The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
SALUTING OUR VETERANS:
The Quill traveled this summer with U.S. Veteran Jack Brokaw of Biggsville on an emotional journey back to Omaha Beach, Normandy France. It was where he and 8 others had landed three days after D day on the 9th of June 1944 during World War II.
"A German Bunker remains in the background about 50 yards west of where Leman and I hit the beach about 10:30 pm."
The men had no idea at that time the extent of what had happened just three days prior. They had been sent there to set up operations for the 368th fighters group to ready the area for the first fighter USA P-47s to come in. It was 63 years ago, and Jack only 21, but it is as clear in his mind today as if it were yesterday.
"Words can not express the feelings I had upon visiting Omaha Beach and especially at the cemetery where 9800 U.S. soldiers are buried. Hearing the playing of TAPS and our National Anthem which is repeated each evening. I lost my gunner the 3rd day there by a sniper," he recalled.
Jack was 30-40 miles across the channel in England on D-day. When he arrived on Omaha Beach he said since he was the last on he was the first off the boat. Their vehicles were unloaded in 4 1/2 feet of water, he said. "I stood on the seat, hung onto the windshield with one foot on the steering wheel until we got to shallow water."
Jack said they couldn't slow down or stop because they didn't want the water to kill the engines before they got to the rock and sand of Omaha Beach.
You can see in the picture, that a road is there now.
Jack kept a promise to his daughter Terry and her husband Arthur Bourne of Alabama that if ever they wanted to go, he would take them to Europe to see places that Jack had served. Besides France, they (and the Quill) toured Ireland and England, saw Big Ben, castles, Shakespeare's birth place and burial sites.
When you go on a trip, take The Quill along, and take your picture with it and send it to us. Let us see where all "The Quill" can go.
The Quill traveled to North Carolina with Betty Morey (holding the Quill) from Kirkwood and her traveling friends Hank and Mary Ann Koenecke from Fond du Lac, WI and Ann and Earoll Beth from Reedsburg, WI. They are standing in front of the Biltmore home in Ashville, NC. The home is still owned by descendents of the Vanderbilt family and is the largest home in America with 250 rooms.
When you go on a trip, take The Quill along and take a picture with it and send it to us. Let us see where all "The Quill" can go.