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We lost another tonight. - 2/26/2011 3:11:22 AM   
bjmorgan


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From: Mosquito Bite, Texas
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My wife's uncle passed tonight. he was a communication sergreant in an engineer battalion who served in Tunisia, Sicily, Italy, France, and utimately Germany. He was one of those patriotic Texans who enlisted in 1939, straight out of high school. He ended the war as a platoon sergeant five years later. A good man. I loved him dearly.

Whenever I saw him, which was alot, we talked about his experiences. Because I served in the army as a cavalry and armor officer, he knew I would understand his stories. He had many of them. He described how his platoon had no real wire to train with in 1940, so they used cat gut string to simulate laying the wire. He talked about having to use surplus WWI weapons to learn how to shoot. (Well, some needed to learn, he owned his first rifle at about 12 years old, very common in Texas even when I was a boy twenty years later.) He talked about the awful conditions in Tunisia when the US Army had to run like "nut kicked" jackrabbits after Kasserine. He also talked about the how it was the day the war was over in Europe. I've heard the whole story from Oran to Salzburg, and back to La Grange, Texas. He talked about the time he met a veteran of the 10th Panzer Division, in Schulenburg, Texas who had come to the US after the war. This gentleman also knew about Kasserine and thereabouts. (Uncle Charles actually thought he might have been a POW here and just stayed after the war. I don't know if that was possible, but maybe.) They shared a pecan pie as they talked about Tunisia.

For those of you who still have friends and relatives who served in WWII -- talk to them, honor them. Find out what they did, when, and where. Learn how they felt. See what they think now. It doesn't matter if they were American, German, French, Russian, or Japanese. They will all be gone all too soon.

God bless you Charles. I'll see you again, soon.


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RE: We lost another tonight. - 2/26/2011 3:22:46 AM   
USS America


Posts: 16286
Joined: 10/28/2002
From: Apex, NC, USA
Status: online
To Charles!  

bj, I just lost my grandfather yesterday morning, a veteran of the 29th Inf. Division and D-Day.  Another very good man.  They all will be missed. 


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"Good times will set you free" - Jimmy Buffett

"They need more rum punch" - Me


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Post #: 2
RE: We lost another tonight. - 2/26/2011 3:27:16 AM   
Bradley7735


Posts: 2073
Joined: 7/12/2004
Status: offline
I was 10 when my Uncle Jake died. He was a navy man through and through. He died before I had any interest in WWII, so I never asked him about his service. My grandpa told me about 5 years after Jake's death that he served on DD's and had 3 of them sunk under him during the war.

I can't tell you how many times I've wished I could listen to his stories. I'm 40 now, and he's been gone for 30 years. I wish I knew what ships he served on....

Good advice BJ.



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The older I get, the better I was.

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Post #: 3
RE: We lost another tonight. - 2/26/2011 4:00:35 AM   
LST Express


Posts: 515
Joined: 3/1/2005
From: Texas
Status: online
I think we're REALLY going to miss that generation.

(in reply to Bradley7735)
Post #: 4
RE: We lost another tonight. - 2/26/2011 4:20:03 AM   
Chickenboy


Posts: 18535
Joined: 6/29/2002
From: Twin Cities, MN
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: bjmorgan

My wife's uncle passed tonight. he was a communication sergreant in an engineer battalion who served in Tunisia, Sicily, Italy, France, and utimately Germany. He was one of those patriotic Texans who enlisted in 1939, straight out of high school. He ended the war as a platoon sergeant five years later. A good man. I loved him dearly.

Whenever I saw him, which was alot, we talked about his experiences. Because I served in the army as a cavalry and armor officer, he knew I would understand his stories. He had many of them. He described how his platoon had no real wire to train with in 1940, so they used cat gut string to simulate laying the wire. He talked about having to use surplus WWI weapons to learn how to shoot. (Well, some needed to learn, he owned his first rifle at about 12 years old, very common in Texas even when I was a boy twenty years later.) He talked about the awful conditions in Tunisia when the US Army had to run like "nut kicked" jackrabbits after Kasserine. He also talked about the how it was the day the war was over in Europe. I've heard the whole story from Oran to Salzburg, and back to La Grange, Texas. He talked about the time he met a veteran of the 10th Panzer Division, in Schulenburg, Texas who had come to the US after the war. This gentleman also knew about Kasserine and thereabouts. (Uncle Charles actually thought he might have been a POW here and just stayed after the war. I don't know if that was possible, but maybe.) They shared a pecan pie as they talked about Tunisia.

For those of you who still have friends and relatives who served in WWII -- talk to them, honor them. Find out what they did, when, and where. Learn how they felt. See what they think now. It doesn't matter if they were American, German, French, Russian, or Japanese. They will all be gone all too soon.

God bless you Charles. I'll see you again, soon.


Nice post, BJ. He seems like a great man. I'm sorry for your loss.

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Post #: 5
RE: We lost another tonight. - 2/26/2011 9:04:15 AM   
ilovestrategy


Posts: 3629
Joined: 6/11/2005
From: San Diego
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My grandfather was in North Africa. He told one night while he was sleeping in the desert he woke up to see an Italian soldier standing above him. My grandfather fired first. He also told me he was on a patrol in a very small town when his patrol turned a corner and ran into a German patrol. Both sides turned and ran without firing a shot.

My wifes grandmother was a 12 year old girl in the Philippines during the Japanese invasion. She told me she hid in the jungle while the men in her village were shot.

My biggest problem is not being able to buy a new laptop. Go figure.

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After 16 years, Civ II still has me in it's clutches LOL!!!
Now CIV IV has me in it's evil clutches!

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Post #: 6
RE: We lost another tonight. - 2/26/2011 8:09:04 PM   
sprior


Posts: 8275
Joined: 6/18/2002
From: Nottingham, UK
Status: online
My grandad was captured on the retreat to Dunkirk. He spent 5 years in PoW camps. He was never able to forgive the Germans for the Death March. When he was in hospital dying of luekemia the nurse asked him if these was anything he didn't like. He replied, "Germans". The German orderly on his ward was moved until after he died.

My dad fought in Korea. He was never able to befriend a Chinese but bizarelly his best friend after he left the army was an ex U-Boat rating. He had anger issues and drank heavily, I think he had undiagnosed PTSD and but he would never have admitted to it. He died in 2005, I still miss him. When we were in London in November 2009 there was a garden of remembrance outside Westminster Abbey with a section for Korea. I cried.

I tooled around in SSBNs at 74F and 50% RH. I'm glad I never fired a shot in anger.

_____________________________

"Grown ups are what's left when skool is finished."
"History started badly and hav been geting steadily worse."
- Nigel Molesworth.



(in reply to ilovestrategy)
Post #: 7
RE: We lost another tonight. - 2/26/2011 8:21:45 PM   
Chickenboy


Posts: 18535
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From: Twin Cities, MN
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My sole uncle on my mom's side was in the Battle of the Bulge. He operated a radio directional van for SIGINT. The van was disabled and he had to swim a river to escape the Germans at one point. His two other mates in his vehicle didn't make it. Later, in the confusion, he found himself in some small town and was surprised by a column of German trucks driving right the town, as if it were secure. He emptied his carbine into one of the trucks and fled. Only last year did he finally talk about this with his family. He is still alive (and surprisingly well), but doesn't talk much about his experiences.

An uncle on my father's side was in Korea. If memory suits, he was an infantry company clerk / mail runner. He died from multiple maladies last year, unrelated to his war injuries. He was wounded in a Chinese artillery barrage-resulting in his evacuation-and carried the shrapnel with him for the rest of his life.

I have tremendous respect for these men that did their part, no matter how small. I have never served, but I bow before those that have made these sacrifices for us all.

Lord-where do we get such men?

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RE: We lost another tonight. - 2/27/2011 6:10:17 PM   
Skyros


Posts: 1300
Joined: 9/29/2000
From: Columbia SC
Status: offline

Write your congressman or senator and they will be able to pull his service record.I did that for my dad and was able to trace his movements through boot camp, grainy classes, the hospital to his ship assignments. It will help if you haves his social security number. Just let them know your relationship and that you are putting together a family history. It took a little more than a month when the packaged arrived.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Bradley7735

I was 10 when my Uncle Jake died. He was a navy man through and through. He died before I had any interest in WWII, so I never asked him about his service. My grandpa told me about 5 years after Jake's death that he served on DD's and had 3 of them sunk under him during the war.

I can't tell you how many times I've wished I could listen to his stories. I'm 40 now, and he's been gone for 30 years. I wish I knew what ships he served on....

Good advice BJ.




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Post #: 9
RE: We lost another tonight. - 2/27/2011 6:50:03 PM   
warspite1


Posts: 20361
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy

Lord-where do we get such men?

Warspite1

Good question......

My uncle joined up in 1939. Just an ordinary guy from a poor working-class family in the East End of London. He served with the 43rd Wessex Division. From 1939 to 1944 he was essentially training for the second front - the 43rd was never sent to the desert or the jungle.

The 43rd went to France some weeks after D-Day and were involved in the fighting that sucked in the Germans around Caen - he took part in the battle for Hill 112 where they were up against SS troops. He never said too much about that battle, but what he did say was quite shocking.

He took some shrapnel in the head and was invalided back to the UK during the Rhineland campaign, was patched up and sent back. He was in northern Germany just before the end of the war when he stepped on a landmine - fortunately only losing a leg.

After the war, he went back to civvy street. He was carrying his briefcase while walking through a London street in the fifties. He was set upon by some thug (obviously a very brave individual, picking on a man with a heavy limp courtesy of his prosthetic leg) who wanted the case. My uncle would not let go. He was badly beaten, but would not give up the case. There was nothing of any value in it, but it was the principle.

My uncle is now gone, and I deeply regret that I no longer have the chance to ask him more about his wartime experience.

It seems they were a different breed back then.



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England expects that every man will do his duty - Horatio Nelson 1805.




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Post #: 10
RE: We lost another tonight. - 2/27/2011 7:39:39 PM   
PaxMondo


Posts: 5925
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Condolences ... may he rest in peace that he helped to create ...

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Pax

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Post #: 11
RE: We lost another tonight. - 2/27/2011 8:02:12 PM   
Buck Beach

 

Posts: 1923
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From: Upland,CA,USA
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bradley7735

I was 10 when my Uncle Jake died. He was a navy man through and through. He died before I had any interest in WWII, so I never asked him about his service. My grandpa told me about 5 years after Jake's death that he served on DD's and had 3 of them sunk under him during the war.

I can't tell you how many times I've wished I could listen to his stories. I'm 40 now, and he's been gone for 30 years. I wish I knew what ships he served on....

Good advice BJ.





And then there was my great Uncle Walt who fought as a infantry man with the 37th Division as "mop up" on the Canal, but still went through all kinds of hell. He contracted maleria there and it dogged him his entire life.

I tried to talk to him about his experiences at one family holiday but he was very tight lipped with me. He did however have conversations with my brother at times who had been in combat in Vietnam. I guess I hadn't paid my dues!

Buck

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Post #: 12
RE: We lost another tonight. - 2/27/2011 8:30:06 PM   
bigred


Posts: 2908
Joined: 12/27/2007
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quote:

I tried to talk to him about his experiences at one family holiday but he was very tight lipped with me. He did however have conversations with my brother at times who had been in combat in Vietnam.


Veterans understand each others pain and problems..alot in the mind.
Just think about being shot at every day for at least one year and not able to make a change in your environment.

< Message edited by bigred -- 2/27/2011 8:34:28 PM >

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Post #: 13
RE: We lost another tonight. - 2/27/2011 8:56:26 PM   
Buck Beach

 

Posts: 1923
Joined: 6/25/2000
From: Upland,CA,USA
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quote:

ORIGINAL: bigred


quote:

I tried to talk to him about his experiences at one family holiday but he was very tight lipped with me. He did however have conversations with my brother at times who had been in combat in Vietnam.


Veterans understand each others pain and problems..alot in the mind.
Just think about being shot at every day for at least one year and not able to make a change in your environment.


I do and did understand at the time.

Buck

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Post #: 14
RE: We lost another tonight. - 2/27/2011 9:05:34 PM   
Big B


Posts: 4223
Joined: 6/1/2005
From: Just over there.
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Sad news bjmorgan,...sad news.
That generation is now rapidly passing away, and all too soon there just about won't be any left. I read a few weeks ago that there are only 3 living WW1 vets left in the world (that are known anyway).

@ Buck Beach & bigred - Ditto. My dad is a veteran of the Korea War (infantryman) and wouldn't talk to me about any of it until I was past 40, married with my own family, and had been in the service myself....and even then reserved about it.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Buck Beach


quote:

ORIGINAL: bigred


quote:

I tried to talk to him about his experiences at one family holiday but he was very tight lipped with me. He did however have conversations with my brother at times who had been in combat in Vietnam.


Veterans understand each others pain and problems..alot in the mind.
Just think about being shot at every day for at least one year and not able to make a change in your environment.


I do and did understand at the time.

Buck



< Message edited by Big B -- 2/27/2011 9:17:31 PM >

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Post #: 15
RE: We lost another tonight. - 2/28/2011 4:15:45 PM   
Canoerebel


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From: Northwestern Georgia, USA
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I think all of us history buffs hate to see the rapid decline and now the fading away of the World War II generation. We were a little too young to feel quite the same tug with the passing of the World War I generation, but now we are seeing dads, uncles, and grandfathers passing away too quickly. Bless them all for their service, and may their sons and grandsons do their best to remember and honor them.

Condolences to you, in particular, bjmorgan.

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Post #: 16
RE: We lost another tonight. - 2/28/2011 4:28:51 PM   
EUBanana


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From: Little England
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My dad was a young boy during WW2 - way too young to serve - but he lived in Bournemouth on the south coast so saw some stuff anyway. He remembers Dunkirk though despite being so young, as he remembers asking his mother why there were all those ships in the bay, and she told him that there had been a terrible defeat and they were all off to Dunkirk to try and rescue them. He remembers the Battle of Britain as well - the sound of machineguns overhead.



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RE: We lost another tonight. - 2/28/2011 4:48:12 PM   
bigbaba


Posts: 1170
Joined: 11/3/2006
From: Koblenz, Germany
Status: offline
i realy love this unproblematic and non aggressive american patroitism! and i love to see what a respected starus the current and past military men  enjoy in the USA. my father (former air force technician in the iranian royal air force of the shah aera) told me only positive stories about US pilots visiting them in the dezful AB in the southern part of iran.

this comes from germany. a namby-pamby country in which a communist party which is in the parlament can pray for more dead german soldiers in afganestan and celebrate every dead german soldier.

my condolence to all the writers in this topic who lost beloved veterans of the WW2 who gave their lives for europes freedom.


< Message edited by bigbaba -- 2/28/2011 4:49:37 PM >

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Post #: 18
RE: We lost another tonight. - 2/28/2011 6:52:06 PM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 956
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
Status: offline
quote:

i realy love this unproblematic and non aggressive american patroitism!


When it comes to WWII, experiences from continental europeans tend to be slightly more problematic. I don't think it is a matter of patriotism.

One of my grand uncles managed to fight the Germans in 1940, the British in 1941, and the Germans again in 1945.

Francois

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RE: We lost another tonight. - 2/28/2011 7:38:03 PM   
sanch

 

Posts: 308
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My wife's uncle passed away a few weeks ago. He was wounded in the Hurtgen Forest, and spent the summer of 45 in Paris. He received a bronze star for his actions.

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