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Military Quotes

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.

-- General George Patton Jr

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 In May of 1967, and as a young Marine PFC aboard the USS Okinawa (LPH-3), attached to the 1st Bn. 3rd Marines, RLT 26, I was already years older than my chronological number of 19. Our Battalion had been using this ship as a Combat Assault Base since we left Khe Shan in late February.
Note: As remembered by PFC Joseph C. Connelly, Alpha Co., Ist Bn 3rd Marines.  6906 Reads  Printer-friendly page

World War II The Laffey was built in Bath, Maine and was commissioned in Boston, Massachusetts, at the Navy Yard on February 8th, 1944. After a brief shakedown period, the ship participated in the Normandy Invasion in June 1944, after which she took part in the Cherbourg bombardment on June 25th, 1944 and suffered an eight-inch hit which fortunately did not explode.
Note: by Commander Frederick Julian Becton, USN, Commanding Officer of the destroyer USS Laffey (DD-724).  6692 Reads  Printer-friendly page

Vietnam I was GPO for the move to Nui Dat, and on arrival I was responsible for deploying the guns in a temporary position on the brigade's south-west perimeter, the first time the bty had been this exposed since Korea, according to our BC, Don Kenning, and we had to look after our own defence.
Note: by Mike Dakin  7246 Reads  Printer-friendly page

World War II I was 16 years old when war broke out. We heard that Hitler had invaded Poland, and at 11 o'clock on Sunday morning, Sept. 3rd, the Prime Minister, Mr. Neville Chamberlin, broadcasted to the nation that England was now at war with Germany.
  7510 Reads  Printer-friendly page

World War II I landed about twenty-five feet from a road and before I could get my rifle assembled, I heard a motorcycle approaching. I remained still as I did not have time to assemble my rifle, and watched two German soldiers pass by. After they passed and I had my rifle together I found other paratroopers and our equipment bundle and set off for the bridge over the Merderet River.
Note: by Marcus Heim  8771 Reads  Printer-friendly page

Gulf War August 2, 1990
Iraq invades Kuwait
August 18-30, 1990
A couple of dozen of the unit fly to Camp Shelby, Mississippi to support Exercise Vulcan Knight. We fly to Gulfport, then bus to Camp Shelby. My first thought upon seeing the place is that it's Beetle Bailey's Camp Swampy, incarnate. The concrete block billets are not air conditioned. It pushes 100 during the day but is actually easier to take than the evenings.
Note: by Steven Dutch, 432nd Civil Affairs Company  17348 Reads  Printer-friendly page

I can't remember a time before being a military brat. When I was born, my father was working as a Navy recruiter at the University of Illinois. I was the only one of my sisters to be born in a non-military hospital. My sister was born at Chanute AFB (now closed). Shortly after she was born, we moved to Hawaii.
Note: by Wendy Jeffries  5635 Reads  Printer-friendly page

Vietnam Incoming in Saigon, my sleepy brain never really sleeps. My bed is on the first floor, I am instantly awake, I can tell the difference between incoming and outgoing in my sleep. That was definitely incoming. I had just transferred to the 120th Assault Helicopter Company, flying out of helipad Hotel-3 in Saigon from a serious kick ass line outfit, the Blackhawks or 187th Assault Helicopter Company in Tay Ninh, we got rocketed all the time there.
Note: by Wayne R. "Crash" Coe  6983 Reads  Printer-friendly page

World War I Excuse me if this letter is badly written as I am writing sitting on some straw with a box as a desk: besides, my pencil is just about two inches long. However, though writing under difficulties, I will try to write a long letter as I have much to speak of to you.
Note: by Private Clarence Joseph, Letter from France to Marjorie Christienin British Columbia 1915  6236 Reads  Printer-friendly page

World War II From her launching in 1942 the Pringle was assigned to convoy duty with the Atlantic Fleet. In late 1943 after a grueling year in the North Atlantic providing antisubmarine protection for supply ships carrying war material to England and Russia the Pringle was assigned to the Pacific Fleet for duty that would lead to her demise.
Note: by Sonarman 1st Class Jack Gebhardt, USN, USS Pringle  19475 Reads  Printer-friendly page

World War I For a whole week before the Battle of Loos, the artillery of our Division were bombarding the German trenches night and day, smashing up the barbed wire. On September 24th, 1915, my battalion, a Highland one, was moved up into covered-in trenches ready to attack on the morning of the 25th.
Note: by C.S.M. Thomas McCall, 44th Highland Brigade, 15th Scottish Division  6552 Reads  Printer-friendly page

Civil War We enlisted at Story City, Iowa, the 12th of August, 1862, and left from Nevada, Iowa the 13th of September the same year. On the last day of our stay in Nevada, we were feasted and banqueted in regular wedding fashion. At the tables, the soldiers, marching to the strains of music, were seated first, and directly afterwards those nearest of kin. But there was too much sorrow and weeping at the thought of parting that our appetites were small.
  7132 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   13824 Reads  Printer-friendly page

Vietnam Once upon a time there was a war, and I was in it. It seems about as far away now as the Civil War, but there it was--The 1960’s--and among things like topless bathing suits, integration and space programs there was an increasingly gnawing ache in the side of the American People called Vietnam.
Note: from EVERYMAN STROLLS THROUGH HELL by James Worth.  8641 Reads  Printer-friendly page

Korea On my 87th mission, I flew a reconnaissance mission deep into North Korea. My primary target was an area of troop emplacements just north of the front lines and consisted of a requirement to photograph the area with vertical camera coverage in what is known as "mosaic photography".
Note: by Norman E. Duquette, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF  7583 Reads  Printer-friendly page

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This Day in History
1865: The Battle of Bentonville, N.C. ends, marking the last Confederate attempt to stop Union General William Sherman.

1918: The Germans launch the Michael offensive, better remembered as the First Battle of the Somme.

1941: The last Italian post in East Libya, North Africa, falls to the British.

1943: The second military conspiracy plan to assassinate Hitler in a week fails to work.

1951: The 1st Cavalry Division recaptured Chunchon and the Chinese 3rd Field Army appeared in combat for the first time in Korea.

1951: Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall reports that the U.S. military has doubled to 2.9 million since the start of the Korean War.

1975: As North Vietnamese forces advance, Hue and other northern towns in South Vietnam are evacuated.