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 Post subject: Re: 75 Years Ago Today...
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:43 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:20 pm
Posts: 194
Quote:
So now, my plan is to be there in 5 years for the 75th anniversary.

I think you might be a tad late.


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 Post subject: Re: 75 Years Ago Today...
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:37 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:52 pm
Posts: 137
Location: Pittsburgh
One of my uncles was in an Engineering Battalion and landed in Normandy on D+3. He effectively walked from there to the Elbe River sweeping a mine detector in front of him. Likely saw lots of his buddies blown up when their foot found the mine before the detector did. The experience messed with his head. Uncle Lou came home without any physical scratches, but my aunt said her brother never really came back from the war.

I didn’t know it until after he died, but the family doctor down the street was a medic on Omaha Beach on D-Day. Think about that for a moment………

I am in awe of these guys. They were given a job they didn't want and they did it. A few years back, I started uploading their stories to their Find-a-Grave webpages. A random sample is attached.

/s/ Larry
Lawrence G. Lovejoy, P.E.


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 Post subject: Re: 75 Years Ago Today...
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:18 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 4138
Location: Maine
These boys did something I don't think we appreciate as much as we should, and I mean each and everyday. The Nazis were a well-oiled killing machine and the only way to break their grip on Europe was to dig them out, at a horrific cost. Three years ago, my mother's youngest brother died with German shrapnel still in his back. He was wounded twice while their older brother starved in a Luftstalag. Both boys came home, but never quite as they left.
Add to D-Day, Okinawa, Midway, Guam, merchant convoys, and the list goes on.
Remember every day you can gripe about our government, or vote, or change your job, or worship in the manner you've chosen.
God bless our fathers in The Greatest Generation.

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 Post subject: Re: 75 Years Ago Today...
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:49 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2005 3:22 pm
Posts: 48
Location: St John
My uncle was there on D-Day on a PT Boat guarding the flanks. He never talked about it and my dad said they heard from someone who was on his crew, saying that they were strafed while my uncle was down in the engine room and bullets and parts of engines were flying all over the place. He ran up on deck, pale white and very scared.

I can't even imagine what he went through that day.


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 Post subject: Re: 75 Years Ago Today...
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:20 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:45 am
Posts: 84
One of the amazing feats that happened on this day 75 years ago was that at the same time we were launching the invasion of Europe, on the other side of the globe, task force 58 sailed from Pearl Harbor and other areas to form the largest naval strike force in history to date. This task force was destined to the Marianas Islands, and The Battle of the Philippine Sea. This was also known as "The Marianas Turkey Shoot" This was a critical battle that allowed the staging of B-29's on Guam, Saipan, and Tinian. Amazing that the production capacity of the United States was able to build from almost nothing to being able to launch the world's largest naval strike force, and be a critical component of the worlds largest invasion at the same time. This couldn't have been done without the critical efforts of the railroads, and almost exclusively steam powered at that. Now that I have a 20 year old son, and I look at him and see what was lost by so many for the war is unthinkable. We must always remember, and always be vigilant to resist the history that took the world to war two times the last century

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: 75 Years Ago Today...
PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:07 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:27 am
Posts: 38
Both my dad's father and stepfather were WW2 vets. His father was as he put it the man in the fishbowl on a B24 in the Med and later Italy with what became the 15th AF was on the Ploesti low level raid and on the first raid by the 15th to Berlin and back. Those were his first and last missions on his TOD and he was sent home. His stepfather was a Radioman in the Pacific on a transport later an LST. He was involved in every landing we did in the Pacific from the Canal to Okinawa. His ship was sent in to pull Marines out after the battle of Bloody Ridge on the Canal while bringing in reinforcements to the 1st Marines. He also helped pull survivors of Taffy 3 out of the water after they drove the Japanese Fleet off at Leyte including some from the Samuel B Roberts.

The men and boys yes there where kids as young as 16 involved in the landing at Normandy did what many considered even 2 years earlier impossible. They started to retake Western Europe back from Germany. My grandfather my dad's father not his stepfather died in 1971 he was the only survivor out of his crew. He survived due to being pulled from a mission with a sinus infection on a raid over a oil plant. His plane and crew was shot down with no survivors it according to records took an 88mm round in the bomb bay and blew up.


This should tell you something about how mighty this nation was in WW2 in 1944 alone we did not 1 but 8 major landings with in 3 being in Europe and 5 major and multiple minor ones all over the place in the Pacific. We also were the main supply hub for things like tanks for the British and Canadian forces food trucks jeeps planes ships hell about everything we needed to fight with. We as a nation are the only ones that have fought and one a major 2 front war and in 44 where actually fighting on 5 fronts at the same time and pushing the enemy back on all 5 fronts. Those being Western Europe the Med then in the Pacific we had the SWOPA of MacArthur Central Pacific under Nimitz and Burma China under Stillwell. Then throw in putting the B29 into combat and the logistics train for that monster. Yeah we did all of that in one year. Less than 3 years after being attacked and forced into the War.


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 Post subject: Re: 75 Years Ago Today...
PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:03 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 341
Location: Oroville, CA
My father almost never talked about his service, and by the time he did, his memory was faded. I did know that he was sent to a resupply depot south of Paris for the duration, and that he had taken an IQ or task test that sent him to that depot instead of with the group he trained with, and that few of his group survived, and those that did were not happy with his re-assignment. One story he did tell when he was younger is that they were slicing some big blocks of cheese with a large knife and having a deuce of a time with the slicing. He went over to the motor pool and got some mechanics wire and showed them how to slice the cheese with the wire. We also have a turned railing cap that was made out of a dud bomb casing that was found in the middle of the depot one morning--otherwise he probably would have died then. He had an ear infection coming over on the ship, so was not in the D-Day itself, but D-day plus four, at the Battle of St. Lowe.
Later, when his memory wasn't so good he told me all he remembered was that he didn't have to wade through the water to get ashore, and that night hiding in the hedgerows he saw the biggest fireworks ever. Also when they marched through the bombed town, the Germans had already left since the allies had dropped leaflets warning the residents, but communications back then weren't good enough to stop the destruction. After he passed, we found the wooden box he had sent from Europe, and found some strange photos inside (he was a photographer hobbyist even back then). Would like to have asked him about those pictures, and the souvenirs he had in there. There were a lot of programs from Paris nightclubs too, with bare-breasted performers (the French obviously had a "more liberal" view of modesty--I imagine our troops we a bit overcome by it all). Meantime, my Mom was back here in the states, for a time working sharpening drills in a factory until she came back to California and worked in my Grandfather's bakery. She had followed Dad clear to the east coast (they were married in August of '41). We also found records that he was in charge of bringing a group of soldiers back to the states, so he must have been promoted some; I'd have to find his military records again to find that out.

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David Dewey
Celebrating the return to the American Rivers of the last overnight steamboat, Delta Queen!


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 Post subject: Re: 75 Years Ago Today...
PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:20 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:29 am
Posts: 72
Location: Michigan
Thanking all of You who replied to this thread.

The comfort of the Internet "place" has its place.

Other's, know what it really means to jump off the end of a boat
fully loaded with gear ready to "kill" and do a job.

Most reading this thread could care less.

To learn something,

Jump off the end of a boat and remember what you did.
Report back to us all... if you manage to have a good experience from it... and tell us about it. ; )

John


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 Post subject: Re: 75 Years Ago Today...
PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:42 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:32 pm
Posts: 282
Some of the few photos that came from Omaha Beach that day were from Robert Capa with the first wave. His story of that day here.

/www.magnumphotos.com/newsroom/conflict/robert-capa-d-day-omaha-beach

Why so few photos?

“Seven days later, I learned that the pictures I had taken on ‘Easy Red’ were the best of the invasion. But the excited darkroom assistant, while drying the negatives, had turned on too much heat and the emulsions had melted and run down before the eyes of the London office. Out of one hundred and six pictures in all, only eight, were salvaged.”


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 Post subject: Re: 75 Years Ago Today...
PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:24 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:45 am
Posts: 84
ironeagle2006 wrote:
Both my dad's father and stepfather were WW2 vets. His father was as he put it the man in the fishbowl on a B24 in the Med and later Italy with what became the 15th AF was on the Ploesti low level raid and on the first raid by the 15th to Berlin and back. Those were his first and last missions on his TOD and he was sent home. His stepfather was a Radioman in the Pacific on a transport later an LST. He was involved in every landing we did in the Pacific from the Canal to Okinawa. His ship was sent in to pull Marines out after the battle of Bloody Ridge on the Canal while bringing in reinforcements to the 1st Marines. He also helped pull survivors of Taffy 3 out of the water after they drove the Japanese Fleet off at Leyte including some from the Samuel B Roberts.

The men and boys yes there where kids as young as 16 involved in the landing at Normandy did what many considered even 2 years earlier impossible. They started to retake Western Europe back from Germany. My grandfather my dad's father not his stepfather died in 1971 he was the only survivor out of his crew. He survived due to being pulled from a mission with a sinus infection on a raid over a oil plant. His plane and crew was shot down with no survivors it according to records took an 88mm round in the bomb bay and blew up.


This should tell you something about how mighty this nation was in WW2 in 1944 alone we did not 1 but 8 major landings with in 3 being in Europe and 5 major and multiple minor ones all over the place in the Pacific. We also were the main supply hub for things like tanks for the British and Canadian forces food trucks jeeps planes ships hell about everything we needed to fight with. We as a nation are the only ones that have fought and one a major 2 front war and in 44 where actually fighting on 5 fronts at the same time and pushing the enemy back on all 5 fronts. Those being Western Europe the Med then in the Pacific we had the SWOPA of MacArthur Central Pacific under Nimitz and Burma China under Stillwell. Then throw in putting the B29 into combat and the logistics train for that monster. Yeah we did all of that in one year. Less than 3 years after being attacked and forced into the War.


Boy, these are some amazing first person stories you have in your family. Really it is amazing to think of all the things that were produced in the states to support the global war. The B-29 project required the commitment of 100 merchant ships alone to keep them and the Marinas island bases in operation. The B-24 raid was a horrific mission. Such losses, hard to imagine how they kept going. As for the China Burma theatre, the pilots who flew "The Hump" with C-46 to keep that area barely supplied. The construction of the road was a marvel in itself. So much history! A person could spend a lifetime learning about it.

A few years ago, I stopped by a local gas station, it is a throw back station, one that still does service and two garage bays. Pump fuel for you if you want etc. Well, I walked in, and there was a photo of a Fletcher Class destroyer on the wall. I commented, "hey, a Fletcher class!, Nice photo!" The old man behind the counter perked up and asked, "You know what that is?" We got into a conversation, the first thing he related was how scared he was when they got caught in a typhoon in late 1944. I knew instantly it was Typhoon Cobra that struck the fleet in December 44 off the Philippines. That storm sent three of our destroyers to the bottom, and the loss of over 900 lives. It alone is an amazing story. As I wrapped up our conversation, he thanked me, and I replied, "It was your duty to be there, it is my duty to remember." We must never forget the things all of our veterans have done for us, not just WWII.


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 Post subject: Re: 75 Years Ago Today...
PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:44 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:27 am
Posts: 38
The one grandfather I got to know never would really talk about the war either unless he had been drinking and later on I think he realized he needed to get his story out there as to what he had seen. One night I was laid over in the Quad Cities waiting on my load the next morning. I called him up said I would take him out to dinner if he came and got me. No problem he said. That night he tied one on and started talking about some of the men and women he had help bring home from POW camps after the war. He nearly fell to his knees talking about the women that had been found in a so called Comfort Camp of the Japanese Army. Most of them had been American Civilians caught in the Philippines when they fell and had been subjected to all kinds of abuse at the hands of Japanese troops who at these camps were basically told have fun no rules. Then he told me about 2 POW's that had stood out from the thousands they brought home. The first was a Marine a survivor of Wake Island one of the few that we got back most of them were machine gunned by the Japanese on Wake. His hands had been beaten into useless clubs by the Japanese troops after they had taken the island as punishment. His crime against Japan he was part of the Shore Defense Battalion that had sunk a Cruiser during their first attack against Wake. The other was an AAF officer a 1st LT of the 20th AF. He had been blinded by 2 pokers into his eyes burning his eyes out of his sockets. His crime against Japan. He was a Bombardier on a B-29 that had been shot down and that was how they punished him. Normally they killed the crews of the planes. This man my grandfather his entire life refused to buy anything made in Japan or the Far East. His wife refused to buy anything made in Germany for her own reasons and it was also related to the war. Her reason was even more graphic. You see my Grandmother she was the first generation born here in the USA to refugee parents that had come over here during WW1 her father immigrated in 1916 at the age of 16 from what was then the Austria/Hungarian Empire from the Slovakian region near what was later called the Seudeatenlaund in the 30's by Hitler. Her mother followed a couple years later after her dad had established himself in the Lead mining area of Missouri and was made a foreman on his shift.


Well come WW2 Hitler decided that her family overseas they were not what he considered perfect people aka they had different ideas about things and opposed him well he rounded up everyone he could find. My entire family that was overseas in Europe on my dads side was set to Dachau and Buchenwald from what we have figured out between 41-43 and not one of them survived. They were not Jewish they were actually Germanic but not Aryan so they were deemed subhuman by the SS and Gestapo. So needless to say shopping for them was fun.


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 Post subject: Re: 75 Years Ago Today...
PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 10:44 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:12 pm
Posts: 165
My uncle served on the USS Parch, which I found out later was the most decorated sub in the Pacific.
Recently, at a local air show, there was a veteran's booth set up, and I was blessed to get a copy of the complete action logs of that sub. They even had a couple of pictures of the crew with my uncle indicated.


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 Post subject: Re: 75 Years Ago Today...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:14 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:51 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Ipswich, Mass., Phoenix, AZ
My Dad was in the Pacific. My late brother and I are (were) Vietnam vets. My father-in-law was in the USCG on an Attack Troop Transport, the USS Bayfield. It was off of southern France for that invasion. then Normandy, then Iwo Jima, and finally Okinawa. When I came back from Vietnam he told me a few stories, but not many, and none of the actual war. The most gentlemanly, mild, nicest guy. The stories he could have told. What a neat guy.


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 Post subject: Re: 75 Years Ago Today...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:59 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:26 pm
Posts: 94
Both my Dad and his brother went to work for the UP in 1936. After a couple of deferments, my Dad joined the Navy. He said he didn't want to get drafted into the military railroad service. My uncle was in the Marines in WWII and then joined the Air Force during the Korean war. He stayed in after 1953 and resigned from the railroad. He retired from the AF with 22 years of service and went back to work for the UP and retired with 30 years of service at age 62. He said he had a heck of a time proving to the railroad retirement board that he could have that many years of service and be only 62. He only lived 6 more months. Its amazing what the Greatest Generation went through, first the Great Depression and then WWII. And then, the greatest economy for 20 years.


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 Post subject: Re: 75 Years Ago Today...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:15 pm 
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Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
train guy wrote:
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So now, my plan is to be there in 5 years for the 75th anniversary.

I think you might be a tad late.

You get that I posted that 5 years ago, right?
Still, I did make it there last year. It was the very top of my bucket list to walk on Omaha Beach, which I did.
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