Normandy Invasion, 1944
From the Moving Images Relating to Coast Guard Activities series.
See our past D-Day posts, including Eisenhower’s Order of the Day, and his hastily drafted “in case of failure” note, and a detailed sketch of a typical Platoon Leader in full battle dress.
“The mission of this Allied Force was fulfilled at 0241, local time, May 7th, 1945.
Top secret document sent by General Eisenhower to his superior officers to inform them that his mission was fulfilled - Germany was defeated and the war in Europe was over.
-from the Eisenhower Library
“Operation ‘Oregon,’ a search and destroy mission conducted by an infantry platoon of Troop B, 1st Reconnaissance Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), three kilometers west of Duc Pho, Quang Ngai Province. An infantryman is lowered into a tunnel by members of the reconnaissance platoon.” 04/24/1967
Accepting his honor
On December 2, 1969, the widow of Army Staff Sergeant Clifford Sims accepted the Medal of Honor on her husband’s behalf from Vice President Spiro Agnew. SSG Sims was killed when he threw himself on a booby-trap as it exploded, saving the lives of his fellow soldiers.
Photograph of Spiro Agnew Posthumously Awarding Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Clifford C. Sims, 12/02/1969
Jimi Hendrix: November 27 1942 - September 18, 1970
Today would have been the 70th birthday of pioneering guitarist Jimi Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix). His creativity and nonconformity are also reflected in his US Army enlistment documents, such as this security questionnaire on which Hendrix takes a novel approach to filling in check boxes. (Not surprisingly, Hendrix’s subsequent Army career was less than stellar).
Abraham Lincoln to Major General George B. McClellan: “You’re Fired”
Major General George B. McClellan snubbed and acted insubordinately toward President Lincoln on numerous occasions. Lincoln suffered the insults as long as McClellan produced results. But when McClellan failed to follow up his success at Antietam, despite Lincoln’s direct order, this general order announced to the U.S. Army that McClellan had been relieved of his command.
General Order 182 Relieving Major General George B. McClellan of Command of the Army of the Potomac, 11/05/1862
Are you ready for the 2012 Summer Olympics to start? We sure are! Hopefully, this document will help hold you over until the opening ceremony starts tonight!
A year before the 1948 Summer Olympics, which happens to be when London last hosted the Olympics, the House and Senate passed H.R. 2276 at the recommendation of the Secretary of War. This bill authorized members of the military to participate in the games, and for the payment of, with certain limitations, training and attendance. The House first passed the bill on June 2, 1947 by a voice vote. The Senate amended the bill to include all branches of the military (not just the Army, as passed by the House). The House then agreed to the Senate changes on June 25. President Harry Truman signed the bill into law on July 1. The US went on to win 84 medals, the most at the games, with athletes competing in 19 different sports.
Senate amendments to HR 2276, June 3, 1947, Sen 80A-C2, Records of the U.S. Senate
Dressed for Land and Sea
The images of landing craft approaching the ominous Normandy beachhead are fairly ubiquitous today so instead we have this detailed illustration of a typical platoon leader in full battle dress.
This drawing by combat historian Lt. Jack Shea, who was attached to the 29th Infantry Division, gives you sense just how prepared these troops needed to be, both for their initial amphibious assault, and for days of slogging through the potentially treacherous Normandy countryside.
Margie was a very different kind of pin-up girl. She was not salacious, and her clothes were neatly buttoned up. She was a young wife on the homefront pining for soldier husband, and her serious and articulate “letters” that appeared alongside her image were about managing money. But she was a big hit with the young men fighting overseas during World War II.
“Margie” was created to encourage soldiers to manage their pay. Her letters informed soldiers about soldiers’ deposits, personal transfer accounts, Class E allotments of pay, War Bonds, and National Service Life insurance. The posters were distributed in posts, commands, and theaters of operation.
She was also a real person. Margie Stewart passed away this May at the age of 92. She was not a soldier, but she gave the men overseas a reason and a reminder to plan for a life with their sweethearts after the war ended.
These posters are part of the holdings of the National Archives and can be found in Record Group 44.
During World War II, Private First Class Desmond Doss was a conscientious objector who refused to carry or touch a weapon. He served as a medic and was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1945 for his heroic action assisting injured soldiers near Urasoe-Mura, Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands.