Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Ian McCollum Joins Vickers Guide As Historical Advisor

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

Vickers Guide has announced that Ian McCollum of the popular Forgotten Weapons media channel has joined the Vickers Guide team as a historical advisor and commentary contributor. Ian is also traveling with Vickers Guide on various photo shoots, getting his hands on the actual firearms in the books, and interacting with Larry Vickers and team, so be on the lookout for future “on location” social media posts! Ian’s knowledge of historical firearms is profound and thoroughly well-rounded, and readers are certain to appreciate his contributions.

They are going to continue trickling out teasers as we get closer to the upcoming release of the next installment in the Vickers Guide series (Vickers Guide: WWII Germany).

Ian will be making his first Vickers Guide appearance in the upcoming Vickers Guide: WWII Germany release.

Additionally, Vickers Guide has a survey open to select the weapon for the print for the WWII Germany volume. Be sure to participate.

Happy 70th Birthday US Air Force!

Monday, September 18th, 2017

Operation Market Garden Commemorations

Monday, September 18th, 2017


1500 paratroopers jumped Saturday, during day one of the four day long Operation Market Garden Commemorations.



Ask SSD –  Were There Army Special Forces In World War II?

Saturday, September 9th, 2017

Probably the easiest way to answer this question is with a graphic, prepared by the US Army Special Operations Command.

Click on image, to see it in better detail.

Army Special Operations has a rich history. In particular, several of these organizations form the lineage of current Army Special Forces units.

Raider Legacy Day

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

Written by Jon Chang


Camp Pendleton, August 11, 2017 – The buses rolled off I-5 Northbound onto Camp Pendleton at 0930. Pulling up to the 1st Marine Raider Battalion Headquarters, the guests; veteran US Marine Raiders from the second World War and their families, walked off and were invited to explore the reception area of the new HQ, lined with tributes to MARSOC warfighters fallen since the formation of MARSOC in 2006.


MARSOC (Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command) was formed under a directive from the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, in October 2005 to create a Marine component to the US Special Operations Command(USSOCOM) and was activated on February 24, 2006, MARSOC at Camp Lejeune, NC. Tasked to conduct foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance, and direct action missions, MARSOC has continuously deployed since August 2006, based on USSOCOM priorities.


After a brief announcement, the guests gathered in the auditorium where Colonel Mike Brooks, Marine Raider Regiment Commanding Officer, offered a heartfelt talk on the legacy of the Raider Regiment. Above all else, Colonel Brooks voiced the duty of his Marines to uphold the honor and service of those men that had come before them.

When he concluded, the veterans were then invited to tour the grounds, featuring displays with the latest in weapon systems, vehicles, communications, EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) tech, SCUBA, dog teams, free fall capabilities and drones being employed by MARSOC today. Each booth, was hosted by multiple MARSOC Marines who answered questions and ran demonstrations showcasing the capabilities explaining how they had given them the edge in the field over their opponents.


It was a chance for the veteran Raiders and today’s MARSOC fighters to interact freely and casually, as Marines and as men, trading stories about their experiences, both triumphs and sacrifices, in conflicts separated by almost half a century. With the time on base coming to a close, the veterans departed and began the trip south, back to San Diego.


That evening, the Raiders and their families reunited for a honorary dinner and a ballroom gala event, complete with World War II themed performers and a Marine Corps band playing for the packed house.


Before the festivities began, several speakers would address the audience, among them, Master Sergeant Brian Jacklin (1st Marine Raider battalion) who spoke to today’s generation of Raiders, sharing his thoughts on the history today’s Marines had to live up to as both professional warriors and problem solvers.


Master Sergeant Jacklin was followed by Major General Eric Smith, the Commanding General 1st Marine Division. Major General Smith had just returned from Bloody Ridge in the Solomon Islands, where the Raiders had fought the Japanese in a decisive battle during September 1942. Claiming nearly 40,000 lives in 3 days, the site, also known as Edson’s Ridge, was declared a National Park by the Prime Minister of the Solomons and a monument to the battle unveiled to the public. The General had returned with a sample of earth from the ridge and presented it to one of the veteran Raiders who had fought there.


Finally, Colonel Andy Christian (RET) took the podium to announce the merger of the MARSOC Foundation with the U.S. Marine Raider Foundation to form Marine Raider Foundation and screen a short film formally commemorating the union. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established to provide benevolent support to active duty and medically retired Marine Raiders and their families, as well as to the families of Raiders who have lost their lives in service to our nation. The foundation aims to meet needs unmet by the government with an emphasis on building personal and family resiliency and supporting the full reintegration of wounded, ill, injured and transitioning raiders, their families and MARSOC’s gold star families.

The evening then concluded, with the various acts beginning their performances and the dance floor opening to the guests.


Being among so many people who literally forged history and who’s actions preserved our nation was a humbling event. It’s a privilege to meet such men and reassuring to know that today’s Marines are upholding their legacy at the tip of the spear.

Task Force Dagger Foundation And East Carolina University Team Up To Explore Underwater WWII Sites

Monday, September 4th, 2017

Task Force Dagger Foundation partners with East Carolina University’s Maritime Studies Program to explore and research WWII sites in the western Pacific.

Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) August 01, 2017

Task Force Dagger, a nonprofit organization that supports all U.S. Special Operations Command service members and their families, is joining forces with the East Carolina University Department of History’s maritime studies program to explore and research WWII underwater archaeological sites in the western Pacific.

Dr. Jennifer McKinnon investigates a Kawanishi H8K Japanese seaplane. (Photo by Jon Carpenter)

Dr. Jennifer McKinnon investigates a Kawanishi H8K Japanese seaplane. (Photo by Jon Carpenter)

Task Force Dagger, a nonprofit organization that supports all U.S. Special Operations Command service members and their families, is joining forces with the East Carolina University Department of History’s maritime studies program to explore and research WWII underwater archaeological sites in the western Pacific.

The maritime studies program has several faculty and staff that work on military-related and WWII archaeological sites all over the world.

Associate professor Dr. Jennifer McKinnon has been working on military sites in the Pacific for nearly 10 years. In partnership with Ships of Exploration and Discovery and the local community of Saipan, McKinnon developed the WWII Maritime Heritage Trail: Battle of Saipan in 2009. The heritage trail consists of nine underwater U.S. and Japanese sites in Saipan’s crystal-clear, tropical lagoons. The sites include amphibious vehicles such as landing vehicles and tanks, aircraft, and shipwrecks, all lost in the 1944 Battle of Saipan.

McKinnon said that the partnership with Task Force Dagger is a boon for continuing to research these sites. “Active military and veterans have an incredible firsthand knowledge of warfare, tactics and military material,” she said. “Their knowledge and experience has the potential to contribute so much to the research we are conducting in the Pacific. It really is a reciprocal relationship.”

Charles “Keith” David, managing director of Task Force Dagger and retired U.S. Army Special Forces, said the organization is looking forward to solidifying the collaboration through a memorandum of agreement and seeking grant funding for the project.

The Task Force Dagger Foundation will join McKinnon and the maritime studies program next summer in a special recreational therapy adaptive event that trains special operations command service members in scuba diving and underwater archaeology. The team will then travel to Saipan to continue locating and recording WWII underwater archaeological sites.

TFD is looking forward to the relationship with ECU and building a program through which veterans and active service members can train in archaeological methods and assist in future efforts to recover lost service members whose remains are still lost at sea

For more information about Task Force Dagger visit For more information about the WWII Maritime Heritage Trail visit

Contact: Dr. Jennifer McKinnon, mckinnonje(at), 252-328-6788

You don’t wear tiger stripes in Japan

Sunday, September 3rd, 2017

You don’t wear tiger stripes in Japan. They’re not authorized. Jungle fatigues, regular fatigues, class-A khakis, summer or winter greens, even Army shorts are OK, but not tiger stripes. With their jagged slashes of black and green, it’s hard to pass them off as being defensive. They’re for the jungle, for tracking and killing without being seen. So to spare the sensitivities of our Japanese hosts, the United States Army had ruled that tiger stripes were not to be worn in that country. Every now and then, though, someone ignores the regulations. Usually, after a little official harassment, he gives in and takes them off. Some, though, don’t. A few, simply because they’ve been through it all and don’t give a shit; others, because even in Japan, their war’s not over; some, a little of both. These are the ones you can’t push around, and if you hassle them about anything – even their uniforms – you’d better be ready to go all the way, because they’ll take you there whether you want to go or not. Brock noticed the Major glaring at him, but kept rignt on walking. “He you…you in the camies.” Camies…! Camies…? Jesus! Without turning around, Brock came slowly to a stop. “Yes you, soldier.” Amused, Brock turned around. “Come here!” Smiling, Brock walked slowly back down to corridor. He was carrying his bush hat. His short blond hair had been bleached almost white by the sun, and he had the pinched, drawn look of having been outdoors too long. Except for his first lieutenant’s bars and jump wings, there was nothing else on his tiger stripes, not even a unit patch. “We don’t wear that uniform around here,” the Major said. “But I’m not from around here,” Brock said pleasantly enough. “Where you from?” “Sorry, can’t tell you that.” “Sir,” the Major corrected sharply. “What unit are you with?” “Sorry, can’t tell you that, either.” “What are you doing here?” “I’m afraid I can’t tell you that…sir.” The Major flushed. “Lieutenant,” he said angrily, “you’re getting yourself into trouble.” Unmoved, Brock remained silent, offering nothing. “Who’s your commanding officer!” “Right now,” Brock said, turning to observe a patient being rolled past him, “I am.” “Lieutenant,” the Major barked, his voice echoing up and down the corridor, “junior officers stand at attention when they are talking to the seniors.” With people stopping nearby, he was gathering himself to go on when Brock suddenly turned on him. His whole posture had changed. The calm indifference had vanished and now the major found himself facing a cold furious young man. “You!” Brock said contemptuously. “You, senior! A hospital personnel officer.” The change had been so abrupt, Brock’s contempt so brazenly expressed, that for a moment the Major was startled. ” “I want you in my office this afternoon,” he stammered, his face purple with fury. “I won’t be there,” Brock said quietly. “You’ll be there, dammit, and when you walk into my office, Lieutenant, I want you in class-A kahakis, or you’ll go back to Nam in cuffs. Understand?” Brock didn’t even bother to answer. He simply turned his back on the Major and continued on his way to the admissions office. The med evacs had already come in for that day and the admissions clerk had just finished typing up the daily census when Brock walked into the office. Ignoring the Corporal’s stare at his tiger stripes, he handed him a piece of paper. “Could you tell me if these men are still here?” It is not uncommon for an officer if he is in Japan to visit his men. Almost all the wounded from Nam come there. What was uncommon was the Lieutenant’s list. Everyone was ranger-qualified. Everyone was Special Forces. Each had graduated from Recondo School, spent time at the Royal Jungle Tracking School of Malaysia, had been HALO trained – and each had been shot. There was not a frag wound or booby-trap injury among them. In a hospital full of idiotic blunders, miscalculations, and stupid mistakes, it was an extraordinary group.

365 Days
By Ronald Glasser

War Furniture

Monday, August 28th, 2017

Apparently, war furniture was a thing, and thanks to my friend Håkan Spuhr, we now know about it. In case you were wondering why it’s called war furniture, it is because it is made from weapon parts.

He took these photos at Festung Hohensalzburg – Fortress Hohensalzburg in Salzburg, Austria.