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    WWII Parachute Infantry
    D-Day Normandy Invasion
    2nd Marine Division at Tarawa
    5th Marine Division at Iwo Jima
    USS Belleau Wood CVL-24

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  1. Ah, I remember the Lucky Lady! My dad And I have gone to Planes of Fame for many years, ever since I was a kid. I've always been a warbird buff and on one of our many visits one of the staff members let me crawl around in the plane's fuselage. Needless to say, that made an 8 year old airplane nut's day all those years ago! More recently, I've had the chance to discuss with some of their docents, including one who was a B-17 ball turret gunner, about the planes. Great planes and docents. I can't recommend the place enough! It's one of my favorite air museums of all time, up there with the Hendon museum in London.
  2. Don Burgett's "Currahee" and Robert Leckie's "Helmet for My Pillow" are both highly regarded classics, and rightfully so! The former is a memoir of a US paratrooper during the Normandy invasion and the latter traces a Marine at Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucster, and Peleliu. Both are really vivid and engrossing reads.
  3. Great Great Great grandfather - Civil War surgeon, Illinois Infantry Great Great Great (can't remember exact relation) - Civil War, Ohio Infantry Great Grandfather - WWI signal corps, 35th Infantry Division Grandfather - WWII U.S. Marine, ship's detachment, light aircraft carrier U.S.S. Belleau Wood (CVL-24) Great Uncle - Korean War USMC fighter pilot, flew F4U Corsairs with the "Checkerboard" squadron
  4. I read that exact same account in an old Aviation History magazine. Simply mind boggling that that was allowed to happen...
  5. Very cool. I also have a group named to a B-24 navigator who was interred in Switzerland. His plane suffered engine failure, or all things, as opposed to actually getting shot down. It's exciting to see another one. This really is one of those intriguing elements of history that most people either overlook or don't know about. Nice find!
  6. Any names or history on the forest green uniforms?
  7. I can't help but deeply respect the actions of Pvt. Lloyd McCarter, who won the Medal of Honor on Corregidor with the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment. Here is the citation: He was a scout with the regiment which seized the fortress of Corregidor, Philippine Islands. Shortly after the initial parachute assault on 16 February 1945, he crossed 30 yards of open ground under intense enemy fire, and at pointblank range silenced a machinegun with hand grenades. On the afternoon of 18 February he killed 6 snipers. That evening, when a large force attempted to bypass his company, he voluntarily moved to an exposed area and opened fire. The enemy attacked his position repeatedly throughout the night and was each time repulsed. By 2 o'clock in the morning, all the men about him had been wounded; but shouting encouragement to his comrades and defiance at the enemy, he continued to bear the brunt of the attack, fearlessly exposing himself to locate enemy soldiers and then pouring heavy fire on them. He repeatedly crawled back to the American line to secure more ammunition. When his submachine gun would no longer operate, he seized an automatic rifle and continued to inflict heavy casualties. This weapon, in turn, became too hot to use and, discarding it, he continued with an M-l rifle. At dawn the enemy attacked with renewed intensity. Completely exposing himself to hostile fire, he stood erect to locate the most dangerous enemy positions. He was seriously wounded; but, though he had already killed more than 30 of the enemy, he refused to evacuate until he had pointed out immediate objectives for attack. Through his sustained and outstanding heroism in the face of grave and obvious danger, Pvt. McCarter made outstanding contributions to the success of his company and to the recapture of Corregidor.
  8. I have a copy. I haven't made it all the way through yet, but it covers his combat all the way from North Africa to the Bulge. At the least, there is some valuable information within. Also, perhaps the book has jump rosters in the back for the 509's jumps into North Africa and Southern France. It helped me research one of my groups, when I came across the trooper's name in the jump manifest for B Co. in Southern France. Needless to say, that was pretty exciting. Also, there are not many memoirs written by 509 troopers, so that makes his story more unique too.
  9. What a neat grouping! Lt. Hassenzahl shared his experience of being wounded in Normandy in Patrick O'Donnell's book "Beyond Valor." Very interesting first person account. Any chance you knew the Lt. or had the chance to hear his stories in person?
  10. I got my copy of Sampson's memoir from Amazon, about 5-6 years ago. It is still listed there, but the price has skyrocketed since they only did one round of publishing
  11. Several of my many favorites: "Helmet For My Pillow" by Robert Leckie - with the 1st Marine Div. on Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester, and Peleliu "Time Out for Combat" by Otis Sampson - Paratrooper with 505 PIR in Sicily, Italy, Normandy, and Holland "God Isn't Here" by Richard Overton - Navy Corpsman on Iwo Jima "Jump Into the Valley of the Shadow" by Dwayne Burns - 508 PIR paratrooper in Normandy, Holland, the Bulge, and Germany
  12. Man, I love the jump jackets that have pocket patches sewn on the chest. Great way to show that unit pride. That is a pristine piece. Do you have any other items from that local vet?
  13. Wow! That is a beautiful grouping. It's just so complete. I'm surprised he had so many sets of wings, especially with devices. I always figured that troopers tended to own several sets of wings, but probably only decorated one with devices, if any, since it could be a pain to get to the regimental dentist or whoever was drilling the wings. Very cool!
  14. Here is the above mentioned group, from a paramarine who saw action on Choiseul and Iwo Jima. Small, but the items represent a very unique story which was very fortunately recorded in the paramarine's WWII memoirs.
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