Meeting Veterans…

For us -those who keep the Memory alive- meeting veterans is the most important. Repairing a WWII vehicle, taking care of a uniform so that it looks as it was in 1944, organizing "Liberty Convoys" are nothing but means. Associations are invited to official ceremonies, others invite "their" American Veteran, others go to Normandy in convoy. But it is only when US Army Veterans are involved that our actions find their real purpose. We show to those who, when 20 years old, came and brought Liberty back to Europe in 1944 that we are keeping their Memory alive. When we see how moved the US Army WWII Veterans are when they see their 48 star flag, their vehicles, their uniforms, we receive our reward. Those Veterans are our precious link with the United States, the country where Liberty came from on June 6th 1944. On this site we have gathered "our" US Army Veterans. It is the best way to keep them alive in a sort of virtual eternity…One way to say "thank you Veterans"

Hundreds thousands young Americans came and fought to bring Liberty back to Europe in 1944.Among them, only a few of them are still alive and able to come back. We had the honor to know and meet some of them. They became friends. We dedicate that area of the web to them, as a way to reach Eternity in a virtual world. They represent all those to whom we would like to say "Thank You Veteran". The title is "US Army Veterans" and not only US Veterans because on its way to Victory, the US Army was enriched by citizens from the countries it had liberated. Two of our Veterans are not American. One is from Belgium, the other from the Great Duchy of Luxembourg. A novel could be written from their lives, or a film be realized. They belong to the "Band of Brothers", what we call "des Frères d'Armes" in French.


James CARROLL is the "G.I. we found again". He landed at Utah Beach on 30 July, is battalion was attached to the 5rd Armored Division, XV Corps, 3rd Army. He took part to the battles of Normandy and the liberation of Paris. He entered "our" history on September 3rd, 1944. He belonged to the 628th Tank Destroyer Battalion, attached to the 5th Armored Division. As a scout, he was the first American soldier to enter Bon-Secours on his Harley. The citizens of Péruwelz always thought he had been killed during the Battle of the Bulge. We found them again in Alabama on march 21st 1995. Since May 1995 he comes back to the little city of Péruwelz for the Remember Day Commemoration. (Click on the picture for to have access either in the website or picture)


Mj John Tucker

Major TUCKER was in command of the reconnaissance Battalion the first armored vehicle of which, the "Fish and Chips" entered Mons on September 2nd 1944. That Stuart Tank has become a symbol of Liberty for the citizens of Mons. The US Army offered the tank to the City of Mons where he became a monument. At the end of the 80's, the Royal Auto Moto Club of Mons succeeded in repairing the "Fish and Chips" to welcome Major Tucker when he was invited to Mons. The "Fish and Chips" is one of the few US WWII vehicles to go back to the States in the year 2000 with those of "Overlord Returns". There he met Major TUCKER, took part to the Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C. and went to the South to meet james W. CARROLL in the City of Brewton, Alabama. (Click on the picture for to have access either in the website or picture)

René Schiltz


Colonel René SCHILTZ is from the Great Duchy of Luxembourg. We met him when James W. CARROLL went to render homage to "his" General PATTON in the American Cemetery of Luxembourg. René has fought under 4 uniforms. Like all the young men of the Great Duchy of Luxembourg he was incorporated to the German Army. Just before going to the Russian front line, he managed to come back to Luxembourg where he waited to toe liberation hidden in the cathedral. He immediately joined the 5th Armored Division when they liberated the city. He was then incorporated to the Belgian Army and went to Great Britain for military training. When he came back to his country he began a military career which lead his to be a colonel of the Army. (Click on the picture for to have access either in the website or picture)

Jess Herring


Jess is one of those who took the Bridge of Remagen. By just remembering that heroic event you see how courageous the boys were. Jess was one of them. We met Jess in Mobile. His wife, Mary, is Belgian. When she heard, in 1995, that we were commemorating our "first American", Mary invited James. Jess was in Mobile to welcome the Marvelous Crazy Belgian People of Overlord Returns in 2000. Mary and Jess had organized the official ceremonies. In 2002, Jess officially represented the US Veterans when the commemorating plates were put on the gates of the Château de Warelles in Quévy, where the first American Q.G. -that of General Maurice ROSE, was installed during the Battle of Mons. (Click on the picture for to have access either in the website or picture)

Paul Lion


A Belgian in the 5th Armored Division! It is thanks to James that we met our friend Paul LION. Articles had been issued in 1995 when "our first American" had been found. Paul had sent us a letter telling us his war with the 5th Armored Division. Till 1996 he takes part to the Remember Day commemoration with James W. CARROLL. On September 2nd 1944, the 5th A.D. was in the Forest of Bon-Secours, between Condé sur l'Escaut and Péruwelz. Belgium was so near…So, during the night, Paul and his Canadian corporal took a Jeep. They entered the forest and came to a place called "le Tapis Vert"…in Belgium. Paul remembers they sang a Canadian song "Alouette, Gentille Allouette" with the first liberated citizens of Péruwelz. They were looking for girls and beer. There was just beer. Paul stayed with the 5th Armored Division till 1947. When Paul tells "his war" you could spend hours listening to him.

Ben Franklin


The "web" is a marvelous way to meet new friends. In April 2000, Pierre (the one from Mons) received an Email from a US Veteran of the 1st Infantry Division. He was coming back to MONS with his grandson to show him places where he had to fought and killed young German soldiers. Before coming to Mons he was visiting the Beaches of Normandy with students of the University of Tennessee where he is a lecturer of WWII history. Our friends of the Club Collimateur (those of Frasnes) were there with their WWII Jeeps. So we had the great opportunity to visit the assault landing Beaches with the American students. I think they will never forget those precious moments. Then, Ben wasomed in Mons. Thanks to our friends of the Royal Auto Moto Club, a meeting with Belgian partisans was organized on the sites where they fought together…And the "Fish and Chips" was also there. (Click on the picture for to have access either in the website or picture)

Bill O. Gifford


All young people are deeply interested in airplanes. Those who remain young keep that passion for the rest of their life. That is the case with Philippe (the one from Ciply). He recalls the story of the airplanes and their crews that crashed in our region. So he happened to know Bill O. GIFFORD, a member of the crew of a B17. That meeting could have been limited to exchanging Emails but…very happily, our Belgian Consul Hervé GOYENS in Atlanta had managed "the" surprise. When those of Overlord Returns were officially welcomed by our Consul, Philippe met "his" pilot. You could imagine how happy they were to meet. Bill has written all his odyssey in Belgium, how Belgian citizens saved him. Philippe can mail the whole story if you ask him. Here is Philippe's Email address As I told you, you could write a novel or produce a film with the Veterans'stories! (Click on the picture for to have access either in the website or picture)

Big Red One


Pour le néophyte, le nom est assez bizarre, même traduit il pose pas mal de questions…Pour les collectionneurs, c'est la Division mythique de l'US Army. C'est aussi celle qui a participé à la libération de nombre de nos villes… Nous avons demandé à Philippe MASY, de la BIG RED ONE de Mons de nous présenter " sa " Division. Les photos ont été prises à MONS, début septembre 2002, lors de la visite de vétérans de la BIG RED ONE. L'émotion était palpable parmi eux lorsqu'ils ont vu le re-enactment group de la 1st de Mons leur rendre les honneurs. Grâce à ces jeunes, la mémoire reste vivante…Nous n'oublions pas ceux qui nous ont apporté la Liberté, nous participons à la "Légende de la BIG RED ONE"…