06/6/19

The Age of Freedom – Twenty-two

The average age of the American soldiers who jumped into France or landed at Normandy was twenty-two. That includes everyone including the men running the show. Plenty of those who fought were as young as eighteen.

When good confronted evil, when the flame of freedom flickered, the men sent to make it right were young. They had their entire lives in front of them, but first they had to save the world.

By midnight, the Americans would lose 2,500 KIA, 3,200 WIA, 2,000 MIA, and 26 POW. Many of them were paratroopers who had jumped into the darkness over France slightly after midnight.

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06/3/19

Have We Earned It?

In three days, we will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Allied landings at Normandy, D-Day. In those landings, the Allies drove the first nails in Hitler’s coffin. Good began to triumph over evil. A year later, the war would be over in Europe and shortly thereafter in the Pacific.

It was a complex undertaking with the Americans, British, and the Canadians landing on the beaches and the Americans and British dropping paratroopers behind the landing beaches with American Rangers scaling the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc.

The Americans fought the toughest battle at Bloody Omaha whereat the US 1st Div and the 29th Div landed and almost were thrown back into the sea until American courage overcame the German opposition. It was a very close call and evacuating the Omaha landing force was considered.

All told there were 10,000 casualties that day — KIA, WIA, MIA, POW. Of that number, 2,500 were from the American 82nd and 101st Airborne units who jumped before dawn.

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