JAMES ROMANO'S VISIT TO NORMANDY
Romano, nephew of Biaggio Bennardi (Hq 2nd) recently visited
Normandy in an effort to better understand what his uncle had gone
through. He documented that trip with a photo journal and also made
some maps from Google Earth so others that visit the area by car (as
he did) can find them.
the help of a local farmer," he said, "whose door I walked up to and
knocked on, I would never have found the wall, and the rest of the
monuments near Picauville.
paper Lucien is holding is my Uncle's memories, the same that you
have on the site.
I hope you can use the maps on the website, maybe use hotlinks to
link to my photos this way people can see what is there. To my
amazement, I thought the area of 'Hill 30' was just that, a hill, so
I was looking for one... but it's actually the WHOLE area. The
tourist desk in St. Mere-Eglise was no help, so I set out on my own
and got lost. Thanks to your website, when I me Eric above, I gave
him Lucien's name and he knew where to go. So I'd like to give a
little more back to you and make it easier for others that make the
trip. The whole area is gorgeous farm land, serene and peaceful.
A total contrast as to what happened there.
[l-r] James gets directions from Eric, a local farmer as Lucien
Hasley listens. Also, Lucien hands out a piece of paper to all
visitors to the wall from the 508th. It's a map of the whole area
with places pointed out by markers. It's all in French, so I can't
read it. Eric was acting as my interpreter so I could speak with
Lucien, hence the picture of the three of us, with Eric pointing and
me holding the paper. Lucien was fantastic, a very nice man, and
extremely thankful. When Eric told him I was the nephew to a 508th,
he wouldn't stop thanking me and my whole family. It was great.
He even drew a rough sketch in the dirt of the driveway explaining where
the action took place around his house when he was 10. Meeting him
was extra special, and having met Eric was total luck. As it turns
out, Eric is a member of a society of men from Picauville, Caponet,
and Le Fierage [La Fiere] that build monuments, conduct research and recovery,
and offer help to Americans visiting battlegrounds and places around
the area. Talk about luck... just walking up to someone's house,
hoping to find someone that speaks a little English... and I found
Hover mouse over areas of interest on map to view photos or click
508 Commemorative Wall
Iron Mike at La Fiere
St Mere Eglise