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Military Quotes

The nation that will insist on drawing a broad line of demarcation between the fighting man and the thinking man is liable to have its fighting done by fools and its thinking done by cowards.

-- Sir William Francis Butler

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.


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  7184 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War II V-Mail , June 1944:

Dear Mom,
"The O.W.I. has given you more information about the historic D-Day than we could hope to include in one letter.
  5436 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam The nights were accompanied by the throaty drone of these lumbering killers, orbiting over their home base, boresighting their various sensors, tuning up for their moonlight symphony over the jungle trails of Laos. As a fellow pilot, I had worked these same hostile skies with the AC-130 Spectres many nights. I had seen the still smoldering evidence of their effectiveness in harnessing the flood of Communist truck traffic that ran the gauntlet of Laos each night.
Note: by Lt. Col. James F. Humphries, Jr.  6899 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam

QuiNhon Airfield Security Detachment
It was around 0100, 2 February, 1968 and the Sergeant came to the door of the billets screaming that order. It meant that Little John, that's me was to go to tower number 2 about 500 yards from the billets and there was the banging all around the airfield. Weren't the gooks celebrating their New Years?

Note: by Sp4 Little John, QuiNhon Airfield Security Detachment  5136 Reads  Printer-friendly page



POW I shall never forget the morning of March 28th, 1918, when I watched our trenches and the familiar landmarks disappear under the intense bombardment of hundreds of minenwerfers - those earthquakes in miniature. I watched and waited in a state of mental numbness or apathy, and at last the bit reserved for me hit me in the head. When I took a further interest in matters I was a prisoner.
Note: by Rifleman Victor Denham, London Rifle Brigade  12529 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War I The members of my family - that of Richthofen - have taken no very great part in wars until now. The Richthofens have always lived in the country; indeed, there has scarcely been one of them without a landed estate, and the few who did not live in the country have, as a rule, entered the State service. My grandfather and all my ancestors before him had estates about Breslau and Striegau. Only in the generation of my grandfather it happened that the first Richthofen. his cousin, became a General.
Note: by Captain von Richthofen (The Red Baron)  6336 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Civil War I was stationed at Albuquerque, New Mexico, as paymaster in the United States army when the war-cloud appeared in the East. Officers of the Northern and Southern States were anxious to see the portending storm pass by or disperse, and on many occasions we, too, were assured, by those who claimed to look into the future, that the statesman would yet show himself equal to the occasion, and restore confidence among the people.
Note: by General James Longstreet  7918 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.
  6840 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War II 27.4.41 A fast trip with a couple of alarms brought us to Suda Bay, Crete. Arrived about noon and had a 3 mile walk to a rest camp. Did not enjoy it. 30.4.41 Today we received permission to send a cable advising "All well". I hope it reaches its destination in double quick time. Many times during the last few weeks we have realised how much the people in N.Z. must have been worrying, particularly on Anzac Day.
Note: by Alan Jackson, 5th Field Regiment  5707 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam Approximately August or September of 1967 on some mountaintop, somewhere around Tam Ky, Vietnam. I'm here as a squad leader with Delta Company, 4th of the 31st, 196th Light Infantry Brigade, supposedly to support the Marine Corps in "I" Corps.
Note: by Patrick (Beanie) Camunes, D\4\31 196TH Lt. Inf. Bde.  6530 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Spanish American The most serious loss that I and the regiment could have suffered befell just before we charged. Bucky O'Neill was strolling up and down in front of his men, smoking his cigarette, for he was inveterately addicted to the habit. He had a theory that an officer ought never to take cover - a theory which was, of course, wrong, though in a volunteer organization the officers should certainly expose themselves very fully, simply for the effect on the men; our regimental toast on the transport running, " The officers; may the war last until each is killed, wounded, or promoted."
Note: by Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, Rough Riders,(1st United States Volunteer Infantry).  5908 Reads  Printer-friendly page



POW Of course it had to come, Hitler had been seizing all the smaller states and threatening others. So when he marched on Poland it was the last straw, for Britain had warned him that we would not stand idly by, but would go to the aid of Poland. It was the 3rd September 1939, and I was digging air-raid shelters when I heard that we were at war with Germany; and it was only the day before, that I had received my calling up papers, so it looked as though I would be in for some excitement.
Note: by Private W.C. LAW, ( 5186223 ), 2 Gloucester Regt.  9581 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War II The Naval Combat Demolition Units were charged with the responsibility of clearing sixteen 50- yard gaps on the beaches assigned to that force. They worked in conjunction with the Army engineers who were charged with the responsibility of clearing the shoreward obstacles.
Note: by Lieutenant Commander Joseph H. Gibbons, USNR, CO of U.S. Navy Combat Demolitions Units in Force "O"  8284 Reads  Printer-friendly page



POW If I had known what was in store for me on the day I was captured, and the 802 days that followed, I would have continued to fight, even though there was no chance of survival. The damaged weapons carrier slid to a halt, and we piled up against the cab. The noise was deafening and we could have been yelling at each other but I don't remember hearing anything but the noise of the mortar rounds.
Note: by SFC George Matta, Sr.  8013 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Revolutionary War Friday evening, Jan. 19th., I was appointed to command the Reg. then ordered to be raised to march to Canada.

20th. and 21st. went to Cambridge to procure stores.

22nd. Received my Commission from the Council and set out about 8 o’c in the evening, came to Weston at Baldwins.
  8496 Reads  Printer-friendly page

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This Day in History
1862: Confederates broke through the Union lines at the Battle of Gaines’ Mill on the third day of the Seven Days Battle in Virginia.

1864: Union General William T. Sherman launches a major attack on Confederate General Joseph Johnstons army at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain in Georgia.

1916: The 4th Marine Regiment defeated Dominican rebels in a stand-up bayonet attack.

1927: The U.S. Marines adopted the English bulldog as their mascot.

1940: The Germans set up two-way radio communication in their newly occupied French territory, employing their most sophisticated coding machine, Enigma, to transmit information.

1944: American forces of 7th Corps (part of US 1st Army) complete the capture of Cherbourg.

1945: On Luzon, units of the US 37th Division, part of US 1st Corps, reach Aparri, on the north coast.

1945: The American carrier USS Bunker Hill is struck by a Kamikaze plane, killing 373 men.

1950: President Harry S. Truman announces that he is ordering U.S. air and naval forces to South Korea to aid the democratic nation in repulsing an invasion by communist North Korea.

1950: Just two days after communist North Korean forces invaded South Korea, the United Nations Security Council approves a resolution put forward by the United States calling for armed force to repel the North Korean invaders.