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  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by samparnell View Post
    Many Americans do not fully appreciate Canada's contribution to the effort in WWI and WWII. The US was involved in WWI in 1917 and 1918 while Canada had participated starting in 1914. The US was in WWII from 1942 through 1945 while Canada's participation began in at least 1940. George Beurling, the Falcon of Malta, was one of the leading aces in WWII and invented the deflection shot.

    Great Britain was saved by contributions from their empire. Had it not been for help from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, India and others, I don't know if UK would have held out during the years before the US entered the war.
    You have been very kind more than once about this Sam. But yes, The US and Canada have been great allies for so long. The stories about US and Canadian (as well as our allies) war heroes are heart warming, and should make us all proud. They truly sacrificed their lives for us all.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by samparnell View Post
    My Dad was drafted about a week before Pearl Harbor a month before his 21st birthday. He wanted to fly, but had to wait for that assignment. Before going to flight training in Arkansas (where he met my mother) he trained at Fort Logan, Colorado (where his ashes are now) He ferried different kinds of aircraft (including B-17) in the USAAF and ended up in China flying Curtiss C-46s over The Hump. After WWII, he joined the new USAF and went to fly in the Korean War right after my birth. I grew up on Air Force bases and love airplanes especially WWII ones.
    That's fascinating, Sam! For those who don't know, "the Hump" was the Himalaya Mountains.

    The USA provided support to Chiang Kai Shek and his nationalist Chinese army based in Chungking and Kunming. Originally this support flowed into Rangoon and then up the Burma Road, though passes in the mountains arduously carved out by the Chinese people using hand tools. The American Volunteer Group (famously nick-named "The Flying Tigers") defended this route in their P-40 fighter planes decorated with shark or tiger mouths.

    After the Japanese seized Rangoon in 1942, flying supplies in over the Hump was their only recourse for helping the Chinese until 1944 when a new road was built from Ledo, India to intersect with the old Burma Road. Many battles were fought along the way and all of this is recounted in an excellent wartime documentary called The Stilwell Road (US Army General Joseph Stilwell supervised construction) narrated by Ronald Reagan. That can be seen here.
    Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumiere View Post
    My Grandfather served aboard the USS Astoria (CA-34). His ship saw action in the Battle of Coral Sea, the Battle of Midway, and the Guadalcanal campaign. She was sunk in the Battle of Savo Island after being ambushed at night by four Japanese cruisers (Aoba, Kinugasa, Kako, and Chōkai). Getting hit by at least 65 shells at point blank range from their 20 cm (eight inch) guns, until the ship was completely battered and engulfed in flames.

    He was the only man to survive from the engine room, miraculously, but suffered devastating shrapnel injuries. He was saved by his shipmates, and thrown overboard, but had to float in the ocean alone, away from the other survivors due to the blood loss from his injuries attracting sharks. He survived the war, recovering in New Zealand for about three months, but would struggle with his injuries for the remainder of his life.

    His war stories were legendary, and from a young age, we understood the sacrifices born of so many, for the freedoms often taken for granted by so many more.

    In 2015, the shipwreck of the USS Astoria was discovered by Paul Allen resting in a previously unmapped region of Iron Bottom Sound. These images were haunting.







    Those who have served have my eternal respect.

    This is completely amazing, G! WOW!!! Great photos too, I love underwater wrecks! Thanks for sharing! Just last night I began rewatching The Pacific and there's a scene where the Marines are watching the naval action just offshore of Guadalcanal at night --to think your grandpa was there in the middle of that...!
    Last edited by L.M.; 03-29-2020 at 11:14 AM.
    Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.M. View Post
    That's fascinating, Sam! For those who don't know, "the Hump" was the Himalaya Mountains.

    The USA provided support to Chiang Kai Shek and his nationalist Chinese army based in Chungking and Kunming. Originally this support flowed into Rangoon and then up the Burma Road, though passes in the mountains arduously carved out by the Chinese people using hand tools. The American Volunteer Group (famously nick-named "The Flying Tigers") defended this route in their P-40 fighter planes decorated with shark or tiger mouths.

    After the Japanese seized Rangoon in 1942, flying supplies in over the Hump was their only recourse for helping the Chinese until 1944 when a new road was built from Ledo, India to intersect with the old Burma Road. Many battles were fought along the way and all of this is recounted in an excellent wartime documentary called The Stilwell Road (US Army General Joseph Stilwell supervised construction) narrated by Ronald Reagan. That can be seen here.
    My Dad used to tell about St. Elmo's Fire covering the parts of the plane he could see from the cockpit when he flew over the Himalayas. The C-46 wasn't as good an aircraft as the C-47 (DC 3), but it had a somewhat larger payload and longer range. The service ceiling of both aircraft wasn't as high as many of the mountain peaks, so they had to take a circuitous route in some places sometimes flying through valleys. The C-46 had a number of mechanical problems and reliability issues that had to be worked out over time. Dad said it had lots of hydraulic lines that leaked. I think the control surfaces were hydraulically controlled. The C-46 did have two powerful Pratt & Whitney R2800 engines which were more powerful than the engines on the C-47.
    "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.M. View Post
    I'm very envious -I love this plane too (and most WW2 aircraft, honestly). I would assume you've seen the 1990 film Memphis Belle? I used to know a guy who flew one over Germany in WW2.
    Excellent! There are no "not cool" combat aircraft" that were involved in WWII.
    Although they had some excellent fighting machines, I'm not going to list any German or Japanese aircraft.
    American and British aircraft were superior, IMO.

    My list of favorites:

    Bombers
    B-17G Flying Fortress (USA)
    B-29 Super Fortress (USA)
    Lancaster (British)
    B-24J Liberator (USA)

    Fighters (For those who might not know, the P stands for "Pursuit", the F is for "Fighter")
    P-51 Mustang
    F4U Corsair
    Spitfire (British)
    P-47M Thunderbolt
    P-38J Lightning
    F6F-5 Hellcat

    You assumed correctly. I've seen the movie "Memphis Belle" and I have the DVD. I also have the DVD of "Twelve O'clock High", 1949, staring Gregory Peck. Excellent movie. Winner of 2 academy awards for best supporting actor (Dean Jagger) and best sound.

    I have a friend of 51 years from high school who lives in Windsor, Colorado and we have everything in place for a trip this June to the airshow in Dayton, Ohio and we're also going to the U.S. Air Force Museum located at Wright-Patterson AFB, a little North East of Dayton. The star attraction there is the one and only "Memphis Belle", the real McCoy. My friend and I are super stoked to make this trip but we're starting to think the Coronavirus might force us to cancel for circumstances beyond our control. Huge bummer.

    The following is the final journey of the "Memphis Belle", aka "The Lady", "The Big Bird."

    On 30 August 2005, the MBMA (Memphis Belle Memorial Association) announced that a consultant that they hired determined that the MBMA would not be able to raise enough money to restore the Belle and otherwise fulfill the Air Force's requirements to keep possession of the aircraft. They announced plans to return the aircraft to the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB near Dayton, Ohio, after a final exhibition at an airshow in Millington, Tennessee from 30 September–2 October 2005. The Belle arrived safely at the museum in mid-October 2005 and was placed in one of the Museum's restoration hangars.

    The Museum placed restoration of Memphis Belle near the top of its priorities. In the magazine Friends Journal of the museum's foundation, Major General Charles D. Metcalf, USAF (Ret), then the director of the museum, stated that it might take eight to 10 years to fully restore the aircraft.

    By the spring of 2009, considerable preparatory work had been accomplished, but the fuselage and wings were still disassembled.

    After stripping the paint from the aft fuselage of the aircraft, hundreds of names and personal messages were found scratched in the aluminum skin. It turned out that, during the aircraft's war bond tour, people were allowed to leave their mark there.

    In May 2017 the museum announced the goal of completing the restoration and putting the Memphis Belle on display by May 17, 2018, the 75th anniversary of the plane's 25th mission. On March 19, 2018 the Memphis Belle was moved into the WWII Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, and was officially unveiled May 17, 2018.

    Nothing less than incredibly amazing!
    Last edited by jazzbodog; 03-27-2020 at 10:18 AM.
    Utah Bronco Freak

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peanut View Post
    Thank you for bringing the conversation here and leaving the other one to football.

    Thank you also for keeping politics and racism out. Past discussions (in another forum) had gotten ugly.

    I was born in Tokyo, so I probably had relatives that were in the war. It was a subject that was never brought up.

    My main interest in WWII is with the MIS and the 100th Battalion / 442d Regimental Combat Team. For 12 years or so, I've met a few of the vets at the Sakura Maturi in DC (unfortunately, there were no vets last year). I have autographed books that I treasure and always made sure I took pictures.

    I also have an interest in the Occupation.
    It's funny the anonymity of the I-Net often gives us preconceptions and mental images of others which can be waaaay off! From Tokyo, J!?!? I've always had an interest in Japanese history and culture, especially feudal Japan, the samurai, Shinto religion, architecture, clothing, etc. It's on my travel bucket list.

    And for those not fluent in 'World Warese':

    MIS = (U.S.) Military Intelligence Unit made up Japanese Americans (also called Nisei) and German-Austrians. They were linguists often used for interrogation of POW's. I think it's interesting that some were assigned to "Merrill's Marauders", a US special forces unit that operated deep in the Burmese jungle.

    442nd Regimental Combat Team = highly decorated unit of Japanese Americans which fought in Europe. Their motto was "Go For Broke!" and a film about them with that title was produced in 1951.
    Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spice 1 View Post
    My grandfather was an Army medic. He took some shrapnel in his abdomen, and lost about half of one of his fingers. His whole family served. A couple of his brothers were KIA. The other side of my family, all I got is Korea. I bring that up though, because there's a cool story. A collector actually gave me my great uncle's Ka Bar. He found it at a local auction, and figured I'd want it since it had my last name engraved on it. I looked at the initials stamped on it and knew exactly who it belonged to. I offered to pay the guy for it, and he gave it to me. I have it sitting in a cabinet next to mine, and I'm thinking I'll pass them on to my kids.
    Which theater(s)?
    Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanDB View Post
    My Dad was born in WWI. Though born in Canada, he was raised in Italy. But he and his brother returned as young men, to establish their lives in this country. In WWII he was stationed and prepared to take part in battle, but never got the call so to speak. When I drove by the location of where he was stationed it made me proud. This Italian kid and his brother prepared to do whatever his new home country asked of them. Like so many others back in those days. Brave, strong, loyal people. Those folks worked so hard, expected so little, and are missed.

    Canadians should be proud! When Britain went to war against Germany, all of the Commonwealth nations followed suit and contributed, Canada to a very large degree! They had one of the five beaches in the Normandy invasion and fought in Italy as well.

    Canada produced a fantastic military documentary series about ten years ago called Greatest Tank Battles which of course included tons of stories by Canadian tankers who fought in Europe and set to computer graphics recreations. I love it! Did you know that Canada produced Sherman tanks? That model was known as the Sherman Grizzly (of course, what else what they be called) and an interesting anti-aircraft variant of that was also produced, known as the Skink:


    Main 75 mm gun replaced with quad 20mm AA guns.
    Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by samparnell View Post
    Some other units that probably felt they had something to prove were the 761st Tank Battalion, the 332nd Fighter Group and most of the guys in the Red Ball Express.
    761st Tank Battalion = African-American unit also known as "The Black Panthers", decades before the one in the '60s!

    332nd Fighter Group = African-American fighter pilots also famously known as the "Tuskagee Airmen" (which also included the 477th Bombardment group that never fought) and "Red Tails" because they painted the tails of their P-51 Mustangs a distinctively bright red. Initially they were equipped with P-40 Warhawks, P-39 Airacobras (the junk nobody wanted) and later upgraded to P-47 Thunderbolts and the Mustangs, version C, I think. George Lucas (of Star Wars fame) made a film about them called Red Tails in 2012.

    I would say also the 92nd Infantry (the "Buffalo Division") of African-Americans which fought in Italy (featured in the 2008 Spike Lee film The Miracle of St. Anna) and the 93rd Infantry of same which served in the Pacific, also had something to prove!

    There were Native Code Talkers from several nations in WWI and WWII. The most famous ones of WWII and probably the most numerous were the Navajo Code Talkers in the USMC. I don't know if they felt they necessarily had something to prove because that doesn't seem to be their style, but they are quite proud of their service. About four are still living including former tribal chairman, Peter MacDonald. Some of the Navajo Code Talkers are buried at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe and some are in the Veterans Navajos Cemetery in Fort Defiance, AZ. If any were traditional, their bodies may have been buried according to Navajo/Dine tradition.
    I did not know that. I'll have to visit their graves on Memorial Day... if we're allowed to.
    Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.M. View Post
    Which theater(s)?
    Somewhere in Europe. I know that's humorously vague, but he NEVER talked to his grandchildren about it. I don't know when or where. My G Ma never told me either, and I never asked. My uncle probably knows though. Next time I talk to him I'll ask. I didn't even know he had a colostomy bag until I was like 10. He was just one of those guys who didn't complain about anything or talk about himself. I think he looked at his service in WWII as something everybody just had to do, and then got on with their lives. That's just the kind of person he was.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzbodog View Post
    I have a friend of 51 years from high school who lives in Windsor, Colorado and we have everything in place for a trip this June to the airshow in Dayton, Ohio and we're also going to the U.S. Air Force Museum located at Wright-Patterson AFB, a little North East of Dayton. The star attraction there is the one and only "Memphis Belle", the real McCoy. My friend and I are super stoked to make this trip but we're starting to think the Coronavirus might force us to cancel for circumstances beyond our control. Huge bummer.
    I forgot to mention that my friend in Windsor, Colorado, that his 22 year old father was a P-47 Thunderbolt (aka the "Jug") pilot in Europe and he received all of his dad's WWII memorabilia and it's impressive. He set up a large 8' x 8' area on a wall in his basement man cave show casing everything, medals, photos standing next to his plane and much more. But what was also amazing was an approximately 20 minute 8mm film (his dad had it copied to VHS in the 1980's and my friend had it copied to a DVD) that was footage recorded in the nose of his dads P-47 of him attempting and actually shooting down German Messerschmitt Bf 109's and Focke-Wulf 190's and also shows footage of him strafing German trains, parked aircraft, troop vehicle convoys, buildings...anything helping the German war effort. Apparently when he returned from a mission he persuaded the people removing and developing the combat film to make a copy and add it to the previous missions film clips.
    While watching the DVD (Oct 2018) I don't think I blinked but 2 or 3 times. I was blown away with what I was watching.

    Astonishing!
    Utah Bronco Freak

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by samparnell View Post
    Many Americans do not fully appreciate Canada's contribution to the effort in WWI and WWII. The US was involved in WWI in 1917 and 1918 while Canada had participated starting in 1914. The US was in WWII from 1942 through 1945 while Canada's participation began in at least 1940. George Beurling, the Falcon of Malta, was one of the leading aces in WWII and invented the deflection shot.

    Great Britain was saved by contributions from their empire. Had it not been for help from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, India and others, I don't know if UK would have held out during the years before the US entered the war.
    The island could have, it was receiving American aid via the Lend Lease act, but North Africa, the Levant and the Middle East would have fallen as British forces there relied heavily on troops from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India. Most of Britain's oil came from Iraq and Iran and the USA would have been hard-pressed to help the UK make up the difference if that was lost. No oil means Britain's various fleets, military and merchant, are immobilized.

    The first advance of Rommel's German Afrika Korps (with Italian forces) across Libya in 1941 was checked by the stubborn Australian 9th division which held Tobruk. Rommel went around it but had to leave forces behind for a siege and his advance to Egypt faltered from lack of supply. Tobruk was a vital port for supplying an offensive into Egypt, and it held out against the Axis for the rest of the year.
    Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.M. View Post
    Canadians should be proud! When Britain went to war against Germany, all of the Commonwealth nations followed suit and contributed, Canada to a very large degree! They had one of the five beaches in the Normandy invasion and fought in Italy as well.

    Canada produced a fantastic military documentary series about ten years ago called Greatest Tank Battles which of course included tons of stories by Canadian tankers who fought in Europe and set to computer graphics recreations. I love it! Did you know that Canada produced Sherman tanks? That model was known as the Sherman Grizzly (of course, what else what they be called) and an interesting anti-aircraft variant of that was also produced, known as the Skink:


    Main 75 mm gun replaced with quad 20mm AA guns.
    Thx P!! I am not even sure I ever knew about the Sherman tanks!

    I appreciate your words as well, and respect our mutual ties. You pointed out one of the greatest and saddest Canadian feats.....Normandy. Juno Beach was an indication of what these people would do. It was brutal, but they forged ahead, for their allies. Lives lost were far too many.

    I am also proud of our history for being well known for Peace Keeping, which is a function of war. To fight the good fight, and to seek peace when it is the answer....qualities I admire. Our countries are known for both.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.M. View Post
    It's funny the anonymity of the I-Net often gives us preconceptions and mental images of others which can be waaaay off! From Tokyo, J!?!? I've always had an interest in Japanese history and culture, especially feudal Japan, the samurai, Shinto religion, architecture, clothing, etc. It's on my travel bucket list.

    And for those not fluent in 'World Warese':

    MIS = (U.S.) Military Intelligence Unit made up Japanese Americans (also called Nisei) and German-Austrians. They were linguists often used for interrogation of POW's. I think it's interesting that some were assigned to "Merrill's Marauders", a US special forces unit that operated deep in the Burmese jungle.

    442nd Regimental Combat Team = highly decorated unit of Japanese Americans which fought in Europe. Their motto was "Go For Broke!" and a film about them with that title was produced in 1951.


    Japanese mother, Caucasian father from SC. I am a living culture clash. My first name is Japanese. My favorites, soy sauce on grits and fried green tomatoes. Father was in the AF and was stationed in Japan twice. I was 11 the last time we were there. I would love to go back for a visit.

    I have "Go for Broke!". Couple of books I've gotten from the vets, American Patriots - MIS in the War Against Japan and Just Americans - The Story of the 100th Battlion/442d Regimental Combat Team in World War II;
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  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.M. View Post

    This is completely amazing, G! WOW!!! Great photos too, I love underwater wrecks! Thanks for sharing! Just last night I began rewatching The Pacific and there's a scene where the soldiers are watching the naval action just offshore at night --to think your grandpa was there in the middle of that...!
    Thanks, P! There are so many stories of incredible heroism, sacrifice, and survival, from those that took part in the conflict. It's just humbling to see what they did, and what they selflessly gave up.

    It's remarkable history...the story of each person who took part, and their families. A chapter in world history that is gathering more dust as the years and decades go by, and the voices that steadily grow silent - I truly hope current and future generations never lose sight of this.
    To infinity...and beyond.

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