The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

WW1 – The First Battle of the Somme (1916)

WW1 – The First Battle of the Somme (1916)

In the annals of military history, few battles evoke the same sense of sacrifice, tragedy, and valor as the First Battle of the Somme. Fought during the First World War, this monumental clash took place between July 1st and November 18th, 1916, primarily along the banks of the River Somme in France. It remains one of the most significant engagements of the Great War, characterized by its staggering casualties and strategic significance. The First Battle of the Somme is famous chiefly on...

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Frank Buckles, the Last Surviving American Veteran of World War I

Frank Buckles, the Last Surviving American Veteran of World War I

Though legendary American veterans may live forever in our hearts, no one truly lives forever. There will always be a last survivor, and of the estimated 4.7 million Americans who served in the First World War, West Virginia's Frank Buckles was the last American witness to the horrors of the Western Front. Buckles died on February 27, 2011, but it was after a long, extraordinarily eventful life – and World War I was just the beginning. The Last Survivor of World War I: Frank Buckles' Journey...

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The Crew of the Mi Amigo

The Crew of the Mi Amigo

Visitors to Endcliffe Park, a small green space on the west side of the UK city of Sheffield, might come across a curious monument. It begins with a large, permanent American flag. Then, they'll notice several trees surrounding a large boulder. Flags representing the United States Air Force, small wooden crosses, and other tokens of appreciation flanking that boulder, which bears plaques and, often, ten photos of World War II-era airmen.  Those airmen, 1st Lt. John Kriegshauser, 2nd Lt. Lyle...

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Famous Navy Unit: USRC Harriet Lane

Famous Navy Unit: USRC Harriet Lane

The USRC Harriet Lane (1857) was a vessel serving in the United States Revenue Cutter Service from 1861–1881; builder: William Webb, New York, length: 180 ft., navigation draft: 10 ft., beam: 30 ft., propulsion: sail & steam: brigantine-rigged & side wheel paddles; inclined, direct-acting steam engine. Its descendants since then have included USCGC Harriet Lane (WSC-141), a 125-foot cutter in US Coast Guard service 1926-46, and USCGC Harriet Lane (WMEC-903), a medium-endurance cutter...

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B-17 Bomber Crews of World War II

B-17 Bomber Crews of World War II

Even at the time, the idea was kind of crazy. Untold numbers of heavy bombers, flying in massive formations without any kind of fighter escort, would fly to heavily-defended targets inside Nazi Germany to drop a 6,000-pound bomb load and come home – all during broad daylight.  If that sounds like an incredibly dangerous mission to you, you're correct. "Masters of the Air," a new limited series from Executive Producers Tom Hanks and Steven Speilberg, will debut on January 26, 2024, on Apple TV+...

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Ending the Battle of the Bulge

Ending the Battle of the Bulge

In December 1944, the German Wehrmacht launched what would be its last offensive of World War II, a last-ditch, all-out effort to throw the Western Allies back from Germany's borders. It would take the Allies almost six weeks to blunt the effort and force the German Army back, but for a time, it looked like the Nazi offensive might actually succeed in splintering the Allied invasion of Europe.  Germany threw everything it could into the effort, including an estimated 410,000 men, 1,500 armored...

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Tales from My Sea Bag by Luis Sung

Tales from My Sea Bag by Luis Sung

There's a good chance that anyone in the Navy could fill a book of short stories with their own personal sea stories, no matter what their rating was. That's pretty much the greatest thing about joining the Navy: you get multiple lifetimes of experiences crammed into such a short amount of time. Of course, slots on aircraft carriers and submarines are limited, and sailors couldn't talk much about those experiences anyway. Author Luis Sung was stationed aboard the Amphibious Transport Dock USS...

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Did Ronald Reagan Scare Iran Into Freeing Hostages?

Did Ronald Reagan Scare Iran Into Freeing Hostages?

For 444 days between 1979 and 1981, 52 American citizens and diplomats who once worked at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran were held hostage by Iranian college students loyal to Iran's revolutionary Islamic cleric, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Though no hostages died, the incident severed U.S.-Iranian relations that have never been restored. It is the date the hostages were finally released that leads many to believe it was more than negotiations that caused their release. Reagan's Inauguration: The...

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Pvt Burt Young, U.S. Marine Corps (1957-1959)

Pvt Burt Young, U.S. Marine Corps (1957-1959)

You may not recognize the name, but you'll recognize the face. Let's be honest: a Burt Young movie marathon is a day well spent. He appeared in more than 160 roles in 50 years in Hollywood, acting alongside the silver screen's most recognizable names: Jack Nicholson, Robert De Niro, and, of course, Sylvester Stallone.  His credits include "Chinatown," "The Killer Elite" and "Once Upon a Time in America," along with his turn as Paulie in the 1976 film "Rocky." He continued in the role through...

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VA Updates: Benefits Best Practice – Tell Your Family

VA Updates: Benefits Best Practice – Tell Your Family

Six million Veterans receive benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). As I described in a previous column, these are earned benefits for military service and not entitlements.  For Veterans, it is essential to explain to your family members what these benefits are, how they are administered, and how they would be affected if you should pass. Based on an all too common real-world situation, this example summarizes why taking the time to speak to your family about your...

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Civil War – The Battle of Chattanooga

Civil War – The Battle of Chattanooga

The November 1863 Battle of Chattanooga was a series of battles that were fought over the course of three days. It was also a series of battles that probably should have never happened in the first place. Around the same time, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant captured the key city of Vicksburg, Mississippi, and the Union Army defeated Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg; Gen. William Rosecrans managed to defeat Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg at Chattanooga, forcing the south out of middle Tennessee. But...

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The Sullivan Brothers

The Sullivan Brothers

Ever since the premiere of "Saving Private Ryan" in 1998, there's been a little bit of confusion around how and why the Army might want to pull one of its soldiers out of a combat zone, even if all of his many brothers were killed in combat.  During World War II, there were very few exemptions to the military draft. Most of the time, potential recruits were rejected for things like medical issues, having jobs critical to the war effort, or religious exemptions. It wasn't until after the war...

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