This thread is a good idea. Sharing history between former enemies is sharing of understanding.
My both grandfathers served with the Wehrmacht in WW2.
My grandfather on the mothers side graduated as a doctor in 1942 and was directly sent to Stalingrad, where he had to stay in a first aid station until New Year, when he was wounded by shrapnels. They've sent him to a military hospital in what is today Eastern Poland. After he had recovered, they made him head physician in a hospital for severely wounded in Germany, before he was sent back to the Eastern front in late 1943, where he had to led a larger first aid station until April 1944. In these days, he had to face a court-martial for helping wounded Russian soldiers, but the charges against him were dropped when he "convinced" the court that he only treated Russian wounded because he thought they could have important informations for German intelligence.
In mid-1944, the station was captured by Russian forces. Because my grandfather was unarmed and they found him together with the POWs to which he was providing medical treatment, they thought he was a civilian doctor and released him in early 1945. He had to cover the last distance by foot and by hitchhiking to reach his home again - nearly 1400 km.
After the war, he became head physician in a major county hospital and died in 1979 from cancer. My family has two thank-you-letters from russians he treated at the Eastern Front, one written by a former patient himself, another one written by the daughter of a patient who had already passed away when the Soviet Union fell.
My other grandfather was a Landser in Africa and was captured in the second battle of El Alamein. In Africa, he had met his future wife, who served as a nurse. He never talked much about his experiences, but I know that he was POW in the US till late 1945, when he was released to France as a worker. One year later, he was allowed to reenter Germany. In 1949, he opened a restaurant in Western Germany which was destroyed in a flood twenty years later.
He died 1991, my grandmother outlived him by two years.
My great great grandad, whom my grandpa told me about has emigrated in early 1900s to the United States and afterwards served in American Expediotionary Force in France. He went through the last months of the war seeing little action. After the war he joined the newlly created lithuanian army in early 1920 and was wounded on the first day of Batlle near Giedraiciai against the poles. He later married lithuanian girl and moved back to the States in 1939, where he lived to the end of his days. I recentlly made contact with his familly members, wonderfully enough, people of my age still can speak lithuanian, so strong was his will to educate in native language.
He was and so far is the only member of our family to be a proffesional soldier, all others, including myself just done their duties (either serving like my grandfather, or father, who was a lieutenant in Soviet Army, or in the Teritorial Army like me). So far I had only one crapy photo of him, I hope to recieve more from those far relatives.
My grandpa(from mother's side) was in the Red Army during WW2, fought through all the 4 years and was with the Soviet troops liberated Poland. His brother also fought all the 4 years and was among the troops which entered Berlin in 1945. Their two brothers were killed somewhere on the battlefield during the war and the place of their death/burial is unknown. My grandpa's brother before his death (here in Israel) asked to put their names on his tombstone.
My grandma (mother's side) found herself under occupation and was sent to the Czech concentration camp from which he managed to escape. When she came back home (Ukraine) she found out that her mother and her two children (3 and 4 years old) were killed.
My other grandpa was injured during the bombing at the very beginning of the war and died later from the blood infection. My grandma with her son (my father) were in evacuation during all the 4 years of the war.
Her brother(my father's uncle) was among the Soviet troops which fought against the Germans in the Crimea peninsula in the beginning of the war. When the Red Army retreated some 20K troops were left behind and all of them got POWs. The father's uncle succeeded to escape and managed to return to his unit. When he got there he started telling everybody what happened there. Unfortunately for him the official version at the time was that nobody was left behind(this version changed BTW only in the 90s), so his unit KGB officer arrested him for spreading lies and enemy propaganda and sent him to the concentration camp, from which he got released by shear luck only after the end of the war.(He is an amaizing person - now in his mid-90s he has a perfectly clear mind and actually writes a book - memoirs about the war).
My xgreat grand fathers who's name was Obadiah fought in the War for Independence. He is buried at a family cemetery in Virgina. My greatx4 grand pa fought in the Civil War on the CSA side. He was a blacksmith/farmer and when the war was over carpetbaggers took his farm for over due taxes. He ended up buying his house some with land back and made out good with his trade. My great grand father fought in WWII and here is a story he told me I posted here. Yes it says grand father, all this great stuff gets confusing. http://militaryphotos.net/forums/sho...&postcount=177
His father fought in WWI was wounded and came home to Chattanooga to death all around from the flu epidemic. In the course of helping the sick at Fort Oglethorpe with my great-great grand mother he became sick as well and died. I knew my great-great grandmother. She was a nurse and part of the medical staff at Fort Oglethorpe during both WWI and WWII. She was born in 1891 and died in 1992.
My father who was a Polish immigrant along with his parents served in the Navy during WWII. He never talked about it and it was barely mentioned at his funeral. I had no control over this as my parents divorced while I was an infant and our families have been estranged. I am in the process of trying to gather more information regarding his service in the Navy.
My stepfather was also in the Navy during WWII, 1943-1945 and then reenlisted in 1954-1955. Honorable discharge for both and commended for valor as a member of the Gunnery Dept. aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid (CVII). His precision was a key factor in the destruction of at least ten enemy aircraft during suicide attacks on the vessel. He also never talked about it and I knew nothing about it until my mother passed away and I found his cruise book from the USS Randolph CVA-15 Mediterranean cruise. The book had his discharge papers and commendations in it or I would never have known.
My big Bro, Phil K, is a Marine who served from 1965-1969. Phil was a combat infantryman with the Third Marine Division and was wounded in Viet Nam during a search and destroy mission. Fortunately his wounds were not life threatening and we are still very close as brothers to this day. He received the Purple Heart along with numerous other military decorations and achieved the rank of Sergeant prior to his honorable discharge. He also served in the Marine reserves during the 1980’s.
I also have other relatives and friends who served and am fortunate to know them as they are outstanding individuals.
Thank you for allowing me to share this and also for reading.
Last edited by Stephen~K^; 10-23-2007 at 09:08 PM.
mothers father was a MP in world war II, he came into normandy a few days after the landings and was in bastogne when the germans attacked, his unit was overrun and he was captured, rounded into a field, and he and the other prisoners were shot, he was hit in the gut and pretended to be dead, even after being kicked, this was later known as the massacre at malmendy, he later became a guard at nuremburg and was friends with the guy who tied georings noose
Dad was a army comando in Angola. He served for three years (69/72) in almost all of the territory (the North and East fronts) and when a bit tipsy tells some interesting stories. His all company almost did another two years comission - most likely in Guinea - because of a problem they had one night in the piss in Luanda with the MP, that ended up in two MP dead.
His brother was a navy marine, in one of the called 'special companies', and served for two years in Angola and another in Guinea. He's speciality was catching crocodiles by hand (he has a small one stuffed (??) and serving as a lamp). He was shot in a leg and was in hospital for six months.
My mother's two brothers were both on the GNR (National Republican Guard), so never left Portugal metropolis to fight abroad.
I'll have to check the family books to see if we had someone else on the military - I think a great uncle served in WWI and fought in La Lys.
Dad's father was a turret gunner in WWII. Mom's father was a "SeaBee" in the Pacific.
Cousin on my dad's side is currently a CPO. He had been a deep sea rescue diver, but I think he's doing some other work now, not sure what. Received at least one medal for a rescue that I know of.