We're not lost, Sergeant, We're in … France

Operation Dragoon 2013

I just received my August copy of America in WWII and our event is listed this time! I had been able to get in contact with them via Facebook and was able to email them the critical info before press time. This bodes well for the Colmar Pocket, Anzio and Iwo Jima events coming up this year.

For details on the Operation Dragoon event, see the schedule.

8-11 August 2013 (Thursday-Sunday)

Sheraton National Hotel, 900 South Orme Street, Arlington, VA 22204

Veterans, families of veterans, historians, friends, and any interested in WWII history are welcome!

Open to the General Public

You can use the form below to submit questions or start the reservation process. The information will not be posted here, but will be emailed to the organizers.

You will still need to contact the hotel for room reservations.

GI Film Festival Returns to Town
12 April 2013, 18:02
Filed under: 517th, Films, Paratroopers, WWII | Tags: ,

Last year, my wife, my mother-in-law and I all attended parts of the GI Film Festival here in DC. The 2013 version runs 6-12 May. Looking over the films, there are several I’ll be interested in seeing and they have not yet revealed what the “Red Carpet” films for Friday and Saturday night will be. I noticed in particular that “Saints & Soldiers: Airborne Creed”, which involves paratroopers from the 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team is being shown on Saturday at noon at the AMC Shirlington. (Some of their web pages are contradictory, but I am sure will be updated closer to the date.)

Don’t forget, you can sign up as an intern or volunteer.

There are a number of WWII period films, so definitely expect to hear more from me as we get closer to the date.

Veterans of Iwo Jima reunited
16 February 2013, 11:53
Filed under: Marines, Veterans, WWII | Tags:


I’ve had the privilege of joining the veterans of Iwo Jima at the reunion at the Sheraton Pentagon City where we hold our Dragoon and Colmar events. It’s been a wonderful event and I expect to attend more than just the seminar next year.

Dash and Elan
29 November 2012, 16:06
Filed under: Weekend Wanderings, WWII | Tags: ,

Craig pointed out a daring daylight raid on Paris in 1942 to XBrad. You should definitely read Brad’s intro and then the article.

Normandy in June

This year, for the first time, I ache not to be in Normandy on the Anniversary of D-Day. Facebook and a collection of friends and acquaintances who share my obsession with the history have allowed me to see the photos, get the stories of the events as they happen and, sadly, to only wish Melissa and I could be there. We both love France and Normandy in particular, and I did not realize how much seeing it so instantly would make me miss it more. The crowd around Paul Woodadge, Joe Muccia and the other Trigger Timers who made it to Normandy look to be having a blast.

To soothe my pining, tonight I’m getting together with a military history book club to discuss Stephen Ambrose’s “Pegasus Bridge“. While I have issues with Ambrose, you can’t fault his prose. He is a marvelously enthralling writer and, since this was written in the 1980s, he makes me regret not having had an interest back then. My good friend, Bob Sabasteanski, had the honor of meeting Major Howard when he visited the Bridge in the 1980s and I wish I’d gone back then.

en Francais:

Cette année, pour la première fois, j’ai mal ne pas à être en Normandie sur l’anniversaire du J-Jour. Facebook et une collection d’amis et connaissances qui partagent mon obsession avec l’histoire m’ont permis de voir les photos, obtenir les récits des événements qu’ils se produisent et, malheureusement, seul souhait Melissa et moi pourrions être là. Nous avons deux amour France et Normandie en particulier, et je ne réalisais pas que combien voyant ainsi instantanément me ferait à manquer plus. La foule autour de Paul Woodadge, Joe Muccia et les autres “Trigger Timers” qui rend en Normandie semblent avoir s’amuser.

Pour apaiser mon languissement, ce soir j’obtiens avec un club de lecture de l’histoire militaire afin de discuter “Pegasus Bridge” de Stephen Ambrose. Alors que j’ai des problèmes avec Ambrose, vous ne peut pas blâmer sa prose. Il est un écrivain merveilleusement captivant et, puisque cela a été écrit dans les années 1980, il me fait regretter de ne pas avoir eu un intérêt à l’époque. Mon bon ami, Bob Sabasteanski, a eu l’honneur de rencontrer le Major Howard quand il a visité le pont dans les années 1980 et je souhaite que j’avais fait à l’époque.

Dig WW2
29 May 2012, 17:56
Filed under: 101st, WWII | Tags: , ,

Highly recommend you check out Paul Reed’s notes on Dig WW2. Sounds like it won’t be available outside the UK for a while, but when it airs in the US, I know I’ll be watching.

One of our favorite guides, Paul Woodadge, helped the project get into Brecourt Manor for the dig there.

Out of Battle

Dan with WO Geert JonkerFilming at the Hitler Line, Monte CassinoThe Bunker excavated by the Gustav Line Group, CassinoCanadian Helmet found on the Hitler Line, CassinoDan with the Canadian helmet at the Hitler Line, CassinoFilming in the Liri Valley, Monte Cassino
Filming at Cassino War Cemetery, ItalyThe Dutch Recovery TeamWith the Dutch Recovery TeamDan at the White House, ArnhemUsing the iPad at the White House; Then & NowAirborne: the Arnhem WW2 Dig
Filming at ArnhemThe Family of Sammy Cassidy with DanThe Family of Sammy Cassidy at ArnhemArnhem expert Robert Sigmond with DanEntering the Juno BunkerDan getting Dug-In
The French local TV covering the Juno DigCrawling through the Juno BunkerExploring the Juno BunkerFilming at the Juno BunkerUsing Technology to map Brecourt ManorThe Brecourt site marked out

Dig WW2 Photos, a set on Flickr.

Last year I worked as the Historical Consultant for Dig WW2, made for BBC NI by 360Production. The series in some ways grew out of Dig1940 we made back in 2009 however this was more ambitious – to look at aspects from the whole war from the point of view of what was left behind.

We were lucky to follow several digs across Europe: one at Arnhem where a Northern Ireland soldier fell in 1944 – another in Italy near Monte Cassino – and two in Normandy, at Juno Beach and the site of the Brecourt Manor Battery; the latter attacked by the ‘Band of Brothers’ on D-Day.

The series also looked at sites and digs in the UK, with a heavy emphasis on Ireland and included a dig on a Spitfire where the recovered guns were made to work again!


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Training Bulletin 180
26 May 2012, 12:02
Filed under: Films, Signal Corps, WWII | Tags: , ,

Consistent with the thesis that high rates of fire waste ammunition, the Signal Corps produced a short film to reassure late war replacements that German weapons were inherently inaccurate. Since some German veterans they would face had been at war for five years, one can be certain that they concentrated on controlled bursts. Of course, the Signal Corps was not only training the men, but also doing a little propaganda. If the green trooper followed orders and remained calm, he and his squad would succeed. Thanks to Bob Sabasteanski for the link….

Honor Flight Cheered at National Airport
24 May 2012, 15:45
Filed under: Veterans, WWII | Tags: ,

Yesterday, at National Airport, an Honor Flight of World War II veterans landed and, as Chris Muller notes, they got a marvelous welcome to Washington. Headed into Memorial Day weekend, it’s good to be reminded that people do think of this as more than just a three day weekend that officially kicks off the summer. Thank you, soldier!

Dogtags Finding Their Way Home
13 January 2012, 13:35
Filed under: Veterans, WWI, WWII | Tags: , ,

Two stories of lost dogtags catching up with veterans popped into my email recently.

  • Private Kent Potter lost his dogtag in France during World War I. Determined Frenchmen made sure that it reached his family after they found it. Hat tip to Fred, from Easy Company, re-enacted.
  • Marine Richard Urie lost one of his two dogtags on Saipan during World War II. The wife of the man who found it works for the US Attorney’s Office there and one of the deputy marshals there has his own dogtags framed in his office. They were able to find the 86-year-old devil dog and return his lost dogtag to him. Hat tip to Paul Clifford in the Trigger Time airborne forums.

Weekend Wanderings, Thanksgiving 2011
27 November 2011, 11:30
Filed under: Books, Marines, Weekend Wanderings, WWII | Tags: , , , , ,

I haven’t posted a set of Wanderings of late, but have been accumulating some interesting links. Hopefully, you didn’t over-eat on Thanksgiving or, if you are not a celebrant, on a lovely fall weekend.

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