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Military men were quite dapper in the day.

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1 minute ago, ChrisL said:

Dapper indeed!

We have a very similar photo of my paternal grandfather about to ship out to Indonesia in 1909.  The story of how we got it is also sad but cool. 

My grandfather was unmarried when he shipped out so gave  the picture to his sister. This sister died when the Germans bombed Holland in WWII.  All of her belongings were packed up and after the war my parents were shipped out of Indonesia to Holland where the Dutch govt retuned the belongings to next of kin, the dead aunts Nephew my dad!


Wow!  That is quite a story!

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I went to see a bunch of Civil War Reenacted, 5,000+, reenact Pickett's Charge in 1993 during the 130th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Those reenactors require uniforms made of the same material as original, so the poor SOB's stuggled in the 90F+ heat and 28 were taken out by ambulance for heat exhaustion!

It was tough looking dapper!

My dad's outfit, Darby's Rangers weren't too dapper: their uniforms were practical. When their uniforms got dirty they all went in the same laundry pile and you got back clean stuff in your size, but not necessarily the same stuff you previously wore.  When my father's squad leader, then Sgt. James Altieri took off his blood soaked shirt - after having stabbed an Italian soldier to death and then vomited in the first modern American Commando Raid at Sened Pass Tunisia, in Feb. 1943, he poured lighter fluid all over it and burned it: he didn't want any other Ranger to have to ever have to wear that shirt.

Here's Company F, 1st Rangers at the end on 1942 in North Africa when the 1st Ranger Bttn. was the only special forces unit in the U.S. Army. Company F took the rightmost hill of Sened Pass. My dad is in the very back row on right. Darby is in the middle of the three guys in front.


180 Rangers from Companies A, E, and F attacked Sened Pass on a moonless night, which was guarded by hundreds of the elite Italian Bersaglieri. The Rangers took 12 prisoners and left no others alive. This was the one action my father would never talk about. "Our job was to terrorize and confuse the Axis behind their lines." - James Altieri, The Spearheaders.  The Rangers suffered 1 dead and 10 wounded. Darby himself and my father's squad were among those who volunteered to carry the wounded and dead Pvt. Garcia - who was in my father's squad - through 20 miles of mountains on rifle-mounted stretchers. Axis Sally called them "Black Death," "Criminals," and said the Germans and Italians would never let them live if taken prisoner. That, of course, was a motivator! After that action, Altieri wrote, "Now we knew what it meant to be a Ranger and after we saw how he lead us, we'd follow Darby through hell."


Notice about my Dad in the Altoona Mirror after Anzio, in Jan, 1944:



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