Three WWII Battles That Influenced the U.S.

When German leader Adolf Hitler signed a nonaggression pact with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, Great Britain and France became uneasy. On September 1, 1939, Hitler invaded Poland, and unrest turned into a declaration of war. America joined this war just two years later after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

World War II was one of the most shattering wars our earth has seen. Over a six-year period, it devastated millions and changed the course of entire countries.

This period was a time when America took a stand in the world. Comrades faced fear and death together, and war made another powerful and brutal stamp in the history books.

During World War II, numerous battles erupted worldwide, each with its own significance. Let’s take a look at three WWII battles that were particularly influential for the U.S.

The Battle of Midway (June 4-7, 1942)

Six months after the Pearl Harbor attack, the U.S. entered a four-day naval battle with Japan.

The Imperial Japanese Navy had already damaged the U.S. Navy during Pearl Harbor and the Battle of the Coral Sea. They planned an attack on Midway to conquer more land, stop the U.S. Navy, and assert Japanese dominance in the Pacific. The U.S. had other plans, however.

American intelligence broke the code used by the Japanese navy, and they found out when and where the Japanese were planning to attack. The Americans assembled three aircraft carriers (the Enterprise, the Hornet, and the repaired Yorktown) to meet Japanese ships.

While U.S. torpedo bombers held Japan’s attention, dive-bombers finally arrived and attacked the Japanese carriers. The Japanese withdrew, marking a victory for the U.S.

While lives were lost, the U.S. triumphed overall. This battle reduced the sweeping invasion the Japanese planned. In addition, it raised U.S. morale after receiving such a great wound at Pearl Harbor.

The Battle of Guadalcanal (August 7, 1942-February 9, 1943)

In June of 1942, the Japanese chose the Solomon Islands’ Guadalcanal as a site for an air base. That August, U.S. Marines sprung a surprise attack on the Japanese.

Forces clashed on land and in the sea in an intense battle that lasted six months. The U.S. Marines, Infantry, and Navy fought to remove the Japanese from the island and prevent potential threats to Australia nearby.

At one point, the U.S. Navy planned to withdraw their forces when the Japanese Navy attacked them by surprise. With one Australian cruiser and three American cruisers sunk, the U.S. Navy decided they needed to leave quickly. The U.S. Marines were left alone to protect the island.

Month after month, Japanese forces attacked the marines to secure the island, but the marines fought with determination. In February, the Japanese finally withdrew from Guadalcanal.

This battle was a major turning point for the Allied Forces, particularly for the U.S. This fierce yet fruitful clash also brought with it a psychological turning point for the Allies. Japan’s advantage was diminished. The U.S. and her allies had switched from defense to offense, and were succeeding.

Operation Overlord, the Battle of Normandy (June 6Â -July 24, 1944)

On June 6, 1944 (D-Day), approximately 156,000 Allied Forces stormed five beaches along Normandy, France. In a gruesome battle, the American, British, and Canadian troops were able to secure the beaches in a week.

Paratroopers and glider troopers took over bridges and exit routes, so thousands more troops, vehicles, and tons of equipment could enter Normandy.

By August, over three million Allied troops were in France. The German Army had to retreat and pull needed reinforcements from the Eastern and Italian fronts. This brought weak points and delays in their defense. With Paris liberated from German control, the Allies soon pushed the Germans out of northwestern France.

Operation Overlord succeeded.

D-Day and the following weeks carried apprehension for both soldiers and citizens. Its acts of courage brought hope for the end of a prolonged and horrific war. Because of this great victory, the Allies could enter Germany from the west while Soviets entered from the east. And WWII would eventually come to an end.


Each of WWII’s many battles were important. Throughout its involvement, the United States saw heartbreak, terror, determination, and massive growth.

These three battles were noteworthy for the U.S. because they signify key traits America demonstrated-resilience, sacrifice, and immense courage. With these qualities and many human lives, WWII finally ceased.

Whether you or a loved one fought during WWII, or whether you’re too young to remember its events, it’s important to remember this war and honor those who fought so bravely.

Ted’s Talk March ’15

2015 will mark the hotel industry’s best year ever in terms of occupancy. We are in a seller’s market that is projected to last through 2020. A recent article in Successful Meetings by Tim Brown is one that hits the mark, telling how hotels are finding ways to expand profits through a host of added fees – beyond the main profit centers of Sleeping Room and Food & Beverage revenue. As Brown suggests, groups need to customize hotel contracts to keep rates and expenses in check. Military reunions are ‘special needs’ groups. Band together with AFR and your group’s special needs will be more than met.

In today’s seller’s market groups large and small need professional help to negotiate the best possible deal. It’s now easy for small groups that take advantage of the pre-negotiated BMR Hotel Contract, but negotiating with major hotel chains can be tricky for larger groups. Armed Forces Reunions’ network of reunion-friendly hotels will help groups navigate the next five years of expanding hotel rates and fees.

In February’s newsletter I discussed dealing with Room Attrition. Let’s take a look at Food & Beverage. Be conservative with expected numbers at meal functions, as F&B Minimums (the dollar amount your group must spend) are based on these numbers. Never calculate cash bar sales into the Minimum – only the meals. The F&B Minimum is based on the meal’s base cost, before service charge and tax are added. Put a lower than expected number in the Function Agenda – as long as the space a hotel reserves is adequate to handle your hoped-for numbers. If you plan for a head table and color guard aisle, guesstimate how many people a meeting room can handle by multiplying the total square footage by .06. Also, always get meeting room names listed in the contract’s Function Agenda, to ensure you have the space to meet your needs. Don’t assume that the function space a hotel assigns is adequate to meet your needs. Sales Managers may book meeting rooms according to a hotel’s Capacity Chart estimates – which do not take into account head tables, aisles, AV equipment, stages, or dance floors. My best advice is to get a professional on your side to make sure your needs are met.

Ted Dey, Founder

Call or email today for more information – or 800-562-7226

Meet LtGen Lawrence Snowden, USMC (Ret)

Lt. Gen. Lawrence F. Snowden USMC
Senior Ranking Survivor from Battle of Iwo Jima on 70th Anniversary
Immortalized in Joe Rosenthal’s photo of five U.S. Marines and a Navy hospital corpsman hoisting the American Flag on Mount Suribachi, the battle for Iwo Jima remains one of the most iconic and bloody fights of World War II. February 19, 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the start of the five-week struggle. Lt. Gen. Lawrence F. Snowden USMC (Ret.) was a 23-year-old Captain and commander of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division. He was among the first waves of Marines going in and today is the most senior ranking survivor.
“The fighting was fierce and there was tremendous carnage on both sides, but it was for a very important strategic need,” said Snowden, 93, who lives in Tallahassee, FL. “Iwo provided the proximity for our new B-29 bombers to reach mainland Japan. It also became crucial for emergency landings of 2,400 of the planes. Of key importance was that it marked the first capture of Japanese homeland and the psychological impact on them was tremendous.”
Iwo Jima was the largest Marine amphibious operation of the war, and the costs of victory were extremely high. With nearly 27,000 Marine and 23,000 Japanese casualties, it was the only battle of the war where the Marines suffered more losses than the Japanese. The struggle was described as “being something out of Dante’s Inferno” in Hyper War: Closing In: Marines in the Seizure of Iwo Jima by Col. Joseph H. Alexander, USMC (Ret.).

In 1950 Snowden helped create the Marine Corps Development Center in Quantico, which charted operations and concept development for the future. He served as a Major and Battalion Executive in the Korean War, and in Vietnam he commanded the 7th Marine Regiment. “We did a lot of anti-Viet Cong missions, chasing guys who were farmers in the daytime and Viet Cong at night” Snowden said. “It was pretty horrific; we lost a lot of arms and legs because of their trip wires. Now we call them IEDs.”

Snowden received five Legion of Merit awards over his thirty-seven years of service, two for combat. He was Chief of Staff of U.S. Forces in Japan from the early to mid-1970s. He was promoted to Lieutenant General on 1 September 1975 when he assumed the billet as the Marine Corps Operational Deputy to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He received a second Distinguished Service Medal for his service as Chief of Staff and retired in 1979.

Snowden will play a big part in two upcoming events to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Iwo Jima. He and other battle veterans, families, friends and dignitaries will gather for the anniversary of the Iwo Jima Association of America’s Reunion and Symposium in Washington D.C. from Feb. 18 – 22. On Feb. 19 there will be a memorial service and a wreath laying ceremony at the WWII Monument and the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington. The reunion will feature a wide range of activities and speakers, including U.S. government officials and the Ambassador of Japan. Snowden will be a moderator for many of the symposiums. The reunion is being managed by Armed Forces Reunions, parent company of, which has managed many reunions for the association and other military organizations Snowden is a member of.

“Armed Forces Reunions does a very good job of organizing and administering the events; they have a lot experience,” Snowden said. “This will be a very important gathering, with media from around the world.”
The annual Reunion of Honor, a gathering of Iwo Jima veterans from the U.S. and their Japanese counterparts, will be held on Iwo Jima and Guam March 16-23. Founded by Snowden in 1995, the event draws hundreds of veterans, families, and officials from both countries. The idea for the reunion came to Snowden while visiting Japan during the Korean War and meeting former Japanese soldiers. It was the start of an attitude transformation for him and ultimately became a platform for a new understanding between the former enemies.

“I changed my mind in Korea about who our enemies were,” he said. Forty years after the battle, Snowden and other veterans of the struggle decided to visit the island. On the 50th anniversary in 1995 he and the group officially established The Reunion of Honor. “We didn’t and don’t go to Iwo Jima to celebrate victory, but for the solemn purpose to pay tribute to and honor those who lost their lives on both sides,” Snowden said. “It is a real alliance between the two countries. What I hope is that everyone understands that enemies can become friends, and that there is no more important bilateral relationship than between the U.S. and Japan.”

Scott McCaskey is a contributing writer for, Account Director at Goldman & Associates Public Relations and former staff writer for the Virginian-Pilot newspaper.

New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year! Reunion chairmen, resolve this year to:
• Seek the path of least resistance, get the best deal for your group at the most reunion-friendly hotels in the country – with no risk to your group!
• Push the easy button to find hotels that respect veterans and offer great room rates, tailored banquet menus, attrition-free contracts, and complimentary items you demand.
• Work with hotels that have earned a reunion-friendly reputation through years of dedicated service to military reunions.
• Resolve to meet in top reunion destinations where tourism professionals understand, value, and seek your business.
Contact AFR and your New Year’s Resolutions will be fulfilled!
Henry Ford once said “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” The reunion market is mostly a collection of smaller groups, each working to provide its members a valuable experience. The core principle of AFR’s new division (BMR) is to harness the power of many to the benefit of each. In the coming months we will present hotel deals to be found only through BMR, with tailored incentives offered by BMR Star Hotels. These are hotels that understand and appreciate your business. Armed Forces Reunions’ twenty-seven years of hotel contracting experience will bring your reunion unmatched savings and opportunities.
Over the years we have funneled thousands of reunions into the nation’s top reunion destinations. This past month saw a flurry of bookings in San Antonio: C123’s in S.E.A, ANGLICO Assn., Korean War Recon Marines, Wheelus Air Base Reunion, Pilot Classes of WWII, and the USS Los Angeles CA-135. Bookings have been plentiful in Branson, New Orleans, Dayton, San Diego, D.C., Va. Beach, Norfolk, Nashville, Charleston, and other top destinations. The record for bookings in one city in a single year was D.C. in 2005 with 18 reunions – the year after the WWII Memorial opened. Contracting on such a massive scale allows BMR to provide your group with valuable savings and the protection of our very own BookMyReunion Hotel Contract – the industry’s only contract written for reunions and accepted by major hotel brands nationwide.
Contact us today to discover how AFR can make your New Year’s Resolutions come true!

1-800-562-7226 or

Year After Year Washington D.C. is the Most Popular Reunion Destination!

Every year seems to be huge for AFR in the nation’s capital.  For years we’ve been the acknowledged leader in planning unforgettable reunions and government conferences in D.C.  We have hosted as many as twenty-three reunions in a single year, varying in size from 50 to 2,000 attendees.

Popa Smoke FlyoverA few of the hugely successful events we’ve planned include the 50th anniversary of the Korean War for KWVA, the 65th anniversary for the Iwo Jima Association of America, reunions for The Chosin Few and USMC Combat Helicopter Association, and in 2012 we’ll be planning the 100th anniversary of Marine Corps Aviation – to be headquartered at the Gaylord National Harbor.  This year we’ll be planning reunions for the 1st Marine Division Association and the USS Ticonderoga Veterans Association, among others. Whether visiting 8th & I for the Marine Parade or the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, conducting memorial services at the Navy Memorial or the Wall, whether viewing the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown or an evening performance of the political satire “Capitol Steps,” AFR can make it happen for your group.

If you want to visit Washington D.C. and would like the ultimate in personal attention along with the lowest room rates to be found please give us a call.  Get a professional on your side and walk the red carpet with AFR!

 303rd-Bomb Group WWII