WW II Trivia

  1. got an e-mail from my brother-in-law:

    [font="trebuchet ms"]you might enjoy this from col d. g. swinford, usmc, ret., and history buff.

    1. the first german serviceman killed in ww2 was killed by the japanese (china, 1937), the first american serviceman killed was killed by the russians
    (finland1940); highest ranking american killed was lt gen lesley mcnair, killed by the us army air corps. so much for allies.

    2. the youngest us serviceman was 12 year old calvin graham, usn. he was wounded and given a dishonorable discharge for lying about his age. his benefits were later restored by act of congress.

    3. at the time of pearl harbor, the top us navy command was called cincus (pronounced "sink us"), the shoulder patch of the us army's 45th infantry division was the swastika, and hitler's private train was named "amerika." all three were soon changed for pr purposes.

    4. more us servicemen died in the air corps than the marine corps. while completing the required 30 missions, your chance of being killed was 71%.

    5. generally speaking, there was no such thing as an average fighter pilot. you were either an ace or a target. for instance, japanese ace hiroyoshi nishizawa shot down over 80 planes. he died while a passenger on a cargo plane.

    6. it was a common practice on fighter planes to load every 5th round with a tracer round to aid in aiming. this was a mistake. tracers had different ballistics so (at long range) if your tracers were hitting the target 80% of your rounds were missing. worse yet tracers instantly told your enemy he was under fire and from which direction. worst of all was the practice of loading a string of tracers at the end of the belt to tell you that you were out of ammo. this was definitely not something you wanted to tell the enemy. units that stopped using tracers saw their success rate nearly double and their loss rate go down.

    7. when allied armies reached the rhine, the first thing men did was pee in it. this was pretty universal from the lowest private to winston churchill
    (who made a big show of it) and gen patton (who had himself photographed in the act).

    8. german me-264 bombers were capable of bombing new york city, but it wasn't worth the effort.

    9. german submarine u-120 was sunk by a malfunctioning toilet.

    10. among the first "germans" captured at normandy were several koreans. they had been forced to fight for the japanese army until they were captured by the russians and forced to fight for the russian army until they were captured by the germans and forced to fight for the german army until they were captured by the us army.

    the best for last....

    11. following a massive naval bombardment, 35,000 united states and canadian troops stormed ashore at kiska, in the aleutian islands. 21 troops were killed in the firefight. it would have been worse if there had been any japanese on the island.

    i looked for some "verifiable" data on some of this and found: http://wilk4.com:80/humor/humorm175.htm . some need some "adjustments", but most seem to have some basis in fact.
    Last edit by prmenrs on Feb 5, '07
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   wtbcrna
    Very interesting...But with the WWII not starting until 1939 I don't understand the how the first German was killed in 1937(China). Also, since Americans didn't enter the war until 1941 how did an American get killed in 1940 in Finland, not that I am doubting it at all, but what in the world was he doing there at that time.....just curious.
  4. by   prmenrs
    Japan occupied Manchuria in 1930, and invaded China in 1937. That seems to be the beginning of the Pacific war.

    http://www.nimitz-museum.org/cbiexcerpts.htm
  5. by   cardiacRN2006
    Quote from wtbcrna
    Also, since Americans didn't enter the war until 1941 how did an American get killed in 1940 in Finland, not that I am doubting it at all, but what in the world was he doing there at that time.....just curious.

    America was supporting that war long before we became "offically" involved.
  6. by   wtbcrna
    Quote from prmenrs
    Japan occupied Manchuria in 1930, and invaded China in 1937. That seems to be the beginning of the Pacific war.

    http://www.nimitz-museum.org/cbiexcerpts.htm
    Got it...lol... I was thinking of the invasion of Poland of 1939 as the start of everything.

    I like the thread/facts. By the way the reason for the loss of so many Airmen in the war was d/t bomber crews going on bombing missions in direct daylight early in the war w/o escort fighters. This later changed when we developed a fighter escort that was able to carry enough fuel to make it all the way there.
  7. by   wtbcrna
    Quote from cardiacRN2006
    America was supporting that war long before we became "offically" involved.
    I found an aritcle on it http://www.afsa.org/fsj/dec03/cleverley.pdf

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