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Old 12-22-2006, 04:28 PM   #29
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WOW!!! What GREAT stories!!
My dad, who died 16 years ago spent his time as an electricians mate....
on submarines...17 years total under water.
Upon his passing, an honor guard from the local vfw played taps
and provided a 21 gun salute. While not current military, these brave men
stood in 20 degree temps./20 mph winds in short sleeve shirts,
their vest and hat the entire funeral!!! Such stamina, and fortitude and honor is hard to come by these days.
His stories of being depth charged..every light broke but the one in the
engine room; of being involved in a mission to remove mines from a harbor
in the south pacific....they go on and on...eating sea turtle 'cause the
ship's stores were empty...and sheep from austrailia, too.
Then came Korea....
I was honored to follow in his steps as I, too joined the navy..as a
machinists mate.
May that generation continue to inspire us for generations forward.

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Old 12-22-2006, 07:39 PM   #30
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My father was a radio man on a Destroyer Escort, U.S.S. Connelly #306, during the war. In his later years it was a favorite subject for his grandchildren., He loved to tell them about the war. This year I visited the only remaining Destroyer Escort in existence. My father died a year ago and it is at this time of year I miss him so much. Thank you for starting this thread.

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Old 12-22-2006, 07:59 PM   #31
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What a great thread to remind us and pay tribute to those who served. Such wonderful, humorous, touching, and very personal stories. It's sad that we have already lost most of this greatest generation.

None of my family went over the pond for WWII so no great war stories were passed down. Dad was an Army medic/ambulance driver and an uncle was an Air Force medic; both were assigned stateside during the war. Mom was a teenager, but remembers knitting sweaters, socks, and bandages for the Red Cross to be sent overseas for the soldiers. She tells of a few blackouts on the south Florida coast when German U-boats were suspected off shore.
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Old 12-22-2006, 09:03 PM   #32
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My dad died in '89. He enlisted in the Army in 1941 and spent most of the war island hopping in the Pacific. My grandfather (also Army) spent his time in the trenches in WWI. My dad always seemed to know what I needed in the care packages he sent to me when I was in Viet Nam.
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Old 12-22-2006, 09:20 PM   #33
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My dad could never pass the physical for the military. He suffered from Polio as did many other members of both my parents families. It always troubled him that he could not serve. He was very proud that both of his sons were able to serve their country.

My father in law was in the Army Air Corps and served in Brazil. Many of the planes that went to Europe went through Brazil because it was the shortest route across the Atlantic. He did have one confermed kill while in Brazil, a farmers cow refused to identify itself when it wondered too close to the base. They ate very well the next day. We celerbrated my Father In Laws 86th birthday yesterday.


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Old 12-23-2006, 07:51 AM   #34
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Like some others on this thread, my dad was unable to serve because of a collapsed lung, but he then chose to work in a defense plant in St. Louis for the duration of the war. He has been gone since 1964; there are so many questions I wish I could ask, now that I am grown up enough to realize how little I know. My mother will be 89 this spring. What a generation they shared! ~G
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Old 12-23-2006, 08:04 AM   #35
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My dad went to work as an apprentice boilermaker in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in 1936. Two years later he lost his hearing due to driving rivets without ear protection, none available at the time. When the war broke out in 41 dad tried to join, but because of his hearing problem was rejected. He worked on navy ships unil he retired in 1972. Many men like him that stayed behind played an vital part in the war effort. I know the pride he took in doing a job. Good enough didn't cut it with him, it had to be done right. I know that well because as his son this was the bench mark set for me. I lost dad in 2000 in due to his exposure to asbestos and silica while working on Navy ships. He was a good mentor and a true friend that I miss terribly specialy at this time of year.
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Old 12-23-2006, 09:03 AM   #36
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A family of heros:

My Grandfather (who was one of Roosevelt's Rough Riders) sent seven sons and six son-in-laws to WWII.

My dad was in Patton's third Army and was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge. He told me before his death that he and another soldier lay in the snow and played dead for three days until the allies retook the area.

He didn't relate much of this to me until I returned from Viet Nam. I guess then he felt a kinship with me.

After he was wounded he was taken to a small field hospital just outside of Paris where the Surgeon was my Wife's Father and one of the nurses was her Mother. True Story. How's that for a small world?

If you want to know more visit our web site. Select> Families,> War Years.

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Old 12-23-2006, 01:13 PM   #37
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My father was a water tender on a destroyer in the South Pacific. I can't imagine what it must have been like to be in the bowels of the ship while battles raged all around him.

His favorite story though, was when he and some buddies stole the officer's ham and took it downstairs and cooked it and ate it. MMMmmmmm. Stolen Ham.

My mom was a WAAC in Camp Crowder Mo. She recently went on her first helicopter ride at the ripe old age of 89.
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Old 12-23-2006, 02:25 PM   #38
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My father flew C-47 transports over the Burma Hump while in the Army Air Corp. I remember him telling me that he missed a flight out for leave and thought he would be stranded at the base. There was a C-47 that had been fitted with additional fuel tanks that needed to be delivered so he said he would do that to get where he was going. He told me that something happened when he switched over to the other tanks and the engines lost power. He was never able to get them back up before the plane went down. He wasn't hurt but his leave ran out as he waited to be picked up. What a bummer.

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Old 12-23-2006, 04:10 PM   #39
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Posted a thought about my Dad earlier but it may have been deleted cause I used some"French" in expressing my anger at my Dad not getting an "honor guard" at his funeral. He was 85, a paratrooper, in WWII, Korea, and VietNam. Had Bronze Star for Valor, Purple Heart, and other decorations. Just makes me mad.

ANYWAY...my memory was of Dad giving me his Master Parachutist wings at my Mom's funeral (died 3 mos before my Dad). He pulled me aside, gave me the insignia, and then told me I was the only one of his five sons to "earn" them. I was approaching retirement from the U.S. Coast Guard at the time. He was proud of me starting as an enlisted person and working my way up to Chief Warrant Officer.

The holiday's make you think of how much you miss those who have passed on. Lots of memories flood me everytime I see some particular holiday event, see my own kids or grandkids. My parents were charter members of THE GREATEST GENERATION. They sure left big footsteps to fill.

IF you still have your parents around, tell 'em you LOVE them A LOT this holiday.

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Old 12-23-2006, 04:32 PM   #40
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There is no question your Dad deserved an Honor Guard, I'm sorry he did not get one. Somehow, I don't think it bothered him because he understands that those most important to him were front and center to send him off and to this day miss him, as do I - my father. (He didn't have an Honor Guard either.)

He did tell me another story about one of his missions he felt a breeze then looked up an saw a 3 - 4" hole in the cockpit above his head - then he looked down and saw one between his legs (an anti aircraft round went straight through the plane. I guess I'm lucky to be here.

Everyone who posted comments, I cannot thank you enough for your participation. I know my tear ducts still work, and I know that I told my Dad I loved him every chance I got after I returned from Viet Nam for ten years before he passed away (and every time he told me he loved me as well - I will cherish that for ever especially around the holidays as his birthday was December 24th). I second Jerry's recommendation to tell your folks who are with you this holiday season how much you appreciate and love them. Merry Christmas everone!

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Old 12-23-2006, 05:10 PM   #41
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Wiping away tears....

It was only during conversation about taking care of horses did my Grandfather mention his days in the Calvary. There was time stationed in Ft.Hood, Tx. but I was so young, all the details are lost. This must have been a time when the US Calvary and the use of horses was coming to an end. He came home from military service to start a diary business. I spent all my summers with this gentle man who never raised his voice. He tried hard to teach me his golden rule; “taste your words before you speak”.

My father was a naval journalist and ironically spent the war years on a battleship. He has only told two stories of the war that I can remember. He was part of the detail that occupied Japan after their surrender. His battleship assignment then went to Europe for the Normandy invasion. His invasion story is about one of his six brothers; Lt. Herbert Presley. Dad is on a battleship, his brother on an infantry transport. The night before the invasion they were able to talk via ship to ship radio. Two or three days later, while moving through a small village Lt. Presley was lost to a sniper. Dad is now 83 and has one surviving brother.

I will mention my service and being a vet. of Vietnam only in the context of being drafted in 1969. It was a very tearful and emotional goodbye outside the induction center in Atlanta. What a mix of emotions to walk through those doors, leaving parents behind, tears on my cheeks and finding what seemed like half of my ’67 HS senior class inside. The reunion we had that morning was wonderful medicine for a bunch of 19 and 20 year olds.

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Old 12-23-2006, 05:52 PM   #42
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Pearl Harbor Survivor

My Dad was a survivor of the Pearl Harbor attack by the Japanese…
He was a member of the 307th Signal Aviation Division, 7th Fighter Command.
He was a radio repairman with the Army Signal Corps during WWII.
Told me his happiest years were spent in Hawaii.
Retired from the David Sarnoff Research Center at Princeton.
He died at age 79 in my home state, N.J., Feb. 2, 1995

Thanks, Mac1, for starting this thread on the eve of your Dad’s birthday…
And thanks all who have shared thoughts, stories, and memories.
It inspired me to go back and re-read my Dad’s last letter to me… he said in part:
"The picture of the Dogwood has the promise of Spring Time. Although there will be many storms ahead, it gives me a goal to see the spring blossoms. I want to thank you Bill, for your kind remembrances of me. I always tried to help you in the best ways I knew. Sometimes it is not easy to express ones thoughts in a letter, although I do try… So in closing, Bill, please save this letter as there are times this letter may make it easier to say, Happy New Year to you and Larry,
Signing off with Love from Dad"

Well, Dad, I not only saved it… but I posted it for the world to see.
(Dad is standing on left in photo below)
Thanks for the memories.
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