During the attack on Pearl Harbor, only 5 American pilots managed to get into the air against 353 Japanese planes, the first two were George Welch and Kenneth Taylor. They shot down 6 enemies. They were DENIED the Medal of Honor because … they didn’t have permission to take off from their CO.
Audie Murphy, one of the most decorated combat soldiers of WW2, earned every combat award available from the U.S. Army, as well as French and Belgian awards for heroism, went on to have an acting career after the war and ended up starring as himself in a movie about his own wartime heroics.
WW2 US Army Captain Moffatt Burriss, along with two other me in a Jeep, accidentally stumbled upon a 15,000 strong German Panzer Corps outside of Berlin toward the end of the war. He approached the enemy commander alone and tricked him into surrendering his army and being taken captive.
During the D-Day invasion, the Allies dropped thousands of decoy dummy paratroopers called Ruperts that couldn’t be distinguished from real paratroopers at a distance, these fakes sent Nazi forces chasing them inland in pursuit while real paratroops landed closer to Cherborg and Caen.
After the USS William D Porter accidentally fired a torpedo at the battleship carrying President Roosevelt to the Tehran Conference during WWII, other ships began greeting the Porter by signaling “Don’t shoot, we’re Republicans.”
The famous photo of the Soviet flag being raised during the Battle of Berlin in 1945 was actually doctored. Photographer Yevgeny Khaldei added smoke to make it seem more dramatic, and also removed one of two watches from a Senior Sergeant’s wrist, as it would have implied looting.
After World War 2 Canada had the 4th largest air force, 5th largest navy, and the largest volunteer army in the world.
Upon being discharged from the US naval reserve, William Colepaugh defected to Nazi Germany in 1944. Trained as a spy, he was landed ashore at Gulf of Maine by an U boat. He voluntarily surrendered after partying with the money meant for espionage activities.
Charm bracelets had an increase in popularity in the U.S during and after WWII. Soldiers found that they could easily buy and send small charms home to their partners. The charms helped their wives and girlfriends feel connected to them still.
After a Luftwаffe pilоt saw the SS kіlling Jеws, he faked illnеss to avoid combаt, missed targets, and tampered with bоmbs. For 20 years after the wаr, he anоnymously donаted 2/3 of his incоme to Jеwish orphаns and Holоcaust survіvors. In 1965, he emigrated to Israеl and convеrted to Judаism.