In honor of my grandfather on Dec 7th....

This is a sad but very cool thread....
I may have some stuff to dig up


Thanks for posting
Ronnie
 
My father served in the Navy toward the very end....the unique item I got from my Dad about 2 months before he died....this year was a watch.

What makes this watch unique is the band was made by a fellow Navy Corp friend from a KP metal tray.....I have that with my other friends actual dog tags from WW 2.

On another interesting note when my other friend passed away in Tennessee I had picked up a WE4 and stopped at his house. His wife was moving into a nursing home and was cleaning out the house.

She cam across a batch of neatly packed letters in the original envelopes. She was going to throw them away but I saved them. They were letters my friend had written his Mom during his tour in England as a tail gunner....his Mom bless her heart had numbered each envelope and they were all in the same order he wrote them in.

Its tragic but as each day, month passes, the number of survivors from WW2 dwindle. I remember that I believe in the last 1-2 years the very last survivor from WW1 has passed on.

Fact of life.....

denniskirban@yahoo.com
 
My father was a WWII vet as well. He was nothing as fancy as a flyboy or submariner though. I don't know why but that seems to be where many of the "war letter stories" originate. Maybe due to their slightly more stable duty assignments or perhaps a little higher education making them more able to record and save their adventures compared to the infantryman. My father earned a Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and several other ribbons and campaign medals. Had a piece of German mortar shrapnel in his head large enough to set off metal detectors. He really would not talk about it with us other than to say he was in Italy and they did what they had to do. The only time he would really talk about it was with another Vet.

In fact I learned more about my father's service from attending a reunion of his old outfit than I was able to pry out of him by asking questions. It was the second day of the reunion when they were having their formal dinner. The host got up and started talking about a soldier that had saved their lives one evening when they had gotten surrounded by a German patrol. He talked about how this soldier took his BAR and made it through some tough terrain to get to a place to lay a field of fire down that forced the patrol to withdraw and giving their group an avenue to escape. He also bragged on how this soldier was always there when he was needed and was always right on his mark despite the fact that the guy with the BAR was always a favorite target of the enemy. He then called my father's name and the entire room gave my dad a standing ovation. I was never prouder to be his son. My dad was a Hero but he would never claim to be. To him, he was just doing his job.

I miss you Pop.
 
Well, SuperCPA and Dennis, I just LOVED reading your post about the war....but it made me bawl like a baby. It just reminded me of my late Dad, who was a WWII B-25, B-26, P-38, P61 pilot, and a real hot shot, too.
It's just great that you shared these stories with us, especially with me...as I just love hearing and reading about our history of sacrifice our brave parents, grandfathers, etc. did in the war. It never gets old for me.

It just makes me miss my Dad even more....really an empty space in my heart that just kills me sometimes....hurts.

And, WOW!!!! That Army Air Corps hat you have there!!! I still have my Dad's AAC hat like that....I put it in the rear deck of his Grand National that's now mine. I still have Dad's WWII flying goggles he used while training in a Stearman, AT-6's, etc. and all of his flight stuff....including his silver wings, his dog tags, graduation pictures from flight school, so many things that I'm so thankful to have in my possession. It's just everytime I look at them, my eyes gets so wet. Very wet. It's still hard for me that he's gone forever.

I miss Dad so damn much....but I'm proud of him and his service to our country way before I was born. I'm proud of ALL of our servicemen who faught in that war and in today's war. I very proud to be an American who has brave warriors that fight for us today, as well as the ones in the past.

Dad was the main reason I recently flew in a restored B-25 Mitchell bomber...a dream I've had since I was a kid. Through lots of tears, I very much could imagine what it was like taking a bomber, like the B-17, B-24, B-25, B-26 in combat conditions.....here I was flying in the 25 safe and sound, but I was imagining the protection those of the past had from death in these planes....not much. Only an aluminum skin of the plane that I could push in from the inside with my finger. You were only as good as the 50 cal machine guns were accurate or the 20mm cannons in front. That's it......and hot lead coming at you from all directions in the sky........it makes my skin crawl and my hair stand up on end. Those guys.....they were brave.

Dennis, that piece of the plane from Pearl was AWESOME!!!! Imagining holding a piece of history right in your hands like that. Thanks for showing us that.

To the warriors of the past.....and the present....I SALUTE YOU.

Bruce '87 Grand National
 
Corsair231, your post really unleashed my emotions. I can see you are very proud of your Dad. What a real great read. I know you miss your Dad, you always will. He was one brave man, and a good one. I really admire what he did. That reunion story was one of the most beautiful, moving one I've heard in years. What a guy, your Dad!!

The F4U Corsair, in my own opinion, is one of the most beautiful planes ever made. One of my all time favorites.

Quite a few years ago, when I visited the open house at the Paul E. Garber Restoration facility in Silver Hill, Maryland, I was able to walk right up to an unrestored F4U Corsair. When I looked up in the port wheel well area, there on the inside flap was Pappy Boyington's signature with a date. A real piece of the Black Sheep Squadron. When I find the picture I took of it, I'll share it with you.

At the recent airshow I attended and flew in that B-25, there was an F4U there piloted by the most hotshot pilot I ever saw. That guy knew how to make that thing do anything! You should have see his face light up when I was lavishing praise on his flying that thing (well deserved)

I posted a few pictures of it here just for you. Enjoy.

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Bruce '87 Grand National
 
Great stories...from everyone who has posted.....

If I have time this weekend I will try and take some more photos of things I have mentioned or not mentioned that I have from my Dad and 2 friends who served.

If you ever been to the Pearl Harbor Memorial it is a moving experience to say the least as you can shut your eyes and imagine how it must have been that fateful morning.

denniskirban@yahoo.com
 
I love reading stuff like this and then trying to imagine in my mind what he saw as he was flying.



Very very interesting,

Thank You!
 
This has been one of the best threads I have read in years! I tried to enlist during Viet Nam but couldn't pass a physical. That is the only regret I have about my disabilities, and believe me, it is a HUGE regret. I would love to see a military forum here. I would love to know the names and address of active military from this board. I would love to send care packages and stuff to fellow TBers in the military. I bet the girls would send a few of there new callenders they just came out with. God, you guys and girls in the military are great. I think about you every single day of my life!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR DOING WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO.
 
Thanks Bruce.

I miss both of my parents greatly. There was so much knowledge and experience between them both that is gone forever. I wish I could have video taped thier lives to be able to pass that knowledge on but I know even then, it would not have captured it all.

Yep, the Corsair was my favorite WWII plane and I built so many models of them when I was a kid I could probably put one together in my sleep now. I read everything I can about "Pappy" and the Black Sheep too and of course I have the series on DVD. I have seen a Corsair on static display but I have never seen one in flight. I would love to hear that big radial at full throttle. I've seen about everything else American from WWII in flight except for a Lightning and a Liberator.
There was a guy at the local airport many years ago that restored WWII vintage planes but he specialized in German aircraft. I mixed him many gallons of paint until he moved his shop to another area.
 
Great thread!!

My grandfather who was 35 when drafted into the army in 1943 was on Attu Island in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska right after the Japanese invasion was repelled. He didn't ever talk of it much other than the cold and pulling duty to bury all the dead Japanese soldiers.

My great uncle, brother to my grandfather was a tail gunner on a B24 with the 460th Bomb Group with the 15th Air Force in Spinazzola, Italy. I have some info I've researched with a few photos and a copy the MACR (missing air crew report). They were shot down on a mission to Munich in July 1944, part of the crew bailed out over the target and some stayed with the aircraft and bailed out over Yugoslavia. There story passed down through family is that he was hidden by the anti-nazi locals and smuggled out of the country and back to Italy. If you fell into the hands of the pro-nazi locals you were usually killed or imprisoned as a POW. The picture below is of my great uncle (man in the center) and a B24, not the aircraft he was shot down in thought.

I didn't find out till 1990 that my father saw some action in Vietnam in 1958 or 1959 when he was in the Navy, stationed on the USS Princeton. He was a fire control petty officer and was assigned to a quad of Marines that would go ashore by boat, then my dad's job was to set a radio beacon at the target. After they got back out of there the fire control would triangulate the radio beacon position and the battleships would start shelling. Most of the Marines he served with over there never came home alive. I found my dad looking up their names in the directory at the Vietnam Wall memorial on a trip to D.C. in 1990.
 

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I love where this thread is going. It is turning out to be far better than I had hoped when I started it. Since then I have been very busy and found many more items of interest. Most recently, was this 5x7 of my grandfather that had the date "1942" written on the back by his mother.

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Wow what a great thread , great story and Bruce thanks foe posting the pics. the F4U Corsair, and the B17 , and lets not forget the P40, were my favorite planes of that era since i'm younger than you guys. Being from Greece i remember my Grandmother telling stories form the war and the occupation at that time.
 
Appreciate Bill for posting this photo and below copy for me.


I mentioned this friend of mine earlier in this thread who also served during WW2. He served toward the end 1944-45. My Dad as a gift had this perma plaqued for him it lists all the missions he did as a tail gunner. Most of his missions were over Japan . One photo shows him with his fellow crew men he is in the bottom left corner of the photo.


denniskirban@yahoo.com

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I meant to add on the above photo that is Bob standing in front of my 1964 black GTO at the very first major GTO/Turbo regal event we held at the Navy Base in Johnsville, PA around 1990?

For a period of about 8 years him and I would travel around the USA for my Dad who spoke at various Churches etc......those were good times...got to see much of the USA.

denniskirban@yahoo.com

Somewhere I have a small notebook Bob kept on him that had various plane illustrations in it so he could identify friendly and enemy aircraft from his tail gunner position.
 
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