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Any war stories from Grandad? Lets hear them!

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posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 07:44 AM
My Maternal Grandather (My mum's Dad) I sadly know little about. He died before I was born.
All i know is that in WW2 he was in The Royal Lancashire Fusilliers and is said to have thought in Italy amongst other theatres of WW2.

My Paternal Grandfather (My Dad's Dad) was in The Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers. (REME)

They were used for Mine sweeping and driving trucks and fixing stuff.

In 1940, my Grandad was posted to the city of Coventry as part of a REME detachment charged with manning anti-aircraft defences in defence of the city from the Luftwaffe.

Coventry was second only to London for the city most targetted by the Luftwaffe. It had a a large manufacturing industry, and the Germans were keen on flattening it.

The German bombers would come over and attempt to do their worse, and Grandad and his fellow soldiers would fire their anti aircraft guns.

It got so bad some nights that their ammo would run low, and on at leadst one occassion, my Grandfather was 'firing' his gun only to discover that there was no ammo left.

Shouting for and then looking around for Ammo, Grandad and his fellow gun crew were informed there was no ammo left.

So they fired their gun without ammo, they pressed the trigger and aimed at those German bombers.

Not out of frustration, but out of defiance, out of a will to show they would fire at them if they could, firing imaginary shells at those bombers, perhaps my Grandfather thinking of his loved one (My Nan) in Blitz hit London and how the German bombers were bombing there too.

He went on to serve in France as a Corporal. Upon his return, he came back with some empty anti aircraft shell casings converted to be ashtrays, or a trinket carrier, which have thus been passed down to me to treasure always.

Grandad died in 1988, and his medals still rest on the mantelpiece for my Nan to see, a testament to a WW2 soldier.

My Nan survived the Blitz, often carrying on with her friends in watching a film at the cinema, even after being warned of an air raid.

She followed the London Blitz saying. "If your names on it, you're going to get it" Wherever you may be.

My Great Uncle served in The British Merchant Navy in WW2.

He told me how he was docked in Italy (I think that's what he said) and the crew aboard his ship went aboard the Merchant ship docked next to them to play a game of Football with that ship's crew.

Jovial times were had, a good game was played by all even though it was not peacetime, and eventually, my Great Uncle and his crew mates returned to their own ship.

The neighbouring ship with whom they had boarded to play football with the crew of, decided to set sail, and pulled up anchor.

A danger with this was that if you did it too quick, any possible German sea mine that had attached itself to the anchor or it's chain could be detonated from the fast motion of the anchor being pulled up to quick.

Suddenly, My Great Uncle and his crew spotted that the neighbouring ship's crew was pulling up it's anchor far too quick, and to my Great Uncle and his crew's horror, they saw a German sea mine attached to it.

My Great Uncle's Ship crew tried to warn the neigbouring ship's crew, shouts and cries rang out out across the water between the ships, but it was too late.

The neigbouring ship exploded in a horrific fireball, all hands lost.

The men that my Great Uncle's Crew had been playing football with were all dead, none had survived.

"I lost some good friends that day" My Great Uncle told me.

My Great Uncle also told me off a story that he had heard while in the Merchant Navy.

One day, a convoy of Merchant ships were moving through the sea. Suddenly, a Plane engine could be heard, and hands were ordered to man the anti-aircraft guns.

It was a German Spotter Plane, watching the ships but making no attack. It flew in a circle round and round and round the ships in a repeated manner, and the crew of the merchant ships did not fire their guns.

Eventually, the captain of one of the ships got tired of the German Plane circling them in the sky, and radioed a message to the German pilot.

"I say, you're making us all dizzy down here flying in that circle. Can't you fly the other way?"

The Captain did not expect a response, but suddenly, the German plane stopped it's circle, turned, and flew the other way in a anti clockwise fashion!

The pilot granting the Captain's request caused amusement amongst the ship's crews.

It was a moment of peace and games amid what was World War II, and neither side made an attempt to kill the other on this occasion.

Eventually, the German plane flew away, and the ships carried on along their way.

It makes me wonder what that German Pilot was like, and whereever he survived the war, what happened to him.

A Great Grandfather of mine fought in WW1.

Another Great Uncle fought in North Africa, at El Alamein.

My Merchant Navy Great Uncle is still alive, and can often been seen drinking with a veteran British Airborne solder of The Battle Of Arnhem at their local Working Men's Club.

There used to be three who drank together who were WW2 vets, but one of their number, a Royal Navy Man who served on the Convoys supplying The Soviet Union at Archangel, sadly died last year.

posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 10:11 AM
My grandad was part of the 8th army(the desert rats) in North Africa and Italy he was a motorcyclist messenger and only killed one person, accidently reversing over an Egyptian boy the parents didn`t even care just took his clothes and left!! Anyway when the army got into Rome my Grandad and a few of his chums went looking for lootable goods and found a huge warehouse as he was about to enter a German sniper shot at him and the bullet bounced off the door mm in front of him, needless to say they scrambled. Soon after they learned there was a boobytrap behind the door which killed 2 Brits, so the German sniper actually saved his life by trying to kill him.
Go Germany!!!!

posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 11:07 AM
This is an account narrated to me by a friend of my fathers. He was a POW
(f/p Su-7) in Pakistan during the 71 war.
The detention centre where they held him was decent. AF pilots were treated comparatively better than Army personnel. He was interviewd by the likes of Chuck Yeager(The then American Air Attache to Pakistan) on details of the Su-7 which were unkown to the Americans at the time.
Along with him were two of his AF buddies and one of them was of English origin. Note that after independance many Britishers decided to remain in India and Pakistan. Many were in the armed forces of both countries.

Ok. The deal was that these 3 guys had been digging a tunnel(yes Great Escape types tunnel !
) and they had completed it. The plan was to exit on a Friday evening(or was it Wednesday I don't recall now) when the Cinema hall at the base was playing the weekly movie. It worked like clockwork.

They arose from the tunnel and were able to escape by mingling with the crowd that had just exited the cinema after the movie ended. These three then took a bus for the Afghan border. Afghanistan was not Taliban influenced then and was considered to be a neutral country.

On the journey the were able to pass off as Pak miltary officials to the unsuspecting civilians. Especially since there was no major difference in appearances . Another contributing factor was they spoke (not the guy of english origin)Punjabi which was common to both India and Pakistan.
Things got complicated when they ran into a military patrol at the border. But they managed to convince the patrol that they were Pakistani Airmen on a mission of sorts I think.The military personnel invited them to a cup of coffee, and they ACTUALLY sat down to chat. During the convo the Pakistani Officer in Command of the patrol noticied that one of the supposed airmen(The one of English origin) was not contributing to the convo and only nodding/smiling.
He inquired why this was so. The other two immediately replied that he was 'Anglo-Indian' considering the fact that military personnel of English origin were common to both countries.
What they didn't realise was that they said the chap was Anglo-'Indian', a term NOT used in Pakistan for the English who stayed back!!!

The correct term would've been Anglo-Paksitani!!!
The term Anglo-Indian further confused the officer in command and he obviously asked for their papers! The game was up!!!

They were paraded back to the detention centre and kept in indivisual isolation cells for the rest of the war! (which was only a few days more actually).
Another point to note is that the gnetleman who narrated this to me, has been a POW in Pakistan thrice and has survived 3 ejections!!
Su-7 twice and MiG-21FL once I think.

How's that for an interesting story?

posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 11:19 AM
Hi everyone,

I know this is about grandad but my father was in vietnam war. He has told me a few stories but doesnt like to go far in to some detail because it saddens him. When he was in nam he was a demolitionist (he works as an employee of arby's now as a head maintenance tech(Im not lying he knows his stuff) anyways I will tell this how he told me. here it goes:

I was running in the jungle (kind of like forest gump at the scene before the us bombers hit) and I came to a village. There were aproxametly 5 people here at the time. I had about a convoy of 15 people with me. We all split up and searched the parameter. I came across a Lady and her child both cuffed behind their back, I tried to talkt o them and they couldnt understand. I stopped and used my best instinct telling them to stop. They kept walking. So I had to do quick thinking. I thought do I shoot or see what they are coming towards me for. So I shot killing both , I started crying, and *BooM* I turned my back and still today I have shrap metal in my back. ( I have seen it its black spots all over his back

Another quick story was before all this happened he was in a chopper on the skid is it? The landing bar. Anyways he was goofing off and fell 20 ft in the air in to rice patties. That was kind of funny. But the above is true and how he told me it.

posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 11:44 AM

Originally posted by Daedalus3

The term Anglo-Indian further confused the officer in command and he obviously asked for their papers! The game was up!!!

They were paraded back to the detention centre and kept in indivisual isolation cells for the rest of the war! (which was only a few days more actually).
Another point to note is that the gnetleman who narrated this to me, has been a POW in Pakistan thrice and has survived 3 ejections!!
Su-7 twice and MiG-21FL once I think.

How's that for an interesting story?

That's a hair raising adventure.

Thanks for sharing.

posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 12:36 PM
My father (not Grandfather) has had an interesting military career and many stories to boot. One such story involved a mortar.

In the 1960s my father was based in the Far East - Borneo, Malaya etc... When we lived in Singapore they were getting rid of WW2 ammunition stockpiles (in the way BEFORE Health and Safety took over) by mortaring targets. Unfortunately, the ammunition was a bit damp and on the fist go the mortar bomb shot out of the mortar, straight upwards for a few metres before losing momentum and falling straight back down. A brave and possibly foolhardy squadie ran forwards (whilst everyone was diving for cover) and caught the mortar bomb like a rugby ball.

He also has also recalled some interestingly amusing stories of his tours in Northern Ireland and how he used to ship stilton cheese to the locals when he was working in Norway.


posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 01:29 PM
I also just remembered a story told to me by an old man who frequented a pub back home, he was one hell of a character, who had no teeth and whenever he saw water just dived in! The other men were telling me how he once dived in a canal in Talybont-on-Usk and nearly drowned coz his head stuck in the mud and silt on the bottom and the other drinking buddies with him ahd to pull him out, but hey thats going off subject.

The story he was telling me was of the time he was in a German prisoner of war camp. When he complained about having toothache to the Germans, they took him away and pulled all his teeth out with no anastetic (hence the no teeth). But he also said that was nothing, he said the Germans treated the Brits with a bit of respect in the camp, whereas the Russians were treated terribly. One time, after starving the Russians for God knows how long, the Russians went nuts and started rioting. So the Germans let loose with the German Sheperd dogs to restore some order.

The Russians were so starving, they killed the dogs, ate them and threw the pelts over the fence! This he swears is true and he aint no liar. How many got shot for this I dont know, as this was told to me a long time ago and the old man is dead now bless him.

posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 03:18 PM
This isn't 100% war related, but it is quite amazing!

My grandfather had fought in WWII, and ended up stationed in post-war Germany. Anyways, one day an army jeep ran off the road and almost ran over a fellow soldier. My grandfather pushed the guy out of the way, and they became best friends.

Years later, when my grandfather was back in the states, married with 6 children, he died in a road accident. My grandmother became a widow with 6 kids, none over the age of 10. The State almost took away her kids, and she was fighting vehemently to keep them all.

A few months after my grandfather had died, my grandmother got a ring at the door. It was the gentleman my grandfather had saved in Germany. He asked if his friend was there, and was told of the tragic news. Looking sad, after seeing the condition of my grandmother, he left.

Three days later, he came back. He said, "Lady, your husband was a valiant man who saved my life. I feel that to repay him, it is my duty to marry you and raise his children." My grandmother was rather confounded, but they were married within two weeks! She did not even know his last name until they got the blood test before the marriage. They have now been married some 50 years, with the six kids all grown up and even another seventh they had!

posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 09:55 PM
My Great Grandfather was from Germany he said when hitler was rising to power he and his freinds would drive by on bicycles and throw tomatos.

Anywho just as the war was heating up in Germany he attempted to escape the holocaust with his brother. Unfortunatly he was shot in the back so just as Nazi forces were moving in his brother hid them both under the corpses of the slain and waited for them to pass once they were gone they made their escape to Canada. He survived and so did his brother to tell the story unfortunatly old age got the best of him years ago in his 80's.

posted on May, 3 2006 @ 09:36 PM
I hope I won't have to tell story about WW3 to my childrens...
Maybe I could tell them a story about how the people said that it was enough and overthrown the government?

posted on May, 3 2006 @ 11:54 PM
my great-grandfather once told me about the time he served as a medic on the front lines of ww1. there was an extemely cocky young docter who was sent in late in to the war and was anoying the doctors already there. when a dead soldier came in stiff with riggormortis still seated after being gassed, my great-grandfather told the young doctor that it was unfair to send home the man in that position because he wouldn't fit in to the casket and to straighten him out. welll sure enough the cocky guy went over all sure that he knew what he was doing and pressed down on the mans legs to flatten him, instead the body shot right up at the doctor and scared the crap out of him. he ended up leaving shortly after as he was unable to handle the casualties.

in ww2 my great-uncle lied and said he was 19 to get into the navy when he was 17, said he was 21 to become a lieutenant when he was 18 and my great-grandfather lied about his age too, being a lot older than he claimed just so he could serve for his adopted country.

[edit on 3-5-2006 by darkside_ofthe_moon]

posted on May, 4 2006 @ 12:27 AM
My maternal grandfather was drafted into WWII, but he refused to sign paperwork to go overseas, so he never actually left Canada, but he did all the marching and training and stuff like that.

My paternal grandfather didn't technically fight in WWII, but he worked as a chef for the soldiers (not sure where he was). He used to complain all the time when he was retired, because all of the veterans got kick-arse pensions, and he didn't, even though he was out in the field, as well, and had been in danger of bombs and all that same stuff. I think he had a good reason to be ticked off about that...

My great-grandfather fought in WWI. He was born in Austria, so he would have been fighting for the 'other side'. He lied about his age in order to go and fight, but they took him anyway, because they needed everyone they could get. I have no idea what battles he was involved in or what he did, because he refused to talk about it. All I know is that over sixty years later, he would still wake up screaming in the night at the top of his lungs at whatever horrors he saw during that time. A part of me wonders what could have possibly been that bad, but another part of me is just as glad he never told anybody, so that those horrible memories are buried with him.

posted on May, 4 2006 @ 03:35 PM
I have enjoyed this thread. It reminds me of my own father. I'll add some of his stories to the thread as I remember them. Like many of the other's here, he didn't talk much about combat but there were some funny stories that he would tell.

Dad joined the US Army in the early spring of 1941. He completed basic and tech school (anti-aircraft gunnerey) and was home on leave on 12/7 when Pearl Harbor was bombed. He was called back from leave and was on one of the first trips from the US to England aboard the Queen Mary cruise ship which had been converted to a troop carrier. The convoy across the Altantic was slow and tedious as the ships could only go as fast as the slowest ship in the group.

The ship was packed to the gills with soldiers and supplies were sorely lacking. He told me that the lines to get chow were 8 hours long so most guys just got back in line as soon as they finished eating. For the last 2 or 3 days of the voyage, the only things left to eat were English muffins and orange marmalade. Until the day he died he never ate either one again.

On reaching England his unit was immediately sent to North Africa. Early in the war, the US troops were badly under supplied. His unit would often have to borrow from British troops just to have anything to eat. He told me of a time when the British unit gave them some canned rations containing oxtail stew. His was glad to have something to eat but he didn't like having to spoon the hair off that was floating on the top of the broth.

His unit even ran out of ammo during a German advance on their position. He and several of his friends were captured. But as the Germans were attempting to transfer them to a prison camp behind the lines, they were rescued by another unit.

His war time travels took him to Algiers, Sicily, Rome, and Paris among other places. After Germany surrendered his unit was stationed in Paris to wait for their next orders. Dad could play guitar and sing a little so he and 2 others begain playing music together to pass the time. They entered an amateur talent show and ended up singing 2 songs on Armed Forces Radio. He was always very proud of that.

posted on May, 4 2006 @ 04:20 PM
my grandads war stories arent particulaly heroic

he was injured and so missed dunkirk. however he did manage an army football team with tom finney in. for anyone who doesnt know who tom finney is he was one of the best players england has ever produced.


posted on May, 4 2006 @ 04:48 PM
My Grandfather was a Canadian MP who was stationed in many places during WWII. In one photo we recovered there was the entire base and my Grandfather dressed in white. We actually found someone else from the photo who said my Grandfather was the Provost Marshall, the head cop for the whole area the base was in and could arrest anyone...military or civilian (due to the way Canadian law worked then I guess).

We asked him about it, since he always was casual about his service.

"Hey, this picture of you..."
"Yep, that's me."
"Why are you wearing white?"
"Oh, I don't know..just was I guess. Must have been cooking."
"We found out you were the Provost Marshall and ran the whole base and the area."
"Well, yeah...I was. But I liked to cook too."
(later stolen by a certain "I also cook" themed movie- lol)

He was a big, tough son-of-a-gun who grew up running the alps in Europe and working hard. Then he emigrated to Canada where he worked even harder. He was well known in the area I lived as a nice guy, but not one you messed with.

So one story placed him in Europe attached to an American group to pick up a deserter and bring him back to Canada for trial. He said that in one area they were ambushed and pinned down for a couple days with heavy casualties. Their supply never came and the bullets and food were low. Then came word the Germans were advancing and he said the American commanders passed the word to save one bullet each to avoid capture.

He said the most amazing thing was seeing the dispair turn to cheers as bagpipes played from the hills behind and the Canadian Black Watch marched over the hills and "those tough buggers gave them Germans hell until they surrendered or ran."

DISCLAIMER: Not intending to belittle any nationality, just simply relating a story I was told.

One other story he told was in Canada with him and a partner "a little Frenchie" who went to a bar because some soldiers were raising hell. He said to the partner "watch my back" and went in. The tension was raised in the 5-on-2 situation and soon, it was clear that a fight was going to break out.

He ended the story saying he turned around and the "little bastard was gone, ran out on me." Then he was back to his tools in the garage, tinkering away leaving me and my dad just standing there.

The funny part was my dad asking him, "Well, what happened with the soldiers in the bar?"

He replied "Oh them? Yeah we scuffled and I arrested them."

"ALL five?" my dad asked (both he and I wide-eyed).

"Well, yeah" he said "Nobody else was around. Was a hell of a fight, but you should have seen what I did to that little French bastard when I got back to the base."

These were just a couple of the most memorable WWII period stories from this larger-than-life hero I had. This was a guy big as a mountain with muscles like an ox. I can't even convey the real-life strength of character or the quiet spoken gentleness and humor of the man. His favorite trick on me when I was little was to reach INTO a boiling pot of water to remove the eggs and then hand them to me, grinning as I yelped with suprise. "Bah, that's not hot" he would say. Truth was he worked so hard his whole life, his hands were huge and calloused.

He repeated the joke years later pulling a white-hot coal from a barbeque on summer day and holding while he lit his pipe. Then held it out to me. "Want this?" he asked grinning at my bulging-eye stare before tossing it back.

I saw his uniform and stuff as a kid and to this day I have one nice momento. His original MP armband. Thanks for this thread and bringing back some good memories of a great man.

posted on May, 4 2006 @ 07:25 PM
These are the stories of my father a great grandad by my sisters children.

I only heard this narrative recently as for some reason he never told this story..just kept it to himself all these years.

Late in WW2 my father and some other Hawaiians were drafted into the service. They were in the Army. Their jobs were not particularly glamorous as they were assigned to a Pacific Island long after the war had move on. What they did there was man a airfield which by the stories was mostly a way station where planes and equipment were landed and fueled on their way to other places where the war was happening.

One day in the chow line waiting for chow the guy behind him fell down ...when Pop looked at him he was bleeding from his shoulder. He'd been shot. He called the sergent and told him...they took the guy to the medic station. They were all told to meet the sergent at one of the trucks after chow.
What was in the back of the truck were empty flame throwers. Some of them were told to get the flame throwers the rest were told to get rifles and ammo.
When the flame throwers were ready ...they walked up the lines ...and burned the brush. This went on for several days... He said they killed three Japanese. They took no prisioners. THey just shot them and burned them.

I was a bit shocked by this my father had never related it to us before that day. I surmised that they did not have facilities for prisioners and they probably didnt know anything of importance as the war had long since moved on to other islands/places.

A couple of months later they came through looking for names of people who wanted to go to pilot/navigator training schools. My father and a few others raised their hands. He didnt make the cut as his eyes were not good enough. He went on to become a flight engineer and was in the transfer of the service from the Army Air Corps to the US Air Force. I have a picture here of a bunch of guys including my Father both types of uniforms the Army Air Corps and the new uniforms of the US Air Force.
He went on to fly in transports C54s then C118s all around the world..wherever they sent him..including the Berlin Air Lift. He tells stories of the landing approachs right in between apartment buildings where you can see the people in thier apartments at night. Stories of pilots who were great..almost unbelievable..and others for whom everyone hated to fly with them. I often wondered as a kid he knew so many people around the world and could sometimes call in favors when he needed them.

This story was a side of my Father I never knew.

THanks to all for the very intresting and enlightening stories of your Fathers and Grandfathers,


posted on May, 6 2006 @ 03:24 AM
Well I have a story. My grandfather was in the Canadian Army for about 2 weeks...he got drunk...he got drunk and fell off a small cliff (imbankment)....he got drunk, fell off a small cliff and lost his weapon. A few years later he was struck by lightning and lived, I still haven't figured out whether he was lucky or too dumb to die.

On the other hand I don't have many stories about my paternal grandfathers military because he died before I got really interested in military.

posted on May, 13 2006 @ 12:54 PM
my grandfather who is 74 now, was drafted to the Korean War (for South Korea) in 1950. His brother was also drafted to the war in 1950 when he was 26. They lived in the city Busan, South Korea. they were both drafted and was one of the 1st line of defense if North Korea would bypass Seoul. When they did my Granfather and his brother fought side to side. My grandfather wasw lucky to have his brother. My grandfather said he had 2 close calls....he met with a n.korean face to face and was almost stabbed at but was shot at from my grandfathers brother. My granfather's brother's bravery promoted him to Corporal. At the invasion of Pyoung-yong my grandfathers brother (along with 9 others) were surronded by N.koreans. The north koreans circled around themand were about to shoot at them, right then more s.koreans came and started a big brawl. According to my grandfather, his brother was shot in the right upper lung and died the way to the hospital.

[edit on 13-5-2006 by Atreyu321]

posted on May, 14 2006 @ 06:32 PM
My great uncle (grandfather's brother) was given a task force by the US Army to make a mountain special operations team. His unit was shipped out and fought with the main body of the US front, but unfortunately (he did not participate in the ITaly campaign) the German military surrendered before any real special operations was needed in the German/Austrian alps. But at the end they sent him and his team to Hitler's Bavarian house and proceeded to trash and raid it. We have a set of Hitler's Personal silverware and several other German war artifacts. His diary was incredible talking about how at the end of the war German prisoners were surrendering in the thousands, and that they were Ordered to shoot the surrendering forces because they did not have enough space or materials to house and maintain all of the prisoners. Once again no one hears about those killings but hey whoever wins the war writes history.

posted on May, 14 2006 @ 06:40 PM
My Grandfather was in the Army Air Corps as a flight engineer during WWII. He and his crew were ferrying a bomber from the States, to Iceland, to service in Europe. They decided to take a detour and go see the Scottish Highlands on the way. They passed over one fijord to find a British Naval Fleet anchored there. To signal friendly aircraft they were to launch a flare called "color of the day," they unfortunately had forgotten to look that up before this trip. The British Forces began to fire on my grandfathers bomber and thank god for a good pilot, or I wouldn't be here today. The Brits had shot up the bomber so bad that upon landing it was declared unfit for combat operations and they had to hop back in and fly it back to the States. This time they avoided the Scottish Highlands.

[edit on 14-5-2006 by Baphomet79]

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