The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

SGT Mark Reisetter, U.S. Army (1969-1970)

SGT Mark Reisetter, U.S. Army (1969-1970)

Which individual(s) from your time in the military stand out as having had the most positive impact on you and why?:

1SGT Robert L. Millirons (a WWII, Korean War, and 3rd-Tour Vietnam Veteran) was a bare-chested old soldier sitting against a tombstone in the lowlands of Thua Thien Province when he sounded a commanding “Troop” in my direction as I reported to my company. I left Camp Eagle as an individual replacement in January of 1970 bound for where C Company, 1/327th Infantry, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division was located.

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LCDR Curtis Smothers, U.S. Navy (1962-1986)

LCDR Curtis Smothers, U.S. Navy (1962-1986)

Which individual(s) from your time in the military stand out as having had the most positive impact on you and why?:

Of the 24 years, 6 months I spent on active duty in the U.S. Navy, the leader who was the most positive influence on me was my commanding officer, Captain Jeremy (“Bear”) Taylor. He skippered the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea (CV-43) during my time as Administrative Department head (1981-1983). In early 1983, our ship was preparing for an around-the-world voyage and a home port change from Alameda, California, to Norfolk, Virginia. The Coral Sea was an aging aircraft carrier commissioned just before the Korean War. Taking this ship around the world was like getting a ’57 Chevy ready for a cross-country trip. Our main propulsion and auxiliary plants were stretched to the limit. They had to stay online, support a crew of over 5,000, and launch aircraft in climates that ranged from the frigid northern coast of Alaska to the tropical extremes of the Indian Ocean.

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Maj Kurt Chew-Een Lee, U.S. Marine Corps (1945-1968)

Maj Kurt Chew-Een Lee, U.S. Marine Corps (1945-1968)

Kurt Chew-Een Lee is believed to have been the first Asian-American officer in the Marine Corps, rising through the ranks beginning his career from World War II to the Vietnam War.  Lee was born in 1926 in San Francisco and grew up in Sacramento, California. Lee's father was M. Young Lee, born in Guangzhou (Canton), emigrating in the 1920s to the Territory of Hawaii and then California. Once established in America, M. Young Lee returned to China to honor an arranged marriage. He brought his...

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Clint Eastwood, U.S. Army (1951-1953)

Clint Eastwood, U.S. Army (1951-1953)

Clint Eastwood, the renowned actor and director, did not always grace the red carpets of Hollywood. Prior to becoming the legendary "Man with No Name," Eastwood's path unfolded in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Clint Eastwood's military tenure, spanning from his initial odd jobs to a pivotal encounter, marked the commencement of a 70-year career in the entertainment industry. TogetherWeServed salutes Clint Eastwood for his honorable military service and the indelible mark he has left on...

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Marine Corps Mascot Chesty XVI Gets Promoted to Private First Class

Marine Corps Mascot Chesty XVI Gets Promoted to Private First Class

Like any other Marine, Chesty XVI, the Marine Corps' Devil Dog mascot, has been promoted after six months of honorable, satisfactory service. Unlike every other Marine, Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro dressed him for the event. Chesty XVI and Marine Corps Tradition Chesty XVI is an English bulldog, the mascot of the United States Marine Corps. He took over for his predecessor in a relief and appointment ceremony in May 2022. Lance Cpl. Chesty XV was a little too rambunctious, so the Corps...

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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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Make Peace or Die by Charles Daly

Make Peace or Die by Charles Daly

As many readers of the Dispatches Newsletter might be aware, "Make Peace or Die" is the motto of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. For Charles Daly, it became a regular choice he would have to make, time and again, over the course of his entire life.  "Make Peace or Die: A Life of Service, Leadership, and Nightmares" is everything the name promises it to be. At times terrifying, the book is always engrossing and descriptive. It’s one of the finest personal recollections of the Korean War...

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Brig Gen James Robinson Risner, U.S. Air Force (1943 – 1976)

Brig Gen James Robinson Risner, U.S. Air Force (1943 – 1976)

James Robinson Risner was a man of humble origins, son of an Arkansas sharecropper, educated at secondary school level, not particularly ambitious, a common man save for two things: He could fly the hell out of an airplane; and, under terribly difficult circumstances as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam, he rose to a level of heroic leadership matched by few men in American military history. Born in Mammoth Springs, Arkansas on Jan. 16, 1925 and raised in a religious family, Robinson Risner...

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Lt. Russell J. Brown, U.S. Air Force (1948-1955)

Lt. Russell J. Brown, U.S. Air Force (1948-1955)

Jet fighters first made an appearance in the German Luftwaffe during World War II, but the technology had come a long way by the time the Korean War started in 1950. At first, the North Korean air forces were flying Soviet-built propeller-driven fighters, and the United States forces were flying American-made P-51 Mustangs and Vought F4U Corsairs. As the war dragged on, both sides got substantial upgrades.  When the Korean People's Air Force started flying the MiG-15, it was clear that...

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Is the M2 “Ma Deuce” An Illegal Weapon of War?

Is the M2 “Ma Deuce” An Illegal Weapon of War?

The M2 Browning .50-caliber machine gun has been a favorite heavy infantry weapon since the end of World War I. That the weapon has remained in the U.S. arsenal for so long is a testament to its power and flexibility. And no wonder - it was designed by the legendary John Browning himself.  Although the M2 has come in many variants over the years, it has still proven an effective weapon from the last days of World War l, into World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and into...

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Korean War – The Pusan Perimeter

Korean War – The Pusan Perimeter

In the early days of the Korean War, things looked pretty bleak for the American and South Korean forces in the Korean Peninsula. The sudden Communist advance across the 38th parallel took the allies by complete surprise, and despite stiff resistance, North Korean troops almost pushed the U.S. and South Korea into the Sea of Japan. Those defenders fell back into a 140-mile battle line around the port city of Pusan (now Busan) at the southeastern tip of the peninsula. They determined that...

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The Dark Side of Glory by Richard McMahon

The Dark Side of Glory by Richard McMahon

In this page-turning suspense novel, Richard McMahon expertly switches between two settings and time periods, the earlier being the Korean War and the current a who-done-it mystery in a world of surprises where nothing is as it seems. The book opens in the present time (the early 1970s) as Biographer Matthew Clark is asked by Miriam Coursen to write a biography of her deceased husband, U.S. Army Major General Philip Coursen, a highly decorated Army officer. When Clark agrees to write the...

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