A Heartbreaking Honor Is Bestowed Upon Those Who Survived Pearl Harbor

On December 7th, 1941, the United States had their firsthand taste of the devastation we all associate with the Second World War, when the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service launched a squadron of 353 aircraft and attacked the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Wikimedia

The United States had largely shied away from being an active participant in the war up until this point, staying content to supply the British with ammunition and supplies through convoys that traveled the Atlantic. However, as one of the Axis powers, Japan feared the possibility of the United States Navy running supplies to Europe through the Pacific Ocean, and decided to launch the assault on Pearl Harbor as a way of dissuading the Americans from getting involved.

Suffice it to say, things didn’t exactly go as planned.

Pearl Harbor salvage operations.Wikimedia

While the attack on Pearl Harbor was devastating and shocking to the American people, it ended up being the push needed to get America to commit to the war in its entirety, by providing an influx of troops, resources and intelligence that the Axis had not counted on having to face until they had already conquered Europe. Between their entry into the war and the increased retaliation from within Europe and from the Soviet Union, this more or less signaled the beginning of the Axis’s downfall.

National WW2 Museum

While the Pearl Harbor attack ultimately led to a massive positive outcome, the memories of that horrific day are still all-too real for those who survived it, and those people are offered a special honor that no others can receive.

Man Lives His Entire Life As If It Was 1946

During the day, Ben Sansum is a busy jet-setter who works as a cabin crewman for British Airways.

But when the working day is done, he leaves our hectic, modern world and steps back into the 1940s. And as you can see from his vintage-inspired home, living the simple life is not so simple these days.

Sansum’s home was built in the 1800s.FameFly

The 35-year-old Sansum says that from an early age he was interested in the past. His great-uncle once gave him a 1940s radio as a birthday present, and his first car was an antique from 1939. His parents never understood their son’s obsession for a time before he was even born, but Sansum says they’ve learned to accept it.

Everything in Sansum’s home was invented before 1946.Hunts Post
Sansum still does all his cooking on a 120-year-old range.Hunts Post

“My parents probably thought I would grow out of it, but I know I will always live like this now. I shall probably die living like this.” But despite admitting his interest is “strange,” Sansum also tells his parents that he’s “ensuring their way of life isn’t forgotten.”

Sansum buys modern groceries, but also keeps this collection of vintage food packages.Hunts Post
This isn’t a vaccum, it’s a electricity-less Ewbank cleaner.Hunts Post

But of course, living in a time before our many modern conveniences were invented is tough. Sansum does all his cooking on a restored, 120-year-old cooking range. And while he has managed without a dishwasher or a microwave, he caved and bought a modern mini fridge

One of Sansum’s few modern conveniences – a mini fridge – is hidden behind a tea towel to hold up the illusion.BBC

Still, if you remember an older relative’s home from this era (or your own childhood home) the rest of Sansum’s house is a treasure trove of memories.

For 60 Years She Didn’t Know What Happened To Her Husband, Now She’s Finally Uncovered The Heroic Truth

Like millions of women across America during World War 2, Peggy Harris said goodbye to her husband Billie and prayed he would be safe.

Peggy and Billie in World War 2.DOD Live

The young couple had been married for just six weeks when Billie left for the war. He was a fighter pilot, and when news and letters from her husband suddenly stopped in July 1944, Peggy feared the worst. Soon, the military told her that her husband was missing in Nazi-occupied France.

Then, they said that Billie was alive and safe. Next they said that he was definitely dead, and buried at one cemetery. News came soon afterwards that he had been moved to another cemetery, but now officials weren’t sure if the body was actually Billie’s after all.

It was an embarrassing and heartbreaking series of mix-ups that left Peggy unsure what had happened to her husband. For the next six decades she waited, never remarrying and never moving on from her missing husband. “Billie was married to me all of his life,” she said, “and I choose to be married to him all of my life.”

No one could say for sure what had happened to Billie.KiwiReport

But on a whim, Peggy’s cousin decided to request Billie’s military records. Surprisingly, right there in black and white he found the answer Peggy had been waiting 60 years to learn…

Lawyer Rolled A Tank Into His Neighborhood, And That’s When The War Began

We’ve shared disputes between neighbors that have raised a few eyebrows, but this one takes the cake.

Residents of the wealthy River Oaks neighborhood outside Fort Worth, Texas didn’t know what to think when a massive World War 2 tank rolled down the street and stopped in front of lawyer Tony Buzbee’s home. But for Buzbee, the tank’s arrival is a proud moment more than a year in the making.

He bought the M4 Sherman tank for $600,000 overseas, and had it transported all the way to his multi-million dollar home. Buzbee has a special family connection to the tank, because it was present at the Normandy landings, just like his own grandfather. Buzbee himself was also a Marine.

“This particular tank landed at Normandy. It liberated Paris, and ultimately went all the way to Berlin. There’s a lot of history here,” the attorney told KHOU. But Buzbee admits he had a few other reasons for buying the tank.

“I told one of my guys ‘Lets get that tank it’d be really cool out on my ranch to blow things up and run over things,’” he explained to Fox 26. Meanwhile, the River Oaks Homeowners Association is declaring war on Buzbee over his unusual lawn ornament…

10 Celebrities Who Were Secretly Spies During World War 2

We like to think that secret agents, coded messages and undercover saboteurs only belong in cheesy movies, but spies are very real. In fact, these 10 celebrities all lived a double life as spies during the Second World War:

The glamorous German actress burned up the screens in the ’30s and ’40s, but when the war broke out both America and Germany questioned her allegiance. Dietrich publicly condemned the Nazis, and did USO tours for troops overseas. But she was also investigated by the FBI, and had family living in Germany during the war.

The organization later enlisted her, giving the actress a chance to prove her dedication to America by “collecting observations about subversive activities in Europe” during her tours. To this day, historians debate whether Dietrich was an American spy or a double agent.

The children’s book author was actually a Royal Air Force pilot at the start of the war, when a painful crash forced him to take a desk job instead. He moved to Washington, D.C., where he wrote British propaganda for American newspapers.

Dahl during World War 2.EDP24

Eventually Dahl was given a much livelier job: seducing the wives and female relatives of American VIPs to learn their secrets. This included Congresswoman Clare Booth Luce, who was married to the publisher of Time magazine and so smitten with Dahl that he asked to be reassigned somewhere else.

Before her success as a celebrity chef, Child rose through the ranks of the Office of Strategic Services, which would later become the CIA. Starting out as a clerk, she was eventually promoted to a research position, developing shark repellent for underwater missions.

Child in the 1930s.Central Intelligence Agency

Later, Child was assigned to listening posts in far-off locations like China and Sri Lanka, where she recorded secret messages intercepted by the government.

In the ’20s and ’30s, Berg was nicknamed “the brainiest man in baseball.” Along with being a star player for the Dodgers, Berg was a Princeton grad who spoke 12 languages and earned four degrees, including a law degree from Columbia that he earned while playing ball.

When he was traded to the Washington Senators, Berg was recruited to spy for the U.S. government on his trips overseas. He recorded footage of Japanese military installations, and was once caught trying to sneak onto an air base.

Berg’s most dangerous mission was a fact-finding trip to Germany, where he would identify if the Nazis were close to making a working A-bomb. If they were, Berg was told to shoot the project’s head physicist Werner Heisenberg. Thankfully, he realized they were years away from building the weapon.

Keep reading to learn about more celebrity spies, including Cary Grant and Ol’ Blue Eyes himself…

WWII Veteran Breaks Down While Reading Lost Love Letter To Late Wife

A World War II veteran has been reunited with an emotional love letter he sent his late wife 70 years before they were married.

Ninety-year-old Bill Moore, wrote this tear-jerking note to Bernadean Gibson while he was serving in Europe during the second world war.

After being separated during the war, Moore knew that he wanted Gibson to be his wife.

“When you’re apart for that reason,” Moore said, “not knowing if and when you’d ever see that person again, every chance you got to communicate was just wonderful.”

Daily Mail

The couple met when she was still in high school, and when Moore returned home, he married the love of his life and they had three children together.

They remained happily together for 63 years before Gibson passed away in April 2010. After she died, Moore sold many of his possessions before moving into an assisted-care facility for veterans. This is how he believes his letter got lost.

4 Real WWII Love Stories That You Won’t Be Able To Stop Reading

When was the last time you received a handwritten letter in the mail? It’s likely been a long time now that we have the use of text, email and social media to keep us connected to our loved ones.

In the time of World War II, handwritten letters were one of the few ways for loved ones to communicate with soldiers fighting overseas. These untold stories by young lovers are ones that inspire the meaning of devotion and carrying on a relationship even if you don’t see each other for years.  

Get your tissues ready, because these stories will show you what true love is.

A letter postmarked May 1945 was discovered in a gap under the stairs while Melissa Fahy and her father were renovating their home.

It was written by a woman named Virginia to her husband, Rolf Christoffersen who was a sailor in the Norwegian Navy.

“Dearest Husband, I still have a few minutes on my lunch hour and I was dreaming about you so I thought I’d write to my favorite pin-up boy. Are you as lonesome for me as I am for you?” Virgina wrote.

“I love you Rolf, as I love the warm sun,” she continued. “That is what you are to my life, the sun about which everything else revolves for me.”

That’s when Melissa attempted to find the owners of the letter and finally deliver it.

Just a few hours after posting on Facebook, she tracked down the couple’s son in California.

The son read the letter to his 96-year-old father. Virginia had died six years previous.

Source: Global News

When Thomas was deployed overseas during WWII the couple was merely dating, but remained connected through their letters that they wrote every day.

“They were merely dating, yet they wrote each other every day for 3 years, 3 months and 4 days during the war,” said their granddaughter Meghan Coomes Hagedorn.

Their most touching letter, was one Agnes wrote on New Year’s Eve in 1943.

“The opening line was, ‘I can’t believe we didn’t see each other the entire year of 1943.’ She documented her entire New Year’s Eve that night, writing, ‘I’ll write when the bells are ringing,’ and then, ‘Happy New Year, darling, the bells are ringing, it’s 12 a.m.’ It’s like six pages long, it’s so incredible. They numbered their letters and wrote in secret code so she always knew where he was. It was very romantic,” Meghan said.

Their love and devotion to each other inspired Meghan to create her own jewelry line using replicas of the thousand of letters her grandparents exchanged.

“I only used the original letter for a few pieces of jewelry, everything else is a copy,” she says.

While Thomas died in 1999 at the age of 80, and Agnes passed away in December 2016 at the age of 94, these pieces of jewelry will have their love live through their family.

“My grandmother said, ‘I never thought anybody would care about those old letters!’ ” Hagedorn recalls. “She thought it was so neat. She got to revisit that part of her life 70 years later. It was a really special thing that we got to do together.”

Meghan’s favorite letters, are those her grandmother signed with a kiss.

“She kissed all of her letters with Revlon pink and red lipstick. The color has maintained all these years. The lipstick-kissed letters are really special because it’s like her little fingerprint, it’s so unique,” she says. “And my grandfather signed his letters with, “With an ocean of love and a kiss on every wave,’ which was really romantic.”

Source: People

The stories don’t end here, though.