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Those are truly wonderful 1911s from a chapter of our history who few know about. I first read about it more than 60 years ago and when Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev visited the US in 1959, he reminded us that the Russians would never forget our "invasion" of Mother Russia.

Thanks for posting that.
 

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dsk, in 2014 I was in Russia helping a friend search a grave. His father was a Wehrmacht soldier killed in battle during the German retreat in September 1944. The grave was about 6 miles east of the Latvian border near the town of Ostrov, Russia. Our guide had a small museum in that town and we visited one day. It contained about 300 firearms, all rusty, dug up relics. The interesting thing for me was that the handguns and SMG's, and there were a bunch, were 1911A1's and M1 Thompson's. I'd read about our support of the Russians but it was a shock to see all of that US hardware.
 

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Neat vid! Yes, its unfortunate many don't seem to know history...lots of political upheaval and warfare in Eurasia (pre) and post-WW1. The Czech Legion had a particularly arduous experience, among others. Some US Military units ended up with US mfg Mosin-Nagants among a hodge-podge of small arms issued.




 

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I'd read about our support of the Russians but it was a shock to see all of that US hardware.
The Soviet/Russian authorities have consistently refused to give the US credit for the assistance we provided them as they fought the Nazis. Without our help - trucks, planes and other vehicles especially - it is a distinct possibility that they would have been defeated. That's not to downplay their sacrifices in any way but the materials we sent to Russia through Vladivostok and the Northern port city of Murmansk were a life saver. Stalin and later leaders did not want the people of Russia to know just how much the US helped them. Stalin and other leaders did comment to our leaders that they would have lost the war without our help but that was never made public in Russia.
 

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And a lot of US Merchant mariners lost their lives on those Murmansk and Archangel convoys to get all that help to them. Funny thing too was that US Shipyards were turning out a class of freighters called Liberty ships to get all of the stuff over there. They ships were designed to make the one way trip and that was it. The Russians were still using them up into the late nineteen eighties when the USSR dissolved.
 

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And a lot of US Merchant mariners lost their lives on those Murmansk and Archangel convoys to get all that help to them. Funny thing too was that US Shipyards were turning out a class of freighters called Liberty ships to get all of the stuff over there. They ships were designed to make the one way trip and that was it. The Russians were still using them up into the late nineteen eighties when the USSR dissolved.
My Uncle was a Merchant Marine from age 17 (1941) until the end of the war. While he may have gone the Northern route at some time, he told me that most of his time was in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. He sailed in convoys that lost ships to U-Boats but the ships he sailed on were never hit. He passed away a few years ago in his late 90's.

Window Flash photography Standing Road surface Black-and-white
 

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Cool picture! Not many people know it but the Merchant Marines lost a larger percentage of their people than any branch of the military. I actually sailed with an old guy very early on in my career that had three ships shot out from underneath him. Or at least he claimed as much.
 

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I loved that video! Very informative as usual.
 

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View attachment 617853

Brunswick River near Wilmington was lined with Liberty Ships after the war.
Yes those ships turned out to be a lot more durable than expected. There are two of them left today. The Jeremiah O'Brian docked in Long Beach California, last I heard anyway. And the John Brown in Baltimore Maryland. Both open to the public and definitely worth a visit. I used to volunteer on the John brown for various things when I was working out of Baltimore. We were going to take her over to Normandy for the fiftieth anniversary of the invasion. But the Coast guard OCMI came down and did an inspection and shot that down as the hull was in pretty bad shape.
Anyway the Coast Guard officer that shut us down went on to help us raise the money for the 200,000$ worth of hull repairs the ship needed. We found a yard up on the great lakes that still did rivet work. I did not make the trip up there. But I used do the Chesapeake bay day cruses to raise money. More often then not I would have to stand my whole watch on the bridge wing as trying to see out of those tiny wheel house port holes was about impossible. Pretty cool tooling up and down the bay with a band on the Fore deck playing Glen miller songs. In the mood, you bet!
 

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In 1967 I was at a small air base on the island of Mactan in the Southern Philippines. The island is where Magellan met his death at the hands of King Lapu-Lapu during his voyage around the world. The City of Cebu, on the island of Cebu, is nearby. In 1967 the only access was by ferry boat between the islands, a trip of roughly 20 minutes and a cost of less than a quarter. But, if you had a car or other vehicle, you could travel a short distance above Cebu City and take a WW2 LST across to Mactan. The LST also ran later than the ferry so if the last ferry was missed, you could take the LST as I did a few times. Today there are bridges between the islands and Mactan hosts a huge International Airport. I wish I had pictures of the LSTs but if I have them, I can't find them at the moment.
 

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