The Christy Collection

Incredible Military Stories 

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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The Outpost by Jake Tapper by Jake Trapper

The Outpost by Jake Tapper by Jake Trapper

The Outpost is the heartbreaking and inspiring story of one of America's deadliest battles during the war in Afghanistan, acclaimed by critics everywhere as a classic. At 5:58 AM on October 3rd, 2009, Combat Outpost Keating, located in frighteningly vulnerable terrain in Afghanistan just 14 miles from the Pakistani border, was viciously attacked. Though the 53 Americans there prevailed against 40 Taliban fighters, their casualties made it the deadliest fight of the war for the fight for the...

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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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Everything You Need to Know About the Korean War

Everything You Need to Know About the Korean War

The Korean War was the first time the United States military engaged in a shooting conflict after the end of World War II; it was also the first of many sparks that really turned the Cold War hot. From 1950 to 1953, the Korean War was at the forefront of American minds and politics. A public emerging from the World War II years and weary of fighting didn't fully understand the threat of Communism or the Truman administration's "containment" strategy - which meant they didn't fully understand...

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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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Cold War Peacetime Warrior by John Beach, U.S. Navy

Cold War Peacetime Warrior by John Beach, U.S. Navy

Last year I attended another Veteran's Day Program and Ceremony at the Local Area Senior Center. It was as impressive as they all are. But that year, I found out there is a real name for people who spent time in the service between conflicts. Previously, there were ceremonies for WWII veterans, Korean War veterans, Vietnam veterans, Desert Storm, Iran, Iraq, etc. During these times, I had always felt like an outsider and wondered why I was participating as a veteran. Sure, I wanted to honor...

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Korean War Night Fighter Team

Korean War Night Fighter Team

On January 21, 1953, during Korea’s Winter War. Night fighter team "George" of composite squadron three (VC-3) was operating from USS Oriskany (CVA-34) in the Sea of Japan. Excerpt from combat report: Saw 75-100 trucks on G-3, seven trucks seen damaged. Meager to intense AA, much rifle fire was seen. The plane hit by 30 cal. Item - Lt. James L. Brown, USNR assigned F4U-5N #124713. One-night landing aboard without incident. 2.6 combat hours. Combat strike report comments, like that above, were...

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Sgt Paul Arizin, U.S. Marine Corps (1952-1954)

Sgt Paul Arizin, U.S. Marine Corps (1952-1954)

Paul Arizin, who served in the US Marine Corps between 1952 and 1954, is more commonly known as ‘Pitchin’ Paul’, NBA Hall of Fame member and star player of the Philadelphia Warriors during the 50s. There are no shortage of basketball stars who have built an athletic career after a stint in the military: David Robinson and Mike Silliman are two such men. However, Arizin is notable for not only being one of the first, after the NBA was established in the aftermath of World War II, but also for...

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Cold War Double Agents Within the CIA

Cold War Double Agents Within the CIA

How much do you know about Cold War double agents within the CIA? Just recently, news has been released by a CIA analyst that, during the Cold War, there were double agents who worked for the CIA while remaining secretly loyal to communist spy agencies. There were nearly 100 fake CIA “agents” in East Germany, Cuba, and the Soviet Union. These “agents” made up false intelligence that was then passed on to the U.S. policymakers for years.

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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.”