D-Day June 6th, 1944

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the famous invasion of Normandy, France when allied forces launched a momentous attack against the Nazi German troops occupying France.

The American allied forces, now often referred to as “America’s greatest generation”, served their country selflessly, with honor and distinction. My father, Artie C. “Jack” Cotner, was one of those.

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Artie “Jack” Cotner, England, one week prior to D-Day Invasion of Normandy

He enlisted the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii  on December 7th 1941 and served in both the Pacific and European campaigns as a U.S. Army Air Corps gunner and radio man, first on a B-17 Flying Fortress in the Pacific, then aboard a B-26 Marauder bomber in Europe.

Based in Australia for the Pacific campaign with the U.S. 19th Bomb Group, he fought with honor in the Coral Sea Battle, saw vicious combat over New Guinea, and survived the ferocious battle of Guadalcanal.

Cotner Australia 1942

Canberra, Australia 1944

After two years of combat in the Pacific, he was transferred to Europe. Based in Great Britain with the 397th Bomb Group, he flew more than 66 missions over Europe, the first of which was on D-Day June 6th, 1944. His B-26 Marauder the “Dee-feater” was seventeen minutes out ahead of the invasion forces bombing key targets along the French coast. With its prominent invasion-striped wings, this famous bomber can be seen in several D-Day newsreels of the time making its way inland high above the invading Allied naval armada at Normandy.

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Dad’s plane, the Dee-feater, over Great Britain 1944

DeeFeater Crew 1944.jpg

“Dee-feater” crew, RAF Rivenhall, England, July 20th, 1944. My dad, kneeling, center. Colonel McCloud, standing center with helmet. 

 

In my book “Storytellin’ True And Fictional Short Stories Of Arkansas” I write more about my father’s, mine, my brother’s, and nephew’s military service in a chapter titled “Veterans.” In it, I also explain the origin of his plane’s name and the reason behind its unusual spelling.

For more about the 75th anniversary of D-Day and Normandy follow this link http://en.normandie-tourisme.fr/calendar-of-events/anniversary-of-d-day-847-2.html

Isigny-sur-Mer - DDay Festival © Ville Isigny

Photo attribution: Isigny-sur Mer D-Day Festival @ Ville Isigny

May the world never forget their great sacrifice.

Book Review: Wyvern Of Wessex

Wyvern Of Wessex

Eadwulf is back in the Sea Eagle with Bjorn and his crew in a quest to discover if Eadwulf’s father, King Beorhtwulf of Mercia, is still alive after twenty years as a slave. Bjorn’s great dragonship carries them down to the searing June temperatures and strict laws in the Moorish lands of al-Andalus. But searching for Beorhtwulf proves more difficult than they’d expected, causing them more trouble than they bargained for…

In Wessex, King Aethelred is now dead, leaving his twenty-one-year-old-brother, Alfred, to succeed to the throne. Though his succession was agreed by the witan, Alfred must now prove himself worthy of the kingship or lose it. But Wessex is in turmoil, besieged by Viking Danes intent on subjugating the kingdom – and knowing that the new king is young and inexperienced. Alfred must use all his wiles if he is to outthink and outmaneuver Guthrum, the Dane who nearly becomes his nemesis.

Alfred’s victories and defeats take him on a journey of learning, during which he gains experience and strength. We share his highs and his lows and how he rises from the depths of despair to save his beloved kingdom from total conquest.

And at his side at his greatest time of need, is his new ally and friend, Eadwulf of Mercia.

“Wyvern Of Wessex”, the third book in author Millie Thom’s epic “Sons of Kings” trilogy, is a well-researched historical novel set in the 9th Century. It continues the adventures of the fictional Eadwulf of Mercia intertwined with the historical Christian King Alfred and his epic struggles to unite and solidify a kingdom and battle against the ever-present invasions of the pagan Danes. Though much has been previously written about Alfred and his Danish antagonists, Millie Thom takes a fresh, detailed, and interesting look into the personal lives of the King, his family and friends, and of those who battle against him. This is a historical novel clearly written by an accomplished author who knows and enjoys her subject. I highly recommend.

Links to Millie Thom books and author information:

Amazon US http://amzn.to/2udCDJH

Amazon UK https://amzn.to/2MfSLAy

Amazon Au https://amzn.to/2Kg7WME

WordPress: https://milliethom.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MillieThom