• Plage Bonaparte à Plouha (Côtes d'Armor) - Haut-lieu de la Résistance

  • Sacy-le-Grand (Oise) - Mémorial en souvenir du F/O H. H. MacKenzie (RCAF)

  • Supermarine LF Mk.Vb Spitfire EP120 - G-LFVB - (The Fighter Collection)

  • Le Cardonnois (Somme) - Stèle à la mémoire de l'équipage du Boeing B-17 #42-31325, 452nd Bomb Group

  • B-17G-85-VE 44-8846 - F-AZDX - (FTV)

 

26th OCTOBER 2013

 

Ully-Saint-Georges (Oise)

 


Visit of Rudy SANDERS,

S/Sgt. Robert E. CROSS's nephew

                                                                                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                                                                        
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                                                                                                               En français france

                                                                                                                                                                                        

 

Before enjoying a trip to Europe with his wife, Rudy Sanders, who lives in California, had told us of his wish to come for the first time to Ully-Saint-Georges.

Rudy Sanders is the nephew of S/Sgt. Robert E. Cross, tail gunner aboard the Boeing B-17 "Judy", who was killed in action on 30th December 1943, whilst returning fire on attacking enemy fighters.

S/Sgt. Robert E. Cross was buried the next day in the cemetery of Boran-sur-Oise with his three other crewmates, F/O Fitzgerald, Sergeant Giersch and Sergeant Pierce.

RE Cross     Thomas G Cross
                                                       S/Sgt. Robert E. CROSS                                              Sgt. Thomas G. CROSS
    
His brother, Sgt. Thomas G. Cross, paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division, was probably killed on the night of 5th to 6th June 1944 during the assault preparing the Landing on the Normandy coast. His body was not found until 10th June.

 

The bodies of Robert E. Cross and his brother Thomas were repatriated and reburied on 28th August 1949 in Missouri where they now rest together.
The war in Europe took a very heavy toll on the Cross family, who had lost their two sons.

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On Saturday 26th October, the Municipality of Ully-Saint-Georges once again did not hesitate to organise a reception in honour of the visit of the American couple, with the help of the ASAA.

Upon their arrival, Rudy Sanders and his wife were surprised by the attention given them.

By late morning, a simple and warm ceremony began in front of the memorial, recalling the sacrifice of Allied airmen who had fallen near the village.

Depot de gerbe

Laying of wreaths at the foot of the memorial ... minute of silence (as a symbol, a propeller plane flew over the ceremony) ... then the national anthems.

Discours du maire

Mrs. Nicole Robert, Mayor of Ully-St-Georges, then delivered her speech :

"... Upon receiving you today, Rudy and Sue, this is again an opportunity for us to express the gratitude and appreciation of France to the United States. Without these soldiers, like your uncle Robert, without these Resistance workers, without these courageous and anonymous people, the Nazi barbarity would not have been defeated. They all fought for Freedom and we will forever owe them a moral debt and a duty to remember ... "

Rudy Sanders

Rudy Sanders, in turn, spoke, thanking the municipality of Ully St Georges for bestowing this honour on him, in memory of his uncle and the other members of the crew, stating that he would never forget this day.

"... I am interested in the history of the war and I pay tribute to the airmen who sacrificed themselves for our Freedom. The memory is still present here, and this touches me deeply. The French and the Americans are brothers ... "

Avec les tmoins  Autour de la stle

The ceremony came to an end with a few photographs in the presence of witnesses of the crash, representatives of families who had hosted some crew members and of the great Resistance worker and always bubbly Geneviève Le Berre.

After the ceremony, the whole congregation was invited to the village hall for a reception.

Expo   Porte du Judy

Then followed a meal in the village hall where an exhibition tracing the history of B-17 "Judy" and its crew was presented by the ASAA. Among the exhibits, a special piece of great importance, namely the door of the B-17 "Judy".

Lieu du crashIn the afternoon we went to the crash site. This visit filled Rudy Sanders with an especially great emotion. It was in this very place that the body of his uncle had been found almost 70 years ago.

In the middle of the steeply sloped woods, a cross and a small American flag recalled the memory of S/Sgt. Richard R. Giersch. In 2009, Annette Siverling, his niece, came to plant them.
Two roses were laid by Rudy and Sue Sanders in memory of those who perished in this place.

All around, colouring the soil under the fallen golden leaves of autumn, there quickly appeared dozens of small pieces of aluminum, bakelite and perspex, definite remains of the Flying Fortress.
Some parts had numbers ... On another was engraved the word "Boeing" ....

Soon, an exceptional piece was discovered : the identification plate of one of the four Wright-Cyclone engines of the bomber.

All these pieces were given to Rudy Sanders.
Precious and poignant memories of his visit. The sky was beginning to darken. Unfortunately this beautiful autumn day was drawing to a close.         Plaque    
Before returning to Paris, Rudy and Sue Sanders warmly thanked, from the bottom of their heart the municipality of Ully-Saint-Georges and all those who took part in this tribute to their uncle and the other members of the crew.

On behalf of the ASAA, we also wanted once again to thank Mrs. Nicole Robert and all her municipal team for their total involvement with this duty of remembrance to which we are very much attached.

 Plaque moteur

On 11th September 2011 a ceremony was held at Ully-Saint-Georges

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