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Interesting story


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  • 2 weeks later...
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"The Night Jimi Hendrix Died." by Patrick K.

When I went to work the night Jimi Hendrix died. I heard it via AFVN radio while on Post. We were not supposed to have a radio on Post but, everyone did. 

I heard that News flash and then got a call that I was next in-line for a test fire. The jeep and LT. pulled up to my Post and climbed the ladder up into the tower.

Okay, I prepared my M-60 (safety OFF) and started a 400 round continuous burst into a rice paddy dirt-rise between paddies.

I spelled my name (Patrick) only stopping to dot the 'i' and cross the 't' in my name. The Lt. was fuming, screaming at me and threatening LBJ (Long Binh Jail) for me if I didn't fire according to the rules of short bursts while test firing.

The concept is to give the barrel a chance to cool slightly and not impede the barrel's accuracy through overheating. 

Sorry Lt., I am going to finish what I started. After 250 rounds fired, the barrel started to glow *Red* and the projectiles were traveling unplanned trajectories. Left-Right-Down-Up...accuracy lost and the K-9 Handler ran to hide under my tower. I lit up the whole area. 

The Lt. left my tower threatening Jail all the way down the ladder to his jeep & crew. Nothing happened the next day but, the Officers left me alone after that unnerving display of insubordination. After all-what could they do to me? Send me to Vietnam? HA!

So much for the night Jimi died. The rest of the night was silent as silent as a War zone could be. 

Rest in Peace, Jimi.
Patrick K.
Specialty: 1968: Security Police & Combat Security Police Safeside.

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I don’t throw the word “hero” around lightly, but if I’m going to use it, I’d use it for a guy like Woody Williams. 

He was a hero to his family, supporting them when his dad, a West Virginia farmer, passed away.  
 
He was a hero to his country, a Marine flamethrower who volunteered to clear enemy pillboxes during the Battle of Iwo Jima to protect American tanks. 
 
And he was a hero to his community, a relentless advocate for Gold Star Families who knew from experience the cost of war before he joined but answered the call nevertheless.
 
Woody passed away this morning in the VA hospital bearing his name – the last remaining World War II Medal of Honor recipient, and a hero to us all.
 
Now I share this first and foremost to honor Woody and the incredible life he’s lived. But I also share it because it’s a reminder that World War II vets – the folks who answered the free world’s call at its greatest hour of need – are becoming fewer and farther between. If there’s a World War II veteran in your life, give them a call. Thank them for their service. And remember that heroism – like it did for Woody – can come in all different shapes and sizes. 
 
Thanks for everything, Woody. Rest easy.

-Joseph Biden

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  • 2 months later...

Rest in Peace, General, you did your duty.

 

LTG DAVID E. GRANGE, JR.
September 11, 2022
RIP Hero...

Lt. Gen. David E. Grange, Jr. was a Veteran of 20 campaigns in three wars as an infantryman and served with distinction throughout in the U.S. Army. He enlisted in the Army in June of 1942, and served as a parachute infantryman in Europe, taking part in the Rome-Arno, Southern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central Europe campaigns of World War II. General Grange was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry in 1950 and served in Korea with the 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment. He served his first tour of duty in Vietnam in 1963 as an Airborne/Ranger/infantry Advisor to the Department of Defense's Research and Development Field Unit. In 1967 he commanded the 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam. He returned to Vietnam for his third tour in 1970 where he commanded the 101st Support Command and the 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. He served as Director of the Ranger Department, and later commanded the 2nd Infantry Division, the U.S. Army Infantry Center, and the 6th U.S. Army.

For 97 years, this man gave every ounce of his life back to his family, his community, and his country. Through his dedicated service to others, he in turn designed a legacy for us to receive as individuals, as soldiers, and as an entire community.

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A damn interesting story. Joined in '42, went through the entire war at the "grunt" level.  Made 2nd LT in 50 before Korea, only to move on to Vietnam and to keep moving up. That's one hell of a guy there. Devoted his life to defending this country.

 

What would he think now I wonder?

 

Rest easy, my friend. We'll reconnoiter in Valhalla, and share a drink to commemorate the fallen.

Another great find Al.

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  • 1 month later...

US Marine Corps creates new RECON Sniper Course to make the best Snipers even better!

Under an overcast sky on an urban warfare range aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, a shooter waits for an instructor’s signal.

“Let’s go!” the instructor shouts, sprinting toward a nearby building and quickly up a flight of stairs. Kitted in full body armor, helmet, and assault pack, the shooter strains to keep up, his heart rate climbing with every step. Then, in an unexpected twist, the instructor leads the student down more stairs and out the other side of the building, across another 75 yards and up to the second-floor window of another building.

Breathing heavily, the shooter takes a knee and hastily inserts a magazine in his M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System, pulling back the charging handle to seat a round.

“This is your support,” the instructor says, pointing to the window frame. “Staggered column, left to right, 300 meters. Let’s go!”

As he raises his sniper rifle to aim in and engage his targets, the shooter’s magazine — improperly seated — falls to the floor.

“Better get behind cover. What are you doing?” the instructor says.

The shooter secures his magazine, slaps it back into the rifle, and gets back up on target. He aims in, squeezes the trigger, and hears nothing but a disappointing click.

“Tap-rack-bang! Let’s go!” the instructor says, echoing the shooter’s instinctual reaction.

Finally, the shooter puts rounds on target in a drill designed to simulate eliminating an enemy element attacking a friendly unit. He hits 12 out of 14 targets before the instructor runs him to another room to engage three more. Breathing heavily, he hits two out of three and finishes the drill.

“Time!” an instructor calls out. “Two minutes, 54 seconds!”

This is not your daddy’s Marine sniper training. The shooter is one of 10 students in the Corps’ first-ever Reconnaissance Sniper Course. Designed by an elite cadre of Recon instructors, the nine-week course trains Recon Marines in the art of sniping.

For decades, the path to joining the Marines’ proud fraternity of Scout Snipers has gone through the Scout Sniper Course. From basic grunts to elite Recon Marines, the one-size-fits-all introduction to sniper tactics has been a test of mettle for generations, but multiple sources, who asked not to be identified, stated that Marine officials are considering reducing the number of SSCs the service runs annually and consolidating the storied special tactics school at one or two locations.

The Marines currently have three schoolhouses where they run the 13-week course: Camp Pendleton, California; Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; and Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. A fourth training location on Marine Corps Base Hawaii was shut down in 2013.

Capt. Samuel Stephenson, a spokesman for Marine Corps Training and Education Command (TECOM), told Coffee or Die that while “there is no current reduction of Scout Sniper course quotas, the Marine Corps is actively seeking solutions to better streamline the production of Scout Snipers and limit course attrition.”

In that spirit, Marine leaders at Camp Pendleton’s Reconnaissance Training Company (RTC), Advanced Infantry Training Battalion, developed the Recon Sniper Course (RSC).

“Standing up our own course allows us to train up Recon snipers internally, and it allows the regular infantry to fill more seats in the legacy course,” Capt. Benjamin Lowring, then RTC commanding officer. Maj. Morgan Jordan took command in April.

The Marines have three active-duty Recon Battalions: the Camp Pendleton-based 1st Recon Battalion, 2nd Recon Battalion on Camp Lejeune, and 3rd Recon Battalion in Okinawa, Japan. The 4th Recon Battalion is a Marine Reserve unit headquartered in San Antonio.

Though not officially designated as members of a special operations force, Reconnaissance Marines undergo extensive special tactics training and maintain capabilities similar to that of Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces, and Rangers. By the time they undergo sniper training, most Recon Marines will have completed almost a year of advanced training, including the five-week Reconnaissance Training and Assessment Program; the 14-week Basic Reconnaissance Course; Army Airborne School; the Marine Corps Combatant Diver Course; Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape School; and Military Freefall School.

“Recon Marines understand the importance of being a sniper and having that capability within the teams,” said Gunnery Sgt. Malachi J. Even, staff noncommissioned officer in charge of the RSC. “With some of the changes happening in the Marine Corps, we decided it was necessary to build a new course tailored to our needs in the Recon community.”

RSC chief instructor Staff Sgt. Benjamin L. Morrow, one of the course’s main architects, said training Recon Marines at RSC instead of the basic sniper course eliminates about four weeks of training redundancy and allows students to spend more time shooting and familiarizing themselves with myriad weapon systems and more advanced sniper tactics.

“When they attend the Basic Reconnaissance Course, our students learn and are evaluated on a lot of the skills that the Scout Sniper Course teaches, such as land navigation, call for fire and communications,” Morrow said. “They also gain proficiency in those tasks in their teams at a Reconnaissance Battalion.”

The first six weeks of RSC focus heavily on marksmanship, and students are evaluated on known- and unknown-distance shooting — day and night firing — with four weapon systems: the M40A6 sniper rifle, the Mk13 Mod 7 Sniper Rifle, the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System (SASS), and the .50-caliber M107 Special Application Scoped Rifle (SASR).

“RSC shooters qualify with every weapon system rather than shoot familiarization fires, and every scope and reticle combination,” Gunnery Sgt. Frank Simmons, a Recon instructor and recruiter at Camp Pendleton’s Recon Training Company, stated. “They also swap scopes out on different weapon systems to try and learn how they could use them effectively on a deployment or downrange in case they have to fall on weapons that aren’t organic to their unit.”

In the seventh week of training, students learn stalking and are evaluated on their ability to camouflage themselves effectively and move undetected as spotter-shooter pairs into sniper-hide positions, establish 360-degree concealment from enemy detection, and observe and fire on enemy targets.

The final two weeks focus on advanced marksmanship, urban sniper tactics, loophole shooting, and sniper-engagement planning.

“The experience we’ve gathered over the last two decades of warfare has helped tailor a lot of training,” Simmons said. “Multiple-threat, multiple-target engagements, time scenarios, shooting from barricades and through loopholes — things that I was never taught when I went through sniper school — are now a graded focus in our newer courses.”

The advanced sniper drills on the urban range were directly influenced by real combat actions in which Marine snipers played a pivotal role.

“Our students should be good at hitting steel, but we want our students to be combat shooters,” Morrow said. “We’re training these guys for combat, so we try to mirror our qualifications to a real-world scenario when possible.”

Simmons’ real-life experience as a 23-year-old Force Recon Marine in Afghanistan inspired one of the scenarios upon which RSC’s advanced urban drill is based.

“The idea is you’re going to eliminate multiple threats rapidly. And then you’re going to change positions, and you’re going to eliminate fixed positions,” Morrow says, describing the advanced drill he and his team put their students through in the final days of the course.

On Aug. 8, 2008, a force of roughly 300 Taliban fighters ambushed Simmons’ 30-man Force Reconnaissance Platoon near the village of Shewan in Afghanistan’s Farah province. Simmons watched as a Humvee carrying his friends erupted into a ball of flame after taking direct hits from multiple RPGs. The massive explosion blew a Marine out of the turret, and Simmons watched him roll off the edge of the vehicle.

“I looked at that, and I was like, ‘Oh my God. They’re all dead,’” Simmons said.

As the horrific scene of what appeared to be his friends’ fiery death seemed to play in slow motion before Simmons, the world around him erupted with intense machine-gun and RPG fire. Emboldened after taking out the Humvee, Taliban fighters climbed out of the trenches and irrigation ditches they’d been hiding in and rushed toward the burning vehicle.

“So in my head, I’m like, ‘Oh they’re going to drag their bodies away and use them for propaganda videos,’” Simmons said. “And I’m like, ‘fornicate if that is happening.’ So I just started smoking as many of them as I could. I pretty much knew I was going to die. There was no cover. There’s no way I was going to get back. So I just stayed there and kept shooting.”

Simmons crawled through hellfire to the top of an exposed berm and went to work. Ignoring the machine-gun fire and RPGs impacting all around him, he delivered devastatingly accurate sniper fire. Every time enemy fighters moved against his brothers, Simmons made them pay.

Peering through the scope on his SR-25 Mk 11 Sniper Rifle, he would calmly locate a target in his reticle, bring his surging adrenaline and pumping heart under control, and apply the marksmanship fundamentals that allowed him to kill at least 18 Taliban fighters in the first 10 minutes of what became a protracted battle. 

Simmons employed a cadence comparable to the belltower scene in Saving Private Ryan, where an Army Ranger sniper methodically picks off enemy soldier after enemy soldier as they try to kill his friends in the town below.

Remember the RSC shooter whose magazine dropped to the floor in the middle of a drill meant to simulate something like these scenarios? In Shewan, Simmons had his own race to reload, and the stakes were life or death.

“I had a ton of machine-gun fire coming at me,” Simmons recalled. “There were so many rounds impacting around me and kicking up the dirt that my teammates couldn’t see my body anymore. They thought I was dead. I was so close at one point because I had run out of ammunition, and I was trying to get to my magazine that was on my rig. I’m lying in the prone, and I kind of flop onto my back to pull my mag out. And as I pop it in, I look, and I was only maybe 100, 150 yards from this PKM machine-gunner. And I’m watching the last few rounds of his belt go through the weapon. And he’s looking at me, and I’m looking at him. And he’s frantically trying to reload his weapon.

“And I was like, ‘Nope,’” Simmons said, clucking his tongue and making a bassy concussion sound, like a 7.62 round hitting a skull.

While 20 would have been a nice, round number, Simmons couldn’t confirm kills on two fighters he knocked down who were able to crawl into ditches and out of sight. He’s confident they had a bad day.

Simmons was one of a dozen snipers in his 30-man Force Recon Platoon that day in Shewan, and they were soon joined by grunts from a platoon from Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, a coalition mortar crew, and two F-15s. Skipping over a trove of mind-blowing details, Simmons succinctly punctuated the ultimate outcome of the eight-hour battle: “We slaughtered everyone.”

For his actions, then-Cpl. Frank Simmons received the Silver Star.

Thirteen years later, as Marine leaders at RTC developed the program of instruction for a new course to train snipers for the Corps’ Recon units, they looked to modern battlefields and the vital skills mastered and employed in combat by snipers like Simmons.

“We didn’t just step out and decide to do this lightly,” Even says. “Our heart is to maintain the tradition and the knowledge that we had, from all the Marines that learned hard lessons all the way back to Vietnam and before.”

As RTC leaders were designing their new course, Even and his cadre coalesced around the belief that it should not be a so-called haze-ex, or hazing exercise. The basic SSC, known for providing students a persistent gut check, is also known for its high attrition rates. While TECOM declined to provide any official attrition rates for SSC, some RTC staff estimated it to be as high as 50% to 60% — commensurate with that of the Basic Reconnaissance Course. While RSC staff have set high standards and expectations, Even said their goal is “to make this the best sniper program there is and never stop building.”

That’s where our heart and motivation is. We hope to take highly qualified Reconnaissance Marines and make them the best snipers we can,” he said.

Simmons says the main priority is producing more highly qualified shooters and freeing up spaces at SSC for more regular infantry Marines.

“Our Recon snipers have had plenty of gut checks, far worse than most people realize,” Simmons says. “They come out of RSC qualified and confident on all weapon systems at ranges far more distant than they shoot in the SSC.”

The Marines of Recon Training Company had to run their pilot Recon Sniper Course with no increase in budget or instructor staff. Even pulled sniper-qualified Recon instructors from the different phases of the Basic Reconnaissance Course to stand up RSC.

In a small ceremony aboard Camp Pendleton March 19, 10 Reconnaissance Marines made history, becoming the first RSC graduates and earning the title Recon Sniper.

Lance Cpl. Jackson Camarata, who is assigned to 1st Recon Battalion on Camp Pendleton, was the only junior enlisted Marine in the course. He earned top honors as the class high shooter.

Student performance was evaluated and measured throughout the course, and each shooter’s overall accuracy percentage was calculated from scores during myriad known-distance and advanced marksmanship training events.

“Coming into this course with no long-range shooting experience, I got a lot of in-depth instruction and developed really valuable skills,” Camarata told Coffee or Die. “RSC takes basic Recon Marines and makes us into skilled, precision shooters. It turns us into a much more diverse and valuable asset for our teams. The instruction has been outstanding. Nothing compares to anything else I’ve done in the Marine Corps.”

Cpl. Jose Avilamata, another shooter from 1st Recon Battalion, was recognized during the ceremony with the Instructor’s Choice award.

“Each RSC instructor voted on whichever student they enjoyed coaching most — whoever received and applied our instruction best,” Morrow said. “Cpl. Avilamata did a great job throughout the course. He had a great attitude all the time, and he’s someone we would definitely want in our team and to go downrange with.”

Each student received a graduation certificate during the small ceremony and is projected to earn the additional military occupational specialty of Reconnaissance Sniper, pending official approval from the Marine Corps.

In a private, informal ceremony March 18, each student received a .300 Win. Mag. projectile engraved by laser with his shooter number, which designates the year the course took place and the shooter’s ranking within the course.

Engraved with “21-01,” Camarata’s projectile reflects his top ranking in the first course. For earning the Instructor’s Choice award, Avilamata was given the 21-02 projectile. The rest of the shooters’ projectiles reflect their ranking based on overall accuracy percentage.

RTC will run a second test course in September, and officials will then decide on whether to make the course permanent. With TECOM’s approval, the company would run three courses a year with 16 students in each course. RTC plans to maintain a student-to-instructor ratio of four-to-one.

Traditionally, Marines who complete SSC earn the additional MOS of 0317 — Scout Sniper — and receive their 7.62 mm HOG’s tooth.

The RSC instructors presented their students with a unique RSC HOG’s tooth to show the Recon Snipers’ connection to the Scout Sniper community and the camaraderie among all Marine snipers.

“This is a symbol of brotherhood between the communities,” Morrow said.

Even said he and his staff felt the symbolic projectile was an important gesture to acknowledge what the Marines accomplished by completing the course.

“This course and these Recon Snipers were made by Marine Scout Snipers, and they are now Marine snipers,” he said. “We are passing down this tradition to tie these snipers to our history.”

Photo of a student in the RECON Sniper Course sights in on an M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System (SASS) during known-distance marksmanship training on Camp Pendleton, Photo by Ethan E. Rocke

Story by Ethan E. Rocke

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Special Forces Legend Major General Eldon Bargwell...

Eldon Bargewell knew he would serve in the military from a very young age.

With Vietnam War heating up, he enlisted in the Army in 1967 and went straight to Special Forces selection. Once he received his Green Beret, he deployed to Southeast Asia. There, he further volunteered for the elite Military Assistance Command Vietnam-Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG).

SOG was a covert unit that conducted cross-border operations in Cambodia, Laos, and North Vietnam. It was composed of Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Recon Marines, and Air Commandos. As conventional units struggled against the North Vietnamese and Vietcong, these operators fought America’s secret war.

Bargewell quickly made a name for himself as a steadfast operator who was cool under fire.

During a cross-border operation, Bargewell’s team came upon an NVA base camp that appeared deserted. They quickly scavenged through the camp, trying to locate any valuable intelligence. Bargewell did indeed find something, but in the process, he was shot in the chest by an enemy soldier who had been hiding. Miraculously, the bullet got stuck in his chest rig.

In another harrowing mission, Bargewell was shot in the face. Despite the severity of his wounds, he continued to provide cover fire for his team to exfiltrate as their perimeter was being overrun by scores of North Vietnamese troops. His actions on that day earned the Distinguished Service Cross, an award second only to the Medal of Honor.

“Eldon was an absolute stud. He always pushed guys to the limits, whether it was in training or in the field,” John Stryker Meyer, another legendary Special Forces operator, told said. “Another great thing about Eldon was his thirst for knowledge. His desire to learn never left him, not even when he made general.”

Bargewell and Meyer served together in the secretive SOG. Meyer has written several books on SOG that offer a unique combination of on-the-ground but also historical perspective.

Bargewell commissioned as an officer in 1972. Nine years later, he tried out for the Army’s new counterterrorism outfit: Delta Force. He successfully completed the arduous selection process and passed the technically and physically rigorous Operator Training Course (OTC). He went on to command at every level in Delta Force, including as commander.

Later in his career, Bargewell held positions in the Joint Special Operations Command, US Special Operations Command, and as commander of US European Special Operations Command.

In an interview in 2003, Bargewell had described what draw him to service and the military.

“As a child growing up, I was always interested in the military. I still remember watching newsreels from World War II and the Korean War, and thinking that was something I wanted to be a part of. 

When I was promoted to brigadier general — one star — my mother told me that when I was 6, we were watching a newsreel of the Korean War, and a general was talking on it, and I pointed and told her that’s what I wanted to be when I grew up.”

Bargewell spent the majority of his career in special operations units. He deployed to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, El Salvador, Panama, Bosnia, Kosovo, Haiti, Afghanistan, and Iraq (both during Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom).

When Bargewell retired in 2006, he was the most decorated soldier on active duty. His award repertoire included the Distinguished Service Cross (the second-highest award for valor under fire), three Bronze Stars with Valor, four Purple Hearts, and the Presidential Unit Citation from his time at SOG, among other medals.

Story by Stavros Atlamazoglou

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  • 3 weeks later...

US Army Staff Sergeant Leroy A. Petry recipient, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in Afghanistan in 2008 during Operation Enduring Freedom.

Born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Petry joined the Army after high school. Completing the Ranger Indoctrination Program, he was deployed several times to both Iraq and Afghanistan as a member of the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. 

On May 26, 2008, during his seventh deployment, Petry was a member of a team on a mission to capture a Taliban target in Paktia Province. Despite being wounded in both legs by gunfire, Petry continued to fight and give orders. When a grenade landed between him and two other soldiers, Petry grabbed it and attempted to throw it away from them. He saved the soldiers' lives but the grenade exploded, severing his right hand.

CITATION:
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Leroy A. Petry, US Army. Staff Sergeant Leroy A. Petry distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action with an armed enemy in the vicinity of Paktya Province, Afghanistan, on 26 May 2008. 

As a Weapons Squad Leader with D Company, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Staff Sergeant Petry moved to clear the courtyard of a house that potentially contained high-value combatants. While crossing the courtyard, Staff Sergeant Petry and another Ranger were engaged and wounded by automatic weapons fire from enemy fighters. 

Still under enemy fire, and wounded in both legs, Staff Sergeant Petry led the other Ranger to cover. He then reported the situation and engaged the enemy with a hand grenade, providing suppression as another Ranger moved to his position. The enemy quickly responded by maneuvering closer and throwing grenades. The first grenade explosion knocked his two fellow Rangers to the ground and wounded both with shrapnel. 

A second grenade then landed only a few feet away from them. Instantly realizing the danger, Staff Sergeant Petry, unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his safety, deliberately and selflessly moved forward, picked up the grenade, and in an effort to clear the immediate threat, threw the grenade away from his fellow Rangers. 

As he was releasing the grenade it detonated, amputating his right hand at the wrist and further injuring him with multiple shrapnel wounds. Although picking up and throwing the live grenade grievously wounded Staff Sergeant Petry, his gallant act undeniably saved his fellow Rangers from being severely wounded or killed. 

Despite the severity of his wounds, Staff Sergeant Petry continued to maintain the presence of mind to place a tourniquet on his right wrist before communicating the situation by radio in order to coordinate support for himself and his fellow wounded Rangers. Staff Sergeant Petry's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service, and reflect great credit upon himself, 75th Ranger Regiment, and the United States Army.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I didn't know that Mexico spent people for WW2.

HoracioCastilleja-1.jpeg?quality=85&stri

The last veteran of Mexico’s relatively small contingent of World War II veterans has died, Mexico’s Defense Department announced Thursday.

The department said former Sgt. Horacio Castilleja Albarrán was 98 when he died Wednesday. A cause of death was not provided.

Castilleja Albarrán was one of about 300 Mexican soldiers and airmen in Squadron 201, known as the Aztec Eagles, who were sent from Mexico to help in the U.S. war effort against Japan.

The aircraft squadron fought alongside the U.S. Army Air Forces in the Philippines in 1945. Mexico was late to enter World War II, but declared war after German submarines sank several Mexican oil tankers.

Castilleja Albarrán joined the army in 1942 at age 18 and was trained as a radio operator. He was long retired from the service.

He was given a funeral with military honors.

Copyright AP - Associated Press

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