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My WWII-Pearl Harbor next door neighbor
Posted by: JPK
Date: December 07, 2006 08:45AM
We have an old couple that live next to us. They are in their 80's. He is a retired doctor. They have always been pretty quiet and have kept to ourselves. We wave and say hi, but that has been about it in the 6 years we have lived here.

A couple of weeks ago, I and my 4 yo were out raking leaves on an unusually warm november day in Chicago. The neighbor was out and was more talkative than ever. I heard his whole life story.

One of the more intersting things I learned that he was home, on leave, from a ship that got bombed on this date in Hawaii. He said he never really talks about it with his family and friends and that he has always had a silent guilt about not being their to help defend his buddies and his ship. His ship was repaired in a matter of months and he eventually returned to his position on the ship. Unfortunately many of his shipmates had died in the attack.

I was blown away.

It is such a shame that these WWII are at an age where they are dropping like flys. I am always amazed at the stories these guys have. Unfortunately many of these stories will go undocumented as many of them dont like to tell stories about their war days.

JPK
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Re: My WWII-Pearl Harbor next door neighbor
Posted by: tronnei
Date: December 07, 2006 08:52AM
My father-in-law (also a retired doctor) was a Navy man during WWII, served aboard a ship that was sunk in the Mediterranean. Must have been terrifying. He never talks about it.
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Re: My WWII-Pearl Harbor next door neighbor
Posted by: spearmint
Date: December 07, 2006 09:06AM
Heroes all of them. God Bless. The tough guys and gals.
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Re: My WWII-Pearl Harbor next door neighbor
Posted by: grad
Date: December 07, 2006 09:17AM
Quote
JPK

It is such a shame that these WWII are at an age where they are dropping like flys. I am always amazed at the stories these guys have. Unfortunately many of these stories will go undocumented as many of them dont like to tell stories about their war days.

JPK

Unfortunately, a new cohort of veterens is being bred. War sucks.



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Re: My WWII-Pearl Harbor next door neighbor
Posted by: sscutchen
Date: December 07, 2006 09:56AM
My Father-in-Law passed the Friday before Thanksgiving at 84. He had never talked about his service in the Pacific until about 10 years ago, when his family got him to do so, and we wrote his memories down.

I did a similar thing with my Dad, taking an oral history over about a week (recording it using SoundStudio and my Pismo... heh). I converted his oral interviews into a biography that I had printed and gave to him for Christmas several years ago.





Don't ask who the bell's for, dude. It's you.
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Re: My WWII-Pearl Harbor next door neighbor
Posted by: Randalls
Date: December 07, 2006 10:17AM
My dad's plane....he's still kicking....82 yrs. God bless him.
[39th.org]
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Re: My WWII-Pearl Harbor next door neighbor
Posted by: mattkime
Date: December 07, 2006 11:09AM
My grandfather was in britiain on d-day, serving as an italian translator. not much of a story teller though.



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Re: My WWII-Pearl Harbor next door neighbor
Posted by: SteveJobs
Date: December 07, 2006 12:27PM
I always hear about these vets that don't talk about it...but all the ones I know their life focused around these larger than life events, including many of their discussions.



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Re: My WWII-Pearl Harbor next door neighbor
Posted by: DavidS
Date: December 07, 2006 12:36PM
My wife's grandfather was a driver for some Generals in Europe during WWII. After the war, he and his wife had three daughters. Only one of those daughters had kids and they were 3 girls (one being my wife). I think he figured all the women in his family didn't want to hear his war stories, b/c he never really talked about it that much. However, I am an avid listener to him and he has told me some wonderful and horrible stories about his service during WWII.

He has a box in the garage with pictures, notes, and "memorabilia" from his service. Evidently, he had a lot more "loot" but got rid of it some years ago.

If you have not read Tom Brokaw's books on The Greatest Generation, I highly recommend them.
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Re: My WWII-Pearl Harbor next door neighbor
Posted by: SteveJobs
Date: December 07, 2006 12:51PM
Well, the all-girl example is a good reasoning, I guess.
I have the Brokaw book, too.



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Re: My WWII-Pearl Harbor next door neighbor
Posted by: dotman
Date: December 07, 2006 02:33PM
my father was drafted as poor farm boy, frontline infrantry ww II. Prettty much a death sentence.

He was among the group that raided hitlers bunker. The amount of death he encountered is unfathomable. he threw his guns overboad on his way home.

On the gi bill he earned just about every degree a man could aquire including his phd. At his funeral, an old man who wasn't invited commented "you won't see another man like that again". He was buried in military dress and was covered in metals that meant little to me.

Although not a military career man, he satyed in and made infrequent trips to wright patterson. he died a lt. cornel and is buried at arlington.

dot.
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Re: My WWII-Pearl Harbor next door neighbor
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: December 07, 2006 05:03PM
My Dad served in Austria, Switzerland and Germany in '44 and '45. He dropped out of the
11th grade to join up. All 3 of his brothers served, one was in Europe in the Infantry, one
was a Medic in Europe and helped liberate Auschwitz and the other was in the South
Pacific, he and another guy manned the generators on the Island of Tinian when the 2
planes loaded with the 2 atomic bombs took-off. My Aunt's husband was stationed on a
Destroyer in the South Pacific during the heart of the war.



Grateful11
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Re: My WWII-Pearl Harbor next door neighbor
Posted by: Drew
Date: December 07, 2006 05:27PM
My dad helped plan the D-Day invasion with general Eisenhower. He was originally in a tank crew in northern Africa. One day, someone said they were looking for clerical positions and wanted volunteers who could type. My dad couldn't really type, but wanted to get out of the desert so he volunteered. Two weeks later his tank unit was wiped out in an ambush. After D-Day he earned a very high medal and then had a nervous breakdown. He would never talk about his war days and I only saw the medal once or twice when my mom pulled it out of somewhere. He hated guns since that time. He was just high-school educated and poor as dirt during childhood and the Depression. After the war, he came home and married his sweetheart, raised our family, and rose high in the echelons of business. Even more, he helped non-profit charitable organizations run the business side of their operations. He spent countless hours of his free time helping them help less fortunate people. One of his favorite expressions was "money doesn't grow on trees". When he died, he was buried at a military cemetery, not because he loved the military, but because he could get it for free. He always said that when he died he was gone so not to worry about him and for heaven's sake don't spend any money on putting his body into the ground. I'm a successful baby boomer now, but I'll never match him.
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