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Posted: 12/9/2001 3:40:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/9/2001 7:43:40 PM EDT by BenDover]
Link Posted: 12/9/2001 4:17:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/9/2001 4:10:40 PM EDT by Sukebe]
I was on patrol Friday afternoon and spotted a Pearl Harbor Assc. license plate, the kind that is issued by the state for displaying your vehicle registration. I caught up with he car and driving was an 80 something man and his wife. He had one of those veterans organization covers on(piss cutter type). You don't see very many of those guys around any more. I gave him a waive and a salute and went on my way thinking how lucky we are that his generation was made of tougher stuff than the fascists.
Link Posted: 12/9/2001 7:54:38 PM EDT
Yeah... they are almost all gone. In 1997 there were 19,000,000. Today there are less than 2,000,000. I keep trying to get my gramps to open up on tape for me but he refuses to talk about Bataan and the Pacific. We were talking about the Garand today. He was telling me about getting his thumb caught in the bolt in basic. He still mutters about, "Those damn Japs". I love him and will miss him when he's gone.
Link Posted: 12/14/2001 7:02:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/14/2001 6:58:59 AM EDT by 5subslr5]
(BenDover, I don't have a clue as to how to encourage your grandfather to talk but, as you know, his remembrances would exceed any possible valuation. Good Luck !!!!) I use December 7 to remember the early days of the Pacific submarine war. The sub pens were barely touched by the Japanese, a very bad error, and were at sea I believe within two days of the attack. On the afternoon of December 8, 1941 for the first and only time in American history the order was given to all PacFleet Submarines "Effective immediately execute unrestricted Submarine warfare against the empire of Japan." The early submarine tactics were so awful as to defy description. The early torpedos had magnetic exploders which most often did not explode. Sound/pictures of torpedos hitting ships and bouncing-off were recorded/taken. Early on more than one in three submarines did not return. Still the next boat went and the next and the next. At that time the "Royal Hawaiian Hotel" was the finest in Hawaii. That hotel was given to the SubPac sailors as acknowledgement of their bravery and sacrafice. Finally the tactics were ignored and BuOrd canned the mag exploders and things rapidly got better. A tiny force of submarines and men sent more than 80% of Japanese shipping to the bottom. For an Island Nation that was the beginning of the death knell for Japan. When all that mattered was the survival of our nation these men put it all on the line under conditions that are almost unimaginable today. These men have my eternal admiration.
Link Posted: 12/14/2001 4:59:19 PM EDT
I come from a very large blue collar family , both of my Grandparents were immigrants to the east coast from Poland. All of my six Uncles , as well as my Father served in WW2, either in the Marines or the Navy. My Dad as well as my older Uncles (they were not my Uncles yet, but when my Dad married into the Family they were) ALL joined the day after Pearl Harbor. My two younger Uncles joined a year or two later. The debt we owe them is so absolutely huge it defies description. I remember the Viet Nam era when you basically knew you had a year in Country and started counting backwards when you arrived. ( I am in NO way diminishing the VN experience they too have my respect) These guys had NO idea how long it would take. My Father as well as my Uncles mentioned several times that after a few beach landings or engagements you pretty much thought of yourself as DEAD already and just tried to go out taking as many of the enemy as you could with you. Or at least die like a man. My Father was first wave on Iwo Jima and never thought he would survive more than a day there, much less a MONTH. And that was his second landing with Tarawa his first. Talk about beating the odds. We buried him 2 years ago with his old Marine Corps cover in his coffin as he requested. Imagine the European campaign soldiers who after North Africa, Italy, D-Day, etc...You were then to be retrained and sent to take JAPAN. One wonders how something like that would go over nowadays. My Wifes Father flew B-24's for the Mighty 8th Air Force in Europe. A feat he is to this day very proud of. I am in absolute awe of these brave heros , many who are now frail old men and women. I have had the distinct honor of meeting Gen. Chuck Yeager a few times through Safari Club meetings. He is very gracious to fans and will take the time to sign his book or give an autograph. The thing that impressed me was his eyes. Though he is surely a man in his eighties he has the clear , sharp eyes of a young man. I can imagine those sharp eyes tracking an enemy and bringing his P-51 down on you. We don't have many WW2 Veterans left, we are losing them at a rate of thousands per day. I still have a few of my Uncles as well as my Wifes Dad left. While they are here we need to HONOR them for their sacrifices,their service to our Country , and their heroism. Every Veterans Day I call each and every one of my Uncles,and my Father in Law and Thank them for their Service to our Country. I'm a Highway Patrolman and occasionally stop an old guy who may have on a VFW ballcap, or a Navy cap with his old ships name embroiderd on the bill,etc. Or you notice some other clue as they go through their billfold. I ask them "What Branch were you In"? or "Where did you Serve"? We will chat for a few minutes and then I 99% of the time let them go with a verbal warning as well as a sincere handshake and a "Thank You for your Service to our Country". America's Greatest Generation to be sure. Frank N. If you ever want to read a truly moving account of WW2 , try...."Flags of Our Fathers" by James Bradley. Its about the Iwo Jima "flag raisers". An unforgettable read.
Link Posted: 12/15/2001 1:28:31 PM EDT
Ben Dover and others, I lost my father last year on July 4th. He was in the Pacific and saw a good bit of action and like your Grandfather would not talk much about it. Everytime he did he would break down and cry. Made me feel like shit to tell you the truth because I would ask him something about WWII. I wanted to know just a little of what he went through because I knew that he didn't have much time left. Whatever you do spend as much time with him as you can. These men were truly from the Greatest Generation. Most of all thank him. I am really upset that we as a nation have not erected a memorial for them and as some said on this board there aren't many left. I am going on 50 years old and I haven't met one yet that I didn't have a deep admiration for. God bless all of these men.
Link Posted: 12/15/2001 2:10:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/15/2001 5:48:41 PM EDT by Striker]
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