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Military Quotes

I feel that retired generals should never miss an opportunity to remain silent concerning matters for which they are no longer responsible.

-- General H. Norman Schwarzkopf

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 Any officers (former or present) that would challenge the contention that relying on "Sarge" was a smart thing to do? I was an NCO during my tour of RVN and occasionally served as platoon sergeant so naturally I agree with the above. Amazed that OCS, ROTC, West Point didn't drive it into the heads of young lieutenants to "listen to experience."
Note: by Craig E. Thompson   7622 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War II More lives were lost in one exercise practicing for D-Day than during the invasion of Utah Beach on 6 June 1944. That rehearsal was called "Exercise Tiger." Planning for the greatest amphibious operation in history required many such exercises, each designed to test the readiness of plans for the invasion of Normandy and the efficiency of the troops. Duck, Fox, Muskrat, Beaver, and Trousers preceded Tiger, and Fabius followed. Each was larger than the last, and the later ones used live ammunition.
Note: by LT Eugene E. Eckstam, MC, USNR,a medical officer on USS LST-507  11904 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.  8140 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Revolutionary War CARLISLE, May 1st, 1781.-
The Pennsylvania Line, after the revolt and discharge of the men, last winter, were reduced to six regiments; the officers ordered to different towns within the State to recruit. An appomtment of ensign in the 7th had been obtained for me in August last; the 7th and 4th were incorporated, and under command of Lt.Col. Comt. William Butler, rendezvoused at this place-companies now about half full.
  11226 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War I A fellow named Kendall and I palled up the day after he joined our company. We were in a sugar factory at the time, where we were to spend the night before going into the line. I had found two planks and trestles, and thought, in my ignorance, to make a bed where the rats would not disturb me, and while I surveyed the available floor space the slinking form of a large rat, just discernible in the dimming light, made me turn sharply round.
Note: by Private David Phillips, 23rd County of London Regiment  11227 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Army Many great soldiers have served at Madison Barracks in Sackets Harbor, New York. Several landmarks commemorate the service of the Ninth United States Infantry Regiment at Madison Barracks. The Ninth United States Infantry Regiment was stationed at Madison Barracks at the end of the Indian Campaigns in 1892.
Note: Submitted by: Richard T. Novy, Command Sergeant Major, U. S. Army, Retired, Former Regimental Command Sergeant Major. Ninth United State Infantry Regiment (Manchu)   15191 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Coast Guard June 1942
Captain Magnusson (if not an enemy in disguise), is the most encouraging piece of equipment on board. The man is a tough, powerful, stubborn-looking Norwegian (so we hear). He is said to have been born and raised in Iceland. We would later learn he owns a fleet of fishing trawlers similar to the Nanok.
Note: by Thaddeus D. Novak, Greenland Patrol, 1942  23039 Reads  Printer-friendly page



War of 1812

Buffaloe November 27, 1812
My Dear Wife,
It is with a degree of satisfaction I inform you of my health and the greatest part of the Company. Tomorrow at 7 o'clock we embark for Canada - consequently it will be liberty or death - You must excuse me for not writing you more as I am officer of the day and guard both, therefore, I am obliged through necessity to wright at 12 o'clock to night.

Note: During Ens. Warner's tour of duty he wrote letters home to his wife, five of which have been preserved. From these letters one may follow Ens. Warner's progess from Baltimore, through Carlisle, Pennsylvania, to the shores of Lake Ontario. From camp at Sacketts Harbor, Warner's unit proceeded to the Battle of York (now known as Toronto), the capitol of Upper Canada, fought in late April, 1813. Under the leadership of the adventurous Brigadier General Zebulon Pike, for whom Pike's Peak is named, the American forces scored a victory, but lost their General, killed in battle.

After that battle, Warner's unit apparently re-crossed Lake Ontario to camp outside Fort Niagara and presumably later participated in the taking of Fort George from the British.
  8554 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War II With a friend of mine, a Post Office messenger like myself, I had gone to the Royal Navy Recruiting Office when I was 16 year old to volunteer for the Navy. They took our names then and apologized for the fact that they were not allowed to take us as Boy Seamen at 16 years and that we would have to wait until we were called up at 18 years. They did tell us however if we volunteered just before 18 years the Navy would take us then.
Note: by Eric Mason, Signalman, AS Trawlers HMS Buster and HMS Bay  13276 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War I February 15, 1918 -- Left guns at 12 noon for wagon lines. Got a change of tunic and pants.

February 16, 1918 -- Started away on leave from Neun Le Mines. Fritz was shelling station. Had to beat it to Bethune Road down in boxcars and caught the leave train. Arrived in Balounge about nine p.m. Slept in the fish market all night.
  9529 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Civil War We started out to form a Company. We got together some 20 men. I have forgotten the exact number. Then we spliced with a number of young fellows from Selinsgrove. That formed Company D of the 18th Regiment then stationed at Harrisburg. Elected A.C. Simpson as Captain, Jerry Bogar as Quartermaster, McClay Coldren as 1st Sergeant and different others to less important posts.
Note: by Henry Fitzgerald Charles  8664 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Spanish American SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of that part of the squadron under your command which came under my observation during the engagement with the Spanish fleet on July 3, 1898. At 9.35 a. m. Admiral Cervera, with the Infanta Maria Teresa, Viscaya, Oquendo, Cristobal Colon, and two torpedo boat destroyers, came out of the harbor of Santiago de Cuba in column at distance and attempted to escape to the westward.
Note: account written July 6, 1898.  7481 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam This guy was ROTC and technically he was green to RVN but not green to combat. He had been in Israel working with the IDF when the June '67 war broke out.
Note: by Craig E. Thompson   7858 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam On the night of 20 November 1970 at 2300 hours, five HH-53s and one HH-3 helicopter took off with fifty-six Special Forces Soldiers from Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base in Thailand. The aircraft would refuel over Laos and enter North Vietnamese airspace from the west. The target of the helo borne assault was the Son Tay Prisoner of War (POW) Camp located 23 miles northwest of the North Vietnamese capital of Hanoi. The flight from Udorn to Son Tay was approximately 337 miles one way.
Note: Tom Powell, “Greenleaf” Element  16209 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War II In January 1944, my twin brother, Donald, and I finally persuaded Mama to sign the papers so we could volunteer for the Navy instead of waiting to be drafted into the Army. The papers were signed about 9:30 a.m. on January 22, l944, and at 2:00 p.m. on the same day, we left Brownwood, Texas on our way to Abilene, Texas for testing and a preliminary physical exam.
Note: by Ron Vaughn  8888 Reads  Printer-friendly page

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This Day in History
1738: English parliament declares war on Spain.

1800: The USS Essex becomes first U.S. Navy vessel to pass the Cape of Good Hope.

1814: The HMS Phoebe and Cherub capture the USS Essex off Valparaiso, Chile.

1854: Britain and France declare war on Russia.

1862: Union forces stop the Confederate invasion of New Mexico territory when they turn the Rebels back at Glorieta Pass.

1864: A group of Copperheads attack Federal soldiers in Charleston, Illinois. Five are killed and twenty wounded.

1917: The Womens Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) is founded, Great Britains first official service women.

1939: The Spanish Civil War ends as Madrid falls to Francisco Franco.

1941: Andrew Browne Cunningham, Admiral of the British Fleet, commands the British Royal Navys destruction of three major Italian battleships and two destroyers in the Battle of Cape Matapan in the Mediterranean.

1942: A British ship, the HMS Capbeltown, a Lend-Lease American destroyer, which was specifically rammed into a German occupied dry-dock in France, explodes, knocking the area out of action for the German battleship Tirpitz.