Archive for the ‘Veterans’ Category
Tags: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, Veterans, Veterans Day
Tags: Medal of Honor, Military, Military History
…a great read.
PHILADELPHIA — It was called a “fortress in the clouds.”
The 21st Regiment of the Second Division of the North Vietnamese Army had carved a stronghold into the steep slopes of Nui Chom, a mountain with rugged peaks covered by a towering jungle canopy that blocked the sky. There, the NVA had dug 250 machine-gun bunkers to defend a secret field hospital.
On Nov. 20, 1968, Michael J. Crescenz of Philadelphia walked into an ambush on Nui Chom. His squad was pinned down when he made a snap decision to grab an M60 machine gun and charge the bunkers. He took out three, killing six enemy soldiers who may have been dumbstruck in their last seconds to see a lone American running into their fusillade of bullets.
As he charged a fourth bunker, Crescenz, 19, was killed.
Tags: 1st Infantry Division, Big Red One, US Army
Today is the birthday of the 1st Infantry Division. The Big Red One. It is the oldest continuously active division in the Army. To my fellow Big Red One Veterans, happy birthday to a great Division and to all who have served in the Big Red One, her history includes you. Well done and congratulations!
World War I
The First Expeditionary Division was constituted in May 1917 from Army units then in service on the Mexican border and at various Army posts throughout the United States. On June 8, 1917 it was officially organized in New York, New York. This date is the 1st Infantry Division’s official birthday. The first units sailed from New York and Hoboken, N.J., June 14, 1917. Throughout the remainder of the year, the rest of the Division followed, landing at St. Nazaire, France, and Liverpool, England. After a brief stay in rest camps, the troops in England proceeded to France, landing at Le Havre. The last unit arrived in St. Nazaire on Dec. 22. Upon arrival in France, the Division, less its artillery, was assembled in the First (Gondrecourt) training area, and the artillery was at Le Valdahon.
On the 4th of July, the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry, paraded through the streets of Paris to bolster the sagging French spirits. At Lafayette’s tomb, one of General Pershing’s staff uttered the famous words, “Lafayette, we are here!” Two days later, July 6, the First Expeditionary Division was redesignated the First Infantry Division. On the morning of Oct. 23, the first American shell of the war was sent screaming toward German lines by Battery C, 6th Field Artillery. Two days later, the 2nd Bn., 16th Inf., suffered the first American casualties of the war.
By April 1918, the Germans had pushed to within 40 miles of Paris. In reaction to this thrust, the Big Red One moved into the Picardy Sector to bolster the exhausted French First Army. To the Division’s front lay the small village of Cantigny, situated on the high ground overlooking a forested countryside. It was the 28th Infantry, who attacked the town, and within 45 minutes captured it along with 250 German soldiers, thus earning the special designation “Lions of Cantigny” for the regiment. The first American victory of the war was a First Division victory.
The First Division took Soissons in July 1918. The Soissons victory was costly – more than 7000 men were killed or wounded. The First Infantry Division then helped to clear the St. Mihiel salient by fighting continuously from Sept. 11-13, 1918. The last major World War I battle was fought in the Meuse-Argonne Forest. The Division advanced seven kilometers and defeated, in whole or part, eight German divisions. This action cost the 1st Division over 7600 casualties. In October 1918, the Big Red One patch as it is now known was officially approved for wear by members of the Division.
The war was over when the Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918. The Division was then located at Sedan, the farthest American penetration of the war. The Division was the first to cross the Rhine into occupied Germany where it remained until the peace treaty formally ending WW I was signed. It deployed back to the United States in August and September.
By the end of the war, the Division had suffered 22,668 casualties and boasted five Medal of Honor recipients. Its colors carry campaign streamers for: Montdidier-Noyon; Aisne-Marne; St. Mihiel; Meuse- Argonne; Lorraine1 917; Lorraine, 1918; Picardy, 1918.
World War II
On On August 1, 1942, the first Division was reorganized and redesignated as the 1st Infantry Division.
The 1st Infantry Division entered combat in World War II as part of “Operation Torch”, the invasion of North Africa, the first American campaign against the Axis powers. On Nov. 8, 1942, following training in the United Kingdom, men of the First Division landed on the coast of Algeria near Oran. The initial lessons of combat were harsh and many men were casualties in the campaign that followed and which stretched from Algiers into Tunisia. On May 9, 1943, the commander of the German “Afrika Korps” surrendered his force of 40,000 and North African operations for the Big Red One ended. The Division then moved on to take Sicily in “Operation Husky.” It stormed ashore at Gela, July 10, 1943, and quickly overpowered the Italian defenses. Soon after, the Division came face-to-face with 100 tanks of the Herman Goering Tank Division. With the help of naval gunfire, its own artillery and Canadian allies, the First Infantry Division fought its way over the island’s hills, driving the enemy back. The Fighting First advanced on to capture Troina and opened the Allied road to the straits of Messina. On D-Day, June 6, 1944, the Big Red One stormed ashore at Omaha Beach. Soon after H-Hour, the Division’s 16th Infantry Regiment was fighting for its life on a strip of beach near Coleville-sur-Mer that had been marked the “Easy Red” on battle maps. As the assault progressed, the beach became so congested with destroyed equipment, the dead and the wounded, that there was little room to land reinforcements. Col. George Taylor, commander of the 16th Infantry Regt., told his men, “Two kinds of people are staying on this beach! The dead and those who are going to die! Now, let’s get the hell out of here!” Slowly, spurred by the individual heroism of many individuals, the move inland got underway.
A German blockhouse above the beach became a command post named “Danger Forward.”
After the beachhead was secured, the Division moved through the Normandy Hedgerows. The Division liberated Liege, Belgium, and pushed to the German border, crossing through the fortified Siegfried line. The 1st Inf. Div. attacked the first major German city, Aachen, and after many days of bitter house-to house fighting, the German commander surrendered the city on Oct. 21, 1944.
The Division continued its push into Germany, crossing the Rhine River. On Dec. 16, 24 enemy divisions, 10 of which were armored, launched a massive counterattack in the Ardennes sector, resulting in what became known as the Battle of the Bulge. The Big Red One held the critical shoulder of the “Bulge” at Bullingen, destroying hundreds of German tanks in the process. On Jan. 15, 1945, the First Infantry attacked and penetrated the Siegfried line for the second time and occupied the Remagen bridgehead. On Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945, the Division marched 150 miles to the east of Siegen. On April 8, the Division crossed the Weser River into Czechoslovakia. The war was over May 8, 1945.
At the end of World War II, the Division had suffered 21,023 casualties and 43,743 men had served in its ranks. Its soldiers had won a total of 20,752 medals and awards, including 16 Congressional Medals of Honor. Over 100,000 prisoners had been taken.
Following the war, the First Division remained in Germany as occupation troops, until 1955, when the Division moved to Fort Riley, Kan.
You can read the rest of the Division’s history here: Society of the First Infantry Division
…the invasion of Europe began.
D-Day. June 6, 1944.
On that day, thousands of men and equipment stormed ashore at a place called Normandy.
Brothers in arms fought and died on those beaches by the thousands.
Their sacrifice was heavy, their victory was total.
I choke up thinking about the bravery that these men showed in the face of certain death. Many watched as their friends died right in front of them, or right next to them, wondering if they were next, but persevering until the beach was taken.
Some of those men would die in the heavy fighting that continued after the D-Day landings.
Never forget the sacrifices made by this greatest of generations. The survivors of World War II are dying at the rate of 600 a day. If you have the honor of seeing one, let them know you appreciate their service. Honor their sacrifice.
Please visit the Army’s website dedicated to the D-Day invasion. US Army June 6, 1944 D-Day
Of all the divisions that were involved in the D-Day invasion, I had the honor of serving in 5 of those divisions in my Army career. The 1st Infantry Division, the 2nd Infantry Division, the 4th Infantry Division, the 8th Infantry Division, and the 3rd Armored Division.
One of the Bay State’s dwindling number of D-Day veterans recalls the Normandy Invasion — 69 years ago today — as a day when he and other young men “made a difference.”
“I’m proud of it. I have a lot of personal satisfaction. If it weren’t for the Rangers, they would have lost the beach,” said James Gabaree, an old Ranger who fought and nearly died in the largest armed invasion in history, known as Operation Overlord.
“We made a difference,” said Gabaree, 88, who landed at Omaha Beach with the 5th Ranger Battalion, part of an invasion force of 160,000 American, British and Canadian troops who established a foothold in Nazi-occupied western Europe.
CHILLICOTHE — As Americans mark yet another solemn anniversary of the D-Day invasion, those who fought in World War II, including the ones who stormed the beaches of Normandy 69 years ago today, continue to slip away.
World War II veterans are dying at a rate of more than 600 each day, meaning tales of combat in Europe and the Pacific are more likely to come from a book or a website than from the veterans themselves.
Milestones such as the anniversary of D-Day — the airborne and amphibious assault that began June 6, 1944, launching the Allied forces’ invasion of German-occupied western Europe — underscore how many of these veterans are gone, but also illuminates the contributions of those who remain.
As a member of the Scioto Valley and Ross County veterans honor guards, Carl Jividen, 92, has paid tribute to more than his fair share of deceased veterans.
Tags: Memorial Day, US Air Force, US Army, US Coast Guard, US Marines, US Navy
Memorial Day seems to be forgotten for its original intent. Now people think it’s a long weekend signifying the start of summer and a time to break out the BBQs.
Please remember our fallen brothers and sisters this weekend. Fly the flag. Remember that your weekend BBQ came at a great price. Freedom is never free.
By RU Rob
While Memorial Day in the United States often induces thoughts of the beginning of summer, BBQ’s and a long holiday weekend, it is not celebrated as intended. Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being its birthplace but was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
Traditional observance of Memorial Day has sadly diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day as well as its importance to many who have lost someone in the service to the country. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected and have fallen into a state of disrepair. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.
There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 50′s on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye’s Heights.
Tags: Axis of Idiots, Christian, Idiots, Politics, Stupid People, Wounded Warrior Project
This is sad for those wounded warriors that have been helped by this organization. Apparently, they are now politically correct when it comes to their donations. I recommend that you stop giving to the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP).
Instead, please donate to the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA). They are a worthy cause, and I am certain that they won’t turn away a donation based on your religious beliefs.
They need those funds a lot more than WWP does apparently.
After ponying up a $100 fee for the ability to raise money for the nationwide Wounded Warrior Project, staff members of Liberty Baptist Church and Academy in Florida were stunned to receive an email declining their effort.
Claiming the group could not accept donations from the fundraiser described as “religious in nature,” the WWP passed up funding needed to provide outreach services as well as the chance for students in the school to feel the joy of helping out the organization.
The church’s pastor said everyone involved was “heartbroken,” noting fundraising organizers “had to tell our children and parents we can’t give to the Wounded Warrior Project.”
Tags: Military, Second Amendment, Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, VFW
…to my email within 4 minutes of my submission.
What is your position on the Second Amendment? I don’t see it anywhere on your website.
Thank you for contacting VFW National Headquarters. Once details emerge, this issue will be a very interesting debate in the Congress as well as between media pundits and others who have never walked in harm’s way. Please rest assured that your VFW fully supports the Second Amendment. Thanks for your service and for caring enough to write.
William C. Bloomquist
Assistant Director, Administrative Operations
Phone # 816-968-2730