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Thread: WWII/Korea/Vietnam - how many served in all three wars?

  1. #1
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    Default WWII/Korea/Vietnam - how many served in all three wars?

    Anybody have any ideas?

    I've known a gentleman for a few years that often wears a cap that says Burma India China - the Hump. I was talking with him earlier this morning and found out that he also served in Korea and in Vietnam.

    Was kinda wondering how many veterans are there that fought in all three wars. I've had little luck with google.
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    Default Re: WWII/Korea/Vietnam - how many served in all three wars?

    A 30-year career could very well span '43-'73. I bet there are (or were, they are aging) a whole lot of retired Master Sergeants and Sergeants Major who were in all 3.

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    Default Re: WWII/Korea/Vietnam - how many served in all three wars?

    Dad and a couple of uncles did the Big one and Korea but were getting up there in years for Vietnam.
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    Default Re: WWII/Korea/Vietnam - how many served in all three wars?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    Anybody have any ideas?
    Thousands. Unlike today, the Armed Forces were huge during all three wars. Australians, Kiwis and Brits, too.

    My father-in-law Peter Bakker served in all three wars, from a teenage sailor on a seaplane tender in WWII to the first chaplain assigned to Vietnam as a Marine. He served 28 years active, mostly with the Marine Corps.



    This portrait was taken in November 1950 in Korea just prior to the Chosin fight, where he served as Battalion Chaplain of 2-5 Marines. Lewis Puller commanded the 1st Marines nearby during the battle, and later served as 1st Marine Division Commander, where Chaplain Bakker was also coach of the division wrestling team.

    He lived to age 84, and was able and fit right up to the end. I had to wade through a lot of Marines to win his daughter.



    His youngest grandson is also an accomplished wrestler and currently drives armored cavalry vehicles in Iraq, where this snapshot was taken. Courage breeds.
    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 02-21-2009 at 08:42 PM.

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    Default Re: WWII/Korea/Vietnam - how many served in all three wars?

    Not too get TOO far afield, I read a mediocre novel, maybe by WEB Griffith [though I'm probably wrong] about a guy who enlisted late in WW1, when you could do so underage, got a CMH w/ field commission and ended up as a general, dying in a cafe bombing in 'Nam about '64, would would have been feasible since many flag and general officers can serve until they croak. Now, I doubt if any ever did, but the idea is interesting.

    I'm sure one of you recall the book...
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    Default Re: WWII/Korea/Vietnam - how many served in all three wars?

    Chuck Yeager's biography stands reading.
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    Default Re: WWII/Korea/Vietnam - how many served in all three wars?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pernicious Atavist View Post

    ...about a guy who enlisted late in WW1, when you could do so underage, got a CMH w/ field commission and ended up as a general, dying in a cafe bombing in 'Nam about '64....
    Anton Myrer's novel, Once an Eagle.

    http://www.harpercollins.com/books/9...gle/index.aspx

    And Myrer's point of view was quite different from what is commonly assumed:

    “World War II was the one event which had the greatest impact on my life. I enlisted imbued with a rather flamboyant concept of this country’s destiny as the leader of a free world and the necessity of the use of force. I emerged a corporal three years later in a state of great turmoil, at the core of which was an angry awareness of war as the most vicious and fraudulent self-deception man had ever devised.”

    “… waste of talent, of time, of noble hopes and intensions, of life itself in this most violent and wasteful of societies. My work, consequently, bears the pressure of this waste - and the salvages that those rare and indomitable spirits among us are able to achieve in the face of it.”

    “Obsessed by time lost we rushed home into marriage and careers, still believing in the careless freedom of the open road only to discover that in our haste to belong we had built a superhighway that led nowhere.”

    “Shifting American values and the legacies of power, whether civilian or military, have provided the dominant themes of my fiction for the past several years - and of late a deepening sense of alarm over this military-industrial juggernaut we have spawned which can ignore grinding domestic agonies and blandly drop the explosive equivalent of 420 Hiroshimas on a small Southeast Asian nation.”
    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 02-21-2009 at 04:25 PM.

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    Default Re: WWII/Korea/Vietnam - how many served in all three wars?

    My Uncle Jack did. His nickname was Army Jack. WW2, Korea and Vietnam.
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    Default Re: WWII/Korea/Vietnam - how many served in all three wars?

    My dad did. He was drafted in WWII, fought in Italy, and got out of the Army after the war. He decided he didn't like civilian life back home so he rejoined, earned his glider pilot wings, went to OCS, served in Korea, went Airborne in the 82nd, then joined the Special Forces in 59 or 60. He taught at a jungle training center in Okinawa. He spent some time advising in Vietnam, but retired from the Army after 22yrs in 1967. I'm not sure if the advising counts as fighting in Viet Nam since he got out before things really escalated.

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    Last edited by Joe Dupere; 02-21-2009 at 08:14 PM.

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    Default Re: WWII/Korea/Vietnam - how many served in all three wars?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pernicious Atavist View Post
    Not too get TOO far afield, I read a mediocre novel, maybe by WEB Griffith [though I'm probably wrong] about a guy who enlisted late in WW1, when you could do so underage, got a CMH w/ field commission and ended up as a general, dying in a cafe bombing in 'Nam about '64, would would have been feasible since many flag and general officers can serve until they croak. Now, I doubt if any ever did, but the idea is interesting.

    I'm sure one of you recall the book...
    I remember that book... the main character if I recall correctly was known by the nickname "Night Clerk" after an altercation in a hotel where he worked as a clerk in his youth.

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