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Old 07-11-2013, 08:05 AM
 
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Watching old reruns of "World at War" on TV.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kygman View Post
I got interested because of my dad. He served in WWII and was part of the 30th Infantry Division which was surrounded by the Germans for 6 days at Mortain, France. We had heard several stories from this and other things that happened. So my mother, brother and I talked my dad into making a book of his "war days". (I may have posted this in here already. I know I did somewhere on C-D already but not sure if it was in this part) Daddy kept one of those little cassette recorders like reporters used handy all the time so when he would think of something that happened he could get it on tape. They (both my parents) had those tapes transcribed and began working on the book. It was a family project. My wife was the technical advisor ("Help us! We typed a whole page, hit this one button and everything disappeared! What do we do?" lol) and I have a cousin who works in office supplies who helped get the book put together. This is just a family deal, only about 50 printed. But we have a written, and spoken history of my dad's army career from when he went for his physical until the day he was discharged, and I would take a million dollars for my copy!
If you want to read some on the 30th Infantry at Mortain, find the July/August issue of World War II magazine. A relative found it on the shelves at a Barns and Noble. Good reading!
The book sounds amazing and is definitely a family treasure. My father is the commanding officer of a retired military unit organization/social club. The unit traces its origins all the way back to the Revolutionary War and they also operate a museum of artifacts from the unit. Many of the oldest members were WW2 veterans and the unit as a whole was active in WW2.

I have been helping them assemble an audio/video project to document the stories of all of those veterans. We sit them down and run through a list of questions designed to jog the memories and document their experiences. A transcript is put in their unit archive along with the video and a copy is given to the family. We completed all of the WW2 vets, made our way through Korea and are now working on Vietnam. While the unit itself was not in anything past WW2 (it was a national guard unit) many of the later members of the unit served in various wars either as a call-up or before they joined.

The record is getting quite extensive and many of the stories are amazing. What I find most interesting is that the battles are almost the background in these personal stories. For them, the memories were the downtime and the people they were with. We had one guy who fought in the Battle of the Bulge spend 5 minutes on the Bulge and nearly 40 minutes talking about a series of practical jokes his squad played on another squad.
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:00 AM
 
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
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My dad said on D+3 (3 days after D Day) Eisnehower launched a very top secret weapon against the Germans. I asked him what it was and he said "Me! And it was so top secret nobody knows about it even today." lol

Have you read about our Ghost Army during WWII? A relative saw this on PBS and send my dad a book about it. Very slick way of fooling the Germans!
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Savannah GA/Lk Hopatcong NJ
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My father's brother ( my uncle that I never knew) was KIA aboard the USS Juneau, the same ship the 5 Sullivan brothers were on and also KIA. So growing up always heard stories, my dad had the telegrams sent from the Navy, his purple heart and his last letter home which didn't have much of an impact on me until I got older and it hit me, he was only 17 years old!

If any of you WWII buffs ever find yourself in New Orleans please do your self a favor and visit the D Day museum all though by now they may have changed that to the WWII Museum because it goes way beyond D Day and the swift boats that were built in LA. If you go allow yourself the entire day or a good portion to see the exhibits and films...
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:08 AM
 
14,781 posts, read 37,970,298 times
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Originally Posted by kygman View Post
Have you read about our Ghost Army during WWII? A relative saw this on PBS and send my dad a book about it. Very slick way of fooling the Germans!
I have and it is a very interesting and little known unit during the war. Quick link for anyone interested...

Ghost Army - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 07-11-2013, 01:33 PM
 
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Well I was always interested in history.Got started with school plus at home we would talk about things that happend in the paper,or read various books,etc.Now my dad fought in World War 2,and sometimes talked about it,his experiences there. My mother who grew up in Springville,New York sometimes talked about going and picking crops to help farmers out, or rationing or other things.And my dad had relatives in the german military,one of his father's cousins was commander of Army Group Kurland during the war.
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Old 07-14-2013, 06:48 PM
 
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Really enjoyed reading everyone's comments. I've spent my entire life almost apologizing for being a "history nerd". Nice to know there are folks out there who love history, esp. military history, as much as I do.
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