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Posted: 8/27/2004 10:16:41 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/27/2004 10:19:28 PM EST by DrFrige]
Today, I had one of the best history lessons EVER. My last customer of the day was a retired WWII Air Force Navigator from a B-29 Squadron in the Pacific. Just to sit there and listen to this guy talk, what was supposed to be a 1 hour job took 3 hours! My wife was wondering where the hell I was. I told her, listening to a walking piece of history.

The stories that he told me will NEVER be found in ANY history books. We are dwindling down on vets of WWII and If I may suggest, take the time and listen to what these people have to say. they have a lot. This guy tood flak in his leg and NEVER put in for a purple heart. he got shot while flying over Japan and STILL was able to navigate, complete his mission and return to base.

The stories of how these guys were able to navigate WITHOUT sattellites, radar, ATC. Before flights they had to MEMORIZE where subs, and boats were located in case they had to ditch the plane in the water. NOTHING was written down in case they were captured, they didnt want the enemy to know where the subs and boats were.

He also shared with me that on one flight, he was plotting and the plane was rocking due to AAA. One of his pencils fell to the floor, as he leaned forward to pick it up, a 20mm round came right through where his head would have been had he not bent over.

Sick stuff. It was a pleasure to meet such a man.

What is sad though is he told me that, What he told me in those three hours was MORE than he ever told his kids or grandkids.... because they never bothered to ask

Link Posted: 8/27/2004 10:18:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/27/2004 10:19:00 PM EST by DrFrige]
dupe post...sorry
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 10:20:52 PM EST
Frige, go back and tape his stories or write them down.
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 10:27:56 PM EST

Originally Posted By ARDunstan:
Frige, go back and tape his stories or write them down.



Oh, I wrote them down... YOU BET!! WITH MY MEMORY??? Some of the stuff from that generation is amazing! My dad will talk about a few things but not that much. Same as my Father In Law... he was in Vietnam and wont talk AT ALL about it. You have to respect that.

What is sad is that today's kids are so far removed from WWII that they dont care. That is a time period that will never be duplicated. UNFORTUNATELY, people will forget and history will repeat itself.
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 10:31:12 PM EST

Originally Posted By DrFrige:

Originally Posted By ARDunstan:
Frige, go back and tape his stories or write them down.



Oh, I wrote them down... YOU BET!! WITH MY MEMORY??? Some of the stuff from that generation is amazing! My dad will talk about a few things but not that much. Same as my Father In Law... he was in Vietnam and wont talk AT ALL about it. You have to respect that.

What is sad is that today's kids are so far removed from WWII that they dont care. That is a time period that will never be duplicated. UNFORTUNATELY, people will forget and history will repeat itself.


In all due respect I dont want to duplicate it , I do wish like hell though as a nation we had better understaning of it and respect for those who went thru it.
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 10:37:27 PM EST
Good work, Frige.
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 10:42:02 PM EST

Originally Posted By tnek:

Originally Posted By DrFrige:

Originally Posted By ARDunstan:
Frige, go back and tape his stories or write them down.



Oh, I wrote them down... YOU BET!! WITH MY MEMORY??? Some of the stuff from that generation is amazing! My dad will talk about a few things but not that much. Same as my Father In Law... he was in Vietnam and wont talk AT ALL about it. You have to respect that.

What is sad is that today's kids are so far removed from WWII that they dont care. That is a time period that will never be duplicated. UNFORTUNATELY, people will forget and history will repeat itself.


In all due respect I dont want to duplicate it , I do wish like hell though as a nation we had better understaning of it and respect for those who went thru it.



OH I never want to see it duplicated either, Problem is that people over 65 are discarded and ignored. These people have experiences in life that once they are gone... they take those stories with them to the grave. I find them fascinating.

Instead people find Brittney Spears and Janet Jacksons boob interesting. Gotta fucking be kidding me.
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 11:01:53 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 11:11:10 PM EST
Wow.
That is one hell of a story.
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 11:17:29 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 11:41:45 PM EST
video tape... So you can have him tell your grandkids.
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 3:59:01 AM EST
I too have found that the older vets are most likely to talk to us younger vets,not their families. I had run into one in perticular when I was getting food for my critters and he was parked next to me. I thanked him for having served,which surprised him and he asked me why I did that. I preceded to tell him I was ex-military and my family goes out of their way to thank all vets. He preceded to talk to me in the parking lot about WW2 and even told me he had never told his family,he flew the B52's too. Unfortunately I had to go to work,but we could have talked for a long time. I found out he doesn't live that far from me either. I made his day in just listening to him. I just wish more people would take the time and listen to these guys,they have a wealth of information. That 45 minutes I spent with him I will treasure.
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 4:04:37 AM EST
Hubbys grandfather served in WW2. Grandpa would not talk about it with anyone, until hubby came home from Desert Storm. The stories he told are still etched in hubbys mind and always will be. It took becoming a vet for grandpa to talk. Granpa died a few years back, now all hubby has is the memories of the talks they had. Memories he shares with me all the time, and when our son is big enough, him too.
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 4:20:04 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 4:20:36 AM EST

Originally Posted By Lightning_P38:
I figured that out when I was a kid. I was lucky I lived on Army bases, and in the late seventies there were still a few WWII vets active duty. My Grandfather was a Medic with an Infantry unit, in the European theater, waded onto Normandy while the beach was still hot, walked all the way into Germany via Bastogne. he was a little older than your average recruit (even for WWII standards), at 31, he passed on in 86. He was funny about the war, he never talked about it at all with most people, but my kid brother and myself heard plenty about it (I didn't know that until recently when my brother and I were taking about some of the stories he told us when we were kids, and my mom was shocked, she had never even heard him mention the war). My other Grandfather was a belly gunner on a B17, which was perfect for him as he was only 4'10". I also had a neighbor at Ft. Rucker whose father lived with the family (the sponsors father), the old man, I only knew him as Mr. McBee, had flown fighters. I think the most interesting old timer I meet who was a WWII vet was a friend of mines grandfather, who was also a fighter pilot.

I will share a little story about my friend and his grandfather, I was in 11th grade, and we were studing histroy, particularly WWII, and the teacher realizing this was a military community, and that there were probably many students who had interesting relics from the period, told us that we would be having a kind of show and tell, of interesting momentos and souveniers that family members had brought home from WWII. Friday came and we started history class, and the teacher starts calling people up who would then show the rest of us a uniform jacket, or maybe a shell fragment, or medal a grandparent or uncle had won. It came time for my friend (lets call him Pete), to show his item, he goes up to the front of the class, and takes a very neatly folded silk rising sun flag out, and the teacher immediately asks Pete who gave him that, he tells her it was from his grandfather, then she asks if it is blood on it (it was badly stained), he said yes, it is my grandfathers blood. She then asks him what his grandfather did in the war, he told her he was a fighter pilot, a real Ace, so of course she asks how many japs he had shot down, Pete froze for a second, then calmly says "none", of course the teacher being somewhat knowledgable politely states that to be an ace you have to shot down so many enemy planes. Pete told her he knew that, and he was an ace, he even had the papers to show it, the teacher then says he must have served in Europe then, he told her "no, he served in the Pacific", the teacher was starting to get a little annoyed, and asked him how his grandfather could be an ace pilot in the pacific and yet have never shot down a Jap, because the only enemy the US fought in the pacific was Japan, he agreed with a nod. Finally Pete started speaking on his own. He made a very short, candid statement, "My grandfather served his country in the pacific, the flag I am holding was removed from a flag pole at an airstrip in the Phillipines only moments before the field was overrun by the enemy, as he was lowering the flag, he was wounded in the chest. though wounded, he managed to get to the nearest plane that was ready to fly, and escaped just before the runway was shelled. After recovering from his wound, he kept the flag and carried it in his Zero every time he went up."

\
Great Story!
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 4:39:03 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 7:19:08 AM EST
Good thread. I'm glad that I was able to tape record my grandfather years before he got alzheimers and died (two Christmases ago). Those tapes are very precious to me, as he tells a young Duke Nukem the story of his life so I could write it down for an 8th grade project on who my hero is.

He was a true American.
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 7:23:04 AM EST
That was one of the coolest things about working at Walter Reed Army medical center. All these old vets would come in, and chances are you just watched something on the History channel about them. I got to meet some INCREDIBLE old soldiers. It made my day to sit and listenm to them, and then go home and look up the story on the internet.
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 7:23:21 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 9:39:12 AM EST
Growing up almost all of my neighbors were WWII vets. I used to sit with them (usually eating their wives cookies) listening to them talk, asking them questions. I had a whole route I'd hit as a kid....
One neighbor was knocked out in the first wave at Normandy, came to late in the afternoon. Another was a 4.2" mortarman (he called them Chemical Mortars), another a tanker under Patton. He had some cool maps and such he'd drag out when I pestered him enough.
They're all gone now, every one of them.
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 9:41:59 AM EST

Originally Posted By ARDunstan:
Frige, go back and tape his stories or write them down.



Video Camera!
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 9:52:30 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/28/2004 9:55:24 AM EST by NAKED-GUNMAN]
This is a great thread..My grandfather and great uncles have all shared some spell bounding stories..amazing war lives they lived. The best stories I have ever heard personally were from a local hero here Ft. Walton bch, his name his George "Bud" Day..an amazing man to say the least. I have sat down and listened to him reminisce and me thinking, this is unreal. How did these men survive? Oh and you have to almost beg them to tell their personal stories. Humble men.

Bud Day is on the web...you should go and check out his wartime lineage. I think he is the most decorated war hero still alive. And he is a big Bush supporter too.

He was in WWII, Korea and Viet Nam..amazing.


His Bio:www.pownetwork.org/bios/d/d051.htm
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