Skip to comments.In Memoriam - June 6, 1944
Posted on 06/01/2008 5:54:34 PM PDT by PowderMonkey
Dedicated in memory of all those who landed in Normandy June 6, 1944.
My family is with me. They wanted to come with me today. To be honest with you, Im not sure how I feel coming back here. Every day I think about what you said to me that day on the bridge. I tried to live my life the best I could. I hope that it was enough. I hope that it is in your eyes, I have earned what all of you have done for me. ---- Pvt. Ryan
In loving memory and with eternal gratitude. Thanks, Dad. Thanks, Uncle Ralph. At ease, fellas. Bravo Zulu.
Thanks for this. My Dad passed away three years and a couple of days ago.
He never talked about it...
There are not many left who remember what L.S./M.F.T. means anymore.
Right Hand Salute!
BAND OF BROTHERS!
My Dad’s brand......
Lucky Strike means fine tabacco. My Dad was in the Pacific Theater.
I know what it means (exposing my age).
My Mom was also a patriot, recruited from the coal mining camps of Appalachia to go to Richmond Virginia at the tender age of 17. She was a “Rosie the Riveter,” only she was a welder, welded ship hulls during WWII.
And the girls then wrote to every GI they met after the guys went overseas. My Mom wrote to several, it was a patriotic duty then to do so.
Take a silly hillbilly girl from the mountains of Appalachia and send her to a city during WWII, to contribute to the War Effort, and you get catasprophe (sp).
Mom danced to Benny Goodman’s band, and lots of others, in the ballrooms in Richmond. Her claim to fame was having three ballroom gowns and shoes to match (from a coal mining camp and lucky to get shoes).
But she spent all her free time writing letters to the soldiers she danced with. The YWCA recruited these gals from the coal mining camps and across the U.S. So these gals weres safe, spent all their time writing letters.
God Bless your mom and all those who worked on the homefront and supported - truly supported - the troops overseas.
All those that took the beaches on D-Day could have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. They could have been handed out like Chicklets. There was so many stories on untold heroism that day. Everyone that survived that hell hole and are alive today deserve all the respect that can be given. What they did that day and in the days following changed the course of history and we are reaping the benifits of their sacrifice and efforts. God bless each and everyone of them.
Well said and it bears repeating. God bless and thank you with all of my heart.
My dad would never talk about the war. I was born in 1942, while he was stationed here. He told me that he went to visit his father at the VA hospital in Westwood, California to tell him about my birth and when he got home, his dad had died. My grandfather had served with Teddy Roosevelt in the Spanish-American War. May they both rest in peace, Dear Lord!
My Dad was in D-Day +8. He served in the battle of St. Lo and in the Battle of the Bulge. He lost his best friend in the war, but never talked much about it. He was like all the great men who served—he was just doing his duty. They were truly the greatest generation.
God bless all of these great heroes and the Moms on the homefront that kept their hope alive. When they came back, God blessed them with many children and I am one of them.
Day of Days.
Yea, when I listen to my little grey haired (82 years old) Mom today, all these decades later, she still tells her stories of WWII and being the second best welder at Richmond shipyard with great pride.
I have B&W pics of a little teenaged girl in her coveralls from this period. It’s hard for me to imagine that is her.
She also had two brothers in WWII, one in the Navy and one Army. The uncle in the Army was career, did time in WWII, Korea and Vietnam.
I used to be at Grandma’s house (their Mom) and would pull out the boxes of pictures she had. She had a black and white snapshot of Mussolini and his mistress laying on the ground with nooses around their necks. I am not kidding.
I asked her once who it was (it was a gruesome photo). She just said her son sent it to her, and she knew it was Mussolini. I suspect he bought it off an Italian after the Allied forces went into there.
“hehehe My Mom left the hills of Western Tenn with he Sister to work in a Naval Ammunition factory. All the same things she did and experienced as well.”
Well, SandRat, we east Tennesseans don’t call them hills, but refer to them little bumps over in west Tennessee as “rolling landscape.”
But I fish over there a lot (Kentucky Lake) and I can tell you, those folks are the salt of the earth, some of the finest. So, I can see your Mama marching off to the “War on the Front” here.
God, we sure need some more Americans like these were. I just hung up the phone from my friend who used my oven to bake a LOT of cookies and banana bread to send to Afghanistan.
She is in Nashville now, and kept me on the phone a LONG time. She’s a lot younger than me.
We have been talking about the outstanding men in far away places defending us, she happens to be in love with one of them.
I have tried to explain to her that we also have to fight this war here in the U.S. Our efforts are important too.
Our mission is the same as my Mom’s and your Mom’s. But the tactics differ from those days. We have to WRITE our congressmen and women, hold their soft little spoiled feet to the fire, and RAISE HELL with them.
I do this, aggravate the *** out my elected officials, threaten to organize parties to go door to door to educate the masses here about their voting history. I also went to the first Gathering of Eagles counter march in D.C. in March 2007.
SHucks, she wants to go to a Code Pinko counter demonstration now. Education is a major weapon. We dang sure won’t learn the facts/truth from the MSM.
Thank the Lord for the Internet. There’s a lot more patriots than idjotits (deliberate misppelled) in this country, and a free flow of information is vital to freedom.
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What a wonderful post, thanks!
my mother-in-law (nice lady, went to Heaven in ‘85) worked in a parachute factory during the war. came from the hills/mining areas of w. kentucky - madisonville/hopkinsville/earlington area (barnsley, unincorporated!)
highway 41, if i recall.
wife had vacations to kentucky lake as a kid.
we often wonder if we could muster the teamwork today they showed back then...
You are welcome.
My parents grew up during the Great Depression, knew what it was to do without comforts. When WWII came along they all did what they had to do to help the War Effort.
It’s easy to believe we have lost that in this country, but that’s not so. Look at the young men and women who joined the military after 9/11, the ones currently in Iraq and Afghanistan.
And I amazed at the number of young folks I know who are very conservative.
It was my generation that really messed things up. And if you take a good look at the ones at anti war protests today, you’ll see it’s my generation. And the enemies in Congress — mostly my generation.
I have spent a lot of time in the area where your MIL grew up. The people there are extra special, and most very patriotic. Both my grandfathers were coal miners, one working in Harlan County, KY, the other in southwest Virginia, during WWII.
Both were recruited from the coal mines to work in a secret government project known as the Manhatten Project. Their contributions changed the world, and their (and their children’s)lives.
I attended the funeral last week of a dear friend/fishing partner who won a Silver Star in the pacific in WWII. It is so sad to lose this great generation, and we need to tell their stories as often as possible.
My dad also landed in France on D-Day.He lasted about a month
before getting hit with a tree burst that killed 9 men that were close
to him.When the medics came by they found dad and couldn`t believe
he was still alive.He had a scar from his right shoulder to below his
left hip,also lost about two inches from his left leg.He would set off
metal detectors he had so much metal in him.Those splinters would
come out all the time and mom would pick them out
Dad met my mom while the Army was doing maneuvers here in mid-Tn.
They got married in a VA Hospital.
He later lost an arm to a hay baler and spent a year a half in the VA again
The same Dr that worked on dad in France saved him again here in Tn
Dad was a hero,he never gave up in spite of all that pain he went through
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”
The young man pictured at the start of this thread is my Uncle Ralph. I've never found his grave.
I have been reminded of your post all day, as I have spent the entire day researching the 81st Wildcat Division (Company F) and their battles on Angaur Island in WWII. This is a challenge for me, as I am on dialup, and websites with graphics freeze my computer Grrrrr!!!!
That’s where my friend and fishing buddy (who died on Memorial Day at the age of 85) received his Silver Star for his heroic efforts on Sept. 23, 1944.
I write a monthly column for a regional magazine, and have a deadline for a column now. I am writing this one about the man who changed my life on fishing trips, and performed with exceptional gallantry as a sharpshooter one fateful day on an island far from his Tennessee home.
What a day!!! I think I have shed more tears reading this material today than I did last week during his funeral.
I am looking for some great quotes about Angaur to use in my column, and have found these harder to come by.
One thing I have learned today, we owe all of our veterans respect, and need to tell their stories every chance we can.
I have come across some great reunion sites today. Some of the personal posts by relatives looking for info on their loved ones killed on foreign soil are very moving.
God Bless your uncle. I have bookmarked lots of sites today and if you freepmail me info on your uncle I will share any I think might help you relocate his gravesite.
http://www.stitchershideaway.com/html/a-c.html and lots more.
AAGARD, Eugene J. 81st Division, 322nd Regiment. He was a Technical Sergeant when he was wounded on Anguar. He was eventually promoted to First Sergeant. He was the recipient of the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. He resides in Levan. UT. http://www.stitchershideaway.com/html/a-c.html
ABREU, Joseph F. Abreu. 81st “Wildcat” Division. Lives in Massachusetts. Family contact: email@example.com
ASHLEY, Irvan H., Pvt. 81st Infantry, Company 323rd, deceased.
* BAILEY, Galen F., Tech Sergeant, 81st Infantry Division (Wildcats), 323rd Regiment, 1st Bn, Company I, 1st Platoon. Fought at Ulithi, Anguar, and Peleliu. Was severely WIA by Mortar fire on “Bloody Nose Ridge” at 4:00 PM on Oct. 28, 1944. He was awarded a full Athletic Scholarship as a Punter & Fullback to PENN STATE University, playing several seasons prior to entering the Service at the begining of the War. As of 2001 he is 82 years old and resides at RR#6,Towanda PA.18848. Family contact: Son Gary Bailey firstname.lastname@example.org
* BATES, W.A. 81st Infantry Division (”Wildcats”), 321st Regiment (U.S. Army). Wounded at Peleliu by a Japanese bayonet to the leg. He was sent to Guadalcanal to recuperate. He was awarded the Purple Heart, which his grandson James now possesses. He survived the war but is now deceased. His grandson may be contacted by email: email@example.com
BAYER, Arthur A., Pvt, 81st Infantry Division. After WW II, Arthur returned to Chicago, IL. He enjoyed life with family and friends, and maintained an upbeat attitude despite a battle with throat cancer. He died at the Illinois Soldiers and Sailors Home in Quincy, IL in 1986. My family will always remember Arthur as a devoted brother and uncle. If you knew Arthur, please contact me at your earliest convenience. My name is William Carey and I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
BEECHINOR, Robert Michael Jr., Major, US Army, Battallion XO, 2nd Battallion, 323rd Infantry Regiment, 81st Infantry (Wildcats) Division. Earned Bronze Star and CIB on Peleliu. Also engaged in action on Guadacanal, Tinian, Leyte, and Saipan. Retired from active duty as Colonel in 1964 (IG 4th Army, Ft. Sam Houston, Texas). Died of natural causes, October 3rd, 1997. Please contact his sons at email@example.com if you remember serving with him.
BENGTSSON, Charles Lewis. 81st Infantry Division, U.S. Army. Chuck was in the 154th Combat Engineers Bn., which cleared a landing strip for bombers on the small island of Anguar in the Palau group. While there, they were sent to assist Marines in their invasion of Pelelieu. After R & R in New Caledonia, his group was sent to the Philippine Islands, and then from there, they were headed to Japan when the A-bomb was dropped. After that, they were sent to Northern Japan. Chuck finished his service there, and returned to California in 1946. Chuck was drafted right out of high school. As of 10/99 Chuck is 75 years old and is in good health. He may be reached by email at Vbengtsson@aol.com
* BERKOWITZ, Irvin. PFC - 81st Division, 323rd Regiment. He was WIA on Peleliu on 10/23/44. The only info he ever relayed of his experience was that he was WIA by “friendly (mortar) fire” and that he was the only man to survive this incident out of 12 men. I believe he was an ammo bearer and was WIA on a “hill”. He was also the recipient of the Bronze Medal. He passed away in 1993 and I am searching for any info about his experience, or the experiences of the 323rd. Anyone with info, please respond to his grandson at firstname.lastname@example.org
+ BLAIR, Samuel “Buddy” Sylvester, PFC. 81st Infantry, 321st, Company B. He was from Kansas. Buddy was with five other men when an enemy grenade landed among them. Buddy kicked the grenade, saving the others, but received a mortal shrapnel wound to the head. He was awarded the Silver Star posthumously. Buddy was just 18 years old.
Thanks Uncle Bill (RIP).
LOL, I think I read this today, was on this site, which I bookmarked.
We think alike.
I’ll NEVER get my column written if I keep reading these interesting accounts of those who served there. I’ve had quite a history crash course today.
I tried to get Delbert to tell me about his experiences, and he did, little by little, tell me stories while we were fishing. The last couple of years he couldn’t talk about it without getting choked up.
He told me about the radio operator who was killed (he couldn’t remember his name, but could the details of the incident). He also told me about his Lt., who was strapped in a tree so he could fire a big gun from an elevated position, then was shot dead. Delbert really got choked up talking about this, so I didn’t push him for details. I wish now I had of asked more, as I want to honor his sacrifice with written words, but really need to get my facts straight and make sure I can connect any statements with factual history.
I have a copy of his citation for the Silver Star (dated Dec. 29, 1944) on my desk as I type this. It is signed by Lt. Col., A.G.D., Adjutant General, Wesley U. Moran.
Delbert was an assistant squad leader when he made the decision to (with two others) cross the open terrain in the firefight and kill an enemy machine gun crew.
After reading today some of the details of those days on Angaur, I realize, more than ever, what a great man he was, and what horrors those men endured in battle.
Not being military myself, some of the reading was confusing today.
I read lots of references to the 321d Infantry, the 323d Infantry.
Delbert was it the 322d Infantry. I’ve searched for the difference, and actual references to the 322, with little success.
Not sure what the difference is in these divisions. Guess I need to go back and search some more on this, on military specifics (another several hours on dialup).
My deadline is looming so I might have to let that one go, but I am curious. If you have time, would appreciate a short summery of what the difference is between these (thanks in advance, bowing in your honor for helping me out).
A great and noble undertaking indeed. With the profound and enduring thanks from a grateful nation, God bless each and everyone one of you, gentlemen. You will never be forgotten.
Great post !
REAGAN’s speech at “La pointe du Hoc” for the 40th aniversary of the D-DAY :
He was not bitter at all or dramatic. Only once did he actually almost cry. Before the invasion he, was at Christchurch England and he said (working on aircraft) that crews would wait out on the tarmac for planes to return from their flight into occupied areas. Once crews returned, the men could go to mess. He said it was sad to sit there in the mess and see guys still sitting out on the tarmac waiting for thei long overdue crews that everyone knew would not return. People had to go out and get them, and make them come in and give up the wait.
He had lots of stories ... small snippets really, just like that. I feel like I got to know him a lot better when he talked about those things. I miss him.
Wow, that would be sad, to see those guys waiting on the tarmac for others that wouldn’t be coming back.
Those men saw so much horror, yet they came home and lived regular lives after the war.
Just saw another report on TV about the youngest Medal of Honor winner (from WWII) passing.
My friend didn’t talk about Anaur until right he died either, then he would get a little choked up.
Aren’t we lucky to know these men, and to have them share these experiences with us? It is sad to see them go.
I can’t believe I mispelled all those words, but then again I can.
I shouldn’t be up this late.
I am up so late because (yea like I need an excuse) I have been talking to a friend from where I was reared. We are planning on having a “Reunion,” more like a survivor’s get together next month. A bunch of crazy women, who have not seen each other since we were 15 years old.
God I need help. Anybody know where I can find any BOTOX?
Just found out my best friend growing up has invited all the old crowd, a bunch of kids who grew up next to a BIG artillary base during the Vietnam war.
We got into WAY too much trouble in that environment, and this reunion is one for the ones who survived (you would be surpised how many didn’t, I barely did).
I have a friend in England who was married to an RAF Col. during WWII. She is a trip, comes to visit me once every 10 years or so and orders me around like she is a general or something. But I love her, can handle her.
Next month, we are going to Louisiana to visit relatives, and I plan to bring my hubby’s older sister home with me for a week, She was married to an Army Col., who died many years ago. She was a U.S. Army nurse during WWII, when “girls” didn’t join the military.
Their Dad, a WWI vet, told her she couldn’t go in the military, good girls didn’t do such a thing.
She told him she was, and that was that.
I can’t wait to spend some quality time with her (she is 84 years old now). For some reason, she really likes me, and I am going to take her for a day ride through the Smokies, spend some time with her nobody else cares or wants to. She is a walking history book, and maybe that’s why she likes me so much, because I LOVE hearing history firsthand.
” . . . and a redheaded Irish nurse he met.”
You know, that’s what really separates the men from the boys.
The ones who were, ummm, the real thing, didn’t brag about it. The ones who spent their time bragging, were not really what they claimed, and bragged to make up for it.
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