threats to US forces from unfamiliar terrain, embedded supply practices, enemy infiltration tactics and more.  Striving for strategies to achieve battlefield supremacy the Army relied on tried-and-true practices, applying equipment and personnel in innovative ways to gain an advantage.  Without question, the single largest departure from earlier conflicts was the extensive rivers and waterways, creating unique logistic and combat...

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Budapest to Vietnam by Nicholas J Hun

Budapest to Vietnam by Nicholas J Hun

Today, an estimated 200,000 U.S. military members are not actually citizens of the United States. They join for many reasons; a pathway to citizenship, learning new skills, or just being part of the camaraderie of their respective services. It's nothing new; foreigners have been joining the armed forces since the birth of the nation.  Times were no different during the Vietnam War. Many noncitizens joined to fight, and fight they did. One of those came from an unlikely place: Hungary....

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WW2 – The Liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp

WW2 – The Liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp

On January 27 1945 the Soviet Army pried open the gates of Auschwitz concentration camp in German-occupied Poland and liberated some 7,000 emaciated prisoners. About 58,000 others had been hurriedly marched westward before the Soviet Army approached. Auschwitz, the German word for the Polish town of Oswiecim, was the site of the largest Nazi concentration camp during WWII. It consisted of a concentration camp, a labor camp, and large gas chambers and crematoria. More than 1.3 million people...

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Famous Marine Corps Units – 1st Samoan Battalion

Famous Marine Corps Units – 1st Samoan Battalion

World War II as a global event unfolded over more than a decade, impacting countries in different ways and at very different times.  Undoubtedly Americans identify the war’s start consistently with the Pearl Harbor attack and declaration of war by Japan on December 7, 1941, but the beginnings of the conflict date much earlier to 1931 with Japan’s invasion of Manchuria.  In recognition of their brutal ambitions and the escalating political activities in Europe the US became deeply...

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Soldier and Writer
Lt Col Michael Christy (USA) Ret.

Many articles contained in this Blog were written by Together We Served’s former Chief Editor, Lt Col Michael Christy, and published in TWS’s Dispatches Newsletter.

Lt Col Christy’s military career spanned 26 years, beginning in 1956 when he joined the U.S. Marine Corps. Following two years active duty, he spent another two years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. In 1962, he joined the Army National Guard and in 1966 was called up for active duty with the U.S. Army. After an 18 year distinguished Army career, Lt Col Christy retired from military service in 1984.
Lt Col Christy saw action in Vietnam with Special Forces Units, including the renowned Delta Force, and was awarded two Silver Stars, six Bronze Stars (three with Valor), and two Purple Hearts.
As a military consultant and accomplished writer, Lt Col Christy has contributed to several TV military documentaries, including those found on the History Channel, plus significant military history publications, including Vietnam Magazine.”