Skip to comments.Heirs keeping the D-Day stories alive
Posted on 06/06/2013 1:39:15 AM PDT by Olog-hai
At the Vineland (N.J.) Veterans Memorial Home, assistant business manager William H. Palmer Jr. has a special bond with the 175 or so World War II veterans who live there. His father, Ensign William H. Palmer, was part of a secret mission during the D-Day invasion that delivered messages from the command ship Ancon to the shore during days of radio silence.
Just like Butch Maisel, a Baltimore history teacher whose father landed on D-Day, Palmer is determined to carry forth the legacy. I went to find out what my father did on D-Day, he said, and the research led him to write two books, one about the Rocket Men and the other about his fathers secret duty. I was always interested because my father told me he had almost drowned at Utah Beach.
(Excerpt) Read more at philly.com ...
I think D-Day is one of the five most defining moments of American history. In the weeks after Normandy....as they advanced across France...French women wept, French men offered wine, and French kids were stood there in awe of a bunch of unshaven tough American guys with determination written all over their faces. History shifted, because of D-Day.
It was totally in GODS hands and it worked. It gives me hope for our country today. We need GODS perfect hands again. . .
Sad that after giving so much to fight tyranny abroad, we’re all but welcoming it here at home.
Of course, not all of us, but just enough.
Nothing I love more than WW2 history. I love to hear stories from the folks who were there...how honorable and distinguished these men and women were! The greatest generation.
Seven brothers were in the service at the seven time and also my mom's two brothers.
My father's parents had watched all their sons go to war...and by God's will, they all came home.
Note: this topic is from Thursday, June 6, 2013. See the full list in the preceding reply. Extra to the Digest list. Thanks Olog-hai.
Me too. I get at least one WW2 themed calendar, book and etc as a Christmas gift each year.
Several years ago the Russians, began something called, “The Immortal Regiment”, a march on VE-Day where thousands march in the street carrying pictures and mementos of their relatives who fought during WWII.
Wish this country could adopt something like that.
Thanks for the ping!
Oddly enough, this morning, The History Channel is showing actual history.
Great D-Day program. Glad I have the day off and can watch.
My pleasure. Nearly everyone I’ve known from that generation is gone now, and it happened quickly.
What....is this one of the four days a year where the History Channel actually shows history shows? Or did they run out of fake lumberjack shows?
I, too, agree with you. But I also think you can add that to the most defining moment list for the history of the world.
Sorry, I don’t know how to transfer my “Share” from FaceBook, but there is an article about my dad in SeaBee Magazine:
Opening Omaha Beach: Ensign Karnowski and NCDU-45
“Omaha Beach, afternoon of June 6, 1944. In the background are examples of the beach obstacles which confronted the men of GAT-10. The wooden poles frequently had German Teller mines wired to them intended to impale and then detonate on the hulls of landing craft. Just forward of the poles are a few “
“Yogi Berra will be remembered by many for his light-heartedness and goofy sayings, but the Hall of Fame catcher participated in one of history’s most storied battles while still a teenager.
Seaman Second Class Lawrence P. Berra was on a rocket boat stationed off the coast of Normandy on June 6, 1944, barely three weeks after his 19th birthday. He and the other six men in the 36-foot craft provided fire support for the invasion that came to be known simply as D-Day and remained in the area for nearly two weeks after the initial landings.
As recounted last year in The Jersey Journal by his longtime friend Ed Lucas, Berra was an 18-year-old playing Class B ball in Norfolk, Va., in 1943 when his draft number was called. Rather than taking his chances in the Army, Berra enlisted in the Navy at Norfolk.
After going through basic training, the St. Louis native found a niche for himself almost by accident.
“They asked for volunteers to go on a rocket boat,” he told YES Network in 2009. “I didnt even know what a rocket boat was.”
But Berra learned how to crew the small boats, saying the hardest part was learning to handle the twin .50-caliber machine guns in heavy seas: “You ever try shooting a machine gun on a 36-footer? You could shoot yourself.”
He eventually got the hang of it, though, and found himself in the middle of the action for Operation Overlord, the invasion of Europe. The rocket boats were carried across the English Channel on a larger ship and lowered over the side before their crews jumped in. The small boats moved in close to the coastline off the beach code-named Utah and were told to be on the lookout for German planes.
“We were told to shoot anything that moved,” Berra told author Gary Bloomfield in “Duty, Honor, Victory: America’s Athletes in World War II.”
“I am not sure if he said ‘moved’ or ‘any plane below the clouds,’ but we all shot at the first plane below the clouds and we shot down one of our own planes. The pilot was mad as hell, and you could hear him swearing as he floated down in his parachute. I remember him shaking his fist and yelling, ‘If you bastards would shoot down as many of them as us, the goddamn war would be over.’”
That was a relatively light moment, but it was the exception during Berra’s time in combat. One of his boat’s crew members was killed after going on shore in France, and he witnessed numerous other deaths not to mention the damage he inflicted while manning the boat’s machine guns.
Berra and his crew also participated in Operation Dragoon, the invasion of southern France, in August 1944. He wasn’t discharged from the Navy until 1946, when he resumed his nascent baseball career.
The diminutive catcher made his big-league debut with the Yankees on Sept. 22, 1946 69 years to the day before he died Tuesday at age 90. He always remained thankful for the opportunity to live the life he did when so many of his peers never got the chance to do so.
“Im proud of it,” he told YES in 2009. “Im still alive to see it, still alive to hear about it.”
Today is the 72nd anniversary of D-Day.
My dad’s brother was killed during the Normandy invasion, near Cherbourg on 29 June, a day after that city fell to allied troops, and about a month before the “breakout.” All the Army ever told the family was that he died when his tank hit a mine. Always wanted to find out more (did he land on D-Day or come in later?, did his tank hit the mine on 29 June, or did he die of injuries he got earlier in a tank?, etc.). He was a radio operator in an infantry unit. What was he doing in a tank? So many questions.
Here it is.
Thank you so much for posting this.
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