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CaptO last won the day on August 9

CaptO had the most liked content!

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About CaptO

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

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  • Gender
  • 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. 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.
  2. Farewell to another WWII Vet - well deserving of the accolades earned in defense against tyranny. Take your rest, sir. We have the watch. . .
  3. 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?
  4. CaptO

    Ranger walks at Gettysburg

    Is there a link to the collection?
  5. 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.
  6. 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:
  7. CaptO

    149th Combat Engineers

    That's quite a find!
  8. 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.
  9. Hey Darlene, Good to hear from you! It's been a long time (5 and a half years or thereabouts?) Hope you are on the mend! Glad to have you back on the forum. Incidentally, My last tour (that's a change - since you've been here, I left Okinawa in 2016 and spent 2.5 years in Quantico before retiring from the Marine Corps) was close to Fredericksburg so I was in the middle of a lot of Civil War history. I didn't see as much as I liked, but I did take a great tour of the Chancellorsville Battlefield. That was a great experience. I've got a lot of pictures, but I need to transfer them from Google photos to Irista since you can't openly share Google Photos links anymore. (I hate Google!) Incidentally, living between Fredericksburg and DC I find one thing kind of surprising. It would seem that if you want to get to Fredericksburg or any point south of that, you have in 2019 the same problem Burnsides had 157 years ago - crossing the Rappahannock. With I-95 usually more of a parking lot than a thoroughfare and Route 1 (AKA Jefferson Davis Highway - 95's paralleling older brother) normally just as bad but with traffic lights, it would probably be faster to walk from DC and sneak across the U.S. Ford. I post some links to my Civil War tourism when I get them uploaded somewhere more link-friendly than Google. Glad to have you back!
  10. CaptO

    At 95 Kennedy Space Center VAB designer...

    Very cool! https://www.nasa.gov/content/vehicle-assembly-building
  11. CaptO

    What the major is up to now

    Update time! So I got the job at Lockheed! I'll be working with the rocket launcher programs (MLRS and HIMARS) in Grand Prairie, Texas. Grand Prairie is in between Dallas and Fort Worth on the Dallas side. I start in May. I'll be living a little closer to Fort Worth and we are pretty close to closing on a house! Busy time at the O'Brien house right now. More to follow!
  12. CaptO

    What the major is up to now

    Well, folks - I'm retired. Hard to believe it, really, but it has finally happened. I'm going to create a separate post on my retirement ceremony, but wanted give everyone a quick update. I haven't been around the site a whole lot lately since I've been job hunting in Texas. I had a good interview with Lockheed so hopefully that will turn into something, but I'm not counting chickens just yet. More to follow on that later. My brick on the walk at the Marine Corps Museum. . . The rest. . . https://www.irista.com/gallery/mmjcpl8nntm2
  13. CaptO

    In memory of the children

    I just listened to a book called KL about the whole concentration camp system. It's a hard read (or listen, in my case) but very informative. I would say that almost no one in the US or beyond has any idea about how they were come about or why they were used. They were mostly for the purpose of eliminating opposition to the regime by frightening people (most were released at least early in KL system) or eventually killing them. Jews always got the hardest of treatment, but the main categories were communists, a-socials, criminals, Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses, gypsys, Poles, and homosexuals. Once the war kicked off, the life in the KL got much worse and as the NAZIs gained more and more territory, the goal began to morph into complete destruction of Jewry. The mass killings really started in earnest in 43+/-, much later than mist people believe. Many in Auschwitz, for example, belonged to the categories I mentioned earlier. The only Jews that were (late in the war, at least) there were saved because they were strong enough to work. The elderly, infirm, and Women with children were typically sent straight to the killing centers and not even registered in the camp. I realize there is a lot of generalization in the last paragraph, but there were enough exceptions to things, to make a "short" synopsis incredibly difficult to get right. It's well within the ball park, however.
  14. CaptO

    1274th Engineer Construction Battalion

    I find it interesting that something, so mundane (morning reports) at the time, become interesting and precious research material decades later. Our morning reports in the Marine Corps have been done an a computer system for years, so they may, ironically, be much harder to retrieve later.