Incredible Military Stories
The Amazing History of the USS Barb (SS 220)

The Amazing History of the USS Barb (SS 220)

When it comes to submarine action during World War II, there are a number of standouts, and among them is the submarine USS Barb (SS 220). But what makes USS Barb unique? No other submarine can boast a train on its battle flag. One of the Submarine's Main Characters There can't be a story about USS Barb without mentioning one of the submarine's main characters: commanding officer Lt. Cmdr. Eugene B. Fluckey. The Washington, D.C.-native was to Barb as chocolate is to peanut butter. While there...

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LCDR Montel Williams, US Navy and USMC (1974-1986)

LCDR Montel Williams, US Navy and USMC (1974-1986)

Montel Williams is best known as the Emmy Award-winning host of The Montel Williams Show, which aired nationally for seventeen years. Montel Brian Anthony Williams, known to most as simply “Montel,” is also an actor and motivational speaker. But did you know that Montel Williams served in the military? His decorated military service spanned 22 years in two branches of the service—the United States Marines and the United States Navy. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1974 and later became the...

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Service Reflections of MKCS George III Shoffstall , U.S. Coast Guard (1973-1994)

Service Reflections of MKCS George III Shoffstall , U.S. Coast Guard (1973-1994)

I had every intention of joining the U.S. Navy as an enlisted man after HS graduation. I didn’t have the grades to entertain the academy appointment process. My father and his two brothers voluntarily enlisted in the Navy at the outset of the Korean Conflict in 1950. Two served on New Jersey class battleships, and my father trained as an Aviation Electricians mate assigned to a tactical squadron in country.

My aspirations took a slight course change in the spring of my senior year. One day I received a long-distance call from a friend and former classmate. He had been looking into joining the Coast Guard after graduation and mentioned maybe enlisting as teammates in what was called the buddy program. Being a kid from central PA, I hadn’t heard or even considered the CG.

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Operation Utah: The Die is Cast by Hurbert Yoshida

Operation Utah: The Die is Cast by Hurbert Yoshida

The die is cast - there are no other options. Operation Utah was one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam war and set the tone for many subsequent engagements. Operation Utah was the first battle of the Vietnam war between the U.S. Marine Corps and the regular forces of the North Vietnamese Army. It pitted a generation of tough young men who grew up after World War II against an experienced army who had been fighting unconventional wars for as long as they lived. This book contains the...

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The True Story of The Great Escape

The True Story of The Great Escape

More than likely, many of us have seen the 1963 American World War II epic film "The Great Escape" based on a real escape by British Commonwealth prisoners of war from a German POW Camp during World War II, starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, and Sir Richard Attenborough. The film is based on Paul Brickhill's 1950 book of the same name, a non-fiction first-hand account of the real mass escape from Stalag Luft III in Sagan (now Zagan, Poland), in the province of Lower Silesia, Nazi Germany....

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Civil War – The Battle of Stones River

Civil War – The Battle of Stones River

It was cold at the turning of the year in Murfreesboro, right in the middle of the state of Tennessee. The little town nestled under a crook in the arm of the Stones River, near where the water rushed and chattered over a long shallow ford. The Civil War had raged across the country for nearly two years. At the end of December in 1862, the Union force called the Army of the Cumberland was maneuvering into position to challenge the Confederacy's Army of Tennessee. Opposing Forces of the Battle...

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Capt. David McCampbell, U.S. Navy (1933-1964)

Capt. David McCampbell, U.S. Navy (1933-1964)

All available fighter pilots! Man your planes!" boomed the squawk box in Essex' ready room. The ship's radar had detected three large groups of Japanese planes coming in. David McCampbell, the CAG, and the Navy's most famous aviator considered this announcement. Earlier that morning, Admiral Sherman himself had forbidden McCampbell from joining a dawn sortie. Given his responsibilities as Commander of Essex' Air Group and his public prominence as a top ace, McCampbell was too valuable. He...

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The Wreck of the First U.S. Navy Destroyer Jacob Jones  Has Been Found

The Wreck of the First U.S. Navy Destroyer Jacob Jones Has Been Found

Just 40 miles off the coast of the Isles of Scilly, in the southwest of England, a team of expert divers located the wreck of the USS Jacob Jones (DD-61). The Tucker-class destroyer was built prior to WWI and was sunk on December 6, 1917, by a German submarine. Of her crew of seven officers and 103 men, 2 officers and 62 men lost their lives according to the U.S. Navy’s Naval History and Heritage Command. The Jacob Jones was the first American destroyer lost to enemy action. On April 6, 1917,...

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Service Reflections of ETNSN John W. Ditmar, Jr., U.S. Navy (1970-1973)

Service Reflections of ETNSN John W. Ditmar, Jr., U.S. Navy (1970-1973)

The village I grew up in had a population of around 2000 and was almost surrounded by water, so swimming, fishing, and boating were a natural progression. I loved to watch the bigger boats on Spring Lake and freighters that would come into Grand Haven at a young age. My early years growing up were not much fun.

My father was a good man but was an alcoholic and was mean to my mother and me when he had too much to drink. There was physical violence. My parents never attended church, but some kind neighbors took me a few times with their kids, which opened my eyes to another world. In those days, there was a stigma attached to being an alcoholic, and despite several attempts by myself and others, my father refused any help. This was a time when my conflicting emotions were off the chart.

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SOG. The Secret Wars of America’s Commandos in Vietnam by John L. Plaster

SOG. The Secret Wars of America’s Commandos in Vietnam by John L. Plaster

John Plaster (The Ultimate Sniper), a retired Army major, served three tours with the secretive "Studies and Observation Group," aka SOG, during the Vietnam War-a background he has put to good use in this authoritative and insightful look at the now-defunct commando unit. Plaster does much to illuminate both this frequently misunderstood group and its extraordinary participants. Made up entirely of volunteers, SOG tackled a wide range of vital and dangerous duties, including missions deep into...

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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.”