The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

Emperor of Nicaragua

Emperor of Nicaragua

On November 8, 1855, in front of the Parroquia Church in the town square of the Nicaraguan city of Granada, a line of riflemen shot Gen. Ponciano Corral, the senior general of the Conservative government. Strangely, the members of the firing squad hailed from the United States. So did the man who had ordered the execution.  His name was William Walker. Though later generations would largely forget him, in the 1850s, he obsessed the American public. To many, he was a swashbuckling champion...

read more
The War of 1812

The War of 1812

The War of 1812 is a relatively little-known war in American history, but it is also one of its most important. It lasted from June 1812 to February 1815, and was fought between the United States of America and the United Kingdom, its North American colonies, and its Native American allies. It also defined the presidency of James Madison, known as the "Father of the Constitution." Despite its complicated causes and inconclusive outcome, the conflict helped establish the credibility of the...

read more
WW1 Fighter Ace – Lt. Eddie Rickenbacker

WW1 Fighter Ace – Lt. Eddie Rickenbacker

The American Ace of Aces, Eddie Rickenbacker, was a successful race car driver, fighter pilot, an airline executive, wartime advisor, and elder statesman. Few aces achieved so much in so many different lifetime roles. His twenty-six aerial victories came after only two months of combat flying, a spectacular achievement. Eddie Rickenbacker Set a Speed Record in a Blitzen Benz His family name was originally spelled "Reichenbacher," anglicized to its more familiar form when the U.S. entered World...

read more
“Go for Broke”

“Go for Broke”

Immediately after Japan's December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and other American bases in the Pacific, the United States declared war on Japan. Several days later Nazi German and Italy declared war on the U.S., embroiling the world into World War II. The war heightened American prejudice against German Americans and Italian Americans but the racism directed against Japanese Americans was particularly vicious. The calculated response culminated in the forced removal and unconstitutional...

read more
Common Myths of the Vietnam War

Common Myths of the Vietnam War

Myth of the Vietnam War #1 Common belief is that most Vietnam veterans were drafted.  Fact: 2/3 of the men who served in Vietnam were volunteers. 2/3 of the men who served in World War II were drafted. Approximately 70% of those killed in Vietnam were volunteers. Myth of the Vietnam War #2 Common belief that the media reported suicides among Vietnam veterans range from 50,000 to 100,000 - 6 to 11 times the non-Vietnam veteran population.  Fact: Mortality studies show that 9,000 is a...

read more
War in the Pacific – Bataan and Corregidor

War in the Pacific – Bataan and Corregidor

Within hours of their December 7, 1941, attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the Japanese military began its assault on the Philippines, bombing airfields and bases, harbors and shipyards. Manila, the capital of the Philippines, sits on Manila Bay, one of the best deep-water ports in the Pacific Ocean, and it was, for the Japanese, a perfect resupply point for their planned conquest of the southern Pacific. After the initial air attacks, 43,000 men of the Imperial...

read more
Philippine-American War

Philippine-American War

After its defeat in the Spanish-American War of 1898, the Treaty of Paris (1898) transferred Philippine sovereignty from Spain to the United States, ending centuries of Spanish control over the politics and economy of its longstanding former colony. Filipino leaders, however, did not recognize America's authority and had no intention of ceding their homeland to a new colonial power. The decision by U.S. policymakers to annex the Philippines was not without domestic controversy, either....

read more
Vietnam War – Battle of Dien Bien Phu

Vietnam War – Battle of Dien Bien Phu

The causes of the Vietnam War trace their roots back to the end of World War II. A French colony, Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, & Cambodia) had been occupied by the Japanese during the war. In 1941, a Vietnamese nationalist movement, the Viet Minh, was formed by Ho Chi Minh to resist the occupiers. A communist, Ho Chi Minh, waged a guerilla war against the Japanese with the support of the United States. On September 2, 1945, hours after the Japanese signed their unconditional surrender in...

read more
BG James “Jimmy” Stewart, U.S. Army Air Forces (1942-1968)

BG James “Jimmy” Stewart, U.S. Army Air Forces (1942-1968)

One of the film's most beloved actors, Jimmy Stewart, made more than 80 films in his lifetime. He was known for his everyman quality, which made him both appealing and accessible to audiences. Stewart got his first taste of performing as a young man. At Princeton University, he was a member of the Triangle Club and acted in shows they produced. Stewart earned a degree in architecture in 1932, but he never practiced the trade. Instead, he joined the University Players in Falmouth,...

read more
Vietnam War – Fire Base Mary Ann

Vietnam War – Fire Base Mary Ann

Richard Nixon had campaigned in the 1968 presidential election under the slogan that he would end the war in Vietnam and bring 'peace with honor.' However, there was no plan in place to do this, and the American commitment continued for another five years. The goal of the American military effort was to gradually build up the strength and confidence of the South Vietnamese armed forces by re-equipping it with modern weapons so that they could defend their nation on their own. This policy...

read more
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...

read more
WW2 – Sugar Loaf Hill, Okinawa

WW2 – Sugar Loaf Hill, Okinawa

After the Battle of Midway in the summer of 1942, the United States launched a counter-offensive strike known as "island-hopping," establishing a line of overlapping island bases. As each Japanese-held island fell, U.S. forces quickly constructed airfields and small bases, then moved on to surrounding islands, one after another, until Japan came within range of American bombers. The volcanic island of Iwo Jima was a crucial location for the island-hopping campaign to succeed. The island's...

read more