Can You Help?

Posted by on Feb 23, 2014 in Can You Help?

Geert Van den Bogaert, a guide at the Normandy American Military Cemetery, has been researching a battle fought during WWII by C Company, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division on 13 June 1944 near Moulin des Rondelles.

Geert will be visiting Company C family members in the US in Fall 2011 and doing research at the National Archives at College Park, MD.  He has also been interviewing over two dozen French civilian witnesses of the occupation and liberation of Cerisy-la-Forêt and has spent numerous hours at the Archives in St-Lô and Caen.

If any reader has information that will help this research, please contact Geert at or contact Normandy Allies.

I would like to interview veterans of the 175th Regiment of the 29th Infantry Division about their experiences in the advance on Saint-Lô and about the events of 30 July in Villebaudon. On this particular day, the 175th was under withering attack by German tanks and artillery, followed by a murderous infantry assault.

My documentary, Love and Sacrifice, is about a father and son who were killed in World War II. The father, Col. Ollie W. Reed was assigned command of the 175th Regiment on 20 June 1944 as final preparations were being made for the assault on Saint-Lô. He died of wounds suffered on 30 July in Villebaudon, France, when many of the officers of the 175th were killed or wounded in the combined artillery, tank, and infantry assault on that day.

Ideally, I would love to interview anyone with knowledge of Col. Reed, or any knowledge of Lt. Curtis Fitzgerald and Sgt. Vaughn Bounds who were with Col Reed when he died.

A brief video introduction to the program can be seen at My target broadcast date is Memorial Day weekend 2013.  Please contact me if you are a member of the 175th, or if you know a member of the 175th.

Dennis Whitehead
1410 N. Nelson St.  Arlington VA 22201    703-524-6814 (home)

I'm looking to track down the US division that trained on the moors behind my family’s farm in the lead up to D-Day. My research has indicated that the 29th Division was stationed in Cornwall; however I have not found any details on training at the location I am interested in. It is on the moors near Zennor (about 6 m west of St Ives, 6 m north from Penzance) so approximately a 3-4 hr drive west (as an estimate factoring poorer roads of the time) from Plymouth and Exeter.

My grandmother can remember the troop training when she was a girl. Most interestingly she remembers a tank sinking into the marsh on the moors and believes it is still there today. I am keen to track down any US soldiers that trained there to verify and add more detail if possible. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks in advance and best regards,
James W. Berryman
Porthmeor Farm, Pendeen,
Penzance, Cornwall,
United Kingdom, TR20 8YX
UK Telephone:  07761 810496

I'm searching for a WWII member of the 531 Anti Aircraft Artillery (AW) Bn. My father told me about him, when his Unit was stationed in September '44 in the neighborhood of Meerssen. They defended their location on top of a hill, where a US military airfield was, the name of this was Yankee'44. The airfield is still there, nowadays it is a civilian airfield named "Maastricht Aachen Airport". His name appeared to be Robert Cul(l)man or Kuhlman. My father also can remember that they wore a "tomahawk"-patch on their shoulder. It would help me also where I could find a site with the names of the members of the 531st AAA.

Please could you help me? Yours Sincerely,
JME Houben
6 6151 CG Munstergeleen,
The Netherlands.

Living in Normandy, I am in the association "les Fleurs de la Mémoire" where I put flowers each year on a grave of an American soldier. I would more information about him. He came from New York, his name was Joseph M. FEINBERG, he was in 29th Infantry Division, 116th Infantry Regiment and he was killed in Normandy on 9 June 1944. I would like more information about him, a picture of him and to contact his family.

Could you help me? Thank you very much!
Adrien Daufresne,

I am appealing to anyone who served at, or was a patient at the 56th or 74th GHs at Tyntesfield, near Bristol, Somerset, UK, in World War 2; or who passed through the hospitals on their way back to the United States. Also to anyone who served in many other US units stationed on the Tyntesfield estate.

Would you be prepared to share with me your experiences of time spent at Tyntesfield, or provide me with copies of any documents, photographs, etc. that would enable me to obtain a more detailed knowledge of day-to-day life there?

I am researching the history of the US presence on the estate on behalf of the owners with a view to publishing a book or pamphlet; and can be contacted at:

Michael Boyce -by email at:
By post at:   1 Vicarage Road
Coalpit Heath
Bristol  BS36 2RT   United Kingdom

My father was killed in Normandy, November 20, 1944, when I was 8 years old. His name was PVT Michael J. Kidd,  # 42107704. Dad is buried in Epinal France. I found this out about 5 years ago. I couldn’t do much to find out what he and a lot of other fathers went through.

Dad was in 314th Infantry Regiment, 79th Infantry Division. I looked on the internet and I found the 314th Regiment but nothing on 79th Division. I know dad wore the patch of the 79th Division. But the 314th is mystery to me. Please help if you can.

Thank You
Mike Kidd
14 Hackmatac St.
Central Islip NY 11722

My brother-in-law, Harry H. Swezey, was with the 101st Airborne in Normandy in 1944. He has begun to talk about his experiences and we would all like to learn more.

I call Harry "Shine". His whole family called him Sunshine because of his bright red hair. We would like to talk with members of the 101st or their families, or anyone with more history on the 101st in Normandy. Please contact us.

Pat Finch
2008 Route 414    
Morris PA  16938

I noticed your site after researching Engineer units.  First of all, I do not claim to be a WWII veteran, but served our country 22+ years, and am a disabled Vietnam veteran. I have been involved with attempting to gain recognition for WWII veterans that fought in the Battle of Bataan, and Battle of the Bulge.

I have a copy of a letter, dated 30 July 1944 by General L. K. Truscott, Jr. recommending that the language of Circular #186 be broaden or interpreted to permit the award of the Infantryman Combat Badge to members of the 36th Engineer Combat Regiment, otherwise qualified, and that such awards be made at the earliest practicable dated in recognition of fine infantry service. The recommendation must have been approved because of a copy of General Orders, dated 13 October 1944 awarding the Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB) to a list of officers assigned to the 540th Engineer Regiment.

My purpose is to locate a copy of the response.  If accomplished, and favorable, it would open the door to an untold number of WWII veterans currently being denied the CIB, and Bronze Star Medal. It would be my way of showing appreciation for their service.  I would appreciate any interest, and assistance.

MSgt Robert E. Johnson, USAF, Retired
16169 North 158 Avenue
Surprise, Arizona 85374

Would you have any information regarding the 91st General Hospital receiving patients from the Battle of the Bulge? Our Col. was Lester Dyke & he wrote a book called "The Oxford Angel" concerning his Hospital Unit. Could you tell me where I could purchase that book? I lost my copy. Thank you.

Donna Moody
2091 Park Ave. APT.132
Riverton, Utah 84065

I recently received from my father, now 86, his Military mementos. It included a record journal of his unit (914th Ordnance HAM) from Basic through 1945. His unit entered D + 4 at Omaha beach. I have done extensive searches on the internet to find any other information on his unit and to see if there is a discussion group anywhere. It has all the unit names ASN’s, rank, residence and a then current mailing address. I’m sure there is somewhere or someone who’d like to read this also. I have posted on the web. The current link is:

Jerry Lynch - WWII 914th Heavy Automotive Maintenance Company
9264 Dundee Dr.
West Chester, OH 45069  513-779-7477

Hello. My Dad served with the 555th Heavy Ponton Battalion in WWII. This unit is not listed on your website, but I am curious if you have any information on it. I have gotten my hands on their unit history, and my Dad had a large album of their pictures. I am in the process of starting a website for this unit. Unfortunately most of these men are probably gone, but I want to put this out there for any amateur genealogists such as myself. Any advice/help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Jim Behe  
42299 Crestview Circle  
Northville, Michigan  48168

I am trying to find is anyone who was in the 373rd Engineer General Service Regiment under Colonel Frank F. Bell II. My father was in this unit and was offered a book of the work history of the 373rd when he got out of the service around 1947 and refused the offer.  Now he wants a copy. Can you help? Please e-mail me.

Linda.  c/o

Jim Behe submitted an enquiry in Amitié 2010 Volume I, concerning the 555th Heavy Pontoon Battalion. His website is now up and running. "I have spoken to many of the vets that are fortunately still with us. It has been quite an experience. Just this morning I heard from a vet who thought his buddy died when hit at Heilbronn, Germany in 1945, but in fact was still alive and well" Contact information:

Jim Behe  
42299 Crestview Circle  
Northville, Michigan  48168

My name is Liz James and I work with David Pierre. We are searching for a contact in the 147th Engineers. I had worked with David for 8 years before he told me in February 2010 that his real dad was an American Soldier based in England in 1944 during World War II. David has always talked about his father (Mr Pierre) with love and pride. They did everything together and were the best of friends, he passed away about 5 years ago and David has always missed him terribly. I was asking David about his name Pierre and if he ever wanted to trace back his family history, being a French name etc, that’s when he said that it wasn’t his real dad, the only thing he knows about his real dad was that he was an American Soldier based here in 1944. I couldn’t believe my ears and it was such exciting news. From the very start I was so interested and when David had told me all he knew, I was determined that he should start looking. He was around 12 years old when his mom & dad told him. The family was so close that he said it never bothered him, he always loved his dad (Mr Pierre) and it was never mentioned again.

David’s mother (Ruth Goulding) has never spoke about it to David. David’s aunt (mothers sister) and her daughter (david’s cousin) remember Ray Beaman and have told David everything he knows. Ruth Goulding was based in Moreton Morell in the Womens Land Army. There she met Ray Beaman, an American Soldier based in the Hall grounds in the army tents. She doesn’t remember what regiment he was in but that he was a Sergeant.

David’s cousin was 14years old at the time and had told David recently that when she saw David at a recent family party that he was the image of this Ray Beaman, a big, tall, handsome man whom she remembers as a child! Ray Beaman had a friend called Mel Netser (not sure of spelling) who was from Minnesota (so she always presumed that Ray was from there too, but not certain). When Ray left Moreton Morrell they wrote to each other and she told him that she was pregnant. They carried on writing to each other, and when David was born, she wrote to tell him that the baby boy was born (7th February 1945). She said that shortly afterwards, the letters stopped, so she always presumed he was killed in Action. When David was born he lived with and was brought up by his aunt (as his mother was a young unmarried woman). When Ruth met and married Mr Pierre, David was brought back to live with them (I think he would have been about 4 years old). They then went on to have a daughter. David Pierre has a wife, son and daughter, and 2 grandchildren. His mother, Ruth Pierre (nee Goulding), is aged 86 years and lives in Truro, Devonshire, England.

Liz James,
73 Wilkinson Close,
Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 5TN,
Telephone: 0796 862 1225

My father-in-law, Sydney Williamson recounted a story to me just before the D-Day landing 1944. He was 16 at the time and was living in Torquay, Devon, England. He met an American service man called Zimaria Taylor (not sure of the spelling) who, he believed, was part of the Quartermaster unit. Zimaria was 18-19 years of age, and my father-in-law took Zimaria home to meet his family and to have tea. Zimaria knew he was about to leave and take part in D-Day and so left a bicycle and a box of soap under a bush for my father-in-law to find. My Father-in-law, now 82 would love to find out what happened to Zimaria and if he is still alive. I would really appreciate if you could provide any information that might fit this story.

Terry Neal,
3 Hatherley Gardens,
East Ham, London, E6 3EN

I came across your site while researching a book I am writing about my grandfather, Dow Carlson, who died before I was born. My grandfather was an engineer in the 722 Railway Battalion, and was involved in battles at Normandy, Argennes (Battle of the Bulge), Rhineland, and others. Our information has been somewhat sketchy, as he never talked about the war, ever. However, when my grandmother became rather ill and knew that her time was short, she started talking to my mother about some of the things my grandfather went through. Apparently, among other things, he and his partner, Alfred Kleiss from New York, would go behind enemy lines and steal trains for use by the Allies. Obviously, there was a great deal of danger involved and the two had a pact that they would kill each other/commit suicide before they would be taken prisoner. Anyway, I am looking for ANY help you could provide me in my research.

Arttie Parker
1006 E. 5th
North Platte, NE 69101

I live in Denmark and I´m a history teacher.  I´m writing to you because I need some historical information on an American battalion that fought during WW II. And it´s my hope that you are able to help me out. could you please tell where or how I might find information about the 470th Anti Aircraft Artillery AW Battalion?

With thanks and appreciation, Flemming Davidsen
29 Sandbanken
DK-4320 Hoiby, Lejre

I am the son of Robert Norfleet who was a PFC serving with the U.S. Army's 654th Engineer Battalion during WWII. My father died in 2006 and I have been slowly going through his papers and found his honorable discharge tucked away in some of his military papers. I have been searching the internet to find out more about Dad's Army unit but have been unable to find anything of value. Our family would appreciate any assistance in learning the history of this unit's service during WWII in England, Normandy and forward. Thanks and best wishes to you and yours.

Bob Norfleet
528 Woodland Dr.,
Greensboro, NC 27408

Anyone with knowledge or information of John Francis Hebda, 29th Infantry Division from Uniontown PA, is encouraged to please contact his granddaughter.

Christie Hebda,
114 Fairley Rd,
Pittsburgh PA 15237

I have been trying to do some research on the 138th as my great Uncle was assigned to them. I recently acquired some photos from the Engineer museum in Fort Leonard Wood. We lived there from '77-'81 and I believe at that time they were just trying to start it up. My Father donated a photo album and they so graciously copied the pics and sent them to me on disc. Needless to say it just made me wonder. I have seen literally thousands of WWII pics just none with anyone I knew. Which brings me to you. I would like to locate a roster if possible to give me a time frame when my uncle was there as well as retrace their path through Germany. Would you be able to provide me any assistance of where to look to find anything specifically on the 138th Engineer Battalion, he was in A Company.

Tim Gillespie,
1913 Edinburg Ave,
League City TX, 77573,

My name is David Ashe. I am an Irish exile/D-Day historian living in Ravenoville, Normandy, France since March 2009.

I am steering a project to honour the memories of forty-three GI's from 1st Engineer Special Brigade who landed on Utah Beach on D-Day. They were killed in action between the initial landings and before the end of June 1944. These specialists, who were vital in ensuring the success of the Utah Beach operation, are already commemorated by roadside markers in the vicinity of the beachhead (first erected in the Fall of 1944, there have been four variants). Five markers in Ravenoville village & its wider commune commemorate three of the ESB's: Sgt Lloyd M Robertson, KIA on 10 June 1944; Pvt Robert Goodman & Pvt John H Simmons. Both Pvt Goodman & Pvt Simmons died on 13 June 1944.

One of Sgt Robertson's markers is less than 100 metres from my home on route de la mer (Robertson Road). I traced Sgt Robertson's family in his hometown of Sevierville, Tennessee just before the June 2010 D-Day Anniversary. My French partner, Céline Lautour & I held a simple ceremony on behalf of the family on 10 June - the 66th Anniversary of Sgt Robertson’s death. Our close American friends Shaun & Bev Fitzpatrick, Shaun’s cousin Ellen Fitzgibbons & family friend Mark Connel (all Irish/Americans) placed floral tributes with the US & French flags at the markers for Sgt Robertson, Pvt Goodman & Pvt Simmons as an initial symbolic gesture towards a wider commemoration. The ceremony was repeated on June 10, 2011.

A key element of my project is to locate relatives of the forty-three ESB's to appraise them of the project, which will include placement of flowers plus US & French flags at the markers each June plus the creation of a brochure/guide with biographies of each casualty (including photos), their final resting place - either in Norman soil or the US - & the marker locations today. Contact with relatives is further important as many of the markers are in a poor condition, requiring renovation & in some cases replacement. I wish to seek the endorsement of relatives to lobby directly the various Mayors of communes where the markers are sited for financial support to fund the necessary repairs. Families will not be approached for donations. The ESB markers are memorials. The memory of the forty-three young lives so tragically lost in the Defence of Freedom they represent must never be forgotten. Heroes All.

David A Ashe,
9 route de la mer,
50480 Ravenoville,
Tel(from USA) :

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