The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

Maj Kurt Chew-Een Lee, U.S.M.C. (1945-1968)

Maj Kurt Chew-Een Lee, U.S.M.C. (1945-1968)

Kurt Chew-Een Lee is believed to have been the first Asian-American officer in the Marine Corps, rising through the ranks beginning his career from World War II to the Vietnam War.  Lee was born in 1926 in San Francisco and grew up in Sacramento, California. Lee's father was M. Young Lee, born in Guangzhou (Canton), emigrating in the 1920s to the Territory of Hawaii and then California. Once established in America, M. Young Lee returned to China to honor an arranged marriage. He brought...

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Korean War – Firefight at Outpost 3 (1952)

Korean War – Firefight at Outpost 3 (1952)

"There were 80 of us on that hill when an estimated 600-800 Chinese hit us hard that night. Sixty-six of us were killed, wounded or missing."PFC Edgar "Bart"Dauberman, USMC "Easy"Company, 2d Battalion 5th Marines  In the spring of 1952, General James A. Van Fleet, USA, Commander, 8th United States Army in Korea and supreme commander of all Allied Forces in Korea, undertook one of the most audacious operations in the history of warfare. With his Army fully engaged against Chinese and...

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Vietnam War – Operation Union II

Vietnam War – Operation Union II

Operation Union II was a military operation that took place in the Vietnam War. It was a search and destroy mission in the Que Son Valley carried out by the 5th Marine Regiment. Launched on May 26, 1967, the operation ended June 5. It was a bloody 10-day battle that resulted in 594 NVA killed and 23 captured, while U.S. casualties were 110 killed and 241 wounded. Operation Union II was to Destroy the Withdrawing Remnants of the PAVN The Que Son Valley is located along the border of Quang Nam...

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The Most Decorated Enlisted Sailor in Navy History

The Most Decorated Enlisted Sailor in Navy History

In the history of the United States Navy, only seven men have earned all of the big three valor awards: Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, and Silver Star. Six were World War II officers, including one aviator. The seventh was James Elliott "Willy" Williams - considered the most decorated enlisted man in the history of the Navy. Biography of James Williams Williams, a Cherokee Indian, was born November 13, 1930, in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Two months later he moved with his parents to Darlington,...

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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...

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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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To Hear Silence by Ronald W. Hoffman

To Hear Silence by Ronald W. Hoffman

Five years ago, the author returned to Vietnam on a battlefield tour with his wife, Nancy. In a conversation with the guide, Bill Stilwagen, he mentioned how his unit had accomplished a lot in its first 13 months in-country, yet when he looked on the internet, he couldn't find anything. Stilwagen challenged him by saying, "Why don't you write a book about it?" Hoffman took the challenge seriously. Upon returning home, he immediately set out to write a true account of Charlie Battery, 1st...

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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...

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Hidden Army by Lawrence Rock

Hidden Army by Lawrence Rock

According to Pentagon records, nearly four million personnel served in and around Vietnam; most in Vietnam, others on flight bases in Thailand and ships in adjacent South China Sea. Of those 3,917,400 million men and women ordered to the Southeast Asia Theater, ninety percent were not sent there to fight. They were there to support the ten percent who were. Support troops included pilots, sailors, medics, nurses, cooks, clerks, drivers, engineers, communications people, military police, and...

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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...

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Maj Charles S. Kettles, U.S. Army (1953-1978)

Maj Charles S. Kettles, U.S. Army (1953-1978)

Maj. Charles S. Kettles Volunteered to Lead a Flight of Six UH-1D During the early morning hours of May 15, 1967, personnel of the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, were ambushed in the Song Tra Cau riverbed near the Duc Pho District in the South Central Coast of Vietnam by an estimated battalion-sized force of the North Vietnamese Army. The NVA attacked with numerous automatic weapons, machine guns, mortars, and recoilless rifles from a fortified complex of deeply embedded tunnels and...

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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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