The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

Maj Kurt Chew-Een Lee, U.S.M.C. (1945-1968)

Maj Kurt Chew-Een Lee, U.S.M.C. (1945-1968)

Kurt Chew-Een Lee is believed to have been the first Asian-American officer in the Marine Corps, rising through the ranks beginning his career from World War II to the Vietnam War.  Lee was born in 1926 in San Francisco and grew up in Sacramento, California. Lee's father was M. Young Lee, born in Guangzhou (Canton), emigrating in the 1920s to the Territory of Hawaii and then California. Once established in America, M. Young Lee returned to China to honor an arranged marriage. He brought...

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The Most Decorated Enlisted Sailor in Navy History

The Most Decorated Enlisted Sailor in Navy History

In the history of the United States Navy, only seven men have earned all of the big three valor awards: Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, and Silver Star. Six were World War II officers, including one aviator. The seventh was James Elliott "Willy" Williams - considered the most decorated enlisted man in the history of the Navy. Biography of James Williams Williams, a Cherokee Indian, was born November 13, 1930, in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Two months later he moved with his parents to Darlington,...

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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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Missions of Fire and Mercy: Until Death Do us Part by William E. Peterson

Missions of Fire and Mercy: Until Death Do us Part by William E. Peterson

At the age of 19, William E. Peterson embarked upon a life mission which many would gladly have missed. He went to war in Vietnam! In this 302 page book he brings to life his journey from his decision to enlist in the Army, through twelve months of helicopter combat, to his return home. It takes the reader on a wild ride with a helicopter crew chief and door gunner with the First Air Cavalry, C/227th Assault Helicopter Battalion. The typical memoir written by a Vietnam veteran begins with a...

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The Only U.S. Woman POW in WWII Europe

The Only U.S. Woman POW in WWII Europe

On September 27, 1944, a C-47 assigned to the 813th Medical Air Evacuation Squadron lifted off from England into the clear morning sky. Its destination was a landing field at St. Trond, Belgium, to pick up casualties. Since the aircraft usually carried military supplies and troops on the outbound flight and casualties on the return trip, it was not marked with the Red Cross. Aboard the aircraft was 24-year-old Texas-born Second Lt. Reba Whittle, an experienced flight nurse with 40 missions and...

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Side-By-Side

Side-By-Side

Friday morning February 2, 2008 was cold in Baghdad but since Friday is a big shopping day, shoppers crowded the markets throughout the city. At one of Baghdad's most popular gathering places, the al-Ghazl animal market, hundreds of closely packed shoppers moved from stall to stall when suddenly and without warning, a huge explosion shattered the silence, killing dozens of Iraq's. Twenty minutes later, another bomb ripped through an open air market in south eastern Baghdad. The two suicide...

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Vietnam War – Battle of Camp Bunard (1969)

Vietnam War – Battle of Camp Bunard (1969)

Gazing out the open cargo doors of the Huey flying over Phouc Long Province, boyish-looking Specialist 4 Robert Pryor took in an endless landscape of mountains, meandering rivers and rolling hills covered with dense evergreen vegetation, bamboo thickets, and triple canopy tropical broadleaf forests. The forbidding wilderness had an odd virginal beauty. It was also one of the most dangerous places in South Vietnam. This sparsely populated highland plateau, nestled along the Cambodian border...

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Sgt Henry Johnson, U.S. Army (1918-1919) – America’s First World War Hero

Sgt Henry Johnson, U.S. Army (1918-1919) – America’s First World War Hero

Henry Johnson was a World War I soldier who singlehandedly beat back a German assault while critically wounded. He was a great American hero and received the highest military honor of two different countries. One of those countries, however, his very own, didn't bestow that medal until nearly 100 years after his service in WWI. The honor this man deserved was not awarded by the U.S. government upon his return home, because he was black. But that racism was eventually overcome, if only by the...

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Sculpture Honors Military Working Dogs

Sculpture Honors Military Working Dogs

Sculpture of MWD at Soldier’s Grave Unveiled The sculpture shows a military working dog at the grave of his handler. The dog is wearing a Purple Heart medal and seems to be grieving his human friend's loss. A new sculpture honors the efforts and sacrifices of military working dogs. Susan Norris is the sculptor of "My Hero, My Friend," which has been moving people to tears when they see it. Norris stated in a press release that she has always enjoyed animals but felt that the bond between a...

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No Ordinary Dog by Will Chesney, Joe Layden

No Ordinary Dog by Will Chesney, Joe Layden

No Ordinary Dog is the powerful true story of Will Chesney, SEAL Team Operator and military dog handler, and Cairo, the dog that saved his life. In May 2011, two dozen Navy SEALs descended on Osama bin Laden’s compound. The only mission member whose name was publicized was Cairo, a Belgian Malinois and military working dog. This book tells Cairo’s story and his handler, Will Chesney, as they became irrevocably tied together.  Will Chesney, US Navy SEAL Will was introduced to the SEAL...

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