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#1 raveno44

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 03:30 PM

Guys...

Irish Dave calling from exile in RAVENOVILLE (that's in Normandy, France)...Sorry, just my sense of humour!

Delighted to sign up for the duration! Been living in Ravenoville since March 2009 - built a bungalow on route de la Mer (Robertson Road) which completed in November 2008, just a hop away from Marmion Farm & the church.

I'm originally from Belfast, been visiting Normandy for many years over the D-Day Anniversary. During the mid-1990's I organised & led pilgrimages for Irish vets connected with the British sector, particularly Pegasus Bridge/Benouville/Ranville & Sword Beach. During 1995/6 I steered a project to erect memorials to the Royal Ulster Rifles in the tiny villages of Longueval, near Pegasus Bridge & Cambes-en-Plaine, just north of Caen.

Most recent project was 6 June 2009 & the fulfilment of a two-year mission to honour the memory of 2/Lt George E Schmidt, E Company, 501 PIR, 101st Airborne Division with the unveiling of a memorial near the spot where he died. Lt Schmidt was KIA on D-Day morning at La Haute Addeville, near St Come-du-Mont. He was awarded a posthumous DSC for outstanding leadership & heroism. Today, he rests in Honoured Glory in Plot C Row 4 Grave 32 in the Normandy American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, overlooking Omaha Beach.

This year I've embarked on a much larger project to honour (target date June 2012) the memories of 43 GI's from 1st Engineer Special Brigade who landed on Utah Beach on D-Day. They were KIA during the landings & up until the end of June 1944. These specialists, who were vital in ensuring the success of the Utah Beach operation, are commemorated by roadside markers in the vicinity of the beachhead. Four markers in & close to Ravenoville commemorate three of the GI's. Route de la Mer also bears the name of Sgt Llyod M Robertson, 286th Joint Assault Signal Company, who was KIA on 10 June 1944. One of Sgt Robertson's markers is less than 100 metres from my home. I traced Sgt Robertson's family in his hometown of Sevierville,Tennessee just before this year's D-Day Anniversary & held a simple ceremony at Sgt Robertson's markers (two exist for each of the 43 GI's) on 10 June - the 66th Anniversary of his death. We also placed floral tributes with the US & French flags at the markers for Pvt Robert Goodman & Pvt John H Simmons. Both died on 13 June 1944. Lots more info soon...

My second project is to place Ravenoville firmly on the D-Day Airborne trail. I'm researching the battle/capture of Ravenoville on D-Day by elements of both 101st & 82nd Airborne Divisions. 502/506/508 PIR's were all involved. Objective: a memorial in Ravenoville, June 2012 if not before. More very soon...

It's a privilege to be a 'Newbie' in such exalted company.

Quis Separabit?

Iish Dave

#2 ratso

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 10:25 PM

Welcome!

#3 appell8

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 10:45 PM

Irish Dave, you've come to the right place. I look forward to hearing more about the history that you're surrounded by. Welcome!

#4 Tigerhead

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 02:29 AM

Welcome Dave,

But of course I already know you from the DickWinters forum and Donald Burgett forum.
Join the club!!!

#5 G.MITCHELL

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 01:11 PM

Hello and welcome IrishDave, its a pleasure to read about your meticulous work. You obviously have a passion for such undertakings. It must be very rewarding and I wish you well with your up-coming ideas.

Gary.

#6 raveno44

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 01:50 PM

Guys...

Thanx lots for the warm welcome!

The Ravenoville airborne project is to honour all the troopers from the mixed 101st & 82nd elements who captured the village on D-Day morning & held it until the arrival of 4th Division troops from Utah Beach on D+1.

There are two elements to the story: the seizure of the village on D-Day morning superbly chronicled by Don Burgett in 'Currahee!' & the assault on Marmion Farm, which is less clearly defined.

Don's group of twenty troopers included a Lieutenant & two men from the 82nd. So far, I haven't been able to ID the three 'All Americans.' Any suggestions welcome.

The 'Stopka Group' led by Major John P Stopka, XO of 3/502, which captured Marmion Farm appears to have been made up of 502/506/377 PFA, & maybe 508. I have identified six E/506 troopers at Marmion: Walter Gordon; John Eubanks; Forrest Guth; Floyd Talbert; Francis Mellet; Ed Tipper; & (possibly a seventh) Albert Blithe.

I hope to establish a definitive list of who-was-who & when at Ravenoville, with a view of contacting any surviving veterans or their relatives to appraise them of the project.

There are other, so far unresolved questions: e.g. the identity of the four 101st troopers KIA during the assault by Don B's group, & the two troopers who died clearing the Germans from the church. Again, all comments/suggestions from you experts out there feel free...

More very soon...

Quis Separabit?

Irish Dave

#7 misako

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 02:18 PM

Welcome to WBG.

Misako

#8 larrya

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 02:59 PM

Irish Dave. Welcome aboard. I had the priviledge of being at Marmion Farm with Forrest Guth in 2008, a few months before he passed away. It was neat taking him back there and seeing the place.

Enjoy your time with us at WBG

Larry Alexander

#9 larrya

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 03:02 PM

I discussed the battle with him and Ed Tipper for my book "In the Footsteps of the Band of Brothers."

#10 raveno44

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 02:31 PM

Hey Larry

Thanx lots for the posts! I envy you having had the opportunity to be in the company of Forrest Guth.

I am endeavouring to unravel events at Marmion Farm on D-Day/D+1. One element is whether or not Forrest Guth & the other E/506 troopers he met with following the drop (Walter Gordon, John Eubanks & Floyd Talbert) participated in the assault on Marmion Farm? Same Q stands in respect of Francis Mellet & Ed Tipper?

Then, there's the Q of Albert Blithe being at Marmion, or not. His son, Gordon, I've read, assets his father is the trooper at the extreme right of the iconic photo of the 101st troopers with the captured flag.

Stephen Ambrose's 'Band of Brothers' (p74-5) describes how Walter Gordon, John Eubanks, Forrest Guth & Floyd Talbert got to the farm:

"The E Company foursome joined up with a group from the 502nd that had just captured a German strong point in a large farm complex that dominated the crossroads north of the beach at Ravenoville. They spent the day defending the fortress from counterattacks. In the morning of D-Day plus one, they set out southward in search of their company."

Compare Walter Gordon's account in George Koskimaki's 'D-Day With the Screaming Eagles' (p.227):

"Our group was led by a very colourful Major," remembered PFC Walter Gordon, who had found three other members of his company & had gravitated toward a larger group. He added, "About dawn of D-Day, we joined about 25 to 30 other paratroopers from various regiments & wrested a large quadrangle farmhouse from the Germans...We defended the billet all of D-Day & were relieved by members of the 4th Division on D plus one - or later."

I hope to establish just who-was-who & when at Marmion on D-Day. Any pointers gratefully received by this 'Newbie!'

I'll also be sure to buy a copy of "In the Footsteps..."

Quis Separabit?

Irish Dave

#11 AQuaker

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 03:24 PM

Welcome!

Shelia b

#12 Steve1979

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 01:42 AM

Welcome to the forums :)

#13 larrya

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 02:26 PM

Hey Larry

Thanx lots for the posts! I envy you having had the opportunity to be in the company of Forrest Guth.

I am endeavouring to unravel events at Marmion Farm on D-Day/D+1. One element is whether or not Forrest Guth & the other E/506 troopers he met with following the drop (Walter Gordon, John Eubanks & Floyd Talbert) participated in the assault on Marmion Farm? Same Q stands in respect of Francis Mellet & Ed Tipper?

Then, there's the Q of Albert Blithe being at Marmion, or not. His son, Gordon, I've read, assets his father is the trooper at the extreme right of the iconic photo of the 101st troopers with the captured flag.

Stephen Ambrose's 'Band of Brothers' (p74-5) describes how Walter Gordon, John Eubanks, Forrest Guth & Floyd Talbert got to the farm:

"The E Company foursome joined up with a group from the 502nd that had just captured a German strong point in a large farm complex that dominated the crossroads north of the beach at Ravenoville. They spent the day defending the fortress from counterattacks. In the morning of D-Day plus one, they set out southward in search of their company."

Compare Walter Gordon's account in George Koskimaki's 'D-Day With the Screaming Eagles' (p.227):

"Our group was led by a very colourful Major," remembered PFC Walter Gordon, who had found three other members of his company & had gravitated toward a larger group. He added, "About dawn of D-Day, we joined about 25 to 30 other paratroopers from various regiments & wrested a large quadrangle farmhouse from the Germans...We defended the billet all of D-Day & were relieved by members of the 4th Division on D plus one - or later."

I hope to establish just who-was-who & when at Marmion on D-Day. Any pointers gratefully received by this 'Newbie!'

I'll also be sure to buy a copy of "In the Footsteps..."

Quis Separabit?

Irish Dave



Dave,

I am pretty sure Forrest, Gordon, Talbert and Eubanks did NOT take part in teh assault on teh farm, but am not 100% certain. Forrest never mentioned the assault to me when we were there. I am also familiar with Gordon's comments in Koskimaki's book. Also, neither Forrest nor Ed Tipper ever mentioned Blithe being there, so I doubt he was. The two troopers holding the flag in the photo Forrest took were Eubanks (on left) and Gordon on the right.

Larry

#14 Dave602

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 05:38 PM

Welcome to the site.

Dave




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