Great images of Lynn’s Mama back during the war

Says Lynn: "Here is my mother (2nd from right) dressed in a way that would have suited General Patton."

Says Lynn: “Here is my mother (2nd from right) dressed in a way that would have suited General Patton.”

This is certainly the most awesome thing you’ll see on this blog this week.

Back on Friday when I took note of the 72nd anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Bulge, mentioning my late father-in-law’s experience then and there (being deployed on the front line at the very center of the overwhelming German assault, he would be captured and spend the rest of the war in a POW camp), Lynn mentioned her mother’s experience thusly:

My mother was a nurse with the 95th General Hospital during the Battle of the Bulge, and was a member of Veterans of the B of the B until her death. She had some very sad stories, among them soldiers with terrible injuries from frostbite, along with the other wounds of war. She managed to be personally chewed out by Patton twice. Once was for not wearing a helmet, apparently a common event. The other was for being among the unit officers after they managed to get lost behind German lines for three days. I can’t imagine that anyone trusted my mother with a map. Very bright woman, hopeless with a map.

We were all glad that she shared that, and I asked her for pictures. Today, she obliged. Here’s her narration, slightly edited:

Lt. Tommie Dukes

Lt. Tommie Dukes

Just caught up with the blog and saw your request for photos. I have a few photos of my mother during the war… One [right] is a regular portrait photo that I’m pretty sure was made soon after she became an Army nurse. [Below] is one of my personal favorites — Mama and two of her friends on the Champs-Élysées the day of the parade for the liberation of Paris. A French shopkeeper came out and suggested that she might want to try on some frivolous things after all her time in uniform, and this is the result. As you can see, it is in uniform, plus. She had leave, but wasn’t actually supposed to be in Paris. She and her two friends couldn’t stand not being in the city for the big event and hitched a ride from the hospital. They tried to be inconspicuous, but a French general saw them and pushed them into the parade, so they ended up marching down the Champs-Élysées in front of the tanks.

What great stories, and even greater pictures!

Y’all know how I feel I was born in the wrong time, having missed the titanic events that shaped the world I grew up in. So now I’m jealous of Lynn’s Mom, who was There When It All Happened. (And yes, ere my antiwar friends tell me that these fun pictures are not what the war was about, I know that. I just wish I’d had the chance to Do My Bit when it truly mattered — I feel like a freeloader not having done so.)

Envious as I am, I wish I could have met her and thanked her for her service…



20 thoughts on “Great images of Lynn’s Mama back during the war

  1. Lynn Teague

    She would have loved to meet you, Brad. She lived with us the last four years of her life, and died in 2006, here at our house. She lived with us her last four years. There are many more stories of course. Another favorite is that she and a friend went out walking to gather chestnuts. A sniper started shooting at them, and they left without chestnuts. They returned a few days later when they were more confident the Germans were no longer there. No chestnuts. She realized then that the sniper could’ve killed them if he had wanted to. He didn’t, he just wanted chestnuts.

    There were terrifically sad stories of course. There was the young man who had buried so many fellow soldiers that he went mad when he heard taps. They had to put him in a straight jacket when it was time for taps because he would try to kill himself when he heard it. War is hell.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Two of the best episodes in “Band of Brothers” take place during the battle for Bastogne. The first of the two was the one I mentioned previously, in which Medic Eugene Roe meets the Belgian nurse. The episode is basically about a medic trying to make do and save lives with inadequate supplies (for those who don’t know the story, the 101st Airborne was thrown into Bastogne after the German surprise attack without supplies — no winter coats, virtually no ammunition — before getting surrounded and cut off).

      The second of the two is called “The Breaking Point.” Easy Company is in the frozen woods around Bastogne trying to survive. Their legendary commanding officer, Dick Winters, has been promoted and replaced by an utter incompetent who doesn’t give a damn about them. The German artillery barrages take a terrible toll, and some heroes you’ve come to know well in the previous six episodes are killed, suffer horrific, ticket-home wounds or crack up and have to be evacuated with battle fatigue.

      It’s probably the best episode in the series. I’ve watched it more than any other. Really makes you appreciate what they went through, and what they accomplished…

      1. Bryan Caskey

        The second of the two is called “The Breaking Point.”

        That is a great episode. We finally see how Lt. Dike does in combat, (which is not good) and Lt. Spears rushes in to relieve him, then does the thing where he runs through the Germans to link up with the other part of the unit…then runs back. And it ends in that church, where Lipton sees the men he served with slowly disappear, showing the casualties of the war thus far.

        I like “Crossroads” a lot. It’s the one early on where Winters is writing the report recalling the attack on the Germans where he leads the Company against what he thinks are slightly superior number of Germans, and then when they get into the fight, they realize there’s a whole other company of Germans also in the same area, but because Winters and Easy Company are the aggressors and have the initiative, they overpower the superior forces.

        But there’s so many great scenes. Every episode is so perfectly done. It’s like trying to pick the best scenes from The Godfather. You can’t. The whole thing is iconic.

  2. Dave Crockett

    Though not nearly so dramatic, here’s a photo of my father (then Maj. Henry H. Crockett) taken in Guadalcanal back in August 1943 according to a handwritten notation on a framed copy I inherited from him. You can find him in the photo with the legend.

    The only story I remember of his infrequent recollections of the war had to do with a bulldozer that the Marines liberated from the Japanese to repair a runway (the story as reported to a superior sometime after the war and quoted in “The Guadalcanal Campaign” with full text at, some minor typos corrected here) :

    One R 4 bulldozer — actually an angle-dozer

    iran landed by the 1st Pioneer Battalion, and the
    yeoman service performed by this lone piece of
    power equipment in the hands of one Corporal Cates,
    its skilled proprietor — no one else was allowed to
    operate it — seems worthy of a place in the record.
    Cates drove that dozer from morning til! night, he
    automatically ceased whatever lask he was perform-
    ing when condition UK I • sounded and headed for
    the airfield ready to fill bomb craters on the strip.
    He buried dead .Taps, worked the roads and prepared
    bridge hank seats, cleared the Kukum beach for
    unloading operations, pulled, tugged, and towed all
    manner of things. That lovely R 4 finally fell apart
    like the one hoss shay, never to run again, some
    time in late October.

    What the report doesn’t say (according to Dad’s retelling at home years later) is that when the ‘dozer finally gave up the ghost, the Corporal solemnly doffed off his cap and put it out of its misery by taking out his service .45 by firing one shot into the radiator.

  3. Bryan Caskey

    Lynn, those are great pictures! My father’s father was in WWII, but I don’t think he had any personal pictures from when he was over there.

    What a wonderful memory!

  4. Bart

    Simply outstanding pictures and stories Lynn. It is an honor to be able to share your memories of your Mom. Sometimes we forget about how critical the role your Mom and others like her played in WWII. She and others like her built a bridge between us and the people we liberated. Let us hope and pray the bridge will be kept intact for generations to come and we keep your Mom’s contributions and memory alive by teaching the younger generations how much they sacrificed for this great nation. They need to know more about the “Greatest Generation” and what true sacrifice and duty really mean.

    I was a little down until I clicked on the blog and read more about your Mom. Thank you again for sharing, it made and brightened my day.

  5. Kathleen

    Wonderful stories. I’ve always been amazed at how quiet most of the women in service were about their experiences, even quieter than the men. The helmet story is priceless. My father came very close to being busted once for being helmetless. Fortunately, the headquarters type general calling for his head was outranked by the general proclaiming him “my kind of officer.” I sincerely hope Lynn records,if she hasn’t already, every story she remembers.

  6. Dave Crockett

    Oh! I almost forgot!

    My Dad also was one of the few proud Marines to earn the Guadalcanal “George Medal.” Not to be confused with the George Medal awarded by Great Britain, believe me! It’s a great story (the back story at and his medal is safely stored in my safe deposit box. I remember checking on a military paraphernalia website some years ago and his, as it still has its safety pin and olive drab ribbon, is actually worth a couple of grand!

    But it is not for sale…

Comments are closed.