Remembering Reg Alexander – a Screaming Eagle
The fact that the biggest invasion ever took place along this coast on 6th June 1944…I am writing this on June 6th 2018 – 74 years to the day the ships came across the horizon along with parachutists descending all around, aircraft, gliders, bombing, hand to hand combats it must have been mayhem, shocking and very loud!
Every day we go to Carentan or Sainte Mere Eglise and on a regular basis to St Lo…these towns and cities were battlefields and in St Lo’s case 90% destroyed by allied bombing…when you look around you can still see the bullet holes in buildings…the emotion of it all is still palatable but gradually becomes more history and not so much a living history, the old folk that remember it are getting less, there are fewer veterans each year.
For us we are adapting to not having a veteran stay with us…Harry Kulkowitz stayed with us every year started at the 60th anniversary when he was billeted with us by our Mayor…his son bought him back every year until he passed 2 years ago.
We also had Reg Alexander a 101st Screaming Eagle visit this village as the guest of the Mayor quite often, he too has passed. These photos we are scattering the ashes of Reg on the field he landed in Normandy smashing both ankles on 6th June 1944, the aircraft he was in had been hit & his parachute was burnt, he candled down, local people tried to help him but after 3 days he was taken prisoner and then after further 10 days eventually rescued and shipped to England for hospital treatment, the pain he was in must have been unbearable – his daughter Bonnie reading a few words – so moving – I’m in tears just thinking about it…Bonnie brought some of Reg’s ashes to scatter in the field his life changed so dramatically that day in 1944 and took back to America some of the soil from the field.
It’s too easy to get swept up into the ceremonies and the atmosphere – today we are having a quiet day reflecting the human stories we have been privileged to hear 1st hand over the years…many a time parties have been held here on 6th June with at least 7 or 8 WW2 veterans and 50+ people…this 6th June it’s quite…maybe next year, the 75th we will ‘celebrate’ the 6th, this year its reflection.