LATEST NEWS 2011 LAATSTE NIEUWS 2011
*** December 13th,
What a weekend: BASTOGNE!
On Friday morning, we met Colonel McGee, Captain Bushatz, CSM Benson and Honorary CSM Bossi (Ret) from the 1st Brigade Combat Team (327th Infantry Regiment),
101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), on arrival at Brussels airport. It was a great honor for us to accompany them to Bastogne for their official representative visit during the
stuff going on in the Bastogne area: a display of Allied positions in Recogne
and German positions in Cobru; an unveiling of a plaque dedicated to the 10th
Division en route to Clervaux, Luxembourg; the usual Bastogne Historical Walk - this year in honor of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment; the wreath laying at both the Patton
Memorial and McAuliffe memorial; a ceremony at the Monument des Fusilles (civilians who were executed) and at the temporary US military cemetary at Foy/Recogne; the dedication of
the new 101st Airborne museum in Bastogne and the regular parade of WWII vehicles. This year, the Bastogne Historical Walk crossed the grounds of the Bastogne Barracks, now a
military museum for the Belgian Army, which holds the former HQ of the 101st Airborne Division in WWII.
If, in the
near future, you are planning on visiting Bastogne, both the newly opened 101st
Airborne museum and the Bastogne
Barracks are well worth your visit. Very nicely done,
good exhibits and more to come!
A photo impression:
Left and right picture:
No website but Facebook: Marc Gerkinet
Great looking group, guys!
THANK YOU for your efforts in honoring and maintaining the memory of all US troops fallen in combat during past and present conflicts.
In order to show
their appreciation of work done in the past and planned efforts for the future,
the owner of Le Nuts restaurant in Bastogne, Living
The Screaming Ducks and our chairperson, Petra Wenstedt-Pulles, were honored to receive Certificates of Appreciation from Colonel McGee and CSM Benson on behalf
of the 101st ABN Division, 1st BCT.
Mr Segalas, the "Ducks" and Petra were surprised and grateful for this appreciation. A highly valued incentive for the future!
*** December 7th,
Sunday 6th December 1942: Operation OYSTER is carried out by RAF Bomber Command - target is the Philips factories in the centre of Eindhoven, The Netherlands where valves are produced
to be used for German radios. The raid is flown at low level and in clear weather conditions in order to bomb accurately and to avoid civilian casualties. The codename OYSTER was used because
of the flight pattern of the bomber planes - across the oyster and mussel beds in the Southwest of The Netherlands.
Hardly any workers are killed (it was Sunday). Casualties are 135 Dutch civilians and 7 German soldiers.
Among the "collateral damage": nearby houses, churches, shops and hospital. (Original WWII film of Operation OYSTER).
Sad detail is that many casualties were children playing with their new gifts out in the streets. The previous day, December 5th, the Dutch celebrate SAINT NICHOLAS, and children are spoiled
with sweets and toys. It is why the people of Eindhoven refer to the bombing as the Saint Nicholas bombing.
Picture: Kees Martens 2011
December 6th, 2011 a monument was dedicated
to remember the many victims of this bombardement. An initiative by Anton van
der Heijde, Eindhoven civilian and witness to the havoc as
a little boy 69 years ago. Anton's grandson revealed the monument which was erected across from the main Police Headquarters in downtown Eindhoven. A book is also available (in Dutch),
with eyewitness accounts and photos. Both monument and book give a lasting impression of "the day Eindhoven lost its heart".
*** November 12th,
Yesterday was Veteransday in the US, on the magical date of 11-11-11.
Of course many people involved with WWII in Europe also honor this day by doing something special. The secretary of the SEWII Foundation for instance,
went to see the festival GLOW in Eindhoven. Every year, buildings in the city are transformed into pieces of art by using light. With Eindhoven being the
hometown of the Phillips lightbulb, it is only suitable! There were many interesting pieces in the festival, but a few stood out.
For people who have been in eindhoven on Septembe 18th, you will remember the boring city hall building: look at it now! (video 1 below)
Also the Catherina church was transformed, and in a truly amazing way. Those troops sitting in front of it in '44 would have never guessed.. (video 2 below)
At the september 18th square, one piece of light art was directly linked to the goals of this foundation: remembering the sacrifice. Not only of the dead,
but also the living who have a hard time 'fitting in'. The piece was made by Krzysztof Wodiczko, a polish US resident. His work was very impressing; when
standing in the square you hear the voices of national veterans speaking about their problems after war and Post Traumatic Stress Symdrom.
Their words are projected on the walls, and every word is litterally 'shot' at the wall ( loud gunshots were heard). A very powerfull message when one
takes the time to stop, look, read and listen. (see video 3 below)
The last piece that was also impressing, but not so much related to the foundation, was at the Technical University. It was on top of the 'black box'restaurant.
A dancing and singing electric current, very impressing!
It was nice to see the GLOW festival highlight some of the important parts of WWII history in the city, although this was not intended, especially on veteransday.
And Mr. Wodiczko has made a really impressing piece!
Video 1 : Cityhall in Eindhoven
Video 2 : Catherina Church
Video 3 : War Veteran by Kryzstof Wodiczko
Video 4 : Black box dancing and singing electric current at Technical University
*** October 9th,
After a short visit from our Chairlady Petra Pulles, our secretary, Leoni decided to make a short stop over on the way home from the Airport in Belgium.
At Margraten cemetary in the Netherlands. To be able to visit the cemetary this early in the morning was very special,
the sun and fog made it extremely serene. The perfect place to stop, remember and honor the ones who gave their life for all of us today.
A short overview with some pictures:
30th, 2011 ***
Nice film on spontaneous celebrations in Honolulu, Hawai 14th August 1945. Check out the vehicles, uniforms and landscape.
30th, 2011 ***
News on the Bastogne Historical Walk, 10th December 2011.
(Scroll to the bottom of the page to read the information in English).
30th, 2011 ***
It's been a while: your webmaster has been busy and out of country.
New book, worth
your while reading - The Last Jump
by author John E.
Part of the proceeds of this book go to the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund. Available through Amazon
*** May 6th, 2011
Launching OPERATION TORCH 2012
Join us in September 2012 for another Operation Torch trip in Europe!
This is not your
off-the-rack, done-for-profit, WWII tour, but a great trip organised by a non-profit
organisation recognised by the Dutch government and
the 101st Airborne Division Association. We'll take you along the sites of Operation Market-Garden in the Netherlands and in the area of the largest land battle of WWII
(the Battle of the Bulge) in Bastogne, Belgium.
*local guides who share their extensive knowledge of your and our history
*taking plenty of time visiting the sites
*attention for personal interests
Price : $ 2000
PLAN these dates:
arrival September 16th - departure September 25th, 2012
ENLIST now! And secure your place on the bus (maximum of 45 participants).
No deposit necessary until 1st January 2012.
Price per person based on double occupancy in hotel rooms.
Price subject to change due to exchange rates.
Price includes all meals, hotels, museums and transport by bus from arrival to departure at Schiphol airport (Amsterdam, The Netherlands).
Price does not include flights.
More information: CSM Joseph M. Bossi (Ret), director of US operations - tel. 931-624-8060 or email
LINKS to pictures/information on Operation Torch 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009
*** May 4th, 2011
Now available, a tale of heroism and adventure....SHIFTY'S WAR the authorized biography of Sergeant Darrel "Shifty" Powers, the legendary sharpshooter
from the Band of Brothers by Marcus Brotherton. Available through Amazon.com or a bookstore near you.
*** April 19th, 2011
*** Two items
for you today:
***The Airborne Committee Eerde (The Netherlands) announces their annual 4th May ceremony in which The Netherlands remembers their war dead: Assembly on the church square. Around 19.50 hours silent march to the Geronimo monument near the windmill.
***Find out more about the Gratitude Campaign : a graceful and honorable way of saying THANKS to any veteran that you meet. Be part of the circle and join.
April 12th, 2011 ***
Get that smile back on your face:
April 3rd, 2011 ***
Good and bad news today:
***Our friend Donald van den Bogert informed us of another WWII Eagle soaring:
Mr Robert C. SWEET of Baker Co. 502 PIR passed away on March 27, 2011. One of mr Sweet's grandchildren mentioned the amazing fact that mr Sweet received the
Chevalier medal from the National Order of the Legion of Honour presented by French Army Colonel Vincent de Kytspotter, assistant Defense Attaché based in
Washington DC on March 26th, 2011. Please keep this special Widowmaker in your prayers. STRIKE!
506th Airborne Infantry Regiment Association
is spreading the word about a new book release about TOCCOA:
The author, Gerald Stokes wrote this short, 24 page book, entitled "Camp Toccoa: First Home of the Airborne" after many veterans who lived Camp Toccoa had asked him if any book
was available on the subject. Good work, mr Stokes. CURRAHEE!
The book is available at $ 9,95 through Amazon.
*** April 1st, 2011 ***
***Our Screaming Ducks friend the "Joker" produced another great slideshow of their accomplishments. Enjoy!
April Fools Day joke: please visit George Ciampa's site LET
George Ciampa, a WWII veteran with the 607th Graves Registration Company, has his own message for you.
March 13, 2011 ***
See the warning Private SNAFU (WWII) was given about booby traps.
March 8, 2011 ***
Incoming mail from "Wild" Bill Guarnere :
We know, Bill, and we feel the same way about you!
March 8, 2011 ***
With permission from the 506th Airborne Infantry Regiment Association and author Todd Garvey, we repeat Todd's words published in January 2011 edition of "The CURRAHEE!"-newsletter:
Letter to the
editor by Todd Garvey:
I came across your page after experiencing quite a sight on September 18th 2010 in Eindhoven, Netherlands. I'm a US citizen and frequently travel to and from Eindhoven on business for
months at a time. I have really began to love the people and the culture. Below is an email I sent to my family explaining my experience. Thanks for all that you do and the service that you
have rendered to our country on our behalf. It's truly appreciated. I sure hope that you find my comments pleasing unto all the veterans that helped liberate this country....
If there is one thing that I wished to convey to my family and all veterans is that the Dutch people here in Eindhoven never forgot.
Thanks for your time, sincerely, Todd Garvey"
from Todd to his family:
"To all my family,
I had to let you in on something that I saw today that was just awesome for a lack of better words. It was better than awesome. I was going about my day here in Eindhoven hanging out
with my co-workers and decided to go back to my hotel only to see that a large parade began. I thought to myself well this is kind of cool but why are the Dutch people having a parade late
at night? Then as I got closer I heard the roar of large engines, drum cadences and the stomp of hundreds of people. As I approached the people lining the street, I saw WWII tanks, jeeps,
ambulances, bikes and many WWII veterans. All the vehicles and tanks were labeled with the US army star and insignia. The entire area stood at attention and watched as the veterans
(some in wheel chairs) passed by.
I'm really not sure why this had such an impression on me. I quickly took off my hat and stood at attention as hundreds of people marched in the parade holding Dutch and American flags.
It was an amazing sight to see a community never forget what they have been through and to proudly show their appreciation for all those that liberated this country 60+ years ago today,
September 17, 1944.
It was just a cool sight. I wish you could have seen this. After I walked away from the parade, I went into my hotel and asked the young man at the desk if they did this every year and he
said yes. He went on to say that there has been talk about only doing this every 5 years or so but he is not sure what the Dutch council will decide to do. I told him that I hope they continue
to do it each year, it's very powerful and you can tell that people remember. While discussing this topic with the people at the front desk I could quickly tell that they were taught well,
and were educated early on about every detail of what went on right here during WWII. They were telling me details about where and what took place, specific dates and how important this
day was for their people.
As I came up to my room after that experience, I thought to myself, that is exactly what we are missing back in America. We forgot what we are fighting for. If you could only see the faces
of the men (war veterans) that I saw tonight and how respectful the dads, moms and kids were to all the people that took place in the parade honoring the importance of endeavor I think
you would walk away with this same impression. It made me proud.
Sorry for rambling on, I just wish you could have been here to see this. I think that you would have enjoyed it. Todd"
LEST WE FORGET!
March 4, 2011 ***
Boudreaux, the smoothest-talking Cajun in the Louisiana National Guard, got called up to active duty.
Boudreaux's first assignment was to a military induction center, and because he was a good talker, was assigned the duty of advising new recruits about government benefits,
especially the GI insurance to which they were entitled. Before long, the Captain in charge of the induction center began noticing that Boudreaux was getting a 99% signup rate for the
more expensive supplemental form of GI insurance. This was odd, because it would cost these low-income recruits $30 per month more for the higher coverage, compared to what the government
was already providing at no charge.
The Captain decided that he would not ask Boudreaux directly about his selling techniques, but instead he would sit in the back of the room at the next briefing and observe Boudreaux's sales pitch. Boudreaux stood up before the latest group of inductees and said, 'If you got da normal GI inshoranse an' you go to Iraq an' git yoself kilt, da governmen' gonna pay you beneficiary $20,000.
If you take out da supplemental inshoranse, which cost you only t'irty dollar a mont , den da governmen' gotta pay you beneficiary $200,000.'
'NOW,' Boudreaux concluded, 'which bunch you tink dey gonna send ta Iraq furst?'
March 2, 2011 ***
First publication in 2009, but still available: a copy of the WWII 506 scrapbook and the Epic of the 101st Airborne.
A must-have for the serious collector and/or historian of the 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment in WWII.
February 27, 2011 ***
An amazing story for a rainy Sunday afternoon: new addition to TALES OF WORLD WAR II on Lt Robert Pennell (506).
February 20, 2011 ***
Six members of the Screaming Eagles of WWII Foundation attended the "Snowbird" reunion of the 101st Airborne Division Association in Orlando, Florida from 10-13 February.
It was great fun meeting old and new friends, with a small reunion of (most) our Pathfinder group of Operation Torch 2006-trip on Saturday afternoon!
At the same time
it was sad to see the dwindling number of WWII veterans attending.
Our chairperson, Petra Wenstedt-Pulles, was honored to speak a few words at the Saturday night banquet and referred to the need for attention to keep the public conscious of
the treats to the freedoms that we know.
The guest speaker for the banquet was Colonel Viet Luong of the 187th Infantry Regiment, the "Rakkasans", who have almost all returned from their recent mission in Afghanistan.
Colonel Luong inspired all by his personal and emotional story. Thank you again,
Colonel, for sharing.
A few active duty Rakkasans accompanied the Colonel to the reunion. Highly decorated and too modest to talk about their time on duty, they were soon taken in to the Eagle friendship.
It was cold in Chicago with 12/13 inches of snow still on the ground.
Orlando weather looked a lot better!
(There are two extra M&M's in that picture to the right...)
|Friends all around: Joe and June Hennessey (I Co 502 WWII) and Margee Linton among them.||
Mr John Keene with his special reunion beer mug and the Belgian contingent at the banquet table.
Our chairperson Petra making her remarks at the banquet ...
...and delivering the proceeds of our collection to mr Richard Sterne of the Washington DC Fire Department.
|Friends of the 101st, of the Airborne, of the armed forces and just friends, period.||
||Thanks guys - we had a wonderful time!|
After the Snowbird
reunion, secretary Leoni and chairperson Petra visited with Dick Sterne and
Tim Redington of the Washington DC Fire Department Emerald
Society to hand over the
money which was raised for our Christmas card project for the soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division (see post January 22nd). A total of 700 euro's was handed over to be spent on
warm clothing for the wounded warriors in Walter Reed hospital. THANKS again Tony Pulles, Oscar Baricz, Fred Scheurwater, the Immigration Police department in Eindhoven, Tom Timmermans,
Jet and Lies van Berkel, Petra Wenstedt, Nell Pulles, the Van Kamp-family, Nelly and François Van Loo and our friends from The Screaming Ducks for your donations! We have personally
ensured that your money is well spent.
On return home,
we found a notice in our inbox from our good Belgium friend, Reg Jans, about
supported by the Patton
Trust concerning a book production on veterans of ALL wars with
their story and photographs. The Patton Trust is led by General George Patton's granddaughter Helen Patton. Those of you of may know of a (WWII) veteran who would be interested in participating, please share this information. So that their stories and faces are not lost for future generations! It is important for their stories to be told, their portraits to be published. People like Maurice Sperandieu, Robert Izumi or Colin Foster, to name but a few.
So, please, if you have any ideas or connections for author Robert Miller or photographer Andrew Wakeford, let them know and get them in touch.
Also, still available
from Reg Jans in Belgium: the World
War II AIRBORNE Legends calendar 2011! This collector's item is available at
10 euro each, plus 6 euro's shipping in Europe.
Read on the flight back to Europe:
Sgt. Don Malarkey with Bob Welch - Easy Company Soldier
The acclaimed memoir of the "Band of Brothers" soldier who spent more consecutive days in combat than any other member of Easy company. Our honorary member Don Malarkey!
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-56323-3 and ISBN-10: 0-312-56323-X published by St. Martin's Press, New York.
January 28, 2011 ***
A quiet and informal commemmoration in honor of Major Dick Winters was held in Eindhoven on January 23rd. With permission, we publish the speech (English translation) held by
Steph Leenhouwers in front of the building called "Dommelhuis" which was a shelter for Jewish refugees who had fled Germany before World War II started. Speech (in Dutch)
and photo's can be found on the website made by Peter van de Wal who, from the start of the making of the HBO series "Band of Brothers" has been reporting on the 101st Airborne Division, 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment, E-company in relation to Eindhoven's history.
Thank you both, Peter and Steph, for keeping the memory alive - LEST WE FORGET!
January 23, 2011 ***
***Sad news of the passing away of Ed Mauser, E. Co. 506 PIR (WWII). Please keep this man who fought for our freedom, in your prayers.
26th: the film "Bedford:
the town they left behind" will be shown at 20.00 at the movie theatre
Cinema Prabelli in WILTZ, Luxembourg.
The address is Rue de la Montagne 8 in Wiltz. Entrance fee 10 euro.
50% of the profits will go to the Patton Trust. Producer and director of the film, Joe Fab, will be present to talk about the film.
A unique chance to see a great historical film!
January 22, 2011 ***
A NEW YEAR with challenges, camaraderie and moments of reflection and dedication. We wish you ALL THE BEST, ALL THE WAY!
realise we are late in our update this time. Reasons can be found in our newsletter
of last quarter 2010.
Besides that, our secretary and chairperson where in Macau during the holiday season...with business-as-usual in work and studies once back in The Netherlands.
few important news items to summarize the past month:
***with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) in Afghanistan during the holidays, we took on the challenge of designing a Christmas card for the troops. Trying to raise money
for this starting in October, we worked hard to get 25.000 cards printed and distributed to the soldiers. Unfortunately, by mid-December the total amount raised (700 euro's) was
not enough to reach our goal. We have decided to donate the money to Richard Sterne and his group of firefighters in Washington DC who are raising money for the
wounded soldiers at Walter Reed hospital in Virginia. After winter started up with a vengeance, it was discovered that many of these soldiers, in rehabilitation to recovery, were in
need of extra sets of warm clothing. We want to thank Tony Pulles, Oscar Baricz, Fred Scheurwater, the Immigration Police department in Eindhoven, Tom Timmermans, Jet and Lies van Berkel,
Petra Wenstedt, Nell Pulles, the Van Kamp-family, Nelly and François Van Loo and our friends from The Screaming Ducks for their donations!
Even though we didn't reach our goal, our motto was and will be: WHEN YOU DREAM, DREAM BIG.
phone call from Maurice Sperandieu this morning:
Mr Sperandieu was the initiator and organiser of the BASTOGNE MEMORIAL WALK for 32 years. In 2010, due to age and bad eyesight, he was forced to hand over the organisation and did so
to the city of Bastogne. Mr Sperandieu's only wish is that the public will keep coming to Bastogne during December in order to keep the memory alive to those who fought for our freedom.
Thank you, Maurice, for all you have done in the past!
and friends, from Neffe (close to Bastogne), had the little village of Neffe
transformed in December to look like a WWII sight when the 501st PIR fought
fierce battle there. Enjoy Roger's pictures:
the beginning of the year, we received the sad news that Major
Richard Winters, E Co. 506 PIR, passed away at the age of 92.
An example as leader, soldier, officer and gentleman, Major Winters led a quiet, simple life. The HBO series "Band of Brothers" had a huge impact but despite all the media attention, mr Winters
kept to himself, his family and to his dearest friends: the men he led in battle. Let's remember him and learn from him, but let's not idolize the man. We strongly believe that that is the last
thing he would have wanted, giving all the credit to the men who never returned from the battlefields of WWII.
May he rest in peace.
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