The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

The Heroic Battle of Iwo Jima

The Heroic Battle of Iwo Jima

Japan's ambition as a world power began in the late 1800s, but lacking in raw materials (oil, iron, and rubber) necessary to make it a reality, it seized material-rich colonies and islands. Ensuring they kept what they seized, Japan established naval and army bases throughout the Pacific. Following long-standing complaints from the United States about their laying claims on territories that did not belong to them, Japan's military leaders unwisely decided to attack America, beginning with the...

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Veteran of Three Wars Under Three Flags

Veteran of Three Wars Under Three Flags

Lauri Allan Torni, later known as Larry Thorne, spent the majority of his life-fighting communists. First, the Soviets while in the service of Finland and Germany during World War II and then the Vietcong and North Vietnamese as a U.S. Army Special Forces officer during the Vietnam War. Biography Veteran of Three Wars Larry Thorne Lauri Torni was born in Finland, the son of a sea captain, in 1919. He enlisted in the Finnish Army at the age of 18 and was near the completion of his enlistment...

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The Incredible Rescue of LtCol Gene Hambleton, U.S. Air Force (1943-1972)

The Incredible Rescue of LtCol Gene Hambleton, U.S. Air Force (1943-1972)

On April 2, 1972, the third day of the Easter Offensive, the largest combined arms operation of the entire Vietnam War, 53-year-old Air Force Lt. Col. Iceal 'Gene' Hambleton was a navigator aboard one of two United States Air Force EB-66 aircraft escorting three B-52s. Bat 21, the call sign for Hambleton's aircraft, was configured to gather signals intelligence, including identifying North Vietnamese anti-aircraft radar installations to enable jamming. (Photo is Bat 21 in Korat Royal Thai Air...

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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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Joe Ronnie Hooper

Joe Ronnie Hooper

Joe Ronnie Hooper had his share non-judicial punishments (authorized by Article 15 of UCMJ), racked up 115 confirmed kills and was awarded the Medal of Honor. He was also one of the most decorated soldiers in American international combat. Biography of the Hero Joe Ronnie Hooper Born in the summer of 1938 in South Carolina, Joe Ronnie Hooper was relocated as a child to Moses Lake, Washington where he attended Moses Lake High School. Originally a Navy man, Hooper first enlisted in December of...

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VADM John D. Bulkeley, U.S. Navy (1933-1975)

VADM John D. Bulkeley, U.S. Navy (1933-1975)

John D. Bulkeley was a Vice Admiral in the United States Navy and one of its most decorated naval officers. Bulkeley received the Medal of Honor for actions in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He was also the PT boat skipper who evacuated General Douglas MacArthur from Corregidor in the Philippines.  Biography of John D. Bulkeley John D. Bulkeley was born in New York City and grew up on a farm in Hackettstown, New Jersey, where he graduated from Hackettstown High School. He was a 1933...

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MajGen Frank Baldwin, U.S. Army (1861-1906)

MajGen Frank Baldwin, U.S. Army (1861-1906)

Receiving the Medal of Honor for valor in combat puts one in the hallowed company of but a few thousand individuals to ever grace the earth. But by the time you earn two Medals of Honor, you are one of 19 persons to have ever done so. Perhaps it is because the Medal of Honor is quite often awarded posthumously but receiving two and living to talk about it is a rare feat in the world. Frank Baldwin would do just that in the 1800s and live to become a General by World War 1. His first would come...

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The Battle Of Wake Island (1941)

The Battle Of Wake Island (1941)

The Battle of Wake Island was fought December 8-23, 1941, during the opening days of World War II. A tiny atoll in the central Pacific Ocean, Wake Island was annexed by the United States in 1899. Located between Midway and Guam, the island was not permanently settled until 1935 when Pan American Airways built a town and hotel to service their trans-Pacific China Clipper flights. Consisting of three small islets, Wake, Peale, and Wilkes, Wake Island was to the north of the Japanese-held...

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LtGen Arthur MacArthur, U.S. Army (1862-1909)

LtGen Arthur MacArthur, U.S. Army (1862-1909)

With no less than 620,000 deaths recorded over four years of intense fighting between Confederate and Union forces, the American Civil War remains the bloodiest conflict in American history. Playing host to battles such as Shiloh, Antietam, Stones River, and Gettysburg, the Civil War holds tales of unprecedented violence, ferocious bravery, and unparalleled heroism. Among these many tales is that of Lieutenant General Arthur MacArthur Jr. whose bravery at the most critical moment inspired his...

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Cpl William Thomas Perkins Jr., USMC (1966-1967) – Vietnam War Combat Photographer

Cpl William Thomas Perkins Jr., USMC (1966-1967) – Vietnam War Combat Photographer

The only Medal of Honor to be awarded to a combat photographer is now on display in the Medal of Honor Gallery in the "Price of Freedom" exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Marine Cpl. William Thomas Perkins Jr Marine Cpl. William Thomas Perkins Jr. died at the age of 20 on Oct. 12, 1967, when he flung himself on a grenade to preserve the lives of three other Marines during Operation Medina, a Marine search and destroy operation in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam....

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Gen Louis H. Wilson, U.S. Marine Corps (1941–1979) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Gen Louis H. Wilson, U.S. Marine Corps (1941–1979) – Medal of Honor Recipient

There have been a few Commandants who had been recipients of the Medal of Honor, but Louis H. Wilson was the last. And given that the entire ranks of the modern Marine Corps are currently devoid of any officers with the nation's highest military honor it could be quite some time before the world would ever see it again. His tenure as the nation's top Marine from 1975 to 1979 would be one of remarkable transitions. The World War II generation had all but faded out, and the Commandant who...

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