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#290491 - 06/06/09 04:41 AM Remembrance
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
67 years ago today the destroyer that my Grandfather served on the USS Hammann was torperdoed and sank. While tied up next to the aircraft carrier yorktown whick they were trying to save after it had been strunk by several japanese bombs. During the battle of Midway.
My grandfather served in the Navy for over thirty years and was stationed at Pearl Habor when it was attacked. He served our nation from the first day of the till the last day of WWII.
He was in Vice Admirals Frank Jack Felchers' Task Force 17 whick fought in battles From the Coral Sea to the invasion of Okinawa.
On this day in 1942 my grandfather was injured and 80 of his crewmates were killed serving our country.
I want to thank him and all those who fought so bravely and sarcificed so much for our freedom.
Also tomorrow June 7 is 65 years since D-day invasion of Europe. We walk in the shadow of a generation who have left us some migthy big foot prints to follow.

Guy Lancelot Banks- I love you and may you rest in peace.

Mike


_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

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#290495 - 06/06/09 05:43 AM Re: Remembrance [Re: michael banks]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
Winning World War II took the effort and sacrifice of many, many people. Glad to hear that your grandfather was one of them and that you are so proud of his accomplishments too. And yes, tomorrow, June 6th, is the 65th anniversary of D-Day too. In fact, 65 years ago this very minute, many thousands of our troops were bogged-down under heavy fire at Omaha Beach, where many men died or were wounded that morning. I have 3 different movies here at home about D-Day among my 100 WW II movies and several hundred WW II books.

You once recommended a book to me about the actions of a few destroyer commanders and their men in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, and I just started a new book about the actions of the 82nd Airborne in June of 1944 at Ste. Mere-Eglise, France. The book is NO BETTER PLACE TO DIE, by Robert M. Murphy. So far it looks like an excellent book. Ste. Mere-Eglise was a French town with a critical bridge and road junction in the Utah Beach sphere of operations.

I'll keep you posted on my reading, and my hat's off to your grandfather and his effort too.

Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#290504 - 06/06/09 08:50 AM Re: Remembrance [Re: Trucker51]
king tut Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2465
Loc: UK
My grandfather was a British merchant seaman during the war. He got sunk many times by the germans and he couldn't swim but he survived. He was also imprisoned, in italy (i think?) after being sunk once and was put to work on the farms there, but the security wasn't tight, and he escaped through a sewage pipe. He said he really enjoyed working there, that he liked the fresh air. He went all around the world many many times, and he was in alot of different war areas like the one with the canal near Egypt? whats that one? I have photos somewhere from on all the different ships, and they are quite amazing. He really liked the ocean, his ashes were scattered in the ocean when he died. He was one of the rulers of the waves. There is this one photo and the guy looks definitely American so i'm sure he was with americans at some point too. His wife back in Wales, my dads father, however, got with somebody else whilst he was away, my dad never knew his dad when he was younger because he was always at sea. He really travelled alot, he used to say that he had travelled completely around the world 9 times, but i don't know if that is true, i wouldn't be surprised.

My grandfather lived in Estonia when he was young and they had a huge farm, then the Russians came through when he was a teenager and killed and raped everybody and they took over his farm because it was on a little island and they made it into a temporary military base, and they also had a fleet of fishing boats, like a business, and the Russians destroyed all of that too. They got the farm back after the Russians went. My grandfather never liked the russians, if it was bad weather he would blame it on the russians messing with things. He could tell what weather it was going to be all the time, the old sea men could do that, if we were sitting inside he would be able to say it is going to start raining in ten minutes and it would. I guess you develop special skills if you live on the ocean. He used to say that we will all be living in domes on the moon.

I don't know exactly when he settled in Britain, but when he did he did the oath to the queen and all that.

Anyway, after the Russians killed everybody in Estonia for fun it was the Germans turn. The Germans came up and started killing everybody, like the Germans used to do, and you know selecting people they like to keep. And so they started recruiting soldiers for their army at force. I guess some must have been willing, since the Russians had been particularly brutal when they swept through the baltic states. My grandfather got out of there (not a good place to be with russians coming down and germans going up- both sides brutal and twisted- even though the russians were with us), he went on a ship and just left all together and joined the British. He kept in contact with his family after the war and visited them, even though he had just fought a war against his brother.

His brother stayed in Estonia, he didn't escape. He was recruited by the Germans and he was fighting in the other side of the war. He was in an SS death squad, meaning he would go into buildings and kill everybody. Apparently, he said to my grandfather after the war that it was really difficult going into every room shooting everybody dead, because i imagine it plays on your conscience, so in the end they didn't bother, in the end they just set explosives in the buildings and blew them up with everybody in. There are no excuses for that kind of evil, but the people were very much brainwashed, and for many of the people who were recruited from the baltic areas they had already suffered mind fucks from the russians. when my grandfather visited estonia when he was old i think there were real disputes with his brother. They had big families back then, i don't know what the others did. His brother went back to Estonia and then afterwards lived to old age somewhere in Australia.

I'm glad that my grandfather fought on our side, but from this story i understand how fragile humanity can be. And i hope that we learnt some lessons from the world wars.



Edited by king tut (06/06/09 08:57 AM)
_________________________
"...until lambs become lions"

I love you, little lewis, and i will never leave you. We are the same. You brighten my day, and i will make sure that i brighten yours. Hugs and kisses.


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#290529 - 06/06/09 02:08 PM Re: Remembrance [Re: king tut]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
My one grandfather served on cargo ships in WW I and was on one ship that was sunk by a German sub. There is a record of him coming back into the US on the Aquatania as the war was winding down. My other grandfather was a warehouse foreman and stayed in the Kansas City-area managing a large military stores warehouse there. My father served in the Korean War but because of his Automotive Engineering degree he served at the Aberdeen Proving grounds testing tank engines instead. My stepdad served in the US Navy at the Treasure Island Naval Air Station in San Francisco during WW II in some sort of management capacity. It was proposed by my dad's navy relatives that I come into the navy in 1975, but that was just as Vietnam was winding down and so I went to college instead. One of my dad's relatives is a retired Admiral.

Interesting to hear about your grandfather Lewis. Maybe someday you will visit Estonia and meet some of your relatives there.

Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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