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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 I Delville Wood is a name, even now, full of sadness and the suppressed agony of thousands who had to make its acquaintance. Probably nearly as many men remained in it as came out of it whole, and no one fortunate to escape from this hell can think of it without recalling hours of suffering and the names of many good comrades now no more.
Note: by Captain S. J. Worsley  9376 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War I We left Alexandria in Egypt on the 13th and passed through the Aegean Sea to arrive at the island of LEMNOS on the 16th. We spent several days in the Bay where numerous warships and troopships (French and British) were at anchor. I should guess there were 150 or more ships there including the QUEEN ELIZABETH.
Note: letter by 2/469 S.sgt Robert James Wait, New Zealand Artillery, 1NZEF  7745 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Spanish American Once through the entrance, as I deemed it wise to keep moving in order not to be taken by surprise when the ships had no headway, and as, at the same time, I did not wish to reach our destination before we had sufficient daylight to show us the position of the Spanish ships, the speed of the squadron was reduced to four knots, while we headed toward the city of Manila.
Note: by Admiral George Dewey  11668 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Civil War

February the 15th, 1863
Camp In Field, Mo
Dearest One I have the pleaser to write a few lines to you which I hope will come safe to hand and find you all well and injoying good health I have wrote a good many letters to you lateley and have received very few from you that is lately I wrote two a week for three weeks I have got three for the Last four weeks I think that all our Leters don't go through the Health of rigement is very good at present time.

  8380 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam Over the years I have put most of the bad memories of Nam to the back of my mind and tried to forget them. Occasionally, one will come back. Any other time I would start out by saying Once Upon a Time or No Shit Man as I would make up a bullshit war story. But, this time I am going to start out by saying, to the best of my recollection the following did happen.
Note: by Larry Weisbarth, A 1/502nd Airborne Infantry, 67-68   9627 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  9049 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam I arrived in Vietnam on Jan. 16, 1966 with the 3rd. Bde. of the 25th. Inf. Div. 1bn. 14th. Inf. We had been on board the U.S.N.S. Walker for 12 days. All of us knew each other and had trained together for months in the jungles of the Big Island of Hawaii.
  10917 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Airforce As I sometimes did, when the information for the next day's mission was slow in coming in, I would not call my driver but just get in my car and drive myself around the perimeter track, stopping now and then to talk to the men working on the planes. Of course, everything was blacked out. To drive we used a mere slit of light from the car's headlights to see the road.
Note: by Joseph A. Moller, Commanding Officer, 390th Bomb Group  9001 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Korea On the 14 November 1952, the Commonwealth Div's sector was moved sideways to the west, one battalion position. The 1st Bn, The Black Watch relieved the 7th US Marines on the infamous Hook feature. The Marine Commanding Officer who was totally disillusioned with the position's vulnerability gave the Scots 24 hours before being pushed off. Four nights later at 2100hrs 18 November, the Chinese struck. The Black Watch held with the assistance of the New Zealand gunners.
Note: by Bruce Matthews, 16th Field Regiment  12296 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Civil War The battle of Bull Run or Manassas was the first, and in many respects the most remarkable, battle of our Civil War. It was a series of surprises—the unexpected happening at almost every moment of its progress. Planned by the Union chieftain with consummate skill, executed for the most part with unquestioned ability, and fought by the Union troops for a time with magnificent courage, it ended at last in their disastrous rout and the official decapitation of their able commander.
Note: by General John B. Gordon  8472 Reads  Printer-friendly page



War of 1812 Pittsburg, 23 October 1812 On the 9th of August last, I received orders from General Hull to evacuate the post and proceed with my command to Detroit by land, leaving it at my discretion to dispose of the public property as I thought proper. The neighbouring Indians got the information as early as I did, and came in from all quarters in order to receive the goods in the factory store, which they understood were to be given them.
Note: by Captain Heald, letter to The Secretary of War  15523 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.
  7100 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War II The [heavy cruiser USS] Indianapolis [CA-35] had come to the Navy Yard, Mare Island [in San Francisco Bay] in early May 1945, to get heavy underwater damage repaired from a Kamikaze [Japanese suicide aircraft] hit that she took in [the Battle of] Okinawa on 30 March [1945]. We had more time there than anticipated and knew that we were due back in the forward area at the earliest practicable date.
Note: Recollections of Captain Charles B. McVay, III, USN, Commanding Officer of USS Indianapolis (CA-35).  8290 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Civil War The war was assuming large proportions, and I began to see that the rebellion could not be put down without my help. George had served his time of enlistment, and was at home. Sam was only 18, and was needed at home, but for the fear that we might be drafted and sent to different parts of the country, our parents preferred that we all go together so we could all help each other. It was hard to leave them without help, but they could rent the place or hire some help. Hester was with them and was 9 years old, big enough to run on errands and be of some help at home.
Note: by John Marshall Alley  12761 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.
  9017 Reads  Printer-friendly page

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This Day in History
1565: Pedro Menendez of Spain wipes out the French at Fort Caroline, in Florida.

1604: After a two-year siege, the Spanish retake Ostend, the Netherlands, from the Dutch.

1853: The Allies defeat the Russians at the battle of Alma on the Crimean Peninsula.

1863: In one of the bloodiest battles of the war, the Confederate Army of Tennessee drives the Union Army of the Cumberland back into Chattanooga, Tennessee, from Chickamauga Creek in northern Georgia.

1917: British advance east of Ypres and take Inverness Copse, Glencorse Wood, Veldhoek, and part of Polygon Wood amassing 2,000 prisoners.

1943: British submarines attempt to sink the German battleship Tirpitz as it sits in Norwegian waters, as Operation Source gets underway.

1965: Seven U.S. planes are downed in one day over Vietnam.

1968: U.S. military spokesmen defend the use of defoliants in Vietnam at a news conference in Saigon, claiming that the use of the agents in selected areas of South Vietnam had neither appreciably altered the countrys ecology, nor produced any harmful effects on human or animal life.

1972: The USAF reveals that U.S. planes have been mining the coastal rivers and canals of northern Quang Tri province below the DMZ, the first mining of waterways within South Vietnam.

480: Themistocles and his Greek fleet win one of historys first decisive naval victories over Xerxes Persian force off Salamis.