The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

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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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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The Ship That Wouldn’t Die

The Ship That Wouldn’t Die

The USS Laffey (DD-724) was laid down 28 June 1943 by Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, Maine. She was launched 21 November; sponsored by Miss Beatrice F. Laffey, daughter of Medal of Honor recipient S1c Bartlett Laffey. Commissioned 8 February 1944, Cdr. F. Julian. Becton as her first "Captain". Commander Frederick Julian Becton, Captain of the Destroyer USS Laffey After shakedown, the Laffey traveled the world in the war effort. She was off the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. Off Cherbourg, France...

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General John Kelly’s Speech About Two Heroic Marines

General John Kelly’s Speech About Two Heroic Marines

Two years ago, when I was the Commander of all U.S. and Iraqi forces, in fact, the 22nd of April 2008, two Marine infantry battalions, 1/9 "The Walking Dead," and 2/8 were switching out in Ramadi. One battalion in the closing days of their deployment going home very soon, the other just starting its seven-month combat tour. Haerter, Jordan, LCpl Yale, Jonathan Tyler, Cpl Yale and Haerter Were From Two Completely Different Worlds Two Marines, Corporal Jonathan Yale and Lance Corporal Jordan...

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Heroes of Hill 488

Heroes of Hill 488

During the Vietnam War, one of the 1st Marine Division's primary area of operation was the southern two provinces of I Corps - Quang Tin and Quang Ngai, located in the southern portion of South Vietnam's I Corps Military Region. Astride the boundary between Quang Nam and Quang Tin provinces is the populous, rice-rich Que Son Valley, considered as strategically important in controlling South Vietnam's five northern provinces. For that reason, it was a principal focus for the Marines in I...

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Col Pierre Julien Ortiz, U.S.M.C. (1942-54)

Col Pierre Julien Ortiz, U.S.M.C. (1942-54)

The first thoughts that come to mind when one thinks about World War II Marines is them landing on bloody beaches and fighting in steamy jungles of the Pacific. But this was not the role of Marine Pierre Julien Ortiz, who served in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. His exploits and dare-devil attitude were things of fiction yet they were all real. He was an American and a Frenchman with a Spanish name and he lived in remarkable times and did remarkable things. His life was a series of...

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Bravest Submariner Who Earned 5 Navy Crosses

Bravest Submariner Who Earned 5 Navy Crosses

Ask any Marine who was Lieutenant General Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller and each would quickly respond by saying. "Why, he was the greatest, bravest and most highly decorated Marine in Marine Corp history." Another would inevitable say, "He was not only a tough, no nonsense Marine he is also the only one awarded five Navy Crosses." Both would be right. During his career, Puller fought guerrillas in Haiti and Nicaragua, and participated in some of the bloodiest battles of World War II and...

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