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U.S., French Honor American D-Day Hero

D-Day stone

Today marks the 70th Anniversary of D-Day. We honor those who sacrificed on that day.

This article comes from, the official US Army website. It is one story, of many, of courage and valor, from D-Day, and the days that followed.

June 6, 2014

By Sgt. Daniel Cole, U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs

AMFREVILLE, France (June 6, 2014) — Lt. Col. Charles J. Timmes was the commander of 2nd Battalion, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, when he jumped into Normandy, France, June 6, 1944, not knowing what the next 96 hours would hold for him and his Soldiers.

Upon landing, Timmes was immediately fighting for his life, but not because of an enemy attack. The battalion commander landed in a flooded field and nearly drowned when a strong wind gust filled his parachute and dragged him over 200 yards. After the first gust of wind, a second gust picked him up and dragged him onto a nearby hill, saving his life.

Timmes and his men later rallied together more than a mile away from their original landing point, where they came under attack from enemy forces. After they held off the enemy forces, Timmes only had 150 men, one 57-milimeter canon, two machine guns and no means of communication with higher headquarters. Nazi troops kept up pressure on the paratroopers, but Timmes and his men kept them at bay over for four grueling days of combat.

Finally, 1st Lt. John Marr from Golf Company, with the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, and Pfc. Norman Carter, the company’s runner, broke from the battle to make contact with the 82nd Airborne command post, which was several miles away. Upon arriving safely to the command post, Marr and Carter were able to inform the command of their situation. The 325th Glider Infantry Regiment then came to the rescue and attacked the German forces from behind, resulting in the enemy being overpowered and Timmes’ U.S. paratroopers winning the fight.

Seventy years later, Timmes and his story are legendary in these parts. The place he landed is now known as Timmes’ Orchard, and a memorial site rests nearby to remind the locals of the brave commander who lead his troops through those fateful and seemingly endless nights. The memorial is made up of three standing stones, one each for the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment and the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment.

A crowd gathered there Wednesday, to honor of Timmes and his fellow U.S. veterans with a wreath-laying ceremony. The event was one of several commemorations this week celebrating the 70th Anniversary of D-Day operations conducted by the Allies during World War II, June 5-6, 1944.

“On those standing stones, are honored the paratroopers of the 507th and 508th Parachute Infantry Regiments and foot Soldiers of the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment because they fought here, surrounded by enemy forces who were superior in numbers and armaments,” said Daniel Briard, who gave remarks at the ceremony. “Lt. Col. Timmes was never desperate. Himself and his men never gave up in front of enemy pressure.”

One-by-one, each unit’s stone received its wreath from a veteran who carefully placed the arrangement in front of the stones. Each representative then stood up and rendered an honorary salute.

One of Timmes’ comrades in arms, Ernie Lamson, sat solemnly in the front row staring down at the wreath he laid in front of the grey glossy stone dedicated to the unit in which he had served during the invasion, the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment.

Lamson, a paratrooper assigned to Alpha Company, was the company clerk at the time and knew almost everyone in his unit, not only because he took care of their administrative needs, but also because he was training alongside them every week.

During the ceremony, Lamson stood out from the rest of the attendees, wearing bright red 82nd Airborne Division attire decorated with polished jump wings, belt buckle, and more patches, badges and trinkets than most would even try to count. Lamson also wore his original parachute badge he received after completing jump school in 1943, on a bracelet on his left wrist.

The 92-year old veteran was not one of those who jumped on June 6. Lamson broke his femur in a jump landing a few months before the operation. When the medics came to his aid they put him on a stretcher and were ready to carry him off the landing zone when one of the handles on the stretcher broke resulting in further injury and puncturing one of his lungs.

“I always felt cheated because I didn’t stay with the guys that I trained with,” said Lamson with a somber tone in his voice.

That powerful sentiment of camaraderie is the same one that helped Timmes push his men through their brush with death. Seventy years later, it lingers in Timmes Orchard where the national anthems of the U.S. and France brought tears to the eyes of those in attendance at the memorial site.

[Editor’s Note: This article was emailed to Oath Keepers membership on June 07 2014]





  1. All I can say is wow after reading these stories. The courage, devotion to duty, and love of country and dedication to fellow soldiers is awesome. I understand why this generation is referred to “The Greatest Generation”.

  2. Thanks so much for the great article about the heroes of 70 years ago. Especially great is the fact that nowhere was there any mention of the ‘non-commander-in-chief’ whose presence was such a disgrace at the event.

  3. Philippians 2:29 says… Welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor men like him.

  4. These brave men, our Fathers, Grandfathers, Uncles, Brothers who faced these dangers in battle are the reason why I joined the Army to serve our nation and they are the reason why I still serve our nation today by honoring my life long oath to our Constitution. Without them some of us might not even have been born and those of us that were may have spoken German or Japanese as a first language. I salute these our greatest generation daily when I salute the flag and remember their sacrifice made for future generations. Their honor and virtue serves as a reminder that freedom is never free and good men and women have to step up from time to time in its defense.

  5. The picture below shows my Dad who was a Lieutenant with the 29th. Infantry landing at Omaha Beach.

    He’s the one standing at the front right hand side in this picture of the Landing Craft and his helmet has a dark spot near the top. He’s looking to his left with one man directly in front of him on the right and another directly behind him on the left.

    Wounded men on the beach were drowning in the incoming tide and incoming landing craft were being pounded and set ablaze.

    My Dad says that the men on the second wave going in which is where he was were told to grab the collars of any of the dead American bodies that were still floating in the water on their way to the beach if they could.

    Today my Dad’s 97, and he’s still hanging in there but his time is short.

    Saying thanks to my Dad and I love ya, just never seems to be enough for me.


    Location Normandy, France
    The Greatest Generation: Sacrificed for the Bankers
    Image Credits: Omaha Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Wikimedia Commons

    Omaha Beach, commonly known as Omaha, was the code name for one of the five sectors of the Allied invasion of German-occupied France in the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944, during World War II.

    Omaha is located on the coast of Normandy, France, facing the English Channel, and is 5 miles (8 km) long, from east of Sainte-Honorine-des-Pertes to west of Vierville-sur-Mer on the right bank of the Douve River estuary.

    On D-Day, the untested 29th Infantry Division, joined by the veteran 1st Infantry Division and nine companies of U.S. Army Rangers redirected from Pointe du Hoc, were to assault the western half of the beach.

    The battle-hardened 1st Infantry Division was given the eastern half. The initial assault waves, consisting of tanks, infantry, and combat engineer forces, were carefully planned to reduce the coastal defenses and allow the larger ships of the follow-up waves to land.

    Despite these preparations, very little went according to plan. Ten landing craft were swamped by the rough seas before they reached the beach, and several others stayed afloat only because their passengers baled water out with their helmets. Seasickness was prevalent among the troops waiting offshore. On the 16th RCT front, the landing boats passed struggling men in life preservers and on rafts, survivors of the DD tanks which had sunk in the rough sea.[24] Navigation of the assault craft was made difficult by the smoke and mist obscuring the landmarks they were to use in guiding themselves in, while a heavy current pushed them continually eastward.[25]

    As the boats approached to within a few hundred yards of the shore, they came under increasingly heavy fire from automatic weapons and artillery.

    The force discovered only then the ineffectiveness of the pre-landing bombardment. Delayed by the weather and attempting to avoid the landing craft as they ran in, the bombers had dropped their ordnance too far inland, detonating some landmines that were planted by the Germans, but having no real effect on the coastal defenses.[26]

    Many half-tracks, jeeps and trucks floundered in deep water; those that made it ashore soon became jammed up on the narrowing beach, making easy targets for the German defenders.

    Most of the radios were lost, making the task of organizing the scattered and dispirited troops even more difficult, and those command groups that did make the shore found their effectiveness limited to their immediate vicinity. In total the Americans had 2,499 men killed in action. Except for a few surviving tanks and a heavy weapons squad here or there, the assault troops had only their personal weapons, which, having been dragged through surf and sand, invariably needed cleaning before they could be used.[49]

    The survivors at the shingle, many facing combat for the first time, found themselves relatively well-protected from small arms fire, but still exposed to artillery and mortars. In front of them lay heavily mined flats exposed to active fire from the bluffs above.

    Morale naturally became a problem.[50] Many groups were leaderless and witnesses to the fate of neighboring troops and landings coming in around them.

    Wounded men on the beach were drowning in the incoming tide and incoming landing craft were being pounded and set ablaze.

    On the 29th divisional front two battalions of the 116th Infantry Regiment cleared the last defenders from the bluffs while the remaining 116th battalion joined the Rangers in their move west along the coast.

    This force relieved the 2nd Ranger companies who were holding Pointe du Hoc on June 8 and subsequently forced the German 914th Grenadiers and the 439th Ost-Battalion to withdraw from the Grandcamp area which lay further to the west. Early on June 7 WN-69 defending St. Laurent was abandoned and the 115th Infantry Regiment was therefore able to push inland to the south-west, reaching the Formigny area on June 7 and the original D-Day phase line the following day.

    The third regiment of 29th Division; the 175th, started landing on June 7. By the morning of June 9 this regiment had taken Isigny and on the evening of the following day forward patrols established contact with the 101st Airborne Division, thus linking Omaha with Utah.[93]

    Today at Omaha jagged remains of the harbor can be seen at low tide. The shingle bank is no longer there, cleared by engineers in the days following D-Day to facilitate the landing of supplies. The beachfront is more built-up and the beach road extended, villages have grown and merged, but the geography of the beach remains as it was and the remains of the coastal defenses can still be visited.[100] At the top of the bluff overlooking Omaha near Colleville is the American cemetery. As late as 1988, particles of shrapnel, as well as glass and iron beads resulting from munitions explosions, have been found in the sand of the beach.[101]

    Omaha Beach landscape 67 years after landing. Harbor remains and “Les Braves” monument can be seen on the sand beach top edge.

  6. As a Marine Viet Nam vet, I can understand his feeling of being cheated. I ask myself every single day why I came back and friends of mine did not make it. The guilt is always there.

  7. Tom, glad you made it.
    Anyone who has been in combat knows that there is only
    ONE way to not get injured or killed.
    “Don’t be there.”

    If you are there, “someone will likely get hurt or die.”
    Maybe you? Maybe the man next to you? Just how it is.
    Not a damn thing you can do about it. It is Out of your control.
    You are Not God.
    God, Luck, Mr. Murphy, they made the selection of who goes or who stays. Not you. Not me.

    Some of us live. Some of us die.
    We accept that and just hope for the best,
    A good Life. Or a good Death.

    We mourn and Respect our fallen brothers and
    men that are better than ourselves, but they left this world anyway.
    Their precious lives cut short.
    Respect and Remember their spirit.
    Live not with Guilt but GRATITUDE.
    Glad you made it Tom. So are the people that love you.

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