The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

Famous Marine Corps Unit: 1st Marine Raider Battalion

Famous Marine Corps Unit: 1st Marine Raider Battalion

"Always Faithful, Always Forward" The Early History of the 1st Marine Raider Battalion The year was 1942, and a new type of unit was born in the US Marine Corps. Edson's 1st Raider Battalion was designated, and several days later, Carlson's 2d Raider Battalion was named. Later in the year, Liversedge's 3rd Raider Battalion and Roosevelt's 4th Raider Battalion were created. One hundred seventy-five members of Marines TWS are part of the United States Marine Raiders Association as members of one...

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Service Reflections of OS2 Christopher Hawley, U.S. Navy (1981-1987)

Service Reflections of OS2 Christopher Hawley, U.S. Navy (1981-1987)

I was always sure that I would serve in the military from a very young age. Military Service in my family was always a strong influence. At about fifteen years old, I was very sure that I would make a career in the military. I had joined the Civil Air Patrol at the time, and I loved it. I was also sure that I would be a United States Marine, just as two of my cousins, an uncle, and a Great-grandfather had all been.

My Great-grandfather had joined the Marines in 1910 at 16, lying with his parents’ help about his age, saying his birth year was 1892, not 1893. He served until 1914, participating in the incursion into Vera Cruz, Mexico, after the “Tampico Incident.” During much of his four years, he was detached from his command to the Marine Corps Rifle Range Detachment at the Marine Barracks, Quantico, VA, as part of the marksmanship team. After finishing Boot Camp at Paris Island, South Carolina, he was assigned to an old Battleship, the USS Louisiana (BB-19) and later the USS Texas (BB-35), as part of the Marine detachment. He was a participant in most of the National matches at Camp Perry during that time, earning the National Match, Distinguished Marksmanship Gold Metal.

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Famous Navy Unit: USS Parche (SS-384)

Famous Navy Unit: USS Parche (SS-384)

The first USS Parche (SS-384) was a United States Navy submarine. She bore the name of a butterfly fish, one of at least 114 species. Butterfly fish have a large spot that looks like an eye on the tail end of their body. Their natural eye is often much smaller or camouflaged within other body markings. This is to trick a predator into thinking the fish will move in the direction of the false eye, thereby giving the small fish a chance to escape capture. USS Parche: World War II Exploits and...

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Service Reflections of ET2 Dennis Sethe, U.S. Coast Guard (1964-1968)

Service Reflections of ET2 Dennis Sethe, U.S. Coast Guard (1964-1968)

PRESERVING A MILITARY LEGACY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS The following Reflections represents ET2 Dennis Sethe's legacy of his military service from 1964 to 1968. If you are a Veteran, consider preserving a record of your own military service, including your memories and photographs, on Togetherweserved.com (TWS), the leading archive of living military history. The following Service Reflections is an easy-to-complete self-interview, located on your TWS Military Service Page, which enables you to...

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WW2 – Battle of Guadalcanal

WW2 – Battle of Guadalcanal

Though it probably didn't feel like it at the time, the Allies in the Pacific Theater of World War II were able to respond to the Japanese advances relatively quickly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor wasn't the only surprise target that day. The Imperial Japanese Navy also struck targets held by the Dutch and British and the American-held Philippines.  The Naval Campaign at Guadalcanal By August of 1942, just nine months after its coordinated surprise attacks across the...

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WW2 – The Heroes Of Eager Beavers

WW2 – The Heroes Of Eager Beavers

In 1943, several U.S. airmen went on a suicide mission. Two men, who were part of Eager Beavers, on the mission were awarded a Medal of Honor - the only time in WWII that two men received the same award for the same engagement. Interestingly, their careers didn't start out well. Biography of Lt Col Jay Zeamer Jr. Jay Zeamer, Jr. got his wings in 1941 at Langley Field. All his classmates became pilots and got their own planes and crews, but not Zeamer. Although he could fly and had a passion...

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WW2 – Battle Of Wake Island (1941)

WW2 – 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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Famous Navy Unit: VFA-31 Tomcatters

Famous Navy Unit: VFA-31 Tomcatters

VFA-31 (Strike Fighter Squadron 31) is the second oldest Navy attack fighter squadron. Known as the Tomcatters with the call sign "Felix," it is currently based at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, VA. It flies the F/A-18E Super Hornet. "V" stands for fixed wing, "F" stands for fighter, and "A" stands for attack. Chief Of Naval Operations Instruction (OPNAVINST) governs the squadron designation system. The Navy's oldest currently active squadron is VFA-14, and it has been...

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George Walters, The Civilian Who Fought at Pearl Harbor

George Walters, The Civilian Who Fought at Pearl Harbor

World War II was a total war, meaning that once the United States entered the war, everyone fought it somehow. The troops, of course, did the fighting, but civilians on the home front made sacrifices, collected scrap and grew gardens to keep food fresh for the soldiers and sailors on the real front. There was also the American workforce, who built the machines and materials needed to do the job. From the very moment the U.S. was thrust into World War II, civilians were ready to do their...

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WW2 – Battle Of the Aleutian Islands

WW2 – Battle Of the Aleutian Islands

In June 1942, six months after the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor that drew the U.S. into World War II, the Japanese targeted the Aleutians, an American-owned chain of remote, sparsely inhabited, volcanic islands extending some 1,200 miles west of the Alaskan Peninsula. After reaching the Aleutians, the Japanese conducted airstrikes on Dutch Harbor, the site of two American military bases, on June 3 and June 4. The Japanese then made landfall at Kiska Island on June 6 and Attu Island,...

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WW2 – The Battle Of Dutch Harbor

WW2 – The Battle Of Dutch Harbor

The Aleutian Islands are known for their rugged, treeless tundra and almost perpetually foul weather, but during the early days of World War II, they were considered a valuable piece of real estate. Fresh off their success at Pearl Harbor, the Japanese were looking to consolidate their gains in the Pacific while also stymying any potential U.S. attacks against their home islands. The Aleutians - situated at the center of the shortest route between the United States and Japan - were viewed as a...

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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 salvage...

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