The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

The Heroic Battle of Iwo Jima

The Heroic Battle of Iwo Jima

Japan's ambition as a world power began in the late 1800s, but lacking in raw materials (oil, iron, and rubber) necessary to make it a reality, it seized material-rich colonies and islands. Ensuring they kept what they seized, Japan established naval and army bases throughout the Pacific. Following long-standing complaints from the United States about their laying claims on territories that did not belong to them, Japan's military leaders unwisely decided to attack America, beginning with the...

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Parallel Lives, Shared History

Parallel Lives, Shared History

Herb Heilbrun and John Leahr were twenty-one when the United States entered WWII. Herb became an Army Air Forces B-17 bomber pilot. John flew P-51 fighters. Both were thrown into the brutal high-altitude bomber war against Nazi Germany. However, they never met because the Army was rigidly segregated - only in the air were black and white American fliers allowed to mix. Both came safely home, but it took a chance meeting 20 years ago when the two retired salesmen met at a reunion of the...

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1983 Beirut Bombing – Interesting Facts

1983 Beirut Bombing – Interesting Facts

In 1975, a bloody civil war erupted in Lebanon, with Palestinian and leftist Muslim guerrillas battling militias of the Christian Phalange Party, the Maronite Christian community, and other groups. During the next few years, Syrian, Israeli, and United Nations interventions failed to resolve the factional fighting, and in August 1982 a multinational force arrived to oversee the safe and peaceful withdrawal of Yasir Arafat and the PLO from positions within Beirut and ensure the safety of the...

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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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Pierre Julien Ortiz

Pierre Julien Ortiz

The first thoughts that come to mind when one thinks about World War II Marines is them landing on bloody beaches and fighting in steamy jungles of the Pacific. But this was not the role of Marine Pierre Julien Ortiz, who served in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. His exploits and dare-devil attitude were things of fiction yet they were all real. He was an American and a Frenchman with a Spanish name and he lived in remarkable times and did remarkable things. His life was a series of...

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Historic Japanese Internment Camps At Risk!

Historic Japanese Internment Camps At Risk!

Because of proposed cuts in the United States budget for 2019, the National Park Services would be severely reduced. This may have a negative impact on many NPS sites, including those where Japanese Americans were confined following America's entry into WWII in 1941. In 2006, the government set up the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grants Program via the National Parks and set aside thirty-eight million dollars to educate the public as to the importance of remembering this...

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Battle of Camp Bunard (1969)

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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The Battle Of Wake Island (1941)

The 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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The Lightning in Desert Storm (1991)

The Lightning in Desert Storm (1991)

Before Desert Storm The Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne were among the first soldiers deployed to Saudi Arabia following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in August of 1990. Roughly six months later, the storied division would launch an unprecedented airborne assault taking them over 150 miles (241 kilometers) behind enemy lines and within 100 miles (161 kilometers) of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. In 1990, a coalition of forces from around the world, headed by the United States, gathered in...

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Donovan by Richard B. Dunlop

Donovan by Richard B. Dunlop

One of the most celebrated and highly decorated heroes of World War I, a noted trial lawyer, presidential adviser and emissary, and Chief of America’s Office of Strategic Services during World War II, William J. Donovan was a legendary figure. Donovan, originally published in 1982, penetrates the cloak of secrecy surrounding this remarkable man. During the dark days of World War II, "Wild Bill" Donovan, more than any other person, was responsible for what William Stevenson, author of "A Man...

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Five Myths About The Vietnam War

Five Myths About The Vietnam War

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick say their multi-part PBS documentary about the Vietnam War was intended to unpack a complex conflict and to embark upon the process of healing and reconciliation. The series has catapulted the Vietnam War back into the national consciousness. But despite thousands of books, articles and films about this moment in our history, there remain many deeply entrenched myths about the Vietnam War. Vietnam War Myth NO. 1 - The Viet Cong Was a Scrappy Guerrilla Force Fighting a...

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General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Meteoric Rise

General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Meteoric Rise

Speaking of Eisenhower, Field Marshal Lord Montgomery once said, "nice chap, no general." General George Patton once lamented that it was too bad that Eisenhower had no personal knowledge of war. General Omar Bradley would write that Eisenhower "had little grasp of sound battlefield tactics." That might seem like some pretty harsh criticism considering the West tends to look back on Eisenhower as the man who led the allies to victory in Europe. His iconic status was further cemented in history...

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