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Military Quotes

No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.

-- 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.


Korea In late May, 1950, the 31st Recon Sq. conducted an Operational Readiness Test, flying out of Kadena AFB Okinawa. Immediately upon completion of the ORT, most of the squadron’s RB-29s (eight, as I recall) were flown back to the States, to Tinker AFB, OK, for complete overhaul.
Note: by William F. (Bill) Welch, 31st and 91st SRS.   10330 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   7346 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Civil War AUGUST 1, 1861.—Believing the people of the South to be engaged in a just cause, defending the inalienable rights of American freemen, and that principle in the Declaration of Independence which asserts that "all governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed," and that the States are acting by the authority and in the strength of their reserved rights, I am with them.
  9571 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Civil War Headquarters Co, B,. 84th Reg.
Blue Springs, Tenn
April 11, 1864
Dear Aunt,
It is with great pleasure that I seat my self to drop you a few lines of pleasure. I am well and harty and hope this may find you the same.
  9098 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War II Pearl Harbor occurred about six months after I graduated from High School. I believe we all were aware it would change our lives and the things we believed in but none of us knew how much. It placed restraints on our lives. We wanted to keep on working and enjoying our new found freedom of being out of school and yet we were all moved by feelings of duty to the country and many of my friends joined the service.
Note: by William H. Gieske, 172nd Field Artillery Battalion.  9915 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam Our fireteam (Det8), was staging off the Hunderton County (LST-838) and out of the Rach Gia short strip. We had been flying combat ops between Long Xuyen and Rach Gia and had spotted about a half acre of (VC) watermelons growing on a flat spot above a village which was along a river.
Note: by Bill Rutledge  8156 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Spanish American [Letterhead: New York and Cuba Mail Steamship Company]

On Board: S.S. City of Washington

[Havana], February 16, 1898

Dearest,

I sent you two cablegrams last night telling you of my safety, and before they both reached you before the morning papers, and that you were spared the agony of suspense and uncertainty.
Note: written the day after the USS MAINE was lost  9942 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War I In April 1918 I volunteered to go to France in response to the urgent call for more surgeons. For twenty years I had been in general practice in a suburb, and did a fair amount of surgery among patients and at the local hospitals. I had also had some war experience as one of the surgeons at the British Red Cross Hospital, Netley, in the first six months of the War, but I had no experience of cases fresh from the battlefield, and the surgical technique which had recently been adopted in dealing with them.
Note: by Captain John A. Hayward  14599 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.
  8115 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War II The morning of December 7, 1941 was typical of any Sunday morning aboard the battleship USS CALIFORNIA. My billet for meals was the Marines' casemate #8(an armored enclosure for a gun) located port side midship, just where the forecastle breaks and a ladder leads down to the quarter-deck.
Note: by John H. McGoran  10024 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Civil War Headquarters Department Northeastern Virginia, Arlington, VA, August 4, 1861. Colonel:
I have the honor to submit the following report of the battle of the 21st of July, near Manassas, Va. It has been delayed till this time from the inability of the subordinate commanders to get earlier a true account of the state of their commands.
Note: by Brigadier General Irvin McDowell  14118 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam I flew several of these missions, and we always got secondary explosions and almost never needed the OV10's or snakes to light off the drop. It seemed as if the barrels rupturing and scrapping together created a good fuse and light off. Beyond the Flights mentioned I remember flying a mission in support of the ROK Marines with one CH-53 where we naped Football Island.
Note: by Doug Raupp  8172 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War II I had just had breakfast and was looking out a porthole in sick bay when someone said, "What the hell are all those planes doing up there on a Sunday? " Someone else said, "It must be those crazy Marines. They'd be the only ones out maneuvering on a Sunday." When I looked up in the sky I saw five or six planes starting their descent. Then when the first bombs dropped on the hangers at Ford Island, I thought, "Those guys are missing us by a mile." Inasmuch as practice bombing was a daily occurrence to us, it was not too unusual for planes to drop bombs, but the time and place were quite out of line.
Note: by Pharmacist's Mate Second Class Lee Soucy, USS UTAH  18268 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War II This is a talk on an action which took place in the North Atlantic on Easter Sunday. I'll give you some background before I go into that part of the story. I will give you a general idea of what we were doing. We were Task Group 21.12 operating as a so-called killer group. Our mission was to sink submarines and we attempted to stay at sea in the areas where the submarines were concentrating.
Note: Recollections of Lieutenant Commander Dudley S. Knox, USNR, on destroyer escort USS Chatelain (DE-149). These actions occured the 9th and 10th of April 1944.   13478 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War I Before reaching Louvain we bivouacked near a large well-built village, and here we had the wettest and merriest evening in the whole campaign. Some of our battalion water-carriers discovered a wine-cellar in the village. On going into a cellar they noticed a stack of fagots, and guessed that they were put there with a purpose. The fagots were quickly cleared away, and behind them appeared a door.
Note: by Captain Henry Huebner  15390 Reads  Printer-friendly page

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This Day in History
1861: The U.S. gunboat Penguin seizes the Confederate blockade runner Albion carrying supplies worth almost $100,000.

1918: An American army of occupation enters Germany.

1925: After a seven-year occupation, 7,000 British troops evacuate Cologne, Germany.

1933: Nazi storm troops become an official organ of the Reich.

1941: Great Britain declares a state of emergency in Malaya following reports of Japanese attacks.

1950: The U.S. 2nd Infantry Division, the British 27th Brigade and the Turkish Brigade, began to fight their way south from the Kunu-ri area through the bloody Gauntlet, under continuous fire from Chinese forces occupying the terrain commanding the route to safety. The 2nd Infantry Division was virtually destroyed during the Battle of Kunu-ri where over 4,000 men were lost.

1950: Task Force MacLean/Faith, composed of elements of the U.S. 7th Infantry Divisions 31st and 32nd Infantry Regiments, was annihilated east of the Chosin/Changjin Reservoir. Only 385 soldiers of its 3,200-man force were able-bodied following their withdrawal.

1959: Twelve nations, including the United States and the Soviet Union, sign the Antarctica Treaty, which bans military activity and weapons testing on that continent.

1964: In two crucial meetings (today and two days later) at the White House, President Lyndon B. Johnson and his top-ranking advisers agree, after some debate, to a two-phase bombing plan for North Vietnam.

1969: Americas first draft lottery since 1942 is held.