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Washington DC / WWII Veterans

Article about: I had the chance this weekend to go with my College to Washington DC. I was able to view most of the monuments a few museums and the best of all I met several Veterans!!! I only have part of

  1. #1

    Default Washington DC / WWII Veterans

    I had the chance this weekend to go with my College to Washington DC. I was able to view most of the monuments a few museums and the best of all I met several Veterans!!!
    I only have part of the pictures with me so I will post more later.
    In front of the Washington Monument
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    And the Lincoln Memorial
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    The first Vet I met was an Army Gunner that was at Pearl Harbor and was credited for shooting down 2 Japanese aircraft December 7th 1941!
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    The one on the left was in the USMC and was on Okinawa and Iwo Jima, the one on the right was in the Navy and if I remember correctly was a gunner.
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    This Gentleman below was stationed in Texas in the AAF and then served from Africa to the MTO and Europe
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    This vet (Bill Dempsey) was in the 42nd infantry division in WWII
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    This Navy man was deployed on an aircraft carrier in 1945 and then a battleship in occupation. I asked him what he did in his service and he humbly said "nothing", Although he entered late in the war I am sure he had to sacrifice a lot during the war, and leave high school early since he entered the war at age 17
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    Below another Navy veteran of WWII was stationed on a battleship and I think he was a gunner
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    This was the only Korean War veteran I talked to besides some of the other WWII vets that served in Korea and Vietnam as well. He in particular was a tanker in Korea and I think the war is why he is in his wheel chair.
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    This Gentleman was a B-29 pilot and a Colonel post war, he was stationed in the same area as my Great grandfather before he was a pilot in Britain I think he was a navigator then.
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    Below is another WWII Navy vet, He was a college coach and professor, but only speaks occasionally now. He was on the USS Texas (Battle ship) and he was at DDay, but besides that he was mainly in the Pacific theater. He told me about a battle in 1944 when he was running on the Battleship deck and Kamikaze fighters were flying into ships all around him. Then when he saw one only feet above him he could see the pilot and he then screamed and waved at him before he hit and the pilot pulled up at the last second only to hit the side of the ship beside him.
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    These two gentlemen were both pilots in WWII the one on the left flew C-47s and the one on the right flew fighters for the Flying Tigers.
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    The last Gentleman I got to talk to was an amphibious landing vehicle gunner for the navy in WWII, the battle he talked most about was Si pain
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    This was at the Vietnam memorial, People leave notes flowers and sentiments to their lost loved ones and trace their names on the wall.
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    This is at the back of the WWII memorial I have many more pictures of it I will post later
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    Each star represents 100 US Service men that died in WWII
    They are modled after the star banners that mothers and wives would hang for their serving men and if they died they would sew a gold star over them
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    I will add more to this post later and possibly edit some info on the veterans when I find what I wrote down about them.
    Hope you enjoy

  2. #2

    Default Re: Washington DC / WWII Veterans

    Damned Good Job Ben, It's important to let those Gent's know we still care about what they did for our country!!!!
    Semper Fi

  3. #3

    Default Re: Washington DC / WWII Veterans

    It looks like you had superb weather for your trip. What are the blue and white neck tags many of the Vets were wearing? Were they on some sort of visit? It seems so unreal now, to see so Many of the Great Generation old and frail today. In my mind I will always see them as strong and capable of Anything. They're vanishing so Fast now, and more every single day vanish forever. It's Good that you had the chance to mingle with some of them and hear some bits of their stories. In Your lifetime, they will someday soon be as gone as the Doughboys of WWI are gone now. Why is it, I wonder, that only when the Heroes and the Common Soldiers are fading away that people ever seem to think to want to Save their stories and memories from oblivion? In so many cases, they wait until it's too late-when the memories have dimmed or blurred away completely, and Then they will be heard no more Forever. I can think of no more horrible a Fate, than to be the winner of the Tontine.

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  4. #4

    Default Re: Washington DC / WWII Veterans

    The weather was great for the most part, I look like a lobster now... forgot the suntan lotion.
    The tags were from a group of veterans that came together. There were two groups that were funded by donations, one from California and one from Tennessee that paid for the full trip and hotel for the WWII veterans and a few Korean era vets.

    It is sad to see the greatest generation as you said, looking like they are dissapearing. Very few of them could get by on their own or hear well. I do not like to think that my children will never meet a WWII veteran since they will all be gone by the time I have any, but it is why I am compelled to preserve the history / storys of theirs for future generations.

    I did not think I would see a Pearl Harbor Veteran again but I am glad I did. I originally was with a tour group seeing the different monuments but I seperated from them and just talked to the WWII veterans which was much more interesting IMO. I have been interviewing as many veterans as possible since before I started collecting. I will always view them as the most capable as well since the stories I have heard from them, and what I have seen them do.

    I converted a garage into an apartment for my cousins grandpa (a WWII vet) and I visit him frequently. He is in his late 80s and has severely limited mobility. He landed on D-day and was a combat engineer. After he moved into his apartment I went to visit him and somehow out of the left over scrap lumber and pulled nails he created a frame for his hospital bed and lifted it onto it... I guess it was his engineering abilites but people from that generation seem capable of making due with any situation.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Washington DC / WWII Veterans

    Quote by AZPhil View Post
    Damned Good Job Ben, It's important to let those Gent's know we still care about what they did for our country!!!!
    Semper Fi
    Thanks Phil, I thanked every one of the men I posted and I shook their hands, plus a few more that I talked to that I did not get pictures with. When I thanked them they constantly refused that they did anything extraordinary and said that they only did little to nothing. One said to never thank him, but only the ones that did not return that was the same response that my great uncle gave me that passed away last year.
    It is very seldom that you come across gentlemen this humble. I know many people would brag for the things that they have accomplished.

    It was some what sad that they were so excited that I was talking to them as if not that many people cared about their service. I thought it quite funny that at the WWII memorial people were focused on the granite and marble while they had the real thing walking and rolling around right in front of them if only they would have asked...

  6. #6

    Default Re: Washington DC / WWII Veterans

    Theodore Roosevelt is my favorite president. Very few people make it to Theodore Roosevelt Island when then tour DC since it is challenging to get to, and sadly poorly maintained but it was a must for me to visit.
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    The USMC memorial is obviously a depiction of the 2nd flag raising on Iwo Jima. It has an extra hand holding the flag representing that God helped the Marines take the Island. The rocks at the Marines feet are actually from Iwo Jima.
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    Arlington National Cemetery was just as somber as the last time I was there hearing Taps on a bugle while seeing the thousands of graves is pretty chilling.
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    JFK's Eternal Flame at the Cemetery
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    Robert E Lees house on top of Arlington
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Washington DC / WWII Veterans

    Took that same trip about four years ago. Arlington National Cemetary in the spring is particularly beautiful and a moving experience. I very much want to go back again, thanks for sharing.

    Glad you had the chance to meet some of the Greatest Generation! I spent my youth and formative years in an American Legion hall in Queen, NY among them when they were still young and vibrant. They will all be gone soon and the chance to meet and thank them is fading rapidly.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Washington DC / WWII Veterans

    Great work.thank for sharing with us the photos

  9. #9

    Default Re: Washington DC / WWII Veterans

    I am glad to share, I wish I could stay at DC and wait for veterans to visit and record their stories it would be much better than college

    Arlington does have one of the most mystical auroras about it It is hard to explain and quite beautiful. I wish I could have met WWII veterans while they were a bit younger, but since I am not that old myself it was not relly a posibility.

    It bothers me that I only really have two views of WWII veterans, the first a young person like myself as they were during the war, and then an old man about to pass on.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Washington DC / WWII Veterans

    Thanks Ben for a great thread. Meeting Vets is a real privilege.

    Cheers, Ade.
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

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