1. The KillerFrogs

D-Day - thoughts, stories?

Discussion in 'Scott Nix Frog Fan Forum' started by QuilterFrawg, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. #1 QuilterFrawg, Jun 6, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
    In 1999 I took a AAA tour to Paris, Normandy, and Brittany. Our tour guide didn't speak French (!), so the bus driver and I did all necessary conversing with the locals. On our way to the Normandy American Cemetery, an older gentleman in our group sat down beside me and said, "Since you speak French, will you help me find my brother? He's buried there."

    I said of course I would. When we arrived, he and I went to the welcome center and I explained all this to a very nice attendant. Now she spoke English, but I still did the talking. I didn't feel he should have to.

    She looked up his brother's name and found his grave. Within a minute, we were on a golf cart and were driven to the site. The attendant had a bucket of dark wet sand, which she rubbed onto the face on the gravestone, filling in the letters and numbers. The gravestones are white and the lettering is carved into the stone, and is very hard to see in a photograph. The dark sand makes it much easier to read.

    After a silent prayer, we took some pictures and she asked us to stand by. She signaled someone and the carillon began to play Taps. Everyone stopped, there was not another sound. After it was over, she took us back to the welcome center and gave him some documentation. Their treatment of us was first rate.

    I still get emotional every time I tell this story. Can you imagine? After 55 years, finally seeing where your brother was laid to rest? I'm so grateful that I could share the experience with him. It's a very special memory.
    2019-06-06 01.03.04.jpg
     
    XIIFrog, LisaLT, JogginFrog and 43 others like this.
  2. That’s a wonderful story Quilter. I went to Normandy for a church trip back in 1985 when we lived in Germany. Was amazed at the precision of the alignment of the grave markers. The French were and still are grateful for the sacrifices our soldiers made in WWII.
     
  3. My dad was dropping bombs from his B-24 75 years ago knocking out the Germans support.
     
  4. The only story I have is one I learned very recently. My mother’s uncle was a paratrooper that landed in the hedged fields. He may have been 5’ 4” in shoes. I didn’t know him that well before he passed away many years ago but he was funny and loved to fish and tell funny stories. He lived mostly in the mountains of western North Carolina and sometimes outside Jewett, Texas. But as children we were told when we visited him that he had a pet peeve about scraping your knife or fork or spoon against your plate when eating. Only recently did I learn why...his best friend in the war was killed because someone in his unit made enough noise like that such that the Germans knew where to concentrate fire.

    Mrs Pharm and I visited him in NC when she was 7 months pregnant with our first child on a vacation to DC and Williamsburg. We were sitting in his living room talking about things he had accomplished in life, things he wanted to still do, and stuff when he asked the same about us. I stupidly said that I wanted to skydive and he told Mrs Pharm, “Divorce this dumbass when you get home” To this day I get the feeling he wasn’t joking and there was stories there that he wasn’t going to share. I read The Steel Wave again last year. I still find it hard to imagine D-Day as being real.
     
    ShadowFrog, tcudoc, stbrab and 8 others like this.
  5. Just finished a book about D Day through German eyes. It was really an eye opener. The rank and file German thought they were defending European unity and couldn’t understand why Brits and Americans were siding with the Soviets. Most of these guys were not Nazis and had serious concerns about rumors they heard of atrocities. You could always tell who were the Nazi party guys as they are still very defiant. Many of the defenders felt bad about the slaughter in the opening hour of D Day. But they all seemed stunned at the material arrayed in front. Several said they wondered where all the allied horses were and knew the war was over when they realized we had no animals and were totally mechanized.
     
    ShreveFrog, YA, ShadowFrog and 4 others like this.
  6. I would love to go there some day. I just can’t imagine what they saw as they were approaching the beach
     
    WhiteHispanicFrog and nwlafrog like this.
  7. I recall seeing Saving Private Ryan and as we were filing out there was a lone vet sitting there wiping his eyes. Everyone that walked by put a hand on his shoulder. I heard him tell someone he expected the run of the mill war movie and said he wouldn’t have gone had he known the first 20 minutes was going to be so realistic.
     

  8. Pretty neat video. Would love to hear more stories from him
     
    Leap Frog, YA, Horned Toad and 4 others like this.
  9. Truly.....'The Greatest Generation'
     
  10. My grandfather "flew" a glider behind the German lines during the invasion. His brother was a bomber pilot in the European theater and was shot down and captured in Germany in early 1944. In April 1945, my grandfather was part of US led liberating force that advanced on the Kaufering concentration camp network in Bavaria just hours after the Germans had abandoned it. Most of the Jewish prisoners healthy enough to work had been forced to leave days before and marched to another prison (Buchberg). Among the roughly 1,500 prisoners remaining alive were 11 American service men, including my grandfathers brother who had been officially MIA for 16 months. They were flown to south England together and then back to Texas.
     
  11. I just can't imagine being on one of those landing crafts having to get off, wade through water, and then run on to the beach. Meanwhile the Germans are shooting at you from every angle. Unbelievable courage.
     
  12. In 1956-'58, as a Special Agent Military Counter Intelligence, in Germany, I worked closely with former members

    of the Wehrmacht, Schutzstaffel (SS) and Sicherheitsdienst (SD). An enlightening experience, to say the least.
     
  13. We had the opportunity to visit Normandy 2 years ago. It was overwhelming yet so peaceful. It is impossible to tour the area without a lump in your throat.

    On a personal note, my grandfather received the Croix de Guerre during WWII and displayed it proudly in his home office until he passed in 2009. He had so many fascinating stories about not only fighting German forces, but also the Italians. He brought home German and Italian service pistols that he personally extracted.

    I’m saddened that the Greatest Generation is disappearing so quickly, and obviously by those who gave all 75 years ago.
     
  14. There's an excellent new book out about DDay by Alex Kershaw.

    There's some really good books out over the last few years by a young crop of great history writers; Alex Kershaw, Ian Toll, Rick Atkinson, Adam Makos
     
  15. No D-Day stories for me, but I have been obsessed w/ WWII history, and last fall got a chance to spend about 10 days in Germany. One of the day-trips we made from Munich was a tour of Dachau. It was the most gut-wrenching, sobering, heartbreaking experience I have ever had.

    Normandy is very high on my bucket list. Eternally thankful for the soldiers that stormed the beaches that day in rejection of oppression, tyranny, and genocide.
     
  16. Do tell more. Sounds like an interesting line of work
     

Share This Page