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Sgt. Floyd H. Talbert

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#1 homefront41



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Posted 16 February 2003 - 12:43 PM

In order to correct the image of his brother Floyd as portrayed in the afterward of Band of Brothers, Bob Talbert has written of his life after the war. This material has been posted a couple of places, but this particular letter comes from Peter van de Wal's site. I know that Peter is happy to contribute to setting the story straight on Tab.

Dear Peter,

I want to let you know that my family deeply appreciates the page you created for "Tab".
Just one comment ... The remarks in the book Band of Brothers about Tab becoming a drifter and a drinker are not correct. My brother and I both discussed this with Ambrose and he admitted that he had picked this up through the several interviews with some of the living vets. However, they were operating upon assumptions and through discussions among themselves, they formed this opinion. Tab, by his own admission, had a drinking problem.

However, he was NEVER a drifter. He was a super intelligent individual who could do just about anything he wanted to. He attended Indiana University after his discharge from the service and immediately accepted a position with the Union Carbide (Haynes Stellite Division in Kokomo, Indiana). He then transferred with the same organization to Alexandria, Indiana, and worked there for several years. He decided to become a full-time farmer and purchased land in that area. Later, he became a plant manager for the General Tire and Rubber Company. He also was a successful car salesman both in Indiana and California.

The life he was living in California was exactly what he wanted to do. He told us that many times and appeared happy with his activities. He settled in Redding, California, and lived there for many years. He loved to hunt and fish and he fell in love with that geographical area including Lake Shasta.

His daughter was very disturbed and upset with Ambrose when she read his book. I told her that I did not blame Ambrose, for he was only printing what he had derived from interviews. I told Ambrose the same thing. However, it did hurt the family somewhat because he was not a drifter. In addition, prior to his death in 1982, according to his daughter, he had managed the drinking problem very well and had his finances and his life in order when he died.

I guess we would appreciate it very much if you would omit that paragraph referring to him as a drifter and a drinker. Otherwise, we remain very grateful for your kind considerations and wish you the very best in the future. Incidentally, I have personally enjoyed your website very much!


Bob ("Tabs" brother)


http://members.lycos...r506e/tab01.htm -- The Tab page on Peter's site.

#2 appell8



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Posted 16 February 2003 - 01:07 PM

BK, thanks for that clarification. I also spoke to Max Talbert, another of Floyd's brothers, on the BoB tour about Tab. He told me a shortened version of what Bob Talbert says in the piece that BK excerpted. He also said that Tab's move to California was prompted by a diagnosis of a terminal disease and that Tab simply decided that he wanted to spend his remaining time outdoors.

I was trying to figure out how to phrase this; BK's post did the job. Thanks BK, yet again. y.o.s., Doug

#3 marigold


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Posted 16 February 2003 - 05:03 PM

Wow, thanks BK and Doug. It's so good to know that he lived his life right and not the way as depicted in the book :D


#4 Tim Murphy

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 08:43 AM

Thanks Guys for the info (yet again)
Its good to hear that Tab's post-war life was not as previously thought.
I hate to think of any of the vets suffering after they got through the horrors of war.
On the subject, and a lighter note, was the piece about Tab's adopted dog "trigger" true or fictional. If so whatever happened to him?


#5 Frank_Slegers_Holland


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Posted 17 February 2003 - 03:14 PM

BK, thanks for the info. I have just read that part of the BOB book. Dick Winters commented the was one of the most memorable men of E-company and a very fine soldier one could rely upon. It's good to give him the respect he deserves even if this is posthumous.


#6 roma


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Posted 17 February 2003 - 03:42 PM

Yes, Thank you! for the additional info about Tab. I really liked the portrayal of him in the series. I'm glad to know that he lived happily and well. Again, we see how history can be such an amorphous thing...even primary sources are touched by heresay/rumors/assumptions--no matter how innocent.
thanks for that excerpt O Research Goddess BK. :D

#7 MCalabro



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Posted 18 February 2003 - 10:53 PM

I wonder why Ambrose wrote of Talbert in that light? Was it the interviews, or other sources of knowledge on Easy Company?

#8 homefront41



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Posted 18 February 2003 - 11:09 PM


The thing that has to be borne in mind is that Dr. Ambrose interviewed the Easy men in 1989-90, quite a long time after the events. While many things were so imbedded in their mind's eye after so many years, a few others would have been a succession of errors of both information and memory.

You can just imagine a bunch of guys sitting around at a reunion in, say 1965 or so and someone wonders about good old Sgt. So-and-So has been, why's he's making himself so scarce. Before long there will speculation among his buddies who know and love him so well and in general a supposition will be made. By the time 1989-90 rolls around, it's forgotten that it was supposition and not fact. Supposing doesn't make it so and by all accounts this is the case as regards Sgt. Talbert.

Nevertheless, the men passed on what they remembered and Dr. Ambrose wrote it. There were a few mistakes made in Band of Brothers that were the product of exactly that sort of supposing and turned out to be something else altogether. It's unfortunate that some family members were upset by it, but we have all these public forums to straighten out the record. BK

#9 MCalabro



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Posted 18 February 2003 - 11:15 PM

Definitely makes sense. I am still relatively new to the life of a historian, but I do remember that the first thing a teacher once told me was to put myself in the time and place, and I guess that interviews conducted several years ago might have different results than interviews done some other time. Thanks for straightening that one out.




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Posted 19 February 2003 - 01:00 AM


Thanks for helping to set the record straight!

#11 Jay_M



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Posted 26 February 2003 - 08:55 PM

It's great to hear that Talbert was happy during his life after the war and that he had a loving family. It's just a pity that more people do not know this fact.

#12 Kiwiwriter


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Posted 27 February 2003 - 09:40 AM

Definitely makes sense. I am still relatively new to the life of a historian, but I do remember that the first thing a teacher once told me was to put myself in the time and place, and I guess that interviews conducted several years ago might have different results than interviews done some other time. Thanks for straightening that one out.

Don't forget that people only know what they know or what they make the effort to learn. And historians are people, and they can only work with what they have. Often that's faulty, and that's how legends become fact.

I am also glad to know that Sgt. Talbert did not have to live as a drifter.

#13 Firemedic72



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Posted 04 March 2003 - 10:02 AM

Thanks for the correction. It always bothered me to think of a fine soldier and man like Mr. Talbert to have ended up like that. I'm glad that that portrayal was a mistake as he was a hero.

#14 ss278



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Posted 03 May 2004 - 09:28 PM

I agree. Glad to have the correction. I like Tab a lot in the book and series and have to admit I was saddened to hear what had happened to him after the war. Its good to know that it wasn't true and that he got his life together. I'm also happy he got to spend his last years exactly how he wanted to. We should all be so lucky.

#15 stingray_34_2000



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Posted 12 May 2004 - 11:42 AM

Very good posts, I enjoy reading everything I can about the BOB members. I do enjoy hearing stories from relatives of those no longer with us. Thanks for the stories.


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