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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Parallel Lives, Shared History

Parallel Lives, Shared History

Herb Heilbrun and John Leahr were twenty-one when the United States entered WWII. Herb became an Army Air Forces B-17 bomber pilot. John flew P-51 fighters. Both were thrown into the brutal high-altitude bomber war against Nazi Germany. However, they never met because the Army was rigidly segregated - only in the air were black and white American fliers allowed to mix. Both came safely home, but it took a chance meeting 20 years ago when the two retired salesmen met at a reunion of the...

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Angels of Bataan

Angels of Bataan

When Americans woke up Sunday morning on December 7, 1941, they were stunned to learn Japanese naval aircraft had attacked Pearl Harbor. What they would soon find out that was only the beginning. Pearl Harbor was just one part of the Japanese plan for the day. Within hours, Japanese naval and ground forces attacked and invaded Wake Island, Guam, Malaya, Singapore, Honk Kong, Thailand and Burma. Ten hours after the devastating surprise attack that crippled the U.S. Pacific Fleet anchored at...

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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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Historic Japanese Internment Camps At Risk!

Historic Japanese Internment Camps At Risk!

Because of proposed cuts in the United States budget for 2019, the National Park Services would be severely reduced. This may have a negative impact on many NPS sites, including those where Japanese Americans were confined following America's entry into WWII in 1941. In 2006, the government set up the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grants Program via the National Parks and set aside thirty-eight million dollars to educate the public as to the importance of remembering this...

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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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Cpt Daniel K. Inouye, U.S. Army (1942-1945) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Cpt Daniel K. Inouye, U.S. Army (1942-1945) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Senator Daniel Inouye served in the United States Senate from 1963 until his death in 2012. At the time of his death, he was America's second-longest sitting Senator, which is not at all surprising considering he could easily be considered one of World War II's hardest men to kill. This Japanese-American, who faced discrimination and segregation, had every reason to sit this war out if he so chose with a bitter heart. But considering he was raised by a father who told him the following upon...

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MA2 Doris Miller, U.S. Navy (1939–1943) – Navy Named Aircraft Carrier for Pearl Harbor Hero

MA2 Doris Miller, U.S. Navy (1939–1943) – Navy Named Aircraft Carrier for Pearl Harbor Hero

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 20th, 2020, at Pearl Harbor, the Navy announced that a $12.5 billion aircraft carrier will be named after Mess Attendant 2nd Class Doris Miller, the first African American to receive the Navy Cross for valor for his actions on December 7, 1941, when he manned a machine gun on the USS West Virginia to fire back at attacking Japanese planes. "I think that Doris Miller is an American hero simply because of what he represents as a young man going beyond the...

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PO3 Robert E. Bush, U.S. Navy (1944–1945) – Medal of Honor Recipient

PO3 Robert E. Bush, U.S. Navy (1944–1945) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Robert Eugene Bush wasn't old enough to join the Navy when the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941. He was still in high school. His neighbor in his hometown of Raymond, Washington, was a Fireman aboard the USS Arizona. "He's still on board the Arizona," Bush said in a Veterans History Project Interview. Bush could barely stand the wait to join the war. He wouldn't be old enough until his 17th birthday in the Fall of 1943. He and a friend from school dropped out and enlisted...

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Japanese Tried A Second Raid on Pearl Harbor

Japanese Tried A Second Raid on Pearl Harbor

Everyone knows about the first bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Less well known, however, was the second attack. And there was almost a third. The first one was just a warm-up. The Imperial Japanese Navy planned several more attacks on the U.S. mainland - starting with California and Texas. It was called Ke-Sakusen (Operation Strategy), better known as "Operation K." Its aim was four-fold: (1) to assess the damage at Pearl Harbor; (2) to stop the ongoing rescue and...

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American Doolittle Raid and the Brutal Japanese Reprisals (1942)

American Doolittle Raid and the Brutal Japanese Reprisals (1942)

Everyone knows about Pearl Harbor and Japan dragging the USA into World War II. Still, fewer are aware of the American Doolittle raid and the brutal Japanese reprisals to this daring counterpunch. Approximately five months after the Japanese attempt to cripple the American Pacific fleet, an unprecedented strike on the heart of the Japanese Empire was launched by the intrepid pilot Lt. Col. James Doolittle of the United States Army Air Force. While the United States boosted the American...

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World War II Veterans

World War II Veterans

How Many World War II Veterans are Still Alive Today? According to Pew Research, the number of living WWII veterans dropped to under 300,000 in 2020 from over 930,000 in 2015. The oldest of these veterans is Lawrence Brooks, an Army veteran born in Louisiana in September 1909, drafted at the age of 31, and sent to the Pacific front with the 91st Engineers. One of the 1.2 million African-Americans served during the war, PFC Brooks mainly cooked and cleaned for his superior officers. The...

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