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  • Victory at Sea

    See the next posting. Didn't want this to get squished.
    Skip Lackie

  • #2
    I could have added this to the Veteran's/Armistice Day thread, but I thought it was worth its own title. Every year on Veteran's Day our local PBS station suspends regular broadcasting and runs the entire Victory at Sea series. For those too young (which is most of you), VaS was a documentary history of the US Navy and Marine Corps in World War II. It consisted of 26 half-hour shows, and was produced by NBC and the Navy. It was first broadcast during the 1952-53 season. Each half-hour show describes the Navy's role in a single battle or campaign. All of the film footage is real (black and white of course). The ships sinking and the fighters being shot down really are.

    One of its most significant attributes is the sound track, which was written by Richard Rodgers, of Rodgers and Hammerstein fame. It is truly a magnificent piece of music, and follows the action on the screen very closely. It was performed by the NBC Symphony (yes, NBC used to have a full-sized symphony orchestra) conducted by Robert Rusell Bennett. Although the sound track is almost 13 hours long, it actually consists of about 15 movements or themes that are blended, integrated, and repeated in order to properly accompany film sequences. Each movement had a name, like "Theme of the Fast Carriers" and "Beneath the Southern Cross". With more romantic names ("No Other Love Have I"), several went on to be hits in their own right in the 1950s.

    Without wishing to disparage the sacrifices of more recent veterans, the losses the Navy and Marine Corps suffered in WWII were truly staggering. For example, the Marines suffered 60% casualties during the invasion of Pelelieu.

    Victory at Sea is available on CD and various other media, though there are several versions. NBC produced a condensed version for TV in the 1960s with revised narration by Alexander Scourby. The original narration by Leonard Graves was rather dramatic and sounded a bit dated by the 60s. Nevertheless, both the original and revised versions are available, as is the sound track alone.

    The show is a great history lesson and a real testament to the Greatest Generation.
    Skip Lackie

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Skip Lackie View Post
      Without wishing to disparage the sacrifices of more recent veterans, the losses the Navy and Marine Corps suffered in WWII were truly staggering. For example, the Marines suffered 60% casualties during the invasion of Pelelieu. The show is a great history lesson and a real testament to the Greatest Generation.
      What is the present state of the American Legion? Are they suffering serious losses of membership, and maybe some closures similar to the Canadian Legions? True, they made a few poor decisions such as waiting too long to let any Canadian citizen in as opposed to war vets and their immediate offspring. Other factors over the years such as 'happy hour' cheap drinks at mainstream drinking establishments and not being able to wear a head covering inside have aslo contributed to their slow demise here. In the eighties, we used to hold our monthly meetings at the Army, Navy & Airforce Veteran's Club which has since become a skelton of what it once was. The food was good, drinks were cheap for CASO's, and the staff were very accomodating while we were there.

      Craig
      Last edited by 8E45E; 11-11-2010, 03:57 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by 8E45E View Post
        What is the present state of the American Legion? Are they suffering serious losses of membership, and maybe some closures similar to the Canadian Legions? True, they made a few poor decisions such as waiting too long to let any Canadian citizen in as opposed to war vets and their immediate offspring. Other factors over the years such as 'happy hour' cheap drinks at mainstream drinking establishments and not being able to wear a head covering inside have aslo contributed to their slow demise here. In the eighties, we used to hold our monthly meetings at the Army, Navy & Airforce Veteran's Club which has since become a skelton of what it once was. The food was good, drinks were cheap for CASO's, and the staff were very accomodating while we were there.

        Craig
        I understand that in the States, membership to both the American Legion and VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) are way down. The younger vets just aren't interested. In my sleepy hometown, the American Legion has a nice facility but the only active members are the Korean War guys and maybe a couple WWII guys--and maybe some VietNam guys, I'm not sure. The VFW in that town, I have wonderful memories of, as we would eat dinner there virtually every Friday and some Sundays in their very good public dining room. I've heard it's a shell of its former self too.
        Bill Pressler
        Kent, OH
        (formerly Greenville, PA)
        Currently owned: 1966 Cruiser, Timberline Turquoise, 26K miles
        Formerly owned: 1963 Lark Daytona Skytop R1, Ermine White
        1964 Daytona Hardtop, Strato Blue
        1966 Daytona Sports Sedan, Niagara Blue Mist
        All are in Australia now

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        • #5
          After I came home from Viet Nam I joined the local VFW. In the town I was in it seemed the only purpose of that chapter was to provide a bar for it's members. I did not rejoin after the first year. Maybe the VFW did more than that but I did not see it in the town I lived in at the time. I'm not putting down the VFW or it's member. That's how I felt about the local then.
          Gary Sanders
          Nixa, MO

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          • #6
            After I returned from Vietnam, I was invited to join some veterans groups. I can't even remember the names of the organizations. After listening to some of the guys that did attend, I concluded that they were largely "pity parties" wallowing in negativity. I hope I was wrong about that, but I stayed away.

            Since I figured that the statute of limitations had probably run out on my high school record, I managed to get accepted into a university. I started college at age 24 and graduated at 28.

            Only recently, after discovering the reports about exposure to agent orange, I reached out to the DAV for assistance. They have assisted in providing the ton of forms necessary to follow up with the V.A.

            I have developed type II diabetes and within the last couple of weeks have a skin cancer diagnosed. I have spent years working a career, paying taxes, and never asked for a handout. This V.A. stuff is new territory for me.
            John Clary
            Greer, SC

            SDC member since 1975

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            • #7
              I am also a Vietnam Vet and had no intention of joining the Legion or the VFW when I got home in August 1970. I managed to buy the complete dvd set of Victory at Sea in a bargain bin at Walmart a couple of years ago for $5.00. I also have the World at War series on dvd.

              My father was a tank driver during WWII went over after the Battle of the Bulge. Received two PURPEL HEARTS being the only survivor out of one tank he drove all the rest of the crew was killed, the Germans left him for dead. My father was also a guard at the Nuremberg Trials after the end WWII. He help guard the main switch board and got to see all the former Nazi big wigs.

              My father passed away nine years ago, now the only time I ever seen him cry was the day I boarding the airplane which started my journy to Vietnam.

              John S

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              • #8
                Everytime I see a Victory at Sea I want to go reenlist. I obviously wasn't yhere but I did ride a WW2 Submarine in the 60's. It couldn't have been easy for those guys. Hats off to 'Em.

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                • #9
                  I was watching the show 'WW2 in HD' the other day and a statistic caught my eye.

                  Today 11/11/11, they mentioned that less than 10% of those who participated in WWII are still living today.
                  HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

                  Jeff


                  Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



                  Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DEEPNHOCK View Post
                    I was watching the show 'WW2 in HD' the other day and a statistic caught my eye.

                    Today 11/11/11, they mentioned that less than 10% of those who participated in WWII are still living today.
                    I saw/heard that number too and it's sobering, isn't it?

                    Also, one thing my hometown VFW is good for--besides their friendly service and good food in the dining room--is that the old timers still do a service at funerals for military people...gun salute, folding the flag, handing it to the widow...very moving, still.
                    Last edited by Bill Pressler; 11-12-2010, 08:57 AM.
                    Bill Pressler
                    Kent, OH
                    (formerly Greenville, PA)
                    Currently owned: 1966 Cruiser, Timberline Turquoise, 26K miles
                    Formerly owned: 1963 Lark Daytona Skytop R1, Ermine White
                    1964 Daytona Hardtop, Strato Blue
                    1966 Daytona Sports Sedan, Niagara Blue Mist
                    All are in Australia now

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Several years ago my younger son, who is one of the world's best scroungers/bargain locators, found a man about to throw away about 40 Beta tapes. Since he knew I still have my nearly 30-year-old Sony Betamax, he took the tapes for me to use in taping (yes, Betamax is a much better format than VHS). As it turned out, the tapes included the entire Victory at Sea series.
                      Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
                      '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

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                      • #12
                        Living Vets

                        Originally posted by DEEPNHOCK View Post
                        I was watching the show 'WW2 in HD' the other day and a statistic caught my eye.

                        Today 11/11/11, they mentioned that less than 10% of those who participated in WWII are still living today.
                        Here in Canada, this was the first Remembrance Day where we had no survivors left from the First World War.
                        Mark Hayden
                        '66 Commander
                        Zone Coordinator
                        Pacific Can-Am Zone

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                        • #13
                          I was a piece time navy man 59-62 aboard the USS Yorktown, has any one seen it as of late? I heard it was on the east coast some place, if so sure would like to visit it some day, the USS Hornet is the sister ship and I can go there any day I want since it is only half hour away, but would like to visit the fighting lady once more, was glad the day I got out but still think of the good time I had back them.
                          Candbstudebakers
                          Castro Valley,
                          California


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                          • #14
                            Assume you're referring to the aircraft carrier Yorktown (the Yorktown name was later used on a cruiser). It is on display near Charleston, SC.
                            Skip Lackie

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bill Pressler View Post
                              the old timers still do a service at funerals for military people...gun salute, folding the flag, handing it to the widow...very moving, still.
                              I will never forget my father's committal sevice. Everything you said, plus Taps. They played graveside, then another trumpeter played off in the distance, off in the surrounding woods. Beautiful, haunting, moving. I tear up just remembering it.
                              Proud NON-CASO

                              I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

                              If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth—let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

                              GOD BLESS AMERICA

                              Ephesians 6:10-17
                              Romans 15:13
                              Deuteronomy 31:6
                              Proverbs 28:1

                              Illegitimi non carborundum

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