Did anyone in your family fight during WW1 or WW2?

My great grandfather was forcibly taken from Tunisia to Europe to fight for the French army during WW1, north Africans and Sub Saharian Africans were put in the first rows to act as a human shield, but "thankfully" he got so ill at some point he couldn't fight anymore and got sent back home.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Both grandfathers served in WWI. My maternal grandfather was in the cavalry. Prior to going overseas to France, he was in Pershing's expedition against Pancho Villa. My paternal grandfather was in the RAF during WWI. He flew a Sopwith Camel, and I owe my very existence to the strong torque generated by its rotary engine.

    I had several uncles in WWII. On my mother's side, she had three brothers in the service. One in the U. S. Army. He met General Patton. He was in the Torch landings in North Africa, the invasion of Sicily, the Normandy landings, and the Bulge. Another was in the U. S. Navy, mostly doing convoy escort in the Atlantic. The other was in the U. S. Army Air Force as a flight engineer on a B-17 bomber. He flew missions over occupied France and later over Germany.

    On my father's side, my grandfather reentered service in the Royal Army during WWII. I believe he was a radio operator. My uncle was in the Royal Marines. He served in the drum and bugle corps and joined when he was 14. He saw service in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic on the Murmansk convoys. He rotated to man service and served in India and Burma. He was aboard a carrier (I want to say the Ark Royal) off Okinawa when the Japanese surrender was announced. At that moment he was under attack. The Japanese aircraft continued to attack even AFTER the surrender was announced. Unfortunately, the AA guns splashed them all as they tried to smash into his ship. He was part of the occupying force in Japan.

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    • Oh, my father was a boy scout during WWII. While not in the service, he helped clean up bomb damage and was to serve as a runner should Germany invade. He also was in a service kind of like the U. S. Marines' Devil Pups, except it was for the RAF. On weekends he spent his time at an RAF base near London doing various tasks, mostly helping arm Lancaster bombers. Both he and my grandfather were in London at Trafalgar Square when VE Day happened. He heard King George speak. He also heard Lord Haw Haw give his final broadcast the night before. He said he sounded shit faced.

      My student's mother's grandfather was Akihito's tutor. I would give ANYTHING to hear his story. Another student's maternal grandmother is the same age as my father. She remembers Hirohito's speech on August 15th. To hear her story growing up in Japan during WWII is fascinating.

    • Yeah -- my grandfather's war stories were something my brothers and I *always* had the time for, no matter what else was going on.

Most Helpful Girl

  • My maternal grandfather was one of the Navajo "code talkers" in the U. S. 4th Marine Division during WWII.

    If you haven't heard of this, definitely google it.
    Basically, the Navajo tribe (along with the Hopi and Apache tribes, in other military branches) took their language -- which was like a completely unbreakable code -- and used it as the basis for a totally secure code-communication behind enemy lines at Iwo Jima and other strategic battles throughout the war.
    They made the military/tactical terminology by just throwing together words from their own language in new and creative ways. The Axis countries were completely unable to make ANY progress in breaking the "code".

    He was actually one of the 29 Marines who developed the first version of the Navajo code-talk language.

    Have you heard of the "code talkers"?

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    • Wait, I knew about the Navajo but the Hopi were involved,
      Did they have to interact with eachother because my understanding was that they kind of hated each other

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    • The Native code talkers was just an absolutely genius move as far as military tactics

    • @ConsultantIsBack I think the very first military code-talkers were Comanche, from Louisiana or around there. The idea to recruit them came from the fact that they preserved their language against repression while they were at places like Ft. Sill Indian School -- pretty much solely for the purposes of talking shit with each other, without the faculty/staff knowing what they were saying.

      This guy first had the idea to bring the Navajo language on board:
      en.wikipedia.org/.../Philip_Johnston_%28code_talker%29

What Guys Said 32

  • My father was in the army during WW2 but didn't see combat. He was stationed in the US at a training camp where soldiers were trained for beach landings (where I think about half of the army landing at Normandy were trained). He took hundreds of pictures which were fairly well preserved. We sent them to a museum where they are now on display (but nobody in my family has been to the museum).

    I also have a 1st cousin who was a Marine in some of the early island hopping campaigns in the Pacific. He saw some pretty heavy action before the US military learned how dug in the Japanese were, and made some changes to counter it. He was in the first wave at Tarawa, Saipan, and some others.

    I have a neighbor I've known all my life who is still alive. He was in the European theater in western Europe during the German breakout. He's never talked about it though.

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  • My two grandfathers fought in the trenches in WW2.
    Both were killed by German bombs at the dnd of WW2. I never met them thus.
    My dad's army unity was captured by the nazis but he managed to escape and went into clandestinity for four years.
    My father in law was rounded up by the nazis and passed four years in forced labour.
    My aunt and uncle were rounded up and sent to Auschwitz.
    My aunt survived it.

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  • I don't think there any left alive that fought in WW1. They'd have to be at least 115 years old now. My grandpa was on Saipan and Okinawa and a couple smaller battles. He was injured on Okinawa. He was a Marine attached to a tank battalion. His stories are crazy. The Japanese would put grenades on their children and sent them to the American lines. They had orders to shoot children approaching them. They would usually try to find a volunteer that was a good shot so there was no pain. That's bad. I think there's worse wars coming. My great uncle was a pilot on a B24 bomber and was shot down over the Adriatic sea by a German fighter. They never found the plane or him. Bad wars.

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  • My Grandfather was in France during WWI and was part of the surveyors that worked for the Army core of engineers.

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  • My grandpa's brother fought in the WW2 and managed to defend Finland from Soviet union's invasion. He survived the war and died about 10 years ago.

    My great grandfather fought the same war I don't remember if it was him who also fought the nazis when they didn't wanna leave finland after helping us defend from the Soviet Union. Either way he wasn't as lucky as passed away leaving my great grandmother alone with the kids.

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  • Yeah my great, great uncle joined the army and went and fought in WW2 to free Europe from the Nazi's he survived the war and is still alive, great guy. Then I knew another guy who fought in the majority of WW2, crazy son of a bitch survived fighting everything from the German Waffen SS to the charge of Omaha, he survived the war as well.

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    • Oops forgot to mention my great, great uncle saw heavy action during the war and fought in several campaigns, have a bunch of trophies from the war from Nazi's he killed or fought like helmets, gear and bayonets.

  • In World War II, no. But a lot of my relatives were in Vietnam. My grandmother's brother was a "tunnel rat" in the USMC who subsequently acquired three Purple Hearts. Apparently Mexican-Americans were given this task a lot because we were shorter and smaller.

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  • I may or may not be directly related to Captain America

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  • My great grandfather served as a scout and was sent to Europe from South Africa for 3 months.

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  • My grandfather was a medic in Iwojima. He was awarded the bronze star. He came back and died of lung cancer. The universe has a poor sense of humor.

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  • I had an uncle who was in the US Navy stationed in the Aleutian Islands during WWII. His oldest son was on a destroyer during the end of the Vietnam war.

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  • Honestly, I don't know. I've never met my grandfather's so it never really had been a topic. But we are a tiny country and doesn't even really didn't back so probably no

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  • Officially Egypt didn't participate in these wars but England of course took a million " civilian and soldiers" and forced them to fight Hitler in world war 2 , my great great uncle was in that war but he managed to survive

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  • Yes, my grandfathers cousin fought in Europe with the U. S army, he helped liberate one of the concetration camps.
    A relative on my moms side fought in the pacific with the navy

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  • Great grandfather was in the Italian army in WW1. Wounded by the Hungarians and spent the war in Budapest.

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  • My great grandfather was taken hostage to UK during WWII. I think it was after El Alamain's battle, but I'm not completely sure.

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  • My grandfather in WW2 in the army but luckily didn't see much action

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  • probably. there was this thing called the draft where you basically had to fight...

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  • Both sides of both wars.

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  • I have no idea, I never asked. actually I think maybe my great grand father did

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  • One of my. grandpas uncles was in the US air force and shot down over France by the. Nazi Luftwaffe.

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    • Actually I want to make a correction. My family now says it was WWI he served in and was shot at the Somme not in ww2.

      He Died during WW1 from wounds received during the famous battle that took place Sept 29-30 1918 when they broke through the Hindenburg Line, a turning point in the war. Buried in the Somme American Cemetery in France

  • Wow that's messed up that they did that to him. What was your family doing when the area was occupied by the axis in WW2?

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    • I know :/ e didn't really have much choice, he was a Orphan and couldn't get anyone involved to help him stay, plus we were colonized by France so we didn't really have a say in this..
      I don't think anyone though in WW2, although there have been a few battles and specially in my own city, we even have the American WW2 cemetry in Tunis, when I asked my Grandfather he told me was just 15 and there were many Nazi soldiers in the streets but they just ignored their presence and didn't really talk.
      But one of the biggest battles was held in Sidi Bouzid, where many of my extended family lives, so I probably have some relatives who got involved there :p

  • Yeah my grandfather although it was a non combat position, he worked for the government long afterwords.

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  • Nope, family too chill for that shit.

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  • My great grand dad , yea

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  • Nope 💁

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  • My great grandparents were involved in WW2. They weren't in the military though and didn't do any fighting.

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    • I don't know about WW1, that was too long ago I don't think I can trace all my ancestry back that far.

  • yes a few great uncles or so i've been told

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  • My great granddaddy did

    He was a cook overseas

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  • If he hadn't fallen ill, you wouldn't have been here right? Thank heavens for small mercies.

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What Girls Said 19

  • Yeah, my great grandfather faught in Finland. My grandmother was taken to look at the dead bodies to identify her father when she was a little kid. She's been kinda psychotic since then I think. I don't know it really affected her though. Afterwards she was put into a foster home in another country. separated from all her siblings.
    Only part of my family involved in a world war though. Sweden didn't take part in any of the wars so that side wasn't involved.

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    • Omg, if it was my father I just couldn't. I'd just refuse to go, even if it meant going to jail.

      I can't even handle the thought of my father dying *now*.

  • My grandpa was drafted and sent overseas. His original platoon was one of the ones that stormed Normandy but he was pulled from that group and transferred to planes right before. So then he was with the ones who jumped out of planes and flew some.

    He was cool.

    RIP August 23 2012

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  • My grandfather was Dutch and he was a milkman, which was deemed a necessary job where you didn't have to enlist, it was vital you do it. Anyway, he was kidnapped by the Germans and forced into slave labour. He was missing from home for 2 years, building railway tracks for the Germans, they used to try and dismantle the work they did when the Germans weren't looking. Anyway, when the war ended, they wanted to get rid of the evidence of their slave labour so they were abandoned to just go home. My grandfather walked home from Germany to Holland. Took him a few months to get home, he had no boots and the same underwear and clothes he'd had on when he'd been taken. His wife had had another child while he was gone (she was pregnant when he'd been taken, it was his) and the city of Rotterdam had been bombed where he lived. So yeah he didn't fight but he was affected by the war greatly. He never liked Germans but he always went on holiday to Germany ever year. Sad really.

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    • And I have another interesting story about a friend of mines Grandfather. He was too young to enlist (he was Welsh), I believe he was 15 or 16? He wanted to fight. So he made his way to the Soviet Union and went to fight for them, he became on of their best snipers. Weird story but very interesting!

  • My grandfather was in WW2. He married my grandmother and then shipped out 2 days later. He wasn't allowed to give his location in letters so he would cut out a template of the country he was in, lay it over a plan sheet, and type her letters in the shape of the country. We still have some of them. Really neat actually.

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    • You guys should donate those letters (or copies) to a museum. We did that with my father's pictures and it was really cool thinking of them in a museum. :) If you can't find a museum, many libraries also keep collections like that, or they could probably direct you to a place that would want them.

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    • Well her ya go then. I already had them on Imgur (and posted them here before). Like I said he didn't see combat, so these are all stateside.

      http://imgur.com/wnynXw5

      http://imgur.com/61w95Uf

      http://imgur.com/yfmIHvf

      http://imgur.com/nl2dh6G

      (in that last one, the guy on the left looks worried, I think he's losing)

    • @NearlyNapping I love them! Thanks so much for sharing, and you're right. He does look worried lol. I think that one is my favorite!

  • Yes. My great grandfathers we have a photo he sent to my great grandmother... The last photo before he disappeared... A black n m white photograph in which He's standing in front of a tent, in what appears to be the middle of the wilderness... We have no idea who took the photo either... And never heard from him again... 😦😟!!

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  • not ww1 or ww2 but my grandparents fought in a cold war related battle with ethiopia

    my maternal grandpa was a soldier for the somali army and my grandma was also drafted, not as a soldier but to help the war effort. my grandpa lives in australia now, he's 92 now :D my grandma passed away in 2008

    somalia was socialist which is why soviet union supported us but ethiopia was also. the soviet union found itself funding both sides so they dropped funding towards somalia which caused us to lose badly and siad barre's regime to fall.

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  • Yes, I had quite a few great uncles die in the ww1 and ww2. I learned about it via ancestry. com.

    For one uncle, I know really specific details like about what day he died, where he died, where he's buried, and what group he was in.

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  • Yes all of my grandparents, aunts, uncles etc. Some were great war heroes and worked for the resistance groups and some had a lot of kids and were too scared to do anything, which I think is completely understandable.

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  • My grandpa was medic on the front lines during ww2 and a spy during the Cold War. Unfortunately he died before I could meet him.

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  • Yep, they did some killing for the government.

    By killing I mean, they did some classified operations that often involved eliminating high ranking officials.

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  • My grandpa on my dads side was stationed some where close to Japan.

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  • No. At least, not that I'm aware of.

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  • Yes, I think multiple people did, but I know for sure my Grandpa did

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  • Yes, they did some classified stuff.

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  • Yes my grandfather did

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  • My Uncle did

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  • my grand dad fought in WW2

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  • No they didn't

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  • Interesting question, as far as I know though no one did.

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