American WWII veteran Orvel Baggett stands on corner to make ends meet
87-years-old Orvel Baggett, who served as a Marine 1943-1946, waves the U.S. flag proudly from his truck in Bakersfield. But, he`s not too proud of what he has to do to survive in modern America. He has collected money from several parts of town for the last two years. Baggett has weak knees and severe arthritis, which make his hands swell. He was in the hospital recently getting a few pints of blood because he was having trouble breathing. He says the Department of Veterans Affairs stopped giving him his pension check because he was overpaid, when he overlooked reporting his wife`s Social Security income. Now Baggett owns the V.A. $25,000.
Forgotten Soldiers documentary film tells the story of the Philippines Scouts
Thanks to historians and Hollywood, we know about the Tuskegee Airmen and Navajo code talkers. We`re less familiar with the Philippine Scouts. With "Forgotten Soldiers" filmmaker Donald Plata is attempting to correct the record. Writer Chris Schaefer said the Scouts` story is so poorly understood in part because other war events overshadowed their heroic service: "And the press... wanted to emphasize the things that were working. The Battle of Midway was one. The Doolittle raid on Tokyo, even though it didn`t do much damage, was a great PR thing. But we surrendered in the Philippines. As a result, (the Scouts`) story has not gotten the attention, has not been talked about very much."
Conflict-Series: A highly rated strategy game series for Android
If you love classic PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series for Android. Some of the WWII Campaigns include D-Day 1944, Operation Barbarossa, Invasion of Poland 1939, France 1940, Kursk 1943, Market Garden, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Rommel's North African campaign, the Battle of Bulge, and the Battle of Berlin 1945. In addition there are American Civil War, First World War and American Revolutionary War scenarios available.
(available on Google Play & Amazon App Store)
GIs worked in atomic blast sites without safety gear: Their hair fell out and their bodies were covered in sores
The first large group of American soldiers arrived in Nagasaki September 23 and in Hiroshima two weeks later. They were part of a force of 240,000 that occupied the islands of Honshu and Kyushu. Marines from the 2nd Division took Nagasaki while the US Army`s 24th and 41st divisions seized Hiroshima. No one was urged to take precautions. Some bunked down close to ground zero, even slept on the earth and engaged in cleanup operations without protective gear. When a marine named Sam Scione returned to the U.S. a year later, his hair fell out and his body was covered in sores. He suffered a string of ailments but never was awarded service-related disability status.
WWII Chinese translator, who worked with the Flying Tigers, denied U.S. veterans status
John Yee was just 19 when the Japanese attacked his hometown of Kunming, China. Soon Japanese forces had advanced through much of China, and the Chinese military seemed unable to stop them. But half a world away, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had authorized a secret unit that would change the course of the war in Asia. As a result, Yee found himself working as a translator to Claire Lee Chennault and the American Volunteer Group, the aviation legends known as the Flying Tigers. His unique spot in history - a member of the Chinese air force who served with a secret American unit, then traveled to the U.S. and was allowed to stay for fear of reprisals in Communist China - means he has never been officially recognized as a veteran by the country he served and has called home for 65 years.
American WWII veteran Anthony Jacondino begs on Tampa streets (includes video)
When the light turns red, drivers notice Anthony Jacondino`s WWII victory medal and sign: "World War II vet in need of help". Most ignore him, while some give him money but tell him not to spend it on alcohol. "No, I don`t drink," Jacondino replies, explaining that he feels embarrassed. If passersby stopped longer, he could describe driving a tank in the Philippines. A lot of people wave different signs on street corners, but Jacondino`s sign doesn`t lie: The Department of Veterans Affairs confirms that he served in the Second World War.
Longoria Affair: Mexican American WWII hero they refused to bury in Texas because "the whites would not like it"
Documentary film "Longoria Affair" by independent filmmaker John J. Valadez: After the remains of Pvt. Felix Z. Longoria, Jr. -- killed by a Japanese sniper -- were returned to the U.S. in 1949 the only funeral home in Three Rivers, Texas, would not allow him to lie in state there because "the whites would not like it."
Man denied $25,000 POW compensation because he escaped from POW camp to warn of the enemy advance
Australian Fred Collett escaped from a World War II PoW camp in Greece to the island of Crete in April 1941 to warn fellow soldiers of the enemy advance. The Department of Veterans` Affairs denied Collett`s claim for a one-off $25,000 payment for being a PoW in Europe because he escaped - which was his military duty under the law of the time. Now he gets nothing for his wartime heroics, while men who surrendered and spent the rest of the war in a PoW camp are all eligible for the money.
D-Day hero and winner of 5 bronze stars, whose cremated remains were found in a trash heap, can finally rest in peace
65 years ago Delbert E. Hahn - a rifleman in the 3rd Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division - laid his life on the line near the French town of Caumont, ducking Nazi machine gun fire. Recently couple of teenagers discovered his cremated remains in a Tampa trash heap. Fortunately the D-Day hero and winner of 5 bronze star medals can now rest in peace, as his remains were placed in a niche at the Florida National Cemetery with a full military send-off. "The guy is a true American hero. That his remains ended up in a trash heap is absolutely disgraceful," said Edward Croissant.
Black WW2 heroes deliberately removed from the unit that liberated Paris
WW2 papers reveal that Allied commanders ensured that the liberation of Paris on 25 August 1944 was seen as a "whites only" victory. Many fought Nazi Germany to defeat the racism that left millions of Jews dead. Yet the black colonial soldiers, 2/3 of Free French forces, were removed from the unit that led the Allied advance in Paris. Charles de Gaulle wanted his Frenchmen to lead the liberation of Paris, and Allied High Command agreed on one condition: De Gaulle`s division must not have any black soldiers. Dwight Eisenhower`s Chief of Staff, Major General Walter Bedell Smith wrote: "It is more desirable that the division ... consist of white personnel."
U.S. Army cancels pay raise for Eskimo Scouts - America`s first line of defense in WW2
Paul Kiunya Sr. reviews his early military days with pride. He was only 16 when he joined the Alaska Territorial Guard during the Second World War. Traveling by kayak in the summer and by dog sled in the winter, Kiunya and his fellow guardsmen were among the America`s first line of defense from the Japanese. It took a long time, but finally in 2008 the Pentagon gave them active duty credit for their service in the territorial force. That resulted in an increase in their military retirement pay. But what Uncle Sam gives, he can take away, and so he has: With a letter that amounts to "Oops," the Army told them that the pay increase was a misunderstanding.
Volunteer photographer chronicles Filipino WW2 veterans’ struggle
He`s a familiar face at Philippine Embassy functions for the Second World War veterans, snapping away with his camera. He`s been volunteering the photography for over a decade. Paul Tanedo, a commercial photographer who lives in Anandale, Virginia, said he started taking pictures of Filipino veterans in the early 1990s. He has the most extensive collection of photographs about the Filipino veterans` struggle on Capitol Hill. They easily add up to thousands of photos, including the sustained protests that, at one time, led to the arrest of elderly veterans outside the White House.
WWII veteran freezes to death in own home
Bay City Electric & Light restricted power to Marvin Schur`s home after he did not pay bills. It was 32 degrees inside the World War II veteran`s house when neighbors found his body. An autopsy revealed Schur died from hypothermia in the home he lived in for years. Now Bay City said it will notify customers before their power is shut off. Schur`s neighbor said Schur had a utility bill on his kitchen table with a large amount of money clipped to it - to pay that bill.
U.S. Army veteran recalls 1946 A-bomb tests of Operation Crossroads - and aftermath
When Ray Beatty turned 17 in July 1945, he was too late for World War II. By the time he was trained, it was 1946 and WWII had ended. Instead of going to war, Beatty went to the Marshall Islands. There he met up with an opponent that was neither Japanese nor German but would chase him for life: radiation. He was part of Operation Crossroads, the U.S. military`s first postwar experiment with nuclear weapons, to test the effects of nuclear weapons on Navy warships. The 4th and 5th atomic detonations in history, test shots Able and Baker, happened at Bikini Atoll... Later, on one pay day a buddy looked at him and said: "Beatty, your hair is falling out."
Philippine World War II veterans seek equality from United States
Something is better than nothing, Filipino veterans said after learning they could get 1-time payments from the U.S. 6 decades after they fought with American GIs. But they will continue to pressure Washington to put them on par with their U.S. comrades, claiming that Congress is dragging its feet as veterans die of old age. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the "Filipino Veterans Equity Act of 2008" that would make one-time payments of $15,000 to Filipinos who are U.S. citizens and $9,000 to non-U.S. veterans. When Filipinos were conscripted into the U.S. Army, they were promised full benefits, but that promise was broken in the Rescissions Acts of 1946.
Filipino World War II veterans stripped of $3.2 billion in U.S. benefits
Being an American colony during the World War II, the Filipino soldiers fought as members of the US Armed Forces and were promised to be treated like American soldiers by President Theodore Roosevelt. Filipino WWII veterans would have got $3.2 billion worth of benefits from the U.S. had it not been for the Rescission Act of 1946, which smashed promises. After the war over 400,000 Filipino veterans were applying for benefits: 240,000 were approved as legitimate war veterans in the "Missouri List" - prepared by the administrative unit of the US Armed Forces based in Missouri.
India: World War II veterans feel unwanted in their own country
20 WW2 veterans are spending the evening of their life in a "Sainik Ashram" in Kochi as they have not been given pension by the Central government. Feeling `unwanted by their own country.` "We do not have money even to buy medicines," one said. The war veterans, now in their 80s and 90s, said they were not qualified for pension as their service period fell short of the required 20 years. To provide a helping hand the Ex-servicemen Welfare Association has set up a `Sainik Ashram` and the war veterans are staying there. Some have no records to show that they had served in the forces.
U.S. Navy prevents town from honoring war veterans with knives
A voluntary campaign in Idaho to raise funds and work with the maker of Buck brand name knives to honor veterans returning from the defense of the U.S. has been torpedoed by military administrative rules regarding the value of gifts. And the order wasn`t sitting well with members of the community near Post Falls, where Buck has its headquarters. "Who`s in charge here anyway? Dumb and Dumber?" was asked on a forum. World War II veteran Paul Abschier told: "It`s the stupidest thing I`ve heard of. They`ve put their lives on the line and they can`t receive a knife?"
RAF bomber Jack Tagg refused treatment by NHS
120 doctors have set up a campaign on behalf of WWII RAF bomber Jack Tagg who has been told he must go blind in one eye before he can get NHS treatment and accused Gordon Brown of "incompetence". Tagg and his wife Gabrielle face having to sell their home to get £10,000 to fund the 2-year course of private treatment. Tagg, who was a member of the RAF Balloon Command during the Second World War and flew Wellington bombers, said he was appalled. "Torbay spent £43 million trying to tempt entrepreneurs to come here. But people like me are forced to pay for our own treatment."
Gurkha restaurant cannot fly regiment`s flag
Asbahadur Gurung, whose family served in the Army for 70 years, wanted to show his regiment`s colours above his restaurant, called "The Gurkha". But council said the flag was a form of advertising and denied him permission. But they notified him that he can run up the flag of any country, the UN or the EU. The decision has infuriated Gurung, whose father Mambahadur fought in the Battle of Kohima in Burma in World War II. "I was proud to serve the British Army for 28 years as was my father before me... we thought a lot of people would appreciate the regiment flag." Gurung spent 28 years in the Queen`s Gurkha Signals, reaching the rank of captain.
Patrolling the WWII coast of Somalia as a British soldier in the 1940s
Sergeant Iddi Abdallah Pengo retains fond memories of his time patrolling the coast of Somalia as a soldier in the British army in the 1940s. "I served under British officers who were fair but firm. I learnt a lot, how to fire a gun and how to be a good soldier." He receives $3 a week in recognition of the time in the British army. "I can`t live on this allowance; I have no other sources of income as I am too old to work." He was one of the thousands from across British colonial East Africa who joined the Kings African Rifles. "I had heard of Adolf Hitler and that he was coming to conquer my country so I signed up to the army."
Victoria Cross hero Gurkha banned from living in Britain "no strong ties"
Gurkha Tul Bahadur Pun`s courage in the face of almost certain death - almost all his comrades were wiped out - earned him the Victoria Cross medal as he single-handedly stormed Japanese machine-gun positions during World War 2. His extraordinary act of valour won him royal admirers and he was invited to the Queen`s Coronation and had tea with the Queen Mother. Yet, despite his glorious record, his application to live in Britain has been refused. The old soldier was told: "You have failed to demonstrate that you have strong ties with the UK."
War hero who faces selling his home for the medicine to save his sight
A war veteran has been forced to spend more than £4,000 of his life savings in a battle against blindness because the NHS will not pay for his treatment. Jack Strange who earned the British Empire Medal in World War II says health bosses are refusing to fund simple, effective medicine which can keep his eye condition at bay. When his savings run out he will be faced with the choice of selling the home he shares with his wife Joyce or going blind.
American World War II Veterans covered in bodily fluids
The director of the Arizona Department of Veterans Services resigned, after the public disclosure of health and safety violations at a nursing home for veterans of World War II and the Korean War. The violations included patients left in soiled undergarments and covered in bodily fluids leaking from medical devices. Patrick Chorpenning resigned saying that "in light of what has taken place in the press, I feel it is in your best interest that I resign." The revelations came amid a fresh round of scrutiny over the care of veterans.
Broken promises for soldiers who risked their lives for U.S.
Manuel Pablo crouched in foxholes to defend the Philippines against Japanese soldiers in World War 2. He says he watched a Japanese guard stab one of his comrades to death with a bayonet during the Bataan Death March. Even though Pablo risked his life for the U.S., which controlled the Philippines as a commonwealth, his children can`t win approval to live with him in America. Scholars and veterans` advocates say the policy reflects decades of neglect, dating to 1946 when Washington broke wartime promises that the soldiers could become U.S. citizens and enjoy the same benefits as American troops.
Anti-Soviet fighters rally for recognition as vets in Ukraine
Nationalist fighters who battled both Soviet and Nazi forces during World War II rallied in Kiev, demanding the same recognition as Red Army vets. The issue of how to recognize the nationalists — as freedom fighters or traitors — has split Ukraine. The divisions were apparent at rally, as some of the 2,000 nationalists battled with counter-rally socialists. The "best sons of Ukraine gave up their lives for our Motherland. Unfortunately we have not been recognized yet. It is a shame," said ex-partisan Orest Vaskul. Since Yushchenko, whose father was a Red Army soldier, came to power he has been striving to recognize 100,000 partisans.
African WWII vets fought for Britain - In return they got £10
Hiding in the branches of a tree in the Burmese jungle, Richard Chandaengerwa knew he would receive no mercy if he fell into the hands of the enemy. "When Japanese killed blacks, they would cut up the bodies into pieces for fear they might resurrect." He fought for Britain in the Second World War. He was shot and twice injured in the leg during 3 years in the Rhodesian African Rifles. But while Britons returned to a hero`s welcome, he went home to then the British colony of Rhodesia, and received a payment of £10. The Second World War saw around 421,000 troops called up from Britain`s African colonies.
24,000 WWII veterans under US flag have no benefits (Article no longer available from the original source)
"I write you in behalf of the 18,000 Philippine-based and 6,000 US-based Filipino veterans who are still seeking the benefits due them by virtue of their military service under the US flag during WWII. They are part of the more than 200,000 members of the Philippine Commonwealth Army, Philippine Scouts and recognized guerrillas, who were denied such benefits by the US Recission Act of 1946. It has been 60 years since that unjust law was enacted, and these remaining 24,000 veterans are hopeful that before most of them pass away, they would be granted their wish for justice. They do not seek equality with the US veterans.
English army veterans who didn`t get a single penny (Article no longer available from the original source)
Indian soldiers who fought under the British flag during the WW2 gathered together in Jammu for a reunion. It was also a chance for old friends to remember a time when Indian soldiers formed the backbone of the Royal British army. "Fighting all the way from Kohima we went up to Rangoon and after that English army sent us back home. They did not pay us even a single penny," said Chand. There are about 80 soldiers living in Jammu and Kashmir who fought in the WW2. After the war got over, all of them were forced to retire. Now they are fighting a different battle, one for retirement benefits including pension.
Military Cross winner discarded by the country he defended
Lt Billy Norbury lay in agony from the bullets embedded in his lower body. Grenades were bursting around him and fierce machine-gun fire came from the heavily-defended Japanese position. As his comrades from the King`s African Rifles fell dead around him the subaltern, ignoring the pain, got to his feet and carried on the charge up the hill to engage the enemy in hand-to-hand fighting. For his courage he was awarded an immediate Military Cross on the battlefield. But 54 years later, after decades of agony and operations, he died from his wounds, penniless and abandoned by the country that had sent him to war, because he had enlisted in a colony.
Row over Mussolini`s Nazi army opens old wounds
The soldiers of Benito Mussolini`s Nazi puppet republic should be accorded the same status as wartime resistance fighters and regular combatants. The bill would recognise the 200,000 soldiers of the Italian Social Republic as "military combatants", but would make no difference to the state benefits enjoyed. But the controversial move by Silvio Berlusconi`s government will reopen old wounds, raising painful questions about the Italians` view of their past and which side they feel they were really on in the second world war.
World War II Fighter Ace Neville Duke forced to sell his military medals
A legendary World War Two fighter ace who broke the world air speed record is being forced to sell off his medals after 65 years of flying. Hero pilot Neville Duke, D.S.O, O.B.E., D.F.C. (and Two Bars), A.F.C, has one of the longest and most distinguished records in British aviation history. Duke was credited with 28 air combat victories during his 485 operational sorties after joining the RAF in the summer of 1940 at the height of the Battle Of Britain.
Latvian government grants bigger tax breaks to former Nazi collaborators
The Latvian Cabinet has approved tax law amendments granting bigger tax breaks to members of the Forest Brothers guerilla movement, which collaborated with the Nazi regime. The Nazi collaborators will also be paid a monthly bonus of $100 by the Latvian Defense Ministry. -- The Latvian parliament has repeatedly rejected a bill on the status of soldiers of the Anti-Hitler coalition. The Opposition demanded benefits for those who fought in the anti-Hitler coalition. Currently this group have no benefits at all and opposition feels that Soviet veterans should have at least the same status as national resistance participants, including the veterans of the Waffen SS.