Board of Directors and Team Leaders

Normandy Allies notes with gratitude the Americans who served on the Board of Directors from 1997-2021 and as Team Leaders from 1999-2019

Board of Directors


  • Marsha A. Smith (1997-2021)

Vice President

  • Donald McCarthy, World War II Normandy Veteran (1997-2000)
  • SGM Charles Frick (2000-2018)
  • Mary M. Stubler (2018-2021)


  • Marsha Smith (1997- 2004)
  • SGM Charles Frick (2004-2017)
  • Ben Smith (2017-2021)


  • Mary M. Stubler (1997-2021)

Board Members:

  • Donald M. McKee, World War II Normandy Veteran (2000-2015)
  • William F. Stubler (2000-2014)
  • SGM Charles Frick (2001-2018)
  • Walter F. Carter (2001-2018)
  • Allen Williams (2003-2005)
  • LTC Peter Combee (2003-2019)
  • Angela Talaber (2005-2021)
  • Allan DeCarlo (2008- 2021)
  • Mary P. Starowicz (2019-2021)

Team Leaders

Normandy Allies Past Team Leaders

1999 Team Leaders: Gene Johnston, Charles Frick, Marsha Smith, Allen Williams, Peter Combee

Marsha Smith (1997-2021)

Her uncle, S/Sgt Benedict A. Smith of the 29th Division, was killed in action and is buried in the Brittany American Cemetery, St. James, France. She has a lifelong interest in history and holds an M.A. in American Studies from Boston College. Normandy Allies and the International Experience flow from her 1996 visit to Normandy and her meetings with the French who rebuilt their own country and who continue to honor the Allies who liberated them.

LTC(Ret) M. Gene Johnston (1997-2009)

Gene Johnston entered military service in Tampa in 1963, and served two tours of duty in the Republic of Vietnam in 1966 and 1968. He was selected for the U.S. Army Foreign Area Officer program in 1973 and began a specialization program with emphasis on France. He then served as a professor of strategic studies at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. After graduating from the French War College, he served as Army attaché in the Defense Attaché Office in Paris from mid-1983 until his retirement from the Army in October 1989. After his retirement, he was selected by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations for the position of security investigator in the Paris detachment.

LTC Johnston enjoyed a wide network of colleagues and friends in Normandy. The Mayors and Regional Councilors worked closely with Gene and Marsha Smith to bring the plans for Normandy Allies to fruition. Gene passed away October 16, 2009 and is interred at Fort Mitchell National Cemetery, Fort Mitchell, AL.

SGM(Ret)Charles Frick (1997-2018)

Retired from the 29th Division (Light), SGM Frick has served as a training advisor nationally and internationally for the US Army and has escorted veterans on journeys to Normandy. Concluding 42 years of military service, SGM Frick was awarded the Legion of Merit for leadership and significant improvements and accomplishments in major operations and multi-phased training activities, the highest peacetime military award.

Allen Williams (1997-2005)

Instructor of History at Paris Junior College in Paris, Texas. He wrote his thesis on the 29th Division training and combat in Normandy. Allen’s father, J.T. Williams, was with the 468th A.A.A. Battalion, which landed in Normandy in August 1944. His stepfather, Charles Davidson, was with the 29th Division in Normandy. Allen was also the creator and original webmaster of the Normandy Allies website.

LTC(Ret) Peter Combee (1998-2019)

Retired from the 29th Division (Light), LTC Combee has served as Leaders’ instructor and course writer, Regimental Historian and Vice-President for the 116th Regimental Foundation, has conducted military Staff Rides in Normandy, and leads groups to visit military historical sites worldwide.

Walter Carter (2006-2015)

Author of No Greater Sacrifice, No Greater Love (Smithsonian Books, 2004, with Terry Golway; see The book is about Walter’s father, an Army doctor who was killed in action in the Normandy campaign of WW II. Rue Captain Carter is named for Walter’s father. Walter is retired from a career as a business economist and is an amateur musician.

Mary M. Stubler (2017)

Co-founder of Normandy Allies with Marsha Smith. Their uncle, S/Sgt Benedict A. Smith of the 29th Division, was killed in action and is buried in the Brittany American Cemetery, St. James, France. As Administrative Coordinator, Mary also participated in the development of all programs from 2015- 2021.

Colleen Green (2019)

Inspired by the service of Pvt. John O’Neil of the 29th Division who was killed in action on D-Day and is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery, Colleen participated in several Normandy Allies programs. She is an educator and relied on those skills as a team member in 2019.