Merelleci

Veteran stories

13 posts in this topic

I just read part of a post here and it gave me an idea.  Who has come across a WWII Vet and heard a story that was interesting to them.  Maybe share it with the rest of us so the stories will live on.

 

Mine was from a USN Pilot that flew the PBY in the Aleutian Islands.  When I meet him early in the morning in a McDonalds in Hersey Nebraska I noticed his USN WWII Vet hat and thanked him for his service.  I then asked him what he did.  He told me I probably wouldn't have any idea because he flew PBYs in the Aleutians.  When I told him I knew much about Dutch Harbor and even an interesting fact about using pencils to plug bullet holes to keep the PBYs from sinking he brightened up and told me something I didn't know.  They also used tampons to plug the larger 20mm holes.  I had to excuse myself shortly after the conversation started because I was sick and didn't want to pass it on to him but he did seem very happy that not only someone acknowledged his service but also knew something about it.

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Where do they get tampons from?

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Hmm... Let me see... Standard issue for most Women in Uniform such as Nurses, pilots, and more?  Maybe?  Or maybe there are civilian women in every theatre of war?  How about a local drug store in most Westernized islands? 

Edited by *ChameleonLord
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This is the aleutions you know.  Not many people live there and how many women in service (already a small number) were even sent there?

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I didn't think to as the gentleman this question though it is a good one and a bit too late to do so now.  My guess would be one of two things, ChameleonLord has it right the Aleutian did not have convenience stores.  But I do know one thing about the US military, if there is a need for something and it will work they will find a way to get it there.  And even taking the military out of the picture I'm sure one letter home from a concerned sailor flying in a PBY to his family saying: "Mom, dad, sis, we have a possibility to sink once the Japanese put holes in our planes.  One thing that works and can prevent this is (blush) .... Tampons, please send some".

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5 minutes ago, Merelleci said:

I didn't think to as the gentleman this question though it is a good one and a bit too late to do so now.  My guess would be one of two things, ChameleonLord has it right the Aleutian did not have convenience stores.  But I do know one thing about the US military, if there is a need for something and it will work they will find a way to get it there.  And even taking the military out of the picture I'm sure one letter home from a concerned sailor flying in a PBY to his family saying: "Mom, dad, sis, we have a possibility to sink once the Japanese put holes in our planes.  One thing that works and can prevent this is (blush) .... Tampons, please send some".

lol... too funny! 

th?&id=OIP.Mcb17ab9dc38586d2270ec11e2631Image result for nurses in aluetian islandsImage result for nurses in aluetian islandsImage result for nurses in aluetian islands

Edited by *ChameleonLord
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I'm mildly skeptical about tampons to plug 20mm holes... They hold back liquid decently enough when it's in... natural amounts 

but with the weight of a 25 ton+ Catalina 

Edited by F7UCutlass
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You could say the same about pencils but I have read this in many reports in many different areas. In fact I would go as far as to say I think a tampon would have a better chance of holding back the water than a pencil.  One book that mentions the use of pencils is The Thoiusand-Mile War by Brian Garfield.  It is a fairly quick read and nicely put to together for someone that is unfamiliar with what went on up there. 

 

Also keep another thing in mind;  I'm sure this was not a permanent stopping measure much more of a keep it from happening so quick you cant get to a better repair facility to fix the leaky plane before it became a submarine.  Anyway believe it or not it is what was told to me by a veteran. 

 

Please if you have stories share them. I am sure there are a lot of you that would be interested.  I know I am.

Edited by Merelleci
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Well.. I have many but this one is a story from my Brother in Law's dad.  He was walking through a farm in Italy and stepped into a "rabbit, gopher, fox, or other small animal hole", just as a sniper shot rang out and clipped the top of his helmet when falling forward.  That Gopher hole saved his life and he never went hunting in Canada ever again for fear of killing a distant relative that emigrated to Canada of the small animal that saved his life. 

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My next door neighbor served on Lancaster bombers during the war as a bombardier. My twin brother got him to talk about it once when he mentioned the fact that he was currently serving in the RAF.

 

Its quite interesting really, He joined up in 1939 and started on Wellington bombers before moving to the Lancaster. Never got shot down once although they did have some close calls. The old gent turned 100 last year but you wouldn't know it by looking at him he's still quite active.

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I got one I don't remember many details about it and I can't get any new information because he passed away many years ago but my mother's father was a sniper in the Polish army during the invasion in 39. now I don't know if he ever killed anyone but I do know that he was shot in the shoulder and the arm on two separate occasions and even took shrapnel from a grenade in the leg he was captured by the germans when the train he was aboard was halted by them I think according to my mom his unit was being sent to fight the Russians after their attack had begun. He then became a POW and spent the rest of the war in  labor camps in and around Germany and here's were it gets sad. He was moved around to I think about 6 camps or so and everytime he was moved his friends in the previous camp were killed. He never talked about it much and I never asked so anyway the camp was liberated by the British I think at the end of the war and after returning home he decided he wanted to get out of war torn Europe and came to Canada were he met my grandmother. Anyway that's my story I have to offer

Edited by *BMWC_
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My dad was RAF and back when the boys in blue had money there where open days on the camps every year. Even got rides in Hercules at RAF Lyneham back in the day.

 

In 1995 I was at RAF Marham and we had the usual open day, they had a Canberra and a Victor you could walk around and some events for the kids. My dad called me over to talk to this old geezer. Turns out the man was a Luftwaffe pilot during the war, shot down over the channel and picked up by a British search and rescue boat. He'd settled in the UK post war, married and his grandson had joined the RAF and happened to be serving at Marham at the time.

 

He talked about his experiences and to a young 15 year old, it was a very interesting experience getting his point of view. This guy was a young man, a radio operator on HE111's, he humanised the war for me after growing up on war movies.Made me realise the other guys where just like us and informed my opinions on conflict ever since.

 

Since talking to Mr Steiner I have always tried to see both sides of any conflict, their points of view and motivations.

On 31/01/2017 at 6:09 PM, Merelleci said:

I didn't think to as the gentleman this question though it is a good one and a bit too late to do so now.  My guess would be one of two things, ChameleonLord has it right the Aleutian did not have convenience stores.  But I do know one thing about the US military, if there is a need for something and it will work they will find a way to get it there.  And even taking the military out of the picture I'm sure one letter home from a concerned sailor flying in a PBY to his family saying: "Mom, dad, sis, we have a possibility to sink once the Japanese put holes in our planes.  One thing that works and can prevent this is (blush) .... Tampons, please send some".

 

The British put tampons in first aid kits, brilliant things for gunshot wounds. Maybe the Americans did the same?

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An old man where I live in France was part of the resistance ; He enjoy talking about how his group and him ambushed german on the mountain, stole supplies in town and scared collaborators by breaking their windows. How they were hiding in the mountain, getting parachuted supplies, how they escaped arrestation.

It has nothing as heroic as a tanker or a plane pilots, but still, I'am proud to hear him talking about how they lived the war as a resistant and also as a citizen during what we call the "occupation".

 

He is always happy to tell story to kids and adults during class, him and another resistant also wrote a book about what they've done during the war.

Edited by StalkerSoC
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