Saturday, May 15, 2010

Armed Forces Day - TODAY! May 15,2010

For the last nine weeks I've been watching Pacific and compairng the stories there with things I've heard from real vets. If anything "PACIFIC" has sugar-coated how life was for the "warriors" who fought that battle. 

One of my dad's cousins was in the South Pacific. Dad talked once or twice about him but only years later did I find out that his cousin Tommy died on Iwo Jima in a "non-combat" related incident. 

My mother's brother served in the Navy and was captured on Corregidor and made the Bataan Death March.  He survived time in a Japanese mainland Prisoner of War camp and came home with tuberculosis.  He eventually died of a form of cancer that is most often seen in Japanese men.  A guy of Irish-American descent?

My parents both served during WWII - both stateside. Dad was a Staff Sgt instructor for the Army Air Corp - eventually being Air Force. Mom enlisted when her brother was captured on Corregidor and served for 3 years in the WACs. 

So I always gravitated to the medals and the patches that our various armed services wore/used.  However several years ago I bought a lot of old news wireservice photos at an estate sale. Many of them were from the Marine Corp public relations dept.  Now I'm listing the last couple of dozen for sale on eBay and was surprised to turn over one and see a list of names of a gunnery crew and a hand-written notation "Cape Gloucester".  Which happens to be one of the sites featured on the show PACIFIC (long way round the barn my dad would say to get to the point) .  So I thought before I sell them all I'd show them to you along with some other military collectibles for the next few weeks.

Partly it's because today is Armed Forces Day.  Intended as a day for us to pay tribute to the currently serving forces.  And then on the 31st we celebrate Memorial Day - to celebrate those who served and didn't go home.

Armed Forces Day in the US is the 3rd Sat of May - the culmination of ARMED FORCES WEEK.  Typically during that week the various military bases in the US have open houses and present a variety of educational events providing insight into careers and lives within the services.   We'll talk more about Memorial day later.  But get your flags out today and keep them ready for the next couple of months - lots of flag-flying days coming up!

Meanwhile, here are a couple of my military pictures and links to those on eBay.

This is a wire service photo from WW1 - shows "Americans with a Machine Gun Corps" in France airing out their clothing after time spent in the trenches.  Look at the tent behind them ! The holes were ripped by shrapnel. And just imagine spending one night let alone several months living in that tent with at least one other person!  This was taking in 1918 - My grandfather was there and for all I know he's in this photo.  The wire service paper attatch doesn't mention the names of these soldiers - Doughboys!. It does say   it was for release July 22, 1918.

This is another early 20th century photo- of the Army 27th Pursuit Squadron -  over Selfridge Field in Michigan

This one is Marine Artillerymen on Bougainville setting up an observation post in  a tall mahogany tree.  They hoist the guy up and he nails boards to the tree as he goes and then they use the boards like a ladder to climb up and use the observation post to dirct fire at enemy installations.  The Marine doing the board nailing is swinging a few feet above the head of the one on the far left who is olding the rope he's tied with .  This one is undated but has all that information on the back. And says OFFICE U.S.Marine Corp Photo. It's not listed yet but well be on eBay eventually
This is another Marine Corp"official Photo" but none of the guys are named.

this one is currently listed on eBay
Black & white photo from the Marine Corp Press office shows the following men (identified onthe stamp on the back side)

Left to right front to back:
Platoon Sgt james C Culler, Timberland NC
second row:
Corp John Keanrs of Aliquppa Pa
Sgt Eugene Cunliffe, New LImerick maine,
Sgt Alvin Montgomery, Pittsburg Pa
next Row:
Gunnery Sgt, Gord Heim, Balitmore MD
Corp Ray Kindcaise, Gauley Bridge WB
Master Gunnery Sgt, Wallace Anderson, W Orange NJ
Corp John Thull, Rutland VT
Corp Harold Peters Oakland Ca

Ok more later -


  1. thanks for this :) more people should remember

  2. Great story and pictures! Thanks so much for honoring the military men and women.

  3. Good post Beth - my Father served on Iwo Jima.

  4. My Dad served in WWII. Our Uncle also, was a gunner & shot down. Princess Katherine saved American Boys got them to a safe hospital. She then lost her land and brought to US to stay. She eventualiy after years could return to Romania with her estate. This is the condensed version of a great American story. God Bless those who serve our country.