The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

Veteran of Three Wars Under Three Flags

Veteran of Three Wars Under Three Flags

Lauri Allan Torni, later known as Larry Thorne, spent the majority of his life-fighting communists. First, the Soviets while in the service of Finland and Germany during World War II and then the Vietcong and North Vietnamese as a U.S. Army Special Forces officer during the Vietnam War. Biography Veteran of Three Wars Larry Thorne Lauri Torni was born in Finland, the son of a sea captain, in 1919. He enlisted in the Finnish Army at the age of 18 and was near the completion of his enlistment...

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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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Maj. Gen. Sidney Shachnow (1952–1994)

Maj. Gen. Sidney Shachnow (1952–1994)

Along the way, the general became a legendary Special Forces officer, revered by many in the close-knit community of Green Berets. Major General's Sidney Shachnow Biography Born in Lithuania in 1934, Shachnow faced oppression in his homeland and found his calling in the U.S. Army after immigrating to America in 1950. He enlisted in the military in 1955 and served for more than 39 years, including 32 in the Special Forces community. His top posts included leadership of the John F. Kennedy...

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Spearhead by Adam Makos

Spearhead by Adam Makos

Have you read Spearhead by Adam Makos? When Clarence Smoyer is assigned to the gunner's seat of his Sherman tank, his crewmates discover that the gentle giant from Pennsylvania has a hidden talent: He's a natural-born shooter. At first, Clarence and his fellow crews in the legendary 3rd Armored Division thought their tanks were invincible. Then they met the German Panther, with a gun so murderous it could shoot through one Sherman and into the next. Soon a pattern emerged: The lead tank always...

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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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Largest Amphibious Invasions In Modern History

Largest Amphibious Invasions In Modern History

Battle of Inchon: The Battle of Inchon was an amphibious invasion and battle of the Korean War that resulted in a decisive victory and strategic reversal in favor of the United Nations. The operation involved some 75,000 troops and 261 naval vessels and led to the recapture of the South Korean capital of Seoul two weeks later. The code name for the operation was Operation Chromite. The battle began on September 15, 1950, and ended on September 19th. Through a surprise, amphibious assault far...

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Col Frank Capra, U.S. Army (1918-1945)

Col Frank Capra, U.S. Army (1918-1945)

Frank Capra, who served in the US Army between 1918 and 1945, is perhaps most well-known for his direction of classic Americana films It’s A Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. However, his greatest contribution to American culture may be the documentary series he produced during World War II for the Allied forces: Why We Fight. Born in Bisacquino, Sicily, in 1897, Francesco Rosario Capra was the youngest of seven children born to the Capra household: humble fruit growers. In...

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Walk In My Combat Boots by James Patterson and Matt Eversmann

Walk In My Combat Boots by James Patterson and Matt Eversmann

James Patterson is the worldwide, best-selling creator of the "Alex Cross" and "Michael Bennett" series of books. Matt Eversmann is a U.S. Army veteran who received the Bronze Star Medal with Valor for leading a team of Rangers in Somalia in 1993. His exploits were depicted in the 2001 film "Black Hawk Down". The two teamed up to create a touching, thoughtful book about the U.S. military, the people who join it, and veterans of three separate eras of conflict, "Walk In My Combat Boots," on...

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Cpl William (Bill) Ralph Blass, U.S. Army (1943-1945)

Cpl William (Bill) Ralph Blass, U.S. Army (1943-1945)

William (or Bill) Ralph Blass who served in the US Army between 1943 and 1945 is better known for his contributions to the fashion industry. However, his efforts during World War II are as remarkable as they are unusual. William Ralph Blass was born on June 22 1922, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. His father was a traveling salesman, his mother a dressmaker. Sadly, Blass’ father committed suicide when Bill was 5. Bill took after his mother, sketching Hollywood-inspired fashions in the margins of his...

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SFC Fred Willam Zabitosky, U.S. Army (1959-1989) – Medal of Honor Recipient

SFC Fred Willam Zabitosky, U.S. Army (1959-1989) – Medal of Honor Recipient

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. SFC Zabitosky, US Army, distinguished himself while serving as an assistant team leader of a nine-man Special Forces long-range reconnaissance patrol. SFC Zabitosky's patrol was operating deep within the enemy-controlled territory in Laos when they were attacked by a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army unit.  SFC Zabitosky rallied his team members, deployed them into...

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Our Vietnam Wars by William F. Brown

Our Vietnam Wars by William F. Brown

By William F. Brown Real stories told by real people, in their own words, 100 veterans, men, and women caught up in an all too real war. From the Delta to the DMZ, come walk in their boots. If you were there, you understand. If you weren't, grab a copy.  The Vietnam War dominated my generation and affected so many lives in so many different ways. Some of us were drafted. Some enlisted. Some became war heroes, intentional or not, but most of us were just trying to survive. As we all knew,...

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SSgt Desi Arnaz, U.S. Army (1942-1945)

SSgt Desi Arnaz, U.S. Army (1942-1945)

Desi Arnaz who served in the US Army between 1942 and 1945 is perhaps most famous for his starring role as Ricky Ricardo opposite his real-life spouse Lucille Ball in the foundational modern TV sitcom I Love Lucy. Desi was already on his way to becoming a star when he was drafted into the US Army, but his time as a soldier gave him plenty of opportunities to hone his skills not only as a performer, but as a producer. Desi Arnaz’ Military Service Born Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III in...

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