Friday, November 11, 2022

World War II

This WWII soldier was part of Merrill's Marauders, a totally non-regulation outfit 
that fought behind the lines in Burma and terrorized the Japanese defenders.



  1. Many a British and Indian soldier's life was spared by the Merrill's Marauders. India had its own army and two million men under arms. They were all volunteers.

    1. Thanks for mentioning the Indian Army, Julian. They don't get enough recognition for their service. And yes, Merrill's Marauders did play a huge role in averting casualties on the main front.

  2. I've told you about my granpa and uncle George. Now its time to talk about someone special an in-law. My uncle Joe USN radioman on the cruiser USS Louisville.
    When Pearl Harbor occured uncle Joe enlisted in the Navy. Trained to be a radioman and went to work on the Lucky Lou as they called their ship.
    Uncle Joe never talked much about his service, only in general terms.
    I think those of you who have or had veterans in the family know what I'm talking about. It was as uncle Joe said monotonous, sailing on the high seas and not much to do at first except some gambling and looking after the ship. The Lou was not airconditioned, so down below it was hot-as-hell.
    Some action at numerous Pacific isles bombarding and also providing cover for the Marines. Other actions in the freezing Aleutians in the N. Pacific.
    Then it happened, their first ecounter with a kamikaze attack off the coast of the Phillippines. Some damage and sadly one sailor killed. Other ships got it worse. The Lucky Lou was starting to be not so lucky.
    The worse was yet to come Jan 1945 two more kamikaze attacks this time
    very damaging. The first one knocked out a gun killing 1 crew member.
    The second attack was the worst destroying the bridge and killing 42 men..
    Among the fatalities was Rear Admiral Chandler who died from his wounds trying to help put out the fires. Uncle Joe was lucky as he was off duty and sleeping down below. Uncle Joe had to help with the clean up after that attack
    Lots of blood and gore, one sailor burnt to a charcoalized stump another with his arms and legs blown off, another dieing right in front of Joe. A living hell. June 1945 the last kamikaze attack for the Lou.
    This time uncle Joe was on duty and injured with shrapnel wounds to his head from the attack. (the shrapnel was in him til he died years later)
    Sadly 8 sailors were killed. Again the Lucky Lou was not so lucky.
    Uncle Joe survived and started a business that failed.
    When he married aunt Lea, he married our whole family. You see when they were growing up their father my granfather, left them and my granma had to pickup the pieces.
    Joe became a big brother for the older siblings and a father figure for the younger siblings. After the failed business he got into building affordable apartments and a motel. He always felt everyone should have a roof over their head. I would hate to think what he would say about todays housing situation.
    To me and my cousins uncle Joe was the most generous man you could ever meet. Joe and Lea loved to entertain and lived in some beautiful homes in Southern California, the celebrations and holidays were incredible.
    New Years, all the champagne and canapes you could have, Easter, the biggest Easter baskets you'd ever see (especially for Lea) 4th of July, fireworks and pool parties galore (Silver Maple St 1966-72) Thanksgiving, when I would tell the kids at school all the food we had, the never beleived me, well kiddies BELIEVE IT. Finally uncle Joes favorite holiday Christmas, that blessing from the Lord himself. First all the prep work, decorating the house, procurring the food, the house lights, the Christmas tree (like the 15 footer all decked out like a space ship ready for Mars Knuth Cir.1972-1982) Aunt Lea was the cook of the family and the food she put out would blow your mind. And Joe the generous gift giver, if you had to obsolutely have it, he got it hell and high water. He loved driving me and my granma in his beloved Cadillacs (63 and 65 Fleetwood sedans) to go into the nearby hills of Orange County CA and look down at the Christmas lights on peoples homes below. Not to mention helping out relatives with rent, down payment for a car, books for college, and paying bail for a troublemaker.
    Uncle Joe has been gone for 25 years, felled by cancer and heart disease
    There only two times I saw that 6'4' 240 lbs man cry, when his mother-in-law, my grandmother died and when one time he opened up to me about all he had seen and experienced in the USN on the USS Louisville in WW2. rj inthe ie