memoirs_of_wwii memoirs_of_wwii

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Memoirs Of WWII  Events and stories of the Second World War, straight from the people who lived them.

http://sabetaypublishing.com/sabetay_memoir_book.htm

I was honored to be invited to the 93rd birthday celebration of US Marine and WWII Veteran Bill Johnson at @missionbbq today.
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My 3 year old daughter, Charli became quick friends with Bill. They spent lunchtime talking about Charli's "Frozen" toys and how cool it is that the two of them are 90 years apart in age.
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Happy birthday, Bill. Here's to many more!
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#wwii #ww2 #worldwartwo #worldwar2 #worldwarii #secondworldwar #greatestgeneration #veteran #ww2veteran #wwiiveteran #missionbbq

Paul Theken enlisted with the US Navy Air Corps in 1942 as an Aviation Radioman. Stationed in Jacksonville, FL, he would fly up and down the Atlantic coast on the lookout for German submarines and the wreckage of American ships. Though the continental United States was relatively safe throughout the duration of the war, German submarines patrolled the Atlantic - often dangerously close to the American coast - in order to seek out and attack ships carrying Allied troops and supplies.
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In 1945, with only three months of required service remaining and with the pre-war experience of working in a bank, Paul was sent to Pearl Harbor to manage a special Navy vault. In this vault was a filing system containing coded messages, instructions, and routing information for Navy ships heading into the Pacific Theater. "The officers would come in with a grocery list of things they needed from the vault, and we would find it for them."
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While working at the vault, Paul met Joyce. She had decided a few years earlier that she wasn't going to act like a war happening on the other side of the world had nothing to do with her. She enlisted with the Navy. Once they met, Paul and Joyce hit it off immediately, spending the last three months of his military service dating. The two were married in October of 1945 and remained together until Joyce passed away over seventy years later. Although he greatly misses his wife, Paul's face still lights up - just like in the photo above - when he talks about her.
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#wwii #worldwartwo #worldwarii #worldwar2 #ww2 #secondworldwar #greatestgeneration #usnavy #veteran #veterans #navy #navyaircorps #wwiiveteran #ww2veteran

A beautiful article written on July 4th, 1944 by Al McIntosh of the Rock County Star-Herald.
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#ww2 #wwii #worldwar2 #worldwarii #worldwartwo #secondworldwar #greatestgeneration #independenceday #july4th

"Our ears were glued to the radio on December 7th, 1941.", Marion Scopelit said. He was a very young man at the time, but he vividly remembers hearing the news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. From that moment, life in the United States as he knew it changed drastically.
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"Gas was rationed, food was rationed." Even the domestic production of automobiles was brought to a halt. From 1942 to the end of the war in 1945, not a single automobile was produced in the entire United States. Instead, automotive factories produced vehicles and weapons for the war effort.
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"During the night your lights were supposed to be out with the blinds down, because you had no idea if they were going to attack here." At the time, Marion's hometown of Canton, OH was home to several major steel-producing companies. When the U.S. entered the war, those steel mills ceased normal operations and turned their efforts entirely towards war production, making Canton a potential "prime target" for any Axis enemy brave enough to bring the war to the continental United States. --------------------
Fortunately, such an attack never came. Marion enrolled in the Reserved Officers Training Core in 1948, graduated in '52, and served his country with the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Marion and his wife recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.
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#wwii #worldwartwo #worldwarii #worldwar2 #ww2 #secondworldwar #greatestgeneration #koreanwar #veteran #veterans #usarmy

I appreciate the opportunity to share one of the rare lighthearted moments of war. It seems that Bill always was - and continues to be - a jokester. --------------------
During the long battle for Okinawa, Bill was assigned to provide protection for a company of construction engineers. One day Bill happened upon - of all things - a fake grenade. "What a dummy grenade was doing all the way over there, I don't know." But it instantly gave him an idea.
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Not far away, a few of the construction engineers were resting in a tent. "I went in the tent and there was six of them in there, talking. And I had the pin pulled." A smile started to creep over Bill's face as he went on about this prank that he pulled some 72 years ago. "I said, 'Hey fellas, I can't get this pin back in ---'" Then he fumbled the dummy grenade and dropped it to the ground, eyes wide with faux panic. The engineers, flush with genuine panic, bolted. "They were going out all sides of the tent." --------------------
Bill still laughs when telling this story. Today, he is confined to a wheelchair and speaks slowly and quietly. But in moments like this, you can see that his spirit is as lively as it was 70 years ago.
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To read more about Bill, click here #billjohnsonwwii
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#wwii #worldwartwo #worldwarii #worldwar2 #ww2 #secondworldwar #greatestgeneration #veteran #veterans #wwiiveteran #ww2veteran #okinawa #marines #usmarines

Now living in the twilight of his life, US Marine Bill Johnson had a very specific wish: to be buried in his uniform. Unfortunately, he no longer had it. But when Bill was accepted to be on board an Honor Flight in May of 2017, the team from Honor Flight Cleveland immediately went to work to make his wish a reality.
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With the help of Stars-N-Stripes Co., they were able to secure a replica of Bill's original uniform that not only fit, but was complete with the ribbons and medals he had achieved during his service. Though the weather topped 80 degrees fahrenheit on the day of his Honor Flight, Bill remained in his uniform for the entire tour through Washington D.C. Members of Honor Flight Cleveland said that from the start of the day - beginning around 5:00am - to the end - around midnight - Bill's eyes never closed once, but were wide open with excitement.
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To read more about Bill, click here #billjohnsonwwii
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#wwii #worldwartwo #worldwarii #worldwar2 #ww2 #secondworldwar #greatestgeneration #veteran #veterans #wwiiveteran #ww2veteran #honorflight #marines #usmarines

Bill Johnson was among the first wave of US Marines to hit the beaches of Saipan in 1944. As his landing craft drew closer to the beach, he noticed small repetitive splashes in the water all around the boat. Being new to combat, he asked a veteran what they were. "He told me, 'You dumb bastard! Those are bullets!'" As the landing craft hit the shore, the hail fire of Japanese bullets only increased. Bill's warrant officer, peering through the relative safety of a small slot in the landing craft's wall, "...got hit right between the eyes. The platoon sergeant went to get over the side and got hit in the shoulder. The next guy got hit in the leg. The next guy made it over. Then it was my turn." Bill jumped over the side and hit the water without a scratch. He and the remaining Marines from his platoon made their way up the beach.
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Finding shelter from enemy fire behind a small ridge, Bill's platoon was pinned down and unable to make any major progress. Then came support. "A Navy bombardment... That's a wonderful thing to have on your side." The impressive but devastating fire power of the US Navy screamed overhead and exploded just ahead of their position, initially shaking the Marines, but also giving them the confidence to move forward.
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Bill's platoon spent the next several months fighting their way across Saipan. He remembers the feeling of combat and the emotional toll it takes. "It's a strange feeling, but we didn't have time to reflect on it." For Bill, once Saipan was secure, it was on to Okinawa.
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To read more about Bill, click here #billjohnsonwwii --------------------
#wwii #worldwartwo #worldwarii #worldwar2 #ww2 #secondworldwar #greatestgeneration #veteran #veterans #wwiiveteran #ww2veteran #saipan #marines #usmarines

I had the privilege of watching US Army mortarman Ernie Birkhead take in the sights of the National WWII Memorial for his first time. It wasn't long before his eyes began to water. The tears flowed all the more as he remembered the friends he lost in battle. "The ones who never made it home...those are the real heroes."
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#wwii #worldwartwo #worldwarii #worldwar2 #ww2 #secondworldwar #greatestgeneration #veteran #veterans #wwiiveteran #ww2veteran #nationalwwiimemorial

Ernie Birkhead served as a US Army mortarman during the Allied invasion of Italy. He took part in the battle of Monte Cassino, and the invasion of Rome, which was liberated on his 19th birthday.
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Ernie was wounded in the legs by shrapnel from a German mortar round and received the Purple Heart for his wounds. Instead of being returned to the front lines, he was placed in the Army band where he spent the remainder of the war playing trombone and entertaining his fellow troops.
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#wwii #worldwartwo #worldwarii #worldwar2 #ww2 #secondworldwar #greatestgeneration #veteran #veterans #wwiiveteran #ww2veteran #montecassino #rome

Took the family on a bike ride through D.C. and visited our favorite spot: The National WWII Memorial. As soon as we arrived we met a new friend, US Army mortarman Ernie Birkhead [photo 3]. More posts on Mr. Birkhead coming soon!
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The Freedom Wall [photo 1] is decorated with 4,048 gold stars, each one representing 100 Americans who died during the war.
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Finally, a big, overdue thank you to my wife [photo 4]. She has been an incredible support throughout this journey - and she has a genuine interest in the history 😁 win, win!
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#ww2 #wwii #worldwar2 #worldwarii #worldwartwo #secondworldwar #greatestgeneration #nationalwwiimemorial #ww2veteran #wwiiveteran #veteran #veterans

On this day, 73 years ago, the largest seaborne invasion in history hit the beaches of Normandy, France and turned the tables of the Second World War. Veterans and historians alike speculate that, had the invasion - code named "Operation Overlord" - not been a success, Hitler's grasp of Western Europe may have never been broken. Today I'd like to highlight two veterans who know all too well just what it took for the Allies to win D-Day.
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Floyd Keeney [photo 2] was in the first wave of soldiers to hit Omaha Beach - by far the bloodiest beach of the battle. To read more about Floyd, click here #floydkeeneywwii
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Although James Simmons [photo 3] didn't arrive at Omaha Beach until several days after the fighting had concluded, there still remained a wall of bodies, as far as the eye could see. To read more about James, click here #jamessimmonswwii
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#wwii #ww2 #worldwartwo #worldwarii #worldwar2 #secondworldwar #greatestgeneration #veteran #veterans #wwiiveteran #ww2veteran #dday #operationoverlord #normandy #thelongestday

Kenny Frahm was a gunner aboard US merchant ships in the European theatre of WWII. Merchant ships brought troops, supplies, weapons, vehicles, and munitions across the seas and to the front lines, and were therefore under constant threat of enemy attack. Kenny manned the 5-inch guns and defended his ship from many German U-boat (submarine) and Luftwaffe (German Air Force) attacks.
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One of his most vivid memories is of the German V-1 rockets, known by the troops as "buzz bombs" because of the loud sound they made flying overhead. "I once saw a whole row of French houses destroyed by a V-1 rocket. Another went right over my head and nearly shook me off of the dock."
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Kenny doesn't say much these days, but he still loves to laugh and has a great (and ornery) sense of humor.

#wwii #ww2 #worldwartwo #worldwarii #worldwar2 #secondworldwar #greatestgeneration #veteran #veterans #wwiiveteran #ww2veteran #v1rocket #buzzbomb

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