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CaptO

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CaptO last won the day on December 13

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About CaptO

  • Rank
    Resident [Retired] Marine
  • Birthday 06/26/1972

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  • Are you a veteran?
    yes

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  • Website URL
    http://picasaweb.google.com/104745627018165888181

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Hurst, Texas
  • Interests
    -Shooting and hunting
    -1/35 scale plastic modeling - mainly German WWII. You can't deny they had the coolest gear! Although they weren't as cool when used against you.
    -World War II (since I was in grade school)

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  1. Farewell, sir. Thank you for your service!
  2. CaptO

    The Korean War Project - Is this Goodbye?

    It's a great, fun city. Getting around as someone who doesn't speak English is pretty easy. Do the DMZ tour - it's something you must see!
  3. Quick post about something I saw today: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/presidential-proclamation-national-pearl-harbor-remembrance-day-2019/ Presidential Proclamation on National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, 2019 Issued on: December 6, 2019 Seventy-eight years ago today, the course of our Nation’s history was forever altered by the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor on Oahu, Hawaii. On National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we solemnly remember the tragic events of that morning and honor those who perished in defense of our Nation that day and in the ensuing 4 years of war. Just before 8 a.m. on December 7, 1941, airplanes launched from the Empire of Japan’s aircraft carriers dropped bombs and torpedoes from the sky, attacking our ships moored at Naval Station Pearl Harbor and other military assets around Oahu. Following this swift assault, the United States Pacific Fleet and most of the Army and Marine airfields on the island were left decimated. Most tragically, 2,335 American service members and 68 civilians were killed, marking that fateful day as one of the deadliest in our Nation’s history. Despite the shock of the attack, American service members at Pearl Harbor fought back with extraordinary courage and resilience. Sprinting through a hailstorm of lead, pilots rushed to the few remaining planes and took to the skies to fend off the incoming Japanese attackers. Soldiers on the ground fired nearly 300,000 rounds of ammunition and fearlessly rushed to the aid of their wounded brothers in arms. As a solemn testament to the heroism that abounded that day, 15 American servicemen were awarded the Medal of Honor — 10 of which were awarded posthumously. In one remarkable act of bravery, Doris “Dorie” Miller, a steward aboard the USS West Virginia, manned a machine gun and successfully shot down multiple Japanese aircraft despite not having been trained to use the weapon. For his valor, Miller was awarded the Navy Cross and was the first African-American recognized with this honor. In the wake of this heinous attack, the United States was left stunned and wounded. Yet the dauntless resolve of the American people remained unwavering and unbreakable. In his address to the Congress the following day, broadcast to the Nation over radio, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt assured us that “[w]ith confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph.” In the days, months, and years that followed, the full might of the American people, industry, and military was brought to bear on our enemies. Across the Atlantic and Pacific, 16 million American servicemen and women fought to victory, making the world safe for freedom and democracy once again. More than 400,000 of these brave men and women never returned home, giving their last full measure of devotion for our Nation. While nearly eight decades have passed since the last sounds of battle rang out over Pearl Harbor, we will never forget the immeasurable sacrifices these courageous men and women made so that we may live today in peace and prosperity. We continue to be inspired by the proud legacy left by the brave patriots of the Greatest Generation who served in every capacity during World War II, from keeping factories operating on the home front to fighting on the battlefields in Europe, North Africa, and the South Pacific. Their incredible heroism, dedication to duty, and love of country continue to embolden our drive to create a better world and galvanize freedom-loving people everywhere under a common cause. On this day, we resolve forever to keep the memory of the heroes of Pearl Harbor alive as a testament to the tremendous sacrifices they made in defense of freedom and all that we hold dear. The Congress, by Public Law 103-308, as amended, has designated December 7 of each year as “National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.” NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim December 7, 2019, as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. I encourage all Americans to observe this solemn day of remembrance and to honor our military, past and present, with appropriate ceremonies and activities. I urge all Federal agencies and interested organizations, groups, and individuals to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff in honor of those American patriots who died as a result of their service at Pearl Harbor. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth. DONALD J. TRUMP
  4. CaptO

    The Korean War Project - Is this Goodbye?

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/e4aCdjbswks6tpcn6 Pictures from my 2014 trip to Seoul and the DMZ
  5. No, nothing sensitive or classified. Only one time (actually, on that first trip) was I ever involved in something secret squirrel-like. And I only was providing security while other, actual secret-squirrel types did the work in question. Further, if I told you what went on you would kind of go, "oh" as opposed to be hanging on every exciting word. Not all secret things are James Bond exciting. Even the US secret network (SIPRNET) isn't that exciting when you look around on it. As far as looking young there, you're right about that. That was 2004 so 15 years ago as I type this. I really can't believe it's that long ago.
  6. So when this thread became active again, I started reading through it and found I hadn't answered this question. How careless of me!! So here we go: Accounting for the difference in weapons and configurations . . . So let's start with the basics. The Marine Corps fire team is made of four members (caveat, the USMC has been toying around with different configurations, but what I am going to talk about is the still standard for rifle company organization). There is a FT leader who carries an M-16 with an M203 grenade launcher; a machine gunner who carries a light MG (M249 SAW in the past and is pictured here, now an M27 IAR); an assistant machine gunner who carries extra barrels if required and ammo who carries an M-16; and a rifleman who carries an M-16 and is normally the junior member of the team. So right there you have three different weapons systems - M-16 (or sometimes an M-4 carbine, a shorter version of an M-16 with a collapsible stock), an M-16 with the grenade launcher and the LMG. Add to that, that the M-16s we carried at the time were actually not the typical M-16A2s that I was familiar with (semi-auto or three round burst only - the A1, which I never used, was capable of full auto). We actually were using M-16A4s (not to be confused with M4s which are different). These had the Picatinny rail system that allowed attachment of all different kinds of accessories. I didn't see any obvious ones in the pictures, but some of the guys carried night vision IR laser aiming devices, IR flood lights, visible wavelength flashlights, etc. One of my guys, who was an avid shooter in his normal, back home life, had the scope that is readily visible. That was a civilian addition his dad sent him and was not military issue, but it was designed to be mounted on his Picatinny rail on his M-16A4. Now to your second question, did Marines have a choice: In 2004, I would say they certainly did in most cases. Typically, only infantry Marines who have passed sniper school and are serving in a sniper or recon position have scopes of that sort. Now at that time, we were just getting fielded the Advanced Combat Optic Gunsight (or ACOG) which is barely visible on some of the A4s. This is very different than the large sniper type sight the Marine has and is designed for quick acquisition of targets (i.e. from the time you lift the rifle to your eye to the point you can see the target and engage) and only magnifies vision up to 6 times. The Marine in question had a civilian purchased, probably up 20 times magnified sniper scope. This was certainly not "standard issue" and as the platoon commander, I certainly could have said he couldn't carry it. Of course as far as I was concerned, that would have been stupid because it gave the platoon an asset that we didn't have without it. No one higher up than me had an issue, so it stayed. I would say that at that time there was probably a fair amount of non-standard issue items being carried. My drop holster and three point sling were purchased at a tactical supply store in Jacksonville, NC because the USMC didn't have any to issue. You will also notice in pictues of me at that time that I have a desert Camel Bak but everyone else had a green one. This is because 3/24 (Third Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment - the reserve unit to which I was assigned to augment their personnel) had been given green ones, but I had purchased a desert one personally the spring before. Here are some more pictures of that deployment. Hopefully that was interesting enough to be worth reading!
  7. That's amazing. There's a difference between the WWII experience and the wars fought after. With long wars such as Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq - and also short ones like Desert Storm - you don't get the life long camaraderie as you got with the WWII generation. I think there a few reasons why. First it was a different generation. The US was just starting become a powerhouse of a nation. People say WWII made us one, but we had to have had the right mix of people, resources and attitude to have WWI propel us to that lofty station. Back to the point, prior to the mid-40s people generally didn't move very far from there home town. Trying - and failing - to leave home was a theme of "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946). I think that led people to be inclined to make deeper and more lasting friendships. Now you take those same people and put them in a unit that is told it's in the fight overseas "for the duration". Sometimes, as in the case of the folks who landed in North Africa, that was close to (if not over) three years. Add to that the life and death factor and you have the groundwork for remarkably long lasting friendships. In Vietnam, it was the individual that rotated in for a year and then left while the unit stayed in place. This seems to have not been very successful and those lessons learned lead to the whole unit swap model used since then. For my generation, we were formed into units that would train together for six months to a year, deploy for six months to a year and then dis-aggregate upon return to the States. Some leaving the service others to different units, but the unit changed dramatically following it's return. In both cases, however, you don't have that years long shared experience the WWII folks had. For me personally (as with most modern Marines), the long term friendships are based on knowing people in the Marine Corps. I keep in touch with some of the folks I served with, but distance has its tyrannies. The person I was friends with for the longest time was someone I met in Okinawa. I knew him for 3 years there and another two once we both moved (coincidentally) to Quantico at the same time. He lives in Wisconsin though, and that is a pretty long haul from the DFW area. Add to that the fact that there are no unit reunions to bring folks together. It's hard to get folks together for a reunion when they were only in country for eight months. Or how about the guy who deployed to combat zones for maybe five or six times? I went twice (nine and five months in 2004 and 2009, respectively) myself, but don't regularly talk to any of the folks I deployed with. To wrap this missive around to the beginning, I find it a wonderful thing that those guys had such deep and lasting friendships. Such things are a rarity and to think about how many came out of that generation truly speaks to the special time they lived in and the amazing men they were.
  8. Farewell to another WWII Vet - well deserving of the accolades earned in defense against tyranny. Take your rest, sir. We have the watch. . .
  9. Hey Brendan, I missed this string before and am just catching up. I notice that you have been focused on his time in the engineering unit. He only started that in early summer, 1944. Until then, he was with artillery units as he was, actually, a trained artillery officer. Your Record of Separation (ROS) mentions Construction Engineer in block 27, but he wasn't trained as such - at least not by the Army or officially. He may have been a civil engineer in civilian life (as was my grandfather before the war) but he went through artillery school in 42-43 (58 years before I did). Even prior to that, he was serving in Field Artillery (FA) units. I would do the same research but with the 172nd FA (Regiment) and the 941st FA Battalion and see what you get there. He only did the engineer thing for the last 5 months of the war. The ROS just recorded his last known gig, if you will. I noticed he would have been in his forties during the war. They must have thought of him as the grand old man of his artillery battalions! In my battalions (very different time and make up, of course) there were maybe only a handful of folks over 40. CO, SgtMaj (maybe) and some of the master sergeants/first sergeants (E8s) (maybe). And what did he do in Honduras? (Block 12 on the pink form). Seems he spoke a smattering of Spanish (block 18), so that ties back into spending so time in Honduras. Was there a job there he did?
  10. CaptO

    Ranger walks at Gettysburg

    Is there a link to the collection?
  11. CaptO

    208th Combat Engineers

    Hey Anthony, I got to catch up with this string and found it very interesting. Looking at the names on the back of the picture that initiated all of this was great. I guess there is some truth to the old cliche in war movies about everyone having a nick-name! There's even a "Tex"! How cliche is that!! Perhaps every company had its Tex. Sorry to hear of your father's passing, but it sounds like you had a lot of good years with him and that you talked to him a great deal about his time over seas. My grandfather was in the same Engineer regiment as Marion's father (although in the other battalion) which is how I cam to the forum. He, unfortunately, lived in Florida and I in Texas so we didn't see him but maybe once a year as kids. We were also told that he didn't want to talk about the war (as with a lot of those guys) so I never really talked to him about it until a few years before he died and only a few times. Fortunately, we have things like this forum to keep his stories and stories of your father alive. It's a few years late (I was active duty Marine Corps in Okinawa in 2014 so I was pretty busy) but thanks for the post! There were great pictures and great, if sad at times, stories. Finally, thanks for bringing the post up to the top of the queue again. I really enjoyed it.
  12. CaptO

    Camp Butner NC engineer units. Trying to research

    That's why the forum will always beat FaceBook or other such nonsense! (Yes, I don't like FB!) The best thing about the forum is the archived information. I always enjoy when some one brings up a thread from long ago - especially those with members we have lost over the years (sadly, too many). For the love of history. . . the first capture from the Internet Archive:
  13. CaptO

    149th Combat Engineers

    That's quite a find!
  14. I just checked and my Picasa Web Albums (now Google Photo Archive) still works and you can link to my albums. And so here are my trips to . . . Chancellorsville Camp Sumter (Andersonville) Fort Pulaski Some are way older, but still pretty interesting. There are some pictures of much younger Capt Todd in there. If you check the info on the pictures it says 2010, but I was at 2d Tank Battalion on that trip and that was 2006. If you want to check over a large body of pictures I've taken in my duty stations, museums and other points of interest look here. Album Archive doesn't put them in order by date so that is annoying, but not much you can do about that.
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