Overlord Echoes:  The D-Day Journey Then and Now

ORAL HISTORIES


“Overlord Echoes” was a two-day conference with panel discussions and presentations by D-Day historians, authors, and veterans. Held June 4th and 5th in 2009 as part of the 65th Anniversary of D-Day Commemoration at the National D-Day Memorial, the conference was held in partnership with nearby Liberty University in Lynchburg, which donated use of their conference facilities to the project and provided organizational and technical support as well. There were 126 attendees(including 32 World War II veterans), drawn from fifteen different states and three countries.

Thanks to the support of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities who helped support and sponsor this conference, the National D-Day Memorial will ensure that when the next generation arrives, the story of D-Day will be here for them to discover - intact, vibrant, and vital.  We hope you enjoy these stories as much as we did during the 65th anniversary of D-Day.



TEACHERS - USE THE LINKS BELOW FOR ACTIVITIES THAT YOU CAN USE WITH YOUR STUDENTS IN CONJUCTION WITH THE ORAL HISTORIES.
Soldiers_Sailors_Airmen.PDF
Countdown to D-Day.PDF
Weather Forecast.PDF
GI Jargon.PDF



Keynote address by Alex Kershaw, author of the widely acclaimed and best-selling books, "The Bedford Boys,"  "The Longest Winter," and "The Few."  Kershaw has been a journalist and screenwriter in Britain and now lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

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D-Day Veteran Jim Bryant - 82nd Airborne, Glider Infantry Regiment - Jim Bryant dropped into Normandy via glider - motorless lightweight wooden aircraft released over strategic targets - the night before the invasion.  His division lost more than 5,000 men in the Normandy campaign.

TEACHERS - USE THE LINK BELOW WITH YOUR STUDENTS IN CONJUCTION WITH MR. BRYANT'S ORAL HISTORY.
Bryant_Questions.PDF

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D-Day Veteran Mills Hubert Hobbs, Jr. - Company A, 115th Infantry, 29th Division
Mills Hubert Hobbs, Jr. landed at Omaha Beach with Company A of the 115th Infantry, 29th Division on Omaha Beach.  Staff Sergeant Hobbs remained with the company from D-Day to the Elbe River in Germany, earning three bronze stars and two purple hearts before being discharged in October 1945.

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D-Day Veteran Ray Noell - 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division
Ray Noell landed in Normandy two days after D-Day, sent to replace a company executive officer in Company K.  His experiences fighting in the hedgerow country days after D-Day demonstrate how the initial landings were just the beginning of a long, costly campaign in western France. Please note that there is only audio to this clip.

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D-Day Veteran Charles "Buster" Shaeff - US Navy, LST - Landing Ship Tank
Charles "Buster" Shaeff likes to joke that LST stood for "Large Slow Target."  LSTs and LCVPs transported tanks, trucks, and troops to the Normandy beaches from England.  Shaeff ferried three boatloads of soldiers to Omaha Beach under enemy fire.  Please note that there is only audio to this clip.

TEACHERS - USE THE LINK BELOW WITH YOUR STUDENTS IN CONJUCTION WITH MR. SHAEFF'S ORAL HISTORY.
Shaeff_Questions.PDF

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Video 7 - Bill Overstreet - 357th Fighter Group, 363rd Fighter Squadron -  Bill Overstreet flew mission after mission providing cover for bomb runs over enemy territory, anti-sub patrol, and flying supplies for the Free French.  D-Day found him at 20,000 feet at 2AM to protect the Allied ground forces from enemy aircraft.

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