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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  The Barracks (Moderators: Delmonico, Pitspitr)  |  Topic: 74 years since Normandy 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: 74 years since Normandy  (Read 1325 times)
Baltimore Ed
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« on: June 06, 2018, 05:39:06 pm »


If there is another thread about D-Day I missed it and apologize. My dad and father inlaw built Liberty ships in Baltimore during the war. I had an uncle on a destroyer escort in the Pacific, my best friends dad was in Italy but I don't know anyone who was involved in the D-Day landings. Any CAS city members have a story to tell? Those men who climbed down into those Higgins boats were real heroes especially the men in the first wave. The first 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan tells alot and as bad as it was in the film, the reality was far worse.
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Coal Creek Griff
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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2018, 06:05:06 pm »

A year or so ago, my wife and son saw a man in a store with a D-Day cap.  They spoke with him and learned that he was a medic in the first wave at Omaha.  It wasn't until later that they thought that they should have gotten his name and invited him to dinner...

Every year, we watch "The Longest Day" on this date.  Perhaps not the most accurate movie, but it helps us remember those who fought and died for our freedom.

CC Griff

PS--My only direct connection to WWII was an uncle on the destroyer USS Morris, who was killed by a kamikaze attack at Okinawa.
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2018, 06:36:36 pm »

Two Uncles were there....
Uncle Luke was with the 4th Infantry Division Artillery he went ashore on DDAY +4 and served with the 4th till Ardennes-Alsace Campaign. (Battle of the Bulge) He was awarded a Purlpe Heart. He suffered from emphysema till his death in 1966. 

Uncle Herbert (Cub) was in the Coast Guard, off shore his Cutter was part of Rescue Flotilla One. He attended to the wounded coming off the beach. Uncle Cub passed in 1996.

Both recieved the World War II Victory Medal....



* Lukes WW2 V medal.jpg (8 KB, 214x300 - viewed 33 times.)
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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2018, 09:05:03 pm »

My cousin-in-law's uncle was killed on Omaha beach, and we had a local doctor where I grew up that jumped in.
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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2018, 09:37:05 pm »

My Uncle was on a carrier in WW2.  Several of my great uncles served in the Canadian army in WW2 in Europe but I have not found out where yet.

This guy was a family friend growing up.

http://www.avanormandie.org/en/sergent-robert-bob-m-murphy-2/
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2018, 06:07:44 am »

My cousin-in-law's uncle was killed on Omaha beach, and we had a local doctor where I grew up that jumped in.
Didn't you have, like, a great uncle that was shot down in the Pacific and they just found him a couple of years ago or something?
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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2018, 10:19:02 am »

My dad was a guest of the german government at the time of DDay having been shot down on his 4th mission of second tour 56th mission overall as a gunner engineer in B-17s
Link to photo if him getting captured and brief run down on his service

http://www.301bg.com/varner_lee_v0692_301bg.cfm
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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2018, 10:53:42 am »

... as a gunner engineer in B-17s
My father-in-law helped put the B-17's that made it back to England back together
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« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2018, 11:12:41 am »

My dad was recovering from being wounded by a German machine gun at Anzio with the 109th Combat Engineers BN, 34th 'Red Bull' Infantry Division.
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« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2018, 11:47:26 am »

My Great Grandfather was in the 4th Armored Division. My grandmother was born when he was overseas, and she has a really cool memento of his; one of her baby shoes that he hung in his Sherman, with the names of each country he passed through written on the sole of the shoe. France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany. She also has his Sergeant's stripes. I need to see if I can get a copy of his service record. Unfortunately, he died in the early 50's.
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« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2018, 03:57:34 pm »

wow wonder if he knew Creighton Abrams
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« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2018, 06:09:44 pm »

My dad landed at Cherbourg France D+3 and helped rebuild the docks. He was also just outside Bastone when the Germans surrounded the town.
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« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2018, 06:47:05 pm »

My father-in-law helped put the ones that made it back to England back together
The gunners or the B-17s
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« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2018, 09:41:36 pm »

My Dad's 3 brothers were all in the Navy during WWII, I know 2 were in the Pacific, not sure about the 3rd. One was a crew member on a PBY, other I believe was an a Cruiser. Dad was the youngest, 14 when the war was over, he didn't join up until 1950. (Navy also, Aviation Ordinance on an escort carrier.)
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« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2018, 11:34:35 pm »

My father was in the Pacific with the Army during WWII.  Had an Uncle in the Army Air Corps and another Uncle who was in the thick if the fighting in the Army in Europe but he never said if he was part of the landings.  He had a framed Bronze Star and Purple heart on the wall of his house but I never did know how he earned them.  That just wasn't the kind of questions kids asked on those days.
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« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2018, 04:31:49 am »

The gunners or the B-17s
Sorry.
Yeah, that wasn't very clear, was it?

The B-17's
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« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2018, 07:43:41 am »

My uncle Elmer would tell war stories of when he was on a destroyer escort in the pacific. Said that they were in a typhoon once totally battened down. Sometimes the stern half would be in the wave and a minute later the bow half would be in the wave, you knew it because the props would speed up when they came out of the wave. Told another story about a torpedo punching into the hull where the Japanese pilot had dropped it, aiming at a bigger ship and they were in the way. Fortunately it hadn't been in the water long enough to arm itself. My best friends dad never talked about being in Italy, he was in communications so he wasn't necessarily front line but he still lost friends I'm sure.
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« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2018, 12:43:03 pm »

My father won a single lottery in his life, the first draft.  He was inducted in the fall of '40.  After basic he was assigned to an infantry company, his platoon being mostly Mississippi National Guardsmen.  He was deployed to Iceland in the late summer of 1941 and remained there until in 1943 when his unit was transferred to England as part of the build up to invasion.  He landed June 6th but I don't know which beach.  He was a transportation Master Sergeant by that time and would fill that role until March, 1945 when he had earned enough points to come home on 30 days leave.  He married my mother and was on a train headed to NYC when Germany surrendered.  He train (literally) reversed course and he was returned to Ft. Sheridan, north of Chicago.  He was told to go home and he would be advised what would happen next.  About a month later he got a discharge in the mail.

His brother was later inducted and was AAC in England.  My mother's sister was a WAVE assigned to NAS Jacksonville as base newspaper reporter.  Her brother, next in line, was a Naval Officer assigned to a DD and Atlantic convoy duty, IRRC.  Her youngest brother was too young but soon after the War joined the Navy as an Aviation Cadet and flew F-9s in Korea.  My mother worked one summer as a civilian staffer in the Pentagon; otherwise she was a school teacher.

SQQ
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« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2018, 11:51:03 pm »

So I looked up my uncle Jack and found his Obit. and this information.

"Proud WWII Army Infantry Staff Sergeant veteran in the 95th Infantry Division. "Iron Men of Metz." He was decorated Bronze Star, Purple Heart."

A quick search relieved that the 95th arrived in Europe on 10 August 1944 after D Day. 
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« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2018, 07:45:55 am »

I had a 2d cousin who was a B-17 pilot.  His ship was hit by flak and blew up over Germany, no one survived.  I had 2 uncles that made the D-Day Landing.  One said he was the first tank off of his LST.  When the ramp went down he said it looked like he was a mile off shore and he expected to drown.  When he drove off the ramp the water was about a foot deep, he said not drowning was a real disappointment.  He said he figured out someone was trying to kill him when a duce and a half next to them full of men went straight up into the sky, the wheels hung down like spider legs, then it disintegrated.

The other uncle did not talk about the landing but did talk about the hedge rows inland and the Battle of the Bulge.  He had 2 purple hearts.  He called them his German marksmanship medals.

My dad was a crew chief/flight engineer on a Martin B-26.  He spent most of the war in Del Rio, Texas.
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« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2018, 07:53:52 am »

Didn't you have, like, a great uncle that was shot down in the Pacific and they just found him a couple of years ago or something?
2nd Lieutenant Alvin (Cal) Beethe was shot down and killed in his P-38 over Germany while dive bombing a railroad bridge near Duren, on November 26, 1944.  His remains were discovered several years ago and interred at Arlington.  He was probably the major inspiration for me wanting to go into the military from about age four on.
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« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2018, 08:50:08 am »

These are extremely interesting narratives of the service of the greatest generation.
I have read each one with fascination. These were IRON men, their accounts personalizes the history.
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« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2018, 10:19:47 pm »

We were in Evansville IN last week at the NCOWS Nationals and I was reading some WWII history because of the anniversary, and the fact the Evansville is the home of one of the few remaining LSTs (LST 325 that participated in the Normandy invasion). Theodore Roosevelt's eldest son Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt III,  stormed Utah beach with his men at 56 years old! He died of a heart attack weeks later in Germany. I think I read recently that Yogi Berra, the famous NY Yankees catcher also was at Normandy.   
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« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2018, 11:23:32 pm »

I didn't know that about Yogi Berra.  Thanks!

https://www.mlb.com/news/yogi-berra-had-decorated-military-career-too/c-151195348 

CC Griff
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« Reply #24 on: June 11, 2018, 07:50:15 am »

CCG said they watched "The Longest Day" every year.  About 15 years ago I was TDY in Germany and Romania.  We had a weekend off while waiting on a Monday morning meeting with DCG-M of 1AD.  One of our S-3 Major's and I drove from Wiesbadden to Normandy.  It is a LONG drive but worth it.  The observation bunker, the Germans in the movie were looking out and first say the invasion fleet is real and it is still there.  It is near Bayoune.  The bunker is the OP for 3 152 mm guns that were on the cliffs.  They guns have never been removed after they were knocked out.  These are the guns that could shoot up and down the beaches, an American destroyer engaged them.  The pock marks from the 5 guns are still visible.  The trip was very moving.  Please excuse the spelling of the towns.  I think every snowflake in America ought to be required to go spend time in the US cemetery at the top of Omaha Beach.
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  The Barracks (Moderators: Delmonico, Pitspitr)  |  Topic: 74 years since Normandy « previous next »
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