06-06-2013, 08:56 AM
#1
  • Grumpy
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I thought I would take a moment to remember those who fought and those who died in 1944 on the beaches in Normandy, France.

Operation Neptune was for the landing operations during the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord (D-Day itself - The Invasion of Europe.).

British, American and Candian Airborne Troops were dropped shortly after midnight.

And at 6:30am Allied Infantry and Armoured Divisions landed on a 50-mile (80 km) stretch of Normandy.

Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword were the Beaches (or sectors).

The Allies - United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Free France, Poland, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Belgium and Czechoslovaka. (Listed in no particular order ... well except for the United States because I am a son.)

While I was not born until the late 1950s, I am of the mind that certain things should not be forgotten. And for me June 6, 1944 is just one of those dates.

To me June 6th, 1944 is just as important as July 4th (Independence Day), November 11th (Armistice Day or Veterans Day) and Memorial Day which is the final Monday of May (but also known as Decoration Day).

So on this day let us give our thanks to those that went before and did what they had to do.

And for those of us that are "over here", take a moment and listen to Kate Smith's version of God Bless America because that is how the song should be sung.

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 06-06-2013, 09:25 AM
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I know not, with what weapons World War 111 will be fought with,but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
Geordie Sam.

The older generations often think (wrongly) that the "youngsters" of today couldn't or wouldn't do what is required of them as they themselves did all those years ago,no one admires "old" service men and women more than me,but these so called "youngsters" ARE doing their "bit",evidence of this is sadly on the news nearly every night.
Terrible suffering is being meted out, and they are having to take it.My hat is firmly OFF to these "youngsters".
Geordie Sam. (I am NOT trying to make any political point here)

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 06-06-2013, 09:46 AM
#3
  • slantman
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D Day was certainly a turning point in History. All the brave fighters of liberty will never be forgotten.

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 06-06-2013, 10:47 AM
#4
  • Harvey
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Well spoken...those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it...let us not forget and learn how to live in peace.

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 06-06-2013, 11:07 AM
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(06-06-2013, 08:56 AM)Grumpy Wrote: So on this day let us give our thanks to those that went before and did what they had to do.

Amen to that - our generation(s) don't really measure up to those guys.

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 06-06-2013, 11:27 AM
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Amen ... Sad

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 06-06-2013, 11:35 AM
#7
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Today I remember my wife's great-uncle who, after storming those beaches with other brave men, is still with us.

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 06-06-2013, 11:48 AM
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(06-06-2013, 11:35 AM)kentclark Wrote: Today I remember my wife's great-uncle who, after storming those beaches with other brave men, is still with us.

That's good to hear Tom. Please pay him my respect.

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 06-06-2013, 11:48 AM
#9
  • Johnny
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I hope future generations never forget. An Uncle I never knew is buried at Normandy. I'm just thankful my Dad made it home from that awful war. If not I would not be here.

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 06-06-2013, 05:18 PM
#10
  • Grumpy
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Thanks for the Posts.

One of my Uncles was with the 82nd Airborne on the Normandy Drop.

My Dad was in the Pacific later in the war and he fixed Marine Fighter Planes.

Towards the end of the war he was workin on Marine Fighters on Okinawa. Even after the island was taken the Japanese would bomb one of the 4 airbases that they left (and the Marine's fixed).

And he was there when the Japanese landed cargo planes filled with troops on his airfield trying to take it back (or at least destroy as many American planes that they could).

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 06-06-2013, 07:15 PM
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Well put Grumpy! Thank you for posting this. Those that served on that day and survived and are still living are becoming few and far between. My grandfather was there on D-Day as a young sailor sitting off the coast of Normandy while his brother, my great uncle, stormed the beaches. It is important that we continue to tell the story of those that are no longer here to do so and continue to honor those that sacrificed for the freedom we have today.

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 06-06-2013, 07:53 PM
#12
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My dad wasn't at the beaches, but he worked during the war to solve some of the problems of the Mark 13 torpedo. He's still a hero in my eyes.
[Image: WQwy6Xn.jpg]

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 06-06-2013, 09:07 PM
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What they did was just incredible. One can discuss it but that just doesn't do it justice. If you ever get a chance go and see for yourselves. You just can't imagine.

I don't know how many others have been to Normandy, but in the spring of 1971 the platoon I was in won a battalion competition (1st platoon, CoA, 12th Engrs, 8th Inf Div) and the prize was a trip to France. We went to Paris, then St. Mere Eglise and Point du Hoc, then back by another forgotten route. Normandy was the highlight of the trip. It was especially meaningful because I was a paratrooper back then as was our entire company, but only our platoon won the trip.

It was awesome. I'd never seen a WW2 glider before, but they had one at the Airborne Museum in St.Mere Eglese (sp?). It was made of canvas and small diameter pipe. It took huge spheroids to trust ones life to one IMO. While at StME we couldn't help but see the church tower that Red Buttons(?) got snagged on in the movie The Longest Day. It's right in the town square and the movie version looked exactly like the real thing.

Then we went to Point du Hoc. The land there is still all cratered from the shelling it sustained. The cliffs there were were maybe 100' high and the Rangers assaulted it and took the german pillboxes and gun emplacements. Just amazing that it could be done. You have to see it to believe what a feat that was, going up the ladders while being fired on from above. It's unbelieveable. We didn't go to the other landing sites. We were more interested in seeing what the paratroops did in the invasion and what they had to contend with. The entire countryside is littered with paratroop snares (fences and such), and of course for the invasion the germans flooded the land. A water landing with a parachute is always "interesting" and extremely dangerous. One needs to get rid of the chute before hitting the water and hopefully wind takes it away from the trooper, otherwise one drowns wrapped in the parachute cords carrying over 100# of gear if you didn't ditch it for swimming. The parachutes (T10) we used were little different (nylon vs silk) to the ones used in WW2 and were just barely manuverable so dodging fences for landing was just barely possible for them. If it was a moonless night completely impossible to dodge anything. Of course once you're out of the plane it's too late to worry- one's far too busy.

We didn't see the military graveyard. What a shame. Today I'd give my left nut to have seen it in '71.

I'd love to go back and spend a week in the area. I can't put into words what I felt back then or what I feel right now thinking back on what the allied forces did back then.

In 1971 the French still appreciated what we did during the invasion and showed it. Of course they knew we were paratroops when we were at the museum. BTW, it's hard to miss if it's still standing in the town. It's in the shape of a huge inflated parachute canopy.

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