Did you know?



Did you know the Last Verse of the Star Spangled Banner contains a tribute to God?  O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand   Between their loved home and the war’s desolation Blest with Vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!  Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just   And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.  And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!


Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.What kind of men were they?Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well-educated,but they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if
they were captured.Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home andproperties to pay his debts, and died in rags.Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and
Middleton.At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson,Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was
destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed.  The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.
John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished.
So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. It’s not much to ask for the price they paid.Remember: freedom is never free! We thank these early patriots, as well as those patriots now fighting to KEEP our freedom!I hope you will show your support by sending this to as many people as you can, please. It’s time we get the word out that patriotism is NOT a sin, and the Fourth of July has more MEANING to it than beer, fireworks, HOT DOGS, and picnics……

Washington by Paul Vickery (ORU)

To order Dr. Vickery’s book click here: http://www.amazon.com/Washington-Leadership-Generals-Paul-Vickery-ebook/dp/B004RQMCYK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398612826&sr=8-1&keywords=washington+paul+vickery

Professor of History and Interim Chair of the History, Humanities and Government Department


B.A. and M.A., Florida State
M.Div., Oral Roberts University
Ph.D., Oklahoma State University

Contact Information

phone: 918.495.6078
e-mail: pvickery@oru.edu


Academic Highlights

Exhibiting the essence of the ORU whole person–that is how Dr. Paul Vickery lives out his life. Not only has Vickery spent time learning to read Portuguese, Italian, French and Biblical Hebrew, but he puts this to practical use by entertaining and re-enacting historic events on cruise ships and in schools, during his spare time. He has been named a cruise ship “edutainer” on trips to the Caribbean and South America where he gets to educate the passengers on the history of their destination. “I really enjoy getting people excited about why things are the way they are,” Vickery says.Vickery received his B.A. in Inter-American Studies and Spanish in 1969. He went on to receive his M.A. in International Relations with a concentration in Latin American area studies, U.S. History, Government and Spanish at Florida State University. He then moved to Germany, working for counter-intelligence, while completing 30 graduate semester hours with the University of Southern California’s Overseas Extension program. He did not stop there. He lived in Sweden for a year in 1974 and graduated from Torchbearers Bible School.Dr. Vickery began teaching at a variety of different schools, eventually becoming founder and headmaster of a Christian church and academy. In the fall of 1986, Vickery came to ORU seeking healing from the ministry. He served as a teaching assistant while furthering his studies at ORU and received his Master of Divinity. He then became an instructor in the History Department and soon received his Ph.D. in history from Oklahoma State University.One of his favorite things to share is that he has been married for 44 years, having met his wife in seventh grade. They have four children and have set a strong foundation through living Spirit-filled lives. Vickery pastors two churches and speaks regularly at various conferences.Along with being academically sound and spiritually alive, Dr. Vickery is physically disciplined. Swimming is one of his favorite pastimes, and he averages 6-7 miles every week in the pool.
Educating others is one of Vickery’s delights. From teaching in the classroom to writing books, he is accomplished as an author. Bartolome de las Casa: Great Prophet of the Americas is his first book, but there will be many more to come.

Jackson: The Iron-Willed Commander



Orphan. Frontiersman. President. The rise of Andrew Jackson to the highest office in America has become a legend of leadership, perseverance, and ambition. Central to Jackson’s historic climb―long before the White House—was his military service. Scarred permanently as a child by the sword of a British soldier, Jackson grew into an unwavering leader, a general whose charisma and sheer force of personality called to mind those of George Washington a generation earlier.

As …

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 The Comparison of Lincoln and Churchill –



Operation Tiger: D-Day’s Disastrous Rehearsal

April 28, 2012 2:53 PM ET

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A disastrous rehearsal for D-Day took place on Slapton Sands in southwestern England.

A disastrous rehearsal for D-Day took place on Slapton Sands in southwestern England.

Terry Smith/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

Sixty-eight years ago today, the Allies launched a massive dress rehearsal for the invasion of Normandy — the famous D-Day landings that would happen five weeks later. But that rehearsal turned into one of the war’s biggest fiascos.

It took place on Slapton Sands, a beach in southwestern England. British historian Giles Milton wrote about the rehearsal on his blog last week.

“The beaches there are long and they’re wide, so it gave the soldiers plenty of opportunity to really experience what it was going to be like,” Milton tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz. “The beaches in the west of England are almost identical to the beaches in Normandy.”

The rehearsal was given the code name Operation Tiger. The plan: To get landing boats into the English Channel, then have them simulate a water landing on the beaches of the Devon coast. The man in charge was the great Allied commander Dwight D. Eisenhower.

“He wanted to put them out in the rough waters of the channels, have them shaken around, [exposed to] seasickness, everything else that soldiers are prone to,” Milton says.

“Then, the idea was for these ships and tank landing craft involved in this operation, to bring them up toward Slapton Sands where there was going to be shellfire and gunfire so the men would land in real battlefield conditions.”

But to ensure the safety of their men and the effectiveness of the whole exercise, Allied Command had to keep the operation a secret — even from their own men.

“They told us nothing. They told us absolutely nothing,” 91-year-old Paul Gerolstein tells NPR’s Raz. “We didn’t know anything.”

Gerolstein was a gunner’s mate, second class, on a tank landing ship called LST 515. His ship and 299 others were sent into the English Channel, and just after midnight on April 28, 1944, they started their approach toward the British shore.

An Unwelcome Surprise

But the lack of Germans on the shore belied a German presence on the water.

“A German patrol fleet is out in the English Channel,” Milton explains. “And quite by chance, it picks up on its radar this enormous flotilla of vessels, and dramatically and suddenly launches attacks on some of the easy pickings of the flotilla.”

Near the edge of the flotilla was LST 515, with Gerolstein on board.

“A flare broke over our head, over our ship,” Gerolstein remembers. “I said, ‘Oh my god, we’re gonna get it.’ And apparently we didn’t. It must have gone under us, see, because [the] LST was a flat-bottom boat. I looked to the stern and saw LST 531 or 532 get torpedoed.”

The damage was significant.

“The torpedoes tear into these vessels and literally blow them apart,” Milton says. “They all catch fire and there’s complete carnage, pandemonium. Men on fire, tanks on fire, the ships on fire. And of course, the ships starting to sink.”

Allied commanders, monitoring from London, ordered all the boats to scatter immediately, hoping to avoid any more direct hits from the Germans. But the order left hundreds of men floating in the icy waters.

Gerolstein’s commanding officer refused the order and turned his boat back, directing his men to rescue their compatriots still in the water.

“We put cargo nets over the side,” Gerolstein recalled. “I went down the cargo net to the last hole. I put my leg through one [hole] and my arm through another one. And as [the men in the water] came by, we’d grab them and pull them onto the net, and they could work their way up.”

All told, Gerolstein and the rest of the LST 515 crew managed to save 70 or 80 lives. Later, he recalled seeing the scene clearly for the first time as the sun rose over the water.

“When we got back and then the light broke, you could walk across the dead bodies in the water,” he said. “There was over 700 of them killed.”

A Second Disaster

Yet the carnage wasn’t over. Many of the ships continued on toward the beach at Slapton Sands. Eisenhower had ordered live fire to be used in the rehearsal, because he had wanted to simulate real-world conditions.

“Now, the idea was that the shelling would stop very, very shortly before the American soldiers came onshore, so that the wreckage of war would still be around,” Milton said. “The smells of war, the sounds, the shell-blasted beach would be there. But there was a terrible mixup of timings, which meant that as the American soldiers came onto the shore, the British were still shelling the beach. [This] meant the Americans came under devastating friendly fire from the British.”

Within minutes, 300 more American troops were dead. Gerolstein helped ferry some of the wounded to the hospital.

“The orders were, in the hospital, you will not ask these men anything,” he says. “You will not ask them anything, you will just take care of them.”

When the whole affair was over, close to a thousand American troops were dead.

“It’s a staggering figure,” Milton says. “All the more staggering when you realize that more people were killed in the rehearsal for the landing at Utah Beach than were killed in the actual landing at Utah Beach.” Utah Beach was one of the beaches in Normandy that Allied troops charged on D-Day.

The Lessons of Operation Tiger

For nearly 40 years, well after the end of the war, Operation Tiger remained a secret.

“Allied Command did not want the bulk of the troops about to risk their lives going over to Normandy knowing that this disaster had unfolded in the west country of England,” Milton explains.

Operation Tiger did have its benefits, however, Milton says. The Allied commanders ordered better life preservers, for one, and made sure each soldier was properly trained on its use. For another, a system was put in place to collect soldiers who were left stranded out in the water.

But perhaps the most important change was to fix the broken system of communication, Milton says.

“All the different command structures and all the different ships involved in the D-Day landings, all these radio frequencies were standardized so that this miscommunication could never happen on the big day itself.”

Five weeks after Operation Tiger, hundreds of thousands of Allied troops unloaded onto the beaches of Normandy, a decisive victory that was to be the beginning of the end of World War II.

Today, on the beaches of Slapton Sands, there remains a small memorial to the 946 men who lost their lives that April day, 68 years ago Saturday.

THE STORY OF ANGOVILLE – AU – GALIN  ~  THOUSAND YEAR OLD HOSPITAL TREATS THE  AMERICAN’S, GERMANS AND FRENCH: The story of the two 101st Airborne Screaming  Eagle medics on D-Day, June 6th, 1944. In Angoville-au-plain, a small village between Utah Beach and Carentan, two medics treated over eighty causalities – American, German and French Inside a 12th century church. Paulangovilleangelsofmercypic

The book covers these events and also the history of the village throughout WWII: Internationally recognized D-Day historical and tour guide Paul Woodage vividly tells the riveting story about Angoville-au-Plain, the French hamlet where one of the most inspirational stores from June 6th, 1944 took place.

After landing in the middle of the night, off-target and without their equipment, American medics Bob Wright and Kenneth Moore, made their separate ways to Angoville-au-Plan and established and aid station in the town church where, over three days, they treated over 80 soldiers from both sides and faced down death repeatedly.

The book reads as if Dashiell Hammett was a historian.  As Paul gives life to the men who fought there, the desperate and brave townspeople who woke  one night to fighting in their midst  and even the thousand year old church that served as the aid station and whose pews are still stained by the blood of the wounded.

In the end,  amidst the  brutal combat, Paul  has delivered a touching book about the people themselves: the men, women,  and children who made , gratefully shared, the history. 

This is an absolute must read  by itself  for the message of  humanity and the sacrifice, and is invisible for any historian trying to better understand the desperate fighting  of those early days in June 1944. 

You can buy Paul’s book here: http://www.amazon.com/Angels-Mercy-Screaming-Angoville-au-Plain-Chronicles/dp/1481934171/ref=la_B00CA67PG4_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1365533985&sr=1-1


Jewish American soldier helps to liberate WW2 death camp in Germany



2 responses

  1. My mother’s fiancée, George Bastian, was in the 41st Infantry Batttalion, 2nd Armored Division, and was killed at the Battle of the Bulge on January 12, 1945. We were wondering if you by any chance knew him. Thank you.

  2. Hi Paul,
    Sorry we can not communicate by phone. I wanted to wish you a happy Thanksging and Merry Christmas and a happy new year.
    Hope you health stays good and your message is clear. 💝Love you and miss you. Stay strong.

    Love ya,
    Mary Andel, Texas friend

    Ps how is your brother Charlie?

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