Iwo Jima’s Jack Lucas

Lucas, the son of a North Carolina tobacco farmer, had first enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves on Aug. 8, 1942, just over eight months after the United States entered World War II following the infamous Japanese attack on the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. He was 14 at the time… Continue reading Iwo Jima’s Jack Lucas

El Alamein

The defeat of the Afrika Korps at El Alamein initiated a long retreat and eventual surrender for Axis forces. Tobruk, the vital Libyan seaport on the coast of Cyrenaica, fell to General Erwin Rommel and his victorious Afrika Korps in less than 24 hours after an unexpected and devastating air, armor, and infantry attack on… Continue reading El Alamein

WWII Operation Uranus

How the Soviets Trapped the German 6th Army in Stalingrad In the fall of 1942, the Red Army had its back to the wall once again. During the first six months of the 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union, the Wehrmacht had killed or captured almost three million Russian soldiers. December brought the Soviet… Continue reading WWII Operation Uranus

WWII POW Diary

Ferguson with daughter Laura Katherine in Texas in early 40’s On his first birthday spent as a POW in Nazi-occupied Romania, Army Air Corps Capt. Clay Ferguson penned a few thoughts on growing older. “Today I am 24 years old,” he wrote in a prison diary dated Dec. 27, 1943. “I never thought I would… Continue reading WWII POW Diary

WWII Hell Ships

During World War II, 70,000 or more Allied prisoners of war and conscripted Asian laborers were moved in Japanese merchant ships across the vast expanse of the occupied East. These vessels were called ‘hell ships, and with good reason. POWs and slave laborers were crammed into stinking holds, filthy with coal dust, congealed sugar syrup… Continue reading WWII Hell Ships

WWII Bombing of Berlin

More bombs fell on Berlin in the Second World War than on any other German city. Fifty thousand people died, and hundreds of thousands became homeless over the course of the war. It is said that more than 70,000 children lost their lives in the Allied bombing, and yet after the war the Germans never… Continue reading WWII Bombing of Berlin

Enola Gay’s Flight

The giant silver bomber roared along the runway on Tinian Island in the darkness, passing the firetrucks and ambulances parked every 50 feet, struggling to pick up speed. “Dimples Eight Two” weighed 150,000 pounds, and with fuel for the long flight to Hiroshima, 12 men on board, and a five-ton uranium bomb in the bay,… Continue reading Enola Gay’s Flight

Vietnam Operation Crazy Horse

Twenty-three Montagnard mercenaries led by Special Forces Sergeants Burton Adams and David Freeman moved quietly through the front gate of the Vinh Thanh Special Forces camp on May 15, 1966, and slipped into the early morning darkness and light fog. Like other patrols sent out over the past week, they were hoping to find anything… Continue reading Vietnam Operation Crazy Horse