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View Poll Results: What is your level of military service?
Currently in the military (active or reserve) 30 12.30%
No longer in the military 110 45.08%
Never served in the military 104 42.62%
Voters: 244. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-05-2020, 12:55 PM
Hybris Hybris is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 85

i returned to the force in 2013, next year will be my 16th year since 1999. But as a civilian since september and on the J section with much better pay i can keep the best of both worlds.But the condition has deteriorated and the uniform somehow is mysteriously smaller. Strange.
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Old 05-05-2021, 10:54 PM
Black Vulmea Black Vulmea is offline
No. Appearing 30-500
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Long Beach, California
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Originally Posted by jester View Post
And then we had the Airborne Boys holed up in Bastogne, and then it was Patons 3rd Army was it who came to the rescue . . .
It was Patton's 3rd Army which very thoughtfully brought the 101st extra ammunition and hot coffee.

No one 'rescued' the 101st.

(My uncle served in 327th GIR at Market-Garden and Bastogne. He'd never forgive me if I let that pass.)
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Old 05-05-2023, 08:42 PM
Homer Homer is offline
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Originally Posted by Black Vulmea View Post
It was Patton's 3rd Army which very thoughtfully brought the 101st extra ammunition and hot coffee.

No one 'rescued' the 101st.

(My uncle served in 327th GIR at Market-Garden and Bastogne. He'd never forgive me if I let that pass.)
Three uncles on both sides of the family in the ETO:

First was in the 1/401 GIR which became the 3/327 GIR of the 101st ABN. Landed by sea on D-Day and by glider in Market Garden, finished up in Bavaria. He kept a framed picture of Christmas Day dinner in Bastogne up on his wall until he died. He called it the best and worst Christmas of his life. Eternally proud to have been a “glider rider” and to have used his GI bill to be the first in the family to go to college.

Second was an M4 tanker in 2/66 and 3/66 AR of 2 AD. Joined the division prewar at Benning, Africa, Sicily, and ended the war in 45 just short of the Elbe thanks to the Volkssturm. Survived two other vehicle losses and was one of two members of his original prewar platoon still around in 45. Married in to our dry Methodist family. Never drank after he came home, but (to my aunt’s discomfort) knew every local tipple from Sicily to Germany, and could recall them when he came to see my OSUT graduation at Knox.

Third was in 2/119th IN, 30th ID. Landed with them in France, through Mortain all the way into Germany. Enlisted in 43 as a private and was a SSG leading a squad across the Roer by 45.

Another uncle was an underage 40mm ammo handler on an APD off Okinawa and later prepping for the invasion of Kyushu. As soon as they were sure the war had ended his leading PO told him he was underage and headed home. He went home, finished school and college a before finding himself as an infantry platoon leader in Korea, airborne company commander in the Cuban missile crisis, and battalion commander in Vietnam before closing out the US presence in Ethiopia.

Last edited by Homer; 05-06-2023 at 05:59 AM.
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Old 05-05-2023, 10:01 PM
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Targan Targan is offline
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 3,737

Being antipodean, the men on both sides of my family fought in Africa and the Pacific.

My great great uncle on my Dad's side joined up with an Australian colonial unit during the Boer War. Two weeks after arriving in South Africa, first combat patrol, copped a bullet to the temple.

His nephew, my grandfather, was exempt from service (a police officer and married with kids) but he joined the New Zealand Army during WWII anyway. He joined as an enlisted soldier, but was quickly granted a field commission. At first he was Transport Corps, but ended up commanding a company of Bren Carriers as an infantry captain. He fought at El Alamein in North Africa, and then on Crete. His war ended when a Wehrmacht bullet shot off half his moustache, but he recovered well with only a modest scar to show for it, and went back to police service after the war. He ended his career as the Commissioner of Police in Fiji.

Mum's grandfather was an Aussie ANZAC, serving in a Field Ambulance unit. He was a stretcher bearer at Gallipoli. The war horrified him so greatly he became a priest after WWI and moved to New Zealand. I was baptised in the church he built with his own hands.

My Mum's uncle was a New Zealander but served in the RAF during WWII. He was posted to Singapore, and when the garrison surrendered to the Japanese he wasn't interested in being a prisoner of war, so he joined a group of Australians in borrowing a fishing vessel and heading for Darwin. They stopped at a small, remote island in the Indonesian Archipelago, seeking food and water. Unfortunately there was a misunderstanding with the locals and they killed him.

Dad was an NZAF aircraft mechanic during the Vietnam War. He served on an airbase in Thailand.
"It is better to be feared than loved" - Nicolo Machiavelli

Last edited by Targan; 05-05-2023 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 05-08-2023, 03:24 AM
Ursus Maior Ursus Maior is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Ruhr Area, Germany
Posts: 327

Different nationalities, different war stories. Of my three grandfathers - and why I have one spare is another, albeit postwar story - two were ardent nazis. One was a cook and hotel owner in Switzerland before the war. But he was so bad in running his own business that they had to leave the country for the Reich. His side of the story always was that he wanted to go back anyway. Not sure, since debt was mounting.

He participated on two around the world trips as a cook on board German CL Karlsruhe, both of which he photo documented. This was about the only good thing for his family he ever did. During the war, he rejoined the Kriegsmarine and again was a cook on CA Admiral Hipper. After the big units were restricted mostly to harbors and fjords, he was transferred to Luxembourg were the Kriegsmarine apparently ran a recuperation site for U-Boat crews. He remained as a cook there until the Allies liberated the site and he became a POW.

Never met the guy, which probably was good for both of us. My dad grew up seeing his father beat his wife and when my dad stood up to him at the age of 16, he got beaten up to.

The other nazi grandfather wasn't known for his violence though. More a simple fellow, I guess. He was an infantry grunt in Greece after the Balkans campaign. At one point, his unit was supposed to get visited by the brass, but lacked a cook to take care of the higher-ups dropping in. Somehow, the job landed on my grand father's feet and he seems to have done a half decent job. For this or any other military bureacracy reason, he remained a cook until the end of the war.

My last grandfather, the one who wasn't a nazi, was drafted in 1939 and trained in a signalling unit. He was deployed to Finland for most of the war. When the Finns gave the Wehrmacht the boot to comply with the peace terms they had signed with the USSR, the situation heated up a bit until they had redeployed to Northern Norway. He remained there until being relased from his POW status.

He met his future wife while in the service. My grandmother was a Blitmädel, aka a member of the German auxiliary corps, handling office and signalling duties. They fell in love and when the order came that he was to be transferred to the Eastern Front after a promotion to sergeant, she talked his officer into demanding that he stayed. Certain personnel in core functions could be exempted from these drafts (known in German as "Operation Heldenklau", lit. "operation hero snatching"). My grandfather hence coined the family phrase "lieber ein lebender Oberstabsgefreiter als ein toter Unteroffizier", translating into: "rather be a living specialist than a dead sergeant". Not sticking your head out and taking the safer route probably saved him from his older brother's fate: he was a tank commander and got killed near Orel in 1943.

The third of these brothers had been a police officer before the war, got drafted during the war with his division occupying Yugoslavia. He refused to visit the country after the war, fearing they might not let him go there. No one ever knew, if these fears had a specific reason or not. However, Tito's government was known to prosecute war criminals when they could take hold of them for decades and Yugoslavia was a beloved tourist destination for Germans during the 60s and 70s.

The only sister of these three brothers served as a nurse during the war, staying in Germay. She married grandfather No. 2 - hence the connection - and became my grandmother.

My father never served in the army. When Germany rearmed in 1956, men born in several cohorts (most of the 1930s) were exempt from service. One of his school buddies joined voluntarily, though. First he entered the German Coast Guard and then, when large parts of it were transferred to the nascent navy, he switched into the Bundesmarine. He retired in 1989 as rear admiral lower half, after having commanded a fast attack craft squadron and then serving in NATO HQ in Brussels. He died in 2019. I was the first in my family to serve again, after more than five decades of hiatus. Currently in the light infantry reserve.
Liber et infractus
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Old 05-18-2023, 05:35 PM
micromachine micromachine is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 48
Default Family Service

I am from a former colony of the United Kingdom, and my family was well represented in the WW1 and WW2.
My maternal great grandfather was an NCO in the Royal Newfoundland Regiment (an infantry unit) during WW1. His service was post Gallipoli & post Beaumont Hamel (were the regiment was decimated). He brought home a war bride from the UK after the war.
One of my maternal great uncles was a wireless air gunner with Bomber Command, while the other was a Merchant Marine during the later stages of WW2.
My maternal grandfather joined the RCAF during WW2, hoping to become a pilot and see the world. Due to poor eyesight, he trained in Canada, and was posted back to Argentia, Newfoundland for the duration of the war in an admin position.
My paternal grandfather joined the RAF and was a ground based radar technician, with postings in the UK and India.
My maternal cousin is serving in the RCN as an engineering officer, and I have toured with him on the ship while in port.
Mty father nor myself have served.
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