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(OT) WW2 History in Your Family

 
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(OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/26/2016 4:14:10 PM   
Anachro


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So as I was looking into how to go about procuring an Arisaka Rifle, a reply reminded me that for many us there are often quite visceral connections to the conflict which makes up the subject of this game (either tangentially or directly). The poster's father had found such a gun during the Japanese occupation in 1945. I'm sure many of us have relatives who participated in the conflicts of WW2 and I was wondering if you'd share it. It's interesting to see how history intersects with the present, at least to me.

For my part, I'm too young to have a relative from The War separated by a single generation, but my grandfather was a GI who participated in the Battle of the Bulge. One of the things he left to us (he passed years ago), was tin cups of dirt/sand he had scooped up and collected from each the places he had visited. He was assigned to the HQ Detachment of the 561st Quartermaster's Group, eventually rising to the rank of Sergeant. I don't know how much action he saw, but according to him he mostly guarded German prisoners and did happen to get shot in the rear-end in one skirmish. Who knows?

Here's his service record from what I can gather:

4-6-43 - Enlisted in the US Army with the rank of Private
2-21-44 - Stationed in pre-1974 Essex County, England
9-3-45 - Arrived back in New York aboard the S.S. Santa Maria from Europe
11-28-45 - Discharged from service at Camp Bowie, Texas
Campaign Participation Credit: Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe

If we want to go back even farther, I also have a great-grandfather who participated in the Battle of the Somme in WW1 as one of the many Irish volunteers.

< Message edited by Anachro -- 2/26/2016 4:28:48 PM >
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RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/26/2016 9:38:12 PM   
JeffroK


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2 uncles served in 2/8 Bn, 19th Brigade, 6th Australian Infantry Division.

One volunteered Oct 1939, saw action at Tobruk (Maybe Bardia?) Greece, Garrisoned Syria, Darwin, Wewak,
Spent some time as Sergeant, ended the war as a Corporal. Family legend is he drove Blamey around for a short while.

Long lost rellie, a Captain in the Irish Cavalry at Waterloo.

Actually, an Irishman in the Royal Artillery, a Driver so he may have been closer to Brussels than Waterloo.

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RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/26/2016 9:38:36 PM   
JeffroK


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561st Supply and Service Battalion

Constituted 11 February 1943 in the Army of the United States as the 561st Quartermaster Service Battalion.

Activated 19 March 1943 at Fort Dix, New Jersey..

Battalion broken up 20 September 1943 and its elements reorganized and redesignated as follows:

Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 561st Quartermaster Battalion.

Companies A, B, C and D as the 3212th, 3213th, 3214th and 3215th Quartermaster Service Companies, respectively (hereafter separate lineages).

Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 561st Quartermaster Battalion, inactivated 25 June 1946 in France.

Redesignated 28 March 1967 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 561st Supply and Service Battalion and allocated to the Regular Army.

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RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/26/2016 10:14:12 PM   
pnzrgnral

 

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My paternal grandfather served in the USN in both World Wars. In WWI, he served in the Siberian Expedition (1919-1920). Don't know what else he did; he and my grandmother were divorced prior to my birth and I never met him. He died in 1966 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery (I've visited his grave. Step-granddad was a Seabee (actually, he ran his battalion's mess hall) and served in the invasion of Guam, with the 38th Special CB. My Mom's oldest brother volunteered for the USN when he turned 18 in 1945 (didn't want to take a chance with the draft), and was a plankholder on the still-building USS Albany, CA-123, when the war ended. I MIGHT have a cousin of my step-dad who served on the USS Atlanta and was killed in the Guadalcanal cluster-(you know what), but I can't verify that.

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RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/26/2016 11:32:47 PM   
DD696

 

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So,I'm the one the OP mentioned.

As I've said many times over the last many years, my father served on DD 696, USS English, from her activation until her arrival in San Francisco in 1946. He was a good man, one I never knew much until his later years as I was one of the baby boomers due to a horny streak in a little town in Idaho. I have two Arisaka rifles that he "smuggled" back on board DD696 (USS English) when it returned from the war. He eventually shot himself on the 6th of August, 1973 - one week after I had visited him after returning from Subic Bay Marine Barracks duty. Why the 6th of August - I have wondered for a good many years now.

My stepfather, whom was the one I knew as Dad when I was growing up, served with the 5th Ranger Battalion. Wounded on D-Day, it is rumored (although no one can find the proof), that he was a driver for General Patton while recovering for his wounds. He never spoke much of the war. The only memory I have is his saying "Those SS bastards. If we captured them, we shot them". He died back in 1995 when I was setting out to explore the world on my sailboat and I delayed to attend his funeral.

So many good men, so many sad stories.

< Message edited by DD696 -- 2/26/2016 11:46:01 PM >


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RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/26/2016 11:47:40 PM   
Footslogger


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My father (Seamen 3rd Class) served on the USS Cape Esperance CVE 88 in Task Force 38. He was under age and had to return to his high school to finish after the war ended. He was in charge of the only 5in. gun on the ship. One thing he remembered was going through Halsey's Typhoon. Like this guy still remembers. R.I.P. dad.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JojYICK22dM

My Uncle served in the European Theatre in the Postal Service. He remembered how Arrogant the German Prisoners were. R.I.P. Uncle.

My other Uncle served in the Korean War as a cook in the Army. R.I.P. Uncle.

Yet, Another Uncle served in the 8th Air force. I remembered him talking about when the first captured ME-262 was being looked over by the engineers.
He said they were just so awe struck by its designs. R.I.P. Uncle.


< Message edited by Footslogger -- 2/26/2016 11:54:27 PM >

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RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/27/2016 12:05:44 AM   
DD696

 

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"This guy remembers, sometimes only too well". I reckon that the sons (stepsons) of those who fought the epic battles of WWII are coming up against the stone wall of life. So many who fought in the epic struggle of WWII are gone. I have often wanted to take a tour of the WWI and WWII battlefields to complete my life cycle. I still have this opportunity hanging on by a couple of shoe stirngs.

I found out last September that I had bladder cancer. An operation on 15 October 2015 extended my life. No more bladder, no more prostate. In two weeks I will have completed my chemotherapy treatments. It is quite the thing to be urinating in a bag attached to some of my intestines to make you wake up to the realities of life.

This from an old fart who thought he could do his father one step further by serving in the United Stated Marine Corps. I didn't too a smidgen of what you did, father. But, maybe I didn't do so bad either.

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RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/27/2016 1:04:23 AM   
Bullwinkle58


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My step-grandfather operated a huge overhead crane at one of the SF Bay-area shipyards. It was a great job after the struggles of the Depression. Unfortunately, he inhaled massive amounts of welding off-gas and heavy metals and died a horrible death, his entire internal torso ulcered and rotted. He was a casualty of the war, but not counted.

My father, in high school, worked in a wildcat ammunition factory at night and went to school during the day. His war was Korea.

My mother, a teen-ager in Canada, did morale work at USO-type places from what I know. Donuts and coffee, helping with letters, listening to lonely 18-YOs, etc. After the war she dated some RCN sailors before meeting my dad whose Reserve-DD was in on a port call at Victoria.

Different than the rest in this thread, but the war had a lot of facets.

< Message edited by Bullwinkle58 -- 2/27/2016 1:05:18 AM >


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RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/27/2016 2:51:07 AM   
Footslogger


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quote:

ORIGINAL: DD696

"This guy remembers, sometimes only too well". I reckon that the sons (stepsons) of those who fought the epic battles of WWII are coming up against the stone wall of life. So many who fought in the epic struggle of WWII are gone. I have often wanted to take a tour of the WWI and WWII battlefields to complete my life cycle. I still have this opportunity hanging on by a couple of shoe stirngs.

I found out last September that I had bladder cancer. An operation on 15 October 2015 extended my life. No more bladder, no more prostate. In two weeks I will have completed my chemotherapy treatments. It is quite the thing to be urinating in a bag attached to some of my intestines to make you wake up to the realities of life.

This from an old fart who thought he could do his father one step further by serving in the United Stated Marine Corps. I didn't too a smidgen of what you did, father. But, maybe I didn't do so bad either.


My father had the same surgery that you had my friend. Catheter and bag. He hated it and carried it wherever he went. Later, the cancer spread to his Kidneys.
He also had asbestos in his lungs from working on the shipyards here too. A kind, gentle and hard working man. I do miss him.

Sincerely,

Footslogger

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RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/27/2016 3:04:53 AM   
Arnhem44


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quote:

ORIGINAL: DD696
So many who fought in the epic struggle of WWII are gone. I have often wanted to take a tour of the WWI and WWII battlefields to complete my life cycle. I still have this opportunity hanging on by a couple of shoe stirngs.


If you have the opportunity do it mate. I don't keep a bucket list but a trip to the battlefields of WWII Europe would have been the top of a very short list and the wife indulged me a couple of years back and we did just that. A 2 week whirlwind tour that started in the UK and ended in Germany taking in Normandy, Arnhem and the Ardennes along the way. Walking the ground, seeing the terrain, the road signs of names of places long read about was just mind blowing for me. Best part is the wife's appetite has been whetted and we're going back for more as soon as we figure out which of the children to sell. Wouldn't call the experience life changing but it's definitely something I'll take to my grave.

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RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/27/2016 3:27:40 AM   
Anachro


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arnhem
If you have the opportunity do it mate. I don't keep a bucket list but a trip to the battlefields of WWII Europe would have been the top of a very short list and the wife indulged me a couple of years back and we did just that. A 2 week whirlwind tour that started in the UK and ended in Germany taking in Normandy, Arnhem and the Ardennes along the way. Walking the ground, seeing the terrain, the road signs of names of places long read about was just mind blowing for me. Best part is the wife's appetite has been whetted and we're going back for more as soon as we figure out which of the children to sell. Wouldn't call the experience life changing but it's definitely something I'll take to my grave.



Myself, I've been aching to visit and walk Peleliu and some of the other Pacific sights, but Peleliu probably tops the list.

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RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/27/2016 7:25:50 AM   
warspite1


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My mum and dad (and their brothers and sisters) World War II story shows how different people's war could be - and how sometimes civilians could have a worse experience than those who fought.

My father and his younger brother joined up with the army at the time of Munich.

In the motor trade before the war, my father was a driver but was invalided out of the army in June 1940. He took over the superintendent job of my grandfather (on a Peabody Estate) when the latter died in 1941. My father saw and dealt with some pretty horrific happenings. His estate was hit by a V1 and, as superintendent, my father had to identify the bodies - one of whom was a 10-year old boy who had been in bed with Scarlet Fever. His wife (and my elder step brother) were evacuated to Devon during the V1/V2 'blitz'). Despite all being Londoners and so prime targets, fortunately no member of the family had their home bombed, but of course all suffered from the fear of 'will it be us next' and taking part in the ball-ache of seeking shelter each night.

His brother was ordered to join the 4th Battalion of the Wilthire Regiment (43rd Wessex Division) and took part in fighting in northwest Europe from July 1944. He was promoted in the field and wounded twice (the last time when he trod on a mine in Germany and lost his leg).

Their older brother (and one brother-in-law) also joined up but never left the UK. The other brother-in-law was a skilled toolmaker and thus exempt from call up.

As a green 21-year old, my mother became a nurse (VAD) at the end of the war and was posted to Australia, where she helped nurse some of the returning POW's after liberation from Japanese camps. The stories of some of those men, a couple of years previously young and fit and looking forward to life - now broken physically and often mentally - is just too sad. Her brother was just too young to see service.


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RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/27/2016 12:12:50 PM   
pmelheck1

 

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My dad was with the 111th airborne and wouldn't talk about it until he was intoxicated than boy could the tears flow. One of his most painful memories was the flailing of a relative to try to get him to expose himself. I had 2 uncles in the war. One on the USS Essex and the other on submarines. I never had the opportunity to talk to my uncles due to some distance between us. My father in law after my father passed away was head of the engine room of an LST. I believe the also did some flying of some sort but has subsequently passed away as well. The only 2 folks I would given anything to talk to had I known there history was the owner of a deli where I grew up who was a U-boat Commander and at the time I didn't know what he was much less how rare a fellow he was. The head of my high school was a morbidly obese fellow who got a lot of guff from everyone about his weight. Years later I found out he had been a survivor of the Bataan death march, the prison camp, the hell ships and captivity in Japan and that captivity had destroyed his metabolism and he could not control his weight afterwards. If I had known what I know now and not been quite the horses rear end that only a teenager can be I might have been able to talk to him of his story.

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RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/27/2016 12:56:49 PM   
Uncivil Engineer

 

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My father graduated high school in 1942. He wanted to enlist in the Navy, but because of color blindness was rejected and joined the Army instead. He trained with the 69th Division at Camp Shelby, MS (near Hattiesburg) from April 1943 to 1944 as a gunner on 105mm Howitzer. The unit deployed to England in 1944, taking over a base vacated by some the the D-Day invasion troops. They didn't deploy to France until January 1945, at the tail end of the Battle of the Bulge. They were in combat for about 90 days, fighting through the Huertgen Forest and Harz Mountains. Patrols of the 69th were the first Americans to link up with the Russians on the Elbe River. To finish his 3 years, he was assigned to another unit in Berlin until April 1946. He died in 2014 at 89.

His younger brother served on a carrier in the Korean War.

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RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/27/2016 1:35:21 PM   
Big B

 

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My father served briefly in the USN in late WWII, but the Navy found out he was deaf in one ear so discharged him medically.... (but in 1951 the Army drafted him and he served in Korea as an infantryman with the 5th RCT, and later at Koje-Do,...his cousin Bobby served as an infantryman in Korea also, but was KIA in Korea in 1951 just before my dad arrived).
My dad's uncle by marriage was one of the few survivors of Darby's Rangers in WWII, over in Cisterna Italy (I can't remember his name).
My dad's brother (Uncle Bud) was drafted in 1941, but didn't have to go further than Hawaii I believe.
My mom's brother (Uncle John) served in the Army in WWII in what was then Persia (supply route to the USSR at the time), then went to France in 44-45.
My mom's cousin (can't remember his name) became a pilot with the 23rd FG in China, but died in China in a crash just before rotating home later in the war (particularly sad since it was a non-combat mission, just putting in a last couple hours of flying time before coming home).
Of my uncles by marriage (married to my mom's sisters), one was a SeaBee (Uncle Jack) who served in the pacific, the other was a submariner (Uncle Troy) in the Pacific - can't remember his boat's name.

So, my parent's generation in my family saw a wide variety of service in WWII.

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RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/27/2016 2:44:13 PM   
Bearcat2

 

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My father was pilot in 47th Bmb Grp, 97th SQ
47th website with plenty of pictures

http://www.47thbombgroup.org/pictures.html

My Father in law was a Marine draftee in WW2, he would emphatically state he was NOT a volunteer. He survived 2 amphibious assaults and was one of only 3 in his platoon to survive the war without being wounded/dead. That was about all he would ever say about his wartime experiences

In WW1, lost 3 uncles; one of which was on the USS Cyclops, another was gassed in France and the third drowned in the Potomac during a training fiasco.

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RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/27/2016 2:46:36 PM   
bushpsu

 

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My Uncle John was on the USS Tang when it went down. I never got to meet him.

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RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/27/2016 2:51:32 PM   
catwhoorg


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My maternal grandfather, was a Royal Marine and involved in D-day. He passed before I was born
He had severe PTSD, the key nightmare that repeated was being in a Landing craft that overturned. I *think* it was during a training incident rather than the invasion. He really didn't talk about the war much apparently

My Paternal grandfather spent the war down the coal mines.

My first wife had connections with the Pacific theatre.
Her maternal grandfather, was an aircraft repair/engineer, spent most of the conflict based out of RAF Ranchi. He was never in any real danger, and enjoyed frequent leave up in the mountains on tea plantations.
Her paternal grandfather was captured at Singapore and was put to work on the Burma railway. He was lucky to survive. He never talked about it to anyone who wasn't there. He also never forgave the Japanese.

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RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/27/2016 3:00:45 PM   
m10bob


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The day my dad got his "Baptism by fire."

http://29infantrydivision.org/WWII-Stories/Clark_Robert_F.htm


Uncle Jim served with the army on Guadalcanal. (The ship bringing him in was the Calvin Coolidge, sunk in shallow water by our own mines.)
He got malaria.

Uncle Ed was groundcrew in England with the 9th A.F.

Uncle Frank drove deuce and a halfs for Patton's Third Army.

Uncle George was a RADAR operator in the 322nd Fighter Control Squadron headed for Kunming China.
He was aboard the RMS Rhona which was sunk by a German guided missile.
He was killed.

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RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/27/2016 3:11:55 PM   
sanch

 

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My father was drafted into the Army Air Corps in 1942. Trained as a B-29 instrument technician (he kept all the instrument panel thingys working and kept the gun turrets synchronized with the remote controller). His group prepped for China but deployed to Tinian shortly after Tinian's capture. I remember him saying that at first it was unsafe for him to go off base, and if they had to, they went in a group and went armed. Discharged in 1946.

My grandfather (my mother's father) was a British pilot flying observation planes on the Western front in WW1. I still have a picture of his squadron.

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RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/27/2016 4:43:24 PM   
btd64


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My uncle on my mothers side of the family was a avid photographer. During the war he was in France and Germany. At the end of the war he was one of the first non-military types to enter some of the Death Camps. I remember him saying he still has nightmares about what he saw....GP

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RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/27/2016 8:19:47 PM   
Revthought


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My grandfather joined the USN in 1928 and retired in 1964. When he joined the navy he was 16 years old and had to lie about his age, so according to the United States government, he was a year older than he actually was for the majority of his life.

In 1940 he passed his chief machinist exam and received his commission. Early late 1941 he was serving as chief engineer on an old mine sweeper the USS Seagull in Argentia, Newfoundland. In October was very nearly transferred to the Reuben James, lucky for him his XO fought to keep him. Most of the men my grandfather served with on the Seagull were transferred and died when Reuben James was sunk by a German u-boat.

He was still on the Seaugull during Pearl Harbor and in Marchish he was transferred to the USS Kiowa, which was a fleet tug, and served as her Chief Engineer until late 1944.

In 1943 the Kiowa was mostly involved in convoy duty pulling barges. During d-day Kiowa had the job of pulling sunk landing craft, and clearing German obstacles, out of the invasion lanes. For most of June 2nd this meant doing work under constant fire from German 88s and machine guns.

At one point my grandfather's CO asked if the Kiowa could make way over a very clear German obstacle. My grandfather advised him that it was a terrible idea, but the CO decided to go for it. This resulted in the Kiowa getting a fowled propellor and becoming dead in the water--which attracted extra German 88mm fire.

My grandfather's CO (at least as my grandfather told the story) then froze and became non-responsive. My grandfather being the next highest ranking officer took command for most of the rest of the day, and while being in command engineered a fix to the fowled prop--still under very heavy German fire--and freed the ship.

The next month my grandfathers CO was awarded the bronze star for his courage under fire and saving the Kiowa when it was dead in the water near Omaha beach. Yep.

In December of 1944 my grandfather was transferred to the USS Conserver (salvage and rescue), which was in the Pacific. The did a lot of salvage and rescuing apparently. In 1945 the Conserver was with one of the first convoys into Occupied Japan.

He stayed on the Conserver until 1947 after participating in Operation Crossroads. One of his jobs here was to survey target ships for damage and scuttle them and one of his men died as a result of radiation exposure.

At the end of 1947 my grandfather turned down promotion that would have made him chief engineer of a combat ship, primarily because since 1942 he had been home no more than 3 weeks. Instead he accepted the job of CO of the power generation station on Kkwajalin and later Guam.

And that covers the 1940s! I was very close with my dad's dad. He was like a second father really, and I was devastated when he passed away in 2007 at the age of 95.

My maternal grandfather I was not close with and did not serve in the War. He was 17 when the War ended. Luckily he was an American and didn't have to suffer like so many others of his age. His dad, who was 3 years older than my paternal grandfather, was a designer at Vehicle Buick. During the war he ran the Chrysler war production campus in Whittier, California.


< Message edited by Revthought -- 2/27/2016 11:15:21 PM >

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RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/28/2016 3:15:12 AM   
geofflambert


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Rev, you did an outstanding job of keeping hearsay evidence noted as such. Good job. Distinguishing fact from what might be true is important. Also very important is recording everything without bias. We really need to hear both what really happened, what they experienced (from memory) and the stories they want to tell. I'm not implying anything in this case or any other but if it was true for them, it was true.

A local columnist reported on the plight of a veteran who remembered that float planes from Japanese submarines attacked (he, the veteran, said PH). The columnist (who is a draft GI from Viet Nam and a really good guy) thought the vet was delusional and said as much. I sent him a correction involving the attack in the Pac NW. He replied back to me that many people had written him to correct him on that, but that I was the only one who supplied him with links to the appropriate URLs.

As you may see, it's important for us to record what they saw or think they saw. We can try to sort it out later, but if we have nothing from them, there's nothing to sort out. Those of you who have moved somewhat past GO, may understand that sometimes we conflate separate memories as though they were one. No matter what, if a vet tells you a story, try and write it down without judgement, but if you have reason to qualify the vet's testimony first report it then give your own impressions, realizing that your audience can and should apply a pinch of salt (doubt).
It's not just important to record the recollections of combat veterans, but anyone having any sort of memory of that time including girlfriends and wives from the home front as well as servicemen who were in non-combat positions.

Home front witnesses, ask them 'what's up with oleo?' If you don't know, butter is better for you so stop using that axle grease. Anyways, start a conversation about that, about what they ate and where they acquired it. It's important and usually it will lead you to unexpected places.

All my relatives and friends from that time have passed. I messed up.

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RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/28/2016 3:52:00 AM   
PaxMondo


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Like many of us, most of my family on both sides served.

Anecdotal story from my Dad ... I've never been able to validate all of it ... but here goes what I know and what he told:


"Like many, he was an underage enlistee shortly after PH. Got through boot camp. At the end of boot camp, the battalion had a 60 mile forced march with full packs. Winner would his choice of posting, a major incentive for this era. My Dad was 2nd. They didn't tell him what second place was ... he was promoted to DI. Not what he was looking for, but that's the Army. He was stationed at Fort Ord, so at least it was pretty. Wrangled his way into an active Division (1st Cav? Not sure on this, but it was his last active duty unit.) and was on a ship towards PH when VJ day happened. "

The parts I have validated are that he was a DI assigned in Fort Ord and that he did receive a campaign ribbon (pretty sure that's the name) so he would had to have been overseas to get that based upon its definition. He qualified expert in both rifle and hand-2-hand.

I know I could dig more, but he was not all that concerned about it. By the time he passed, he had lost his badges so I filed for copies, received them, and they're with his marker back in the home town. I could get his records, but just hasn't seemed all that important. Maybe I will for his grandkids ...



< Message edited by PaxMondo -- 2/28/2016 4:27:41 AM >


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Pax

(in reply to geofflambert)
Post #: 24
RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/28/2016 7:20:13 PM   
Revthought


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Joined: 1/14/2009
From: San Diego (Lives in Indianapolis)
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I trust my grandfather's story implicitly, he was never one to exaggerate or place himself at the center of stories. In fact, other than with his immediate family, he would talk about the navy, but never the war; however, since I also happen to have written my dissertation on memory (specifically the social character of memory) I'm more aware than most of the weaknesses of memory.

Plus he was a sailor, who spent his life at sea! And you know what they say about sailors and their tales. So you can never be too sure. :D

In any case, all I say is the story as I told it was absolutely how the events occurred in my grandfather's memory.

(in reply to geofflambert)
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RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/28/2016 9:02:42 PM   
GI Jive


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My father and uncle both served with the USAAF in the Pacific during WW2. Dad was an armorer with the 72nd FS and his brother was in the photo section of the 5th BG. Dad died young and he only spoke a couple of times about the war.






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RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/28/2016 9:34:41 PM   
Ostwindflak


Posts: 615
Joined: 1/23/2014
From: New Hampshire
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One of my grandfathers served in a Canadian parachute unit at the end of WWII. I do not know which unit that was and I know he didn't keep much of anything from that period of his life. I do not believe my father or uncle ever came across anything that said what unit he served with.

I only remember my father saying how my grandfather enlisted in late 1944, went through training with a Canadian airborne unit, completed training and boarded a troop ship for England in 1945, arrived in England, and within days VE day had been declared. He was then put on occupation duty.

My wife's grandfather who just passed away last year served in the USAAF in the Pacific from 1943-1945. He was an aircraft mechanic and from what he told me was pretty close to the front most of the time. He went through one night raid where the Japanese army was counter attacking and they shelled his airfield with mortars. He told me the only Japanese soldiers he saw from that incident were a few prisoners being marched back the next morning.

He had a lot of good stories though. Not very action packed, but fun to listen to anyway.

(in reply to GI Jive)
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RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/28/2016 9:40:09 PM   
Revthought


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From: San Diego (Lives in Indianapolis)
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ostwindflak

One of my grandfathers served in a Canadian parachute unit at the end of WWII. I do not know which unit that was and I know he didn't keep much of anything from that period of his life. I do not believe my father or uncle ever came across anything that said what unit he served with.

I only remember my father saying how my grandfather enlisted in late 1944, went through training with a Canadian airborne unit, completed training and boarded a troop ship for England in 1945, arrived in England, and within days VE day had been declared. He was then put on occupation duty.

My wife's grandfather who just passed away last year served in the USAAF in the Pacific from 1943-1945. He was an aircraft mechanic and from what he told me was pretty close to the front most of the time. He went through one night raid where the Japanese army was counter attacking and they shelled his airfield with mortars. He told me the only Japanese soldiers he saw from that incident were a few prisoners being marched back the next morning.

He had a lot of good stories though. Not very action packed, but fun to listen to anyway.


M grandfather was on Okinowa shortly after the end of the campaign there, and he commented about the lack of POWs versus what he saw during the week after D-day. That always stuck out to me as an illustration of the difference between theatres for the Americans.

(in reply to Ostwindflak)
Post #: 28
RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/28/2016 9:45:29 PM   
scout1


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From: South Bend, In
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My dad was just a bit young for the conflict but my wife's grandfather spent some time with the 7th Infantry Div at Okinawa. Medical issues had him transferred later to a rear area, Tinian ... The image is likely after the war given the nose art and tail art ... but thinking most will recognize it






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RE: (OT) WW2 History in Your Family - 2/28/2016 10:20:34 PM   
Jellicoe


Posts: 137
Joined: 9/26/2012
From: Kent, UK
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Grandfather was a navigator bombaimer flying Lancasters with 50 squadron. Shot down over Hannover in October 43. Bailed out and spent the rest of the war in Stalag Luft III. Fluent german speaker so used for camp counter intelligence work during great escape. Forced marched from southern Poland to Denmark in 1945 in sub zero temperatures then liberated

Grandmother a Wren, worked in plotting rooms at Plymouth during D-Day. Among other things spent an air raid on HMS King George V and went AWOL before D-day as she and some friends fancied a trip to the beach at Falmouth. When challenged why Plymouth Wrens were in Falmouth she responded that she wasn't allowed to say and the hot footed it back to PLymouth before facts were checked!

(in reply to scout1)
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