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Did your family serve in WW2?
Parents
4%
 4%  [ 1 ]
Grandparents
60%
 60%  [ 14 ]
Great-Grandparents
4%
 4%  [ 1 ]
Other Family
30%
 30%  [ 7 ]
Total Votes : 23

dj

Rep: 143.2
votes: 8


PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:04 am Post subject: Your Family in WWII Reply with quote

Let's hear it...tell us if you have family that served during WWII.

My grandfather served as Major in U.S. Marine Corps in WWII and was a career officer.  Also my father's cousin served in Marine Corps.


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papa_whisky

Rep: 42.2
votes: 4


PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:37 am Post subject: Re: Your Family in WWII Reply with quote

None - one grandfather was in WWI, and during WWII was a civil engineer, reported as working on the design and construction of the Mulberry Dock. Being the man that he was never spoke about either.
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ArmeeGruppeSud

Rep: 9.5
votes: 7


PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 12:59 pm Post subject: Re: Your Family in WWII Reply with quote

Paternal Grandfather and one of his brothers served in 50th Battalion AIF in France during WW1.
One served as POW camp guard in WW2.

One of Dad's 1st cousins was among the thousands captured when Singapore fell to Japs and later died on the Burma railway.

Another of his cousins was R.O. in a RAF Lancaster in 1945. He was lucky to arrive late in the war, so only a flew a few night missions over Germany. Reckons seeing German Nachtjagers was terrifying, was pleased they did not see him though (or they were just out of ammo already).

Cheers

AGS

_____


RIP

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kweniston

Rep: 57.9
votes: 1


PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 4:07 pm Post subject: Re: Your Family in WWII Reply with quote

My paternal granddad was in the Dutch army when the Germans invaded, got hit by grenade during battle, but he survived. He never talked about the war afterwards, it was a no go area.
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kawasaky

Rep: 22.2
votes: 5


PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:36 pm Post subject: Re: Your Family in WWII Reply with quote

One grandfather was in Wehrmacht, and luckilly for him he was captured by the western Allies, so he came home in 1949.

Other grandfather was in NOVJ (Tito's partisans) and served in VIII. Dalmatian Corps arty brigade. He finished the war as a captain, and was a politkom for some time.
After the capitulation of Italy grandma and mother had to evacuate to Egypt (El Shatt camp) because the Germans were taking over the former Italian-occupied areas.
Grandmother's sister was in 26th Dalmatian Division and participated in several raids on the German garrisons alongside the British Commando and OSS combat elements.
She and grandpa finished the war in Trieste, both highly decorated several times, after hard fighting with desperate Germans in Croatia and Slovenia.
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johnsilver

Rep: 61.3
votes: 4


PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:17 am Post subject: Re: Your Family in WWII Reply with quote

My father was in the 458th Bomber group. Shot down on 13th mission (B24), hid with underground for 30 days and spent last 9 months of the war in Luftstalag 4.

His brother served in the Army, fought in the Aleutian Islands. Kiska and Attu invasions. Joined day after Pearl Harbor.


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Last edited by johnsilver on Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:25 am; edited 1 time in total
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slpatgun

Rep: 11.2


PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:04 pm Post subject: Re: Your Family in WWII Reply with quote

One of my dads brothers ferryed B-29s from the factory to various places in the Pacific, the other brother was a tail gunner on a B-17 late in the war.
My moms brothers, one was in the submarine service from 42'- 45', the other was on a LST that landed on D-Day at Omaha.
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MajorFrank

Rep: 41.8
votes: 6


PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:46 am Post subject: Re: Your Family in WWII Reply with quote

Both grandfathers were in the Finnish military through all three 'wars', Winter War, Continuation War and Lapland War.

Other was a combat messenger and the other was an artillery NCO. Both survived although both had very close calls. The combat messenger one was once pinned down behind a tree stump with the Soviets shooting at him, his buddies were able to shoot the Soviets and relieve him. The artillery NCO one was once blown high into the air because a round exploded inside the cannon. Both survived the war.
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fry30

Rep: 2.3


PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:04 pm Post subject: Re: Your Family in WWII Reply with quote

My Grandfather was a coxswain on a LST in Normandy. Although I was unable as a child to speak with him about this, I've recently found a diary of letters he sent to my grandmother detailing his time in Britain before the attack.

Not the most interesting of duties, combat wise, but I'm sure he had his fun. He did, however, bust into a liquor store in Boston when he was going to school on the GI Bill. The ringleader of this mission? Timothy Leary.
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diggin.robat

Rep: 39.7
votes: 2


PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:05 am Post subject: Re: Your Family in WWII Reply with quote

My father´s dad was a Stuka-pilot on the eastern front and North Africa. Later transfered to the "Fallschirmpioniere", kind of Para-Sapper. Was taken POW at Rotterdam early 1945 and died in a canadian POW camp, mabye after injuries sufferd before. One brother-in-law was an infantry man, died from fever at Smolensk,Russia. Another was in the Kriegsmarine and survived the war. Grandma was a fashion draughtswoman, later transfered to war industry, making drawings of guns parts. Was seveval times bombed out in Cologne and elsewhere, strafed by fighter planes and was forced out of her home in Czech at the end of the war.

My mom´s dad, living in Borneo was a forced laborer on a japanese captured US destroyer. It was sunk maybe shortly before the australian invasion of Labuan. He survived that and lived  a carpenter´s and oil palm farmer´s  life until 2001.


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johnsilver

Rep: 61.3
votes: 4


PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:35 pm Post subject: Re: Your Family in WWII Reply with quote

fry30 wrote (View Post):
I was unable as a child to speak with him about this, I've recently found a diary of letters he sent to my grandmother detailing his time in Britain before the attack.


Wholly understandable. Even though had the good fortune to enjoy my own father for 42 years, he would rarely speak of his own time in the war until the last 10 years or so and then he put most of it into writing. It had to have been a painful experience for most everyone involved and I really appreciate (at least) reading how many different people and countries were involved just here.

The things that he would speak of, such as the course, dark, heavy break filled with saw dust the Germans gave them each day (1 slice) for meals and how he had wanted to bring a loaf home with him.. Things like that and I mean no disrespect at all to the German people here with that.


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dj

Rep: 143.2
votes: 8


PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:03 pm Post subject: Re: Your Family in WWII Reply with quote

Interesting stories here...I thought that most of us are of the generation mid-30's - 50's or so with grandparents whom served.

Next step is to do research of the actual units they served in, etc.  Re: American WWII veterans our govt has decent archive of records and you can request service history at  http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/

Wondering if other countries have similar archives?  I am going to send request to my government and see what I can find out.


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Therion

Rep: 27.4
votes: 4


PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:57 pm Post subject: Re: Your Family in WWII Reply with quote

My grandfather was in concentration camp. I guess he was a Jew.


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johnsilver

Rep: 61.3
votes: 4


PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:06 am Post subject: Re: Your Family in WWII Reply with quote

dj wrote (View Post):
Interesting stories here...I thought that most of us are of the generation mid-30's - 50's or so with grandparents whom served.

Next step is to do research of the actual units they served in, etc.  Re: American WWII veterans our govt has decent archive of records and you can request service history at  http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/

Wondering if other countries have similar archives?  I am going to send request to my government and see what I can find out.


Here is a VERY in detail unit of my father if are interested, including some pictures I sent in to this website of him, his crew and some items, including his Bible that he kept track of his missions they went on, as well as a very long transcript of his story when they were trying to evade capture after being shot down over Holland.

There is like a 40 page total, but The kind gentleman who hosts this site posted around 4 pages total on this site, including 4-5 pictures of items and people he stayed with while with the underground, his crew etc...

Anyway.. The op picture on the link below.. He is the 3rd from the right.. Sgt. William "Billiy" Owens.

458th Bomber Group


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Himmelreich

Rep: 0.2


PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:34 am Post subject: Re: Your Family in WWII Reply with quote

I've been told by my Aunt on my father's side of the family that my grandfather was an officer in the Canadian Army during the second world war. Unfortunately that's all I know about him since he took his own life in the 80s before I could ever know him and learn more.

My other grandfather's brother served in the Army as well and operated a PIAT as well as a Bren I believe. He served in Caen among other places.
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pagskier

Rep: 25


PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:21 pm Post subject: Re: Your Family in WWII Reply with quote

My grandfather got in Candian army in 1939 serve as truck driver 1st and then bike driver and ended up being in an amored div.
he almost landed on Dieppe in 1942, but his landing boat was struck by (he told me an 8Cool but mostly a mortar shell or a 75mm shell.
So he never landed, he then got in July in normandy and moved up the french coast-belgium-holland and then germany.

His brothers were in Marine Corps, U.S. Navy (submarine), and the otehr was in the marchant ship going from england to russia in North sea

Him on his motorbike in 1941 I think in england.

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Ejergard

Rep: 8.1


PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:18 pm Post subject: Re: Your Family in WWII Reply with quote

My great grampa worked on a merchant ship during the war. He got torpedoed twice, and survived!
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CSO_Talorgan

Rep: 51.9
votes: 1


PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:37 am Post subject: Re: Your Family in WWII Reply with quote

Both my grandfathers were in reserved occupations. One was a mining engineer pre-war, so he wasn't going to be given a rifle until the Germans were marching up the High Street! The other was a bit too old, so they passed him over during the initial draft in 1939. Officially he was in the Naval Reserve but when they came back for him in 1941 to actually send him to sea it was to discover that he was running the only factory in the UK (maybe even in the Empire) making the pistols which fire depth charges. Hope nobody here lost any relatives on U-Boats!

One of my great aunts lived in Coventry which received "a bit of attention" from the Luftwaffe in 1941. When the family extracted from their shelter in the smoke and mist of morning it was to find the fins of an unexploded bomb sticking out of the back lawn! Still it was wartime and these things were to be expected and the house looked intact so they decided to cheer themselves up with a sing song round the piano ... but it wasn't playing very well, so they pulled it away from the wall to have a look at the back. That was when they found the hole in the wall and the large bomb splinter embedded in the back of the piano!

The closest relative who did any fighting was a great uncle who went ashore at Walchern and was one of only three from his company to survive. He was not wounded physically but was "never the same again" as they say. Saw too many of his buddies being blown away. Took to the bottle and died young.

One of my grandfather's cousins was in the hotel trade before WW II. He volunteered for the US Navy (he was American) who thought he'd make a good logistics officer because of his pre-war experience. He was determined to become a gunnery officer though! They compromised by making him the gunnery officer of an attack transport. However, it didn't do much attacking. He sailed the seven seas, saw the world and seems to have had rather a good time. The closest he came to action was during the Invasion of Sicily when his ship was offloading several miles offshore. Through his binoculars he saw a German plane which dropped a bomb on another ship, and missed!

In the First World War there were no males of fighting age but virtually all my great aunts had husbands or future husbands in action. One of them was decorated four times and died in the 1970s of emphysema, triggered by the war gasses he was exposed to. He refused to speak of what he'd been through until shortly before he died and then only because his illness partially disinhibited him through hypoxia.

He told my Dad of how he had earned his fourth medal. It was during the German offensive of 1918 03 (?) He was in charge of the escort for a field ambulance which was based in a chateau. When they learned that the Huns were coming they sent the medics to safety. He then had enough time to send his men away while he resolved to buy them some time with the unit's Lewis Gun.

The chateau's kitchen overlooked a walled garden. There was some form of hatch next to the back door which was ideal for the gun.

He had a bit of time to wait (what was going through his head?) but presently Germans came over the wall and milled around the garden. They were quite non-chalant, oblivious to the danger they were in. What haunted Uncle Dave was their numbers. They just kept coming over that wall (what kind of nightmares would that have given you?) until the best part of a company was in the garden, penned in like deer. Eventually some of them decided to wander up to the house which is when he realised how young they were; schoolboys in uniform against a four year veteran. Needless to say Dave waited until the closest of them was reaching for the door handle before he dropped the hatch and opened up. Lewis Guns were not MG 42s but the target had no cover and nowhere to run.

How long would it have taken to fire off all your ammunition in such a situation?

Eventually he ran out, abandoned the gun and escaped through the chateau and out the front.

Bet he ran fast!

My Dad was one of the last National Servicemen. He spend 18/12 helping fight insurgents (as they'd be called now) in Aden and East Africa. Obviously this was a bit less intense than Operation Michael but they did shoot at him and he once had to pull wounded men from the top of a burning oil tank after the Mau Mau blew up the local depot ... and to this day he is really pissed off that they didn't give him a medal for it!

He coveted Uncle Dave's medals; Uncle Dave coveted Dad's rank.

It'll be 2018 before I'll be too old to be conscripted.
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johnsilver

Rep: 61.3
votes: 4


PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:35 am Post subject: Re: Your Family in WWII Reply with quote

Interesting and WW1 stories are quite fascinating also CSO Talorgan.

My Grandfather was in the USN prior to WW1, got out just before the US entered because he was afraid of the oncoming war, then once the US entered received the horrible draft notice into the US Army!

He rushed down to the Naval recruiters office, went back to the Navy (lost a pay grade) and instead of heading off to war on a Tin can as he had served on, went to sea on a floating target troop transport USS Pocahontas.

The ship made 8 trips back and forth and only once was there an event.. When she was spotted by a German U boat and shelled.. The Pocahontas was equipped with old Spanish-American war guns my grandfather said that were outranged by the deck gun of the UBoat and they were falling short of the sub, but the sub was luckily missing them. They had to zig-zag away from the sub and speed away at full steam. A lucky miss the sub was astern when they were 1st spotted and a story my grandfather told me many times over the years.



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