Tag Archive: Omaha Beach


 Only 7 World War II Medal of Honor Recipients Remain

 

 

 

 

” Walter Ehlers belonged to the “Greatest Generation” — men like my dad who left the warmth of homes to fight the tyranny of Naziism, fascism and imperialism. They are the men for whom our eyes well up when we meet them and hear their stories.

  Today unfortunately we bid farewell to a piece of American history: World War II Medal of Honor recipient, Walter D. Ehlers.

  When Ehlers was 23 years old, he charged through enemy fire to destroy two German machine gun nests, killed seven enemy soldiers, put a halt to a mortar barrage and carried a wounded buddy to safety – all after he had been shot in the side by a sniper. The date was June 9, 1944 at Normandy. His mission was to liberate Europe from the grip of Nazi Germany.”

 

 

From the Congressional Medal Of Honor Society

 

 

EHLERS, WALTER D.

Rank: Staff Sergeant
Organization: U.S. Army
Company:
Division: 18th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division
Born: May 7, 1921, Junction City, Kans.
Departed: Yes (02/20/2014)
Entered Service At: Manhattan, Kans.
G.O. Number: 91
Date of Issue: 12/19/1944
Accredited To: Kansas
Place / Date: Near Goville, France, 9-10 June 1944

 

EHLERS, WALTER D. Photo

 

 

 

S/Sgt Ehlers’ citation reads:

 

” For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 9-10 June 1944, near Goville, France. S/Sgt. Ehlers, always acting as the spearhead of the attack, repeatedly led his men against heavily defended enemy strong points exposing himself to deadly hostile fire whenever the situation required heroic and courageous leadership.

  Without waiting for an order, S/Sgt. Ehlers, far ahead of his men, led his squad against a strongly defended enemy strong point, personally killing 4 of an enemy patrol who attacked him en route. Then crawling forward under withering machinegun fire, he pounced upon the guncrew and put it out of action. Turning his attention to 2 mortars protected by the crossfire of 2 machineguns, S/Sgt. Ehlers led his men through this hail of bullets to kill or put to flight the enemy of the mortar section, killing 3 men himself. After mopping up the mortar positions, he again advanced on a machinegun, his progress effectively covered by his squad. When he was almost on top of the gun he leaped to his feet and, although greatly outnumbered, he knocked out the position single-handed.

  The next day, having advanced deep into enemy territory, the platoon of which S/Sgt. Ehlers was a member, finding itself in an untenable position as the enemy brought increased mortar, machinegun, and small arms fire to bear on it, was ordered to withdraw. S/Sgt. Ehlers, after his squad had covered the withdrawal of the remainder of the platoon, stood up and by continuous fire at the semicircle of enemy placements, diverted the bulk of the heavy hostile fire on himself, thus permitting the members of his own squad to withdraw.

   At this point, though wounded himself, he carried his wounded automatic rifleman to safety and then returned fearlessly over the shell-swept field to retrieve the automatic rifle which he was unable to carry previously. After having his wound treated, he refused to be evacuated, and returned to lead his squad. The intrepid leadership, indomitable courage, and fearless aggressiveness displayed by S/Sgt. Ehlers in the face of overwhelming enemy forces serve as an inspiration to others.”

 

 

For more information on this great and humble warrior go here , here , here and here .

 

 

Godspeed S/Sgt Ehlers … Rest in peace and thank you for your service.

 

 

Col. West has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charles Durning, US Army Ranger – D-day and WWII Veteran A True BAMF And ‘King Of Character Actors,’ Dies At 89

 

 

 

 

” Durning’s impressive 50-year acting career has been crowned by a Tony Award and nominations for two Oscars and four Emmy awards, yet he never lost sight of his wartime experiences. In 1990, when he was making his Tony-winning star turn as Big Daddy in the Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, he opened up in a People Magazine feature. “There’s only so much you can witness,” he said of his time overseas. Indeed, his war decorations were hard-earned. Durning was the only man to survive a machine gun ambush on Omaha Beach – and he had to rise above serious wounds and kill seven German gunners to do it.

In late June 1944, Charles was seriously wounded by a mine at Les Mare des Mares, France but refused to seek a military discharge and spent almost 6 months recovering .

Months later in Belgium, he was stabbed eight times by a German teenage soldier wielding a bayonet; Durning eventually bludgeoned him to death with a rock.  He was released from the hospital in time to fight in the Battle of the Bulge, where he was taken prisoner. After escaping a subsequent massacre of the other prisoners, he was obliged by American forces to return to the scene and help identify bodies. Finally, a bullet in the chest a few months later ended his relentless tour of duty – and began four years of repeated hospitalizations for his physical and psychological injuries. ”

 

 

Trip to Normandy Sweepstakes

From Military History: Objects of Warfare

 

 

 

” The Grand Prize Winner will receive:

• A seven day, six night trip for two (2) to Normandy, France, including airfare and hotel accommodations

• A $500 travel voucher

• Three activity vouchers (such as museum tickets, tour of Normandy, or other attractions)

• A copy of Military History: The Definitive Visual Guide to the Objects of Warfare

Twenty-five runner-up winners will receive a hardcover copy of the book and a Military Channel t-shirt.

MILITARY HISTORY is the definitive visual guide to the technology of warfare; from the siege towers and catapults employed by ancient invaders to the unmanned drones and stealth bombers used by today’s armed forces.”

 

Remember

MEMORIAL DAY

The military don’t start wars.  Politicians start wars.  ~William Westmoreland

Remember

Nathan Hale, Spy and State Hero

Nathan Hale, a martyr soldier of the American Revolution, was born in Coventry, Conn., June 6, 1755. When but little more than twenty-one years old he was hanged, by order of General William Howe, as a spy, in the city of New York, on September 22, 1776.”

Napoleon :

“Soldiers usually win the battles and generals get the credit for them.”

Remember

“Historians know little about Crispus Attucks, and they have constructed accounts of his life more from speculation than facts. Most documents described his ancestry as African and American Indian. His father, Prince Yonger, is thought to have been a slave brought to America from Africa and that his mother, Nancy Attucks, was a Natick Indian. The family, which may have included an older sister named Phebe, lived in Framingham, Massachusetts.”

Otto Von Bismarck :

“Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think hard before starting a war.”

Remember

“Not all of the women soldiers of the Civil War were discharged so quickly. Some women served for years, like Sarah Emma Edmonds Seelye, and others served the entire war, like Albert D. J. Cashier. These two women are the best known and most fully documented of all the women combatants.”

General Ulysses S Grant :

 “Wherever the enemy goes, let our troops go also.”

Remember

The Battle of Chickamauga    35,000 Casualties 

September 18-20, 1863

“After the Tullahoma Campaign, Rosecrans renewed his offensive, aiming to force the Confederates out of Chattanooga. The three army corps comprising Rosecrans’ s army split and set out for Chattanooga by separate routes. In early September, Rosecrans consolidated his forces scattered in Tennessee and Georgia and forced Bragg’s army out of Chattanooga, heading south.”

Albert Pike :

“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal”

Remember

26th Colored US Pennsylvania

Giuseppe Garibaldi :

“I offer neither pay, nor quarters, nor food; I offer only hunger, thirst, forced marches, battles and death. Let him who loves his country with his heart, and not merely with his lips, follow me.”

Remember

                                     

The Spanish-American War

John “Black Jack” Pershing :

“The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle!”

Remember

The Argonne World War I

General George S Patton :

 “Always do everything you ask of those you command.”

Remember

D Day , Omaha Beach

General Robert E Lee

  “What a cruel thing is war:  to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world.”

Remember

The Forgotten War , Korea

Plato :

  “Only the dead have seen the end of war. “

Remember

Viet Nam

Jeane J. Kirkpatrick :

 “We have war when at least one of the parties to a conflict wants something more than it wants peace.”  

Remember

Urgent-fury-grenada-500-9

Operation : Urgent Fury

Jonathan Swift :

  “War! that mad game the world so loves to play. ” 

Remember

Operation Just Cause : Panama

 General William Westmoreland :

             ” War is fear cloaked in courage.”

Remember

Beirut October 23 , 1983

Dwight D. Eisenhower :

   “We are going to have peace even if we have to fight for it.”

Remember

The Gulf War : Operation Desert Storm

 Herbert V. Prochnow :

  “A visitor from Mars could easily pick out the civilized nations.  They have the best implements of war.”

Remember

Sergeant First Class Randall D. Shughart
Citation Reads: Rank and organization: Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army. Place and date: 3 October 1993, Mogadishu, Somalia. Entered service at: —– Born: Newville, Pennsylvania. Citation: Sergeant First Class Shughart, United States Army, distinguished himself by actions above and beyond the call of duty on 3 October 1993, while serving as a Sniper Team Member, United States Army Special Operations Command with Task Force Ranger in Mogadishu, Somalia. Sergeant First Class Shughart provided precision sniper fires from the lead helicopter during an assault on a building and at two helicopter crash sites, while subjected to intense automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenade fires. While providing critical suppressive fires at the second crash site, Sergeant First Class Shughart and his team leader learned that ground forces were not immediately available to secure the site. Sergeant First Class Shughart and his team leader unhesitatingly volunteered to be inserted to protect the four critically wounded personnel, despite being well aware of the growing number of enemy personnel closing in on the site. After their third request to be inserted, Sergeant First Class Shughart and his team leader received permission to perform this volunteer mission. When debris and enemy ground fires at the site caused them to abort the first attempt, Sergeant First Class Shughart and his team leader were inserted one hundred meters south of the crash site. Equipped with only his sniper rifle and a pistol, Sergeant First Class Shughart and his team leader, while under intense small arms fire from the enemy, fought their way through a dense maze of shanties and shacks to reach the critically injured crew members. Sergeant First Class Shughart pulled the pilot and the other crew members from the aircraft, establishing a perimeter which placed him and his fellow sniper in the most vulnerable position. Sergeant First Class Shughart used his long range rifle and side arm to kill an undetermined number of attackers while traveling the perimeter, protecting the downed crew. Sergeant First Class Shughart continued his protective fire until he depleted his ammunition and was fatally wounded. His actions saved the pilot’s life. Sergeant First Class Shughart’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest standards of military service and reflect great credit upon him, his unit and the United States Army.
Master Sergeant Gary I. Gordon
Citation Reads: Rank and organization: Master Sergeant, U.S. Army. Place and date: 3 October 1993, Mogadishu, Somalia. Entered service at: —– Born: Lincoln, Maine. Citation: Master Sergeant Gordon, United States Army, distinguished himself by actions above and beyond the call of duty on 3 October 1993, while serving as Sniper Team Leader, United States Army Special Operations Command with Task Force Ranger in Mogadishu, Somalia. Master Sergeant Gordon’s sniper team provided precision fires from the lead helicopter during an assault and at two helicopter crash sites, while subjected to intense automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenade fires. When Master Sergeant Gordon learned that ground forces were not immediately available to secure the second crash site, he and another sniper unhesitatingly volunteered to be inserted to protect the four critically wounded personnel, despite being well aware of the growing number of enemy personnel closing in on the site. After his third request to be inserted, Master Sergeant Gordon received permission to perform his volunteer mission. When debris and enemy ground fires at the site caused them to abort the first attempt, Master Sergeant Gordon was inserted one hundred meters south of the crash site. Equipped with only his sniper rifle and a pistol, Master Sergeant Gordon and his fellow sniper, while under intense small arms fire from the enemy, fought their way through a dense maze of shanties and shacks to reach the critically injured crew members. Master Sergeant Gordon immediately pulled the pilot and the other crew members from the aircraft, establishing a perimeter which placed him and his fellow sniper in the most vulnerable position. Master Sergeant Gordon used his long range rifle and side arm to kill an undetermined number of attackers until he depleted his ammunition. Master Sergeant Gordon then went back to the wreckage, recovering some of the crew’s weapons and ammunition. Despite the fact that he was critically low on ammunition, he provided some of it to the dazed pilot and then radioed for help. Master Sergeant Gordon continued to travel the perimeter, protecting the downed crew. After his team member was fatally wounded and his own rifle ammunition exhausted, Master Sergeant Gordon returned to the wreckage, recovering a rifle with the last five rounds of ammunition and gave it to the pilot with the words, “good luck.” Then, armed only with his pistol, Master Sergeant Gordon continued to fight until he was fatally wounded. His actions saved the pilot’s life. Master Sergeant Gordon’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest standards of military service and reflect great credit upon, his unit and the United States Army.

Mogadishu , Somalia October 1993

Thomas Jefferson :

  “I recoil with horror at the ferociousness of man.  Will nations never devise a more rational umpire of differences than force?  Are there no means of coercing injustice more gratifying to our nature than a waste of the blood of thousands and of the labor of millions of our fellow creatures?”

Remember

Bosnian Genocide

Dick Motta :

  “War is the only game in which it doesn’t pay to have the home-court advantage.” 

Remember

special forces on horseback

Afganistan

José Narosky :

  “In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.”

Remember

Invasion of Iraq

Henry Fosdick :

  “The tragedy of war is that it uses man’s best to do man’s worst.”  

Remember

All of the terrorist attacks over the past 30 odd years

Remember All Who Were Lost 

  They Were Lost For Us 

    PS: For those of you who have an interest in a conflict I left out please check out this timeline of US Wars created by the Smithsonian Institute . God Bless and please REMEMBER .

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