Issue No. 29 - Special Issue - Veterans Day
November 8, 2019
Brothers in Arms
Throughout History to the Present
Honoring Ukrainian-American Veterans in US Battles & Ukraine's Veterans in all U.S. Peace Missions
Ukrainian - American
Veterans in U.S. Battles
Ukraine's Veterans in all U.S. Peace Missions
U.S. Civil War
Gen. John B. Turchin was born Ivan V. Turchinov. He went to study military science in Germany and England before he came to the United States with his wife, Nadia. When the Civil War broke out, Turchin volunteered to serve for the Union and was made a colonel on June 22, 1861. During the war he was known as the "Terrible Kozak." He was promoted to a rank of brigadier general, and, as such, commanded a cavalry brigade at the Battle of Chicamagua.
Middle East
More than 5,000 Ukrainian troops have served in Iraq during Ukraine's five years of service in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The Ukrainians served as the third-largest Coalition forces contingent in Iraq, with about 1,700 soldiers from 2003-2005.
Spanish American War
With the immigration of large numbers of Ukrainians to the US in the 1890s, several dozen Ukrainians enlisted in the US Army in 1898 during the Spanish American War. They were largely from Pennsylvania and all had been born in Ukraine. Their service was brief but significant to our history.
The Balkans
In particular, the Ukrainian contingents have been deployed for combat missions in former Yugoslavia. The second biggest Ukrainian peacekeeping contingent consisting of 40 military engineers is currently deployed to Kosovo (having been kept there since 1999).
Iwo Jima
Large numbers of Ukrainian-Americans participated in World War II. Most were born in the US. Estimates are as many as 200,000 of who served during the war. A number served as officers. For the first time as well, Ukrainian-American women entered military service as well. Perhaps the most widely recognizable portrait of Ukrainian-American service during World War II is that of Michael Strank.

Strank, a son of Ukrainian immigrants, is remembered as more than just a soldier, however. A short walk away from where he is buried (Section 12, Grave 7179), the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial depicts him as one of six men who iconically raised the American flag at the top of a rugged Mount Suribiachi on Iwo Jima, on February 23rd, 1945.
Africa
Among the locations around the world where Ukrainian veterans have served, include Africa, namely Angola, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Liberia and Ivory Coast.
Sgt. Maj. John Bodnar,  
recipient of the Silver Star
was a Ukrainian-American
born in Coatsville, PA.
 
Veteran Was One of Only Four U.S. Marines that Held-off Nazi Forces in Europe During World War II
On Aug. 1, 1944, less than two months after D-Day, Marine Maj. Peter J. Ortiz, five other Marines, and an Army Air Corps officer parachuted into France to assist a few hundred French resistance fighters known as the Maquis in their fight against the Germans. Ortiz had already worked and trained with the Maquis in occupied France from Jan. to May 1944.
The mission, Operation Union II, faced a rough start. Due to the danger of the Marines being spotted or drifting away from the drop zone, the jump was conducted at low altitudes.
 
"Because of the limitations, we had to make this jump at 400 feet," said Sgt. Maj. John Bodnar in a  Marines.com  interview. "As soon as we were out of the aircraft our chutes opened and the next thing I remember is I was on the ground."
 
One Marine's parachute, that of Sgt. Charles Perry, failed to open. At such low altitudes, using a reserve wasn't an option, and Perry was killed when he hit the drop zone. Another Marine was injured too badly to continue. The four Marines able to perform the mission were Ortiz, Sgt. Jack Risler, Sgt. Fred Brunner, and Bodnar who was also a sergeant at the time.
 
The Marines, some of the only ones to serve in the European theater in World War II, would make good use of the personnel they had. First, they  recovered 864 supply crates  of weapons and ammunition that were dropped after the men parachuted in. Then, they linked up with the Maquis and began training the resistance fighters.

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We Were Soldiers
Perhaps, the most famous Ukrainian-American who served in Vietnam was MAJ Myron Diduryk of Somerville, NJ. As a captain he commanded Company B, 2d Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division in 1965 in South Vietnam. During the Battle of the Ia Drang in November 1965, he played a key role in defending his position against several thousand NVA infantrymen. His brilliant defense is described in the book We Were Soldiers Once and Young . MAJ Diduryk is also mentioned in the Mel Gibson film We Were Soldiers . MAJ Diduryk was killed in action later in the war. On the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC are etched dozens of Ukrainian names. 
MG Nicholas S. H. Krawciw
Many Ukrainian Americans have served in the United States’ Armed Forces, and one outstanding example is Major General Nicholas S. H. Krawciw.  

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