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The last of "The Bedford Boys" passed away yesterday.


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#1 C.Evans

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 04:37 PM

Ray Nance, the last of the Bedford Boys, passed away yesterday. If you don't know who they are? these men were from a small town and of 30 of them that landed at Omaha Beach--22 were killed. Now im not sure if they were all killed at Omaha Beach but-that is a horrible loss of Soldiers lives all coming from the same small community. Mr. Nance was wounded at Normandy. Im not sure of his exact age but, he was over 90.

Rest in Peace Ray :salute: :mourn:
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#2 Kai-Petri

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 12:12 PM

R.I.P. Ray!
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#3 Slipdigit

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 12:53 PM

Company A, 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division, a National Guard outfit, landing on Dog Green sector of Omaha Beach, directly under the guns of the German 352nd Infantry Division at the Vierville draw. The company lost 92% of their men (I can't remember the total number) within 10 minutes of the boats hitting the beach. It ceased to exist.

The company had been a Guard company and when inducted into Federal service, it was made up entirely of men from Bedford VA and the surrounding area. By June 6, 1944, transfers and other personnel changes had altered the composition of the company, such that around only 40 of the 192 or so men were citizens of the Bedford area.

Only 5 men from the Bedford area survived the assault. Their landing craft had been hit some distance from the beach and sank. First Lt. Nance was one of these men, and it was around this cadre that A Company was rebuilt.

The losses devasted the small town. Everybody knew everyone else; they had been friends all of their lives and like rural areas were back then, everyone was related to everyone else. On a per capita basis, Bedford endured a higher casualty rate than any other town or city in the nation.

Not a lot is known of the individual actions by the men that day, there were so few surviving to tell of the heroism displayed by those men as they stepped off the boats into the Hell. With no where to take cover and no armor to support them, the men had nothing left to do but to try to make it to the sea wall, some 200 yards away. It was a run they could not make.

I realize that their lives are more important than any accolades the men could earn. But I am left to wonder what men deserved special note in the performance of their soldierly duties, but no one was left alive to bear witness of their deeds. How many Medals of Honor or Distiguished Service Crosses were earned that day, never to be given?

A salute to you, Mr. Nance. I hope your life after was pleasant after the war and that you never wondered why you, among your friends, families and colleagues, survived that desperate day.

Edited by SlipdigitBK, 25 April 2009 - 06:21 PM.

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Best Regards,  
JW :slipdigit:

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#4 C.Evans

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 03:57 PM

Well said Ike and thanks for the info. I'll have to owe you a salute and points ;-)
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
:snoopy: :ww1ace:
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#5 bigfun

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 07:02 PM

I just finished reading that book a month or two ago, sad story.

RIP Sir.
Scott :flag_USA_ww2: :flag_netherlands:

#6 STURMTRUPPEN

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 09:25 PM

what is the title of the book dude
at the end of the night i wont be reaching for the brass ring i'll be reaching for your wwe championship
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