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What did your relatives do during WWII?

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  • #16
    Ok, to help things along, here is another WWII story from my father.

    One day, the B-25 bombers of my fathers unit were set to bomb Axis infantry units somewhere in Italy. The bombers were fully fueled and loaded with bundles of fragmentation bombs. Then the orders were changed. The aircraft were to be loaded with 500 lb bombs instead. So the 500 lb bombs were brought out and dumped underneath each aircraft as other crews worked to unload the fragmentation bombs. Then a small mistake was made. Someone tipped over one of the bundles too far and a single fragmentation bomb slipped out of the bundle. This small bomb went off causing the aircraft to catch fire and collapse onto the 500 lb bombs underneath. They never did find the crew that was unloading the bomber. All that was left of the original aircraft was a large crater. Two other aircraft that were parked nearby were also destroyed in the explosion.

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    • #17
      Thanks, Dann for interesting story
      If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

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      • #18
        Family Service in WWII

        My father and his two brothers all served in the US military in WWII.

        My Dad was US Navy (volunteered for Naval Armed Guard, ie gun crews assigned to merchant ships) and served in the Pacific. Convoys to Australia, Fiji, India, Aleutians & points in between.

        One brother was an infantryman (BAR) in Italy 44-45; the other brother flew bombing missions in Eighth Air Force out of England.

        My wife's grandfather was a soldier in the RKKA and was captured near Poltava in 1941. POW in Germany near Sennelager (kreis Paderborn), then worked in a coal mine in Ruhr until he contracted TB and died October 1944. As with many Russian soldiers, his family knew nothing of his fate until I managed to access German archives for them in 2001 and obtained his complete file.

        My advice to everyone is that you make an effort to write down and record the experiences of your relatives who served in WWII if at all possible. If they are still around, get them to write names, dates, locations, etc and other info on the backs of photos. Save letters and documents. Each story and experience is a treasure that they can bequeath to their families and descendants.
        J.D. Morelock
        Editor in Chief
        Armchair General Magazine

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        • #19
          my dad was 501 pir of the 101st airborn.
          i yam what i yam and thats what i yam!

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          • #20
            My grandfather was with the Americal Division in the Pacific as an E-7 with the field artillery. Say what you will about the National Guard but they were some of the first troops to be on Guadalcanal. He spent time on Guadalcanal, Bouganville, and while in the Phillipines he shook hands with Macgarthur. My father-in-law was a machinegunner with 2ID. He arrived in the Ardennes just after the counter-offensive and finished the war in Czechsolvakia.
            If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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            • #21
              I'm still trying to find out the fate of my great-grandfather who was missed in November 1941 probably in Vyazma surrounding...
              Very long story.....
              If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

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              • #22
                WWII RKKA POW Information Contact

                Readers who are seeking information regarding relatives who were RKKA soldiers and who may have been POWs held by Germany in WWII should try contacting:

                Deutsche Dienststelle
                Eichborndamm 179
                13403 Berlin


                This is the office where (two years ago) I was able to find out the information regarding my wife's grandfather, RKKA soldier captured in 1941 and died a POW in 1944. The office will require complete name and any other information that may be known. All of our correspondance with this office was conducted in German, however, I presume they are capable of corresponding in other languages.

                Although I dealt with this office completely by mail, their reply letter listed a phone and fax number:

                telefon: (030) 41904 (intern: 996 194) 173
                telefax: (030) 41904 (intern: 996 194) 100

                Both this central office in Berlin as well as the Director of the historical memorial site of the POW camp where my wife's grandfather was kept (Dokumenstationsstaette Stalag 326 (VI K) Senne) were very helpful in obtaining the information.

                Those readers who live in Moscow may wish to try to obtain information at: Voennie Memoriali, 119021 Moskva, a/ya Komsomolskii Prospekt, D. 22/2; telefon: 296-00-28; telefax: 247-53-66, 296-85-29. My mother in law, who lives in Kharkov, managed to get some information on her father thru that office initially.

                Good Luck!
                J.D. Morelock
                Editor in Chief
                Armchair General Magazine

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                • #23
                  My family immigrated to the states in the mid '50's from Germany. So many of my family members served in the German armed forces during WWII.

                  This includes my grandfather which was a Strumbannfuhrer in the Waffen SS in the LSSAH Division and saw combat on the Russian Front. He often spoke of how much he respected the Soviet soldiers for thier fearless tenacity on the battlefield of course he would have never made that known for obvious reasons.

                  That respect has been passed down by my family which have been taught not to believe what many historians have said about the Russian army being inferior.

                  Never judge a book by its cover.:thumb:

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                  • #24
                    China Burma India

                    My dad was a flight engineer/load master C-46s & C-47s in the CBI. He had enlisted in may of 1941, got stationed with The 1st Air Commandos, then transfered to the 1st Combat Cargo. He said the C-46 was a piece of crap. They had certain load capsities, one time they couldn't get the tail to rise. Dad went back into tail section and got his tool kit , brought it to the front of the plane and they took off. The C-47 on the other hand, could be overloaded and always get off the ground.
                    He said they would fly fuel in 50 gal drums to 'secret' air strips, gas stations for the fighters & bombers. He delivered Chinese troops, mules, and flew regularly with the radio man but the pilots & co-pilots would rotate.

                    He recieved the DiFC, Air Medal with oak leaf, and the Army Commendation medl.

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                    • #25
                      My father served on convoy escort duty in the North Atlantic during World War II. I found this in his private papers after he died.

                      It was the last convoy to England in early 1945. Darken ship - a no lights condition yet prevailed for at least 75 U-boots still persisted. Abeam to port was one of the tankers which was my ship's responsibility to monitor; it was loaded to the gunnels with AvGas (150-octane aircraft fuel). At 11PM on a particularly moonless night, the tanker exploded into what I later learned was a stereotypical fireball - much like that of small, 20KT nuclear bombs; the fireball at once red now degenerated into yellow with a white corona, turned back into red once more - a darker shade, then eclipsed into black nothingness. No debris, no survivors...just a a peaceful night once more; what a bloody shame such beauty cost so much sacrifice in human life...

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