76 years ago tonite

Discussion in 'BWI / McAndrew Board' started by bkmtnittany1, Jun 5, 2020.

  1. bkmtnittany1

    bkmtnittany1 Well-Known Member
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    101st Airborne, 502 Parachute Infantry Regimen, C-Company jumped into France behind German lines to begin the liberation of Europe. One of the best men I have ever known was one of those guys. Spent the nite with 82nd Airborne guys because of serious misdrops. He and C-Company were 10 miles from where they were supposed to be. Told me that the were Germans all over the place. Somehow they made it to Saint Maire Eglise. Must have been an awful, frightening experience. BTW, I married his daughter.
     
  2. Harrisburg Dave

    Harrisburg Dave Well-Known Member
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    I can’t imagine being 19 years old and being one of the Rangers at Point Du Hoc, or in the 29th on Omaha Beach, or Easy company of the 101st on that night drop behind enemy lines, or even a Brit glider pilot at Pegasus Bridge.

    God bless them all.
     
  3. harbest

    harbest Well-Known Member
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    Tomorrow is my birthday. I always look forward to watching this movie on or around that day every year.

     
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  4. 86Engineer

    86Engineer Well-Known Member
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    Anyone remember Pat, the guy that made the She Crab Soup in the little shack on the causeway going into Stone Harbor, NJ?

    He dropped into France that night and would tell us stories as we ate his soups & bisques on summer weekends back in the late 90's.
     
  5. bkmtnittany1

    bkmtnittany1 Well-Known Member
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    The father of the golf pro at my club...was in the first wave at Omaha! Worked in the cart barn at the club, awesome human being. Could not ever imagine something so horrifying.
     
  6. TheGLOV

    TheGLOV Well-Known Member
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    These men were all true bad asses!
     
  7. Erial_Lion

    Erial_Lion Well-Known Member
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    Wow, that brings back memories
     
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  8. ftlpsu

    ftlpsu Well-Known Member
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    Pointe du Hoc Ranger Monument ...I served in the 75th Ranger Regiment HQ Co.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. ftlpsu

    ftlpsu Well-Known Member
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    Some more PdH perspective

    [​IMG]
     
  10. ftlpsu

    ftlpsu Well-Known Member
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    This is tuff to assault a fixed position from below-Amazing!

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Nitt1300

    Nitt1300 Well-Known Member
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    From N. Africa to Iwo Jima- none of those guys had an easy time of it.
     
  12. ILLINOISLION

    ILLINOISLION Well-Known Member
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    Thank goodness Truman had the balls to authorize the dropping of the two atom bombs or we would have lost over a million more good men and millions of their eventual descendants that have been part of our lives since we were all born.
     
  13. roswelllion

    roswelllion Well-Known Member
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    If you'll indulge me i would like to tell a long and personal story. [I am sure folks of my age all have a similar story]
    My favorite uncle who would be 95 this year and was my mom's youngest brother lived about 10 houses away when I was growing up.
    . Married a sweet lady who used to take me for walks as a very young kid. Apparently they couldn't have children because they adopted two boys. About 2-3 years after the adoption my aunt gets breast cancer and dies. So my uncle now probably in his mid thirties is a single dad
    I don't recall what he did for childcare early on but once the boys started school my 12 year old sister went to their house everyday until my uncle came home from work.
    . About 10-12 years after my aunt dies my mom meets a nurse at the the hospital where she worked who had been a nun and left the nunnery. My mom introduces them and they end up getting married and having a daughter late in both of their lives.
    . My uncles youngest son on a soccer scholly in West Virginia, is riding in the back of a pick up truck and is thrown from the truck and is killed at age 17. That was really hard on him and for the first time in my life my uncle really questioned his faith. Over time his new wife helped him with his faith.
    . Fast forward 20 years and I am talking to my aunt [his 2nd wife] about this series I am watching called band of brothers. She says you know your uncle was there. I said I had no idea so she sends me a write up in the local paper describing how my uncle and a friend who served with him had connected after 50 years. Turns out my uncle was wounded and received a purple heart at the Battle of the Bulge.

    My point for this long story was here was this guy who served in the B o B, was wounded, comes home gets married adopts two little boys then his wife dies while the boys aren't even in grade school, then his 17 year old son is killed. Despite this he NEVER complained about how tough things were, NEVER bragged or even talked about his military service. He lived his life remained positive and was a rock for our family as his 7 older brothers and sisters passed away.
    He is my reminder of an amazing generation.

    For those of you who served or are serving, thank you.There are probably many more silent heroes out there.
     
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  14. blion72

    blion72 Well-Known Member
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    yes sir....and the carpet bombings Deutschland (ie. Dresden) were key. doubt if many today would have the guts.
     
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  15. fairgambit

    fairgambit Well-Known Member
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    Thank you for that. It made my day.
     
  16. bkmtnittany1

    bkmtnittany1 Well-Known Member
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    So hang in with me, not as long but worth the read. My Father-in-Law also was wounded at the Battle of the Bulge. I want to say December 1944. He was shot in the shoulder and got shrapnel for a German potato masher grenade. A soldier he was buddies with picked him up and carried him a mile to a jeep that got him to an aide station. Guy dropped him off, went back to the front and the two never saw one another again. No communication at all. Eventually he made it to a hospital in England where he recovered, but did not come stateside till the summer of 45. He then, like a ton of others, began his life. Had a few decent jobs, got married and had kids. One of whom became my wife. During the time after the war he got in the mail 5-6 times a year a 101st Airborne "Poop sheet" that kept everyone abreast of what was going on with members of The Screaming Eagles. You know, deaths, marriages, births, etc....Also, seems that every year the 101st has a reunion for 3 days. Every year my
    Mother-in-law would want to go, but my FIL said no way. Just did not want to go. Until 1994 when the reunion was in Reno. My MIL finally convinced him to go. My wife and 2 kids were with them at a house at the Jersey Shore and we got to house sit for a week! Anyway, the In-Laws head to Reno and check into the hotel. At the check in they are given an itinerary and at 7 that nite is the first meeting at a grand ballroom. Well, my FIL walks into the ballroom and the first guy he sees is the guy who risked his life by putting my FIL on his shoulder and getting him to a jeep. 50 years had passed, never a phone call, letter...nothing. Walk into a room to grab a beer and here is the guy. They hugged and cried. Unreal story..and true. Thanks for putting up with the length, felt i needed to tell this story.
     
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  17. Harrisburg Dave

    Harrisburg Dave Well-Known Member
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    I had one uncle killed in WWII aboard the carrier Franklin. Another uncle shot down twice over France and rescued by the resistance. Third uncle shot up by a German machine gun in Italy, suffered spinal pain his entire life and lost a portion of his hand. Fourth uncle took shrapnel to his legs and had the scars to show it. My moms youngest brother was aboard two warships sunk in the Pacific, he suffered from PTSD the rest of his life. In Korea another uncle survived numerous wounds when the Chinese overran his hilltop position.

    Bless them all, now passed.
     
    17 Harrisburg Dave, Jun 5, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2020
  18. L.A.Lion

    L.A.Lion Well-Known Member
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    I served in the 2d Bn when the unit designation was still 2d Bn, 75th Inf. and the four week course to get in was called RIP, not RASP.
     
  19. roswelllion

    roswelllion Well-Known Member
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    Great story and great people. i wonder if we lived up to their honor although they would never complain if we hadn't.
     
  20. step.eng69

    step.eng69 Well-Known Member
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    You're wrong, they were youngsters begining their life, and learing how to kill.
     
    20 step.eng69, Jun 5, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2020
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  21. TheGLOV

    TheGLOV Well-Known Member
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    They were quick studies!!
     
  22. ericstratton-rushchairman

    ericstratton-rushchairman Well-Known Member
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    The Rangers storming PdH had practiced over and over the accent using roped fired from a device that was designed especially for the raid. The devices were designed to launce the ropes with grappling hooks up to the top of the cliff. Problem was on the boat ride to the shore the water was splashing over the sides of the landing crafts and the ropes become soaked with sea water. The devices failed to get the ropes high enough because of the added weight so the Rangers had to scale by hand as they were fired upon from above. FUBAR from the get go. Amazing grit and determination to succeed nonetheless. Rangers Lead The Way.
     
  23. Nitt1300

    Nitt1300 Well-Known Member
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    My dad and one of my uncles were Army in N. Africa and Europe, one uncle was Army Air Corps- he died in a B-17. Other uncles were Navy in Pacific and Marine in the Pacific- he came home deaf from the shelling at Iwo Jima.

    Like yours, all are gone now. We will not see their like again.
     
  24. Tweedbear

    Tweedbear Well-Known Member
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    Just finished a history of the battle for Okinawa.
    That battle sealed the decision to drop the atomic bonds.
     
  25. ftlpsu

    ftlpsu Well-Known Member
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    I went through RIP 91-92’
     
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  26. L.A.Lion

    L.A.Lion Well-Known Member
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    When I graduated RIP both battalions belonged directly to SOCOM. By the time I left there was another battalion being activated along with a regimental HQ structure. I wore the old scroll and our PCs had tab over wings, not rank. Good times!
     
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  27. L.A.Lion

    L.A.Lion Well-Known Member
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    And the deficit hasn't been the same since.
     
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  28. The Spin Meister

    The Spin Meister Well-Known Member
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    They were supposed to scale the cliffs before dawn and their attacks were to be the first shots fired, to catch the Germans off guard. Intel had showed the Germans were so confident that no one would scale the cliffs that their defenses were facing inland. That is why such an audacious plan was hatched....to sneak up from behind in the dark.

    But the rough seas caused them to land several miles away. By the time they got to PdH, it was daylight, ships and landing craft easily visible, and full beach assault under way. Surprise had been lost.

    But they went up the cliffs anyway. When they finally fought their way to the top, the big German guns.....the full reason of the mission.....had been moved. They found them some distance away....the Germans were moving them and only one was operational....and took them out.

    Amazing.
     
    28 The Spin Meister, Jun 5, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2020
  29. fairgambit

    fairgambit Well-Known Member
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    :D
     
  30. ericstratton-rushchairman

    ericstratton-rushchairman Well-Known Member
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    The Manhattan Project was not the most expensive weapons system/program of WW2. That award goes to the B29 program. Crazy right?
     
  31. CF LION

    CF LION Well-Known Member
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    Great stories. My dad was a combat engineer at tha Battle of the Bulge. He was put into the engineers due to his job as a teenager working in a sawmill back in western PA.

    Here’s some of his unit’s work:

     
  32. L.A.Lion

    L.A.Lion Well-Known Member
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    You missed the joke.
     
  33. ryoder1

    ryoder1 Well-Known Member
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    Great story and thanks for sharing. Your uncle sounds like a great person who had a profoundly positive impact on your life. The greatest generation for sure.
     
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  34. Obliviax

    Obliviax Well-Known Member
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    Thanks to all for sharing. An amazing time with true heroes. As Tom hanks says at the end of saving private Ryan ‘earn this’. We all need to strive to be better as it is the least we can do to honor these men and women
     
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  35. bkmtnittany1

    bkmtnittany1 Well-Known Member
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    My FIL never went back. The Airborne had a bunch of trips back to Normandy. He would always say to my MIL, who wanted to go, "I saw enough of France and Belgiumin 1944! Why would I want to go back and see Bastogne."
     
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  36. ericstratton-rushchairman

    ericstratton-rushchairman Well-Known Member
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    Probably... I miss more and more these days.
     
  37. ApexLion

    ApexLion Well-Known Member
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    My grandfather was a disabled vet at Guadalcanal. He broke his back and had to take a medical ship for weeks which may have been worse than the injury. He never spoke about it openly until one night. He had fallen in his home after a quick change in blood pressure and hit his head, scaring the daylights out of me. He was out cold. I called 911 and got him to the hospital and the family assembled, seemed like 15 were bedside. He stirs and someone asks him how he’s feeling. With glass eyes, he becomes agitated and begins a 5-7 minute reenactment of when he was at Guadalcanal. He’s not just telling it, he’s reliving it yelling names and instructions and actually feeling it as his pulse races and he sweats trying to run, dodging incoming fire. The nurse runs in and restrains him and they up the painkiller. The whole family is just standing there with their mouths open. We just saw what it was like to be on the battlefield. After that, I realized what vets carry inside and why they are often unable to talk about their experiences. Who would want to relive the fear and confusion again? Thank a vet when you can.
     
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  38. L.A.Lion

    L.A.Lion Well-Known Member
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    Many vets who have been awarded medals for valor in combat like the distinguished service cross or silver star will tell you, if they'll talk about it at all, that the day of the action for which they were decorated was the worst day of their entire life.
     
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  39. bkmtnittany1

    bkmtnittany1 Well-Known Member
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    So...as you watch all the episodes of Band of Brothers, which I have done at least 5 times, how do YOU NOT get tears in your eyes when they are playing baseball in the last episode when Winters calls in the company one last time and tells the crew the war is over...time to go home. So guys who spent 3-4 years together, every day, doing everything imaginable, seeing the harshest things man can do to another man...just leave and go get your life together and move on. Seriously, have there ever been a greater group of true MEN in our lifetimes. I truly love those guys.
     
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  40. WestSideLion

    WestSideLion Well-Known Member
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    They are the greatest generation...a group of regular men and women who selflessly sacrificed everything to save the world for the future. And they didn’t ask for any special recognition or treatment in return. That could not happen with today’s generation of Instagram glory hounds.
     

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