Monthly Archives: September 2016

September 2016



The battle for Bastogne lasted an excruciatingly long month. But here Lieutenant Clair Hess of the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, provides commentary for a short black-and-white film about Bastogne made by the Army-Navy Screen Magazine in 1945. It was part of a series shown to GIs around the world. Hess was wounded [...]

BASTOGNE IN TEN MINUTES2019-01-28T23:48:10+01:00

Tattered but Proud


On 6 June 1944 this flag proudly flew on the rear deck of Landing Craft Control 60 as it helped lead the invasion fleet towards Utah Beach. The vessel’s commander was Lieutenant Howard van der Beek, a 26-year-old from Iowa. The lieutenant’s father was born in The Netherlands, and in June of this year a [...]

Tattered but Proud2019-01-28T23:48:11+01:00

Saving Madonna


It is 1 February 1945 and the Battle of the Bulge is over. Much of the Belgian village of La Gleize, where the Waffen SS of Kampfgruppe Peiper became trapped, is destroyed. Walker Hancock of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section – one of the so-called Monuments Men – aids civilians in finding a [...]

Saving Madonna2016-09-23T13:55:54+02:00

September Hope


Operation Market Garden gets under way. In this picture it is only the second day of the operation. Young Dutch admirers are all smiles and the men of the 101st Airborne Division are eager to get on with the task. But Arnhem would prove one bridge too far in trying to swing into the heart [...]

September Hope2016-09-23T01:01:10+02:00

The great escapes


Just received an email from someone in the UK who said he had enjoyed reading my book, THE MARGRATEN BOYS. The book is the history of the American cemetery in Margraten and its adoption community. Many of the American graves there, and even more of the names of the missing, are those of airmen. Interestingly, [...]

The great escapes2016-09-16T23:41:39+02:00

Cold, colder, coldest


By early January 1945, one of Belgium’s harshest winters had literally reached blizzard conditions. This is a picture of the 6th Armored Division in action near Wardin, just east of Bastogne, where firmly entrenched German troops put up fierce resistance. The brutal weather made the suffering still worse. You can make out the silhouettes of [...]

Cold, colder, coldest2016-09-16T23:19:17+02:00

Auther’s note


In early September 1944, Allied troops turned the tables on the Germans, launching their own version of Blitzkrieg across Europe’s ancient battleground Belgium. For the newly liberated, the atmosphere was one of delirious happiness after four years of brutal Nazi occupation. This is a colorized picture of a scene in liberated Brussels that was used [...]

Auther’s note2019-01-28T23:48:11+01:00

Watery graves


A Dutch team is currently involved in the recovery of a British Wellington bomber that was shot down over the IJsselmeer with its Polish crew in May 1941 during a raid against a German target. It is estimated that there are some 500 World War II crash locations in the Netherlands alone which have not [...]

Watery graves2016-09-16T23:18:51+02:00