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Individual stories of the war years from the people who lived them. These stories are sometimes heroic, sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, or sometimes simply remembering things that should never be forgotten.

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Troops singing Star Spengled Banner, Korea 1950.
Image posted on Yahoo

By Bill Kerrell

Foreword by the editor

I have known the author of this story for more than three decades. He a member of the "Silent Generation" that fought the "Forgotten War." He is also a very private person. I have managed

to find out, over all these years that he has been a grossly mistreated child at the Keene Sanitarium at Keene, California (Now Chavez Center.) This is a heart breaking story in itself. Read his "comment" there.

He slept overnight in the great pyramid (research for a book.) He has been an entrepreneur, A Department of Corrections officer, a fast gun artist, a published author, an executive, a manager, a business man, a computer technician/guru, and now, at last, a teller things that must be remembered about the Korean War.

All these years that I have known Bill, I have never seen his spiritual side. On the other hand, I have never seen a side of him that could be described as not spiritual either. If you understand that, please explain it to me. It is true but unexplainable. As he tells his story, you can't help but feel his strong conviction — born of near-death and war. He finished with a little philosophizing which he has earned the right to do and the right to be listen to.

Years ago, Bill was eager to talk about his brother (See My Brother Swede)

in WWII but for 30 years refused to tell this story. I am honored to pass it on here. Don't miss it!

 Click here for
Bill's story
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"Pat you will never get in there before they kill you. They are waiting for you."


More on the brutal battle for Driniumor River!

From one who was there, Pat Bullock

By Ken Walters

"A knife fight out of the stone age,"
". . . some of the harshest terrain ever faced by land armies in the history of the war,"
". . . one of the forgotten, grislier, campaigns of WWII."
". . . most merciless and most primeval battles

This is a personal record of this grizzly battle and is not for the faint of heart!

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Market Garden

by Aubrey L. Ross
Lieutenant Colonel, USAF Retired


Click image for a larger view

On Our Way to Holland

Editor's Note: After the initial, and slightly surprising, success of the landings at Normandy, the Allies hoped for a steady push across France – maybe even home by Christmas. What, Sadly, happened was that the Allies bogged down in a virtual stalemate. In August, British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery pushed hard for what a later American general would call a "Hail Mary." He wanted to make an end-run around the battle through northern France, the low countries, and into the industrial heartland of Germany, the Ruhr. The largest airborne drop in history (to that date) was made to capture and hold three strategic and a few smaller bridges until the mass of land forces could arrive. All went well except for a minor little detail lost to Allied intelligence . . . the II SS Panzer Corps. Here is the story from one who was there!

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Aubrey's story

 

Sgt. Joe Tillery, 1945

The First King Cobra shot down in America

The Flying Pinball Machine

Sgt. Joe Tillery

Another funny story from an USAAF Sgt. who found something funny in everything that happened to him in in WWII.

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Joe's story

I will never forget the feeling of being separated from that ship.

 

Adrift at Sea!

His ship, a small patrol craft was completely disabled but afloat, Yeoman Barnes watches as the ship that was towing them back to safety dropped the tow and sped away . . . leaving them for weeks in hostile waters.


Bill Barnes, 1944
Click the image for a larger view

 Click here for
Bill's story
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Also, Hall of Heroes

A Paraglider Trooper
Remembers D-Day

The story of a young man assigned to a Forward Observer Team to land via glider behind German lines on the D-day landings. Like most of the Horsa gliders, they didn't get down unscathed but, injured, he went on to St. Marie Eglise and, indeed, the rest of the bloody march across Europe, including Operation Market Garden. Click the star for the story. See the Market Garden Quiz. See The Market Garden Story


Alfred (Fritz) Joseph Nigl, PFC

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Fritz's story


Milo Smith, 1945

But not in 1950, in 1945

 

Inchon Landings!

By Milo Smith

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Milo's story

Keeping China Alive

Tales of "Flying the Hump."

 

By Charles R."Bob" Pitzer


Charles R."Bob" Pitzer

The Japanese occupation of China, begun in 1937, had sealed off the country from the rest of the world. By 1940, Japan controlled the entire coast of China forcing Chiang Kai-shek's army westward. In May 1941 President Roosevelt decided that the defense of China was vital to American security, making that country eligible for lend-lease assistance. The only way for American lend-lease materiel to reach Chiang Kai-shek's army was via the Burma Road which was a narrow, twisting route through the mountains (Himalayas) that connected Lashio, Burma, with Kunming, China. In May 1942, Japan's successful invasion of Burma closed this last route for lend-lease aid into China.

China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC) developed and pioneered routes over the Hump from India to China but it fell to the US Army Air Forces to use them to supply the remaining Chinese army. Americans quickly established ‘the Hump,' an airlift of troops and supplies over the Himalayas designed to keep Chiang Kai-shek's army in the fight

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Bob's story

In July, 1945, when the author (Charles Pitzer) was flying the Hump, 71,000 tons of cargo was carried. In all, some 650,000 tons of gasoline, munitions, materiel, and men were flown over the Hump. More than half was carried in the first nine months of 1945.

Here are some stories from one who was there!



Joe Elliott with his medals.
Taken on Remembrance Day 11/11/1999 by the village monument. Click image for a larger view

THE WAR MEMORIES OF A BOMBARDIER

By Joe Elliot

Joe, who told us the wonderful story, Birds Eye View remembers more. After maritime service, Joe was in the thick of it - from Norway to Bombay - never losing his sense of humor. Don't miss this wonderful story from a British bombadier's viewpoint.

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Joe's story

NAS Richmond in 1943

Lighter-than-Air combat

Know how to fly a blimp? Fight a German U-boat or how it feels to fly through the air in a hurricane so severe that it destroys three huge"hurricane proof" Hangars? Arch McCleskey takes us there as he describes his adventures as a crewman on WWII blimps.

 Click the star for
Arch's story
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See NAS Richmond now

Arch H. McCleskey Jr.
in 1943




Art and Micky Morneweck

 

 

More on the first American troops in Korea

 

Korea, 1945

The first American troops in Korea were sent there to take the Japanese surrender. Art Morneweck was there during this almost forgotten episode. A tiny group of GI's move in to secure a country that had been brutalized by Japanese occupation.


 Click the star for
Art's story
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Perilous Duty in Wonsan Bay in 1951-1952

Korea, 1951!

What was it like as you deliberately force your way through mine infested waters? After all, that's why you are there -- to find the mines and destroy them. Did it help when the North Korean shore batteries opened up -- NO! Or when your own friendly battleships fired their 16" guns over you -- well, yes but unnerving! Ride with ENS. Gilliland as he joins the battle in Wonsan Bay.

Dr. Burl Gilliland is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at The University of Memphis. He retired in 1997. He served in WWII on LSTs and in the Korean War on minesweepers. He retired in 1987 with the rank of Captain. He has co-authored several major graduate level psychology and counseling textbooks.


Burl and Martha Gilliland, 2003

 Click here for
Burl's stories

..........Shore Batteries
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.........Dozo the Mascot Select Star WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean
...............MinesweepingSelect Star WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean

........................Sabotage Select Star WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean


 George Osepchuk WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean
George Osepchuk

Burlesque Sign WWII Kilroy Was Here KoreanBurlesque Sign WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean
Burlesque Sign WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean

Would you believe GIs in drag entertaining the troops? Here's George's story of a burlesque troop made up of GIs that toured Korea right after WWII. Entertainment was rare but these guys were popular. Don't miss George's story.

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George's story


Glen Wallace WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean
Navy publicity photo

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Special thanks to Sheila Davidson who compiled and edited Glen's notes and scanned his photos.
Tom Kercher - consulting and Image preparation.
Jack Henzie - consulting and final editing.

Combat in the air

Glen Wallace's War Diary.

This is the actual combat diary, with timely updates, of a Corsair/Hellcat pilot. Glen takes us with him in the cockpit as he completes training on Sable and Wolverine (side-wheel aircraft carriers), fights in the Pacific, then returns home to "live happily ever after" with his beloved Bonnie. Fly with him on his first combat mission. Fly with him when he enters, with some trepidation, enemy territory for the first time. Fly with him as he participates in the sinking of Yamato, the largest battleship ever. And, finally, as he triumphantly flat-hats over a defeated Tokyo. What a story; what a life! Don't miss this one!



Dog platoon at Driniumor river

Driniumor River

If you have read Paul Tillery's story of the battle(s) at the Driniumor River in New Guinea or Dr. Thomas Deas' Last Full Measure, a tribute to a hero of the Driniumor river battles, you may wonder about the place. Another veteran of Driniumor has cleared it up. He was there in a Dog Platoon and with his own sketches and photos makes it clear what is was like. Bill's clear descriptions make it very apparent how it was to be there.

Read his story here.

Update on Teddy 2012

Bill Garbo WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean
Cpl Bill Garbo and Teddy, 1945

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Bill's story

Mario "Ben" Benedetto WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean

PFC Mario "Ben" Benedetto, 1945

Almost forgotten episode in 1945

First American Troops in Korea

The first American troops in Korea were sent there in 1950 after North Korea invaded. Right? WRONG! In an almost forgotten incident, the 7th Infantry Division was sent there in 1945 to accept the surrender of the Japanese troops that had brutally occupied Korea for years. They stayed to help South Korea recover from the war.

Ben
Benedetto was one of those. Read his story here.

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Ben's story
 

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