Incredible Military Stories
The Last Airborne Deployment of WWII

The Last Airborne Deployment of WWII

In the early morning hours of March 24, 1945, a massive WWII airborne operation known as Operation Varsity launched with an attempt to deploy 17,000 American and British Airborne troops across the Rhine River. It was the largest single-day airborne operation in history. C-47 Transport Planes Release Hundreds of Paratroopers during Operation Varsity. In the final months of WWII, Western Allied Forces advanced east into Germany. This meant crossing numerous rivers, many of which no longer had...

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Seven Myths About the Military

Seven Myths About the Military

War movies are great to watch and keep us on the edge of our seats with each powerful explosion, hidden sniper attack, and scandalous missions, but the U.S. Military has been shrouded in myth for too long. It’s time civilians quit believing the silly hype and learn more about the protectors of this nation. It would not hurt to ask a member of the military about the service instead of relying on multimillion-dollar Hollywood productions and music videos. Myth One: You need to be a perfect...

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WW2 – Behind Enemy Lines – The 82nd and 101st Airborne on D-Day (1944)

WW2 – Behind Enemy Lines – The 82nd and 101st Airborne on D-Day (1944)

The amphibious landings of D-Day were hours away when the first combat missions by the US Army started in France. The invasion of Normandy began with a large-scale parachute drop that included 13,100 Soldiers of the 82nd and the 101st Airborne Divisions. The attack occurred during the night in the early hours of June 6th, 1944, and was the vanguard of the Allied operations in Normandy. The troops were all part of the US VII Corps assigned to capture Cherbourg, the coastal city in Normandy,...

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LCdr John (Jackie) Cooper, U.S. Navy (1943-1982)

LCdr John (Jackie) Cooper, U.S. Navy (1943-1982)

Born in Los Angeles in 1922, Cooper was born into a family of entertainers and became a child actor while very young, accompanying his grandmother to her auditions. His first actual credit was in 1929, in the short film Boxing Gloves, part of the Our Gang series of comedic films directed by Hal Roach. Jackie’s stock rose and he took larger and larger roles in these shorts, leading in The First Seven Years (1930) and When The Wind Blows (1930). In 1931 Cooper’s uncle, director Norman Taurog,...

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Sgt Drew Carey, U.S. Marine Corps (1980-1986)

Sgt Drew Carey, U.S. Marine Corps (1980-1986)

Drew Carey, who served in the US Marine Corps between 1980 and 1986, may be better recognized as the host of the game show The Price is Right, or for his previous work as host of improv comedy show Whose Line is it Anyway? It might surprise some to learn, however, that his distinctive haircut and glasses are artifacts from his years of service as a Marine.Born the youngest of three sons to the Carey family of Old Brooklyn in Cleveland, Ohio, at the age of eight Carey lost his father Lewis to a...

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Cpl William (Bill) Ralph Blass, U.S. Army (1943-1945)

Cpl William (Bill) Ralph Blass, U.S. Army (1943-1945)

William (or Bill) Ralph Blass who served in the US Army between 1943 and 1945 is better known for his contributions to the fashion industry. However, his efforts during World War II are as remarkable as they are unusual. William Ralph Blass was born on June 22 1922, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. His father was a traveling salesman, his mother a dressmaker. Sadly, Blass’ father committed suicide when Bill was 5. Bill took after his mother, sketching Hollywood-inspired fashions in the margins of his...

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LCpl Orville Richard Burrell (aka Shaggy), U.S. Marine Corps (1988-1992)

LCpl Orville Richard Burrell (aka Shaggy), U.S. Marine Corps (1988-1992)

Orville Richard Burrell, also known as Shaggy, who served on the US Marine Corps between 1988 and 1992, came to live in Brooklyn as a teenager after leaving his home of Jamaica. While he showed early musical promise, he was in need of steady income, and the Marines were happy to take him. Born on October 22 1968 in Kingston, Jamaica, Orville took singing lessons as a teen and discovered a natural talent. He earned the nickname ‘Shaggy’ because of his untamed hair, after the Scooby-Doo...

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MA2 Doris Miller, U.S. Navy (1939–1943) – Navy Named Aircraft Carrier for Pearl Harbor Hero

MA2 Doris Miller, U.S. Navy (1939–1943) – Navy Named Aircraft Carrier for Pearl Harbor Hero

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 20th, 2020, at Pearl Harbor, the Navy announced that a $12.5 billion aircraft carrier will be named after Mess Attendant 2nd Class Doris Miller, the first African American to receive the Navy Cross for valor for his actions on December 7, 1941, when he manned a machine gun on the USS West Virginia to fire back at attacking Japanese planes. "I think that Doris Miller is an American hero simply because of what he represents as a young man going beyond the...

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MajGen Smedley Butler, U.S. Marine Corps (1898–1931) – Medal of Honor Recipient

MajGen Smedley Butler, U.S. Marine Corps (1898–1931) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Smedley Butler may be the best-known double Medal of Honor recipient and one of the most popular military Generals in U.S. history. Butler served 33 years in the Marine Corps and had a role in the Spanish-American War in Cuba, the Philippine-American War in Manila, the Boxer Rebellion in China, the Banana Wars in the Caribbean, the Mexican Revolution, and World War I. Butler's first Medal of Honor was earned during the Mexican Revolution when the then-major fought block to block in the streets...

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EM2 Nick Adams, U.S. Coast Guard (1952-1954)

EM2 Nick Adams, U.S. Coast Guard (1952-1954)

Nick Adams, who served in the US Coast Guard between 1952 and 1954, came from humble beginnings to try and make a Hollywood star of himself. Cohort of James Dean and Elvis Presley, Adams also came to an unfortunate end chasing their caliber of fame. Nevertheless, he was a dutiful member of the Coast Guard during the Korean War and following. Nick Adams’ Early Life Nick Adams was born Nicholas Aloysius Adamshock in 1931 in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, a company town for coal mining. Abjectly poor...

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SSgt Desi Arnaz, U.S. Army (1942-1945)

SSgt Desi Arnaz, U.S. Army (1942-1945)

Desi Arnaz who served in the US Army between 1942 and 1945 is perhaps most famous for his starring role as Ricky Ricardo opposite his real-life spouse Lucille Ball in the foundational modern TV sitcom I Love Lucy. Desi was already on his way to becoming a star when he was drafted into the US Army, but his time as a soldier gave him plenty of opportunities to hone his skills not only as a performer, but as a producer. Desi Arnaz’ Military Service Born Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III in...

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Sgt Alvin York, U.S. Army (1941–1947) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Sgt Alvin York, U.S. Army (1941–1947) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Sergeant Alvin York was seemingly born to a hardscrabble existence and anonymity in death, but World War One changed that forever. The story of York is one that twists and turns like the Mississippi river as he went through redemption and battled personal demons. At the end of it, all was the story that could have secured fame, finance, and his future - but York turned his back on it all to go back to the simple life and try and make a positive impact on the community in which he lived. York's...

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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.