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Military Quotes

In making tactical dispositions, the highest pitch you can attain is to conceal them.

-- Sun Tzu

Welcome to the Patriot Files


The Patriot Files is a Library of Congress Veterans History Project Founding Partner web site comprised of first hand accounts of military life and combat, primary source material, as well as image, video, and audio resources.

The Patriot Files also supports the largest military usenet archive, military memorial, military website archive, and military news archive online.


POW On or about the 6th of March 1944 we crashed our B-17, on fire, on the way to Berlin. I became a POW and I made up my mind that I would have to try to escape. After traveling by boxcar for several days we arrived at Dulag Luft at Frankfort. We went through a very intense interrogation for a few days and then another trip by boxcar to Stalag Luft I at Barth, Germany. That was a trip no one will ever forget. I am certain all Ex-POW’s will agree. I still dream about those boxcars.
Note: by 2nd Lt. Herbert Markle  16970 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Korea The following is a summation of my recollections of the Korean War while stationed at Kimpo Air Force Base. I was assigned as a radio man to the 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron a photo reconnaissance squadron. The squadron flew the World War II P-51's which were actually designated RF-51 (Reconnaissance Fighter) but we always referred to them as P-51's or Mustangs.
Note: by Herbert A (Art) Rideout, Kimpo AFB, Korea 1952, 45th TRS 67th TRW.  10228 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam Every day we wandered aimlessly through the dense, green, vegetated, treacherous terrain. Men became lost, absorbed, into the greenness that nature built long ago. The same greenness that Charlie used so well to conceal his roads, bases, weapons, and supplies. The dark forests that seemed to offer up a war with mosquitoes, leeches, physical and emotional exhaustion, and the endless search. Frustrations of living, coping, and the lack of sleep. So tired you don't give a shit anymore. Face the danger, press on. Prison life at hard labor couldn't be this bad. Nevertheless, prison is life and out here, there are no guarantees of any such thing.
Note: by Tom Hays   6685 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War I July 20, 1918
My own beloved wife
I do not know how to start this letter. The circumstances are different from any under which I ever wrote before. I am not to post it but will leave it in my pocket, if anything happens to me someone will perhaps post it.
Note: by Company Sergeant-Major James Milne.  6637 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War I We had been marching since 2.30 a.m. and about 11.15 a.m. an order was passed down for "A" Company (my company) to deploy to the right and dig in on the south bank of a railway cutting. We deployed and started digging in, but as the soil was mostly chalk, we were able to make only shallow holes.
Note: by Corporal Bernard John Denore, 1st Royal Berks Regt., 6th Brigade, 2nd Division, I Army Corps  6663 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Revolutionary War Roxbury July 18 1775 To my Dear wife & Children I Received yours which I Prize next to your Person. The welfare of our family I understand is good. You tell me John is fat & Rugged which I Rejoice to hear & Prize above gold. The Rest of our Children I Donít mention be Cause I Left them well.
Note: by Lt. Samuel Cooper, Second Connecticut Regiment  11192 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Spanish American USS New York, 3 July 1898 Sir-I have the honor to make the following report upon the battle with and the destruction of the Spanish squadron, commanded by Admiral Cervera, off Santiago de Cuba, on Sunday, July 3, 1898. The enemy's vessels came out of the harbor between 9.35 and 10 AM, the head of the column appearing around Cay Smith at 9.31, and emerging from the channel five or six minutes later.
Note: by Admiral Sampson, USN  7377 Reads  Printer-friendly page



War of 1812 Great Britain London Downing Street, Sept. 27 I have the honor to communicate to your Lordship, that on the night of the 24th instant, after defeating the army of the United States that day, the troops under my command entered and took possession of the city of Washington. It was determined between Sir A. Cochrane and myself, to disembark the army at the village of Nenedict, on the right bank of the Patuxeut, with the intention of Co-operating with Rear-admiral Cockburn, in an attack upon a flotilla of the enemy's gun boats, under of the command of Com. Barney.
Note: by Major General Robert Ross  9815 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam The Navy provided the waterborne transportation and close support for the 2nd Brigade of the 9th Infantry. The parameters of our operations were dictated by the decidedly wet terrain. The wet version of the Army's APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) or "track" was the Navy's ATC (Armored Troop Carrier) or "Tango".
Note: by Tom Hain.  8999 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War II When I got to the hangar, navigators were working around a large table with their topographical maps and plotting charts. Navigators made their own calculations, and then compared results with others. When we had finished we went to the locker room. Dressing up was a long process for the gunners. It was a cold ride in the turrets and gunners wore as much clothing as they could from woollen underwear to electrically heated suits.
Note: by Jerrold Morris, 419 Squadron, RCAF  6856 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Revolutionary War 1775 January. - At the precise period when my medical studies and education are completed, under the patronage of Dr. Abner Hersey of Barnstable, and I am contemplating the commencement of a new career in life, I find our country about to be involved in all the horrors of a civil war. A series of arbitrary and oppressive measures, on the part of the mother-country, has long been advancing to that awful crisis, when an appeal to the power of the sword becomes inevitable.
Note: by James Thacher, M.D., Surgeon in the American Army  18202 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam 20 Oct 68
Dear everybody,
Well it's another rainy day in Vietnam. When they say its been known to rain 40 days and nights you can believe it.

Today I had to fill sandbags and build a bunker where a mortar round came in last night. No big worry. It was at least 300 yards away. That's for really!
  6604 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War II After our repairs were completed, we were supposed to go on our post-repair trial run. But instead, on July 15th, we were ordered to go to San Francisco to take on some cargo. I was amazed to notice that there was a quiet, almost dead Navy Yard. We tied up at the dock there and two big trucks came alongside. The big crate on one truck was put in the port hanger.
Note: by CAPT Lewis L. Haynes, senior medical officer on board ship.  7771 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War I

Preparation in England, 1915

Inspection by General Campbell.

Saturday March 15th on my birthday. Route march to Birmingham from Sutton. General inspection in Calthorpe Park at 2. General Campbell in passing lines asks me what I was before I joined. General salute at 3.30 pm Victoria Square, dismissed at 4pm near Corporation Street.

Note: by William Bernard Whitmore, 1st Birmingham Battalion  9360 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War I Somewhere in France, July 23, 1918
Dear Father and Mother:
I have just finished sewing on my first service stripe, the meaning of which, as you probably know, is six months in foreign service. That number "23" still clings to the Twenty-third Engineers, and is a regular epoch marker.
  6984 Reads  Printer-friendly page

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This Day in History
1667: The Peace of Breda ended the Second Anglo-Dutch War and ceded Dutch New Amsterdam to the English.

1823: After pirate attack, LT David G. Farragut leads landing party to destroy pirate stronghold in Cuba.

1861: The war erupts on a large scale in the east when Confederate forces under P. T. Beauregard turn back Union General Irvin McDowells troops along Bull Run in Virginia. The inexperienced soldiers on both sides slugged it out in a chaotic battle that resulted in a humiliating retreat by the Yankees and signaled, for many, the true start of the war.

1861: U.S.S. Albatross, Commander Prentiss, engaged C.S.S. Beaufort, Lieutenant R. C. Duvall, in the Oregon Inlet, North Carolina. Albatross, heavier gunned, forced Beaufort to withdraw.

1862: U.S. steamers Clara Dolsen and Rob Roy and tug Restless under Commander Alexander M. Pennock, with troops embarked, arrived from Cairo to protect Evansville, Indiana, at the request of Governor Morton.

1918: German U-boat, U-156, fires at an American tug and four barges just off shore off of Orleans, Massachusetts.

1921: In an experiment to prove the effectiveness of airpower against ships General Billy Mitchell flew with a payload of makeshift aerial bombs and sank the former German battle ship Ostfriesland off Hampton Roads, Virginia.

1930: The US Veterans Administration is formed.

1941: France accepted Japan's demand for military control of Indochina.

1943: The Allied advances continue. The British capture Gerbini, the Canadians take Leonforte and the Americans occupy Corleone and Castelvetrano.