The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

The Fighting Arkansans

The Fighting Arkansans

Lloyd L. "Scooter" Burke - the most highly decorated soldier in Arkansas' history - was born in Tichnor (Arkansas County) on September 29, 1924, one of five children of A. D. Burke, a foreman at a lumber mill in Clarendon (Monroe County) and his wife, Belly Burke. In 1942, Lloyd Burke graduated from Stuttgart High School and enrolled at Henderson State Teachers College, now Henderson State University. In 1943 when Burke was 18-years-old, he dropped out of Henderson State College and joined the...

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Heroines Under Fire

Heroines Under Fire

On July 29, 1918, field nurse Linnie Leckrone jumped on a truck headed for the front as part of Gas and Shock Team 134 in the battle of Chateau-Thierry northeast of Paris during the Great War. As German artillery rained down, she tended the wounded. For her "conspicuous gallantry in action," Leckrone was awarded what was then called the Citation Star in a certificate signed by Gen. John (Black Jack) Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Force. Linny Lecrone's Courageous Merit Was...

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Bayonet Charge

Bayonet Charge

Following World War I, Americans reached the conclusion that our country's participation in that war had been a disastrous mistake, one which should never be repeated again. This resulted in a major segment of the population becoming "isolationist" hoping to avoid dragging the country into another disastrous foreign war. Lewis Lee Millett Enlisted Into the National Guard While Still in High School Even when Nazi German invaded Poland in 1939 and began conquering and controlling much of...

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Maj Richard Ira “Dick” Bong, USAAF (1941–1945)

Maj Richard Ira “Dick” Bong, USAAF (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. He then attended the Poplar High...

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Five Years to Freedom: The True Story of a Vietnam POW by James N. Rowe

Five Years to Freedom: The True Story of a Vietnam POW by James N. Rowe

Five Years to Freedom: The True Story of a Vietnam POW by James N. Rowe When Green Beret Lieutenant James N. Rowe was captured in 1963 in Vietnam, his life became an intensely grueling endeavor that few could have survived. Rowe had been in Vietnam for only three months when he was captured. Imprisoned in a Viet Cong POW camp in an area known as the Forest of Darkness, Rowe endured beri-beri, dysentery, and tropical fungus diseases. He suffered demoralizing psychological and physical torment....

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

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

Biography by Ola Lee Mize 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 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...

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Cpt Humbert Roque “Rocky” Versace, U.S. Army (1959–1965) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Cpt Humbert Roque “Rocky” Versace, U.S. Army (1959–1965) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Captain Humbert Roque Versace, affectionately called "Rocky," was an officer of the United States Army. He went on to receive the Medal of Honor-the greatest military decoration of the United States-for the heroic actions he undertook as a prisoner of war in the Vietnam War. Puerto Rican-Italian by descent, he was the first member of the U.S. Army to have ever received such a distinction. Born on July 2, 1937, in Honolulu, Hawaii, Versace was the eldest of five children. Versace's father was...

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We’ll All Die As Marines by Colonel Jim Bathurst

We’ll All Die As Marines by Colonel Jim Bathurst

One Marine's Journey from Private to Colonel By Colonel Jim Bathurst For seventeen-year-old high school dropout Jim Bathurst, the Marine Corps reputation for making men out of boys was something he desperately needed when he enlisted in March of 1958. What began as a four-year hitch lasted nearly thirty-six years and included an interesting assortment of duty stations and assignments as both enlisted and officer. We'll All Die As Marines narrates a story about a young, free-spirited kid from...

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