This page will include World War II battle-site photos, descriptions, and locations visited by Dr. Van
Church steeple in the town square at St.Mere Eglis on the Normandy coast where Bob Steele's parachute caught as he fell during the D-Day invasion. His story is in the museum across the street from the church. Red Buttons played his role in the movie, The Longest Day. The parachute manniquin has been on display for a number of years.
B-17 - A friend, Dr. David Mitchell's father's plane.
Pont du Hoc -Normandy 6-6-44 invasion site of the Rangers' climb to take out a German long gun. 215 men invaded, nearly one hundred Rangers were killed.
These are not WW II photos, but it shows the strength of a mean ocean. I've been there on an escort carrier, CVE -20 USS Barnes. Waves over the top of the fllight deck, sixty feet up.
TODT BUNKER BATTERIE BETWEEN CALAIS AND BOULOGNE, FRANCE 6-8-10 During five years of occupation 1940-45 the Germans built approximately 60-70 thousands bunkers which stretched from Norway to the Tip of Southern France.
Great Advanced Trainer, AT-6 - WW II.
This is a photo of Pegausus Bridge where the British Gliders landed in the early morning hours before the D-Day land invasion. 6 June, 1944 Photo taken by Dr. Van in June, 2010.
My Aeronca, 1945 Navy NC-65 trainer. spent 5 years doing a ground up restoration. It's the same type airplane in which I did my first solo.
Peter and Linda Plank at St.Mere Eglis 6-6-10 at the Chateau near the Bridge LeFiere, where General Gavin did some attack planning. Peter is the veterans' coordinator with the Demostration Parachute Jump Team.
Rail carried gun at the TODT Bunker Batterie, south of Calais, France date should be May, 2010
My Friend, Art, from Houston standing near the Seigfried Line, Aachen, Germany
Dr. Van, (me) at the American Cemetery in Luxembourg, 2010
Flowers near General George Patton's gravesite in the American Cemetery in Luxembourg. 2010
Me again along the Belgium Atlantic Wall Bunker Batterie near Osteende, Belgium 6-7-2010
Remains of the Seigfried Line near Aachen, Germany, 5-28-10
German Movie poster of the "Bridge at Remagen." Taken inside the Bridge Museum at Remagen, Germany 5-30-10
In front of the M&M Museum near the Henrie Chappel American Cemetery in Belgium. Left to right Rich, Mercel and Mathilda (owners of this private museum), me (Bill), Art, and Walt. 29 May, 2010.
We arrived a day previous to the reunion of over 100 WW II orphans, whose fathers were killed in the war. These orphans now 65 years and older returned to the area of battle where their fathers were killed and many who were buried at the Honrie Chappell American Cemetery in Belguim.
Church Steeple from which Sgt Steele was hanging after jumping on D-Day into St.Mere Eglias, Normandy 6-6-1944
This is the V3 launch site between Calais and Boulogne, France. Few people realize the Nazi V3 existed. This is the site where Joe Kennedy, Pres. Kennedy's brother was killed in a Navy version of the B-24. He was enroute to the site with a plane loaded with radio activation bombs. He and the co-pilot intended to bail out and then the chase plane with Eliott Roosevelt, President Roosevelt's son, would detonate the bomb laden plane. A malfunction caused the plane to explode before reaching the target and they were killed. Later the RAF destroyed this place. I have visited the site twice. It is a massive tunnel connection with the launch areas directed toward England 6-7-2008
This is a view inside the mammoth existence of the Maginot Line north of Verdun, France. I have been there 3 times and each time it remains impressive. Total living quarters, hospital, dental, etc. Of course the Germans were not dumb and simply went around the Line through Holland and Belgium. 6-1-2010
I'm standing on a rise overlooking Hitler's Eagle Nest near Berchsgaurtin Bavaria. It's an amazing experience to see Hilter's resort area on top of the mountain and look out over the vast valley below. And, also, enter the house, see the fire place, sit down and drink beer in the same place he stood with his henchmen and dictated the war. June - 2004 my good friend, Jack Adney, and I visited this place.
I'm climbing to the top of the mountain area that extents out from Hitler's Eagle Nest. June-2004
My good friend, Delta Pilot, Capt. Jack Adney in a view of the Maginot Line, France. June-2004
Nose Art Name depicting the bombing history of the B-17 Flying Fortress, Piccadilly Lilly II - There was a Picadilly I, but I do not know the history of that plane. I was sent by train to London from Plymouth for my Navy discharge travels and of course, I spent time at Picadilly. Amazingly, I've been back to London 38 times since then.
Momument in the Luxembourg American Cemetery that depicts each USA State. I took this photo of the portion that includes Oklahoma. 5-31-2010
This photo includes a full view of the momument in the Luxembourg American Cementery. 5-31-10
This is the parachute jump at St.Mere Eglias, Normandy, France, for D-Day ceremonies on 7 June, 2010. The photo date is incorrect. The Liberty Jump team jumped first from a WWII C-47 that was chartered from England to Cherbourg where they loaded.