Home from the War, So to Speak

Posted: November 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

Ed and I are back home in Virginia now, trying to absorb all we saw and learned in Europe while following the men of the 111th Ordnance Company. I will revise and add new posts as we learn more; the search will go on.

 In the meantime, I have entered the names, and death dates when known, of all 183 men on the page of this blog called “The Men of the 111th:  A Roster,” along with several photos. I will add more photos in the future. It’s my hope that these names will show up in Google searches, leading children and grandchildren of the soldiers to learn more about their fathers and grandfathers during the war. I also hope that relatives of these men will contact me with stories and photos of their own.

I have been in touch with the children of John Andrews and Harold Georges—my dad’s two best friends from the 111th—and will try to record their memories in this blog. Bobby Andrews sent me this a while back:

 “My son Craig had to write a report on WWII and part of that report was to interview someone who had been in the war; this was when Craig was in high school.  Dad had died when Craig was seven years old [in 1987], so he interviewed your dad.  I took him over to your mom and dad’s and I remember your dad telling Craig what a special time he had with his buddies and his grandfather and Harold.  They were the best of friends and remained that way after the war. He told Craig that the only person who died in their unit  fell out of a boat and drowned [we later learned there were two men who drowned]. He also told Craig about how awful war is and that nations should find other ways to resolve their disputes. He also mentioned that when they arrived on Omaha Beach they did not have to fight the Germans since the landing took place five days ahead of their landing. Craig remembers the interview to this day, and he received an A+ on his report.”

Bobby’s older brother, David Andrews, recalled something that sums up the men’s experiences perfectly:

“When I would ask my dad about the war, he would always say that he spent those five years of his life so that his sons wouldn’t have to. I remember him also saying that he ‘wouldn’t take a million dollars for the experience, but you couldn’t pay him a million to do it again.’ I think they all had mixed emotions about what they witnessed but took extreme pride in what they accomplished.  They weren’t called the Greatest Generation for nothing.“

img036 Edward Johnson and John Andrews, undated

John Andrews and Edward “Bill” Johnson

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Comments
  1. StephieD says:

    They certainly were the greatest and bravest men who fought for our country. Thanks to all of them for their service!!

  2. John Raisler says:

    Did you know your dad was nicknamed pinky?

  3. Kay McAnally says:

    Bravo, Andrea! This journey has been fascinating. I am trying to think of a time in my life that would make me think, “I wouldn’t take a million dollars for the experience, but you couldn’t pay me a million to do it again.” I can’t think of one. The men who fought our wars clearly gained a perspective on the world that many of us will never know. Thanks to all of them for what they gave us. And to you, Andy and Ed, for taking us on this journey with you. I can’t wait to discover more.

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