Here's a local angle on the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landing in Normandy.
Little Rock lawyer Robby Wilson was presented a key to the French city of Mont St.-Michel for his gift of the Piper spotter plane (above) to the Airborne Museum at Ste.-Mere-Eglise.
Ste.-Mere-Eglise is familiar because of the 82d Airborne soldier, Army specialist John Steele, whose chute tangled under enemy fire on a church steeple in the drop. The photo is of a memorial that remains there. I just saw, for the umpteenth time, John Wayne order men to cut the soldier down in "The Longest Day."
Unknown to me until today was Wilson's support of a foundation aimed at collecting an example of every piece of military headgear produced in the 20th century. Information here.
This link will take you to the Airborne Museum's website.
The City of Mont Saint-Michel honored Robert M. Wilson Jr. during the 65th D-Day festivities in Normandy, France. Robert M. Wilson, founder of the Wilson History & Research Center, dedicated a gift of a piper spotter plane to France’s Airborne Museum in Sainte-Mere-Eglise. The festivities continue and will include a visit from President Barrack Obama and many other European heads of state.
Robby, who is an Attorney and Founder of Little Rock law firm, Wilson & Associates, appeared for the honor along with two Veteran 82nd Airborne Paratroopers and Retired British Lance Corporal Bill Allen, who served as the personal Body Guard for Field Marshall Bernard Law Montgomery, the three being D-Day Veterans, before a crowd of nearly five thousand, told onlookers that the gift of the plane was to provide inspiration to the youth of today to help them understand that without the sacrifices made by these and other veterans, the privileges associated with the peace in Europe which we take for granted would not exist. We should express our gratitude in actions which encourage and develop mutual cooperation and support, not only between countries, but among all people of all nations. Subsequent to the D-Day ceremonies the large crowd was entertained by a marching parade of soldiers and serenaded by the bands from of the United States, France and Germany. The ceremony climaxed with four air force flyovers.
The Wilson History and Research Center located in Little Rock, AR is a tax exempt, charitable foundation serving in accordance with our Charter. Our goal? A complete collection of every piece of military headgear developed, produced and modified, by every country during the 20th Century.