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    Why did I create this website ?

    It is certainly an important question because I was born in 1969 and so I never personnally knew the Second World War era. This troubled period had marked my grandparents and since my youngest childhood I’ve heard stories about the nazi occupation and liberation of Belgium in 1944. It has always been with the same emotion that they told me about their surprise when they saw the GI’s for the first time. These young and smiling men represented the end of four years of deprivation. The kindness and generosity of the US soldiers have greatly affected my compatriots. Gradually I developed interest for their stories and I began to read a lot of books about World War II. I took advantage of every occasion to learn more about the American units. After that I collected souvenirs from that period and I very well remember my great excitment when I found my first US helmet. I was only 12 year old ! However in 1996 I made a discovery wich changed a lot of things for me …

    That summer I found an American identification tag in woods near the little village of Hemroulle (Bastogne). It read: WARREN E LILLY. A friend of mine rapidly identified the man as a member of the 17thAirborne Division, 193rd Glider Infantry Regiment, Company E. Unfortunately he had passed away in 1989. At that time I didn’t very well know that unit and I started researches with a crazy idea: finding Warren Lilly’s buddies! I sent a lot of mails for finally rediscover veterans of that unit. Their kindness and their precious help were extremely valuable to me and month after month I collected a lot of information concerning Company E and 193rd Glider Infantry Regiment. Rapidly I developed a real passion for the 17th Airborne Division. I decided initially to write a book dedicated to the 193rd GIR but my job is really time consuming and more than ten years later I have not yet found the time to publish it. It will be more simple and probably more interactive to share my researches by the "internet way". I am proud to present you with this work. It contains the results of my researches since 1996. Through it I hope to keep the memory and honor the sacrifice of all these young men. 

                                  

    Hereby I want to express my gratefulness to the veterans and their families who have helped me : Bill Taylor, Donald Canfield, Tony Heigl, Glenn Widdows, Jean Klick, Irvin Shore, Harold Osborn, Edward Shartle, Allen Myers, Bartley Hagerman, Charles Thomas, Robert McGlasson, Eugene Hermann, Phillip J Rice, Joe Quade, Jim Wittenmyer, Russell Dierolf, Edward Siergiej, William Tom, Curtis Gadd, John Kormann, Phyllis Vandeviver, Dorie Zitch, Ruth Torch, Phil Smith, Anne Telesca-Robinson, Lisa Robinson-Stuart, John Senick, Earl Cavanah & his family, Michael Meyers, Tony Glavan, David Bailey, Adam Coolong, Jere Lee McClendon, Patrick Gudaitis, Bruce & Patricia Overman, Melvin Lagoon & his family, Chris Caschera, Margaret Eadington, Richard P Pohanish, Vincent Ortega, Jayne Linfante, Mark Dill, Jeanne Sandison, Charles and Bob Foulon.

      

    Richard (TFH)    

    Honorary Member 17th AB Assn

      

    PS : some poeples try to contact me by my Guestbook or the Comment section of my photos or articles. In doing so, I can't obtain the email address and can't so answer. So please, use the Contact section. Thanks.

      

      

    Pourquoi ai-je créé ce blog ?

      

    Il s'agit d'une question intéressante car je suis né en 1969 ai je n'ai donc jamais connu la deuxième guerre mondiale. Cette époque terrible avait toutefois durablement marqué mes grands-parents et depuis ma plus tendre enfance, j'ai été bercée par leurs récits de l'occupation allemande et de la libération de la Belgique en septembre 1944. C'était toujours avec la même émotion qu'il décrivait la surprise qui avait été la leur lorsqu'il ont vu les premiers GI's. Ces jeunes et souriants soldats représentaient en effet la fin de quatre dures années de privation. Leur gentillesse et leur générosité a grandement marqué l'esprit de mes aînés. Peu à peu j'ai développé une véritable passion pour ses récits et j'ai alors développé mes connaissances historiques de cette période en lisant moult livres consacrés au sujet. J'ai tout naturellement complété cette "éducation" par la recherche et l'accumulation de souvenirs militaires relatives à cette période et je me rappelle encore très nettement l'excitation qui a été mienne lorsque j'ai découvert mon premier casque américain. J'avais alors douze ans ! En 1996, je fît toutefois une découverte qui donna encore une autre dimension à cette recherche d'histoire ...

      

    Cet été là, je découvris en effet, lors d'une campagne de fouille non loin du petit village de Hemroulle (Bastogne), une plaque d'identité américaine sur laquelle on pouvait lire : WARREN E LILLY. Un bon ami identifia rapidement que ce soldat appartenait à la compagnie E du 193° régiment aérotransporté de la 17° division parachutiste américaine. Quelques recherches complémentaires m'apprirent qu'il était décédé en 1989. A cette époque, je ne connaissais que peu de chose sur cette unité et j'entrepris alors des recherches avec la folle idée de retrouver les camarades de Warren Lilly ! Après de nombreuses lettres envoyées aux USA, j'obtint enfin les premières réponses de vétérans. Leur gentillesse et leur aide me furent d'un précieux secours et mois après mois, j'accumula des informations diverses sur le 193° régiment aérotransporté. Rapidement, je développa une véritable passion pour la 17° division parachutiste américaine. J'ai d'abord envisagé de publier un livre avec l'ensemble de mes recherches mais finalement, mes occupations familiales et professionnelles ne m'ont toujours pas permis de finaliser ce projet dix ans plus tard. J'ai donc décidé d'utiliser la "toile" pour partager mes découvertes. Cette manière de faire sera je l'espère plus évolutive et plus interactive. Je suis fière de vous présenter ce travail. Il est le fruit de mes recherches depuis 1996. A travers elles, j'espère préserver un peu la mémoire et honorer le sacrifice de tout ces jeunes hommes. 

      

    Je tiens ici à exprimer mes remerciements les plus sincères aux vétérans et aux familles qui m'ont aidé dans mes recherches : Bill Taylor, Donald Canfield, Tony Heigl, Glenn Widdows, Jean Klick, Irvin Shore, Harold Osborn, Edward Shartle, Allen Myers, Bartley Hagerman, Charles Thomas, Robert McGlasson, Eugene Hermann, Phillip J Rice, Joe Quade, Jim Wittenmyer, Russell Dierolf, Edward Siergiej, William Tom, Curtis Gadd, John Kormann, Phyllis Vandeviver, Dorie Zitch, Ruth Torch, Phil Smith, Anne Telesca-Robinson, Lisa Robinson-Stuart, John Senick, Earl Cavanah et sa famille, Michael Meyers, Tony Glavan, David Bailey, Adam Coolong, Jere Lee McClendon, Patrick Gudaitis, Bruce & Patricia Overman, Melvin Lagoon et sa famille, Chris Caschera, Margaret Eadington, Richard P Pohanish, Vincent Ortega, Jayne Linfante, Mark Dill, Jeanne Sandison, Charles et Bob Foulon.

      

    Richard (TFH)    

    Membre honoraire 17th AB Assoc

    PS : certaines personnes tentent de me contacter par le Guestbook ou par la section Commentaire des photos ou des articles. En procédant de la sorte, je ne peux obtenir l'adresse email et ne peux donc répondre. Utiliser donc la section Contact de mon blog. Merci.


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  • February 10, 1945 ...

     

     

     

     

    It is on February 10, 1945 the 17th Airborne was relieved from the frontline and sent in Châlon-sur-Marne, Champagne (France) to rest and reorganization. This day is so the last day of the second campaign for the division. The "green" 17th has known its Baptism of fire in the Bulge, in one of the fierce battle for the liberation of Europe (Ardennes Campaign) and followed immediately with the Rhineland Campaign. It has paid a heavy tribute in this two winter campaigns with several thousands killing or wounding men. In February 1945, the division was so veteran division ready for its next campaign : operation VARSITY. But at this time, the 17th Airborne troopers didn't know that ... (Original photo - TFH collection via Earl K Cavannah and family. Ribbon from TFH collection). 

     


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  • Tribute to Pfc Sherrill E OVERLANDER (ASN 32944031) – F Cie / 507th PIR (07/11/1916 – 12/10/1985)

     

     

     

    Sherrill E OVERLANDER was born on November 07, 1916. This man served in the National Guard (110th Infantry Regiment / 28th Infantry Division) prior to the World War II.

    He was Heavy Truck driver and lived in New York when he was inducted in the Army on September 04, 1943. He entered in active service at Albany, NY on September and received Army Serial Number 32944031. In early 1944, he was volunteer for the paratroopers and was sent at Fort Benning’s Parachute School where he was successfully qualified on April 29, 1944. He was qualified Rifle Expert on June 09, 1944. 

    He was send overseas on October 1944 and arrived in England on November 02, 1944. He was probably in the Reserve Pool when he was assigned to the F Company / 507th PIR, only few days before the division was alerted to move in the Bulge.

    He fought in the Bulge with the 17th AB and was send in United States on March 01 for unknown reason (I don’t have found any information about a wound received during the battle of the Bulge), 1945. He arrived home on March 09, 1945.

    He was discharged on May 11, 1945 while he was hospitalized at Tilton General Hospital, Fort Dix, NJ for medical reason.

    Sherrill was awared European-African-Middel Eastern Campaign Medal with one Bronze Battle Star.

     

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    Sherrill E OVERLANDER passed away on October 12, 1985.


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  • There is 72 years ago ...

    Rest and reorganization in Champagne, France ...

    After a terrible winter campaign, the 17th Airborne troopers were stationed in the vicinity of Châlon-sur-Marne to take rest, reorganize, repair and clean materiel and restart training to prepare the final assault in the heart of the Third Reich.

    This pic was realized between february and March 1945 when the division was located in France. It shows T/4 Leo Alfred CAPISTRANT (ASN 31127787) from Service Company / 507th PIR. This really interesting pic shows a not known fact : the 507th PIR troopers wore tactical insignias on their helmets. I have discovered this recently and published my research in the French review "Militaria Magazine" from September 2016. Unfortunately I have not yet found the signification and code of this tactical identification. I hope found more pics and identified helmets to better understand this practice (pic and helmet from TFH collection).

     

     


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