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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.

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World War II Shortly after joining up we saw this notice on the notice-board looking for volunteers for a "suicide mission." Some brilliant officer had come up with the idea that he would like to form a unit that would go behind the enemy lines at night and blow up the German's tanks while they slept. Imagine that!
Note: by Ronald Arthur Tee, 56th Reconnaissance Regiment, 78th "Battleaxe" Division of the British 1st. Army, 1941-1946.
  7596 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War I

1st. May. To Arras for money.

2nd. to 4th. Sunday rides around the area. New officers have arrived, including Willie Haldane who played in the school rugger team with me.

Note: by Robert Lindsay Mackay, 11th Battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.  10528 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War I The steamer appeared to be close to us and looked colossal. I saw the captain walking on his bridge, a small whistle in his mouth. I saw the crew cleaning the deck forward, and I saw, with surprise and a slight shudder, long rows of wooden partitions right along all decks, from which gleamed the shining black and brown backs of horses.
Note: by Adolf K.G.E. von Spiegel  9572 Reads  Printer-friendly page



War of 1812 Head Quarters 7h. M. District
Lines below New Orleans
8h Jany 1815. 3 Oclock
Sir,
I have recd. your dispatch of this date. The Army which I have the honor to command have used every exertion to afford relief to the wounded of your Army, even at the constant risque of their lives, your men, never intermitting their fire during such exertions.
Note: by Andrew Jackson, Major General, Commander Seventh Military District  12518 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam I was lucky enough to be stationed at a field hospital in Qui Nhon for a couple of months. QN was known by many to be an unofficial in-country R&R center. The town was pretty large, had quite a few GI's, and set right on the beach. Inland was a rather large mountain range that was the home of one of the many ROK divisions that were in-country at that time. In other words, a pretty nice place to be.
Note: By Jim Calbreath   8431 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Civil War Near Sharpsburg, MD, September 29, 1862 I have the honor to report the following as some of the results of the battles of South Mountain and Antietam: At South Mountain our loss was 443 killed, 1,806 wounded, and 76 missing; total, 2,325. At Antietam our loss was 2,010 killed, 9,416 wounded, and 1,043 missing total, 12,469. Total loss in the two battles, 14,794.
Note: by Major General George McClellan  9209 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War I I will try and tell you a little about us taking Turkey. We landed all right, but got a warm reception and a good general salute from their shrapnel and machine guns. The 3rd brigade were the first to land, at 2 a.m. They landed under a splendid covering force from our warships; the Turks all the time pouring in shrapnel and machine-gun fire.
Note:
Writing from Malta, under date of 4th May, Private H. G. Clarke, of Footscray, a member of the Scottish Regiment at the front.
  7496 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War II I was a medic attached to 2nd platoon, C Battery, of the 225th during my entire tour of duty in Europe. When we were in the field, there was half of C Battery (117 men) that I would visit in their positions on a daily basis. I was their primary health-care provider. I would travel on a three-quarter-ton truck that carried rations and water to each searchlight/radar section every day to make my rounds. From June 1944 to December 1945 we moved from Omaha beach in France to Neubiberg in Germany. During this entire time, I never treated someone who was wounded by the enemy. This was a good thing.
Note: by Robert J. King  10512 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Korea Herb and I always had the 2 1/2 ton 6x6 loaded with 18 drums of gasoline. We took it to where they told us to. We'd hang around the CP. When we heard there was a fire fight up front we knew that the medics would need the gas for the meat wagons. So that's where we'd go. We called our truck a mobile POL dump. I guess that described it pretty well. We were on the spearhead towards Pyongyang.
Note: by George Wegener  9493 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  8708 Reads  Printer-friendly page



My grandfather Donald Cameron began his military career in January 1900 when he sailed for South Africa as a trooper in the lst. Australian Horse. His unit was then attached to the Scots-Greys as a part of General French's famous cavalry division and undertook reconnaissance and generally disruptive actions behind the lines of the Boer enemy.
Note: by Richard Cameron  11195 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Revolutionary War SIR,
I HAVE made several attempts to inform your excellency, that the French West-India fleet, under Monsieur de Grasse, entered the capes the 29th ult. I could not exactly learn the number; they report twenty-five or twenty-six sail of the line.
Note: York town, in Virginia, 8th Sept. 1781  9832 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Civil War From Gettysburg to Appomattox; from the zenith of assurance to the nadir of despair; from the compact ranks, boundless confidence, and exultant hopes of as proud and puissant an army as was ever marshalled— to the shattered remnants, withered hopes, and final surrender of that army—such is the track to be followed describing the Confederacy's declining fortunes and ultimate death.
Note: by General John B. Gordon  8337 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam From the 1/14th Daily Journal for 19 NOVEMBER 1966.
19 NOVEMBER 1966 Although the heavy contact with NVA troops on the 13th of November was still fresh in the minds of the men, today they would relive this struggle with an even more determined and large enemy force. Innumerable incidents of personal heroic actions, and the valiant fighting team spirit of out units brought us through on top.
Note: Sgt Ted Belcher was awarded the Medal of Honor, PostHumously.  8300 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam We had a new guy in our mortar platoon I will call Joe C. He was a Chicano from East L. A. He was friendly, and fun loving but liked to take chances. In the world of mortars, one of the top rules, is not to have a round in each hand while firing a mortar tube. It is nearly impossible to keep track of where the round in the barrel is.
Note: by Larry Nuckolls, 81MM + 4.2", B Co., 2/22 (M) 25TH INF DIV., 1970.  8824 Reads  Printer-friendly page

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This Day in History
1865: General William T. Sherman begins a march through the Carolinas.

1940: Hitler cancels an attack in the West due to bad weather and the capture of German attack plans in Belgium.

1942: Japans advance into Burma begins.

1944: The U.S. First and Third armies link up at Houffalize, effectively ending the Battle of the Bulge.

1944: Eisenhower assumes supreme command of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe.

1945: Adolf Hitler takes to his underground bunker, where he remains for 105 days until he commits suicide.

1952: Knowing the requirements of the Korean war firsthand, General Earle E. Partridge, former Fifth Air Force Commander, put the full resources of the USAF Air Research and Development Command into searching for ways to increase the performance of the F-86 Sabre during this period. This top-priority effort led to the improved wing design "F" model that entered service with the 51st Wing in August 1952. The aircrafts operating altitude increased to 52,000 feet and its maximum speed went to Mach 1.05. In addition, the F-86F could make tighter turns at high altitudes.

1964: President Johnson approves Oplan 34A, operations to be conducted by South Vietnamese forces supported by the United States to gather intelligence and conduct sabotage to destabilize the North Vietnamese regime.

1969: An agreement is reached in Paris for the opening of expanded peace talks. It was agreed that representatives of the United States, South Vietnam, North Vietnam, and the National Liberation Front would sit at a circular table without nameplates, flags or markings.

1990: In the wake of vicious fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in Azerbaijan, the Soviet government sends in 11,000 troops to quell the conflict.