Most everyone is aware of the World War II amphibious landings at Normandy, Iwo Jima, Okinawa and many other islands. However, some armchair generals may not be aware of the invasion of Angaur Island in the Pacific in 1944.
America’s fighting men and women have endured the hardships of combat for almost 250 years. However, those hardships haven’t prevented Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen from celebrating the Holy holiday. CombatTales.com presents a look at American war fighters celebrating Christmas during times of war.
The Browning M-2 .50 Cal machine gun is still in heavy use by the U.S. Armed Forces today. Check out one of the first training for the .50 cal videos produced by the Army.
One hundred years ago the United States of America was watching anxiously while European powers slaughtered each other. In 1917 America would enter World War I and catch the tail end of the worst war the world had experienced up to that time. The U.S. would go on to suffer over 320,000 casualties. Look inside for rare video footage of the U.S. Army in World War I.
The First Infantry Division of the United States Army is one of the proudest units in that service. During the Vietnam War the “Big Red 1” saw 6,146 of its soldiers die in combat, a figure that exceeds the total US forces losses in the recently completed Iraq War. Look inside for combat photos of the First Division in the Vietnam War. Some of these photos may never have been published on the web before. These photos were taken during the 1965-1967 time period.
It was a bad day for the terrorist Taliban when an Army Apache helicopter showed up to clean house. Look inside for amazing video of American soldiers as they fight terrorism with terror.
Being in the Army has its perks- free food, housing, travel- the list goes on. However, when you are deployed in wartime situations, sometimes a soldier may not feel that way. I have had the pleasure of being deployed on numerous occasions, some of which only lasted a few days and others lasted almost a year. My second tour in Iraq had to be the most memorable and here is why…
To Whom It May Concern
Camp Liberty, Baghdad 2007
The walk back from the Chapel was different this time. Not because he was in our squad and someone I had spoken to moments before the death, not because this was the fourth casualty our unit had suffered so far this month, the mind somehow blocks those truths out. This was a new emotion, something that many of us must have been feeling for awhile now and yet still managed to keep buried for so long now. This was Hate, pure and simple. Hate for the people, hate for the country, and hate for our damned selves for having to be there.
Medal of Honor Citation: Richard I. Bong (Air Mission)
Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Army Air Corps.
Place and date: Over Borneo and Leyte, 10 October to 15 November 1944.
Entered service at: Poplar, Wis.
Birth: Poplar, Wis.
G.O. No.: 90, 8 December 1944.
Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty in the Southwest Pacific area from 10 October to 15 November 1944. Though assigned to duty as gunnery instructor and neither required nor expected to perform combat duty, Maj. Bong voluntarily and at his own urgent request engaged in repeated combat missions, including unusually hazardous sorties over Balikpapan, Borneo, and in the Leyte area of the Philippines. His aggressiveness and daring resulted in his shooting down 8 enemy airplanes during this period.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company E, 413th Infantry, 104th Infantry Division.
Place and date: Mark River, Holland, 2 November 1944.
Entered service at: Huntsville, Ala.
Birth: Crawfordsville, Fla.
G.O. No.: 74, 1 September 1945.
Citation: As leader of the weapons platoon of Company E, 413th Infantry, on the night of 2 November 1944, he fought gallantly in a pitched battle which followed the crossing of the Mark River in Holland. When 2 machineguns pinned down his company, he tried to eliminate, with mortar fire, their grazing fire which was inflicting serious casualties and preventing the company’s advance from an area rocked by artillery shelling. In the moonlight it was impossible for him to locate accurately the enemy’s camouflaged positions; but he continued to direct fire until wounded severely in the legs and rendered unconscious by a German shell. When he recovered consciousness he instructed his unit and then crawled to the forward rifle platoon positions. Taking a two-man bazooka team on his voluntary mission, he advanced chest deep in chilling water along a canal toward 1 enemy machinegun. While the bazooka team covered him, he approached alone to within 15 yards of the hostile emplacement in a house. He charged the remaining distance and killed the 2 gunners with hand grenades. Returning to his men he led them through intense fire over open ground to assault the second German machinegun. An enemy sniper who tried to block the way was dispatched, and the trio pressed on. When discovered by the machinegun crew and subjected to direct fire, 1st Lt. Bolton killed 1 of the 3 gunners with carbine fire, and his 2 comrades shot the others. Continuing to disregard his wounds, he led the bazooka team toward an 88-mm. artillery piece which was having telling effect on the American ranks, and approached once more through icy canal water until he could dimly make out the gun’s silhouette. Under his fire direction, the two soldiers knocked out the enemy weapon with rockets. On the way back to his own lines he was again wounded. To prevent his men being longer subjected to deadly fire, he refused aid and ordered them back to safety, painfully crawling after them until he reached his lines, where he collapsed. 1st Lt. Bolton’s heroic assaults in the face of vicious fire, his inspiring leadership, and continued aggressiveness even through suffering from serious wounds, contributed in large measure to overcoming strong enemy resistance and made it possible for his battalion to reach its objective.
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company 1, 120th Infantry, 30th Infantry Division.
Place and date: Petit-Coo, Belgium, 23 December 1944.
Entered service at: Madison, Ala.
Birth: Hobbes Island, Iowa.
G.O. No.: 73, 30 August 1945.
Citation: He voluntarily attacked a formidable enemy strong point in Petit-Coo, Belgium, on 23 December, 1944, when his company was pinned down by extremely heavy automatic and small-arms fire coming from a house 200 yards to the front. Mortar and tank artillery shells pounded the unit, when S/Sgt. Bolden and a comrade, on their own initiative, moved forward into a hail of bullets to eliminate the ever-increasing fire from the German position. Crawling ahead to close with what they knew was a powerfully armed, vastly superior force, the pair reached the house and took up assault positions, S/Sgt. Bolden under a window, his comrade across the street where he could deliver covering fire. In rapid succession, S/Sgt. Bolden hurled a fragmentation grenade and a white phosphorous grenade into the building; and then, fully realizing that he faced tremendous odds, rushed to the door, threw it open and fired into 35 SS troopers who were trying to reorganize themselves after the havoc wrought by the grenades. Twenty Germans died under fire of his submachinegun before he was struck in the shoulder, chest, and stomach by part of a burst which killed his comrade across the street. He withdrew from the house, waiting for the surviving Germans to come out and surrender. When none appeared in the doorway, he summoned his ebbing strength, overcame the extreme pain he suffered and boldly walked back into the house, firing as he went. He had killed the remaining 15 enemy soldiers when his ammunition ran out. S/Sgt. Bolden’s heroic advance against great odds, his fearless assault, and his magnificent display of courage in reentering the building where he had been severely wounded cleared the path for his company and insured the success of its mission.
LINK: Paul L. Bolden Biography