The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

Rosie the Riveter

Rosie the Riveter

Rosalind P. (Palmer) Walter passed away at the age of 95. She is known to millions as the original inspiration for the "Rosie the Riveter" character. She is appreciated by many for her years of service and support for public broadcasting. Walter grew up in a wealthy family in Long Island. Her father was Carleton Palmer, who was president and chairman of E.R. Squibb and Sons (which is now part of Bristol Myers Squibb). Squibb and sons sold penicillin, which was in high demand due to the war....

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The Only Woman Ever to Join the French Foreign Legion

The Only Woman Ever to Join the French Foreign Legion

By Shahan Russell The Legion Etrangere is better known as the French Foreign Legion - a military organization open to men who are foreign nationals. In 1945, however, the Legion made one exception (and so far, the only one) for a very deserving person. Susan Mary Gillian Travers was born in London on September 23, 1909, to a wealthy family. Her father was Francis Eaton Travers, a Royal Navy Admiral, who married the heiress Eleanor Catherine Turnbull for her money. Theirs was not a happy home,...

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Thunder Below! by Admiral Eugene B. Fluckey

Thunder Below! by Admiral Eugene B. Fluckey

The USS Barb Revolutionizes Submarine Warfare in World War II By Admiral Eugene B. Fluckey The thunderous roar of exploding depth charges was a familiar and comforting sound to the crew members of the USS Barb, who frequently found themselves somewhere between enemy fire and Davy Jones's locker. Under the leadership of her fearless skipper, Captain Gene Fluckey, the Barb sank the greatest tonnage of any American sub in World War II. At the same time, the Barb did far more than merely sink...

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Witness to the Storm by Werner T. Angress

Witness to the Storm by Werner T. Angress

By Werner T. Angress On June 6, 1944, Werner T. Angress parachuted down from a C-47 into German-occupied France with the 82nd Airborne Division. Nine days later, he was captured behind enemy lines and, concealing his identity as a German-born Jew, became a prisoner of war. Eventually, he was freed by US forces, rejoined the fight, crossed Europe as a battlefield interrogator, and participated in a concentration camp's liberation. Although he was an American soldier, less than ten years before,...

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The Battle of Saipan (1944)

The Battle of Saipan (1944)

War inevitably equals mass casualties, whether numbering in the dozens or the hundreds, or the hundreds of thousands - this truth that has accompanied war for thousands of years. A generally accepted fact is that these casualties, whether civilian or military, are usually the direct result of enemy soldiers attacking, disease, and famine in the wake of an invasion. Sometimes, however, other means account for mass deaths in war. Such was the case of Saipan's Battle in the Second World War when...

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Secret Soldiers by Philip Gerard

Secret Soldiers by Philip Gerard

They were masters of the craft of illusion and deception, and their greatest disappearing act was to vanish from history. The men of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops were recruited to become phantom warriors in a ghost army to help win the Battle of Europe. A thousand strong, they fought in more campaigns, from D Day to the Rhine River, with more Allied armies, than any other unit in the European Theater of Operations-yet, not even their fellow American soldiers were aware of their...

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American GIs Battle a German Sniper in Snowy WWII Thriller ‘Recon’

American GIs Battle a German Sniper in Snowy WWII Thriller ‘Recon’

"Recon," a good old-fashioned World War II movie, turns out to be one of the few films that are trying to make a big impact in theaters this fall.  The movie follows four American soldiers over the course of a day after they are sent on a possible suicide mission over a mountain. An old Italian partisan leads them, and no one can be sure of his loyalties. The men witnessed their Sergeant kill an Italian civilian just before this assignment, so no one really knows whether they are supposed...

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The Bombing of Balikpapan: August 13-18, 1943

The Bombing of Balikpapan: August 13-18, 1943

In the early morning hours of August 13, 1943, twelve US B-24 Liberators from the 380th Bombardment Group (also known as the Flying Circus), began a low approach over the harbor of Balikpapan, Borneo. They were about to break records for the longest bombing run in history. Their 17-hour non-stop flight would take the Japanese completely by surprise and result in destruction in Balikpapan. Intelligence had suggested that Balikpapan refineries were producing half of Japan’s WWII aviation fuel....

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PFC Harold Agerholm, U.S. Marine Corps (1942-1944) – Medal of Honor Recipient

PFC Harold Agerholm, U.S. Marine Corps (1942-1944) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Harold C. Agerholm had a quiet start to his life. After qualifying from school in Racine, Wisconsin, he worked as a multigraph operator for the Ranch Manufacturing Company. Then in July 1942, he joined the Marine Corps Reserve. Upon completing his recruit training in San Diego, California, Agerholm was sent to the Headquarters and Service Battery, 4th Battalion, 10th Marines, and 2nd Marine Division. He received further training for eleven months with his battalion in Wellington, New Zealand....

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Destroyed Military Records. A Disaster with Long-Lasting Repercussions

Destroyed Military Records. A Disaster with Long-Lasting Repercussions

In 1973 a devastating fire in the National Personnel Records Center destroyed about 17 million military personnel files. A loss with long-lasting repercussions, it affects our understanding and knowledge of many individual WWII stories. Here in New Orleans, the destructive power of fire and especially water is well known. Large disasters such as floods, earthquakes, and fires affect our national consciousness, and their devastating power often goes beyond the destruction of buildings and...

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Military Myths & Legends: Native American Contributions in the U.S. Military

Military Myths & Legends: Native American Contributions in the U.S. Military

Throughout American History, Native Americans have distinguished themselves with bravery and courage in military service to their country, often without enjoying the same rights and privileges afforded other soldiers.  During WWI, more than 10,000 Native Americans served in the American Expeditionary Force. The majority were volunteers, and most were not considered U.S. citizens. Only U.S. citizens were eligible for the draft. Despite this, the government required Native American men to...

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Ernie Pyle – Famous WWII War Correspondent

Ernie Pyle – Famous WWII War Correspondent

American journalist Ernest Taylor "Ernie" Pyle was one of the most famous war correspondents of WWII. Using his folksy writing style, Pyle connected with his readers and brought the realities of the battlefront to living rooms across America. At his peak, his columns appeared in 400 daily and 300 weekly newspapers. His devoted readers included political and military leaders and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. His coverage of campaigns in North Africa, Italy, and France earned him a Pulitzer...

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