August 21-22: "D-Day Conneaut" - Ohio
Since 1999, this annual recreation of the amphibious Allied landings upon the beaches of Normandy, France, has thrilled thousands of spectators. The event occurs within the beautifully kept grounds of Conneaut Township Park, Conneaut, Ohio, and assembles some 1,500 re-enactors from across the United States and Canada. This year about 30,000 visitors attended the event including around 100 veterans of WWII.
On this occasion, Consul General of France, Vincent Floreani, made a special trip to Ohio on Saturday August 22nd, to present 5 veterans of WWII with the Legion of Honor, France’s highest distinction. The recipients are: Mr. George Bachmann, Mr. Arden Earll, Mr. James Frolking, Mr. Mike Manzo, and Mr. Roland Martin.
Mr. Floreani was accompanied by Honorary of France in Cleveland Stephen Knerly.
Mr. George Bachmann enlisted in August 1943 at age 18 and served as Staff Sergeant in the 306th Bomb Group, 367th Bomber Squadron of the 8th Air Force. He was an armorer-gunner on board a B-17 Flying Fortress. Mr. Bachmann flew 35 missions over Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Central Europe and Ardennes.
For his bravery, Mr. Bachmann has received several military awards from the American government, including the Air Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters and the European, African, Middle Eastern Theater ribbon with 5 Bronze Stars.
Mr. Arden Earll enlisted in June 1943 at age 19 and served as Staff Sergeant with the 29th Infantry Division, 116th Infantry Regiment, H Company. Mr. Earll, a mortar man, valiantly fought in the Normandy, Northern France and Rhineland campaigns. Mr. Earll landed on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944 at 7am and was wounded during the initial assault.
For his bravery, Mr. Earl has received several military awards from the American government, including the Purple Heart with Oak Cluster, the Distinguished Unit Badge, and the European, African, Middle Eastern Theater with 3 bronze campaign stars with the invasion arrowhead for Normandy.
Mr. James Frolking enlisted in December 1942 at age 18 and served as First Lieutenant in the 479th Fighter Group, 436th Tactical Fighter Squadron with the 8th Air Force. Mr. Frolking, a fighter pilot, successfully flew 52 missions in the Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland and Air Offensive Europe campaigns before his plane was shot down in October 1944.
For his bravery, Mr. Frolking has received several military awards from the American government as well as the French Government including the prestigious Croix de Guerre with Palm, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Presidential Unit Citation.
Mr. Mike Manzo enlisted in September 1942 at age 20 and served as Private First Class in the 453rd Anti-Aircraft Battalion with the 83rd Infantry Division. Mr. Manzo, a machine gunner, bravely fought in the Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland and Central Europe campaigns. With his battalion, he landed on Omaha Beach on June 12, 1944.
For his bravery, Mr. Manzo has received several military awards from the American government, including the European, African, Middle Eastern Theater medal with 5 battle stars, the American Theater Service Ribbon and the WWII Victory ribbon.
Mr. Roland Martin enlisted in November 1943 at age 19 and served as private First Class with the 97th Infantry Division, 386th Regiment, Headquarters Company. Mr. Martin was a truck driver in supply convoys during the Rhineland campaign. After seven months in Europe under intense enemy attacks he was deployed to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater.
For his bravery, Mr. Martin has received several military awards from the American government, including the Bronze Star, the European, African, Middle Eastern Theater medal with 1 bronze star and the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre campaign medal.
Conneaut is located on Lake Erie, 4 miles from the Ohio/Pennsylvania state line.
For complete information: http://www.ddayohio.us/
The first photos of the event...
D-Day Conneaut 2014: https://www.flickr.com - Crédit Photo Wes Lowzinski.
Conneaut, Ohio (Sept. 17, 2005) - Actors portraying soldiers from World War II, depart a landing craft during the 6th annual D-Day reenactment ceremonies in Conneaut, Ohio. Three Hundred reenactors relive the allied assault on Omaha Beach, Normandy, France. The Landing Craft, Utility is manned by U.S. Navy reservists assigned to Assault Craft Unit Two (ACU-2) from Operational Support Center Buffalo, N.Y. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 1st Class Paul Long (RELEASED)