Living History

Almost 900 personal war stories are featured on this “WAR TALES” website. From President Lincoln shaking the hand of every man in a Union regiment who helped quell the draft riots in down town New York City in 1863 to Capt. Whitey Mack, skipper of the atomic attack submarine “Lapon’s,” search for the deadly new Soviet “Yankee Class” missal sub roaming the Atlantic in 1969.

There are also war stories about:
* A cadet in WW I learns to fly his pursuit plane at Carlstrom Field in Arcadia, Fla.
* Sinking of “USS Perch,” first American submarine sunk by the Japanese in WW II.
* Lt. Charles Bailey, a “Tuskegee Airman,” last of the 7 Bailey brothers who served in WW II.
* Sgt. Mike Sovan fought Gen. Erwin Rommel, the “Desert Fox,” in North Africa during WW II.
* Fox Company, 1st Marine Division saved the day at Chosin Reservoir during Korean War.
* Lt. jg. Clyde Lassen got “Medal of Honor” for chopper rescue behind enemy lines in Vietnam.
* Cpl. Randy Smith was last U.S. Marine in Saigon, April 29, 1975, at the end of Vietnam War.
* Cpl. Brian Buesing, U.S. Marine’s death in Iraq War, hits home in Cedar Key, Fla.

These are just eight of the hundreds of war stories on this site. A search box at the top will help you find a particular story, battle or war. Type in “President Lincoln,” and Franz Baumann’s story about shaking the president’s hand during the Civil War will come up. If you type in “USS Perch” the story of the capture of the sub’s entire crew by the Japanese will show up.

Check it out!

Forty  years after I began writing for daily and weekly newspapers papers on Florida’s West Coast —The Tampa Tribune, Sarasota Herald Tribune, The Bradenton Herald, the Charlotte Sun and The Anna Maria Islander weekly newspaper — I was asked to write a couple of war stories. That was more than 10 years ago.

Since then I’ve written a 1,000 tales, about local men and women, who went to war. The response to these war stories that have appeared in the Charlotte Sun has been amazing. I’ve never written stories that have been more enthusiastically received by our readers than these.

In addition, I’ve published two books of war stories – War Tales and War Tales II. I took the best 25 of the first group of stories and turned them into War Tales which included more pictures than appeared in the newspaper and also some of the original stories were expanded. That first book sold out. I wrote a second edition and selected another 25 stories and supporting pictures that has nearly sold out.

What I’ve learned from all this war story writing: The best stories are told by those who fought the battles. Not by a reporter who has never been in combat, never been shot at by a foe or who has never killed an enemy in battle. I quote these old soldiers extensively and weave their tales into a coherent tapestry of life and death on the battlefield.

This format has worked well over the years. Judging from the response of those written about, they liked the articles.

After serving as executive editor of the Sun, and its affiliated newspaper group for almost a decade, writing war stories involving local people who gave their all for this country in its time of crisis is a labor of love. I have the best job in the paper.

It’s important these stories reach a wider audience because of their historical significance. If the war stories are put on the internet the audience will be considerably larger than the Sun’s 50,000 subscribers. I will begin working to get all 1,000-plus war stories on the web starting today.

The veterans in these stories live primarily in three counties on Florida’s west coast: Charlotte, De Soto and Sarasota. They include the communities of Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, Englewood, El Jobean, Rotonda, Placida, Arcadia, North Port and Venice.

The folks written about are the soul of America. Throughout all of this country’s wars these men and women have made this nation great.

Don Moore

Sun Correspondent
North Port, Fla.
March 15, 2010

Editor’s note: The birth dates listed at the end of each story for the person interviewed was based on when the story was originally printed in the Sun. Eventually the date the story first ran in the paper will be added to the bottom of each story.

Without them it wouldn’t have happened

Mary Auenson, has been my strong right hand, in the production of this web site. Without her assistance none of these war stories would be up on the War Tales web site on a regular basis.

She is the one who figures out the mechanics of getting the stories on the page and the placement and size of the picture that go with each story. Mary makes it happen.

The site was created by Brendan Moore, my nephew, who is a computer whiz-kid with a master’s degree in computer engineering. It was his suggestion we keep the site simple and open it free to the public.

Click here to follow War Tales on FaceBook.


Comments

  1. Don,
    I’m thrilled to see you finally putting your work online! I can’t wait til I have the time to peruse these articles. Your reputation as a writer proceeds you and the stories of yours that I’ve read so far are intriguing, exciting and heartwarming. Thanks to you and others like you, hopefully Americans will never forget what has been given by our soldiers. Thank you and take care!

      • hi don really love your stories but i am very interested in one in particular.
        bill price of the 32nd field artillery, i have a truck that was from his unit , i am based in the uk and can’t find out much information could you help at all
        thanks stuart

  2. Don congratulations nice site. I’m sending your info to all my
    military friends

    Sincerely,

    Frank your neighbor

    • Frank,
      That’s great. I hope they like the War Tales site. Eventually, if I can get it all up, I think it might amount to something…don

  3. February 26, 2011

    Hello Don:

    I read with great interest you latest War Tales. They are well done and convey a great part of history.

    Don I would like to buy a copy of your book.Please give me details.

    Thank you for all that you do for Veterans. I sincerely appreciate it.

    Bill Roy

  4. DON, THANKS FOR GETTING ME IN TOUCH WITH GLEN MILLER. WE TALK FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 42 YEARS AND IT WAS LIKE IT WAS JUST YESTERDAY. WE HAD A GREAT TALK AND WE WILL BE GETTING TOGETHER SOON TO TALK SOME MORE. THANK’S AGAIN!!!! GEORGE KLINGBEIL

  5. Thank you so much for your effort and published works. This is truly what our country needs to know.

  6. Hello my grandfather SGT Rex E Mershon was a paratrooper in the 187 Infantry regiment from 1946 -1954 ,he was just inducted in the DMOR recipient list 2012.,I was wondering if you knew of him? I know I am responding to older posts and hope you still look on this site.I would like to know if you have any pictures too.Thank you

  7. How do i submit an ongoing WW11 story of recovery? My uncle’s B-24 has been verified near Grado Italy with remains in 2011. I have been working on this since i was notified. DPAA/JPAC did a recovery in 10 and 11,2015. It is a great story. I have a great article about their final mission 2/28/1945. My uncle S/Sgt Thomas M McGraw is one of the MIA.
    Thanks,
    Jim

    • James –
      I’m not quite sure to whom you wish to submit your uncle’s story.

      All the stories on this site are first person interviews conducted by Don, then submitted to the local newspaper and then on to the Library of Congress for the Veterans History project.

      The Library of Congress has strict guidelines on submissions. That information can be retrieved by clicking on that link provided at the end of each page on this site.

      Good luck –

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