The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

Lt. Russell J. Brown, U.S. Air Force (1948-1955)

Lt. Russell J. Brown, U.S. Air Force (1948-1955)

Jet fighters first made an appearance in the German Luftwaffe during World War II, but the technology had come a long way by the time the Korean War started in 1950. At first, the North Korean air forces were flying Soviet-built propeller-driven fighters, and the United States forces were flying American-made P-51 Mustangs and Vought F4U Corsairs. As the war dragged on, both sides got substantial upgrades.  When the Korean People's Air Force started flying the MiG-15, it was clear that...

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A1C Morgan Freeman, U.S. Air Force (1955-1959)

A1C Morgan Freeman, U.S. Air Force (1955-1959)

Morgan Freeman, recipient of the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award, is an American actor, director, and narrator. Noted for his distinctive deep voice, Freeman didn't get his first big break until age 49. Most readers know Freeman for his perfromance in Shawshank Redemption, Million Dollar Baby, or Driving Miss Daisy. But did you know that acting was not Freeman’s first love? As a young man, he dreamed of being an Air Force pilot, turned down an drama scholarship to enlist...

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An Airman’s Journey by Robert M. Fletcher

An Airman’s Journey by Robert M. Fletcher

From the Korean War to the Vietnam War era, the author shares his memories and provides photos of his service with the U.S. Army and with his career the U.S. Air Force.  Covered in the early part of the book are details of how he is exposed to military life, the drudgery of barracks duties, like cleaning latrines, and the kitchen police, overcoming all of those to become a surgical technician, and getting assigned to different air bases to finally reach a forward station in South Korea.  He...

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Vietnam and Beyond: Veteran Reflections by Jenny La Sala And Jim Markson

Vietnam and Beyond: Veteran Reflections by Jenny La Sala And Jim Markson

Those who have fought on a battlefield often describe it as a combination of extreme excitement and gut-wrenching terror. It's also a huge assault to the emotions that can leave permanent mental health damage. Today, that condition is called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In the past, it has been known as battle fatigue (WWI) and shell shock (WWII).  This well-styled, organized, and powerfully written book is a compilation of first-hand accounts by warriors who suffer some aspects of...

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Col Merryl Tengesdal, U.S. Air Force (1994-2017) – U2 Pilot

Col Merryl Tengesdal, U.S. Air Force (1994-2017) – U2 Pilot

Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Merryl Tengesdal is the first African American female U-2 pilot in history and is the first African American woman to fly the Air Force's U-2 Dragon Lady Spy Plane. She is the only black woman alongside five white women and two black men to fly spy planes. Merryl Tengesdal was born Merryl David in 1971 in the Bronx, New York. She excelled in math and science classes in grade school and high school and graduated from the University of New Haven in Connecticut in...

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Leadership And the Janitor

Leadership And the Janitor

William "Bill" Crawford was an unimpressive figure, one you could easily overlook during a hectic day at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Mr. Crawford, as most of us referred to him back in the late 1970s, was our Squadron janitor.While we Cadets busied ourselves preparing for academic exams, athletic events, Saturday morning parades, and room inspection, or never-ending leadership classes-Bill quietly moved about the squadron mopping and buffing floors, emptying trash cans, cleaning toilets, or...

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Maj Bernie Fisher – First Air Force MOH

Maj Bernie Fisher – First Air Force MOH

A separate design for a version of the Medal of Honor for the U.S. Air Force was created in 1956, authorized in 1960, and officially adopted on April 14, 1965. Previously, members of the U.S. Army Air Corps, U.S. Army Air Forces, and the U.S. Air Force received the Army version of the medal.  The first person to receive the new U.S. Air Force Medal of Honor was Major Bernie Fisher during the Battle of A Shau Valley in March 1966. He also received a Silver Star during the same battle. The...

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Women Combat Journalists

Women Combat Journalists

The Second World War opened a new chapter in the lives of Depression-weary Americans. As husbands and fathers, sons and brothers shipped out to fight in Europe and the Pacific, millions of women marched into factories, offices, and military bases to work in paying jobs and in roles traditionally reserved for men in peacetime. It was also a time that offered new professional opportunities for women journalists - a path to the rarest of assignments, war reporters. Talented and determined, dozens...

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The Defiant One: Col Robin Olds, U.S. Air Force (1942-1973)

The Defiant One: Col Robin Olds, U.S. Air Force (1942-1973)

Robin Olds was Built for War Fighter pilots used to say that there was a glass case in the Pentagon building to the precise dimension of then-Colonel Robin Olds, who would be frozen in time and displayed wearing his tank-less flight suit, crashed fore and aft cap, gloves, and torso harness with .38 pistol and survival knife. Beside the case was a fire ax beneath a sign reading: "In case of war, break glass." Biography of Robin Olds It was something of an exaggeration, but it contained an...

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I Flew With Heroes by Lt Col Thomas R. Waldron

I Flew With Heroes by Lt Col Thomas R. Waldron

During the war in Southeast Asia, the author flew combat missions in the KC-135 Tanker, H-3, and H-53 Helicopter.  This book recounts rescue missions flown by H-3 and H-53 "Jolly Green" crews in 1969 and 1970 in Laos and Vietnam while he assigned to the 40th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery (ARR) Squadron. In a straight forward writing style, Waldron begins his book with flight school, additional training, including jungle survival school, and transition helicopter training in Thailand. When the...

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The Original Flying Ladies

The Original Flying Ladies

Like most Americans in the late 1930s, President Franklin Roosevelt was not eager for the United States to get embroiled in a global military conflict.  However, unlike fervent isolationists, he felt it was inevitable over time and began taking some steps in preparation for such an eventuality.  He pushed Congress into doubling the size of the Navy, creating a draft (approved by a close vote of 203 to 202), provided military hardware to friendly foreign nations, and ordered the Navy to...

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Rise and Fall of the SR-71 Blackbird

Rise and Fall of the SR-71 Blackbird

During the last few years of World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union - both long weary of the other - became unlikely allies against Adolf Hitler's takeover of Eastern Europe. Following the defeat of German in 1945, however, the wartime allies became mortal enemies, locked in a global struggle to prevail militarily, ideologically, and politically in a new "Cold War." To learn of the other side's military and technical capabilities, their actions and intentions, both sides used...

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