Fold3: Military records online

Fold3 Blog

The official blog of Fold3

D-Day 75th Anniversary!

June 6, 2019, marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy, France. Codenamed Operation Overlord, D-Day was one of the largest military invasions by air, land, and sea in the history of warfare. It involved 5,000 ships, 11,000 airplanes and more than 155,000 Allied forces who landed on five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of German-occupied France. More than 4,000 Allied soldiers died on the day of the invasion. The bold operation resulted in the liberation of France by late summer and a complete victory by Allied forces the following year.

Of the 16 million Americans who served during WWII, the US Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that less than 400,000 are still living, with 348 veterans dying each day. To honor the service and sacrifice of those veterans, Fold3 is teaming up with Newspapers.com to allow free access to their newspaper archives from June 6-9. Search for your ancestor’s military records on Fold3, then search for their story on Newspapers.com! There are remarkable D-Day stories like that of Navy Seaman Carl Arnold Boedecker.

Boedecker served aboard the destroyer USS Rich when it struck a mine and sunk in the ice-cold English Channel during the Normandy invasion. For 24 hours, Boedecker stayed afloat until a passing LST fished him out of the water during a recovery mission. A naval chaplain administered Boedecker his last rites when he noticed he was still breathing. He was transported to an English hospital where doctors amputated his frozen leg and set his shattered jaw. Later he was transferred to Chelsea Naval Hospital in Boston where doctors determined his second foot also required amputation.

Boedecker’s father, Alfred G. Boedecker, was determined to find the medical corpsman who saved his son’s life. All he knew was that he was from Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Alfred Boedecker contacted the Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce and with the help of newspapers and publicity, discovered that Ray L. Tinkel provided the aid that saved his son.

Doctors treated Carl Boedecker at naval hospitals and fitted him with prosthetic limbs. After being discharged, Carl worked as a journalist and later owned and operated a book store. He passed away in 2016.

Another heroic story is that of 22-year-old John Norbert Murphy. Murphy came ashore on the beaches of Normandy the morning of June 6,1944. He was a radioman and soon set up ship-to-shore communications so officers could direct the movement of troops and materials. The beach was under intense shell and machine-gun fire. At 7:00 p.m. that night, Murphy and two other men huddled in a foxhole when a German 88-mm shell landed directly in their hole and exploded. Murphy was killed instantly. Fellow soldiers described his final hours, “I saw him just before he came ashore here. He wasn’t worried. He never talked much except about his girl, Dolly, back in Kansas City, and his Dad.” Murphy’s family learned his fate about a month later when a family friend found his dog tags wired to a stake in a fresh mound of dirt in the American Cemetery in France. 

American soldiers recover the dead after D-Day

Is there a story about your veteran ancestor in the newspaper? Search their military records on Fold3 and then search Newspapers.com to find their story.

73 Comments

  1. I’ll be traveling to Normandy for the first time late this month. I’m excited to be going there and will hopefully be able to track relatives who fought there with the army. My uncle Leslie Winsand was a glider infantryman with the 82nd Airborne.

    • Fair travels to you, sir. I wish I was going…my Dad was at Omaha Beach on D-Day. It was a week before his 25th birthday. It seems the farther away we get from that day, the more we realized the greatness of their sacrifice.

    • Thanks very much for your reply, and best wishes on my trip to Normandy, Kathleen Bergeron! Your father at 25 landed at Omaha and survived the horror. Praise and eternal thanks to him for what he endured and did for all of us! I just watched about a six-minute testimony of another Omaha Beach survivor in the 29th Infantry Division, Morton Weitzman of Chicago, I believe, who was only18 or 19. Most of the men were really just barely men in their late teens or early 20s. Your dad would’ve been considered an “old man” by most soldiers. I also read about Madison, Wisconsin’s own Milo Flaten, who also went ashore at Omaha at age 18. Omaha was the worst beach to land at, but they all were hell to experience. My dad, Philo Nelson Kelley (PNK, “Pinky”) Englesby was an old man, too, at 25, but in the Navy at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked and later in submarines in the Pacific, as well as later in the Atlantic. These men & women are truly The Greatest Generation…

    • Safe travels to you. Such an honour to be there to pay respect to the men and women of the Greatest Generation, who paid the ultimate sacrifice for us all. Say a prayer on the sands of Normandy for my uncle. Thanks.

    • Will also be there at month’s end, in LeMolay-Littry near Bayeux. June 30 will mark the 75th anniversary of Advanced Landing Ground 9 – the first allied airfield in the beachhead, constructed in 10 days – being “open for business.” My father was a photo interpreter with the 109th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, there on that day after arriving D+20.
      An aside: the squadron commander had done a low-level photo-recon run of the invasion beaches on June 4. Solo. That took some big ones.
      Unit stayed close to the front, involved in the Bulge (squadron pilots found tip of the German spear when weather cleared), Remagen, etc. Ended up near Buchenwald. War’s end left them w large stock of photo paper and chemicals, so they made yearbooks for all hands – over 100 pages of photos. Proud family possession.

    • Maybe your dad flew my dad on that day. He too was from Shelbyville TN. What a small world.

  2. All these men deserve our admiration for what they did. My father, Howard Nolf at 19 was in the 2nd wave that landed at Omaha Beach & was with the 29th infantry. He never would discuss his experience only that it was a hard crossing the channel & the landing was delayed. Years after he passed I had the pleasure of talking to a man in dad’s division altho he didn’t know him personally. Just hearing what he went through & what the landing at Omaha was like made me realize how truly horrible it was. He said they all knew they would probably all die as they knew exactly what happened on the first landing.
    My dad always said how grateful he was that he survived, had a family & great life when lots of his Army buddies never made it home. He was a proud American. There will never be another generation like these men. They were “The Greatest Generation .”

    • That is a true statement! That was truly the most amazing generation! They knew hard times and sacrifices!! Facing death with a willing heart and strength that can only come from God!
      I think that is what is lost in today’s world.
      Thank you from the bottom of my heart for those brave men and women 75 years later know that you are appreciated!

    • How did we go from these brave young men to a generation of snow flakes who require safe spaces, and comfort dogs? The D- Day generation must scratch their heads in disgust.

  3. My dad was a paratrooper with the 101st on D-Day. Later shot in the arm so the war ended for him that day. The medicine almost killed him though. Took a long time to recover. Did War Bond Drives in TN and other areas during the war.

    • My dad was also a paratrooper in the 101st. He went on to Bastogne and was wounded (slightly – bullet grazed his shoulder).
      Always so proud of him and ALL those brave men who fought for us.

  4. The Round Rock Tx Community Choir combined with the First United Methodist choir R R had the honor of singing at both the American cemeteries last year for the D-Day celebrations in Normandy. It was such an honor to be able to remember all those who gave their lives for freedom. We were all deeply moved to sing in their memory. We also sang a concert at St. Mere-Eglise and marched in the parade.

  5. My uncle was there, and I never knew about it until only a couple of years before he died in 2014. He would never talk about it; I think the only reason we knew is because my aunt did our genealogy and got his record.
    Must have been horrifying for him!

  6. I welcome anyone interested on D -day to take a peak at,this website on WWIi its at castlesof-themind.com. lots of pics in color. My dad was in d ETO

  7. My father, then a 2nd Lt., Robert Roy Stever, with the 1st Infrantre, went ashore at Omaha Beach. He was wounded in both legs during The Bulge but recovered well enough to finish out the war as a Captain. He passed away the 6th of April, 2013. Thanks for your service Dad, along with all the others who didn’t come home.

  8. My cousin, Todd Kelly, had retired as a MSGT in the air corps but voluntarily came back in as a SGT and was assigned to the 6 armored div. He was killed in the Ardennes in 1945. I can’t imagine the grief that my aunt and uncle felt to learn that their only son had been killed.

    • My uncle Private Arnoul Ryan is buried in the Ardennes cemetery in Belgium. He died from his wounds at the Battle of the Bulge. He was 19 years old. My son went there last year. The caretaker took sand taken from Omaha Beach and rubbed it on the writing on the tombstone so it would show up better for pictures and videos. It was an awe inspiring event for my son and me when I saw the video. Seeing the rows of crosses there is just like the opening and ending of the movie Saving Private Ryan. Our Private Ryan never made it home. Every American should watch at the least the first half hour of the movie today or tomorrow to get a sense of what those brave warriors faced on D-Day. God bless all those courageous men.

  9. My father Bernard F. Pokora, landed on Omaha Beach at about 1600 hrs on D-Day + 1 with the 457th AAA AW BN. Passed away at age 54. Would have loved to take him to the D-Day ceremonies if he were alive

  10. My uncle Harris (Harry) Blank was in the 501st part of the screaming eagles 101st. We believe but have never been able to confirm that he is one of the paratroopers always shown with Eisenhower in the famous photo that even this month is the cover of “National Geographic” Harry sadly after fighting the Nazis in France and later Bastogne as part of that outfit was killed before his 40th birthday in a tragic auto accident. We have his purple heart, we have the telegram sent to his mom informing her of his injury, scary to think what she thought seeing that service coming up the driveway. Enough said, I and the rest of the family are honored to have known him.

  11. My Dad, Arthur Pete Pedersen, landed in France in late June 1944 – he was in Patton’s 3rd Army, 5th Div, part of XII Army group (?). He was a forward observer and would not talk about his service. Several years ago I was fortunate to travel to many of the places his unit fought in France and Luxembourg. However, the most moving experience was visiting all five of the landing beaches in Normandy and the American cemetery. Chills went through my body just standing on the beaches remembering the sacrifices many brave men made for our country on D-Day and the rest of the war. They are America’s greatest generation! God bless them all.

  12. My dad and eight uncles fought in WWII – Two led Infantry Squads from North Africa to Germany. First Sgt Cosmo Crovello Company L 3rd Battalion 60th Infantry 9th Infantry Division KIA in Hurtgen Forest Oct 17 1944 Buried at Henri Chapelle and First Sgt Joseph Monterosso Cannon Company 16th Infantry Regiment 1st Infantry Division. Hopefully our country will continue to produce men and women like this Greatest Generation

  13. I guess I am one of the lucky ones to have a Uncle from the 7th Naval Beach Battalion, Mr. Clifford Goodall still with us. He landed at Omaha Beach shortly after D-Day. He received The American Society of the French Legion of Honor in June of 2004. He is 94 and God Bless he is in Normandy being treated like a movie star right now! lol We owe them everything!

    • How great that he can be there! He deserves to be treated special- because he is.
      He represents all those young guys who fought for us so long ago. Maybe he could record his experiences so future generations know what he did.

    • He deserves the honour. There isn’t much more I can say except God Bless him and thank you Sir for your courage.

    • Great that you still have your uncle around. He is better than a movie star and he has earned every salute and honor that comes his way in France but even more from those of us at home who benefit every day from his efforts.

  14. My brother (Edward Smith)was a Medic on D-Day and my uncle (Louis Pitts was an infantry man. Both Survived the war.
    I am so very proud of all the that served.
    I did my duty later in life

  15. When my son was in high school he interviewed his grandpa about his WWII experience, and for the first time in my life I was able to hear his story. He landed 2-3 days after D-Day on a nearby beach and still choked up as he spoke about the fallen he encountered. He was a radio operator and spent the following 15 months moving through France and eventually Germany. He was able to escape injuries, but often suffered the effects of frostbite he got in the winter months spent there. All those years and he’d never spoken about it. How many others did the same?…. Indeed, the greatest generation!

  16. I just got back from Utah & Omaha in Normandy. My dad was A Co 334th Inf 84th Div. they could get into Omaha because of the heavy congestion of boats/ships. They went into England for a few weeks before they were ok’d to approach. I was such a basket case there. My daddy was “19”. I can’t even imagine him scaling that 100’ wall. Oh my if anyone ever gets the opportunity to visit, do it! Such a sacred somber place.

  17. I hate to be a noodge on Mr. Ashcraft’s prose, but it is highly unlikely that the German artillery piece which killed John Murphy was an 88 mm gun. The 88 was much-feared, especially by American tankers, because it fired a large high-velocity round with a very flat trajectory. Inasmuch as the German defenders were mostly situated on the bluffs overlooking the landing beaches, it is much more likely that the fatal round was fired by a German mortar or howitzer. To the American infantry, every tank was a Tiger and every artillery piece an 88.

    • You may be right, but the 88 was also used as conventional artillery and might have been firing high angle from an area well behind the cliffs.

  18. My grandpa William Joseph Nichols of the 118th Infantry (30th Div) made it through Normandy only to fall at the Battle of the Bulge. We treasure the letters and pictures he sent his son, my Dad, from Iceland to France and Germany. My heart broke to see the “Return to sender, undeliverable” stamped on my Dad’s last letter to his father. Daddy went on to serve as a paratrooper in the Korean conflict.

  19. To all the brave men and women who did their service for our country and the world. How could this even been possible with out them. Well done! My father was a Pearl Harbor on Dec 7. He and I went there in 1988. It meant so much to him. He talked about it til his death in 2006. We spent 7 days of war remembrance my only true gift to him in his lifetime. May all of you remember and cont to see what our men and women did for our country and the world.

    • Ms. Imhoe –My dad, P. N. K. Englesby, was also at Pearl harbor in the Navy on 12/71941. He was a hospital corpsman, a pharmacist’s mate in Navy ranking. He was transferred off the West Virginia just two weeks before the attack to a new on-shore mobile hospital called U. S. Naval Mobile Hospital No. 2. I’ve been trying for years to find out more about that mobile hospital and to find any descendants of it’s men. Just in case, I thought I’d ask you what unit/service your dad served in. If it was the same one as my dad, it would be quite a boon to my research efforts. I found one other descendant of a man who served in my dad’s unit just this way, by making a comment about his unit on a Fold3 post.

  20. My husbands grandfather lost his life on D-Day. (Felix Monroe Harper) He died a month after his son was born, I don’t even know if he knew he had a son before he died. If anyone has a picture of Felix Harper would you be willing to share it as we have none of him. Thank you. He was from Albertson, North Carolina, USA.

  21. “”” D DAY””” , Sacrifice of American Soldiers, and Allied Forces, which World had ever seen. History of WWII enriched by depicting Normandy Warfare and freedom of France from the NAZI Forces of Germany. All the Citizens of World must know the “” D DAY””

  22. My father, James Tinnell was among the “old men” who served in Normandy. I was almost 11 and had 3 siblings. He landed at Utah Beach on June 6 at the age of 35. He survived the war spending most of the rest of his time working the supply lines in the harbor at Le Harve. He talked sometimes about his experiences to me and my siblings but it bothered him for the rest of his short life that ended in 1972 after collecting his first and only Social Security check.The physical injuries to our veterans who served there and survived were difficult for them to bear, but my experience with those who returned indicated the mental injuries haunted most for the rest of their lives.

  23. A friend from Sweetwater, TN was in Normandy on D-Day. He’s 98 years old and was a glider pilot during the landings. Sweet man, and a true American hero!

  24. Thank you, all of you who have posted. My father landed in the ETO across Omaha Beach, but in October 1944. His outfit went to the Ninth Army in time for the November Offensive. He was lightly wounded on December 1st, when the Germans began an a tempt to interdict the Bugle battlefield to the south. Like many veterans, he only talked about his service, the good and the bad, after I began serious research for my Ph.D He too, has now passed away.

    We owe them all, those who served and those who gave their lives in a war against fascism and the Nazi version.

  25. Least We Forget- the sacrifice of these men and women.
    I’ve been to Normandy and walked “the beach” at low tide! The utmost respect.I walked the cliffs and saw the fortifications. Visited the Cemetery with rows of white crosses! Said a Few prayers!
    My we never forget!!

  26. It was the great generation, when they grew up they all had their jobs to do and did so because in those days you did what you were told to do. Most of them grew up this way and were tough as nails. My uncle was a corpsman in the Army but grew up as a railroad section hand and when the Army found this out they put him back to railroading being they were short of people who knew about railroading. He was in Belgium when they called him up to the Battle of the Bulge. He was really a proud man to survive this battle and became a Sargent. Our family always fought in Wars back to my gggg who fought in the War of 1812 and although I have this proven being I do genealogy I’m stuck at him being my John Cottrell b.1771, I’m sure if we were here we also fought in the Revolutionary War. My advise is don’t vote for anyone who spouts this sochilist crap, the great generation would cringe if you did.

    • RootsWeb.com’s family tree section lists at least 14 databases concerning John Cottrell born 01Feb1771. Some include his parents, which I assume is what you are lacking. His parents are John Cottrell and Mary Pearson. Roots Web is free. So, good searching! Have fun.

    • Thank’s rootsweb for information about my John 1771 and his parents which I’ve seen before. However when you do genealogy correctly you need proof and I never could find the proof. I do have the bible of 1771’s history so that’s proof. Census records never started having names of children until 1850 as you know so one needs a bible or say a will that shows his father giving him land with the childs birthdate also for proof. Difficult to find being I’ve been searching for about 30 yrs.

    • Ancestry is your friend Robert.I’ve gone back many generations.

  27. Looking for Walter B. Emery, Jr., Army paratrooper, 101st airborne

  28. Two great uncles served our country:

    Col Ira Radar attended West Point, served in the Philippines about 1914, learned to fly, soloed before 1916, was a member of the First Aero Squadron, fought Pancho Villa in Mexico, fought in WWI, commanded Barnsdale Air Field, and was a senior officer in the Eighth Air Corps in WWII, later retiring in 1947 from the Air Force. Decades of service resulting in the Air Force we know today.

    Major John “Jack” Canham’s military career began as with the ROTC graduating from UC Berkeley with a BS in mechanical engineering as a Second Lieutenant, Coast Artillery about 1935. He served in the Army Reserve until called to Active Duty after Pearl Harbor. He served an an Artillery officer in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy under Generals Patton and Clark in his early 30’s. He was always a serious guy and rarely spoke of his experiences unless someone was critical of US servicemen, like during Vietnam, when he’d squash criticism.

    Both men deserve our thanks for their service and sacrifice.

  29. My father Roy Allen Kelly and two of his five brothers, my uncle Billie and Uncle Rex went ashore at Omaha. The only thing I ever knew was that none of the knew the others were in that assault. They’d had no contact except through my grandmother for nearly three years. As I said, until chance brought them face to face at a bar in St. Mere Eglies. They didn’t even recognize each other they had changed so much. About six months before dad passed I sat down with him during one of the “memory grabbing” sessions we shared. I asked him about D-Day. His only reply was a lot of silence and then he looked at me and said, “I left two of my best friends on the beach. One went down immediately as the left the landing craft. The other was in a foxhole that was hit by a mortar. I still miss them and will always wonder why I came home and they didn’t.” That’s all he said, it was enough. I never breached the subject again.

  30. My Uncle Thomas Brook Grimes Company A 116th Infantry 29th Division was in the sixth wave to land. On the night of June 16-17 he was on patrol and was captured by the Germans. Brook was taken to an estate to work as a farm labor. The estate was owned by Von Klitzing. Brook had no problem surviving the POW camp in the hands of the Germans but was lucky to survive being liberated by the Russians. But he finally made it home.

  31. We Europeans owe an eternal debt of gratitude to the USA and Commonwealth for the sacrifice in 2 world wars.

    God bless all of them.

  32. I was sixteen, living in Baltimore where many homes had blue stars hanging in the windows, many of them for men in the 29th National Guard Division. In the weeks following D-Day, I remember seeing many blue stars change to gold.

  33. My father John A Myers served in WWII. He didn’t say much about his service. He was in the 17th Airborne glider unit. I do know he was in the battle of the bulge. He was a staff Sargent dealing in the supply. My Mother said he was shot at and jumped into a foxhole or bomb crater. It was December and very cold. There was water in the hole and he and another serviceman spent the night there. He was later sent to a hospital with frostbite feet. He got a purple hearth. He said he didn’t deserve it. I asked him a little but wish I had asked him more. He died June 25th 2009 at age 90. I still miss him.

    • I have relatives in both world war. WW2 in terms of commando, javelin class destroyers and merchant navy.

  34. What about Utah, Juno, Sword, and Gold Beaches?

    • I too would like more information on Utah, Gold, Juno and Sword beaches. My father Raymond James Hauck was with the 36th Signal Operation Co., Lineman Pole 238. He never talked about the war but mother said he cried and screamed in his sleep until he died at age 72 in 1987. Years ago I was home when the 40th anniversary of D-Day was on television and I dared ask him where he was on that day. His only answer was “Marseille”. So while I thought he was fighting on one of the five (5) beaches it looks as if he was part of Operation Dragoon unfolding on the French Mediterranean. This took place on August 15th. Father went on to fight in North Africa. So while I continue my searching i can only be in awe of these brave men who fought and died for our freedom.

    • The US First Division landed at Utah Beach, led ashore by BGEN Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. The opposition at Utah was not as heavy as Omaha, but they had trouble with the current which carried their landing craft considerably west of their intended landing area, so it took them awhile to get organized and moving inland , a task directed by Roosevelt who had a crippled leg and walked with a cane. He died of a heart attack several days later.

      Juno and Gold are east of Omaha and we’re the beaches where the Canadians and British landed. Those beaches immediately front on urban areas which meant house to house fighting. Them sands there are very slippery so while there was no heights to climb, maintaining footage was difficult and slowed the initial assault. Not far from the beach, the Germans had erected a heavy concrete command post well armed with machine guns that proved to be a strong obstacle but eventually was taken. It still stands.

    • Now I have read that at Juno/Gold beaches the British didn’t have that much opposition on their landings and this was foreseen. After landing they were supposed to go inland and take a town to take pressure off of the other beach landings but Montgomery didn’t do that for days and saying let the other soldiers fight we have fought alone for five years it’s their turn. Since I read that I haven’t cared for Montgomery. I know they don’t like to be called Limmy’s because when I was in Navy I became friends of a British sailor in Hong Kong and he took me to a bar full of British sailors and I said something referring them as Limmmy’s and I’m lucky to be here to write about it. I know why they called them that after but just thought it was a nickname like Yank’s. Live & learn

  35. My father was a gunners mate on board LST310. He had also drove a LCVP to Omaha Beach.The greatest generation!

    • My Uncle was a gunner on the Beach of Normandy on D Day. Don’t know what plane.

    • Your message brings back memories being I was aboard the Bayfield APA33 during the Viet Nam War. The Bayfield was the flagship of the Normandy invasion being it carried on board many radio’s which communicated with the beach. Now the LCVP which stood for landing craft vehicle personal we called them Pappa boats and the bigger metal boats we called Mike boats. We carried 4 Mike boats and about 20 LCVP’s aboard and landed troops on beach. History reads only 1 boat survived and was still aboard the Bayfield when I was on it and that was Mike 1. During the Viet Nam War we never had any beach landings we would transfer our Marines to a helicopter carrier and they would land them inland. At times we would have Seals aboard and I would say they were a bit wound up and wouldn’t even say hi so you just never talked to them. Then during the night they would be gone and I still don’t know where or how they left. I was assigned to a LCVP during 1 AlPHA we called it which meant away all boats. We carried Marines aboard up to 1500 at the most. We had censured mail when we were over there. We were young but not afraid to do our job which was landing marines on the beach. When you see boats come up short of the beach it means they hit a sandbar and have to wait for the next wave but by then they would zero in on you so they would drop the ramp to get off the boat or LCVP. They wanted to kill you on the boat or sink you so you never went back to ship for more marines. That was our job to land them and come back which I’m sure happened during the Normandy invasion, eventually they would get you. I know my Navy shipmates were upset that we never had the opportunity to hit the beach and do the job we trained for forever. I’m sure with the helicopters they had a better chance then hitting any beach. I’ve seen in war footage of LCVP’s with 33 on them and that’s the Bayfield boats. One was in the film of Private Ryan. The Bayfield was in both the Pacific & Atlantic Wars and I believe had more battle ribbons then most ships or any. All ships that had anything to do with landings were in Comphipbron, I was first in Comphib 5 and then Comphib7 this would be LST’s,LSD’s,APA’s,AK’s etc. They did their job for sure.

  36. The Pokagon Ogitchedaw a warrior society of the Pokagon Potawatomi Nation in Dowagiac, Michigan, of which I am the founder is representation of the loyal native American veterans that still serve their community much in the same way other service organizations serve their home town, however, we carry Eagle Staffs and the American flag in honor of our service. We have been sending members to the Omaha Beach to perform Native American ceremonies for those who died at Normandy. On June 6th we are hosted by a French town people each year who have dedicated a jade colored turtle monument (Native symbol of North America and my clan) to honor the fallen as well as the living. My cousin Calvin Pigeon (Whitepigeon) was in the first wave to land on Omaha Beach and survived as well as the entire war and came home and only recently passed away in his 90’s.

  37. These were just young boys who left their schools, family farms, factory jobs and families to go half way around the world to fight for what they held dear….. freedom!
    They left as boys and those who were fortunate to return came home as battle scarred men in boys’ bodies. They witnessed true hell on earth but came home to continue to contribute to society. They were raised with God, Country, Community and Family as their priorities and they believed as long as they followed those four beliefs everything else would fall into place.
    They were all the best that God had and they didn’t let him down!

  38. Will Dooley- was your father James “Jimmy” Dooley from Rockcastle County, Kentucky by any chance? My grandma’s first husband was Jimmy Dooley and they we’re only married during the war. I’ve never been able to find any records of their marriage, or divorce, just my grandmother’s word for it. I would love to get a real name, and history, of this short marriage.

  39. My Dad, USAF SMSGT Ret. J.D. Anderson, and his brothers and brothers in law (14 strong) along with their first cousins (bumping the number up to 50-something) blasted out of East Tennessee raring to go as soon as they could, spread out among all available service branches – the Navy was the only one that would agree to keep the twins (Earl and Guy Morrell, brothers-in-law) together, as I was told, so the twins with the speech defect, from landlocked Tennessee who couldn’t swim joined the Navy and went to Africa. The Navy was also the landing place of my very beloved Uncle (Ernest C.) Queen, who was a SeeBee in the Pacific, which made much more sense as he was a civil engineering major in college. I still have his duffel bag and medals. My dad was one of the youngest, with the ink barely dry on his high school diploma, as he didn’t even stay to walk at graduation. As I understand it, asked over a lifetime of uncles discussing it at family gatherings, (Dad never discussed it with me, but left an oral history to be opened after his death, for me. He allowed my cousin to use it for his thesis in Appalachian History, go figure! I obtained it when I was doing research for my Ph.D. In his words, “daughters are different!” LOL)

    I had two uncles involved in D-Day, my Uncle Alphas Anderson at Utah and my Uncle Bradley Anderson at Omaha. Uncle Bradley did not survive.

    My Dad was in the Army Air Corps, soon to become the 4th Air Force and he was later in the 11th Air Force, 251st Bomb Group… although the Bomb Group might have come later. Uncle Alph stayed in the Army, I think, based in England. After D-Day, where he was wounded, he said he was put to use “using his degree” while he recuperated. His bachelor’s degree was in chemistry, he ran the lab at the local textile plant after the war. After he recuperated, he rejoined his unit and I know nothing else until my dad (and corroborated by my uncle independently) ran into him during the liberation of one of the concentration camps. My dad was giving some of the prisoners his food, which included canned meat, when one of them said he sounded like another soldier who was also handing over canned meat… long story, involving the County Extension Office, “we’re from the government and we’re here to help” and my grandma nearly losing a finger, but Dad was fairly suspicious that it was a family member, and sure enough, it was!

    I wish I could ask so many more questions! A few years ago I was waiting with Dad for an MRI and had him go through a book of photos that he took throughout parts of his military career and had him write captions on the backs. I turned those into a power point for my 20th Century Humanities class and it’s one of the best received lectures I’ve ever done, especially when the students know that it’s a real person who was their age at the time the pictures were taken. The mother in me cringes when I think of where his 19 year old self had to be to get the pictures of the contrails, but the daughter of that same 19 year old knows EXACTLY how it felt and where he was because she has inherited the adventure genes and passed them down to another 19 year old.

    I still have three more albums of his military photography. His main souvenir from WWII was a Leica camera that was always his favorite, no matter how many others he owned. That Leica was the one that always took the winning photo in most of the competitions he entered.
    Unfortunately, Dad, at the age of 98, has just recently hit the point of dementia where I truly can’t rely on the veracity of his memory or descriptions. I was SO LUCKY to have had him in his excellent memory for as long as I did. But when I recently showed him some of the photos from the first of these albums and asked who the subject was (it was his Best Man, wearing long johns, in a boxing stance), he said it was Pope Pius! He actually was one of the Honor Guards for Pius XII’s funeral, but the detail as I understand it was for the Vice President and the time was in the late ‘50s, rather than WWII.

    Could someone tell me if there is a way that I could get these photos online somewhere for possible identification by the families of the soldiers? I have three albums full of everything from individual candids, formal groups of his bomb group, a few regiments, but many of 3-5 soldiers just horsing around in their downtime. There are also several airplanes that he flew in and/or worked on. I know if this were my dad, I would love to have any pictures of him in uniform that I could get!

    • Deb, you can create a Memorial for your father on Fold3 and scan your photos and add them to the Memorial. If you are able to identify your father’s battalion, unit, platoon, etc. then anyone searching for those identifiers will see your Memorial. Depending on how many photos you have, you might want to consider working with our content team and uploading them to the Fold3 database. Either way, his photos would be accessible for the family members of the soldiers he served with. Please email [email protected] for further information.

    • If any of the planes was Winnie the Pooh, that was my TN uncle’s plane. He has a bunch of photos of it being shot up. Also his bombing logs. I believe I already posted some of these in Fold3.

  40. My father Allan Alexander Sampson Naval Electrician Mate Second Class was on a LCT 434 boat in the D-Day Invasion of Omaha Beach Easy Red. He took men and tanks in at 4:45 p.m. on that day. Is there anyone out there who may had a loved one on that ship or went in around that time?

  41. I do wish the information would be free as a sr. my income is very limited and I barely make ends meet between rent, utilities and meds, I have 32. for food so can’t afford to purchase sites for research which was a passion of mine during my time of being able to work. I have a rough time getting to libraries as often as I like to, and many libraries have caught up to the sites they can purchase so we can have aces to them. The best two libraries I have found are in Lakewood and Akron OHIO which are an hr or so away, and if I get there which isn’t as often as I’d like I want to spend the whole day to make it worth my energy. I don’t get on computer daily and often times I miss the free weekend or week for using the service offered us. I do wish you would offer it for a month not just a weekend which is when people are busy with family. Please think about offering a months free use not just a weekend, and reduce the cost for the poor srs. that have limited income. thank you