"Wisht somebody would tell me there's a Santa Claus."
From all of us to all of you, wherever you are. Merry Christmas.
Dangit, Patrick, Mauldin was/is always the best. I try and collect it as I find it. Thanks for this latest. Merry Happy Holidays, Christmas, whatever.
Thanks for the memories. My father was a Thunderbird (45th Inf Div), as were Joe and Willie.
If anyone is travelling through OKC, you might want to drop buy the 45th Inf Div Museum. In addition to museum pieces on display that the Smithsonian wishes they had, Bill Mauldin left his personal collection to the Museum.
Great holiday music links, Pat.
Anyone interested in a few more links to both traditional & non-traditional holiday tunes might want to pop over to The Athenaeum- a post I put up over there yesterday has quite a few of ’em.
I’ve actually been to the 45th Inf Div Museum while traveling with my husband, Richard, & the Bill Mauldin collection is outstanding. Here’s a web addy I just dug up describing it:
Me thinks the Col. is one bad dude.
Yo Col., Don’t change baby!
PS. I hope there is one more round of the intertwining Christmas Tracers…, Just for Willy 😉
To Pat, Maureen and those whose lives intersect here, I wish peace on earth and goodwill to all!
When stationed in the late 60’s and early 70’s with a unit supporting the Bundeswehr(reincarnation of the Wehrmacht in 1950) I was told by several German officers that Willy and Joe cartoons captured by German Soldiers in WWII were considered choice prizes of war and was one of many reasons they always hoped to be captured by the Americans. And it was not at the bottom of the list either. i kept a book of Willy and Joe cartoons in my apartment and let them see it when guests for dinner. When leaving Europe I gave it to my best German officer friend. Also a book by Ernie Pyle. By the way at that time, my friend was an Oberleutnant, his father (an Oberst) commanded the exact same battalion he had commanded in fall 1941. Yet in my mind both were true democrats as opposed to some ring-knockers I served with. The latter had absolute contempt for Willie and Joe’s drafted to support their careers (so they believed.)
A very Merry Christmas to you and your family also. Thank you for a wonderful year of thoughtful commentary.
My father purchased copies of both Up Front and Coming Home,even though he had never been in the military aside from CMTC camp. They’re among my prized possessions.
Coming Home is about about how the WWII vets were treated after leaving the service; the pointed comments and cartoons could still apply to today’s vets.
Col.,sir: thanks for the link to Willie’s MV. Cheered me up. Makes me wanna sample weed as well. All I need for this festive season would be a woman with “naturally curvy size” to spend it with. Maybe smokin’ pot might help?
Happy holidays to you & your family.
From Bill’s interview with Studs Terkle in ’85. I believe Bill would have approved of SST.
“Willie and Joe were really drawn on guys I knew in this infantry company. It was a rifle company from McAlester, Oklahoma. There were Indians in it and a lot of laconic good ol’ boys. These two guys were based on these Oklahomans I knew. People like that really make ideal infantry soldiers. Laconic, they don’t take anything too seriously. They’re not happy doing what they’re doing, but they’re not totally fish out of water, either. They know how to walk in the mud and how to shoot. It’s a southwestern sort of trait, really. Don’t take any crap off anybody.
I think Willie and Joe would have voted for Roosevelt cynically, sardonically, with a lot of reservations. He really wasn’t their cup of tea. They would have considered Roosevelt too much of a bleeding heart. They couldn’t bring themselves to be Republicans. Someone like Harry Truman would be more their cup of tea. I’m really expressing my own feelings. I dug Truman. I still do. It really shows you what my limitations are.
Willie and Joe are my creatures. Or am I their creature? They are not social reformers. They’re much more reactive. They’re not social scientists and I’m not a social scientist. We’re moral people who do not belong to the moral majority. One of my principles is, Thou shall not bully. The only answer is to muscle the bully. I’m very combative that way.”
Mery Xmas, and thanks.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Colonel.
For the tankers and Cavalrymen out there…
T’was the night before defense and all through the tank,
not a crewman was stirring so there wasn’t a clank.
Our ammo was stowed in the turret with care,
In hopes that some targets soon would be there.
The crewman were sleeping out on the back deck,
I pulled the first watch, figured oh what the heck.
CO’s in his HUMVEE and I’m on the steel,
I’m watching our sector cause I know the deal.
When out in the EA there arose such a clatter,
I went to my sight to see what’s the matter.
To TRP RED I slewed like a flash,
Flipped it off stand-by (this sight’s worth the cash).
When the thermal cut on with it’s eerie green glow,
Gave the luster of midday to objects below.
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But an M60 tank I could see quite clear.
With a crusty old TC so lively and quick,
I could tell in a moment it must be St. Nick.
Now faster than lightening in a dust cloud he came,
He cursed and he shouted and called out some names: Now Sherman!
Now Stewart! Now Abrams and Patton!
On Walker! On Christie! On Pershing and Lee!
To the top of the hill we’re in some soft dirt,
If I throw a track the driver gets hurt.
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle they blew right on by.
So up to the hill top from the backside he drew,
With a tank full of Class VI, and St. Nicholas too.
And then in a twinkling on my turret roof,
the old man sat down and let out an oof.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
Down through the hatch came St. Nick with a bound.
From his old black beret to his Graff jacket worn,
you could tell he’s a tanker since the day he was born.
A bundle of FMs he had flung on his back,
He looked like a Mike Golf just opening his pack.
St. Nick is a tanker, in this I have faith,
He reeked of old diesel, had grease on his face.
His demeanor was rude his clothes were a mess,
When his boots last saw polish was anyone’s guess.
A cigarette butt is held tight in his teeth,
If I tell him to lose it I might get some grief.
His moustache was too long, it’s not by the Reg.
This crusty old Mike Golf sure looked like a dreg.
He was filthy, ill mannered, but a happy old self,
And I knew he would help me in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a look in my sight,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to fright.
He spoke not a word but went right to his work,
Boresighted my tank, said “Your gunner’s a jerk.”
And laying a wrench aside of his nose,
And giving a nod out of the hatch he rose.
He sprang to his copula, gave his driver a curse,
And away his tank roared like he’d just stole a purse.
But I heard him exclaim as he roared ought of sight,
Merry Christmas to all and to all…
DAMMIT DRIVER I SAID TURN RIGHT,
WHAT ARE YOU …………
Merry Christmas to you, Colonel Lang, and to your family. And Merry Christmas to all the wonderful and interesting contributors to SST.
I fondly remember the days before Christmas 1976 at the Ranger training camp in Dahlonega, Georgia. We were still housed in dark green plywood squad shacks (actually quite cozy). It was cold for north Georgia and we were often snowed upon. One evening the entire company was in the squad shack area while a fairly heavy snow was falling. The snow falling on the many holly trees and the shacks was a beautiful sight. We all broke out in Christmas carols. No, we did not sound anything like the Celtic Women and we certainly didn’t look like them; but it was a wonderful expression of shared Christmas spirit.
Col. to you and your family and all who pass through this place Merry Christmas. Thank all of you for being lively company.
Merry Christmas everyone!
2010 is shaping up to be a very “interesting” year in the sense of the purported Chinese proverb.
“It’s better to be a dog in a peaceful time than be a man in a chaotic period”
Dear Col. Lang,
Thank you for the Christmas greeting and for your thought and work in writing your blog. I read it daily here in La Quinta, CA. I just finished “The Winds of War” and have been pondering President Obama’s West Point and Oslo speeches.
I’ve never served in the military but I give you the best salute I can muster.
Dahlonega Georgia???? One of my greats — William P. Price — started North Georgia College.
2010 is gonna’ be interesting. But life is good.
Merry Xmas to all.
Merry Christmas Everyone, Merry Christmas!!!!
Still NO woman with “naturally curvy size” to spend holiday season with! 🙁
Merry Christmas, Col., sir. & to the rest of your family as well. Particularly your sister.
& of course to those who’ve lost someone special in their lives this year.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours Colonel.
Sir, I heard this on NPR the other day and thought of you. Merry Christmas, JMH.
Ut diem natalem Christi tibi beatissimum sit
Best Wishes and a Merry Christmas to you all. Thank you for the considered ideas and opinions this last year.
Merry Christmas to Colonel Lang and family!
Best Wishes in 2011!!
and a toast to the Nation we all love!!
and a toast to the invaluable SST and its readers!!!
Merry Christmas to you and your family. You “old grouch”.
Thanks you for the blog and all the work. It’s an important voice. Even if I don’t agree with you all the time.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Best wishes Pat and all who congregate here at SST.
I’ve come to see SST as a room in your home that you’ve kindly opened to us. I hope we don’t track in too much mud!
Thanks for your hospitality and Merry Christmas to you, your family, and the many guests here.
Merry Christmas all. I can remember as a kid, seeing reprints in the newspaper of Bill Mauldins cartoons. All my contemporaries at the time(5-10 year olds) avidly followed the war news in those days. The maps of the front page of the newspaper and Mauldins crtoons were inportant.
Merry Christmas to the Lang Family and to all here at SST. Remember those who are alone and forgotten this Christmas.
Merry Christmas Colonel Lang,
Best Wishes for 2012.
A Merry Christmas to you and yours Col. Lang, and to all the participants of this excellent blog!
Merry Christmas Pat. Thanks for all you do & share here, your patient realism & endearing tetchiness, er, ways.
Merry Christmas or whatever you believe in to all, and a prayer for those remembered by Jake above. Please donate some cash to your local food bank – they need a lot of cash for baby/infant formula, and many are markedly below seasonal goals and past year’s take this year.
Merry Christmas to Colonel Lang and family and to all readers of SST.
May 2012 be a “normal” year, uneventful, boring even.
My favorite uncle served in the 45th Division, 1944-45. May he rest in peace.
My best wishes for Christmas to you, Mr. Lang, and your family. Your blog is a treasure, and I want to express my delight over the fine writing you and your friends have put online over the last weeks. It was a joy to read. Thanks.
I extend these thanks and my best wishes to the fine SST crowd.
Yes, may the upcoming year of ’12 be one of dreary bore for all.
Anno Domini 2011 has been one with too much political theater.
On Christmas, 1945, William Stewart a sportswriter for the Memphis Commercial Appeal who was serving in India wrote the following column on the first “peacetime” Christmas. It has been published on the front page of the Memphis newspaper every Christmas since then.
It is worth a read.
merry christmas and a happy new year Colonel!
Pat & Maureen – Have a Blessed Christmas and all the best for 2012 plus a BIG THANK YOU for keeping this site alive and interesting.
Merry Christmas Col. Lang and good cheer to all of your blog patrons.
I meant all of the folks who frequent this spot of the sanity. I think I was a little sleepy when I posted that awkwardly worded greeting.
Now take some time to enjoy a little eggnog with rum and a big slice of tourtiere.
When i was young i thought santa claus is real, but it is good to think that santa claus is real without knowing that he is the parents who is giving gift to us when we are already sleep in christmas eve. But the bottom line is, whether it is real or not, our parents show to us the spirit of Christmas.
Feliz Navidad a Todos de SST!
Best Wishes and a very Merry Christmas to all at SST. Thanks everyone and especially the proprietor for the crackling fire and illumination in this corner of the internets.
I met Bill Mauldin a long time ago in Florida and he made a great impression on me. He was quite elderly by this time but his mind was as sharp as ever. At the time, I had no idea what he had accomplished. He was just a very interesting story teller, who also gave me some very good advise that I actually followed.
I wish everybody a nice Christmas and a happy new year from NJ, where I am visiting family.
Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to All of SST and Col. Lang. May you and yours have serenity and peace.
(I found a copy of Mauldin’s book “Up Front; Holt, 1945” in the book exchange bin at the Los Alamos Public Library last August. Some folks will discard anything!)
One of my best Christmas memories. Ban Me Thuot Christmas 1968, in one of the remaining French villas. Merry Christmas to all…..
For 2015, you as well, Pat and SWIMBO as well! I hope the healing continues.
Merry Christmas and God bless you Colonel for maintaining this site despite the many annoyances. Enjoy every bite of that delicious Virginia ham. I’m jealous!
Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year to all who frequent this site!
Merry Christmas, sir. To you and your family.
Bought a copy of Up Front at an antique store a few years ago. Inscribed in the front was “to our son Bill, may the pictures remind of the good times, not just the bad”. signed Mother and Father. Gave t to my soon when he returned from Iraq in 2006.
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I will post my story of Christmas in Song Be in 1968 on Christmas Eve. Pat
Merry Christmas to all at SST. I’ve noticed an upswing in Christmas spirit in my area despite the unseasonably warm weather. Lots of smiles and small courtesies everywhere we go.
Merry Christmas to everyone
Joyeux Noël, Colonel, et merci pour toutes les bulletins et opinons offert sur votre blog pendant l’annee passé. Je vous souhaite une Bonne Année. fasteddiez.
My best wishes for a very Merry and uneventful Christmas to all “pilgrims” of the SST and their Colonel.
You and Kunuri are among the best of our pilgrims, we who seek salvation. pl
Merry Christmas Colonel Lang..
A merry and peacefull Christmas to you Colonel and to your family.
And my best wishes to all the readers here.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!
Milles Fois Merci et Meilleurs Voeux, Colonel Lang…
… et pour tous ce qui contribuent et apprendre ici.
Sorry for my lousy grammar…
Just FYI, the youtube link you posted no longer leads to anything about Bill Mauldin – it’s an Annie Lennox video (also Christmassy)
I looked up Bill Mauldin tho and recognized the characters, probably from memory of old history books.
Merry Christmas to all.
A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to Mrs. Lang and you!
Merry Christmas, roll steady and don’t let the bastards get you down!
Merry Christmas! Thanks for the great site!
From a distant pilgrim, Happy Christmas, Colonel Lang. I hope the eye procedure went well.
Same to you. It went well.
Have a warm and happy Yuletide. Hope your hot toddy mug is always full. May the New Year bring us all health and wealth, and maybe even a bit of desolation to our enemies.
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