What are your grandfather's WWII stories?

mills

I'll give em a state, a state of unconsciousness
Jan 30, 2005
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#1
I thought I'd beat SOS to the punch :icon_wink

My grandfather doesn't have any particularly great ones, but he is in the veterans home now and I take my grandma up to see him once a week, so a few good brand new old-people stories are brewing.

What good WWII stories does your grandfather have? Or alternatively what good old person stories about your grandfather do YOU have?
 

BaLZaC~308

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Sep 27, 2006
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#2
i have to do some research cause i want to do them justice
 

mills

I'll give em a state, a state of unconsciousness
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#3
Go ahead and lie. Who's gonna know?
 

Arc Lite

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Apr 25, 2005
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#4
My Grandpa served the Navy in WWII. All I really know is the name of the Destroyer he was on and that he was in the Atlantic. He didn't really talk about it a lot. But I was proud and respectful of his service all the same.

RIP Grandpa.
 

BaLZaC~308

ONE OF THE COOL KIDS
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#5
Go ahead and lie. Who's gonna know?
well in that case....


He parachuted down into normandy and single handedly took out 79 machine gun outposts. Then he spent months tracking hitler and when he finally found him he punched him in the nose and made him cry!!!!!


Dont even get me started on what he did in japan...
 
Mar 15, 2004
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#6
My grandfather is dead now. He serverd in the Army and I believe was based in the US the whole time. He did his job but didn't have any "I kill 20 Kraut" stories.

His brother on the other hand died somewhere in or around Italy from the stories I remember.
 

kloraferm

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Sep 6, 2002
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#7
My grandfather, for whatever reason never talked about too much detail from WW2, and he felt the same way about it since my dad was a little kid. And since he died seven years ago, I doubt I'm gonna get him to say much.
 

mills

I'll give em a state, a state of unconsciousness
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#8
i have to do some research cause i want to do them justice
Technically my real, blood grandfather - also my namesake - I should say the same thing about him. Dude fell off of the Eiffel Tower the night before he was scheduled to come back home. My grandmom's been a really sad person ever since because of it. Her 4 kids always talked about it and wondered what the hell might have happened, with ideas ranging from drunkenness to suicide, but the consensus being most likely petty murder since there were a lot of scum in Paris at the time and they knew damn well American troops were paid out the ass, at least relative to other parisians.

Anyway, the guy was 101st airborne and a badass, and a big part of the Bulge.
 

tommytwobucks

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Aug 16, 2006
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#9
My grandpa was a BM2 in the Navy, one of the things he did was coxswain a Higgins boat, which transported Marines onto the beaches. (The boats seen in Saving Private Ryan, where the bow drops down and everyone runs out). He told me that after the Marines were out, he had to run the boat in reverse back to the ship so that he would have some kind of cover from the Japanese small arms fire. He was also a diver for a little while.
He's the one that inspired me to become a Boatswains Mate, although I'm in the Coast Guard. I just went to visit his gravesite this Friday before drill. He was a good man, and I miss him.
 

Creasy Bear

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#10
My grandfather... my dad's father.

I never heard the stories directly from him because he died when I was still a runt. I barely remember him.

I pieced together his war story from stories my grandmother told me and some newspaper clippings I found in my grandmother's attic after she died... along with the clippings was also a Thompson submachine gun(still packed in it's original cosmoline), and a live pineapple hand grenade. Woot! What a score that was to find!

Apparently, my grandfather was involved in some earlier island invasions in the Pacific, I'm not sure which ones, but what is clear is that he was a Sergeant in the Marines when he was involved in the invasion of Tarawa in 1943. He was on the island for 9 days when an explosion(doesn't say from what... grenade or shell) put a major hurtin' on the right side of his face. For that, he was awarded his second purple heart. He was shipped back to the states, and his jaw was wired shut for four months.

When he recovered... more or less... he became a plumber and a raging alcoholic. He wasn't abusive to my grandmother or his children, but he was a "difficult" man to live with.

My grandmother told me that he carried a hatred for the Japanese that only grew more and more passionate as the years went by... once, someone gave my grandmother a gift of an expensive tea set made of beautiful porcelain... my grandfather turned over a cup and saw Made in Japan stamped on the bottom, and then he proceeded to smash the entire set on the floor.

He did mellow a bit over the years, but he was still not what you'd call a prince, and he would've drank every cent of his paycheck had my grandmother let him get his hands on it. My grandmother eventually divorced him. She took the kids and moved out. Two years later my grandfather passed out drunk in a chair, dropped his cigarette, and burned his house down around himself.

There you go. For what it's worth.
 

cupbeufulgirlz

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Apr 23, 2005
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#11
All I know is my grandfather, after watching 5 minutes of Platoon and objecting to the swearing told me, "We didn't fucking curse like that when I was in the war." :D OH POP POP!
 

foyb

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#12
My dad's father was in the early waves at Normandy. He was captured somewhere in France I think, and was in a POW camp until the end of the war. He doesn't talk much about it, just that all they were fed was potato soup for every meal, and they were cutting down trees.
My mom's dad was drafted late in the war, and went to europe to clean up battlefields (I think - he's pretty quiet about it too). He has an old rifle that he found hanging on the wall in his house.
 

EvilMonkey71

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Sep 6, 2006
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#13
My grandfather passed quite a while ago but I've recently been researching his service during WW2 (inspired by watching the Ken Burns series). So far, I know he finished his service in the 2nd Infantry but before that was in North Africa, Italy, and then France. I got my mom to put in the request to get his service records from the govt. so I'm hoping I can find out more from that.
 

Dirty330

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Aug 23, 2007
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#14
My Grandpa served the Navy in WWII. All I really know is the name of the Destroyer he was on and that he was in the Atlantic. He didn't really talk about it a lot. But I was proud and respectful of his service all the same.

RIP Grandpa.
My grandfather on my dad’s side is somewhat of a similar story. He was on some sort destroyer I think in the Navy and he is credited with some sort of medal for free diving and saving the crew of his ship after the prop or screw was tangled up in some sort of rope. The entire crew was stranded in the Japanese Pacific and at the time there were no resources available for rescue. He dived(sp?) without oxygen and managed to free the ship’s drive and no doubt saved the crew.
At least that is the short version of the story.
It hardly does him justice I know but her rarely talked about his service other than the fact that he was loyal and proud to and of the US, his ship and his brothers.
 

BusyChild04

I gotta return some video tapes.
Apr 28, 2005
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#15
He passed away before I was old enough to be interested in the stories. All I have now is his rifle. I sometimes just look at it and wonder how many enemy soldiers he took down with it.
 

boiler

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Jan 27, 2005
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#16
My grandfather was a hemp farmer during WW2.

Potential for a good story but none.

I have been in the VFW since my late 20's and have had some good conversations. One in particular has really impressed on me.

There was this little old guy named Elmer. He might have been 5'4". He had big health problems shortly after retirement. Doctors determined it was stress related to WW2. He went to counseling and opened up about it and lived out his last years in relative comfort.

His story is this - He told me he had served in a railroad unit that hauled supplies from the coast to the front after Normandy. Cigarettes were as good as currency back then and they gave him several cartons. He didn't smoke. The cigarettes were used as a subdued light to signal from the back of the train. Regular lights attracted snipers. There were two guys on the engine (engineer and conductor) and him in the back (brakeman). On two occasions both guys up front were killed and he had to bring the train back by himself. That would be a bitch for a nineteen year old on modern day equipment.

He said they once stopped near and American tank where the Germans had strapped explosives to a pregnant lady and made her walk up to the tank. She was crying knowing what was going to happen and she was blown up.

When he was in Paris he had an African (Moor?) pull him in close in put a knife to rob him. Elmer said this guy was big. Elmer pulled his service revolver and was scared shitless but couldn't shoot him. He pushed the barrel into to guys stomach so hard he thought he was going to push it through him. The guy dropped and begged for his life. Elmer was yelling at him asking him why he would want to hurt him.

Elmer never talked about it until the 1980's. I think he told me because he wanted me to know not to bottle up things and hurt your health. I didn't have the heart to tell him that in today's Navy the most stressful thing that can happen is when the Coke runs out and you have drink Diet Coke.
 

blotto98

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Sep 9, 2005
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#17
My Gramps was in the Navy. The only thing I know he brought back was alot of wool clothes. He died when I was 11 so we never really got into it. I'd like to research it though.
My Dad was in Vietnam and he didn't talk about it either until I came home from the bar one night and he was sitting up watching Platoon- then it was like "Niagra Falls, Frankie Angel".
 

Gonzoid

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#18
My grandfather passed away back in 2000 and never really talked about the war. Unfortunately, I did not become very interested in the war until later on after reading alot and watching shows like "Band of Brothers" and "The War."

From what my grandmother and aunts told me, he saw very serious action in Europe in the army. He saw one of his best friends blown up from a landmine on french soil which explained until the day he died why he had such an utter hatred of the French. He also was one of the first army regiments to liberate Dachau concentration camp...from what my aunt told me after they saw what was going on in the camp, the generals there made all the soldiers turn in the guns temporarily because they were ready to go out and start shooting any citizen around the camp who know this was going on.

The only afteraffect he had was that he would break out in a bad case of hives a certain time a year for like 10 years after the war. Luckily for my grandmother and mother that was the extent of any post-war trauma he had.
 

LiddyRules

I'm Gonna Be The Bestest Pilot In The Whole Galaxy
Jun 1, 2005
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#19
"I am but a simple shopkeep! Vy are you doing this to me and my daughters?"
 

boiler

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Jan 27, 2005
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#20
Uncle Story

My grandparents were too old to serve (and farmers) but I had several uncles serve who are all grandfathers so I'm counting this.

My uncle Ralph lied about his age in 1944, he was 16 and joined the Army Air Corps. Being small he was made a tailgunner on a B-17 in Europe. He arrived late in spring of 1945 saw little action as Germany was about to fall.

Ralph told me that he always felt bad about the way the Vietnam Vets are (were) treated. He felt they were portrayed as undisciplined jack-offs. He felt they were just acting their age. He felt WW2 guys were treated like golden boys.

He told me this story of WW2 guys acting their age. The oldest guy on the plane was the pilot at 23. Most everyone else was 18-20. He said the Germans would let American bombers fly unmolested over Belgium (maybe it was Holland) to drop relief supplies to the civilians. Give a kid a plane and let them drop shit out of it and here is what you get. The pilot would line up on something like a greenhouse or a guy in a row boat. He would start counting down and the guys in the back would start throwing shit out the bomb bay doors trying to bust glass or sink the rowboat.

I thought that was hilarious. Unknowingly these guys were the original Wackbaggers.
 

mills

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Jan 30, 2005
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#21
When he recovered... more or less... he became a plumber and a raging alcoholic. He wasn't abusive to my grandmother or his children, but he was a "difficult" man to live with.

He did mellow a bit over the years, but he was still not what you'd call a prince, and he would've drank every cent of his paycheck had my grandmother let him get his hands on it. My grandmother eventually divorced him. She took the kids and moved out. Two years later my grandfather passed out drunk in a chair, dropped his cigarette, and burned his house down around himself.

There you go. For what it's worth.
God damn that's a rough one.

For some reason, it wouldn't be so bad if it was a Nam vet. I mean I respect those guys too, but still. Maybe what I mean is it wouldn't be so uncharacteristic sounding.
 

Creasy Bear

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#22
Unfortunately, my grandfather died before Nintendo released the WWii.

Har, har...merph.
 

TimPud

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#23
My grandfather died last Wednesday so this show hit kinda close to home. We never were able to really get him to open up about his experiences in the Pacific. I can only recall one time he talked a little about it, something about caves they were in and the awful smell. He was pretty shaken in about 2 minutes, nearly to tears. He was just too frail to really push the subject in these last few years because it bothered him so much to recall it. We feared for his health enough without putting more stress on him to tell stories of hell.
 

Five Angels

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#24
My grandfather was a Marine and served in the Pacific. He fought on Okinawa and caught shrapnel in the shoulder, for which he was awarded the Purple Heart.

When I was little he used to tell me he still had his bayonet with "Jap blood" on it... but I've never seen it.
 

Creasy Bear

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God damn that's a rough one.

For some reason, it wouldn't be so bad if it was a Nam vet. I mean I respect those guys too, but still. Maybe what I mean is it wouldn't be so uncharacteristic sounding.
Yeah... a lot of the post-war effects on WWII vets seems to have been pretty well white washed. The vets were expected to come home, 'man up', and go on with their lives. These were the days before 'post traumatic stress disorder'.

Unlike in Europe, in America, it was considered bad form for a vet to display their medals or even talk about their experiences directly after the war. Most vets just packed their medals and souvenirs in a foot locker, and stashed them up in the attic. Suffering in silence was the 'manly' thing to do, but not every vet dealt with it as well as some of the WWII documentaries would have us believe.

For instance... The Hell's Angels biker gang was formed by WWII vets who just couldn't fit back into society after the war.