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The words we used to hear in our family.. "Peleliu", "Nightmares", "Hit the deck", "Poor bastards", "Lucky Bastards", "Dirty Bastards" (reserved for the Imperial Japanese Army), 'get your asses off of this beach.. ", 'Le Havre France", "Oran Nawth Africa", London, Hospital Ships, Army Drs. (Capts), Army Nurses (Lts), non-coms, Ambulances, "Meat locker', Halifax NS, New York NY, German POWs, Italian POWs, Long Beach CA, Manila, Troop Train, Okinawa, "Pearl", ...

It always seemed that all my Dad and his brothers were talking about were 'the fawties'.. Fawty this... fawty that.. Joe.... was that 45? No.. Eddie got out in 46 and then went back in the reserves right after.. "

Uncle Eddie's squad (he was squad leader) was first to reach the airfield buildings on Peleliu on Day-2 (1/5/1). I mentioned this to a guy recently (client) who was an Iraq veteran (USMC). He said.. "5th Marine Rgt.. the most-decorated regiment in the Corps.." I had no idea. Kind of makes you think.. I don't know if that is true.. but.. as was typical of Uncle Ed.. we heard 'not word one' about all of this until after he died. Everytime I looked up Peleliu as a kid.. it might get a paragraph... He spent 10 days on Peleliu, 31 days on Okinawa. I have his 'effects' and his little tiny diary. "Hit at 630 Pm on the 25th" (Peleliu) is all it says. USMC Archives once sent me this and when I got it, it was harshly stunning and kind of strange.

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He was a good guy and I am glad he checked out 'instantaneously'.. After what his brothers went thru in nursing homes and hospitals.... I have found a film clip of him with his squad in "Victory at Sea"...("Two if By Sea" Peleliu/Anguar) it's odd, because I'd watch that with my Dad back in the 50's and every bit of Marine footage, we'd ask Dad 'is that Uncle Eddie.. " ? Dad was usually out cold after a few beers on the couch .. It is eerie as hell to see him. I also found a photo of him with his squad in a foxhole on Peleliu... He's holding an M-1 and there are grenades placed around the perimeter of the foxhole... I found that photo, did not recognize him and then looked at it again and thought that the guy's hand looked like my Dad's.. .then it hit me.. it was Eddie.. without a moustache! (Gas masks were thought to be needed...they tossed them on the 1st day..) That freaked me my friends... Very eerie I can't seem to post the files for some reason though.. I gotta say thought, it is a real kick in the guts for me to find those.. ..

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My dad and uncles were of that generation. Uncle Bob was a waist gunner in a B-17. Uncle Mike was in the cavalry in China and Burma (yes, with horses). My dad was a staff sergeant in an anti-aircraft battalion in North Africa and Italy. He probably had it better than most, having a desk job. I have a few pictures of his 'offices'. I'm guessing he didn't stay in one place too long.

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I've been intrigued with WWII since as an 8 or 9 year old kid, I discovered my dad's set of 'The Pictorial history of the Second World War'. I'd sit for hours and go through it page by page. Some of the pictures were brutal. I've never seen any books on WWII that came close to capturing the reality of the war than that set did.

http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/116 ... d-war-1944

My dad died shortly after I turned 13. I don't know if I knew about the stack of pictures he brought back from the war, as I don't recall ever asking him about them. I do remember asking him if he ever got shot. He said he didn't, but did get some shrapnel in his leg.

My dad documented his war years with pictures that he took. I guess it was a fringe benefit of having a desk job. It's really sad that the stories behind the pictures died with him.

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Joe, thanks for posting those.. and 'amen' to Dad and Uncle Bob! A few years ago, a B-17 and a B-24 flew into the local airport here and my brothers and I went out to see them.. We arrived just as the B-17 guys were readying the plane for folks to line up and go inside for a tour..

As they were doing that.. they set up speakers and played the National Anthem.. it was tough to stand there and see that thing in its glory and hear that music boy.. ! Solemn faces in the older folks in the crowd.. we lost thousands of aviators in WW2.. many thousand..

The bottom line with that dang plane is that it is a lot smaller than it appeared on screen and VERY THIN. I can picture the noise, the cold.. bad stuff .. The B-24 then came in a landed and they opened that one up for visitors as well.. They were looking for folks to go for a ride and I said "I don't fly in metal tubes that are this thin and this old.. "

My favorite actor of all time was a B-24 pilot..and I think he was a squadron commander.. and I believe he did complete the 25 combat missions that were a minimum required at that time. His first movie when he got back was a 'flop' according to the Hollywood 'experts'.. ("It's a Wonderful Life"---now considered one of the best movies ever made..) Jimmy's angst when he loses it in that movie is informed by his past few years of stress.. Jimmy Stewart was somethin' else..

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