who all here has friends who served in ww2

220yotekiller

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l grew up with an adopted grandfather who served in the navy in the pacific in ww2, he was a heck of a hunter and the perfect person to help raise my brothers and l. he enlisted in the navy the day after pearl harbor, he was 22 and the oldest in his class. he was stationed on the uss epping forest through the end of the war. l love talking to those old vets who did so much. anyone else grow up knowing these guys...
 

JLS

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My grandpa was on an aircraft carrier that sunk in the Sea of Japan. He and his two brothers all returned home.

My great uncle was a Marine in the South Pacific. He also returned home and worked many years for Bonneville Power. I’m pretty sure he dealt with a lot of PTSD and demons from his time in the islands.

My great aunt told me the story of when he enlisted. He left home very young because of an alcoholic father who beat the shit out of him and his brothers on a regular basis.

He enlisted at 17 (lied about his age). He worked on a very large ranch in SE Oregon prior to enlisting. One of his prize possessions were his buckaroo boots.

The night before he was scheduled to leave for boot camp, he had to settle up his bar tab. He gave the bartender his buckaroo boots for his outstanding tab plus all he could drink that night. He caught the bus the next day in his socks, with a hangover.
 
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appaloosa

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My three grandpas all served in WW2. One was on Iwo, one landed in France, and one stayed in England. I never got to talk much to them about their service and their experiences, it was pretty guarded. They are all gone now, but I am continually amazed at what they did. They were collectively the three greatest men I ever knew and they truly belonged to the greatest generation.
 

Dakotakid

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My great uncle, youngest of 13, liberated Tarawa as a marine.
Several of his brothers fought also with his oldest brother having fought in Europe and in pacific.
I have wanted to research them for a book. I knew the youngest best. Tough mean old bird.

My wife’s grandfather’s bronze star hangs in her office at work. Navy man.
 

JLDemo

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Great Grandfather was killed in action in France.

I've got all my great grandfather's citations, hand written letters to my grandmother (his daughter), war department letters and another hand written letter from his LT. who witnessed his death.

Great Uncle fought and survived the Pacific.

Had the privilege to know my Great Uncle and enjoyed the visits and talks. He served in WWII and Korea, was open to the conversation about both conflicts and didn't sugar coat anything.
 

turbobrick

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When I was 20-24 I worked with an old man who was in his early 80s. He was, even at that age, harder than woodpecker lips. He was a fire man (the guys that kept the boilers going) on a ship during the war, saw action in Europe and a South Pacific. After the war, Old Bob worked for Ma Bell for 40 years, retired and just kept working construction and on heavy equipment. He taught me a ton about auto mechanics and construction, and helped start my interest in guns. He had a huge collection of pre-64 Winchesters in the Lord's caliber -06, and pre-lock S&W revolvers. One day, he spent hours splitting wood at 85, grabbed a Mickeys, sat down on the couch, and died. Years before, he asked me to not attend his funeral, he didn't want one. His family had one anyway, and I regret not going, he was a great man, but I do remember him whenever I work on a car, or wire an outlet, I owe him a ton. RIP Bob


ETA: I forgot a few things about Bob. He was married to the same woman for over 60 years, and after he came back from the war, they went on the radio version of the Newlywed Game where he won them fancy wedding rings. A few years later, he fell off a ladder at work, and that ring caught on a rung taking his finger with it. He was the guy that went around and built all those phone buildings in the middle of nowhere that all the phone lines go through with generators and stuff. He did most of this alone, and always neglected to stop for lunch, which led to a ulcer and the doctors taking 1/2 of his stomach.
 
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LopeHunter

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Scoutmaster was driving a personnel carrier with tracks as drove onto the Philippines in his first day of action. General Macarthur waded ashore a while afterwards. My Scoutmaster was so gung ho to get into the action that he outran the line and a big Nippon machine gun opened up on him. He u-turned and made it back to friendly zone and the extra plating saved him and the gunner. The guys in the back got shredded. Tough way to learn a lesson and impacted him along with many other situations that made him into a different person returning from overseas than the naive farm kid that left for war. He had lots of demons but back then the only assistance for dealing with the pain was a few beers at the VFW hall.

My neighbor when moved to the NW was drafted in WWII then sent to Africa after was mopped up so he worked on airplane engines when needed and cobbled together German and Italian motorcycles he would find in the desert then he would sell on the black market. He never fired a gun at anyone and never was shot at so said it was fun other than when he finished up an engine he had to go up in the aircraft for the first flight as a way to make sure he did a good job. He said was noisy in the planes.
 

T Bone

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My grandfather and three of his friends were nursing hangovers with pie and coffee in a cafe in Caldwell, Idaho when the cook came out and announced the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Two days later all enlisted. My grandfather in the Navy. His ship escorted cargo boats across the Atlantic and in the Mediterranean. They had a few ships sunk by Nazi subs in their flotillas and they also sent a few subs to the bottom.

In the Mediterranean they were attacked repeatedly by Nazi Messerschmidts and he jumped on the deuce .50 after the gunner was killed. He was a natural. He was swatting them out of the sky like he was pass-shooting teal. They kept him on the gun from then on.

Later in life, he frequently had nightmares about being able to hear the enemy aircraft, but not see them.

Two of the four in the cafe Dec 7, 1941 did not return home. One, a marine died in the Pacific, the other died near the end of war in Europe.

Grandpa died in 2002.

I can't say that I personally know any living WWII vets. There are very few remaining.
 

grizzly_

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My grandpa is one of my heroes. He grew up in Rawlins and lied about his age to join the war effort and went to flight school as soon as he passed the aviation exam. He flew bombers in the Pacific as part of the 867th Squadron (Kelley's Kobras).

When he passed away several years ago, my aunts made a book detailing his war service with stories, pictures, and actual handwritten records of his bombing missions so we all have copies his official flight records as well as his designations, all the way down to the bomb accuracy of his runs. He earned the Air Medal, seven Bronze Oak Leaves, the Distinguished Flying Cross and numerous other medals.

They also found he was awarded the fittest man in the West Coast training command, something he hadn't told us. They even found a copy of of the photograph of the award presentation from Major Perry, which is kind of cool to have.

Those guys were studs and truly The Greatest Generation.

20221207_231336.jpg


20221207_231657.jpg


The most emotional picture to me, and one I won't share here, is a grainy picture my great-grandpa took of my grandfather's plane as he took a detour over Rawlins the morning he flew to San Francisco to be dispatched overseas to war. He had received permission to fly over his hometown, so his family and neighbors woke up early to see him off. My great-grandpa wrote on the back of the picture that he didn't know if he'd ever see his son again. As a young father, I don't think that's a worry I could bear.
 

Hunter4Life78

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This was the greatest generation. I don't have any friends that served in WW2 or family that I knew.
Both of my ex's grandfather's served one in European theater other in Pacific. Pacific Grandpa wouldn't talk about it.

To all of you thank you. Thank those relatives that are alive for me please. To those that gave their lives, take a knee and say "God Bless."
 

huntnpack

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Family say I was the only one my grand father really talked to about the war. I guess I was asking questions when he was at a stage in life where he was ready to answer. He still didn’t share a great deal, but his experiences left him pretty anti war and anti his grand kids fighting in wars.

I also think he carried a bit of resentment because he was Army and fought in the pacific and felt a bit forgotten.

He was wounded twice and once claimed to be the only machine gunner left in his weapons platoon at the end of the war.

He talked about three major things. Being in the first wave of the landings on Leyte, running across a bridge under full artillery barrage with his .30 cal browning on his shoulder, and “taking the Ormoc road” (without specifying more).

He said the first time he was wounded, he was talking trash with the guy in the foxhole next to him for continuing to dig his deeper when a 40mm shell blew up a tree branch in front of him and caught him in the face with shrapnel.

The second time was shrapnel to the face as well. This time he described not being able to see and having to wait to be evacuated without supplies, catching malaria and sitting in a flooded foxhole with fevers, and “fire ants” crawling all over him. Ending up with trench foot so bad that, “When I pulled my socks off my skin went with them.”

He regained his sight fairly quickly but he was left with a scarred tear duct and his right eye watered for the rest of his life.

After he died I dug around for a book about the Phillipine campaign I knew he’d had. To my surprise, he’d highlighted pieces and left notes in the margins for us to trace and better understand his war. It turns out he was wounded the second time while securing the road block on the Ormoc road.

For those curious, his battalion’s actions to secure the road are described well Here.

He had left school at 8th grade to support his immigrant family during the depression, and he didn’t always cope perfectly with his experiences in the war. But he went on to raise a well educated family, and retire as assistant fire chief of his home town.
 
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hank4elk

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I was raised by 2 of the best, mom & dad.

My dad was a midshipman of the 1st class at Kingspoint Merchant Marine Academy, class of 43. He was crewing on the Emily Blundt, a tanker, in 1940 when it was stopped by a U-boat and the crew was allowed to depart on lifeboats before it was sunk.
It was the 1st US flagged vessel to be sunk by the Germans. It was a year before Pearl Harbor.
He went on to become a Commander and was sunk again in the Med by a U-boat and saved his crew and flag.
He was on the Mermansk Run too and ended in the South Pacific in Bimini area.

Mom, she was a Buckeye in Ohio. The day after Pearl she and 4 of her 7 sisters enlisted, 2 went into the Army nurse corps and mom & aunt Susie joined the Navy, like their dad.
Mom spent the war in So Cal getting supplies,men, etc.. to the war. She ended up a highly decorated Capt.

Neither spoke of the war and ran a tight ship. But my mom took me to join the Navy when I was 17 and about to be drafted.
 

F250

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Two of my uncles were in WWII. One was captured during the Battle of the Bulge. He spent months in a German POW camp until the Russians released him. As kids we were warned to never touch him if he was sleeping in a chair in our living room !! My other uncle was a Captain in the Army. For a period of time he was operating on General Patton's left flank during his run across Europe. After VE Day, he came home for a month, then was assigned to Occupation Forces in Japan. He brought cool handguns from both theaters of war.
 

Nameless Range

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My Grandpa flew PBY Catalinas in the South Pacific, dropping bombs with the goal of killing Japanese sailors. He lived with us for the last years of his life, and it was really formative for me. Some of the most meaningful memories of my life are the hours I would spend on the back porch with him, eating peanuts and grilling him with questions about WW2. He entertained them, and gave his 12 year old grandson more rated R stories than his grandson's mother would approve. He's been gone 19 years, and I miss him. He was a Norwegian through and through, but an American first, and loved us.

A couple years back I wrote this:


“The grandfathers of nearly everyone my age were veterans of World War 2. For someone to have been 18 in 1945, the year the war ended, they would have had to have been born in 1927. The youngest veterans of World War 2 alive today are over 90 years old. I remember a time in my life when there were veterans of that war all over. They were old, but they were around. I don't know any anymore, and if nothing unexpected happens there will come a time when my generation sees the last veteran of WW2 cross the divide.

I feel from that generation a warmth and robust vitality was imprinted on our country, and a chunk of our collective soul leaves with them when they leave us.”

Lately, I think I feel that Collective Soul leaving.
 
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Dakotakid

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My father’s sister married my mother’s sisters husbands brother. So my uncle. Aunt and uncle divorced before I was born.

My uncle was in France in a foxhole when he was shot by a German sniper in a church tower.
Story was that he and a buddy were taking turns shooting the bricks out around the window of the tower when the sniper panicked and shot my uncle.

Entered his neck and exited his hip. Had kidney issues remainder of his life. But lived to 76 and died in 2000.

I used to visit his house and he was a quintessential bachelor with reloading equipment and firearms everywhere in the house. Lots of cool stuff.
 

tarheel

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We had two WWll vets at my local VFW post, one who fought in Iwo Jima as a marine passed on a couple of years ago, the other was in tanks in the mop-up of the Nazis in Europe. I don't remember the outfit, but it was the one featured in the Brad Pitt movie, FURY, and he was enticed out to Hollywood to work as an advisor on the movie, so he and his wife had a lengthy paid vacation in CA. He tells some good stories of his experiences.

In my own family I had three great uncles in the Great War, two wound up as POW's, their brother was killed in the trenches of France. I had several uncles in WWll who spread their talent around; two in the Army Air Corps, one in infantry, one a marine and a couple of sailors thrown in the mix. The one in infantry was killed in the Battle of the Bulge near Liege, Belgium on the 16th of December.
 

Wild Bill

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Both of my grandpas were on carriers headed to the South Pacific when the Little Boy and the Fat Man were dropped and the Japanese surrendered. Neither fired a round, but both floated around the Philippines and other islands before coming home. All of my great uncles fought as well. Mostly in the Pacific if I recall correctly. I remember hearing that a couple of them saw some pretty fierce action.
 

RobertD

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Paternal grandfather turned seventeen in October of 41 and lied about his age on December 10 of 41

Machine shop worker and anti aircraft gunner on the USS Prairie. Destroyer tender in the Pacific. Came home to Jacksonville, FL, married my grandmother and rejoined for another 20 plus years.

Grandsons get to hear the best stories 🙂😥
 

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