Tributes, page 2

Stories your father or grandfather told of the war years -- now told again. Other tributes to people and things. Second person stories and tributes to those who shouldn't be forgotten.



Read Tribute/story here


Pvt. Leonard Chrostowski

Army records show that there were 8,844 American casualties in the fighting in Italy and the "Red Bull" received 15,000 Purple Hearts, including one for Lenny, and 3,000 decorations for bravery in its North African and Italian campaigns.


Now, the family finds some solace in what Lenny had written in one of his letters home. "I am proud," he wrote, "that I am a real honest-to-goodness soldier in the toughest outfit in the U.S. Army."

"I am proud that I am a real honest-to-goodness soldier in the toughest outfit in the U.S. Army." ........................ — Pvt. Leonard Chrostowski


B-24 'Black Cat', 8th AF. In tribute: 60 million memorial stamps issued 2005.
Photo enlarges when clicked

The Youngest Known
B-24 Pilot

Taking to the skies in balmy summer weather at age 18 in a single-engine plane is one thing. Attempting the same at age 18 in foul weather aboard a four-engine bomber while total strangers are trying to kill you is quite another. Don't miss this first-hand combat account of the youngest known B-24 pilot in the Eighth Air Force.

Click the star

SON OF A

"What I remember of my father is that he fought as an artilleryman in the Spanish-American War. My only image of him is from an old photograph. He's in his army uniform standing beside a cannon." Thus begins Bob Lamkin's 'like father/like


1902 photo, a battery of 76mm Hotchkiss cannons

son' narrative. A quantum leap -- from 76mm Hotchkiss cannon pulled by a team of mules, to the workhouse artillery weapon of WW11.

Click the star

 

My World War II Heroes
A Daughter's Memoir

Read her loving story here

 
"They freed not only Europe from the tyranny of a madman, but possibly halted what could have been the demise of democracy."

THE REAL WORLD RECORD MUSKY

"Two minutes later, her back broken by an exploding torpedo, Muskallunge began her final plunge to the ocean floor. Half a world away from where she earned her laurels -- but less than 50 miles from her birthplace."

Thus ends the wonderful story of a great submarine and the courageous men who manned her.


Muskellunge, A large American pike (Esox nobilitor)

USS Muskallunge (SS-262) Gato-class submarine 1942-1968

Read the story here

A Screaming Eagle Goes Airborne on D-Day – Twice
The Leonard Hornbeck Story

"Barely recognizable in the false dawn of D-Day, a German grenade skitters across the roadway. Walking directly into its oncoming path is an American paratrooper." This starts a major new documentary by noted oral history writer, Tony Welch. Leonard, through Tony, takes us from Normandy to German POW status to Egypt. Besides a thrilling read, this fills a void in history. Leonard is one of the great Americans we count on to keep us safe and Tony is one who keeps it alive for history! Don't miss this great story.

Click the star

Click this star for just the battle.
Click the star to read the complete eBook on-line or download with Acrobat


Southern Comfort and her crew before her name was painted on the nose in 1942.

Last Flight of The
Southern Comfort


Life and death of a B-17 'Flying Fortress' once as famous as "The Memphis Belle"

By Trevor A. Williams with Wallace Wood

If you watch the original piece of film about the Memphis Belle, you will see the Southern Comfort in the same film. She also appears in many other USAAF documentaries. The "Belle" survived 25 missions -- a rare feat in those perilous times-- and was sent home with her crew. That plane can be seen today, still running. But it was the Southern Comfort and her crew that the official Army Air Forces' Journal featured in "Target: Germany". Don't miss this poignant story of her last flight and the search for relics.

Click here for the story

Charlie

by Tony Leone

Another poignant story. LST 523 was lost approaching the landing beaches at Normandy.


LST-523 Picture courtesy WhiteHouseCharters.co.uk

Charlie was on board, a member of the 300th Combat Engineers, when the ship hit a mine. Tony watched in horror as it happened. Tony Leone, himself a survivor of Normandy, gives us an eye witness account of the loss of LST-523. These recollections came to mind after Tony was contacted by Charlie's son-in-law who was trying to learn more about his father-in-law's tragic ending. Tony is one who I think of when someone mentions the Greatest Generation. He spends his time now writing and helping people.
Read the story here


Newton's Steam Engine


The W.1 turbojet engine

“Turbo”—the Jet Engine’s Grand-daddy

By Wallace (Woody) Wood

Proud of your “turbo” car?

You should be.  Short for “turbo-supercharger”, it’s the grand-daddy of all jet engines.

A Kilroy Was Here Exclusive!


First Zero-Zero Automated Landing in a B-17

Coman Wendell Rothrock, Jr. is no longer with us but his story is riveting! Riveting especially to pilots who have experienced zero-zero weather if not landed in it. Coman's story fills a gap in aviation history and hasn't been published before.


B-17g in Zero Zero Conditions!

Read the story here

My salute to Alan Pearson, a pioneer of the jet age.


First Salute to the Jet Age

This is a wonderful story of bravery and ingenuity in the battle against the German V-1 "Buzzbomb" A true unknown pioneer of the jet age.



Gloster Meteor

Read the story here

The Battle of Britain
The Battle
The Planes
The Terror

Don't miss this amazing collection! The best I've seen on this incredible story! Wallace (Woody) Wood does it again. He brings a great story to life.

Click Here for a very interesting exchange about the Spitfire and the Hurricane!

I Remember Grandpa

By James McConnell

Not only does James remember his grandpa but tells his story that is very well researched and documented.

Read James' story


Clive Ridpath during WWII

The Sergeant Who Captured A Division

By Wallace (Woody) Wood

Read his amazing story that spans two theaters. It starts with Operation Market Garden and continues with flying the Hump. Click the star


Wallace (Woody) Wood

Sgt. Jenkins won the Bronze Star, the Silver Star, two Purple Hearts, the Combat Infantryman's Badge, and five campaign ribbons but got the best award of all from two enemy soldiers - - his life.

Read his poignant story here


. . . the kids who spilled their blood for us on Omaha Beach.

A D-Day message from one who KNOWS



From Tony Leone


Tony Leone, 1944

Pat: As the "Longest Day" enters it's 59th anniversary, I can't help but think about the kids who spilled their blood for us on Omaha Beach. D-Day lasted a lot longer than one day; that's for sure. What about the 19th of June 1944 when LST 523 took the torpedo or mine with our name on it?

Death rode the waves that day at Utah Beach during one of the worst channel storms in history. Tracy Sugarman, the officer in charge of LCVPs, desperately attempted to maneuver his landing craft alongside drowning men. Most of his efforts were in vain. His LCVP leaped and plunged with the fury of the storm. It would take a miracle to reach survivors. With an almost Herculean effort, the officer managed to pull one wounded soldier aboard.

Tracy sprinkled sulfa powder on his gaping chest wound then headed for the nearest ship as gale force winds lashed the tiny craft. Today, the bodies of those who perished during the storm that crushed landing craft and docking facilities with a giant fist, lie peacefully-side by side-in the cemetery at Omaha Beach.

I receive tons of e-mail from Normandy during the month of June each year. We stained the sands of Normandy with our blood so it is fitting that an invisible bond remain locked in place for all eternity. Today, children in France continue to honor me with requests for information. They want to know more about D-Day. Frank Everards, webmaster of "D-day, Normandy and Beyond" has composed a beautiful tribute to the fallen in the form of a poem titled "59 Years Ago Today" and dedicated it to me. I am honored but the tribute should be for the survivors of LST 523. I am alive because of them.

To warn the French underground of the impending invasion, a coded message was sent, taken from the first line of the Verlaine poem "Chanson d'Automme." Later, on the eve of D-day, an alert "It is hot in Suez" was broadcast by the BBC. Guillaume Mercader, the intelligence chief for the Normandy coastal sector between Vierville and Port-en-Bessin (Omaha Beach area) was crouching by a hidden radio set in the cellar of his bicycle shop in Bayeux when he heard the alert. He was stunned by the impact of the words. It was a moment he would never forget! He didn't know where the invasion would take place or when, but it was coming at long last! His men went to work dynamiting rail lines between Cherbourg, St. Lo and Paris. All along the invasion coast, from Brittany to the Belgian border, men prepared for the coming invasion. Albert Auge, stationmaster at Caen, and his men were to destroy water pumps in the yards and smash the steam injectors on locomotives. Andre Farine, a cafe owner from Lieu Fontaine near Isigny, had the job of strangling Normandy's communications. Yves Gresselin, a Cherbourg grocer, had one of the toughest jobs.

His men were to dynamite the rail lines. They attempted to warn the Allies about the sudden relocation of the big guns on Pointe du Hoc but failed to get through. The Rangers would lose 135 men out of 225 in their heroic attack. Coast Guard LST 27 rushed more ammo to the encircled Rangers in an LCVP containing troops of the 175th. One of their officers-from my hometown-would end up in the makeshift morgue on the fantail of our LST, killed by a sniper.

"This, then is what June of 2003 is all about. You survivors of D-day who left shipmates behind in Normandy, please take this time to say a prayer for them and the valiant French civilian in the underground who risked their lives for God and country.

Signed, Tony Leone, D-Day survivor.


Editor's note: This moving tribute to "kids who spilled their blood for us on Omaha Beach" is from one who knows what it was like at Normandy in June 1944! He was there and continues to write books about it and help the survivors and the families of those "kids." See his comment about the Leopoldville disaster.


The King wears the Star of David

A Remarkable Story of Wartime Denmark

By Erik Day Poulsen

Most of us have heard of the King of Denmark's heroic stand against the attempt by the Nazis to force Danish Jews to wear the Star of David. He refused saying that they were Danes and if they had to be singled out, he, too would wear it. Read Erik's story of wartime resistance and wartime Danish humor.


Danish dog expresses opinion of Mein Kampf. Click Image for a larger view

Click the star to read Erik's story

In New Guinea, Moratai and Mindinao

A Son Remembers Company E, Weapons platoon

Actual photos of the men of Company E in the 40s. . .


Pete Laba

See the photos here


Pascal Sabas

Stories of Debacle and a Sawed up GMC Truck

Pascal, who sent us the heart warming support letter from Paris right after the WTC attack, tells us of his step father, a French Dragoon. They took the first hit from Hitler at the Sedan and Dunkirk.

Typically, he can't resist a funny story of wartime shortages.

Read Pascal's story

An amazing story of a son's tribute to his father. . .

Return to Driniumor

By Jim McCracken

This is a story of a remarkable young man who made a perilous journey back to the place where his father had fought 50 years earlier. The Battle of the Driniumor River in New Guinea is almost forgotten — but not by Jim. He heard of it on his father's knee and couldn't forget. This passion led him to a part of the world that is still very dangerous. He laughs about concerned for his safety compared to that of his father in 1944, nevertheless, he was in a very dangerous place for an American traveling alone. He found, along with the danger, help from the New Guinea nationals. Once he made friends, they kept him safe by keeping and feeding him in their own godowns. This is the story of a son's return, a tribute to a hero as well as finding new friends in a very unusual place! Don't miss it!

New Guinea Nationals. Pictures courtesy http://www.niugini.com/
Read Jim's story "Return to Driniumor"

The Patrol to the River X

 

By Jim McCracken

Walk with Lieutenant "Mac" McCracken as he goes on patrol in an area where the Japanese army was far from defeated. Face a determined enemy in a jungle so deep that you blunder into a Jap headquarters before you (or the Japs) are aware of the other's presence. Fight with Mac as he wins a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart in a desperate struggle.

 

Read Jim's about his Dad: "The Patrol to River X"
 


Amazing GI sense of humor . . .

Cartoons home

Suesan Alayne Arth remembers a father's talent

Donald Heiduck, served in the navy from '44 to '48. This photo was taken in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1944. He was a machinists mate 3rd class and served on the following vessels:
USS Geaves
USS Jigsbee
USS Arcadia
USS Tidewter
USS Gyatt
USS W.T. Powell

We at kilroywashere have often been amazed at the sense of humor that continued throughout the war. A sense of humor that was maintained during stressful conditions that we can only imagine. Click here to see Donald Heiduck's cartoons.

Captain Bud Smith (Click for larger view

A father's pain

Captain Bud Smith

It's not often we get an opportunity to recognize the suffering and pain of those who stayed behind during WWII. Ned Smith was editor and columnist of the small daily newspaper, The Fairmont Times, in Fairmont, West Virginia. He wrote a folksy, unpretentious column that spoke of local events and local people. He always started the column with "Good Morning." His only son, Captain Bud Smith was in Germany "his Division had rumbled out Of Holland over the plains to the Rhine" when he was killed on March 5, 1945. By the time Ned Smith got the fateful news and was able to write about it, it was March 21, 1945. These are the poignant, brave words of a father about his lost son in a time that men were not supposed to show their emotions.

From Mrs. Herschel H. (Betty) Rose. Mrs. Rose is Captain Bud Smith's sister and sent this column written by her father about the loss of his son, her brother. Bud.


Reprint from the Fairmont, West Virginia Times
Wednesday Morning March 25, 1945

Good Morning!

Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the gate:
"To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his Gods,
And for the tender mother
Who dandled him to rest,
And for the wife who nurses
His baby at her breast
And for the holy maidens
Who feed the eternal flame,
To save them from false Sextus
That wrought the deed of shame?"

— from the Lays of Ancient Rome.

Andy Edmiston, of Weston, dropped in, and in the course of talking things over, it turns out that we have a mutual friend, who is an officer of high rank in the Adjutant General's Office, in Washington. We decided that through this friend we eventually can get the story of Bud's last flaming hour of battle.

Of course It may turn out differently; that Is, death comes in so many hideous ways, but Andy thinks as we do, (he having been a soldier in the other war,) that Bud died as he had lived, having gone into his last battle with high courage and an utter disregard of himself, as be did most everything else. Anyway, we do know that in reaching the Rhine, he had done the thing he had most wanted to do. In the years he was in the Army his concern was not that he would get into battle but that, through some quirk of circumstance, he would not be able to reach the firing line.

In talking to us he would compare the years he spent, in the Army training camps to his football days at the University when he watched most of the games from the bench. It was not until he took his first army examinations that it was disclosed that his lack of speed on the football field was caused by broken arches and a had ankle, souvenirs, doubtless, of his high school athletics.

The intensity with which he set about to correct his arches and repair his ankle so that he wouldn't be rejected by the army, was the first time we can recall that he recognized that life itself held problems which cannot be resolved by a smile and a pat on the back.

The last time we had a talk with him, which was last September, In Georgia, he told us that It wouldn't be long before his Division would be in battle and that he had a feeling he would be shot. He said it as casually as if he had spoken of going on a picnic and expecting it to rain.

But we pressed him for a reason, knowing that he never had a premonition, and he told us that what he had learned from old soldiers made him feel that he didn't have sense enough to keep himself concealed while under fire. He was so much concerned for the safety and welfare of the 245 boys under his command that, in spite of everything, he would expose himself, he said. We knew what he was talking about, because, having watched him play basketball and football we had the impression that he had little or so sense of self.

In all his life Bud never leaned on anybody. He had an amazing faculty for picking his own way through the currents of life. From the time he was big enough to walk he walked his own way. In the old days, it was a sort of game with the neighbors on Quincy street to keep track Of him. When he took a fancy to leave the old house and go down to the railroad tracks to watch the trains pass, it usually was Mrs. Glenn Arnett who would report him heading towards Washington street. In those days he could be recognized from a considerable distance because the back flap of his overalls was never fastened and his diddies bagged down to his knees.

He seemed to have been born with an innate sense of right and wrong. On1y once, as we recall did he rebel against the rigid rules of society and look to iconoclasm as an escape from the restrictions imposed upon him by his elders. That was one day when he was five or six years old. He came home with his cap and pockets bulging with odds and ends he had purloined from the counters of the Five and Ten. Later we marched him down to the store and had him tell the manager he would never do anything like that again. Then we took him over and showed him the County Jail and explained to him what happened to people who took things that didn't belong to them. He stood with us in the alley and looked at the building from the top to the bottom.

"Dad," said he, "I ll bet you one thing. I'll bet you that ain't the biggest Jail there is in the whole world."

A few years later when he and Ned Watson decided to hitch-hike to California without mentioning the matter to their parents, the first thing he said when the Watsons located them In Parkersburg and hustled them home, was that they couldn't make very good time between pick-ups because Ned's feet would give out. He didn't think there was any harm in it, or that there would be any particular obstacles to a trip to California with seventy-five cents in his pocket. He ad a growing world sense and to him distance always lent enchantment.

And there is the story Clinton Spurr tells of Bud's first year in the University. Dr. Boucher was president then and one day in the Spring of the year he and Mr. Spurr were chatting on the campus. Bud came along and Dr. Boucher hailed him. After exchanging greetings and shaking hands (Bud had a good deal of his great grandfather, Fontaine Smith in him), Dr. Boucher said, ‘Bud, I have been looking at your grades. They are not as good as they were in the First Semester. How do you account for that? "Too much Joe College," he replied, beating a hasty retreat.

When he became old enough to know his grandfather, General Clarence L. Smith who served in the Spanish-American war, and to become an intimate of this Uncle Earl, a Major in the other war, he became deeply interested in military matters. Many a night we would come home late to find his light burning. He would be pouring over the Photographic History of the Civil War, and he had begrimed many a page of it before we were able to teach him that it was the Civil War and not the Silver War which held his interest.

In his last few years, along with his soldier life, he became interested in public affairs, and he seemed to have developed an independent approach to certain political points of view which have been pretty well resolved in his family for several generations. But doubtless he was born with a flair for public life, for in his second year at the University he ran for president of the student body on the Abraham Lincoin Ticket, the platform of which seems to have been to give wider recognition to the non-fraternity groups on the campus. Being an enthusiastic and fervent fraternity man himself we thought his consistency was admirable.

You could never quite tell what Bud would do,, Once, on Derby Day at Louisville, Carman D'Agostino handed him sixty dollars to bet, win, place and show on a horse: Bud put it all on the nose and the horse romped home. He didn't see Carman after placing the bet, but after the race when he brought him a hatful of money, he made a brief explanation that he had studied the odds board and decided that $80 to win would be a lot better than the way Carman had figured it out. "But," said we, leading him to one side, "what if the horse had come in second or third? How would you explain it to Mr. D'Agostino?" "0, Dad," he said, "that horse was a born winner."

We know very little of his 1ast few months of life. His division sailed to England with the usual secrecy of such matters. He called us from New York just before he sailed and said he was there on an overnight pass with some guys for a final fling. He seemed supremely happy that his chance had come, and he said he had called Helen, his wife, and had told her to bring the ‘baby up to keep us company while he was gone. From then on the tidings from him were meagre.

He never did write very much to us because he always took us for
granted. It was man to man stuff with the two of us; letters, he seemed to feel, were for the needs of his mother and the other women of the family. It was only when he felt somebody might be pushing us around or something had happened in his war he felt would be of special interest to us, that he took time to write. He never neglected, in any of his letters, to speak of the quality of food he was receiving. That was a little-boy habit that clung to him. Just before he was killed a scrawl came In which he reported that in his battalion he had become known as the flap-jack king.

He would mention only casually the severe Winter In Europe and of the difficulty of keeping warm In the slit trenches. He seemed to be intensely proud of the Army and everything in it and he never questioned its ability to overpower the foe. Only once did he mention the impending battle, and that was for us to know of his abiding love for Helen and the baby. "Love you with an everlasting love," we thought, thinking of a line in the Bible. When the news came that his Division had rumbled out Of Holland over the plains to the Rhine, through Venlo and up to Rhinebeck, we are quite sure that his Mother and his sister, Caroline knew he was about to travel his, last mile. We did not share their fears because once, In a dream, we saw him triumphant, In Berlin, receiving homage from a stricken foe.

After a day or so the shock of his death seemed to wear off. Gazelle Vengen had reminded us that we had been "actng as If Bud were ours alone." "He seems to have belonged to a lot more people than just you," she said, simply.

The messages of sympathy which have come in such numbers have been very tender and touching.

The pent up anguish of a great nation at war spills over into the mail-boxes and the teletypes and it whispers over the telephones of the people.

We have found, In those which have made their way to us, that there is a great reaching out for God. . . In my Father's house there are many mansions . . . I look into the hills from whence cometh my help. . . Yea though I walk through the valley and the shadow.

Last Wednesday, almost coincident with the telegram from the War Department, a pink dogwood was delivered to our house on the hill. On Thursday when Mr. McCartney came up to rake the leaves from the front yard, he picked out a spot on the side of the bill to plant It. Having no strength in his right arm, which he broke In a fair last November, he took Sgt. Harvey Staggers with him to dig the hole. Bud's mother went with them. We stood at a window and watched them, and wondered where it was in the Bible that it was written about Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end

Life, we were reminded, must go on.

Click here to see more of a loving daughter's tribute to her father:
http://www.homestead.com/mydadisavet/mydadisavet.html



It's Memorial Day in the Beloz Home
A sad day for my father don't you know
I watch my father prepare the Family Flag
I watch carefully as he removes it from the plastic bag
I see sadness deep in his eyes
As he remembers those that were left behind
He tells me a story of his best friend
Who died in battle right next to him
He was a brave Paratrooper of the 187th
Soldiers of Soldiers he loved him so
Who did not make it back to raise a family of his own
My father told me he should of come home
To raise a family like my father got to have
He tells me his friend died to protect this Flag
I see a gentle tear that came from my father's eyes
I never knew just how he felt
I never took the time to ask him why
He never really talked about the War
As he held this Flag in his hands
I knew this Flag meant so much more
Then just hanging it outside above our door
No I never realized
All that happened to my father I saw through his eyes
That this was not just a three-day weekend
No this Day was for the brave who made the extreme sacrifice
This Day was about honor that belong to them
I watch my father raise our family Flag
We stood for a moment and held each others hands
As we watch Old Glory wave with pride in the air
Together we remembered his friend and said a prayer
My father has since passed away
But his memory lives with me for ever more
The tradition our family Flag he has passed on to me
Now it is I that must continue to raise Old Glory!

By: Ruby Alexandra Beloz
© 3/25/01





Congressional Medal of Honor.. . .

 

 

PFC Joe E. Mann

The above picture was reproduced
by Gary Bainbridge of Nottingham
England. Click here to see his sighting.
 

By Eric Shackle

Above is a reproduction of a drawing on a glider of the British First Airborne Division before it left England to take part in Operation Market Garden (See Jeroen Cornelissen's description from the Netherlands),

Operation Market Garden, an attempt to free occupied Holland. Had the operation succeeded, the war might have ended months before it did. Airborne units of the 101st US Airborne Division landed in southern Holland on September 17, 1944, in what was then the largest airborne operation in history.

Private First Class Joe E. Mann, of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, landed between the Dutch villages of Son and St. Oedenrode. Next day, fighting for possession of a German ammunition store, he was wounded twice. A day later, with both arms in slings, he was sheltering in a trench with six other wounded men, when a German hand grenade landed near him. Unable to use his arms because of the wound dressings, he shouted "Grenade!", lay back to take the main force of the explosion with his body, and a few moments later was dead. Although a few of his comrades received shrapnel wounds, he had saved their lives. For his courageous deed, Joe Mann was posthumously awarded the highest American order, the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Today, the Wings of Liberation Museum, built on the battle site, displays documents, photographs, audio-visuals, and other memorabilia illustrating the occupation, suppression and finally the liberation of the Netherlands. A reconstructed typical Dutch scene, with original vehicles and equipment, recalls World War II days. Two audio-visual presentations illustrate Operation Market Garden and Liberation of the Netherlands.

Note: Don't miss Eric's other writings on his page Life begins at 80 ... on the Internet.. on Barry Downs' web site in South Africa.


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