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 Posted: Sat Feb 16th, 2008 06:37 pm
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Fuller
E Pluribus Unum


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I've got a very moving website I came across.  I've been hit with a desire to learn more about the WWII USAAF and stumbled across this...

http://www.worldwar2pilots.com/gallerymedia.htm

You can learn about each pilot featured at the very top of the main page where their photos are.  Great stories to be heard from the men themselves.  I highly recommend taking a moment to look at this great site.

There is no such thing as too much recognition.



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 Posted: Sat Feb 16th, 2008 06:54 pm
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Fuller
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Truly amazing Ed.  My Gramps was in the Navy at the time and interviewing him about his  is a memory I hold very dear to my heart.  He remembers watching the fleet sail by after the treaty had been signed.  The USS Missouri and the escorts was quite the site for him.

Such great stories that need to be shared!

I am excited to learn more.  Thanks for sharing.



 Posted: Sun Feb 17th, 2008 03:23 am
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Johan Steele
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I was privledged to be a volunteer at the base Museum @ Keesler AFB in the early 90's. Nice little museum w/ a model of every plane flown from the base. Three older gents(WWII vets)walked in one morning and a few minutes later I heard: "I know that plane, it shot me down three times!" Turned out one had flown night fighters for the Luftwaffe w/ something like thirty or forty kills of Brit bombers. Another had been a pilot for a B-24 shot down twice once by the Germans and once by the Russians (by accident) the other had been a waist gunner on a B-17. I spent 3-4 hours w/ those gents, bought them dinner that eve. Worth every penny.



 Posted: Sun Feb 17th, 2008 08:19 pm
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Dixie Girl
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my great uncle fought in WWII, he died in France.



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War Means Fighting And Fighting Means Killing - N. B. Forrest When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Stonewall Jackson


 Posted: Sun Feb 17th, 2008 08:45 pm
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Fuller
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The museum was lucky to have you volunteer Johan.  I bet that was a dinner filled with great conversation that night with those men. 

Dixie, you should find out all you can about your uncle from your relatives and then continue on with the studies.  Well worth your time.



 Posted: Mon Feb 18th, 2008 03:42 am
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Johan Steele
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IIRC I spent about $40 on dinner for those gents. Money very well spent. All three appreciated it and I felt like a million bucks when a full Colonel dropped me at CQ w/ a request to see my CO. I got an ataboy for my efforts that day. The Luftwaffe pilot had been in the Austrian AF prior to Hitler absorbing Austria... flew ME110's through the entire war... only daylight ops against the US was Schweinfert when anything that flew went after our boys. It was a window into a time of legends. The stories I listened to taught me we follow in the path of MEN, on par w/ those that fought 1860-65. It also taught me that evil existed on a scale fiction cannot imagine. Thank God in heaven we won.



 Posted: Wed Feb 20th, 2008 12:40 am
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Dixie Girl
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My uncle James Arthur Stone was drafted into the Army. He got shot in the face. it blew off his nose and most of his jaw. he died ll days later on October 11, 1944 in Normandy, France.

Last edited on Thu Sep 18th, 2008 04:56 pm by Dixie Girl



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War Means Fighting And Fighting Means Killing - N. B. Forrest When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Stonewall Jackson


 Posted: Wed Feb 20th, 2008 02:13 am
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Reb till death
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gory gory what hell of a way to die...this trooper aint gonna jump no more



 Posted: Thu Feb 28th, 2008 02:40 am
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amhistoryguy
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Thanks for posting that Fuller. You are correct that in the case of our WWII Vets, "There is no such thing as too much recognition." My uncle, a B-26 navigator, was KIA flying a mission against a V-2 site.

Regards, Dave Gorski



 Posted: Thu Feb 28th, 2008 12:20 pm
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Johan Steele
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Ladies & Gents;

If you want an interesting and relatively easy project slide down to your local VFW or American Legion hall and ask permission to interview a WW2 vet, write it up and submit it to your local paper. It isn't hard to discover what a real hero was/is... it sure as hell isn't Bradjelina, Britany or any of the press's current crop of garbage.

The real hero's are the man and women who sacrificed, for real.



 Posted: Thu Feb 28th, 2008 12:28 pm
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Johan Steele
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They wouldn't let my grandfather enlist, literally when he decided to up in 42 he was told no because his farm was the most efficient one in the state at the time. He was literally getting twice the yield of anyone else. He was sent to Iowa State to detail what he was doing different than everybody else.

At the end of the war the man who had refused to allow him to enlist sent him an accounting of what he had supplied the war effort... it was staggering how many men he had fed. I've seen the letter once, it's locked away somewhere.

I had a great Uncle who pissed someone off. He was Army graves registration from Guadacanal to the end of the war... he was never quite right after the war.



 Posted: Thu Feb 28th, 2008 04:05 pm
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My father tried to enlist in the Army (twice) but was rejected because of his hearing.

My father-in-law was a navigator for the first two years of the War ferrying aircraft over to Europe, the Pacific islands and eventually China.  The last year of the war he spent in a supply base in Western China that supplied the Flying Tigers.

After much urging from his daughters (and me) he recorded his WWII memoirs - which he calls his memories.  My wife just finished retyping the latest version.  The first time I read it, it sounded like a travel log.  Navigators doing what he did had a lot of free time at their destinations.  So he had stories about visiting the Pyramids, the Taj Mahal, Africa, South America, etc.  Very little about what he actually did.  I asked him why he told the stories about where he had been.  His answer was that he didn't think people would be interested in the details of his flying experiences.  I told him that is EXACTLY what people are interested in.  He still has a great memory and was able to give lots of valuable information.

He is 86.  I am thankful that he took the time to recount his experiences.  It would be a great service to give other WWII vets the same opportunity.  As Tom Brokaw said these men and women are truly "our greatest generation." 



 Posted: Sat Mar 1st, 2008 05:51 am
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cklarson
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Dear Fuller,

The complete text of the USAF WWII combat history (and perhaps administrative) is online at http://www.nymas.org -- left sidebar, scroll down. And you might look at my WWIi work on women (right sidebar--on Gruman aircraft corp.)

ckl



 Posted: Sat Mar 1st, 2008 05:16 pm
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Fuller
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Thank you for the great stories and links everyone. 

I happened to turn on the tv the other night and watched a show that was the best program on tv I have ever seen.  It was a 4 part series but I only was able to see the 3rd part, "The Pacific".  It was a show with interviews from men and women who there there during WWII and the memories they had to share about it.  I was a blubbering mess by the end of it.  The historian did a great job digging up photos and video clips from the archives and matching them up to the stories to tell a more complete story.

READ THESE STORIES!!!!....These interviews took place several years ago and many of these people are no longer living.

http://kued.org/productions/worldwar2/interviews-struggle.php

http://kued.org/productions/worldwar2/interviews-europe.php

http://kued.org/productions/worldwar2/interviews-pacific.php

http://kued.org/productions/worldwar2/interviews-homefront.php

Fuller



 Posted: Fri May 2nd, 2008 09:07 pm
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1stsgtmacmillan
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My father had five kids at the time and was working for Bell Aircraft when the war broke out as an engineer so he helped design some of the later modifications  for that and also later helped design the chin turret for the B-17-G. Uncle Bob was at Pearl Harbor . Neil



 Posted: Fri May 2nd, 2008 09:13 pm
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Fuller
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Great history for sure. 

1stsgt, What exactly happened to your uncle Bob at Pearl Harbor?



 Posted: Fri May 2nd, 2008 10:01 pm
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1stsgtmacmillan
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HE got lucky. He was unharmed but got a couple of days in the brig on "Cake and Wine" (Bread and Water0 for being awol so he was not aboard the Oklahoma when it was capsized. At least that is the story he told me. Neil



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 Posted: Sat May 3rd, 2008 05:43 am
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Dear 1st Sgt.,

Was there more than 1 Bell aircraft factory, other than the one in GA? If so, do you know other locations? Go to nymas.org --right sidebar, my women in WWII summary--the Homefront section--and read about the 80+ year old Bell A/c riveter. You'll be very surprised to see who it is.

You and others remind me what a real "trip" WWII was. The story that really got to me was of a female OSS agent working Burma, out of India. She learned in the same day that Gen. Hideki Tojo and cabinet had resigned and that the 17th (?) Jap. division in N. Burma was suffering from low morale. Connecting these 2 dots,, she enlisted others, including a Jap. POW who was a former teacher, in a plan in which a false order from Tokyo was given to a native Burmese agent whose job it was to assassinate Japanese couriers. So that night the next one "bit the dust" as it were and the fake order was placed in his dispatch bag. The agent then offered to help the Jap. officers look for the body the next day, feigning ignorance of course. When the order was found, it engendered much rapid discussion among the Jap. officers. The order said a new surrender policy was now in place. soldiers could surrender if they were totally surrounded, out of food and/or ammo. A British agent later wrote that he thought this fake order played a big part in a local surrender. Whereas normally the Jap. POW compounds were nearly empty due to suicides, suddenly they were filled. The OSS agt. stated that the real reason the Japanese soldiers committed suicide was not that they were so fanatic, but because if they did not their families in Japan would be dishonored and ostracized socially and politically. Anyway, the "morale" of the story is: Just think, there were millions of stories in WWII as good as this one! It really boggles the mind.

CKL
 



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