75th Anniversary of D-Day

My brother whom I never met died on D-Day +2, 1944. Below see and visit the website my son has created telling George Bowler Tullidge III’s story.

A Paratrooper’s Faith

A Paratrooper’s Faith Dedication

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Dedicated
In loving and ever-glorious rememberance
to
OUR SON
GEORGE BOWLER TULLIDGE III
Sergeant of 507th Parachute Infantry
82nd Airborne Division
who, at the age of twenty years, gave his life in the Invasion of France, June 8th, 1944. And to all the other heroes who willingly and gladly gave and are giving their lives to rid the world of tyranny and oppression.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
– John 15:13

I am George’s sister whom he never met. I was born two years after his death. Now, being the only member of my immediate family still alive, I want to tell the stories I heard about George and dedicate them and him to the ages.

George was the oldest of three sons, Tom and Arch were the younger. Tom was the Tommy of the letter that George wrote. All three brothers were graduates of Staunton Military Academy , SMA of Staunton, Virginia . George graduated in 1941 and went to Virginia Tech for college. George had passion and talents for swimming and held records at Va. Tech that remained unbroken for years after his death. I always heard that he had a goal of swimming in the Olympics, after his service to the country was completed. This excellence in swimming shows his character and determination, as he had suffered with polio in his shoulder as a child.

I am not sure when, but George wanted to enlist in the army during World War II, like many brave, unselfish young men. With his military school education and ROTC at Virginia Tech, he could have been an officer which is what Daddy wanted. I am sure that it was not for a elitist desire but hoping his oldest son would be safer as an officer during the fighting. George wanted to enlist and fight with the men and ultimately he died with them.

Fast forward to June 1944. George had earned the rank of Sergeant. He and many paratroopers jumped into France under darkness on the night of June 5. The plan for the beginning of the allied invasion of Normandy was thousands of paratroopers to jump into France and make their way to the cliffs of Normandy from the interior of the country. The next day, the invasion began from the sea, and if all had gone as planned, the Germans in the bunkers at the top of the cliffs would have been surrounded. The best planning had unforeseen flaws. Sadly, many of the paratroopers were lost, landing in trees, separated from their buddies, or engaged in battle with random German soldiers.

George fought bravely at La Fiere Bridge a key position on the road to St Mere Eglise. He continued to fight until all his men were safe even with a wound in his hip. He was awarded, posthumously, a Purple Heart for being wounded and a Bronze Star for bravery. Today, the wound would not be life threatening but this was before wide use and availability of antibiotics.

George died in England on June 8, 1945. He had the little booklet that Mama had sent him somewhere on his person. Today it is known as A Paratrooper’s Faith…

Please read the section about my mama and her project through the years to turn this family loss and tragedy into a blessing to other service men and their families. She loved to receive letters of testimony about people being encouraged by George’s little book up until she died at 94 years of age.

After the award ceremony for mama at the Pentagon, our family was invited to Fort Bragg where Mama was the honored guest at a parade and a street was named in honor of my brother, Tullidge Way. At that time, my brother Tom donated the original letter George had written to him (in the front of the booklet). Tom said, “George would have wanted the letter there. ” Mama was also awarded the Iron Mike Award of service from the enlisted soldiers at Fort Bragg.

Today, after all these years, this little booklet is still reaching and encouraging people. I have had emails from people requesting copies and am down to 9 of the original copies. Some have been printed by nieces and nephews. This is the impetus of me doing this now. I have ordered more copies of the booklet printed. And honestly, reaching the big birthday of 70 encouraged me to do my part.

Just recently, a great niece was visiting the American Cemetery to visit George’s grave. At the entrance you enter a building and a docent locates where your loved one is buried. He will walk you to the stone. He asked my niece if she was related and she said ,” Yes.” The guide said that there are quite a few visitors who ask to visit George’s grave purely from his story and A Paratrooper’s Faith with no blood family connection at all.

That alone encouraged me! What a beautiful legacy of my Mama’s love for her son and her generous and giving spirit and faith. .

Anne Bowler Tullidge Bell

Polio to Paratrooper is the story of George Tullidge. The book was written by Anne Archer Tullidge as way to memorialize George for the family. We are releasing the story now. The proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to charities that support our Armed Forces.

The book can be purchased at

CreateSpace

Amazon

Amazon Kindle Store

D-Day Invasion: Battle at Sainte-Mère-Église

The early landings, at about 0140 directly on the town, resulted in heavy casualties for the paratroopers. Some buildings in town were on fire that night, and they illuminated the sky, making easy targets of the descending men. Some were sucked into the fire. Many hanging from trees and utility poles were shot before they could cut loose.

A well-known incident involved paratrooper John Steele of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), whose parachute caught on the spire of the town church, and could only observe the fighting going on below. He hung there limply for two hours, pretending to be dead, before the Germans took him prisoner. Steele later escaped from the Germans and rejoined his division when US troops of the 3rd Battalion, 505 Parachute Infantry Regiment attacked the village, capturing thirty Germans and killing another eleven. The incident was portrayed in the movie The Longest Day by actor Red Buttons.

Later that morning, about 0500, a force led by Lt. Colonel Edward C. Krause of the 505th PIR took the town with little resistance. Apparently the German garrison was confused and had retired for the rest of the night. However, heavy German counterattacks began later in the day and into the next. The lightly armed troops held the town until reinforced by tanks from nearby Utah Beach in the afternoon of 7 June.

Krause and Lt. Colonel Benjamin H. Vandervoort both received the Distinguished Service Cross for their actions in the capture of the town. Sgt. George Bowler Tullidge III received the Bronze Star, while a collection of Bible verses and of his letters home, A Paratrooper’s Faith was distributed throughout the 82nd Airborne by his parents from after his death until the 1990s. 2nd Lt. Thomas J. Tighe of the 70th Tank Battalion received the Silver Star posthumously for his actions on the morning of June 7th in securing the town, during which he was killed when his tank was hit by German artillery fire.[5]

Henry Langrehr was also involved in the capture of Sainte-Mère-Église. He crashed through a greenhouse roof, as retold in the The Longest Day. On 6 November 2007, along with five other men he received the Legion of Honor medal from the President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy.

George at VPI

Display of George at the Airborne Museum in Sainte-Mère-Église, France

Letter from General Gavin following George’s passing.

George’s medal including Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

Anne Archer Tullidge

In 1989, Anne Archer Tullidge was awarded the “Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service” by John Marsh, Secretary of the Army, who cited her personal commitment, deep concern, and unselfish devotion to the United states Military. She printed and distributed 300,000 booklets over 50 years. We, her family, are honored to continue this, her project.

Anne Archer Hogshead Tullidge, author of ” A Paratrooper’s Faith” died in 1995. She used the pain and loss of her oldest son’s death to be a source of comfort and encouragement for thousands of others.

Jack Marsh Awarding Mrs. Tullidge the Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service
George Bowler Tullidge III

George Bowler Tullidge III

George’s final resting place with his fellow American soldiers in the American Cemetery in Cambridge, England.

Until recently, George’s grave was incorrect. It had listed him as a member of the 17th ABN.  On D-Day, the 507th was attached to the 82nd.  Due to the tireless effort of George’s sister, this error has been corrected.  Please clicki here to see more about our visit.

 Guest

Posted on : January 31, 2019

Amazing…. a very moving story, your efforts to get his story out there (and also his grave corrected!) are truly inspiring. Thank you for introducing us to your brother!


John F. Cuddy, Sr., USA, COL (Retired)

Posted on : October 14, 2018

I picked up a copy of "A Paratrooper’s Faith" while attending Basic Airborne training and ROTC Advanced Camp at Ft. Bragg, NC in 1985. It has been a constant companion for me through 28 years of Army Guard and Reserve service including deployments to Former Republics of Yugoslavia (Operation Joint Endeavor – 1996), New Orleans (Hurricane Katrina/Rita Relief – 2005) and Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom – 2008). I am grateful for Sgt. Tullidge’s service and sacrifice and the continued dedication of the Tullidge family – they have had an lasting impact on me and so many others – Thank you!


David Bennett, LTC (R) Army JROTC

Posted on : July 24, 2018

I am incorporating these quotes periodically into my lesson plans as a JROTC instructor. I also use these quotes for my Scoutmaster Minute for my Boy Scout Troop from time to time as well. Great hip pocket resource for leaders dealing with young people. I got this book from a Chaplain at Fort Bragg back in the mid 1990s and it was extremely powerful and moving. This book helped me professionally and personally through some very troubling times and I believe it can help others too.


Adam Tillinghast

Posted on : April 14, 2018

I got a copy of &quot;A Paratrooper’s Faith in 1985 when i inprocessed at the 82d Replacement Company. I kept it with me during my four years in the 82d and eventually returned to civilian life. I returned to the Army three years later and stayed in for 27 more years. I could not find my copy of the pamphlet until I was getting ready to retire in 2018. My son is now serving in D 1/505 PIR, 82d ABN Div. He knows who George B. Tullidge III is and attends chapel services just off Tullidge Way on Fort Bragg. The impact of that small book that George’s mom made is still going on. <br />


Bob Jefferis

Posted on : January 21, 2018

I was cleaning my shop today, and I found a box of things that belonged to my Dad. Although not assigned overseas, My Dad flew B-25’s starting in 1944. I found his copy of A Paratrooper’s Faith. I was compelled to read this, what a wonderful collection of poetry and Bible verse. We lost my Dad in 1998. This helps to understand some of what made my Dad and men like George who and what they were. What a beautiful collection. God bless you and keep you.


Guest

Posted on : May 29, 2017

Thanks Anne, what a story I never heard before. Your family was and is quite special.


Guest

Posted on : April 02, 2017

I went through Army Jump School in 1978. In the Chapel I found several copies of &quot;A Paratrooper’s Faith&quot; and took a few, handed out some and kept one for myself. Around 1979/80, I actually called Mrs. Tullidge on the phone. I was actually surprised that she answered. I told her how much this little blue book meant to me. She said, &quot;Thank you&quot; and we ended our conversation. I am looking at that little blue book right now again. It is now April 2017 and I have read that little blue book so many times I have much of it memorized. The book is now very faded, taped together in some places and the staples are rusted, and some of the pages want to fall out, but it is still readable. Someone told me just yesterday, &quot;We have no idea how many people we have touched or how much good we have done. Keep the faith.&quot; I will.


Steve Appleby

Posted on : February 26, 2017

As director of The Eldred WW II Museum I recently received a copy from a WW II 82nd ABN. Vet. Even this old Paratrooper cried while researching the story. What an amazing Mother, what a wonderful family. I will now try to get copies to give to the many servicemembers I know, including my own two sons. Thank you for sharing this incredible story of courage , sacrifice and above all, love. May God bless you .


James C, MAJ Retired

Posted on : December 21, 2016

Anne,<br /> <br /> Thank you for continuing the legacy of your brother and mother–your family. I was given the book from a friend in the 82nd some 35 years ago when I was a long ways from home. It was surely an inspirational and encouraging collection, and will remain so.


Marcia Decker Ray

Posted on : October 01, 2016

I have a copy of the Paratroopers Faith that belonged to my father Edwin Decker B co 504 PIR. I have it displayed on my piano with a picture of my father taken when he was in Italy, a 504 and 82Nd Airborne challenge coin and a model of a C47. Beautiful story thank you for sharing.<br /> <br />


John Hay LTC Retired

Posted on : September 08, 2016

Ann, <br /> Thank you for sharing this web site with me. George’s legacy lives on with the 507th Regiment at Ft. Benning , Ga.


Grace

Posted on : July 14, 2016

Reading this brought tears to my eyes. Our Dad was 507th F company. Thank you!


Tina Dean

Posted on : July 13, 2016

Your loving tribute to your brother and mother touched my heart. Your love for your family and devotion to keeping George’s and your mother’s stories alive is so evident in your words. My father was 501 PIR, 101st Airborne and was dropped in on D-Day. I, like you and so many others, owe such a debt of gratitude to these brave men. They are all heroes in my book. Thank you for keeping a piece of the D-Day history alive. God bless you.


Brenda Taylor

Posted on : July 12, 2016

What a touchingly beautiful story.


Cooper Beverley-Meise

Posted on : July 12, 2016

Beautiful tribute. Your brother continues to touch lives, as does your mother.


Maureen Lewicki

Posted on : July 10, 2016

What a beautiful story. I am always deeply touched by the sacrifices the ww2 veterans made and the paratroopers’ mission was incredible. To be dropped behind enemy lines in pitch black night is an experience impossible to fathom. George’s mother was amazing to turn her grief to something that tangibly ministered to so many people. God bless your family for carrying that ministry forward.

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About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
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