Category: World War II History

MHT to Guam and Iwo Jima with Veterans of the Battles.

On March 18th of this year 2015, I boarded a flight out of Houston that took me to Honolulu and connected to Guam. I arrived on Guam March 19th at 1755 (5:55 p.m.). For the next four days I interviewed WWII veterans who had made the trip with the Military Historical Tour of Woodbridge, Virginia to Guam; and for those who signed up for the trip, to Iwo Jima and back to Guam. This is the year of the 70th anniversary of that battle. Of more than 400 people who made the trip to Guam and to Iwo Jima, 49 of that number had fought on that island 70 years ago. This was the Iwo Jima Association of Americas “Reunion of Honor” trip to a place where some of the most fierce battles of the Pacific were fought.

Hershel Woodrow (‘Woody”) Williams, now 91 years old, was among the 22 Marines and 27 service members overall to have received the nation’s highest military honor from the bitter fighting at Iwo Jima in February and March of 1945. That fighting resulted in more than 26,000 American casualties, including 6,800 fatalities. The return trip to the rocky island just south of the Japanese mainland will be Williams’ first in the 70 years since the pivotal 36 day(plus mop-up) battle that will forever rank high in Marine lore.

“Woody” Williams was a corporal when he single-handedly braved withering enemy fire to silence a number of Japanese bunkers with his flamethrower. He retired from the Marine Corps Reserve in 1969 as a chief warrant officer 4 and is the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from Iwo Jima.

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I was recently given a new book.

I was recently given a new book, and I got to thinking about a people who had a lot of trouble in WWII.

Prior to, and during WWII Adolf Hitler thought the Aryan race to be the superior, or the master race, and the Jews to be the most inferior, as well as the cause of all Germany’s problems to include losing WWI. The extermination of 6 million of them proves his point of view.

During the period leading up to and including WWII there were some individuals who did all they could to save the lives of the Jews. I asked the internet who were some of the individuals who rescued Jews in WWII, and a long list of names come up on a site. Corrie ten Boom is one of those names. I mention this because when in church a few days ago I was given a book titled CORRIE TEN BOOM WORLD WAR II HEROINE. The book was written by a Sam Wellman, but given to me by Pastor Leslie Hale of Tarpon Springs, Florida. Corrie ten Boom had been a friend of the pastors, and back in 1982 I heard her speak in a church service in the Calvary Temple of Denver, Colorado. At that time it was Pastors Charles and Betty Blair who introduced Corrie ten Boom to the congregation.

Again I asked the internet about the meeting in Denver, and found a site by the church’s Pastor Todd Walker. It tells us in past: “The Ten Boom family were devoted Christians who hid Jews from the Nazis during World War II. Corrie became a ringleader in the under-ground. Through their activities, the ten Boom family and their many friends saved the lives of an estimated 800 Jews.”

“February 28, 1944, the family was betrayed. The Gestapo raided their home. Casper, Corrie, Betsie, and their brother William were all arrested, but four Jews and two members of the Dutch under-ground, hidden behind a false wall in Corrie’s bedroom, were never found. Casper (84 years old) died after only 10 days in Scheveningen Prison. When Casper was asked if he knew he could die for helping Jews, he replied, “It would be an honor to give my life for God’s ancient people.” Read more »

The Heart Of World War II

10541038World War II continues to capture the imagination like no other conflict in history. A large part of this may well be because it is the most recent traditional war – as popularly imagined. While any number of large-scale conflicts have arisen since then, none have been “traditional” as World War II has been. Most wars are between generally unequal powers. After all, no one bothers fighting unless they think they can win – or are forced to.

However, in World War II, though it started out as the usual big-power-attacks-small-power conflict, big powers – the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union – soon joined in and the conflict expanded worldwide almost overnight. Thus World War II was the kind of war we all know and even “love” – a “set-piece” conflict with a real good versus evil theme.

For most wars are over trifling matters; a hill here, a river there. World War II was literally a cultural war, where not only territory was at stake but the very nature of civilization itself, the form it would take for the next several decades or, even, as envisioned by Adolf Hitler, centuries. WWII’s case involved the most amount of nations which had 2 military operating alliances, the Allies and the Axis, which began at the beginning of September 1939 with an unseen invasion by Poland. Read more »