Kilroy WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean
Miscellany—page 3

Gremlins, Foo Fighters, book reviews, even Lena the Hyena. Here are the sidebars to history. Interesting, wonderful stories, myths and mysteries. The best of the books about the war years - then and now.


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Veronika Valdova DVM

Czechoslovakia in Korean War

By Veronika Valdova DVM

During what Doctor Valdova (left) calls ". . .one of the ugliest small wars . . " Czechoslovakia was behind the Iron Curtain. They did not send combat troops but did provide badly needed medical equipment, know-how and field hospitals to North Korea.

This is an excellent description of that effort and facts about their participation. Dr. Valdova is a well known Czech author and is now devoted to research in drug safety.

Click the star to see the complete story

Hitler's GI death camp

Berga an der Elster

Could this beautiful little village in central Germany really be the site of "Hitler's GI death camp"? With only about 4000 residents today it is known for an idyllic way of life and for singing.

But in 1944 and 45, this was a camp built for inmates who were forced to dig some seventeen tunnels that would lead to an underground ammunition factory.


Berga/Elster, Germany
by J. Richter
tripwolf.com

Prisoners there had come from two other camps - "Buchenwald" and "Stalag IX-B". Many of the prisoners who were brought to Berga died simply through overwork and malnutrition (as was the case for many of the other camps in the Nazi regime.)

They reserved particular venom for any Jewish-American troops who were eventually sent along to Berga to build the aforementioned tunnels.

Click the star to see the complete story

End of the war headlines

WAR ENDS!
JAPS QUIT

Actual Saipan Beacon. A newspaper published by the Island Command of the occupying forces. This newspaper saved by Joseph A. Schneider . . . who was there!

Click any image below for a big enough to read very large view. (Use CNTRL key and scroll wheel to enlarge if desired.)



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Short Snorter

REAL WWII Short Snorter!

By Bob Cook!

The owner of this short snorter was John D. Macklin. As old campaigners like to say, he was and still is a Marine. During W.W.II he served at the rank of Lt.Col with General Vandergriff for the duration of the Guadacanal campaign. He was the munitions officer. His daughter-in-law told me he narrowly escaped death many times as ammunition dumps were the favorite targets of the Japanese. She added that he came home a physical wreck because he was in his mid forties and Guadacanal was a grind on all participants. All suffered dearly at first for lack of food and supplies. When she saw him at home he had lost over 40 pounds. He later became a two star general.

My wife and were in the collectable business for several years soon after I retired. We had occasion to purchase some military items including an odd roll of bills taped together end to end. We never sold this item as we had no clue what it was.


Recently I was reading Suez To Singapore written by Cecil Brown a rather well known war correspondent in his day. The book was published in 1942. Therein I found a complete description of what the roll of bills was. Brown described how he had gained entry into the Short Snorters Club in a bar drinking with friends. You obtained membership if you have flown across an ocean by simply exchanging signatures on the back of a dollar bill, giving one to those at the table who were already members and producing another to be signed and returned. You added bills as you met other new members or those who violated the club's basic rule.

Rule # 1 was simple. Members were required to carry their Short Snorter at all times and produce it in one minute if called upon to do so. Failing that you gave all members at the table a bill or bought them a drink. Further research revealed that the club was supposedly started in 1925 but really took off during WWII. It became a very popular drinking game and status symbol as pilots and others flew all over the globe to fight.

They are difficult to read but here are two of the names on the bills:

K.S. Kates
19 Aust. AOD
Australia
John Elis Mackay
639 Dickerson AU.
DE15

Click the star to see the complete snorter


Sad Sack

Another funny WWII story by Sgt. Joe Tillery


Sad Sack (SS) was born as a cartoon character on the pages of "Yank" magazine in 1944. He was the ubiquitous lonely buck private who suffered the trials and humiliations of being in the army against his will.

His relationship with officers and noncoms was disastrous and he was usually an outcast even among his peers. He constantly goofed up any assignment given to him. So he was never able to earn and hold a rank higher than private. Anyone he contacted outranked him so figuratively he was at the bottom of the food chain.

Those of us who were in the army during that period probably knew one or more Sad Sack. I knew such a character in Erding West Germany in 1945. I first met him aboard the USS West Point . Every time I pulled KP he was there smiling and happy. He was there for latrine duty still smiling and happy.

We eventually arrived in Erding at a resupply depot. Sad Sack was assigned a job. He seemed happy but it lasted about a week before he was reassigned. This went on until he had been through about every job that he was vaguely qualified for. He is still a buck private .By chance he was given a try out on a fork-lift and our own Sad Sack had found his home.

Not only could he operate it but with a high degree of proficiency. It was almost like a love affair between SS and his fork-lift. He rapidly rose in rank to corporal. He gained the respect of his coworkers and peers; .He was even allowed to drive his beloved fork-lift around the base. The only pretense of traffic control was a 4-way stop at the heart of the base.
The base commander was a Brig. General. He had a new Packard for a staff car .He had two enlisted men. One to drive and the other to keep his staff car polished and open the door for him.

As chance would have it, the General and his Packard were waiting
at the
stop sign when SS and his fork-lift approached from the side As he was waving at his friends he ran the forks into the General's Packard. No one seemed to be injured but in his efforts to disengage, he managed to lift the general and his Packard five feet, up and unceremoniously dropped them on the concrete.

To say that the General was upset would be an understatement. I do believe that every officer from 2nd Lt. Up took turns chewing out our poor SS but he was a hero to his peers.

Sad Sack was reassigned. We don't know where he went.

For more on Sad Sack, see the Official Sad Sack web site!

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