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My wifes grandfather has a suspicious war record

Old 04-30-09, 10:25 AM
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My wifes grandfather has a suspicious war record

This has been bugging me for years. My wife's grandfather claims he was in the Navy during World War II. But a lot of things don't add up.

1. He claims to have been present at D-Day in Normandy (on a ship off shore), but the only photos he has show him in the Pacific, and out of uniform. Is it possible that a sailor would have been deployed in both theaters?

2. He has no photos of himself in uniform.

3. He turns 80 this year, which would make him 15 year old on D-day

In his defense he was raised in an orphanage and might have lied about his age to enter the service. Did the military require proper identification of age back then? Could a 15 year old have enlisted with a fake birth certificate or simply lied?

I think the guy was in the navy after the war and regretted missing it, or perhaps not in the navy but the merchant marine or something, and he has lied about his war record over the years because he associates with a lot of veterans.

Is there a database where you can look up veterans who served in combat?

Last edited by Mabuse; 04-30-09 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 04-30-09, 10:25 AM
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Re: My wifes grandfather has a suspicious war record

Senility.
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Old 04-30-09, 10:27 AM
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Re: My wifes grandfather has a suspicious war record

I'm pretty sure the amount of veterans to claim to have been part of D-Day vastly outnumber the number that were actually there.
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Old 04-30-09, 10:31 AM
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Re: My wifes grandfather has a suspicious war record

Eh, let him have his fantasies. Ask him to tell stories. It's not like he's using them to take advantage of anyone.
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Old 04-30-09, 10:45 AM
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Re: My wifes grandfather has a suspicious war record

Nothing you detail there would disprove his claims factually.

Many people were in both theatres, many young men lied and served, etc.

You would have a better general sense of it though, as to him making up the war stories.

If he gets specific about a boat he was on, you can begin to look. If you know details about his deployment, branch, unit, etc. You can look into it. There are veteran's groups and websites that help with this.

Or you can request by name from the archives.
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Old 04-30-09, 10:56 AM
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Re: My wifes grandfather has a suspicious war record

Audie Murphy joined the military at age 16
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Old 04-30-09, 10:59 AM
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Re: My wifes grandfather has a suspicious war record

Why does it bother you so much? Even if he is lying, what's the difference?

= J
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Old 04-30-09, 11:02 AM
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Re: My wifes grandfather has a suspicious war record

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
This has been bugging me for years.
Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse View Post
Nothing you detail there would disprove his claims factually.
More importantly, are you sure that your relative here is really a doctor?
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Old 04-30-09, 11:09 AM
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Re: My wifes grandfather has a suspicious war record

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
Did the military require proper identification of age back then? Could a 15 year old have enlisted with a fake birth certificate or simply lied?
My father dropped out of high school, lied about his age and joined the Navy at 17. His parents were in cahoots with him, though. So, yes, it's possible, and I'm sure it happened a lot.
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Old 04-30-09, 11:12 AM
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Re: My wifes grandfather has a suspicious war record

in his pictures see if you can figure out the date. maybe there is a newspaper lying around or something.

another thing you can do is find out the ship name he was on and google it to find it's war record.
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Old 04-30-09, 11:17 AM
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Re: My wifes grandfather has a suspicious war record

I used ancestry.com a few years back to print out some info about family member's war service. They offered a free trial during the week of Veteran's Day that year. The WWII records include enlistment date, and the city and state where they enlisted. It also includes the branch and grade of service, and in some cases the terms of enlistment. That might clear up a question or two?

Here's the listing for one of my uncles, to give you an idea of the info:

U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946
about Renee's Great Uncle Mickey
Name: Renee's Great Uncle Mickey
Birth Year: 1918
Race: White, citizen (White)
Nativity State or Country: Connecticut
State: Connecticut
County or City: New Haven
Enlistment Date: 8 Jan 1942
Enlistment State: Connecticut
Enlistment City: Hartford
Branch: Air Corps
Branch Code: Air Corps
Grade: Private
Grade Code: Private
Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
Component: Army of the United States - includes the following: Voluntary enlistments effective December 8, 1941 and thereafter; One year enlistments of National Guardsman whose State enlistment expires while in the Federal Service; Officers appointed in the Army of
Source: Civil Life
Education: Grammar school
Marital Status: Single, without dependents
Height: 68
Weight: 161
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Old 04-30-09, 11:19 AM
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Re: My wifes grandfather has a suspicious war record

and you can try to ask him for his discharge paperwork. it should have everywhere he served and any war service
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Old 04-30-09, 11:21 AM
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Re: My wifes grandfather has a suspicious war record

Originally Posted by Tarantino View Post
Why does it bother you so much? Even if he is lying, what's the difference?

= J
Because he has a very inflated sense of self importance so it would be amusing to know he's a liar. But I wouldn't reveal him in front of his whole family or anything. And his story seems so dubious to me that it's always baffled me why no one in the family has questioned it. It's like they're all so dumb that can't do the math and figure out he would have been 15 on D-day. If a 90 year old says he was at Normandy you believe it, when an 80 year old says he was at Normandy you're supposed to ask follow up questions.

Last edited by Mabuse; 04-30-09 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 04-30-09, 11:23 AM
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Re: My wifes grandfather has a suspicious war record

Meh. Just let the old fart have his fun.
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Old 04-30-09, 11:28 AM
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Re: My wifes grandfather has a suspicious war record

I know that records weren't perfect, pretty much out of necessity back then. I have relatives who served in multiple theaters or on multiple ships but their official paperwork will only show the basics of their first and last assignments or whatever.
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Old 04-30-09, 11:43 AM
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Re: My wifes grandfather has a suspicious war record

Originally Posted by Numanoid View Post
More importantly, are you sure that your relative here is really a doctor?
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Old 04-30-09, 11:47 AM
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Re: My wifes grandfather has a suspicious war record

http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/mil...al-public.html
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Old 04-30-09, 01:03 PM
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Re: My wifes grandfather has a suspicious war record

Did he specifically say the U.S. Navy? Maybe he was fighting with the Germans.


My Great Uncle who just died last year at 92 was in the Army Air Corps in both theaters of combat. I never knew that until after he died, because he never talked about the war.
I see a lot of people identified as having been "with the French Resistance" during WWII in France, but it's kind of like Al Qaeda, there's no place you go and sign up. The nazis were a hostile occupying force and most of the French didn't like it, so they would do anything they could to try and get them to leave. If you are against a foreign army occupying your hometown, you are "in the resistance."
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Old 04-30-09, 01:25 PM
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Re: My wifes grandfather has a suspicious war record

Is this your wife's grandfather?

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Old 04-30-09, 01:27 PM
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Re: My wifes grandfather has a suspicious war record

Or this guy?
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Old 04-30-09, 01:32 PM
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Re: My wifes grandfather has a suspicious war record

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
Because he has a very inflated sense of self importance so it would be amusing to know he's a liar. But I wouldn't reveal him in front of his whole family or anything. And his story seems so bubious to me that it's always baffled me why no one in the family has questioned it. It's like they're all so dumb that can't do the math and figure out he would have been 15 on D-day. If a 90 year old says he was at Normandy you believe it, when an 80 year old says he was at Normandy you're supposed to ask follow up questions.

Maybe the family is onto him, and just humors him and is laughing up their sleeves at his self importance.

If you just want to feel smug and superior, then decide he's lying, and feel smug. No problem.
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Old 04-30-09, 01:46 PM
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Re: My wifes grandfather has a suspicious war record

He's 80. When I'm 80, I'm gonna make all sorts of shit up.
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Old 04-30-09, 01:56 PM
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Re: My wifes grandfather has a suspicious war record

Take one of his photos and photoshop a terminator or something anachronistic into it. If he's making shit up, he'll come up with some cockamamie story about what it is. If he's not, he'll wonder what's going on.
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Old 04-30-09, 02:15 PM
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Re: My wifes grandfather has a suspicious war record

Is it this one?
I guarantee it is legit.

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Old 04-30-09, 02:32 PM
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Re: My wifes grandfather has a suspicious war record

Originally Posted by Shazam View Post
He's 80. When I'm 80, I'm gonna make all sorts of shit up.


Oh, the things and women I will have pretend to have done (if I make it that long )
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