Month: August 2019

George Luz, Jr. Remembers His Dad and the Men of Easy Company

Guest George Luz, Jr. shares stories about his father, George Luz, who was a paratrooper with E Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. They discuss the experiences of the men of Easy Company who fought with him during WWII, and the training, toil, camaraderie and sacrifices of this storied unit that was immortalized by Stephen E. Ambrose in his best-selling book, Band of Brothers.

Pillar of Easy Company

“One of the pillars of Easy Company,” was how Major Richard Winters described him. George Luz was born into a large Portuguese-American family in Fall River Massachusetts on June 17, 1921. Moving with his family to Rhode Island in search of work, Luz quit school in his junior year to help his parents and eight siblings make ends meet during the Great Depression. Incensed as many Americans were by the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Luz enlisted in the Army and, attracted by its elite status and the extra 50 dollars a month jump pay, volunteered for the newly formed airborne forces. Ordered to Camp Toccoa, Georgia, Luz arrived at the newly created home of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment to begin what he would later call, “the best three years of my life.”

George Luz, Jr.’s journey began when he was 9 years old in 1965 at the 101st Airborne Division Reunion at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. For over 53 years, he has been blessed to spend time with these men, their wives and their children. As we say good bye to each and every one of them, he feels it is his honor and privilege to share their stories.

Soviet Naval Challenge in the Cold War : Part II with Reid Senter

Mark returns to the Cold War with Part II of the Soviet Naval challenge, this time covering surface operations. His guest is Reid Senter, a retired U.S. Navy Captain who served in the Mediterranean. They discuss various aspects of serving in an Amphibious Ready Group, facing the Soviet Navy whose main interest was protecting the “Motherland,” and the Walker treachery. Reid points out that Soviet ships were always “bristling” with extra arms and equipment, possibly needed because of questionable reliability. He also gives a tip of the hat to the professionalism and quality of the young men serving in today’s Navy.

Photo above: Reid Senter served aboard the USS Inchon, an amphibious assault ship of the Iwo Jima class.

Captain Reid Senter was commanding officer of the USS Reid (FFG-30), a guided missile frigate.

The Soviet Naval Challenge in the Cold War with John Lindstedt

Mark speaks with John Lindstedt, who was a junior officer serving aboard a nuclear submarine in the Cold War years. They discuss the qualifications and training involved, the constant readiness, and the differences between U.S. and Soviet vessels. They also highlight the ever-present threat of the Soviet Navy in the Mediterranean aided by the treachery of John Walker and his career of passing classified information to his masters in the Kremlin.

Photo: This is the Ben Franklin class submarine-nuclear that John was on, the USS Kamehameha SSBN-642. (King Kamehameha IV was King of Hawaii when the Civil War started and proclaimed Hawaii’s neutrality in August 1861.)

Trench Dogs: A Graphic Novel About WWI

Mark interviews Ian Densford, an artist and animator whose graphic novel, Trench Dogs, draws its inspiration from a collection of first-hand accounts from WW1. This fictional story of World War I is an anthropomorphic retelling of that global conflict and the soldiers who experienced the horrors of the front lines and high seas.

More Information About Trench Dogs

While the nightmares of World War I and the aftermath are sometimes forgotten, this book asks the reader to look again and remember the dead, and to weigh their number against those who would choose war. Conceived as a long, continuous camera pan through the trenches and beyond, the reader is soon buried in mud, corpses, and ruin, emerging on the other side with blurred recollections of lost comrades and a nagging sense of pointless destruction. Ian Densford’s graphic watercolors paired with a spattering of onomatopoeic utterings create an unforgiving tale of the “war to end all wars.”

Order a copy of Trench Dogs >>

Trench Dogs Study Guide

Trench Dogs is based upon actual events and hundreds of photo, film and illustrated references. It is meant to showcase events and introduce subjects from soldiers view at the front, not the politics and territorial gains from a broader overview. This study guide is to help decipher the events depicted, but further research is always needed.

Download a PDF of the Trench Dogs Study Guide >>


Historical Events That Happened in August

This week Mark takes a look at some events that happened during the month of August in the Civil War and WWII, including the infamous Quantrill’s Raiders,  Nathan Bedford Forrest’s raid on Memphis, the Siege of Leningrad, and the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact.

Image: Forrest’s raid into Memphis – Rebel attack on the Irving Prison.