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70th Anniversary of World War II’s D-Day Event Will
Honor Four Local Men Who “Stormed Normandy”
Honoring the 70th Anniversary of D-Day with the Channel City Club, the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation (PCVF) has created another vibrant living history event in the “70 Years On” series commemorating important dates from World War II. This year’s luncheon and symposium, on Thursday, May 8 at Fess Parkers Doubletree Resort from 11:30a – 1:30p, will have four local men who were “The Boys Who Stormed Normandy” - Bob Forties, Frank Johnson, Sal Perez and Art Petersen. In addition to the veterans, Consuls General from our Allies – France & Belgium will also be at the luncheon to speak to the importance of D-Day. This is always a sell-out event, so call or e-mail for tickets now. Tickets are $40. RSVP to (805) 884-6636 no later than Monday, May 5 or e-mail: email@example.com. No tickets will be sold at the door.
Phil Conran, Board president for PCVF stated, “Winston Churchill called the Normandy Invasion the most difficult and complex military operation ever undertaken in the history of the world. Now, seventy years later I can state it was still the most complex military combat operation every undertaken and will probably be for the rest of this world.” Conran will serve as M.C. for the event.
John Blankenship, co-founder of PCVF noted the importance of D-Day, “Next to the Moon landing, it was the largest most monumental operation in history. D-Day took a million people to plan every aspect of the invasion. All of our Allies worked alongside us in planning the attack on Hitler’s “Fortress Europa”, a.k.a The Atlantic Wall. More than 170,000 men were part of the full force attack from land, sea & air. D-Day was the real beginning of the end of World War II.”
Available only at this event, we’ll have the book “The Fighting Fox Company” by Terry Poyser and Bill Brown. The story of the men who fought directly alongside the “Band of Brothers” as the spearhead of American’s combats in Europe. Art Petersen was part of Fox Co. and so is included in this true tale. Petersen has autographed each book to make it that much more special.
Confirmed Consuls General from our Allies will be present to talk briefly about their countries contribution to D-Day – from Belgium Rudi Veestraeten and from France, Axel Cruau. Invitations to our other allies to participate, Canada & Britain, are yet to be confirmed.
According to the Winston Churchill website, it states “The Normandy invasion aimed to establish the Allied armies in German-occupied Europe. Operation Overlord, as it was called, was the largest amphibious operation in history. The initial landing was on 6 June 1944 and after hard fighting, the Allied breakout occurred in late July.
“Allied land forces that saw combat in Normandy on June 6 came from Canada, the Free French Forces, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In the weeks following the invasion, Polish forces also participated, as well as contingents from Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, and the Netherlands. Most of the above countries also provided air and naval support, as did the Royal Australian Air Force, the Royal New Zealand Air Force, and the Royal Norwegian Navy.
“The Normandy invasion began with overnight parachute and glider landings, massive air attacks, naval bombardments, early morning amphibious landings on five beaches codenamed Juno, Gold, Omaha, Utah, and Sword and during the evening the remaining elements of the parachute divisions landed. The "D-Day" forces deployed from bases along the south coast of England, the most important of these being Portsmouth.” (www.winstonchurchill.org)
“70 Years On: the Boys Who Stormed Normandy” will take place on Thursday, May 8 at 11:30 am at Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort. Please RSVP no later than Monday, May 5 to (805) 884-6636 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. This event is a collaboration of the Channel City Club and Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation.