The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

Vietnam War – The Battle of Ia Drang, LZ X-Ray

Vietnam War – The Battle of Ia Drang, LZ X-Ray

American involvement in Vietnam can stretch back as far as the end of World War II, depending on how you define "involvement," but one thing is for sure; when the U.S. committed its combat troops to defend South Vietnam, things got hot almost immediately. The most stunning example of the ferocity of Vietnam battlegrounds is the 1965 Battle of Ia Drang, the first time the U.S. Army fought a major battle against the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN), North Vietnam's regular forces. ...

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What Rotten EGGS by Daniel M. White

What Rotten EGGS by Daniel M. White

During World War II, the Coast Guard built its LORAN, or long-range navigation systems, a network of land-based transmitting stations that would give military ships and aircraft a means of accurately navigating to their destinations.  After the war, the LORAN became the primary means by which the entire world navigated the oceans. LORAN stations were built wherever there was local support for them, but those who worked at these remote locations often found themselves far from home,...

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SSgt Bernice Frankel (Bea Arthur), U.S. Marine Corps (1943-1945)

SSgt Bernice Frankel (Bea Arthur), U.S. Marine Corps (1943-1945)

Bernice Frankel, better known as Bea Arthur, of the U.S. Marine Corps between 1943 and 1945, went on to be one of television’s best-loved sitcom stars. As one of the nation’s beloved Golden Girls, she was outspoken in and out of the character of Dorothy Zbornak, advocating for the rights of women and minorities. Yet she was also an intensely private person who kept many details of her life to herself for decades. Bea Arthur’s Military Career Bea Arthur was born Bernice Frankel in May 1922 to a...

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WW2 – D-Day – The Longest Day

WW2 – D-Day – The Longest Day

It was a cloudy, breezy morning on Tuesday, June 6, 1944 as the largest seaborne invasion in history began when British, Canadian and American troops set off across the unpredictable, dangerous English Channel from Portsmouth, England. Their destination: the beaches at Normandy, France. As the 5000-ship convoy carrying over 150,000 men and nearly 30,000 vehicles made its way across the choppy channel, thousands of paratroopers and glider troops were already on the ground behind enemy lines,...

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The Hauntings of Okinawa

The Hauntings of Okinawa

There are many historical military places where you can experience ghostly specters, cold spells, and reports of things moving around all by themselves. Ghostly cavalry forces still protect F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming. Houses on Fort Leavenworth feature terrifying child ghosts. Baltimore's Fort McHenry is a veritable who's who of the afterlife, with reports of people seeing Abraham Lincoln, Edgar Allen Poe, and even Chief Black Hawk.  Nowhere in the U.S. military, however, is more...

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SSG Wilson Watson, U.S. Army (1942-1966)

SSG Wilson Watson, U.S. Army (1942-1966)

Within the ranks of the military, there exists a certain rivalry between those who serve on the front lines and those who serve in the rear with the gear. While all jobs contribute to putting Americans in the fight, the Marines have long prized their beloved infantry above all. In modern terms, it is referred to as the "grunt versus POG debate" with POG referring to "persons other than grunts." In Vietnam, one might have heard the term REMF. Whatever one might call those in the rear, it would...

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The History of Bob Hope USO Shows

The History of Bob Hope USO Shows

Anyone who is even vaguely familiar with the USO knows a little about the history of Bob Hope’ USO shows. Since 1941, the United Service Organizations has provided support to the service members of the United States military. At all stages of a service member’s active duty and even beyond, USO volunteers are ready to provide support.  At enlistmentOn deploymentWith their familiesAway from homeWhen injured in serviceReturning to civilian life The History of Bob Hope USO Shows Bob Hope’s USO...

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Rise and Fall of the SR-71 Blackbird

Rise and Fall of the SR-71 Blackbird

During the last few years of World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union - both long weary of the other - became unlikely allies against Adolf Hitler's takeover of Eastern Europe. Following the defeat of German in 1945, however, the wartime allies became mortal enemies, locked in a global struggle to prevail militarily, ideologically, and politically in a new "Cold War." To learn of the other side's military and technical capabilities, their actions and intentions, both sides used...

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Dutch Girl by Robert Matzen

Dutch Girl by Robert Matzen

Twenty-five years after her passing, Audrey Hepburn remains the most beloved of all Hollywood stars, known as much for her role as UNICEF ambassador as for films like Roman Holiday and Breakfast at Tiffany's. Several biographies have chronicled her stardom, but none has covered her intense experiences through five years of Nazi occupation in the Netherlands. According to her son, Luca Dotti, "The war made my mother who she was."  Audrey Hepburn's war included participation in the Dutch...

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Lt Gen Lewis “Chesty” Puller, U.S.Marine Corps (1919-1955)

Lt Gen Lewis “Chesty” Puller, U.S.Marine Corps (1919-1955)

"Lewis Burwell ' Chesty' Puller, born in the 19th century, fought in the heaviest fighting of the 20th century and is now a legend in this century. The most decorated Marine to ever wear the uniform, and also the most beloved, Puller left a mark on the Marine Corps that would define its culture for years to come." - Michael Lane Smith Biography of Lewis "Chesty" Puller The son of a grocer, Lewis "Chesty" Puller was born June 26, 1898, at West Point, Virginia, to Matthew and Martha Puller....

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Service Reflections of SPC Reginald Furtick, U.S. Army (2006-2014)

Service Reflections of SPC Reginald Furtick, U.S. Army (2006-2014)

Both of my grandfathers served in World War II. One as an Army Chauffeur to his Battalion Commander during Canal Zone operations in Panama. The other was a Naval Radarman Third Class aboard the USS Livingston.

Despite them being similarly reserved and not the type of men to brag, I could hardly wait to visit them so I could beg them to tell me war stories. The experiences they shared with me made a lasting impression during my early childhood, which further aroused my desire to serve my country.

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Famous Military Units – 563rd Transportation Company

Famous Military Units – 563rd Transportation Company

The complexion of war has changed significantly through millennia of human conflict and continues to evolve with new technologies and lessons learned on the battlefield. But despite this changing environment, one constant does exist: effective logistics and supply chain integrity can change the tide of battle and determine outcomes. Until World War II, a historical reliance on fixed fortifications led to straightforward solutions for combat support; however, the global scale of conflict and...

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