Evoking War

“You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” ~ Leon Trotsky

Angel of Victory, Vancouver ~ Bob Ingraham Photo

Members of my extended family fought in many of America’s wars, from the Revolutionary War through the Second World War. I am a wounded veteran of the Vietnam War; I was a corpsman with the U.S. Marine Corps.

In Vietnam, I learned that war stories are never complete, and war crimes are mostly hidden. Presidents, prime ministers, and generals routinely (and perhaps necessarily) embellish their victories and minimize their losses. Combat vets know stories behind the headlines, but who listens to combat vets? Besides, contrary to popular opinion, they aren’t fighting for God and country, but just to stay alive for another day, keep their buddies alive, and avenge the deaths of their friends and comrades. In these web pages, I salute the soldiers of all wars, and bring some of their war stories, and my own, into the light.


37 Days in Vietnam chronicles my experiences as a U.S. Navy hospital corpsman early in the Vietnam War. I was badly wounded on March 5, 1966, when communist soldiers ambushed my company — Lima Company — in Operation Utah. My platoon was on point.

The War Stories of MSgt Phil Ingraham is based on an edited transcription of a memoir that Phil recorded in 1998. Soon after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, Phil joined the U.S. Army Air Corps and began a three-year odyssey as a radio repairman in the South Pacific, where he experienced hair-raising adventures and briefly became an official member of the Royal Australian Air Force.

Payday at Woodfibre records the 1943 internment of Japanese-Canadian employees of the pulp and paper mill at Woodfibre, BC as a result of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor the previous December, and the subsequent improvements in the lives of Chinese Canadians who were hired to replace them.

Sgt. Joe Hicks’ War is the award-winning story of a Royal Canadian Air Force observer whose Hampden bomber crash landed in Denmark in 1942 following a raid on Rostock, Germany. Joe’s story came to light after more than 60 years, in large part because of the discovery of a postcard that he mailed to a friend early in his training.

The Channel Islands at War, a set of web pages documenting the German occupation of the Channel Islands through postal artifacts of the prewar and wartime periods. Topics include the postage stamps used during the occupation, the internment of Channel Islanders in France and Germany, and the Red Cross Message Scheme.

Compassion in Times of War: As a U.S. Navy hospital corpsman and wounded Vietnam veteran, I developed a lifelong interest in military medicine. Compassion in Times of War is a philatelic exhibit that illustrates the evolution of military medicine in the 19th and 20th Centuries. It won a gold medal at VANPEX 2013, the annual philatelic exhibition sponsored by the British Columbia Philatelic Society.

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