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Old Yesterday, 01:37 PM
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
6,627 posts, read 18,456,037 times
Reputation: 6004


Just read the item where a home was built for a blind 89 yr old WW11 Vet.

Nice thoughts which made him born in 1929, age 10 in 1939, age 12 in 1941 and age 16 in 1945... you do the math.
There were a lot of underage serving including (yours trully)..

In my case, born 1931 ( now 87) was in the Canadian Reserve Army 1945 before the war ending. Age was to be 16 or older, I lied my age and they never checked.
Served just under three yrs...still have my unit picture (me at end of 3 rd row) and my discharge on my tv room wall.

Many do not know about a 12 yr old from Texas serving in the US Navy pacific area during WW11.

Many more stories out there, and I salute them all who served.
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Old Yesterday, 02:38 PM
4,972 posts, read 2,137,562 times
Reputation: 3818
Heres one from Vietnam.....

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Old Yesterday, 02:45 PM
Location: Herndon, VA
2,025 posts, read 1,997,598 times
Reputation: 6873
Kids back then sneaking into the military to go to war. Kids now:

They are our future. Let that sink in.
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Old Yesterday, 05:18 PM
Location: Amelia Island
2,884 posts, read 3,867,725 times
Reputation: 2963
My family history is so spotty and with many who have passed away so has my family history. All I have is bits and pieces.

I was told that during the depression my grandfather passed away leaving nine children. The story goes that my aunt took my two uncles who I was told were 16 and 17 at the time to the Brooklyn Naval Shipyard and they joined the Navy with my aunt acting as guardian. I have a newspaper clipping showing that one uncle graduated radio man school. I do have his scrapbook that shows him assigned to a boat that was stationed in Alaska along with a few pictures of him in front of a Bi-plane.

There must have been a shortage of pilots in WWII as they both went on to become Naval Pilots during the war.

One got out and one went on to finish his career as a Lt Commander. One was invited to the White House by invitation to senior Bushes inauguration as they crossed paths in the Navy. My uncle sent copies of all that to my mom but I never found that when I went through her things after she passed.

My dad has long since passed and before that refused to speak about his time during WWII in the pacific. I have two pictures from my aunt (his sister) who has passed. One picture shows my dad in an enlisted Marine uniform and the second shows him in a Navy uniform and the back of the picture says Navy Flight School North Carolina. I believe he went in under the age of 18.

There is so much history disappearing each day as those veterans of WWII pass on.

There was so much history that I will never know about but the bits of pieces I have, but like mentioned in the previous posts there were so many interesting stories that have been lost.
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Old Yesterday, 10:16 PM
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
6,627 posts, read 18,456,037 times
Reputation: 6004
As OP I was later on in the Calif National Guard 1950. As many know Korea broke out and we were activated to Camp Cook ( todays Vanderberg).

There was this one kid who broke down crying while pulling KP saying he was underage.
He was pulled off KP and held to his bunk under a Cpl's eye while the kids mom came to pick him up.
His bunk was a few over from mine.
Heard later on that after turning 17+ he enlisted in the Marines.
Nice you say....NOT SO.
After boot training at San Diego, he robs a Liquor store in Oceanside.
A failure from day one.
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Old Today, 02:05 AM
Location: South Australia
321 posts, read 40,485 times
Reputation: 662
Jesus wept.

Yet it has been customary for children(to us) to actually fight in wars for centuries. The concept of childhood as we know it was not invented until the nineteen century. This occurred when the new large middle class could afford to educate their children ,who were able to not work and have a childhood.

I think the custom may have largely ended by WW 1 , but I understand it was common up to the US civil war for boys of 14 or so to be fighting..

Of course I honour those children who served, and grew to be men.

It is we canon fodder who are manipulated by cynical old men into killing other mother's sons.

My father would have been 100 on March 18 this year.(died in 2006) He fought in WW2, Australian Air force. He flew in Lancasters, reconnaissance. He went to war at 20, in 1939. The experience destroyed him. The poor man lived with PTSD for the rest of his life, as did everyone of his war buddies. Those guys fought on the Kokoda Track in New Guinea, at Tobruk an El Alamein against Rommel in North Africa.

I was conscripted in 1968. Through what Aussies call 'sheer arse', I avoided going to Vietnam. Instead, I joined a unit just back from Vietnam ,and was posted to Malaysia. Although a grunt, I was cross trained and worked as a Medic. Got to know a LOT of those young vets. Without exception, each one was a bit 'off centre'. That ranged from mildly twitchy to certifiable.

There is honour to the men who fight, but there is nothing noble or glorious about war..

APRIL 25th is ANZAC Day here in Australia and in New Zealand. That was the horror and the catastrophe of the Gallipoli campaign in 1915. It is seen by Aussies as our coming of age as a nation. The day is the most revered in the Australian calendar, without exception.---So of course, the WW1 docos ,films and mini series about Gallipoli have already begun on TV.. I've already seen them all, more than once.
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