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  1. #1
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    Default We Will Remember Them

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    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." -Edmund Burke

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by simon grace View Post
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    Always here as far back as I can remember.

    My father Thomas Stetts; his entire tour of duty in the European Theater began on shore in Normandy France and ended in Berlin Germany. He was part of the American divisions caught in The Ardennes in what would ever after be known as The Battle of The Bulge. Among few survivors of his division neither killed or captured and killed he and a handful of other infantrymen escaped and evaded the German Army until they linked with a larger American unit. As a boy I was told this evasion and skirmishing lasted 4 days...

    Once reunited with the Americans Private Stetts, a Rifleman, and his fellow survivors were absorbed officially by what was then General George S. Patton's 3rd Army. Serving with the 3rd Tom went on to join in the rush to Bastogne where the 3rd broke through to rescue and relieve the 101st Airborne Division...

    My father died just after his 48th birthday, he was 25 years old when he went to the war as an enlisted soldier, I had just turned 13 at his death. Had he lived longer I would know more about what he endured but our time was short and those were the days when boys were not privy to the details of war as he knew it. The stories I do know were those he had shared with his brother after he returned.

    I do know as I consider the man as I knew him, that he was deeply affected by his experiences in France & Germany. I believe the totality of it contributed to his early death.

    One thing I can tell you with no doubt or exaggeration is that that man would have followed General Patton straight into Hell if Patton intended to do away with the Devil himself!

    So yes, I always remember June 6th - December 16th and December 26th because those dates meant so much to my father.

    Thanks for making this thread so that I could take a few minutes to relate to you a brief tale of the strongest and bravest man I've ever known personally.

    Ard
    Last edited by Hardyreels; 06-06-2019 at 06:16 PM. Reason: date correction

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
    Always here as far back as I can remember.

    My father Thomas Stetts; his entire tour of duty in the European Theater began on shore in Normandy France and ended in Berlin Germany. He was part of the American divisions caught in The Ardennes in what would ever after be known as The Battle of The Bulge. Among few survivors of his division neither killed or captured and killed he and a handful of other infantrymen escaped and evaded the German Army until they linked with a larger American unit. As a boy I was told this evasion and skirmishing lasted 4 days...

    Once reunited with the Americans Private Stetts, a Rifleman, and his fellow survivors were absorbed officially by what was then General George S. Patton's 3rd Army. Serving with the 3rd Tom went on to join in the rush to Bastogne where the 3rd broke through to rescue and relieve the 101st Airborne Division...

    My father died just after his 48th birthday, he was 25 years old when he went to the war as an enlisted soldier, I had just turned 13 at his death. Had he lived longer I would know more about what he endured but our time was short and those were the days when boys were not privy to the details of war as he knew it. The stories I do know were those he had shared with his brother after he returned.

    I do know as I consider the man as I knew him, that he was deeply affected by his experiences in France & Germany. I believe the totality of it contributed to his early death.

    One thing I can tell you with no doubt or exaggeration is that that man would have followed General Patton straight into Hell if Patton intended to do away with the Devil himself!

    So yes, I always remember June 4th - December 16th and December 26th because those dates meant so much to my father.

    Thanks for making this thread so that I could take a few minutes to relate to you a brief tale of the strongest and bravest man I've ever known personally.

    Ard
    A very poignant post.
    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." -Edmund Burke

  4. #4
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    My father (who died in 1992) commanded 707 Flotilla & Specialist Assault Group Royal Marines on D Day. They were the navigation leaders for the right hand side of SWORD beach, centred on La Breche (QUEEN). His group of twelve 32 foot long wooden craft, unarmored and unarmed, were also responsible for carrying 2 RA forward observation parties, delivering RE landing craft obstacle clearance unit (LCOCU) divers to blow up beach obstacles, and leading the subsequent waves of infantry assault landing craft (LCA) to their sectors of the beach.

    The plans for getting 707 to Normandy on a large ship failed, so my father led them under their own power across the Channel during the night, arriving on time in the right place. He had been there before during the winter of 1943-4 from a submarine in a rubber suit. His first duty was to lead the swimming DD tanks of the 13/18th Hussars to the beach, and thereby was the first to arrive in his sector.

    By the end of the day 7 of his 12 boats had been destroyed or sunk, and nearly half of his men were dead. He was wounded, collecting shell fragments in his neck, head and back, but carried on. He was more seriously wounded around D+10 and evacuated to hospital in Portsmouth. He was subsequently Mentioned in Despatches for his leadership and determination. My father said nothing of this until he was dying, and then only in generalities. Everything above has come from my own historical research in the RM/RN and National Archives.


    My late father in law arrived at La Breche, courtesy of my father's guidance, at lunchtime on D Day aged 18, 3 weeks out of Sandhurst, commanding a Sherman tank with the East Riding Yeomanry. He was in action before tea dealing with the second German counter attack of the day. Over the next 3 weeks he had 2 tanks shot out from under him, was strafed and bombed by the RAF, but the third time was not lucky, and he was wounded and evacuated to UK, spending 4 months in hospital, before returning to the fight, ending his war in Kiel. During the Normandy campaign the ERY got through its officer roll 3 times over as a result of losses.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCXFisher View Post
    My father (who died in 1992) commanded 707 Flotilla & Specialist Assault Group Royal Marines on D Day. They were the navigation leaders for the right hand side of SWORD beach, centred on La Breche (QUEEN). His group of twelve 32 foot long wooden craft, unarmored and unarmed, were also responsible for carrying 2 RA forward observation parties, delivering RE landing craft obstacle clearance unit (LCOCU) divers to blow up beach obstacles, and leading the subsequent waves of infantry assault landing craft (LCA) to their sectors of the beach.

    The plans for getting 707 to Normandy on a large ship failed, so my father led them under their own power across the Channel during the night, arriving on time in the right place. He had been there before during the winter of 1943-4 from a submarine in a rubber suit. His first duty was to lead the swimming DD tanks of the 13/18th Hussars to the beach, and thereby was the first to arrive in his sector.

    By the end of the day 7 of his 12 boats had been destroyed or sunk, and nearly half of his men were dead. He was wounded, collecting shell fragments in his neck, head and back, but carried on. He was more seriously wounded around D+10 and evacuated to hospital in Portsmouth. He was subsequently Mentioned in Despatches for his leadership and determination. My father said nothing of this until he was dying, and then only in generalities. Everything above has come from my own historical research in the RM/RN and National Archives.


    My late father in law arrived at La Breche, courtesy of my father's guidance, at lunchtime on D Day aged 18, 3 weeks out of Sandhurst, commanding a Sherman tank with the East Riding Yeomanry. He was in action before tea dealing with the second German counter attack of the day. Over the next 3 weeks he had 2 tanks shot out from under him, was strafed and bombed by the RAF, but the third time was not lucky, and he was wounded and evacuated to UK, spending 4 months in hospital, before returning to the fight, ending his war in Kiel. During the Normandy campaign the ERY got through its officer roll 3 times over as a result of losses.
    Watching the BBC coverage and all the stories from men and women who took part in the D Day landings make it all very real.
    Great post Michael.Thanks
    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." -Edmund Burke

  6. #6

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    Absolutely, to many have forgotten these days what sacrifices those young brave men gave.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by riffled hitch View Post
    Absolutely, to many have forgotten these days what sacrifices those young brave men gave.
    To many don't even know..
    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." -Edmund Burke

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by simon grace View Post
    To many don't even know..
    And sadly that is the truth, unfortunately deutschland still has a firm grip of Europe,

  9. #9

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    True heroes never to be forgotten

  10. #10

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    I never realised until today that the battle for Normandy lasted for 77 days, with allied loses averaging over 6000 a day during that period.

    I have watched load's of programs in the past about D Day, but in my ignorance I assumed it was a mad dash for Paris once the bridgehead was established - wrong!

    Another thing I never been able to get my head around is how the Germans were able to take on so many different opponents throughout the war, unyet still be a potent fighting force until the very end ?

    Britain had a World empire at the time and I assume we were on a par with Germany in many respects prior to war breaking out - unyet we were complete underdogs it seems.

    I don't get that - seeing as Germany had just gone through the great depression and had been decimated by the First World War. How could they muster so many resources and have been so superior to the rest of Europe ?

    I imagine without the red army losing 16 million lives (and this corresponding attrition on the Germans), the allied D day would have been delayed for many years - if at all ?

    Loads of gaps in my understanding, obviously !
    Last edited by offshore; 06-06-2019 at 09:44 PM.

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