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Posted on Aug 17, 2007 in Front Page Features, Stuff We Like

In the Footsteps of Heroes

By Chad Weisensel

Day 6. Wednesday May 16th Omaha Beach the American Cemetery and Pegasus Bridge.

For the first time on the tour we actually have sun and warmer weather, it was the start to one of the most emotional days for me on the tour.

We first made our way to the Vierville draw on Omaha Beach. The tide was in so we did not get the exact feeling of how far these men had to run across the beach. The cliffs that these men had to traverse and the firing positions the Germans had, it is still amazing that these brave men did what they did. I can’t imagine the gauntlet of fire these men had to run. We also made it to the Coleville draw as well. Here we were able to see many of the monuments dedicated to the brave men.

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Next was the American Cemetery on Omaha beach. Anyone who saw Saving Private Ryan remembers the opening scene in which the Veteran walks along the path up to his buddies grave. Today we were able to do that as well. Walking on this hallowed ground was something that will stay with me forever, I walked along the graves saying thank you to men I never knew. I only hope they know how much we appreciate what they did.


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Here again Bill said goodbye to a good friend Everett Gray, he and Gray joined together along with William Dukeman who was also killed later in the war.


Pegasus Bridge was a very important target for the British Airborne on D-Day. Major John Howard led the troops and secured the bridge after a brief firefight. The original Bridge was replaced in 1993 by a larger more modern bridge but otherwise is a replica of the original. The original can be seen up close at the local museum, which we did not have time to go to today. There are also some monuments here in his honor along with the members of the British 6th Airborne.

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Day 7. Thursday May 17th. Gosnay France to Eindhoven, Netherlands

Today we get to visit the drop zone for the 101st Airborne for Operation Market Garden. Operation Market Garden was British General Bernard Montgomery’s grand plan to try and end the war early. We were able to walk the drop zone area and see some of the fox holes that were dug up as men secured the perimeter.



The objective for Easy Company was Wilhelmina Canal at Son. Unlike D-Day, today’s drop turned out to be quiet, no flak and no German resistance on the drop zone. The toughest part of this drop was getting off the DZ fast enough to avoid getting hit by falling equipment and gliders. When Easy entered the city of Son they were greeted by extremely happy Dutch residents. They were treated to fruit, cigars and beer. We were also lucky enough to visit the battlefields of Uden and Uhckel.

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Today was a day spent mainly driving so not as much to report.

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  1. Hi, this is a great page and i was in the same museum: bastogne Historical Center
    it was the greatest museum ever!!!!!!!!!

  2. Hello Chad glad you enjoyed your tour! I,m the Brit who has Harold Webb’s helmet,(to jog your memory) That your veteran kindly added his name to, He
    was a good man and i bet very entertaining company, Also in ,y collection is the jeep cap and shoulder eagle belonging to Ed pepping one of the medics
    from BoB bye for now Chris Freeman.

  3. Hello, this site is exactly what I have been searching for. I share your passion for these heroes and especially their campaigns. I know that Stephen Ambrose passed away, however, are these tours still going on or are people on their own when they visit these sites. Our WWII veterans are getting up there and I am not sure if they are still a part of the tours. In any event, thank you for publishing these wonderful comments and pics as well.


  4. Kathy please contact me on the forums. My name is Chad and I am under the name creeping death. Thanks for your interest and I can answer all your questions.

  5. I am trying to find out if my Grandfather is in the jake Power’s book about the 101st airborne in Normandy. My grandfather is now deceased but I do know that we was there that day and part of that unit. Can anyone help me check and validate and let me know if my Grandfather is in the book before i spend this kinbd of money on it that I really don’t have at this time. Thanks
    I can be emailed at Thanks

  6. Chad,

    What a great briefing you gave, thank you! My wife and I want to go on this tour this May, but we were wondering if anyone has been on the tour this past year 2009?? I talked to the folks at Stephen Ambrose tours and was told that they may not have an Easy Co veteran going this May, and they have Ron dong the tour by himself. So I wonder if the tour woudl still be a good thing?
    Thank you for any feedback.

  7. Hi Chad,

    Do you have an email address or better yet, a phone number where I can reach you to discuss a band of brothers trip? I heard from you some time ago but the email address that you used wouldn’t let me contact you again.