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A Gracious and Memorable Tribute, Part II
In September of 2019, I returned to France for a celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Luneville, the dedication of a monument in the heart of the Foret de Parroy, and a ceremony in the town center of Fremonville for my Grandfather and the fighting men of the 79th Infantry Division. On this trip, I had the pleasure of taking my youngest daughter, Lily, and it was an experience that she will never forget. Neither will I forget the memory of her at her great-grandfather's grave as she spoke to him in hushed whispers, with tears in her eyes. This is that story. View Feature

A Gracious and Memorable Tribute
The summer of 2010 had me returning to France with my brother Curtis, to place a card for our mother, and to participate in a number of memorials and tributes. These included the 66th Anniversary of the Liberation of Luneville), a moving tribute in the Foret de Parroy to the recently discovered remains of fallen soldiers of the 90th Division, 773rd Tank Destroyer Battalion, a dedication at Ancerviller to the 315th Infantry Regiment, and an emotional ceremony and memorial to the 314th Infantry Regiment and a dedication to my grandfather. View Feature

The Battle for the Foret de Parroy, 25 September -21 October 1944
The thickly wooded Parroy Forest proved to be a major obstacle in the path toward the Vosges mountain barrier and the Saverne Gap. While the 79th Infantry Division and XV Corps artillery gradually wrested the Parroy Forest from elements of the German 11th Panzer and 15th Panzer-Grenadier Divisions and later, the 553rd Volks-Grenadier Division, the intense combat in this sector caused more than two thousand casualties in the division in less than a month, more than it had seen in any other single battles to date. View Featured

In My Grandfather's Boots: From Utah Beach to Epinal
In August of 2009, I had the rare opportunity to walk where my Grandfather, and countless others walked. From the landing beaches of D-day, following the path of the 79th Infantry and 314th Infantry Regiment across France, I caught a glimpse, perhaps, of how his 5 months on the front lines made him undergo a remarkable transformation. From an apprehensive novice into a battle-tested veteran, this was my Grandfather's journey. In September 2010, I will return to see a marker placed in Fremonville, near his last fight. View Feature

The 79th Infantry Division
Utah and Omaha beaches, Cherbourg and Fort du Roule, La Haye du Puits, the Seine River, Parroy Forest, Haguenau, Hatten, Rittershoffen. Names that will be forever etched in the minds of the veterans, widows, and families of the 79th Infantry Division. Major-General Ira T. Wyche commented after the war that "I shall always look upon my command of the 79th Division as the most successful period of my official career. This is so because of those fine Americans who wore the Cross of Lorraine". View Feature

The Stories of Ernie Pyle
To the millions on the American home front during World War II, Ernie Pyle's column offered a foxhole view of the struggle as he reported on the life, and sometimes death, of the average soldier. On April 18, 1945, Pyle died on Ie Shima, an island off Okinawa Honto, after being hit by Japanese machine-gun fire. When he died, Pyle's readership was worldwide, with his column appearing in 400 daily and 300 weekly newspapers. His daily war reports made many readers feel that he was writing them personal letters. View Feature

Missing Tank Crew Discovered
Sometimes a battleground and a burial plot are one and the same. In a forest just outside Lunéville, France, 3 men with the 90th Division, 773rd Tank Destroyer Battalion pay the ultimate sacrifice when their tank is hit and explodes. Their location is a mystery until local Frenchman, Gérard Louis, discovers some dogtags almost 60 years later. Mr. Louis made an oath on the site, to find the families so that the soldiers he discovered, could return home. Every October 9th, Gérard places flowers at the site, honoring these men in his own way. View Feature

Luneville Celebrates 65th Anniversary of its Liberation, 18 September 2009
A new monument was dedicated to the 314th Regiment's courageous battle action at Fraimbois on the outskirts of Lunéville and a city square was dedicated to General Patch of the 7th Army. The afternoon enjoyed all the pageantry of the main 65th Anniversary commemorative celebrations in Lunéville's central square followed by an evening banquet in the French military garrison. Brought together by Philippe Sugg, a historian of local fame, this was a celebration not soon to be forgotten. View Feature

51st Evacuation Hospital
The history of the 51st Evacuation Hospital and its service to soldiers in the European Theater of Operations. Excerpts from an interview with one of the surgical nurses and the Medical Supply Officer are included, who married in Vincey, France. Additionally, I've added some photos of my trip to France as I visited Vincey including the church, some local historians, and the fields where this field hospital once stood and serviced wounded soldiers, my grandfather just one of many. View Feature

The Battle of Arracourt
Start a discussion about famous WW2 battles and many immediately come to mind: Kursk, Stalingrad, Battle of the Bulge, and the Battle of El Alamein, to name a few. However, there are many battles that remain relatively unknown or often, unheard of. One of these is the Battle of Arracourt. It was the largest tank engagement ever fought by the US Army, until the Battle of the Bulge in which a German tank force equipped mostly with Panther tanks was defeated by an American tank force equipped mostly with 75mm Sherman tanks. View Feature

The 749th Tank Battalion - From Belgium to Luneville and Sarrebourg
The 749th Tank Battalion landed at Utah Beach, participated in the St. Lo breakout with the 6th Armored Division, joined Patton's Army August 6th and formed part of the southern flank at the Falaise Gap. It was part of the first armored column to cross the Seine River, bypassed Paris on the way to Belgium to help trap the German Army in France, turned to the east and went through Alsace and Lorraine, spending two months clearing out the German Army from the Forest de Parroy near Luneville. From there, it went through the Saverne Gap to Haguenau and Strasbourg, returned through the Gap, fighting north through and around the Vosges Forest to Rohrbach and Bitche. Forced to retreat to Sarrequemines and Forbach/St. Wendel during the Battle of the Bulge, they returned to Bitche and fought at the breakthrough at the Maginot Line, then helped take southern Germany to end the war. View Feature

A Poem & Photo of the 313th Infantry Regiment
Here is a poem written by all of the men of the 313th Infantry Regiment, Co. A. It was then mailed to all of their dads. This copy is signed by Private James E. Cowart. James is the 3rd from the right on the back row, in the included photo, and as this photo might indicate, their company stayed less than full strength most of the time. Special thanks to his son, Leonard E. Cowart. View Feature

A Sergeant's Scrapbook
Over a hundred pages of a meticulously kept scrapbook filled with reflection, drawings, pictures and more. This is the scrapbook of Henry Glendon Hays, S Sgt, Airplane mechanic, Gunner of the 748 AAF, 360 Bomb Squadron of the 303rd Bomb Group stationed in Molesworth, England. View Feature

The "Dink"
My father, like most other veterans, did not talk about his war stories. However, one day in the early 1970s, when my brother Mark & I were maybe 10 and 12 years old, he decided to tell us a particular story while we were all sitting on the front porch of our house on Long Island. He referred to his story as "The Dink", saying that he'd lived with this "noise" all his life and it had always bothered him. Somewhere in France, from a halftrack at the end of an alley, a German gunner was about to open fire on him. My father stood up and shot him from less than 30 feet away. He hit the guy in the left temple. The bullet went through the helmet which caused the sound of the dink that my father could never forget. View Feature

A Philippine Photo Journal
Some unique photos provided by William Barber, Sr. taken while fighting with the 35th Regiment, 25th Infantry Division in the Philippines. They include a photo of Balete Pass a few days after they broke through at Luzon, a Japanese prisoner, and more! View Feature

The 104th Infantry and the Liberation of Camp Mittelbau Dora
Few realized the evil acts that Hitler and his Nazi regime were committing against humanity. By the end of World War II, many soldiers had witnessed the horrors of war, but nothing could prepare them for what they would encounter upon liberating the concentration camps Hitler had created with the goal of exterminating those "unworthy of life". This is the story of the 104th Infantry and their discovery of the Mittelbau Dora labor camp; the camp in which prisoners were forced to work on a top secret weapon: the world's first ballistic missile. View Feature

WW2 Aircraft Nose Art
Aircrews in World War II decorated their planes with cartoons, sketches, and pictures of pinups and pretty girls, typically modelled after the "cheesecake" art of Gil Elvgren, Alberto Vargo, and George Petty. It was (and still is) an interesting practice. Here is the Private Letters Collection.
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