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Heroic Actions On The Battlefield

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posted on Mar, 24 2010 @ 11:57 AM
This thread was started years before I joined ATS, so I was not aware of it until an update today. I would like to contribute the most heroic action in wartime of someone I personally know.

I am good friends with a Vietnam era Navy SeaBee (Construction Battalion member). I'll just call him FL. He does not grandstand, he only said it was in his heart to do this without thinking, and only after I asked him about his experiences.

Stationed off the Vietnam coast awaiting his first combat zone deployment, a fire broke out on the USS Kitty Hawk. There were US Marines in that section of the ship, who were down and suffocating. FL grabbed two respirators, climbed into the hold, and immediately found two men down, but alive. He placed the extra respirator on one of the Marines, then shouldered the other and climbed up the ladder with him.

After he arrived topside, he got the Marine to fresh air, then went to retrieve another respirator. He was attempting to go into the hold again to retrieve the other man, but was stopped by a superior officer and told to seal the hatch. He knew the man was alive and waiting for him, so he had the most difficult decision of his life: to disobey and save the man, or obey his superior. He complied with the officer.

He knows that the officer's priority was to keep the fire from spreading, but has had many feelings of horror and guilt knowing that the Marine was expecting him to return.

Running into a fire is one of the most unnatural things for anyone to do, as is running into machinegun fire, or jumping on a grenade. FL did it once and survived, and is haunted because he couldn't do it again to save another remaining man.

I don't believe one has to die to be a hero. He received a Meritorius Service award for his actions.

As a public servant in his post-war career (not a firefighter), he again went into a burning home to save an old drunk from burning. Afterward the drunk was saying "why didn't you just let me die?".

IMO he was seeking some relief from the memory of what happened when he had to seal the hatch.

edit: Construction Batallion, not Combat...)

[edit on 24-3-2010 by 1SawSomeThings]

posted on Mar, 20 2013 @ 03:00 PM
British Arctic Convoys veterans finally honored by their own.

Arctic Convoys veterans finally honored

The survivors – now in their 80s and 90s – were honored with Arctic Star medals and an admission from Prime Minister David Cameron that he was ‘righting a wrong’.

The British heroes have previously received medals from Russia in recognition of their valor but until now were unrecognized by their nation.

The Arctic convoys were dubbed the "worst journey in the world" by Winston Churchill. More than 3,000 seamen died on the journey, which was instrumental in making sure Germany had to fight a war on two fronts.

posted on Mar, 20 2013 @ 03:41 PM
link task force taffy 3 small group of three destroyers and four destroyer escorts charged into the maw of the pride of the Japanese fleet(the Yamamoto alone displaced more then their entire allied task force) while halsey chased a what he thought was the bulk of the Japanese fleet they had snuck around planning to pound the beaches and attempt to crush the American beach head....they didnt count on taffy 3s destroyers and escorts charging battleships,heavy cruisers and assorted other ships,and succeeded in driving off the Japanese armada because they thought they were facing the bulk of the pacific fleet. by the time taffy three was done with them the Japanese navy ceased to be a threat to the united states of America

In a scene that must have resembled battles from the wind and sail days of the U.S. Navy, the Roberts and Chikuma began to trade broadsides. The Chikuma, busy firing at the carriers, now divided her fire between the CVEs and the Roberts. Hampered by the closing range and slow rate of fire, Chikuma fired with difficulty at her small, fast opponent. (Early in the battle, when it became apparent that Roberts would have to defend the CVEs against a surface attack, chief engineer "Lucky" Trowbridge bypassed all the engine's safety mechanisms and now the Roberts would be traveling as fast as 28 knots.)[29]

In the annals of US Naval history, there are a number of instances that demonstrate the courage and determination of a committed group of dedicated officers and men. The one that stands out most in many people’s opinions is the battle which occurred on October 25th 1994. On this day, a small group of scrappy warriors took on a force many times its size and contributed to one of the greatest naval victories of all time.

The decision left only a small force of escort carriers and destroyers to cover the beachhead from any further naval attacks. Admiral Kurita still had four battleships, six heavy cruisers, two light cruisers, and eleven destroyers. Facing that attack, Rear Admiral Sprague had 16 escort carriers and their destroyers. Taffy 3 which only included six small carriers, three destroyers and four destroyer escorts immediately turned east to confront the overwhelming force. The Battle of Samar had begun.

edit on 20-3-2013 by RalagaNarHallas because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 20 2013 @ 04:07 PM

in the article one man one ship we get a detailed account of the battle of Guadalcanal and exactly how perilous a condition the united states marines and navy were at the beginning of the war

Oct. 26 falls on a Thursday this year. Ask the significance of the date, and you're likely to draw some puzzled looks — five more days to stock up for Halloween? It's a measure of men like Col. Mitchell Paige and Rear Adm. Willis A. "Ching Chong China" Lee that they wouldn't have had it any other way. What they did 58 years ago, they did precisely so their grandchildren could live in a land of peace and plenty.

first ill focus on Mitchel Paige

As Paige — then a platoon sergeant — and his riflemen set about carefully emplacing their four water-cooled Brownings, it's unlikely anyone thought they were about to provide the definitive answer to that most desperate of questions: How many able-bodied U.S. Marines does it take to hold a hill against 2,000 desperate and motivated attackers?
Mitchel Mitch Paige proved that answer one marine

By the time the night was over, "The 29th (Japanese) Infantry Regiment has lost 553 killed or missing and 479 wounded among its 2,554 men," historian Lippman reports. "The 16th (Japanese) Regiment's losses are uncounted, but the 164th's burial parties handle 975 Japanese bodies. ... The American estimate of 2,200 Japanese dead is probably too low."

the marines suffered 90 causalities including the entirety of Paige's platoon. Paige held off the pride of the imperial army and gave defeat to a nation that had not known defeat in battle in over a century after most of his men and the bulk of his machine guns were destroyed Paige picked up a water cooled browning machine gun weighing (80 pounds) and charged down the hill into the japanese forces he was victorious

now on to the Washington's tale:
the washington a battleship escorted by four destroyers with only enough fuel to get them to the battle and possibly home was at this time the entirety of the pacific fleet

"Washington was now the only intact ship left in the force," Lippman writes. "In fact, at that moment Washington was the entire U.S. Pacific Fleet. She was the only barrier between (Admiral) Kondo's ships and Guadalcanal. If this one ship did not stop 14 Japanese ships right then and there, America might lose the war. ...

using her advanced radar tracking for its guns the washinton engaged 14 japanese ships using the burning wreck of the south Dakota to silhouette the Japanese and obscure her presence

"Commander Ayrault, Washington's executive officer, clambered down ladders, ran to Bart Stoodley's damage-control post, and ordered Stoodley to cut loose life rafts. That saved a lot of lives. But the men in the water had some fight left in them. One was heard to scream, 'Get after them, Washington!' " Sacrificing their ships by maneuvering into the path of torpedoes intended for the Washington, the captains of the American destroyers had given China Lee one final chance. The Washington was fast, undamaged, and bristling with 16-inch guns. And, thanks to Lt. Hunter's course change, she was also now invisible to the enemy.

after brefly dropping life boats to the men the the water,the washington fired off her 16inch guns and from 1200-1207 am fired over 75 shells at the Krishima,after 7 minutes the washington became the first us battleship since the Spanish American war to sink and enemy ship,stunned by the destruction of their flag ship the rest of the Japanese fleet withdrew thus saving the day

But who remembers, today, how close-run a thing it was — the ridge held by a single Marine, the battle won by the last American ship?

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