I enlisted in the US Marine Corps at age 17, on February 19, 1943. I went in as a private (3 years) and was called back in the Korean war when I got a commission. I trained on Naval guns as a sight setter, and was on Naval ship in South Pacific for submarine defense, and I was involved in defense forces on Midway (2 years). I came back near the end of the war and was stationed at Camp Lejeune, where we trained for a possible war with the Russians. I married in 1950, and stayed in Marine Corps reserves. I was executive officer of reserves in Des Moines, and moved to Milwaukee where I was commanding officer of the staff unit. I retired from the Marines in 1969 after 26 years, 3 months service as a Lt Colonel.

My daughter is typing answers to your questions today. She's very fast, so AMA!

Links to proof:

Me in campaign hat and my promotion warrant

Me in uniform

promotion warrant

Added due to request:

Me and Dad

Me with proof (transcriber)

11:52 (CST): Nurse is here for Dad, so we are taking a little break. We'll be back! Dad is happy that you all have put him "on the front page" of reddit.

2 PM (CST) Taking a break here, Dad is getting tired. 2:45 pm Dad is taking a short nap. We'll be back later.

4:30 PM (CST) We're wrapping it up now. Thanks to all who participated and asked questions! Dad appreciated all the thanks, especially from the Marines!

Comments: 3200 • Responses: 61  • Date: 

Ka_iru1614 karma

Do you still (if ever) hold any animosity towards the nationalities you were fighting against during your enlistment?

ww2daughter2456 karma

No. They are our best buddies now.

michaelma4912 karma

What's your most shocking experience while in war?

What was your life like after the war?

ww2daughter1436 karma

Well, it has to do with aircraft. I was involved in two aircraft crashes, one flying from Midway to Honolulu, and the other was a chopper that went down. I was reconnoitering an area. Myself and one platoon commander and operations officer were in the chopper. It was a chopper that the Marine corps was phasing out because they had a bad history of accidents with it. It was a KARMAN. The chopper pilots were afraid to fly it. There was a fire but we got out of it. I heard over the intercom, the pilot was saying "This is how you get killed in a chopper". He grounded it and we jumped off. That was the most shocking and scary.

ww2daughter1094 karma

After the war I went to college on the GI bill at Drake University. I was working on a masters but I went back in for Korea and got a commission. I had several jobs -- claims adjuster in insurance, underwriter, and then Veterans Service officer in Dodge County, Wisconsin. I enjoyed it more.

geoflause88389 karma

Did everybody in said chopper get out alive?

ww2daughter824 karma


WalkableBuffalo110 karma

It sounds like everyone did?

ww2daughter287 karma

Yes, including the pilot. There were 5 of us in there.

BassettHound158 karma

drake university in iowa?

ww2daughter216 karma


dkobayashi139 karma

Crazy! You're probably thinking of the Kaman Huskie? AKA Pedro.

Those are long gone by now, but I've been around a few Kaman K-MAX helicopters and they're pretty mind boggling.

Thanks for your service!

ww2daughter293 karma

This chopper had blades angled at 45 degrees from the body. They are not at all like choppers today.

ww2daughter362 karma

If you got out you had to run straight forward or get chopped up by the blades. I don't know where they got this design. Yes, crazy.

ww2daughter153 karma

Not the one I was in. He had two blades.

jeb93650 karma

Did you fly in this helicopter post war or during?

ww2daughter106 karma

It happened after the war.

allejb795 karma


ww2daughter1898 karma

Right now some of the younger generation have a problem with getting jobs. Take one day at a time. That's all you can do. You might be lucky and find something that pays well and you enjoy.

AmishRockstar776 karma

First I want to thank you for your service.

Second, I would like to ask you if you believe our country is better today than it was 60 years ago?

ww2daughter2516 karma

I think we had more fun 60 years ago. I think a lot of young people have too many problems.

77captainunderpants754 karma

What kind of beer do you drink?

ww2daughter1543 karma

I'm drinking 1839 beer (made in Holland).

CloudedMushroom1304 karma

Dutchman here. Thank you for your service and thank you for liking our beer.

ww2daughter1766 karma

He's laughing.

2feetorless718 karma

Would you do it again?

ww2daughter1480 karma


Vinmeister575 karma

How did you feel about the use of atomic weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Did you agree with the argument that they potentially saved a lot more lives by avoiding an invasion of the Japanese mainland? Thanks for doing this AMA!

EDIT: Spelling

ww2daughter1535 karma

Probably, but I'll tell you. The air force, when they got their B29's and were flying out of Saipan and Guadalcanal -- they devastated Tokyo. The whole center of Tokyo was burned out. I don't think the atomic bomb was worse than that -- the fire bombs they dropped on Tokyo. The firestorms that started carbonized people. Similar in destructive power.

JesseMckaneWilson512 karma

How has the corps changed over the years?

ww2daughter1033 karma

I think basically the Marine Corps is probably the same as when I went in, but I think they are receiving better training and more academic training today.

NekoQT486 karma

Whats your happiest memory, ever??

ww2daughter1311 karma

My happiest moment was marrying my wife. She was a great woman. She was a good teacher (mom taught 1st grade).

Toyou4yu442 karma

Why did you keep serving?

ww2daughter1120 karma

I got an income from it, and I enjoyed it.

kingbinji415 karma

whats the biggest change you've seen since you were younger?

ww2daughter843 karma

Increase in technology

FlippingKids321 karma

What has been your favorite technological advancement?

ww2daughter1457 karma

Well, tanks still make as much noise as they used to . . .

karmanaut382 karma

Could you please take a photo holding a sign that says /u/Ww2daughter, or "reddit" or something like that? Just so that we can all be sure that you're there answering. Thanks!

ww2daughter443 karma

Working on this. Husband is looking for a pen.

IamGoodandReady363 karma

What is the most memorable experience you had while in service?

ww2daughter699 karma

Well, you might say they are all memorable. I loved the Marine Corps. I loved being out in the field, and the Marine Corps treated you right. They weren't oppressive as long as you behaved yourself.

Memorable was a course I taught on how to conduct a night attack. It was a series of five lectures. I learned it all from a very bright Jewish officer who had conducted 3 very successful night attacks. I taught the class during the Korean war. There is a definite method to doing this. You rehearse troops over the type of terrain and you use supporting arms.

Stockyards362 karma

How do you think your time in the military compares to that of servicemen today? Thank you for serving.

ww2daughter700 karma

Well, I think the appreciation of service life is a matter of attitude. You have to have the right attitude or you won't even appreciate living.

lilpin13347 karma

Do you think dropping out of high school hindered you during your military schooling?

What was the funniest event during WWII? And Korea?

ww2daughter891 karma

It didn't matter because I took an entrance exam to get into Drake, no problem. After I got into Drake I was given a certificate of graduation from my high school.

Funniest moment during WWII service: There were a lot of them. Some of the people in my unit were natural actors. In artillery unit I was in there was a guy who was from a family of acrobats, and they worked in the circus! This guy, in the gun pit, where we were firing large guns. This guy used to get on top of the rammer (long pole shoved into breech), and he'd stand on his head on it.

Luxuriousmoth1313 karma

How did the media portray WWII, as opposed to what it was like actually fighting in it?

ww2daughter726 karma

I think the media was generous during WWII, more amenable to the effort. Nobody liked Adolf Hitler.

krystalonix286 karma

I guess this isn't a question so much about your military experience, but what was it like for you growing up in the Great Depression?

ww2daughter633 karma

My father always had a job. Some of my friends had families that were suffering, but we ate, lived in a house. The most my Dad ever made was $100 a month, rent was $25. I had 1 brother and 2 sisters. This was at 1310 23rd Street in Des Moines Iowa. My buddy, Warren Sulser, lived right across the street. Warren died in the war. Warren had 2 brothers, Pete, who was captured during the invasion of Africa.

GonzoVeritas879 karma

1310 23rd Street in Des Moines Iowa

Nice house.

ww2daughter1148 karma

"For Crying out loud" (Dad's actual words when I showed him this picture).

It was white when I lived there, but the same, without the white picket fence out front. Next door (to the right) was a civil war veteran. They didn't have to pay federal taxes because of being a civil war veteran.

Big back yards there.

WideLight130 karma

21st century. Yeah, it's that cool.

Tfish189 karma

Great, now time traveling nazis are going to know exactly where to hit this guy in the past.

ww2daughter133 karma

He's laughing.

running_horse274 karma

How did Truman's desegregation affect you? If you could go back, would you do it all the same, and if not, what would you change?

ww2daughter591 karma

It didn't affect me. You just accepted people for what they were. I never had an issue with it. They had a lot of southerners in the units, and the south by nature is more militaristic than up north.

willyboxc93 karma

ww2daughter256 karma

I have a lot of respect for Tennessee volunteers. One of the best National Guards was Tennessee. Puerto Rican National Guard was also highly respected.

MadTucks260 karma

What's your view on war today?

ww2daughter695 karma

It looks like the Middle East is a problem. I don't believe in letting the whole area go down, because it will destroy us too.

Duke_of_Chutney255 karma

How did the government treat you as a veteran after the war?

ww2daughter479 karma

I was treated good. They are talking about cutting veterans benefits now. I had no complaint. Jobs were plentiful. I got the GI bill, so I got 4 years of college out of it. I got $50 a month, and that was livable.

DoctorWinstonOBoogie218 karma

If you had not quit high school, what do you think you would have done in life?

ww2daughter901 karma

I would probably have finished high school and then starved to death ;-)

Valiant_Lobster212 karma

How were you impacted by PTSD, or how did it affect your friends when you returned? Almost every veteran I know from the GWOT has some kind of PTSD, and its often treated by medication or therapy- but all too often by alcohol. Can you describe your adjustment back to American society in the wake of your numerous deployments?

ww2daughter492 karma

I felt a little strange back in civilian life. PTSD was called shell shock, but I wasn't affected much. Our training was different back then, and we had many knocks and shocks before we got over there. The games we played growing up were much rougher back then.

Mikeydoes186 karma

Both are tougher questions:

What is the most thoughtful thing an enemy soldier did for you?

Mind telling us a story about someone who didn't make it? Why were they so special and what did they do?

ww2daughter405 karma

Didn't have close contact with enemy.

My best friend, Warren Sulser. We went to school together for 12 years. We played together, and he lived across the street. He was also in the Marine Corps.

JJ4577173 karma

What was your first day on the navy ship like? Your most stressful day in the service?

ww2daughter277 karma

I hadn't been on a ship before. My first ship was a navy transport to ship me overseas. I was on a ship that had been used in WWI, not the most comfortable. I left from Oakland to Hawaii, and then went further from there.

Challenge_AccepTED69162 karma


ww2daughter291 karma

It's hard to say because everything is changing so rapidly. The Marine Corps gave me a good education. When I was out on Midway, there was a University of Midway, so I took classes.

SoapyNome146 karma

As a current west point cadet, what advice can you give me for after I graduate, commission and become a platoon leader? Already tracking the "listen to your NCOs" bit, most definitely going to do that, but I'd like to hear your opinion.

ww2daughter400 karma

Always be true and honest to your cause and to your job. Treat every man in your platoon as an individual who has a family and has certain desires. Do not play favorites.

OddItalian126 karma

What are your thoughts on the current ongoing war?

ww2daughter389 karma

Frankly I don't think we'll ever get rid of warfare. We've had them from the time people organized into tribes until the present. When people have disagreements they resort to their weapons.

SeldomScene124 karma

If you could do it all over again what would you change? Also, thank you for your service. I'm 18 and I'll my hope is to enlist next year!

ww2daughter559 karma

I would change nothing. If it were different I might be in worse shape. You have to leave it to the Lord.

LiirFlies122 karma

Do you have any Chesty Puller stories?

ww2daughter275 karma

I knew him. My wife knew his wife. There were a lot of stories about him when he was in Central America. He pulled a lot of tricks. He was a colorful character, kind of a John Wayne persona.

jrr_5395 karma

Thank you for your service, what was the first moment in war that made you fear for your life or others?

ww2daughter247 karma

When I went down in a plane. I was single, and you know, you're dumb at that age and nothing bothers you. Everything is an adventure.

blickman87 karma

What does a sight setter do in battle on a WWII era Naval ship?

ww2daughter216 karma

You set by a vertical piece of brass, and you set by increments as the ship moves. You have to keep adding and subtracting on a brass ring and it sets telescopic sites on the guns.

This job was done during battle with the larger artillery pieces. Two people worked at this -- a spotter who adjusted the range and a tracker. Adjustments were made after each shot as needed to change angle of barrel as shots are made at other ships.

They put me in there because I could do math quickly in my head.

whiskeykilo87 karma

I'm graduating college in May, and leaving for Army training in June.

What piece of advice could you give for a fellow service member that transcends time and generation?

ww2daughter363 karma

Behave ;-)

Only_Half_Irish78 karma

How were you treated when you got back home and what was it like trying to find a job after fighting in the war? Thanks for your service too. My grandfather was in the army during WWII but fought in Europe.

ww2daughter147 karma

No problem. I went to college on GI bill. The colleges were taking in all the guys coming back. I went to very good schools.

revcaswell57 karma

What were your expectations before you arrived in the Pacific? Did you think it was going to be like??

My granddad fought on Iwo Jima. I've heard many stories of how hard the fighting was. Thank you such much for your service. Your generation still inspires me today.

ww2daughter84 karma

I looked forward to it because I wanted to get into a line unit. I was somewhat excited, and I enjoyed meeting different people and interesting people. saw Diamond Head long before I got to Hawaii. I ended up in a barracks, and then ships to various islands in the Pacific.

blickman45 karma

Have you spoken with the folks at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans? I know a few of the historians there and they'd very much like to talk to you if you haven't already.

ww2daughter47 karma

Email me and we'll connect you.

omgkoreangirl41 karma

Were there any sweethearts waiting for you back at home?

ww2daughter97 karma

No. I met my wife after the war.

mikeiwata17 karma

Thank you for your service first of all! My question: What was the most frightening moment of with the marines in combat?

ww2daughter36 karma

Answered above -- chopper incident.

ReflexEight15 karma

What's your favorite food?

ww2daughter46 karma

Anything I can chew.

goodstuff1012 karma

Did you interact with any Canadian soldiers? What were they like?

ww2daughter18 karma

I was not in Europe. If I'd been in Europe I'd probably have connections with Canadians.

willrahjuh12 karma

Do you think you would have joined were it not for the war? And what was it like going from enlisted to officer? Do you think it made you a better officer?

ww2daughter22 karma

Hard to answer. At the time we were just getting out of the Depression, and lots of kids joined the military because there was nothing else to do. CCC was quasi-military and the men who joined often went on to serve in military.

DAL8211 karma

How did you celebrate V-E day, how did you celebrate V-J day?

ww2daughter24 karma

I had a beer. V-J day, yeah.

hwmendoz10 karma

Good Afternoon and thank you for your service. I wish to ask if and how the war affected you in your academic life? I read that you used the G.I. bill to pursue an education and also took classes at midway. Was there any particular reason that you perused education so heavily? working a full time job and studying is hard, let alone fighting a war and studying, so I am curious if what you experienced changed your outlook towards a future.

ww2daughter28 karma

I wanted to better myself so that I would be worthy of a better job later on.

BioDerm10 karma

That's amazing. Times can be hard now finding work and being loaded with debt. Nothing like I had to go fight to save the world though.

My question is: Are there any places you saw that you would describe as beautiful or would revisit? The Pacific has many great islands. So, any favorite nature or people wise at the time?

ww2daughter20 karma

Hawaiian islands are beautiful, as well as other places. The islands are most beautiful at dusk, against the sunset.

sultanmeghji6 karma

First off, thank you (both for your service and for the AMA)!!

Second, surely you think about risk differently. Post war, what do you think the riskiest thing you've done has been and why?

ww2daughter8 karma

Cross the street (we lived on a busy highway).

Legit_Zurg6 karma

Thank you for you service, I am curious though, what inspired you to enlist?

ww2daughter11 karma

Pearl Harbor, WWII inspired everyone.

Pitbowl2 karma

I am also a Marine Corp veteran (2002-2006) from one to another, Semper Fi.

Have you ever recorded your stories for family members or the public? My grandfather also served in the South Pacific but he died when I was barely in my teens. I never realized how important knowing his history would be to me until the chance was long past. Now all I can do is piece things together and to be honest, it sucks.

Please tell me your story and experiences will live on for your children/grand children to know!

ww2daughter4 karma

Have you ever recorded your stories for family members or the public?

Doing it right now!