Enemy artillery rounds and small-arms fire rained down in the water all around them as they came ashore on “Red Beach,” near the base of Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima, with U.S. Marines. Seaman/3rd Milt Alligood manned the steel ramp in the bow of the plywood Higgins Boat. He lowered it as the “Leathernecks” charged from their landing craft into the mouth of hell. Read the rest of this entry »
Archive for the ‘Army’ Category
The citation accompanying his Bronze Star Medal reads:
“LAWRENCE G. SCHAEFERLE, CAPTAIN, Medical Detachment, 32nd Field Artillery Battalion. For heroic achievement in connection with military operations against the enemy in the vicinity of St. Laurent-sur-Mer, Normandy, France, 6 June, 1944. Although subjected to heavy enemy fire, Capt. Schaeferle remained on exposed beach, administering first aid and assisting in evacuation of the seriously wounded. His heroic devotion to duty saved many lives. Entitled to wear six bronze battle participation stars on European Theatre Ribbon for campaigns in Sicily, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central Europe. Awarded the Bronze Star Medal for combat service in France and Bronze Service Arrowhead for Normandy Invasion.”
The British tried it, the Canadians tried it and elements of the 5th U.S. Army gave it a shot to no avail. Now it was the American 10th Mountain Division’s turn to take on German Gen. Fridolin von Senger’s entrenched troops in the Apennines Mountains of Italy during the winter of 1944.
Julius Hirsch grew up in the Bronx and went to war almost a year before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. He was a member of the 862nd Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion sent to the Aleutians when the Japanese invaded the barren islands off the Alaskan coast in 1942.
John Krusinski, Sr. was a 19-year-old draftee who grew up in the Chicago area and went to war in Vietnam in 1967.
He was a member of the Army’s 1st Battalion, 44th Artillery, G-Battery station at a base camp in Dong Ha, along the DMZ separating North and South Vietnam. He spent a year being shot at or shooting at other people.
Fred Butts, a Cape Cod industrialist who wintered in Boca Grande, Florida, was the first American soldier to loot Adolf Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest retreat high atop Kehlstein Mountain in the Bavarian Alps near Berchtesgaden at the close of World War II. Sixty years later, shortly before his death, he told his family the story which they captured on tape.
When Cpl. Kermitt Hampton’s landing craft hit the beach on New Britain Island in the South Pacific during World War II the Japanese knew they were coming and had a deadly trap waiting on the beach for the American forces.
“It was 5 a.m. on Christmas Day 1943 and the weather was stormy. The boat I was in was supposed to be in the third wave that came ashore, but it got caught by a wave and was pushed ashore first,” the 87-year-old former construction engineer from Deep Creek, near Punta Gorda, Fla. said. “When the gate on the front of the landing craft dropped down the Japs opened fire. All the guys trying to make it out the front of the boat didn’t make it.
When Gerald Kelly went to war in Vietnam in 1968 he was a young Army 1st. lieutenant with little or no experience. By the time he retired from the service two decades later he was a light colonel, Latin American expert, Green Beret and an Airborne Ranger who served in Special Forces in the Americas.
When Ruth Russell of Charlotte Ratchets, south of Punta Gorda, joined the Army in 1973 it was still known as the Women’s Army Corps. In short, the WACs. Read the rest of this entry »
He landed on Utah Beach on D-Day plus 6, took part in the breakout at St. Lo, the Battle of the Bulge, Hurtgen Forest, Remagen and stopped at the Elbe River near Berlin at war’s end.
Edwin Erving of Port Charlotte, Fla. was trained as an ambulance driver and medic attached to the 5th Armored Division in World War II. He landed at Utah Beach in Normandy, France on D-Day plus 6 with the 5th Armored.