raygunn

World War 2 Veterans

275 posts in this topic

Both my Grandfathers were in the German infantry, they were relatively old (both born 1910) and served throughout the war as Obergefreite.

My fathers father. I didnt know much about his whereabouts during the war as he passed away in 1976 until some years ago I requested his data. He served as a machingunner. He was fighting in France 1940 and then stationed at the coast until november 1941. He was transferred to the northern Russian front and was back 2 months later as he almost lost both hands to frost. He then served in various training units through the war and was captured by the americans and released in fall 1945.

He raised 5 kids and shovelled coal until he died from bad lungs 66 years old.

My mothers father whereabouts are mainly from himself (only snippets) and his wife (my grandma still lives at 93). He was wounded in Poland and fought in Russia for some time, until he got seriously wounded in 1943, he was shot through his arm and lungs (Ive seen the scars). He never recovered to full duty (he was fine after the war) and was hospitalised frist in Holland and later in Copenhagen, Denmark. I have a wonderfull story, which my grandma told me:

In spring 1945, the walking wounded were rounded up and should be shipped across the Baltic sea to stem the russian tide. The were to board a ship, when my grandfather somehow overheard that the last rows (of men) couldn't come, so he took some comrades and they stood last. Some time later they were ordered to march to Hamburg and stop the allies. Some day in april, my grandmother - who had 4 small children at the time, my mother being the youngest, ½ a year old - heard form friends that they had seen my grandfather marching past Flensburg, where both families lived and still do. A few hours later, he stood in the door, for him, the war was over, he quit a few weeks before it ended.

They raised 5 children, he worked in a higher postion at the shipyards until he retired. He died a few weeks before he got 75 in 1985.

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My patenal grandfather served with the Australian army in Greece, Crete, and North Africa... managing to survive and escape pretty much every military disaster the Allies endured at the time.

Then he got recalled back to Oz along with most of the other Australian units, and got placed at a coastal defense battery near Townsville... thus missing the military disasters happening in New Guinea at the time.

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I dont know much about my Grandfather on my dads side. We have a few items he owned.

My Grandfather was Nepalese and was part of the Gurkha regiment attached to the British Army. My dad has told me he fought against the Japanese but my Aunty said .. who is older then my dad that he was actually in N Africa.

I have recently been trying to discover more about him .. but my dad doesnt like talking about it much and so it makes it hard.

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I have recently found a chest containing my Grandfather's Rifle, reports to his CO and his Army uniform.

More Detail: His rifle is a M1 Grande

His CO was Major H. G. Brown from the years 1944-1945

one of his reports says "As my moved unit a German MG opened up on us while moving across a field outside of a small village of which I can not remember. I saw bullets not 5 feet away from me fly towards me. I flatten myself just in time, as I glance at the remaining men and noticed 3 of my newest Privates and just gone down."

SO CLOSE!

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S! To All:

My Father during WWII was Cpl. C.J.W. Simpson, USMC, Marine Detachment aboard the USS Missouri. His battle station was one of the 20mm AA guns on the signal bridge, port side. He was present during the Japanese Surrender Ceremony aboard the USS Missouri, September 2, 1945 in Tokyo Bay. He then stayed aboard as part of the US Marine Honor Guard for the USS Missouri's 1946 Mediterranean Cruise. The USS Missouri was sent there to convey home the body of the late Turkish Ambassador to the U.S., Mehmet Munir Ertegun, who had died in Washington, DC, in November 1944. Then my father returned home to his widowed Mother in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and returned to his studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

My Mother during WWII worked as one of the civilian dental assistants that helped the US Army Dentist at Camp Mackall, North Carolina. In the movie Band of Brothers and during WWII, Camp Mackall was a US Army Airborne training center for parachute and glider troops.

My Grandfather, Mother's Father, James Ray Dunn Sr. was a US Army Sergeant during WWI and fought in France. When the United States joined in the fight in WWII, he was to old for combat duty, so he joined the US Marines at the rank of Sergeant at the Charleston Navy Yard in South Carolina.

Most of my Aunts and Uncles worked either military or civilian jobs during WWII, I don't know all their stories,...but I am proud to know they all did their part during WWII... for the Freedoms we all have today.

James Calton Simpson

Edited by carolina

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Grandfather served as an Aircraft Engineer for the Royal Australian Airforce 76th Squadron, along with his brother.

He saw service in Milne Bay during WW2, and had a few interesting ship rides around the place, with the odd Japanese submarine, taking pot shots and missing.

He really doesnt like talking much about it at all, --- It was a long long time ago is all he has to say about it...

Has suffered a early loss of hearing in one ear, and his second continues to rapidly degrade, which has been attributed to the frequent loud aircraft noise he was subjected to in his service.

Came away clean from it all other then that.

Karellean

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A story that completed different and unfamiliar or even alien to everyone here.

Grandfather finished his training from Whampoa Military Academy and became a frontline officer in the late second sino-japanese war for two years

the war is too exotic for all westerns,all i can say it's just like the eastern front

and sometimes even brutal then it while KMT (nationalist) lack of heavy equipments, the only thing can face the japanese combined arms was nothing but men,determinations, courage and suicide mission.

I know its like a joke to Americans that even M2 HB can penetrate the armor of Type 97 or other tanks, how could these stupid chinese allies cannot overcome these piece of ****. but truth is when you have nothing but grenades and rifle. things gonna be different.

Good news was when my grandfather put himself into the late of war ,USA started to supplied KMT withlots of supplies,trucks,tanks,atg,and equipments after pearl harbors ,though the war was already begun for 6 years

But there's nothing wrong with international brushed this war off. Because everyone had their own problem and things need to be concerned.

After imperial japan surrendered to the allies ,a few years later the whole china fell into civil war. the result was wide-known, Nationalist fled to Taiwan

im too young to understand and memorize those stories, actually he seldom talks about how it was like when he was alive.

There's a lots of veterans came to visit my family in my childhood, from retired general to privite,they talked really really loud and besides, i can't even understand what they said due to those people were all came from different province of mainland china,their accent were all different but as a young kid theres a few sentences from my grandfather that i'll never forget.

"Bullets are not scary,because when you heard it, it missed already."

"Firefight aren't bad,when you pulled the trigger, you will only see a man-shaped shadow fells down, but the melee warfare was ****ing scary,because the fear wrote on the victim's face,the soft and moist feeling through your knifes or bayonet and right into you hand, you will never never forget that ..I..the..it's hard to explain how it was,when fighting against the japs invaders theres nothing but excitied but.. I can't forgive me that i stabbed someone who was our compatriot"

then he went silence and shaking,when i was 7

i actually didn't get it until 16.

There's another conversation when i was 10.

Still, some veterans dropped into my family as usual but lesser. They passed a way one by one.

I asked a question because of one of our children's folk rhymes praise of brave soldier win the fight and return in triumph and that inspired me.

"Why you all fled away and lost fights? HAHA!"

suddenly those old folks went silence.

and one old man said

"Son,we all appreciate your grandpa for his leading,otherwise we won't even exist in this world anymore"

I was so shocked and scared by him, he was so serious

then it went into silence again and everyone don't even move a bit.

maybe a couple seconds i can't remembered,another old man laugh out loud and start making fun of who ran the fastest or stupidest.

then eveyone and my grandfather laughed out loud and start to compare who was dumb or fled like a chicken. And the old man who was keen to me said to me

"He was always stay in the last one of the formation"

--

They all passed away, unlike the allies countries,they passed away quietly,unknown. there's no Hollywood effect or heros making like the western countries.

I don't really care about PRC's taiwan policy or politics, they are now a big and powerful country with great influence.

I'm not the independant supporter either.

But I really hate how they denigrate National Revolutionary Army fought the japan with "Cowardance,No skill,Never fight" and deny the fact of 206 KMT Generals died in the field , 3,21 millions warriors gave their lives.

during 22 campaigns , 1117 operations and 28931 skirmishs.

I'm 24 now, All things i'm trying do is understand what war is really like more.

In fact. We don't hate modern Japan here in Taiwan,every conflict in history has it's own background,what passed is already passed. we shall not forget but we shall keep walking.

I might be a bit emotional in this post,hope you guys tolerant it and my english.

Peace

Edited by kayhase

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Patrick Michael O’Connor – my wife’s grandfather passed away 2nd Jan. He was in telecommunications, working as a film projectionist and in the run up to war joined the TA - 49th (West Riding)*Armoured Division (the so-called ‘Polar Bears’). He was 17 when war was declared and was too young to go to Belgium with the BEF, so between 1939 and 1940 the regiment patrolled the Kent coast – apparently there were only two armoured divisions in SE England at that time so they spent a lot of time switching badges and spreading misinformation while the country waited for the expected invasion. The division then went north to occupy Iceland in order to protect against any German attempt to establish north Atlantic U-boat bases there - it seemed that much of the activity was taken up dealing with the cold and German reconnaissance aircraft, though he spoke very fondly of his time there, it seemed they had quite a laugh.

*

In 1943 they moved to Wales to prepare for D-Day. He was an artillery spotter – presumably working with the communication lines? – and the Division landed in Normandy on D-Day + 7. They were heavily involved in the battles at Caen, Le Havre and Falaise and he never talked about this period – I understand that his role was up front alongside the infantry and so I’m guessing he experienced the full horror of war. They pushed through France and Belgium before he was eventually invalided out at Brussels, due to appendicitis. He spent the rest of the war guarding POWs in England, being demobbed in 1946 with 7 years active service. He was demobbed as a Sgt-Major though he rejoined the TA after the war and retired as a Captain in the sixties.

*

A very quiet, unassuming man with great integrity and a wry sense of humour. I wish I’d been able to talk to him about Normandy but as so many did he didn’t wish to talk about it with those who hadn’t seen it first hand – including his son, who joined the army and rose to Lt-Colonel.

*

Farewell Pat, you were a lovely man.

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A story that completed different and unfamiliar or even alien to everyone here.

Grandfather finished his training from Whampoa Military Academy and became a frontline officer in the late second sino-japanese war for two years

the war is too exotic for all westerns,all i can say it's just like the eastern front

and sometimes even brutal then it while KMT (nationalist) lack of heavy equipments, the only thing can face the japanese combined arms was nothing but men,determinations, courage and suicide mission.

I know its like a joke to Americans that even M2 HB can penetrate the armor of Type 97 or other tanks, how could these stupid chinese allies cannot overcome these piece of ****. but truth is when you have nothing but grenades and rifle. things gonna be different.

Good news was when my grandfather put himself into the late of war ,USA started to supplied KMT withlots of supplies,trucks,tanks,atg,and equipments after pearl harbors ,though the war was already begun for 6 years

But there's nothing wrong with international brushed this war off. Because everyone had their own problem and things need to be concerned.

After imperial japan surrendered to the allies ,a few years later the whole china fell into civil war. the result was wide-known, Nationalist fled to Taiwan

im too young to understand and memorize those stories, actually he seldom talks about how it was like when he was alive.

There's a lots of veterans came to visit my family in my childhood, from retired general to privite,they talked really really loud and besides, i can't even understand what they said due to those people were all came from different province of mainland china,their accent were all different but as a young kid theres a few sentences from my grandfather that i'll never forget.

"Bullets are not scary,because when you heard it, it missed already."

"Firefight aren't bad,when you pulled the trigger, you will only see a man-shaped shadow fells down, but the melee warfare was ****ing scary,because the fear wrote on the victim's face,the soft and moist feeling through your knifes or bayonet and right into you hand, you will never never forget that ..I..the..it's hard to explain how it was,when fighting against the japs invaders theres nothing but excitied but.. I can't forgive me that i stabbed someone who was our compatriot"

then he went silence and shaking,when i was 7

i actually didn't get it until 16.

There's another conversation when i was 10.

Still, some veterans dropped into my family as usual but lesser. They passed a way one by one.

I asked a question because of one of our children's folk rhymes praise of brave soldier win the fight and return in triumph and that inspired me.

"Why you all fled away and lost fights? HAHA!"

suddenly those old folks went silence.

and one old man said

"Son,we all appreciate your grandpa for his leading,otherwise we won't even exist in this world anymore"

I was so shocked and scared by him, he was so serious

then it went into silence again and everyone don't even move a bit.

maybe a couple seconds i can't remembered,another old man laugh out loud and start making fun of who ran the fastest or stupidest.

then eveyone and my grandfather laughed out loud and start to compare who was dumb or fled like a chicken. And the old man who was keen to me said to me

"He was always stay in the last one of the formation"

--

They all passed away, unlike the allies countries,they passed away quietly,unknown. there's no Hollywood effect or heros making like the western countries.

I don't really care about PRC's taiwan policy or politics, they are now a big and powerful country with great influence.

I'm not the independant supporter either.

But I really hate how they denigrate National Revolutionary Army fought the japan with "Cowardance,No skill,Never fight" and deny the fact of 206 KMT Generals died in the field , 3,21 millions warriors gave their lives.

during 22 campaigns , 1117 operations and 28931 skirmishs.

I'm 24 now, All things i'm trying do is understand what war is really like more.

In fact. We don't hate modern Japan here in Taiwan,every conflict in history has it's own background,what passed is already passed. we shall not forget but we shall keep walking.

I might be a bit emotional in this post,hope you guys tolerant it and my english.

Peace

Far and above one of my favourite posts in this thread. Thank you for sharing.

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Glad to see the thread continues.

Here's a tid bit. Looking for information on family history I uncovered that my great uncles (Mother's side) served in the First World War. They shipped out from Western Canada and were in the artillery for the last "100 days war". Interestingly, I could download pdf's of their actual recruitment papers, from the Canadian Government's war site...being something like 70 years beyond the end of the war or something to that effect. There was a full description of their medicals and there was their actual signatures on the documents. Seeing the actual handwritten signature of my Uncles...who both went to war was meaningful and especially so in the case of my GU George Lawman, who I did get to meet and died when I was about 10.

My father was a world war 2 veteran. He did not get overseas but was guarding POW's for a while in Maritimes Canada (NFLD I think) in late 44 and 45. He did have a display case of medals and mementos but I do not have them now and cannot remember exactly what types they were. I do remember taking them to school for "show and tell" when I was in grade one...yes...quite a while ago. My older brothers might know...and I think I will ask them about this.

When my father died I got some of his papers and things, among them were his service papers and some pictures of his army buddies etc...

Not an exciting story, but the times would have certainly been somewhat exciting.

Interestingly, my "uncle" Horst (our next door neighbour who I wasn't related to) had a much different and interesting story. My "uncle" immigrated to Canada a few years after the war. He and his wife had no children....being the last of 8 kids in my own family I visited with them a lot. I became in effect "their kid".

Anyway....he was 1/2 Jewish and survived in Germany till sometime late in the war relying on friends etc.. He had actually been in the Germany army in 1937-38, until his "lineage" was "discovered" then he was out of the Army. The ****'s finally got him. He had been a machinist as well as a chauffeur before the war and knew many business people. The ****'s put him in a work camp making the V rockets. I still have to verify with my "Aunt", now 92 years old, exactly which factory/work camp.

However, she has letters from my "uncle" during that time and being a good secretary type she has copies of her letters to him. All in German...but I have arranged to have a historian investigate them.

My "uncle" never talked to me about this time in specifics. I did see pictures of him taken immediately after the war and he was almost skeletal in appearance. He did talk about starting up a business in Germany post war then fleeing from the Russians who "took over" his business and expected him to manage it for them. I think he had enough of totalitarianism regardless of if it was the communists or the fascist.

My dad and Horst were pretty good chums and I think had a great appreciation of life from all that I can tell was influenced by their experiences of that time.

Keep posting people.

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My Dad, Sam Roper was in Charlie Company of the 58th Armored Infantry Battalion, 8th Armor Division. You can read about their AAR here http://www.8th-armored.org/ . He earned 4 Comabt Infantry badges represented by 4 bronze stars on the theatre ribbon. Here is one AAR from the site http://www.8th-armored.org/aar/58c_buer.htm Dad never talked much about his experiences in the war but he did tell me more when I was in my 40s and he had been diagnosed with lung cancer. He was attached to Patton and made the run up to the Battle of the Buldge arriving around Christmas to relieve the 101st Airborne. He then went on through the Battle of the Ardennes Forrest and so into Berlin in 45, liberating the extermination camp Halberstad-Zwieberge a subdivision of Buchenwald, freeing 1100 prisioners along the way. Dad was an infantryman and was an expert marksman, I have his marksman badge, his combat ribbons, and Combat Infantry Badges still.

He passed away in August of 1999, I think of him every single day.

Edited by tiger16

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lets keep the "thundering herd" rolling

my grandfather cpl.John W Hutton was a tank driver in the 88th armored recon bn F company.8th armored div.

tiger has already stated part of thier record but i'll add a few

the 8th was the last armour div sent into action,the unit served as the training unit before being designated the 8th.

any armour unit who trained in camp polk la or fort knox ky were trained in the 8th before being deployed.

besides the Halberstad-Zwieberge concentration camp they also libbed the Langenstein concentration camp. the langenstein libberation or what the 8th did there was concidered top secret .

in the early 90s formal recognition and decorations were finaly granted to the 8th for langenstein.

like tigers dad , my grandfather never talked much about the war,and if he did it was usually of brief fun times.

of the war he said

he said he never knew where he was going. they were basicly told a road to follow and did so till they got shot at.at that point they return fire ,disengage.and retreat back where they came from.

as a kid it never made sense to me ,but after learning he was recon it made all the sense.

he also streesed to me of the concentration camps that ,he was there , he'd seen the crimes commited and that some day, people would deny it. and not to believe them f$^k'n liars when they did

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André Berthezene, my grandfather, was 15 when war declared between france and germany. In 1940 when we lost battle of France he got into resistance at the age of 16, in south of france. He doesn't want to speak too much about it because it recalls him lts of bad thing. Sometimes he tells me small parts of his life down there.

For example he was relaying intel between different campground in the moutains and distributed resistance papers to the people in villages and small cities.

One of my question was "did you had a gun" he said to me not at the beggining, we had a rifle for like 5 persons and a very few amount of ammo.

He also participated to an action where they ambushed a german truck full of german infantry.

At the age of 19 he got into FFL as corporal an ended up sergent at the end of war in germany. He was the youngest sub officer of the whole french army !

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One of my Grandfather, my father's father was in WWI not II, he was young and barely made it over to Europe let alone to see action. I am going to have to do research on him to find out more .. got the records from the National Archives in Ottawa but havnt put much work into finding out more about service, or that of his artillery unit.

He returned home and became a doctor and was long dead before i came along.

But this is about WWII and I have 2 family members who served but both died Normandy.

My mother's cousin fought in Normandy and was a tanker with ... dam escapes me .. Fusiliers de Sherbrooke i think .. anyhow .. he got taken prisoner and shot - so im told .. during one of those bad periods of the battle that saw both sides execute prisoners. I have been to his grave twice now, once just back in the fall - at the Bernier sur Mer cemetary just south of Juno beach.

My wife's grandmother's cousin was in the fight a little later, during the 2nd phase of the Normandy Campaign and died somewhere between Caen and Falaise. We also visited his grave site while in Normandy in the fall, 2011.

I know very little about any of their service .. definately a project for later in my life when i have the free time and motivation to spend some time in archives digging stuff up.

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Interesting thread.

My grandfather was a Navy Corpsman aboard the USS Lexington (CV2) and was onboard during the Battle of the Coral Sea. He managed to get off the ship with the uniform on his back and his Navy Corpsman manual. I have that, water and oil stains and all in my lock box. Funny thing, he ended up going back, was stationed at Great Lakes and was an instructor for new Corpsman. During the buildup for the invasion of Japan he was assigned to another aircraft carrier, the USS Lexington (CV16). He was on his way as part of the buildup when the war ended.

My wife's family was just as interesting. He paternal grandfather was an Italian soldier serving on the Eastern Front in WW2. He was part of the Italian Expedition in the Soviet Union and fought near Stalingrad. He died before I could meet him but I know that the family had no clue as to his fate until almost 1945 when he was one of the very few that returned home. He was trapped in Italy due to the allied invasion of Sicily.

My wife's other grandfather was a machinist's mate on the USS California. He left the US Navy in October of 1941, a couple of months before Pearl Harbor. He never talked about it but he did state he lost a lot of friends on that ship and personally thought that he probably would have been killed if he was still aboard her when the ship was attacked.

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My son and I both play wwIIonline. His grandfather, my dad, was a coxswain on a landing craft (he called it a Tank Lighter, but from the physical description, it must have been an LCM(3)) of a liberty ship plus manned one side of a mid-ship 40mm AA gun while at battle station. Like others have noted here, he doesn't talk about it and it's difficult to bring out facts as a result.

His journey went from the Aleutians to Okinawa, with the majority of time spent in the south seas. He fell victim to the diseases that so many soldiers and sailors (of all nationalities) had while in the Solomons and other island groups, so spent time in the Tulagi hospital and even today can't hear as a result of the infections. He still curses the boredom of shipboard life, he absolutely loathed it. When I press him, he resorts to angry muttering.

His brushes with notable events were sitting across Ironbottom sound when the Serpens went up, landing supplies in the thick of it at Peleliu, and shooting down a Kamikaze at Okinawa. It's curious that just this year, I was able to get him to talk about the splashing of the plane. As he described how he was firing, the plane aimed perfectly at his crew providing an ideal firing position for him, he hit it and it caused it to swerve up and clear the superstructure right over his head crashing in the water beyond, he paused reflectively. It was as if for the first time, at 89 years old, he realized how close it was, and even stared off into space as if talking to himself and said, "Wow, I guess I was lucky". I have a photo of him and another fellow from the crew (he thought the loader) painting the rising sun below the gun tub.

I'm trying to write up the history of the ship's (the AK-94 Mintaka) actions since I have an album full of photos to put online. In trying to talk with him about it, I get the idea he's virtually blocked out the experiences. I would guess that millions of men who experienced the war, have done the same.

I'm personally very touched by reading the multi-national responses here, and quite reassured that all of us, from politically diverse nations, can play together now in a game like this. I'm thankful that my son, at 19, is firing AA guns in wwIIonline rather than how my father was shooting the real thing at the same age (he was 3 days short of 19 that day the plane almost nailed him). A fascinating contrast. Hopefully that means we are progressing as a species.

Edited by Eagletree

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My grandfather was a forward observer with the the hourglass division from 1942-45, fought throughout the Pacific. My great uncle was an infantryman, though which theater and what unit I have no idea. I know he won a Silver and two Bronze Stars. And I had a third cousin killed at Monte Cassino.

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Still trying to get my 89 year old interested. He's a computer and photographer geek who served in the Pacific from 1943-1945. Still has his Jap rifle, flags, and other goodies he mailed back home during the war.

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Ehhh I know mine was in the bulge (German) but most of the stuff he did im not going over. Too lazy!

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My grandfather from my moms side didn joined the army during WW2 but he was a smuggler (food), I dont know much about it but I know the people around him were never hungry!

My grandfathers from my fathers side did joined the Belgian forces but was only for a couple of days (Belgium got captured in 2 weeks or something). I dont know his unit or anything but I know he told me that he was stationed at Antwerp and when the Germans were coming near they burned all the oil and destroyed other supplies to stop the Germans. When the Germans came so close he and his unit had to run for their lives but they eventually got caught by the Germans (Werhmacht) and the German officer looked at them sighted and told them to go home (Germans had 'more respect for the Dutch speaking part of Belgium).

I would like to add a little history of Belgium also before people start saying *** about Belgium. Belgium is a neutral country and isn't allowed to do offensive operations etc. The reason why Belgium got captured so fast was because Belgium started preparing only 1 week before Germany invaded Belgium. Also Belgium only had like 400.000 Military personnel and most of them were reservists. So It's not like Belgium is a weak country but during WW2 they got caught off guard.

Edited by gun3

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I would like to add a little history of Belgium also before people start saying *** about Belgium. Belgium is a neutral country and isn't allowed to do offensive operations etc. The reason why Belgium got captured so fast was because Belgium started preparing only 1 week before Germany invaded Belgium. Also Belgium only had like 400.000 Military personnel and most of them were reservists. So It's not like Belgium is a weak country but during WW2 they got caught off guard.

In all fairness the only reason they go caught off guard was because no one wanted to acknowledge the possibility of the lowlands along the channel and North Sea being the quickest route to France.

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My grandpa wont talk about it, but my grandma told me he was a hitler youth. He was called to duty defending berlin at the end of the war. He's on his second bout with cancer now so I'm going to try and get him to open up about it before he is gone forever.

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My grandpa wont talk about it' date=' but my grandma told me he was a hitler youth. He was called to duty defending berlin at the end of the war. He's on his second bout with cancer now so I'm going to try and get him to open up about it before he is gone forever.[/quote']

I hope you succeed in getting him to talk. The information he holds inside him would be fascinating to millions of people. I also know how hard it is. I have attempted to get my Dad's stories out for years. He does his best to forget his war experiences and resents it when I probe. As with your situation, time is ticking away and the information they have will be lost. I have had some success by studying up on equipment and events I knew would be associated with his PTO experiences, letting me ask very specific questions. That usually unlocks a bit of meager dialog.

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My father was a US Coast Guard Reservist. Enlisted as an air cadet, August '41. By December, he was sent to OTS, Ft. Dix, a "90 day wonder" ensign, USCGR.

He served on the USS Arthur Middleton (APA-25), '42-44 as a boat officer.

The Arthur Middleton was an attack transport. Troops were ferried to the beach on 'Higgins' boats or LCVPs.

The boats were organized into squadrons. He was in a boat squadron.

He campaigned in the Aleutian Islands, Tarawa, Eniwetock and Siapan.

My old man told me alot about his experiences in WW2 since his cold war duties on the North Atlantic patrol were, and still are, classified.

The Aleutians were a major clusterfuk, bitter cold, fearful seas, and the enemy needing to be rooted out of every cove and inlet.

Early on, the Middleton dragged her anchor, ran aground and couldn't be floated til spring. The USS Worden (DD-352), suffered a worse fate in the same gail.

So, his first winter at war was in Dutch Harbor.

The highlight of that winter was a nightly poker game run by a tech sargent named Dashiell Hammett.

Tarawa he remembered as bloody. First day Marine casualties piled up at the tide line. The Middleton's beach party was mauled by mg fire.

They ferried casualties and cargo for 5 days.

On the return voyage to Pearl, there were many burials at sea.

Eniwetock and Siapan deserve another post.

Here's a good read on the USS Arthur Middleton:

http://www.uscg.mil/history/webcutters/APA25ArthurMiddleton.pdf

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