The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

Maj Richard Bong, U.S. Army Air Forces (1941–1945)

Maj Richard Bong, U.S. Army Air Forces (1941–1945)

Richard Ira "Dick" Bong, was born September 24, 1920, in St. Mary's hospital in Superior, Wisconsin. He was the first of nine children born to Carl T. Bong and Dora Bryce Bong, living on a farm near the small town of Poplar, Wisconsin, about 20 miles southeast of Superior. Dick's father came to the United States from Sweden at the age of seven, and his mother was of Scots-English descent. Dick grew up on the family farm and attended the Poplar Grade School. Richard Bong then attended the...

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SSG Wilson Watson, U.S. Army (1942-1966)

SSG Wilson Watson, U.S. Army (1942-1966)

Within the ranks of the military, there exists a certain rivalry between those who serve on the front lines and those who serve in the rear with the gear. While all jobs contribute to putting Americans in the fight, the Marines have long prized their beloved infantry above all. In modern terms, it is referred to as the "grunt versus POG debate" with POG referring to "persons other than grunts." In Vietnam, one might have heard the term REMF. Whatever one might call those in the rear, it would...

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Civil War – Battle of Drewry’s Bluff (1862)

Civil War – Battle of Drewry’s Bluff (1862)

On May 15, 1862, the Battle of Drewry's Bluff, also known as the Battle of Fort Darling, was fought between Union and Confederate forces at a sharp bend on the James River near Richmond, Virginia. Union forces were stationed aboard warships in the river, and Confederate forces were high on a fortified bluff. Richmond was the Confederate capital and vulnerable to attack by the Union Army on land, and by the Union Navy through the navigable James River. In March 1862, Confederate Captain...

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Famous Military Units – Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11

Famous Military Units – Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11

The Naval Mobile Construction Battalions are perhaps one of the most misunderstood military units across the armed forces. More commonly known as Seabees, these units are a reasonably new phenomenon with only eighty years of shared history. And surprisingly, this force has been redesignated multiple times to embrace the spirit of their mission and contend with political maneuvering among US Naval and Marine infrastructure. Moreover, as a support organization, the Seabees are typically not...

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Lt Gen Lewis “Chesty” Puller, U.S.Marine Corps (1919-1955)

Lt Gen Lewis “Chesty” Puller, U.S.Marine Corps (1919-1955)

"Lewis Burwell ' Chesty' Puller, born in the 19th century, fought in the heaviest fighting of the 20th century and is now a legend in this century. The most decorated Marine to ever wear the uniform, and also the most beloved, Puller left a mark on the Marine Corps that would define its culture for years to come." - Michael Lane Smith Biography of Lewis "Chesty" Puller The son of a grocer, Lewis "Chesty" Puller was born June 26, 1898, at West Point, Virginia, to Matthew and Martha Puller....

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Col Ola Lee Mize, U.S. Army (1950-1981)

Col Ola Lee Mize, U.S. Army (1950-1981)

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's Military Service 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 town's...

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Thunder Below! by Admiral Eugene B. Fluckey

Thunder Below! by Admiral Eugene B. Fluckey

The thunderous roar of exploding depth charges was a familiar and comforting sound to the crew members of the USS Barb, who frequently found themselves somewhere between enemy fire and Davy Jones's locker. Under the leadership of her fearless skipper, Captain Gene Fluckey, the Barb sank the greatest tonnage of any American sub in World War II. At the same time, the Barb did far more than merely sink ships-she changed forever the way submarines stalk and kill their prey. This is a gripping...

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CSM Bennie Adkins, U.S. Army (1956-1978) – Medal of Honor Recipient

CSM Bennie Adkins, U.S. Army (1956-1978) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Presented with the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama in 2014, Bennie Adkins distinguished himself as a war hero during three tours of duty between 1963 and 1971, later creating a charitable foundation to help returning veterans to attend further education and settle into civilian life. President Obama said at the time, 'to be honest, in a battle and daring escape that lasted four days, Bennie performed so many acts of bravery we actually don't have time to talk about all of them.'...

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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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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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