Heroes

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by Guest, Feb 23, 2003.

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    Xracer
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    Posts: 108
    (4/4/01 10:39:52 am)
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    Well, we've been talking about generals and such, but IMO, the REAL heroes of war are the guys on the front lines.......here's a true story.

    Back in the '70s & '80s I had my own photography business in a small Connecticut city. I also served on the City Council. One of my fellow councilors was an older guy....a Democrat, but a real square shooter.

    One day he asked me if I'd do an "In-home Family Portrait" (Special....$39.95) of him and his wife as a Christmas present for his kids and grandchildren.

    I showed up at his house one evening with all my equipment and started looking for a good place to shoot. The den looked fine, so I started moving some furniture. There was one wall with a bunch of pictures, plaques, awards, etc. that would be in the background, so I started taking them down. One of the last I took down was a small framed certificate.......when I looked at it, it was an award certificate for the Medal Of Honor!

    See: www.army.mil/cmh-pg/moh1.htm World War II (G-L), JOHNSTON, WILLIAM J.

    I'd known "Johnny" Johnston for 10 years, and he'd never even mentioned he'd been in the service.

    warpig883
    Registered User
    Posts: 25
    (4/4/01 1:13:46 pm)
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    It is guys like this that are the true heroes. They went and did thier duty and them some, and never asked for anything in return. That man and the many more like him are true Americans and deserve the eternal gratitude of every one of us.

    I lost one of my grandfathers before he could relate any of his military experiances to me. But the other one is alive and full of these stories that will one day be forgotten. It is a great time to hear him and his WW2 buddies sit in the barber shop talking.
    I fear we have awaked a sleeping giant and filled it with a terrible resolve. Jap. Admiral Yamamota directly after Pearl Harbor

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 167
    (4/4/01 9:24:51 pm)
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    My cousin got the Silver Star in Vietnam as a Captain flying Cobra Gunships. His third tour. Raised his hand as a just turned 18 year old just out of boot camp( he was given the choice by a judge of enlisting or going to jail.) when they asked for volunteers to learn to fly choppers. Went as a WO, flew one tour in slicks, reupped so he could fly Cobras, got his battlefield commission second tour, his own squadron the third. NEVER talked about it but he had a sweet wife who would tell me about it when he wasn't around.

    Got cashiered out of "Jimmy Carter's Army" 'cause he didn't have a degree...

    He died of cancer in '97, my dad was heartbroken, because he was his "favorite" nephew. Ironically, Dad also died a few months later, a WWII vet.

    It doesn't matter what war, or what they did, they SERVED when called.

    And even the 'Nam vets are getting to be "wiser" (How was that for a choice of words? ) We need to get them to open up and share just a little or we will lose the first hand experiences which you can't get from a book.

    I remember when I was a kid there were still Spanish American and WWI vets around...now 1000 WWII vets are dying I think weekly, (I can't remember the time frame, but it got my attention when I read it!)

    And like I always said, most don't think what they did was "special." But even truck drivers and cooks have experiences to share.



    Edited by: polishshooter at: 4/6/01 12:20:51 am

    Indybear57
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    Posts: 2
    (4/4/01 9:46:26 pm)
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    Hey Polish-Tac's got a pretty good VN site right here on ezboard.

    pub50.ezboard.com/bvietna...letinboard

    It's pretty new, but there's some pretty good folks over there who came from a board that got shut down. Look forward to seeing you there!

    PS "Indy" in Indybear57 does denote Indiana. Indianapolis to be specific. This is an EXCELLENT forum and I hope to be able to throw in my two cents worth when my "real" world slows down a bit. (This includes discussing Civil War elsewhere in this forum. You guys are good! I may be outgunned!)

    Edited by: Indybear57 at: 4/5/01 8:58:46 am

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 179
    (4/5/01 11:55:59 pm)
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    Indybear:

    (1) Nice to meet another guy "on my time."

    (2) You are NOT outgunned! Anybody can be THE "expert" on any specific subject that "Historians" could learn from!
    Being a History "Expert" is like being an expert in "Construction." (What do you REALLY know? Carpentry? {finish, framing, or cabinetry?} Cement? Paving? HVAC? Electrical? Engineering? Drafting? Excavating? Windows? Flooring? Drywall? etc,etc,etc)

    Get my point? NOBODY can know everything, all you really know in history, or actually RETAIN depends on interests and reading. Heck, the other thread on the "Edict of Nante," I learned that! Heck I probably had an ESSAY on it 20 years ago! I should've known that! I didn't remember!!
    I would've known where to look it up, I saved all my textbooks, but obelix had it all over me there!!!
    I'll make it up somewhere else!

    All you have to have to post here is the interest...and if you read one "history" book or article, you can argue!

    I don't know about anyone else, but except for maybe my son (when he's not ignoring me!) I NEVER get a chance to TALK history with other guys( or girls!)! I love this chance, even if it's to argue, heck no one's RIGHT! Just "educated opinionated..." Support your argument, and jump in!


    and...

    (3) Thanks for the invite! Tac's called me there, too...I'll try, but with my job and schedule and fighting my son for 'puter time, I barely have enough time for HERE! I rarely get to GB or any other site, any more...
    Plus I get "tongue-tied" around "real" vets, believe it or not...I'll probably just "monitor" it for awhile before I jump in...'cause I'm no vet.



    Indybear57
    Registered User
    Posts: 3
    (4/6/01 10:37:11 am)
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    Polishshooter:

    1) Hey, us Hoosiers have to stick together! Besides, changing the clocks confuses the cows!

    2) Thanks for the "thumbs up" and encouragement about jumping in. I'll see if I can't put together a cohesive argument and jump in.

    3) Don't worry about not being a Vet on Tac's board 'cause I'm not one either. I'm one of the "lucky" generation that was too young for VN and too old for the Mideast. I do understand about things we have to do interfering with things we want to do! I guess that's called real life, huh. Anyway, just look in and poke around for awhile. Lots of good folks and Lord knows it's not all about VN. (BTW, the invite is open to any of you, so come on over!)

    Stay to the high ground and keep your powder dry!

    Mike L

    obelix2
    Registered User
    Posts: 75
    (4/7/01 4:21:47 pm)
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    Xracer, your photo story was one of the most moving I've heard. I am trying to come up with stories for this forum. For the War between the States, I have a terrific reference, Deeds of Valor. I have the 1905 edition, so of course it doesn't go beyond the Philippines. I think, though, that it was reprinted fairly recently in reduced size. I don't know, though, of any reference for the equally valorous Confederate troops. Does anyone?

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 205
    (4/7/01 7:14:23 pm)
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    Hey Obelix, how about this one? True story.

    When I was in college, I worked as a floorwalker catching shoplifters, and worked in several different stores for the same chain.

    I was working in the Bradford, PA, store, and was on "lunch" one day, reading a book in the lounge. A stockboy came in on break, a new guy, frankly a "partier" like most teenagers in Bradford in the late 70s (heck, even today!), i.e. not really too "smart", he asked what I was reading. I said a book about WWII, and tried to ignore him.

    He said, "my Grandfather was in WWII." (I'm still not interested or want to be bothered, but) I said something like, "What did he do?"

    He said, "he flew planes."

    Now I'm mildly interested, ask which kind.

    "Torpedo Bombers, in the Pacific."

    Now I'm INTERESTED. I asked if they were Avengers, TBFs, or TBMs, he said "no, earlier. Devastators."

    Now I'm chomping at the bit, ask if he fought in any battles, the kid said, "You may have heard of him, he's in a few books. His name is George Gay."

    I almost hit the floor!

    I went so far as to get his address in Florida, and intended to write him, but never got the nerve. I mean what does a (then)19 or 20 year old History Major like me have to say to a HERO?!!

    Now I could KICK myself. Even if it was only to ask if he really DID tell the PBY crew that rescued him from his raft after Midway "I'll catch the next one, the fishing's too good!"

    NEVER pass up the chance to talk to a vet...



    Edited by: polishshooter at: 4/8/01 12:15:46 am

    obelix2
    Registered User
    Posts: 81
    (4/8/01 6:52:47 am)
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    Footnote for anyone who's not following and ought to: Ensign Gay was the only survivor from the crews of the 15 planes of Hornet's Torpedo 8, the first squadron to make contact with the Japanese carriers.

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 220
    (4/8/01 10:49:32 am)
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    ...and spent most of the day hiding under his yet uninflated raft floating in his Mae West right in the middle of the Nagumo's Strike Force...and witnessed McCluskey's SBDs and those from the Yorktown and Enterprise "surprise" the Japs and turn the Akagi, Soryu, and Kaga into burning sinking hulks...

    The sacrifice of Waldron's Torpedo 8, as well as all the other Devastators, and the torpedo carrying Army B26s and Navy Avengers from Midway, as well as the obsolete Marine SBU "Wind Indicators" glide bombing because they didn't know how to (and were afraid the fabric would come off the wings!)dive bomb, brought all the Zeros down to sea level, and all Jap Lookouts eyes down too...

    Nobody saw the Dauntlesses until it was too late.

    George Gay had the best seat in the house for the Greatest and Most Important US Naval Battle in History!!!
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