The Christy Collection

Incredible Military Stories 

Col Pierre Julien Ortiz, USMC (1942-54)

Col Pierre Julien Ortiz, USMC (1942-54)

The first thoughts that come to mind when one thinks about World War II Marines is them landing on bloody beaches and fighting in steamy jungles of the Pacific. But this was not the role of Marine Pierre Julien Ortiz, who served in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. His exploits and dare-devil attitude were things of fiction yet they were all real. He was an American and a Frenchman with a Spanish name and he lived in remarkable times and did remarkable things. His life was a series of...

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Japanese Soldier Surrenders 30 Years After End of WWII

Japanese Soldier Surrenders 30 Years After End of WWII

By the summer of 1945, the Japanese navy and air force were destroyed. Its army had been decimated. The Allied naval blockade of Japan and intensive bombing of Japanese cities had left the country and its economy devastated, it's people suffering. After the Hiroshima atomic bomb attack, factions of Japan's supreme war council favored unconditional surrender but the majority resisted. When the second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, the Japanese Emperor Hirohito told the supreme war council...

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Bravest Submariner Who Earned 5 Navy Crosses

Bravest Submariner Who Earned 5 Navy Crosses

Ask any Marine who was Lieutenant General Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller and each would quickly respond by saying. "Why, he was the greatest, bravest and most highly decorated Marine in Marine Corp history." Another would inevitable say, "He was not only a tough, no nonsense Marine he is also the only one awarded five Navy Crosses." Both would be right. During his career, Puller fought guerrillas in Haiti and Nicaragua, and participated in some of the bloodiest battles of World War II and...

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D-Day – The Longest Day

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...

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The First Battle of the Somme (1916)

The First Battle of the Somme (1916)

The First Battle of the Somme is famous chiefly on account of the loss of 58,000 British troops (one third of them killed) on the first day of the battle, July 1, 1916, which to this day remains a one-day record Bombardment of the German lines before the First Battle of the Somme The attack was preceded by an eight-day preliminary bombardment of the German lines, with expectations that the ferocity of the bombardment would entirely destroy all forward German defenses, enabling the attacking...

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MCPO Carl Maxie Brashear, U.S. Navy (1948-1979)

MCPO Carl Maxie Brashear, U.S. Navy (1948-1979)

Biography Carl Maxie Brashear came from humble beginnings, which gave no hint of the significant course his life would later take. Carl was the sixth of eight children born to sharecroppers McDonald and Gonzella Brashear in rural Tonieville, Kentucky, on January 19, 1931. Even though their home did not have electricity or running water, Brashear remembered a very happy childhood. The children found entertainment in telling jokes and playing with their father. Carl's great uncle was a preacher,...

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Irena Sendler

Irena Sendler

Often, non-combatant civilians risk their lives by performing quiet yet extraordinary acts of selflessness and gallantry that require just as much bravery as a soldier charging head-on into enemy fire. Irena Sendler was one such civilian. She was a gentle but determined Polish social worker who managed to smuggle 2,500 children out of the Warsaw Ghetto during the Second World War. As amazing as this feat was, she was only internationally honored for her immense bravery toward the end of her...

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Black Ops Vietnam By Robert M. Gillespie

Black Ops Vietnam By Robert M. Gillespie

Have you read "Black Ops Vietnam" By Robert M. Gillespie? During the Vietnam War, the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observations Group (MACVSOG) was a highly-classified. It was a US joint-service organization that consisted of personnel from Army Special Forces, the Air Force Special Operations Forces, Navy SEALs, Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance units, and the CIA.  This secret organization was committed to action in Southeast Asia even before the major build-up of US...

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In Which Box? by Bob Sheldon

In Which Box? by Bob Sheldon

In Which Box? by Bob Sheldon Michael Renaldi, a former regional security officer for the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service, is the protagonist of this globe-trotting debut novel by retired U.S. Navy officer Bob Sheldon. Renaldi is pulled out of retirement by his former colleagues in the DSS, who are desperate for his special skills in the interrogation field. Saudi Arabia requires help with a captured Islamist terrorist, and the need for alternative interrogation techniques will spur Renaldi on...

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The Battle of Monte Cassino

The Battle of Monte Cassino

Allied forces landed in the Italian peninsula in September 1943. The Apennine Mountains divided the peninsula, and Allied troops split and advanced on both sides. They took control of Naples and continued the push towards Rome. Monte Cassino was the gateway to Rome. It towered above the city and provided unobstructed views. German troops occupied lookouts on the hillside but agreed to stay out of the abbey because of its historical importance. The precious manuscripts and antiquities housed in...

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Colonel Ola Lee Mize, U.S. Army (1950-1981)

Colonel Ola Lee Mize, U.S. Army (1950-1981)

Biography by Ola Lee Mize Ola Lee Mize was born August 28, 1931, in Albertville, Alabama as the son of a sharecropper. He was forced to leave school after just the ninth grade to help his family put food on the table, as was very common throughout the United States in that era. Mize tried several times to enlist in the Army but was rejected for being too light at just 120 pounds. He finally got in when his mother signed an affidavit to affirm his age since a tornado had destroyed all his...

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Run Through the Jungle By Larry Musson

Run Through the Jungle By Larry Musson

Run Through the Jungle is a first-hand account of the combat in South Vietnam, as experienced by Larry Musson and other members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade. A riveting tale, this book is narrated by an equally compelling man. A man who found joy in writing at a young age and used said joy to give us a detailed page-turner in Run Through the Jungle. Larry Musson, no doubt a hero in the minds of many, was born in Shelbyville, Illinois. He grew up in Elwood and was a member of the class of '67...

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

Most 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.”