The last of "The Bedford Boys" passed away yesterday.
Posted 24 April 2009 - 04:37 PM
Rest in Peace Ray
Posted 25 April 2009 - 12:53 PM
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.
- texson66 likes this
Posted 28 April 2009 - 03:57 PM
Posted 28 April 2009 - 07:02 PM
Posted 14 May 2009 - 09:25 PM
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