Regarding the recent spate of D-Day articles (June 14 / May 31): My former father-in-law William “Bill” Resnick landed on the beaches of northern France with the US Army on either the third or fourth day of the D-Day invasion. Typical of a combat soldier who has survived battles in wars, he was reticent to speak about his experiences in great detail. He did mention, however, that the casualty rate for the American soldiers on the first day of the invasion was about 80%, then about 60% on the second day, and then declined to about 40% and 20% on the next two days – and that he considered himself to be a lucky person that he landed only when he did.
His second stroke of good luck was that he met and later married a British woman (who was serving in the Women’s Land Army at the time) whom he met during the long stretch of time that he was in training in northern England and waiting for the order to be sent over the Channel with the troops.
He lived into his 80s and had the merit of seeing both of his sons serve as soldiers (in the US Army and the IDF), and then seeing all of his grandchildren (all born in Israel) serving in the IDF. He also merited hearing the good news about the birth of the first of his now long line of great-grandchildren (all here in Israel).
His many descendants are proud of his service, and they realize that his good luck – as a survivor of D-Day and the remainder of World War II – was eventually and ultimately also their good fortune.
Thank you to writer Mark Granat for “Leaping into D-Day” (June 14), a superb article detailing a British Jewish para soldier’s sad personal story. I was in tears reading it and enjoyed learning about how he made the D-Day jump; I also laughed at the line when Granat’s wife said “Hope your life insurance is paid up.” With the information on the Liberty Jump Team, as well all the other details (too many to list), we are part of this ‘band of brothers’ and salute those who survived and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
On a personal level, I really connected with Granat – as a teenager who grew up with actors John Wayne, Errol Flynn and Humphrey Bogart, and war and western movies. In 1968, with three other friends – all young and feeling invincible, from Canada and living on a kibbutz in northern Israel – all volunteered in January 1969 for the IDF (Mahal) Nahal Paratroopers Battalion 50.
Thank you to the Magazine for printing this excellent article.
MURRAY JOSEPH Kiryat Motzkin