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Author Topic: Let us take a moment to remember
"There are some ideas so absurd only an intellectual could believe them."--George Orwell.
Member # 7

Icon 1 posted May 30, 2019 04:46 PM      Profile for Cdog911   Author's Homepage   Email Cdog911         Edit/Delete Post 
For most of you, next weekend will mean little until I remind you of its significance. Here in Abilene, where that blonde-headed kid from down on SE 2nd Street grew up to be so important, we celebrate and remember the largest maritime invasion in modern history, if not in all of history, and the role that kid - Dwight D. "Ike" Eisenhower - played in saving then world.

Yesterday, I was contacted by the local Heritage Center asking to be given loan a few of the items I hold from my Great-Uncle, Verland "Pete" Jahnke (rhymes with 'honky'). They had done some research on him after being told of his involvement in D-Day and want to honor him with a month-long special feature in their museum. I took them his ribbons and medals, including his bronze star, and was very pleased to find that they had assembled more accurate info about how he earned that bronze star than I had been able to do.

Pete was the third man from Dickinson County, Kansas, to sign up and was inducted into the U.S. Army on February 20, 1941, ten months before Pearl Harbor. Congress had just approved a peace-time draft and Pete saw it as his duty to volunteer. He had been a teacher in a small country school and had just begun attending Kansas State University at the time.

He was assigned to the 127th Field Artillery Battalion of the 35th Infantry Division and soon became trained in firing the 155mm howitzer and as a forward observer, which became the assignment he spent the most time doing.

After much training around the United States, Pete was shipped to England in May, 1944, in preparation for the impending invasion. He entered France at Omaha Beach on July 5, 1944, a month after the Allied Expeditionary Forces established the D-Day beachhead, and from there, he and the 35th marched across Europe, through France, Holland, Belgium and eventually Germany making first combat contact with the Germans on July 7 near St. Lo, France.

As a forward observer, Pete had the task of entering enemy held territory prior to allied infantry to call fire upon the enemy for nearly all of the next 16 months, in such places as Bastogne, Berlin and the Ardennes. It was in the Ardennes, during what we know as the Battle of the Bulge that Pete distinguished himself in earning the Bronze Star.

Pete wasn't one of the trapped Americans about which many stories of the Bulge are told. Rather, he was part of the hell that later rained down upon German troops as the eventual ass kicking commenced that freed and saved our men.

Pete, along with the 35th, and its several field artillery battalions, set up and began firing upon dug in German positions. Pete went forward and established an observation post with his radio man from which, for the next five days, without sleep or rest of any substantive amount, he was part and parcel to directing accurate fire to upon the enemy having called in and directed over 41,000 howitzer rounds.

For "directing accurate fire upon the enemy with precision, despite often times heavy enemy fire" and for demonstrating "heroism and extraordinary conduct", he was awarded the Bronze Star in May 1945.

My Great Uncle Pete was as modest a man as you would ever know. Had his best friends related these and other details about him to us following his funeral, we would never have even thought Pete had experienced any of this. I was very young when I knew him, but I remember him as being well over 6 feet tall with sunken, dark eyes (typical Jahnke trait), and a great smile to go with a remarkably fun sense of humor. He and his wife had no children of his own so he was always excited to see my brother, sister and me. I could just never have guessed that this man had experienced what had to have been five days of terror and hell, especially when you consider that the 41,000 rounds he was near to at impact probably only counted half of what was fired, as the Germans were shooting back. Moreso, the fact that, as tall as he was, he never got wounded, despite spending the vast majority of his time in Europe hiding and sneaking around behind enemy lines, directing artillery, mapping minefields, censusing German troop placements and movement and doing damage assessment, and being in what an Army soldier told me was what is now called "Danger close".

Just a bit ago, I came upon this song, a 90-year old British veteran of Normandy singing a newly released tribute to the 75th anniversary of the Normandy invasion. If this doesn't choke you up a bit, you're a heartless bastard. When I think of Normandy, I think of Uncle Pete.

I am only one. But still, I am one. I cannot do everything, but still, I can do something; and, because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.

Posts: 5244 | From: east of Great Falls | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Knows what it's all about
Member # 4324

Icon 1 posted May 31, 2019 04:34 AM      Profile for Eddie   Author's Homepage           Edit/Delete Post 
To the men and women that have served or are still serving this great country we owe you everything that we enjoy today. God bless you all and may you find peace when your battles are over.
Posts: 271 | From: Oklahoma | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged
Paul Melching
Moderator-Night Hunting Forum & can't get it up! This matter is in dispute resolution!
Member # 885

Icon 1 posted May 31, 2019 05:03 AM      Profile for Paul Melching           Edit/Delete Post 
Cant say it better Eddie so ditto.
I remember as a kid growing up we had two pictures on the wall of our dining room Jesus Christ And IKE ! My father spent thirteen years eight months and eleven days in the submarine service , He loved IKE.

Those who value security over liberty soon will have neither !

Posts: 3029 | From: The forest ! north of the dez. | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged
Member # 2

Icon 1 posted May 31, 2019 09:19 AM      Profile for Leonard   Author's Homepage   Email Leonard         Edit/Delete Post 
Just about everybody I knew was in the service during WWII. One uncle was in India, another was in France but the one that was closest to me was in The Marine Corps. His name was William Lockwood Berger. He was part Indian and looked it, a big guy and because of it, Corporal Berger was assigned the BAR and one of his duties was to protect the man with the flamethrower. I don't know how many island campaigns he participated in, but the big deal was Iwo Jima. Second wave. The only other ones I remember are Bougainvillea and Kawejalain. Spell check never heard of it so I'm just spelling it phonetically as best I can. I know he has a Jap flag with bullet holes that he took from a dead body, I assume he killed the guy? So far as I know he wasn't all messed up like the Viet Nam vets seem to be? He joked about how one of his squad mates from the Louisiana swamps carried around a pair of ears in a cigarette pack until somebody ratted him out and he was forced to bury them, or get court marshaled. These guys were scouts of some type, backwoodsmen or hunters or from native American ancestry. I think he was in the Second Marine Division, but I'm not sure? That's something I regret, not prompting him and asking questions. Bill had four girls and so I was sort of an adopted son to him, he gave me stuff like knives and believe it or not, the 45 he carried on Iwo. I took it with me to Europe and because of a rat, I was caught and had to surrender it but eventually it was returned with the stipulation that I couldn't bring it back to the states with me. I sure regret not having that keepsake. I was forced to sell it to the company armorer when I was sent home, and I guess he just used it for parts?

Bill Berger was a good guy, worked for the Army Corps of Engineers in Vancouver, Washington for many years, some kind of executive? He certainly never talked like a hero, but he was, and he never showed me his medals, which he had. In fact, most of the men in my family were modest about what they did in the war, although there was some kidding about service branch, etc. My father never went overseas, and nobody ever said a negative word about it, more like, Len was one of the lucky ones, served the whole war as an armorer at George Air Corps Base in Adelanto, and my mother was with him the entire time, so he really was one of the lucky ones. He was a range instructor on the 50 cal. Machine gun. The only thing was, he didn't get out right away like those that were overseas and in combat, but it was a matter of months, a small price to pay for not risking his life in some unknown foxhole.

But, Tom Brokaw wrote a book and it was called, The Greatest Generation, and I never see eye to eye with Brokaw on anything else but he sure got that one right. There is no question that those men saved the whole world from tyrants and dictators and it wasn't a foregone conclusion that we would prevail, either. What was a blessing is that we never had to fight in our country like the rest of the world did. We could have conquered the whole world, if we wanted to. Instead, almost by default, the United States really does control most everything with our banking system.

Of course, we are stupid in allowing the Chinese to steal us blind and Trump seems to be the only one willing to do something about it. I don't care what you say about what a jerk Trump is; just say these four magic words...."AT LEAST HE'S NOT HILLARY!" Make no mistake, after the supreme victories of the Second World War, the thing that stands out is winning the Presidency from one of the most corrupt humans in recent history and he is achieving his mandate of dismantling every Executive Order by Obama. That's a very big deal folks! I can't fault Trump on any policy I can think of? I absolutely agree with everything he has done, and everybody knows he should keep his mouth shut, but as long as he does what needs to be done in spite of complete Democrat opposition, I will gladly vote for him again. Anything that can be done to wipe out Obama's legacy is worth doing, and if he can drive a wooden stake through her black heart, and get rid of the Hildabeast, that would be a huge bonus.

Good hunting. El Bee

[ May 31, 2019, 09:20 AM: Message edited by: Leonard ]

EL BEE Knows It All and Done It All.
Don't piss me off!

Posts: 26587 | From: Upland, CA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Member # 3074

Icon 1 posted June 06, 2019 10:07 AM      Profile for Semp           Edit/Delete Post 
The Greatest Generation will not be forgotten.


[ June 06, 2019, 10:19 AM: Message edited by: Semp ]

There are no stupid questions... There are, however, a lot of inquisitive morons.

Posts: 191 | From: Kentucky | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged
Lone Howl
Free Trial Platinum Member & part-time language police
Member # 29

Icon 1 posted June 06, 2019 11:39 AM      Profile for Lone Howl   Author's Homepage   Email Lone Howl         Edit/Delete Post 
Ill never forget em.

My "for real" grandfather was killed at Luzon. He and my grandmother had 2 baby boys at the time...the youngest (my uncle) he never got to see.

Right after the war, my grandmother married a Marine that she, and my "for real" grandfather, had known from high school. This man is who I knew growing up as my grandfather..he was a good man, a tough man, and took extremely good care of my grandmother and the boys. They had a great life. My grandmother buried the past and they never really spoke about any of it, even to the boys after they had grown up. Also, they never had any more kids, my grandmother wouldnt have it. When I was young, my grandfather would tell me the story, and tell me about WW2 and all the shit they did. He did it to make sure that the younger generation would at least remember them and some of what took place, it was like a mission for him that I didnt really understand then. He would break out pictures that he took during the war of places he had been, which I loved (and have to this day) This man made sure I hunted and fished, and made me ride horses when I was a kid. Taught me to shoot. He was a Marine shooting instructor and made my ass shoot till I was pretty good at it. Hauled me all over the country on vacations etc. I was closer to him than I was to my parents. I had a good life. He passed in 2002.

When my grandma died in 2014, I was tasked with liquidating the house and everything in it. There were other family members involved, and most were squabbling over furniture and shit like that. I however, wanted the history. I walked straight to an old steamer trunk that I had been eyeballing since I was a kid. I knew there was something hidden there that no one was supposed to see, and that no one else was interested in. I opened the trunk, and underneath a couple of old blankets and other trinkets meant as decoys for would be snoopers..., were neatly stacked photo albums of our families, dating back to the 1800's. Also, love letters and military documents, including the dreaded telegram informing my grandmother that her husband was missing and presumed killed in action. So much entire history that to be honest, Im still going thru and unraveling.

Anyways, I love and thank all veterans...but the WW2 variety is always closest to my heart.



When tyranny becomes law, rebellion becomes duty.

Posts: 2072 | From: Porterville Kalifornia | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Lone Howl
Free Trial Platinum Member & part-time language police
Member # 29

Icon 1 posted June 06, 2019 11:53 AM      Profile for Lone Howl   Author's Homepage   Email Lone Howl         Edit/Delete Post 
A little add on..

One day a few years before my grandmother passed on, I was at her house and the phone rang. She answered it, and immediately began to chew some ass...something my grandma NEVER did...she was VERY reserved. She hung up, super upset and clearly shaken, so I asked what it was about. " It was the Red Cross" she said. I say, yeah ok, but why did you yell at them? She says "I spent a year calling them to find out if they ever found my husband and they were very rude to me, so when they call me for donations, I give them an ear full."

Right then, I knew where my penchant for holding a grudge came from.


When tyranny becomes law, rebellion becomes duty.

Posts: 2072 | From: Porterville Kalifornia | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Member # 2

Icon 1 posted June 06, 2019 01:18 PM      Profile for Leonard   Author's Homepage   Email Leonard         Edit/Delete Post 
Ah, The Red Cross! I seem to remember that they made a big plea for donations for victims of 9-11 right at the time and they didn't want blood or blankets, they wanted cash. Then, it turned out that they did make a killing, then banked it all, very little went to victims or the people that were down in the trash searching for information on missing relatives.

There are lots of people from WWII that don't have a good word for The Red Cross, who charged for stuff like coffee and donuts and the GI's couldn't afford it but the stuff at the USO was always free, so I don't know the full truth of it, but there are people that definitely have a hard on for the Red Cross.

My story is, there I was in Germany, living on the economy with my new wife. There was only one other guy in the company that didn't qualify for government housing because we didn't have enough rank. So suddenly I get emergency orders, I have 5 days to clear post and report to Fort Bliss Texas leaving my wife and had no idea if I would ever be back there? Well, I never did and she had a hell of a time getting back to the states a month later.

Back in those days, I never had a credit card, my parents had a Sears Charge-a-Plate, a metal stamped "plate" that you could buy stuff and make payments. They were just starting to issue gas company credit cards, like Texaco and Shell, but I was able to get a flight through a travel agency that my family used and they let me have the ticket for her, but it was just from Frankfurt to New York City.

Once she had that ticket I finally made arrangements to LAX but she didn't know anybody there, and cell phones? You must be joking? I had the bright idea of using the Red Cross to contact her with what little information I knew, flight number and they would somehow get a message to her, she had a connecting flight beyond Idyllwild, (had not been changed to Kennedy for another couple years)

So The Red Cross helped me out by giving her a bogus message: DO NOT TAKE YOUR FLIGHT, YOU WILL BE STRANDED IN NEW YORK WITHOUT ANY ARRANGEMENTS TO GET TO LOS ANGELES! But, she decided, fuck that, I'm going anyway! Once there, they paged her and told her flight information, but it was no thanks to The International Red Cross. In fact, the most useful company at the time was American Express, and that's who made those frantic arrangements.

The world was not GLOBAL, back then. Remember, I mentioned in a previous post that I traveled all the way from Los Angeles to Germany with a 45 stuffed in my pants. Nobody, at that time had thought about blowing up an airplane and there was very little hijacking, except there actually was one at El Paso where I was to report in October 1962. That's were we found out why we were sent there and were soon to be invading Cuba. But, anyway, there was a father and son that hijacked a commercial jet and believe it or not, the FBI was pursuing the plane during takeoff and shooting the tires with friggin' machine guns! I don't remember if it was aborted or took off?

So anyway, like I said before, the night of Kennedy's speech, we were locked in and the phones were restricted and we were given a whole series of tropical disease inoculations, and about midnight, we were placed on a civilian plane, bumping half of the passengers, and we were in full combat gear with weapons on a flight to New Orleans where we transferred to an Air Force plane that flew us in to Eglin AFB in Florida where we met the entire 82 Airborne the next morning. You people don't know how close. Everybody was scared, we were blacked out, zero contact and we were about to take off at any time. Meanwhile the folks back home decided it might be a good idea to build bomb shelters. I managed to make a call that should have cost me $35 but things were so confused that they forgot to send me a bill.

Then after the Russkies decided to send their missiles back there were a few of us that had to stay there for 6 months. I didn't leave Florida until I think it was March of '63?

So the story is, count on the Red Cross to screw things up.

Good hunting. El Bee

here's the news item from back then:

[ June 06, 2019, 01:24 PM: Message edited by: Leonard ]

EL BEE Knows It All and Done It All.
Don't piss me off!

Posts: 26587 | From: Upland, CA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged

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