Discussion in 'Honor, Service and Valor' started by Old Hickory, Apr 17, 2009.
Wat pictures are you looking for, bjvrdh ?
I sent you an email, bjvrdh.
I have not received the email with info on the pics on CD. Please try this email: bjvrdh@xxxxxxxxx. My sons are anxious to learn more about their grandfather
EDIT by Slipdigit:
I have sent an email to the address you posted here and have removed the address to help prevent you from getting spam. If you still have not received an email, let me know in another post and we can talk via private message here on the forum.
You can download thousands of Old Hickory pictures at this site: http://www.oldhickory30th.com/
Hello....Are there books available or audio ? Where can I get one.....ty
Yes, we have copies available. I will send you a private message. Look in the upper right hand of this page and click on the red envelope.
Here is a news story about Mr. Sanford made while we were in Limburg. The interview was in the Glaspaleis (Glass Palace).
Well, I finally got a Kindle version of the book ready and is available here:
In this version I have made a few edits to some of the original stories after discovering some further information. I also added a few more photos that were located after the publication of the printed copies.
If you buy a copy, please feel free to let me know here that you did.
For those of you who already have a printed copy of the book, I am going to see what i can do about getting you a complimentary copy of this new digital version.
Thanks, I hope that you enjoy it.
I was talking to Mr. Sanford yesterday about the new version of the book. The conversation drifted to lost or missing records and made a comment that he never gave any thought that someone now days would want to see any of the paperwork that they maintained. We talked a bit further about saving personal items and documents and he regrets that he did not make the effort to save anymore than he did. He just didn't think at the time that anyone would care,
After the war, he felt that people just did not have an understanding of what they went through. He had one civilian acquaintance say to him not long after he got home in 1945 that he (the acquaintance) was sure glad the war was over and that Mr. Sanford sure had it easy, not having to deal with rationing. I commented back, "Yes, but you had to deal with bullets, and land mines, and friends getting killed, and artillery." He said yeah, I don't think most people can really appreciate what it does to man to have artillery shells land nearby. He said it bounced him around (in his foxholes), sucked the air out of his lungs if it was close enough and make the side of the hole "bend in."
Now I don't know if the dirt "bent" but I think I understand what he was saying, what with the effects of the concussion and shock waves traveling through the earth. It was probably the only way he could describe it. He said the fear of a round landing on top of him would also gnaw at him because he knew that there was "nothing whatsoever" he could do about. He said shooting at the Germans soldiers with his carbine or the half-track's machine gun did induce fear, but that it was different. At least he had something to do while the fight was going on other than waiting on the unknown.
We talked a bit more about modern movies and how I thought it gave people a little better idea of what the soldiers went through now than back in years past and he thought so, too. He said the current movies (that he had seen-he doesn't usually watch war movies) did a better job of showing the horrors than did movies made in the 1940s and 50s.
One of the corrections in the narrative that I made was to change the location of one the casualties. Mr. Sanford remembered Merlyn Castner as being killed in an unknown town in Germany. As I was doing some followup research after the book was published, I began to try to determine the locations where each man from the 30th Recon was killed. It took me a little while, but after matching up individual names with known dates of KIAs in the AAR, I was able, by a matter of deduction, determine that Pvt. Castner was killed about 20 miles from Paris. (Eventually I found his grave and the dates matched known KIA dates) I had mentioned this fact to Mr. Sanford before but nothing had clicked then. Yesterday, as we were talking, he said, yes, it was near Paris. He said "We were not too far from the Seine [River] and we had just crossed it." That was correct. I had found the grid coordinates in the AAR showing where Castner was killed and he was not much more than a mile or two over the river and they had been driving about 200 yds away, parallel to it.
I have an audio recording of Capt. James Hume talking to a reporter for the Army Hour on the eve of the Rhine crossing. He answers the reporter's questions but says nothing of real value, no doubt due to the need for security. He sounded very tired, as I suppose he was.
Capt Hume assumed command 2 September 1945 in Tournai, Belgium, after the then CO, Capt. Kenneth Cornelius was gravely wounded.
Capt Hume was well loved by his men.
This forum is rife with threads discussing the merits of machine gun A vs. machine gun B, was the Lancaster or the Fortress or the Liberator better, which general screwed up the most, or why didn't those 'stupid' planner do this instead of what they actually did. And how 'bout those German Wonder Weapons? Well, maybe it’s fun to argue whether Monty or Patton was the bigger prima donna, or whether the P-51 was better than the Fw-190, but something more important seems to get lost in those discussions.
What gets lost is that it was the common soldier, sailor, marine and airman that used those tools and implemented the tactics and strategies dictated from above to prosecute the war and bring it to a successful conclusion. Many of these men came from humble backgrounds, especially since the US was still struggling to emerge from the Great Depression. These men answered the call of their country and went off to foreign lands to fight a war they believed necessary in places most had never heard of. How many Americans could have stated what, or even where Pearl Harbor was before 7 December 1941? What was known of Malmedy or the Ardennes before events of the war brought them to public consciousness? Many young men died in these strange lands.
Each of these men who answered the call experienced the war from their own unique perspective – men within the same units had their individual experiences. They all made sacrifices. Their lives were put on hold for the war. They experienced the terror of bombs and bullets and big guns. They watched buddies get wounded and killed.
These men who did their duty and returned home came back somehow changed for the experience. Most were successful in putting the stress of combat behind them, but none ever forgot it. They got on with their lives, raised families and helped create a period of post-war growth that was unparalleled. No wonder Brokow called them “The Greatest Generation”. We are losing our veterans at a prodigious rate and they need to be remembered both collectively and individually.
“Old Hickory Recon, Memories of the 30th Infantry Division 1943 – 1945” is about the unique experiences of one of those common soldiers. It is a very good book. Mr. Sanford’s memory for detail is amazing considering these events were 70 years ago. Mr. Jeff has done an outstanding job with the supporting research as well as getting Mr. Sanford’s memories on paper in a highly readable form.
I may be posting this on 4/1 but there is no April Fool’s involved here. Buy Jeff’s book, read it. Celebrate the service of one common soldier, and by extension the service of each individual veteran.
Thank you for your kind words about the book. I truly appreciate it. I will pass your comments along to Mr. Sanford and I will enjoy seeing his devilish grin.
Mr. Sanford is perking right along and planning to attend the 30th ID reunion in Nashville this month. He wanted me to go with him, but several important factors mitigated against me making the trip. His mind and body are still in great shape and he is a joy to talk to, which I do about once a week.
You mentioned his memory. As I have said before, I was amazed at how close he was with dates of most of the events when compared with the AAR, which I am in the midst of posting elsewhere on the forum. Of course, there were a few times where he was off a bit, but I think most of those were because he didn't necessarily know what day it was at the actual time when the event occurred.
I second mcoffee's comments. Jeff has written a remarkable book of Mr. Marion's exploits and tribulations. It highlights just what the war meant to the ordinary soldier. As the son of one of these "ordinary soldiers", I found this book explains how it unfolded for them. They were unaware of the grand strategy of the leaders. They just went about their business. The fact that Mr. Marion was able to recall so much detail is nothing short of amazing. My father died 25 years ago but my mother said recently that he was very proud of his role in the war. Kudos to Jeff and Mr. Marion.
I couldn't agree more with mcoffee and Lou. It is a great personal account of one WWII veterans experience in the War. I know you want to direct credit to Mr. Sanford, Jeff. And rightly so! But you deserve a lot of credit for helping him get his story published. Well done!
[SIZE=10pt]I read the book too. I thank mr Sanford and al those other brave man for what they did, so i can type these simple text still in total freedom.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=10pt]And i was very happy to meet Jeff and Mr Sanford last year in Maastricht and Heerlen.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=10pt]And everybody who met him these days will confirm he loves to talk. Mr Sanford is realy a strong man. Amazing memory. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=10pt]I thank him and Jeff for the book. The day mr Sanford visited the American Cemetery Margraten is still on my mind. He visited two graves. And when you see him standing there while he salutes his comrades, one can only imagine about what is on his mind at that moment. You got to see to know it, but then again when you see it you still can not imagine it. [/SIZE]
I have the book. Love it! It would be an honor to meet Mr. Sanford and Jeff should be applauded for all his work in immortalizing Mr. Sanford's part in history.
100 years from now. 200 years from now. Somebody will find a tattered paper copy of that book (or more likely the digital version in an archive since we're headed that way), and they will understand the lives of those young American, Brit, Canadian, Aussie, Kiwi, French, Colonial (did I forget anyone?) men who liberated a continent.
Mr. Sanford is profoundly ill following a surgical procedure Tuesday. I will post more information as his family wishes.
He was in good spirits when I talked to him Sunday and was looking past the surgery so he could get back in his garden.
Mr. Sanford, his family, his friends and I appreciate your kind thoughts and prayers as he looks toward recovery.
Sorry to hear Mr. Sanford isn't doing well, Jeff. My thoughts are with him at this time.
"Wishing you a full recovery and a return to your gardening, Sir!"