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Military Quotes

Always keep your clothes and your weapons where you can find them in the dark

-- Robert Heinlein

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.


Vietnam At the very end of June 1967 we arrived at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Vietnam. From there we took a bus ride to Camp Alpha. The bus ride was a bit odd. There was barbed wire on the opened windows. Someone asked the driver, “Why the barbed wire?” We were told that sometimes the V.C. liked to throw hand grenades into any American bus and the wire was a preventative measure.
Note: by Thomas Andrzejczyk, Co. "C" 4th/23 Mech Infantry, 25th Division  11467 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.  12335 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War II Somebody got the bright idea that I should go to a summer camp--- a summer military camp-- in June 1939, conducted by the U. S. Army. In due course I was enlisted/enrolled in the Basic program of the Citizens Military Training Camps at Vancouver Barracks in Vancouver, Washington. That was where my training as an infantry foot soldier began at age 15. We spent 30 days there in Vancouver and underwent intensive basic infantry training provided by soldiers of the Regular Army 3rd Division.
Note: by Charles W. Crary  26160 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam I remember pulling guard duty at Cu Chi Base Camp, RVN in the Support Command area. It just so happened that there was a Vietnamese cemetery located in the Support Command area at Cu Chi.
Note: by Don Patrick  11746 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War II The first reaction to the new base at Folkingham was “It's immense”! On this base we had three concrete runways, each 6,000 feet, ample taxiways, a revetment for parking each aircraft, and four hangers. There were innumerable Nissen huts to house us, an Officers Club, an EM Club in the making, a consolidated officers' mess, and a consolidated enlisted men's, mess. We were the first tenants, and parts were still under construction.
Note: by Col. Joseph Harkiewicz  28749 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War I 6th May, 1916, signed the enlistment papers after having been previously rejected in 1915. 20th June, left Byron Bay by train to Lismore for the medical examination. This time, Dr Bignell passed me, without even examining me, because he could see that I was eager to enlist and men were badly needed.
Note: by Private Verdi George Schwinghammer  20912 Reads  Printer-friendly page



War of 1812 I was born in Pittsford, Otsego County, New York, on the 24th of September 1799. I am the son of Joseph Hanks, whose father's name was William, who lived in the green mountains of Vermont, and whose progenitors emigrated from Holland. My mother's maiden name was Anna Frary and her descent is traced to "the pilgrims".
  12063 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Civil War January, 1861 1 Very cold last night but the sun shines out very warm and brightly today. Considerable ice running in the river. A very small school today. Some are sick and some are taking a New York holiday. I have never before been so unsettled about the future as I am at the commencement of this New Year.
Note: by Eugene Goodwin, 99th New York Infantry Regiment  18985 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam The 1/50 finished its participation in the joint Operation Cochise and counterpart ARVN operation in the Soui Ca Valley and moved to AO Walker, An Khe area with the mission of securing QL19 and conducting operations within the AO, securing LZ Schueller, LZ Action, manning Strong Points and bridges along a historic but treacherous road, QL19. QL stands for National Highway in Vietnamese.
Note: by Rigo Ordaz, 1st Bn (Mech), 50th Infantry   12658 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam In order to comply with the directive to maintain a low profile during the upcoming Tet celebration, our mechanized infantry battalion had been ordered to set up in a position off Highway 15, the major road leading to the port city of Vung Tau. All offensive operations were also put on hold during this ceasefire period. And although few of us understood the significance of the Tet celebration in the Vietnamese culture, we were looking forward to some slack time. But such was not to be!
Note: by 1LT Brice H. Barnes, HHC, 2-47th Inf (Mech), 9th Inf Div  17907 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam A cakewalk! That's what Captain K said it was going to be. Just a two day cakewalk through some islands in the rice paddies. All we had to do was link up with the Marines in Hue. Just load up on ammo, take extra grenades, and don't take too many C's because you're not going to be gone that long.
Note: by Lt. Paul Becker, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry, First Cavalry Division  8408 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam Second day home.

Spent the day visiting family friends and relatives (including in-laws, shudder ). They made me feel pretty welcome (lots of WW2 vets). Glad to see me -- thanked me for my service, etc.
Note: by Craig E. Thompson   7449 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War II May 6, Austria

Dear Dad,
Being in such a jubilant mood I must drop a few lines. Today I got you a Luger. Yes man! And it's a honey! The only regret I have is I didn't personally relieve a Kraut of it as I did a pair of binoculars a few days ago.
  8220 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam 1967, LZ English, near Bong Son, about fifty meters inside the perimeter.

I woke up often at night over there, even after I learned to sleep through outgoing H&I fire. So I had searched for a watch with a generously luminous dial which would let me check the time in the dark. Why is it that when we wake up at night the first thing we want to know is, what time is it?
Note: by Ted Gittinger   17398 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War I We had a new man at the periscope, on this afternoon in question; I was sitting on the fire step, cleaning my rifle, when he called out to me: 'There's a sort of greenish, yellow cloud rolling along the ground out in front, it's coming ---
Note: By Arthur Empey, an American enlisted in the British Army.
First introduced by the Germans, gas warfare was soon embraced by all the combatants. By the end of the war, one in four of the artillery shells fired on the Western Front contained gas.
  9277 Reads  Printer-friendly page

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This Day in History
1776: Americans begin shelling British troops in Boston.

1797: The Directory of Great Britain authorizes vessels of war to board and seize neutral vessels, particularly if the ships are American.

1815: To put an end to robberies by the Barbary pirates, the United States declares war on Algiers.

1859: The Saginaw, the first Navy ship built on the West Coast of the United States, is launched at Mare Island.

1865: President Abraham Lincoln rejects Confederate General Robert E. Lees plea for peace talks, demanding unconditional surrender.

1865: Union General George Custers troops rout Confederate General Jubal Earlys force, bringing an end to fighting in the Shenandoah Valley.

1867: Colonel Jacob Zeilin, 7th Commandant of the Marine Corps, becomes the first Commandant promoted to Brigadier General.

1867: Over a presidential veto, Congress adopts the First Reconstruction Act, which divides the South into five military districts, temporarily imposes martial law, and calls for state conventions to draft new constitutions which had to incorporate black voting rights and disqualification from officeholding for former Confederate leaders.

1876: The Secretary of War is impeached for taking bribes to make political appointments.

1901: Congress passes the Platt amendment, which limits Cuban autonomy as a condition for withdrawal of U.S. troops.