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Three days of Remembrance in France

Page traduite avec Google

Last September 10 1996 René Deltieure passed away...
But, who was René Deltieure ?

Born in France in 1925, René Deltieure became American citizen when baby, his parents and him went to live in USA...
In 1943, he joined the Third Infantry Division, 7th infantry regiment, Company M.
His battles credits : Rome-Arno, Southern France, Rhineland, Central Europe.

His medals and citations :

- Silver Star Medal : 20 auguste 1944, at Hyeres (South of France) :
"Rene Deltieure, 42 036 953, Sergeant (then Private), Infantry, Company "M", 7th Infantry Regiment. For gallantry in action. On 20 august 1944, near *** (in fact Hyeres), France, Sergeant Deltieure abandoned the cover of his foxhole during an enemy artillery and mortar shelling that wounded seven members of his platoon, in order to help and aid man render medical treatment. Although 77mm, 88mm and mortar shells burst within 25 yards of him, Sergeant Deltieure remained exposed for half an hour on his voluntary mission. Shortly thereafter, Sergeant Deltieure ran across 200 yards of exposed terrain through a heavy artillery shelling and into a minefield, to the assistance of 13 french soldiers wounded in an attack. Administering first aid and helping to evacuate the casualties, Sergeant Deltieure was exposed for another hour to artillery fire, with shells bursting within 15 yards."


- Oak Leaf Cluster (Silver Star medal) : September 11 1944 , Noroy Le Bourg (East of France) :
"Rene P.J. Deltieure, 42 036 953, Sergeant (then Private), Infantry, Company "M", 7th Infantry Regiment. For gallantry in action. On or about the night 11 September 1944, near *** (in fact Noroy le Bourg), France, Sergeant Deltieure set his heavy machine gun up alone on the shoulder of a road when vehicles were heard approaching in the darkness. As two vehicles drew alongside him, Seargent Deltieure recognized them as an enemy truck carrying personnel and a flakwagon, and he opened fire at them. Despite a hail of return small arms fire directed at him from distances of 25 to 35 yards, Sergeant Deltieure kept his finger on the trigger until he emptied a bolt. His fire exploded the flakwagon, killing seven. He also wounded several others and caused the capture of 12."


- Purple Heart Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster :
He was wounded during the battle of Vy les Lure (September 15 1944), and at Vervezelle (October 21 1944).

- Bronze Star Medal : January 30 1945, at Whir en Plaine (East of France) :
"Rene P.J. Deltieure, 42 036 953, Staff Sergeant (then Sergeant), Infantry, Company "M", 7th Infantry Regiment. For valorous conduct in action against the enemy. On 30 January 1945, during an enemy counter-attack on whir en Plaine, France, Staff Sergeant Deltieure set up his machine gun in a window of a house overlooking the enemy route of approach. Holding his fire until an enemy scout car was about 60 yards from him, he opened up, killing both occupants of the vehicle. He then directed his fire on a group of 12 enemy soldiers moving into position near a roadblock, killing one man and forcing the others to scatter. Disregarding the fire of a hostile tank that scored two hits on the building he occupied, he remained in position for approximately 30 minutes."


- European / African / Middle Eastern Campaign Medal,

- Army Good Conduct Medal.

After World War Two, he studied chemistry at New York.
During a trip in France to visit his "French family", he met a young French woman, Josette. In 1950 they got married, and they had 5 children. But World War Two was not completely finished for Rene Deltieure...
Remember, he was wounded at Vervezelle (Vosges mountains) on October 1944... In fact he kept in his body the glares of a German shell. They moved in 1996, and then Rene Deltieure passed away !

But Deltieure's family can't forget that Rene was so proud to be soldier in the Third Infantry Division, the most famous of the US Army he said, so proud to have taken part in the liberation of France, the country of his ancestors, the country of his father who was French soldier during World War One... The spirit of Verdun... France, his second country... This country he visited a lot of time with his family…

For all these reasons, the wish of his family was that Rene was not forgotten in France... They thought to a plaque for his memory at Vervezelle, this very small village in the Vosges mountains, who was fatal for him, 52 years later...

But we, French people, wanted more for the memory of this great soldier… We wanted that his family had three days of Remembrance in France, following in his footsteps in the Vosges Mountains and Vesoul’s area, “nearly” like in 1944…
Three days for the memory of Staff Sergeant Rene Deltieure, one of these American soldiers who delivered our country !

07 may 2006 : 10h30 AM : Col du Haut Jacques (Vosges mountains), ceremony at the monument for the memory of the KIA of the 7th Infantry Regiment... The regiment of Staff Sergeant Rene Deltieure…

From left to right : Mr Robert T. Cavaness, Superintendant of the American Cemetery of Epinal, Mr Cherpion, member of Parliament, Mr Etienne Pourcher, County Councillor, Mrs Josette Deltieure, Mr Lalandre, Councillor of the Region, Mr Bonnard, the ceremony master, Colonel retired, French Foreign Legion…
In this ceremony there were representatives of French patriotic associations, citizens of Vosges Mountains, the members of the Rock of the Marne associations …



Mrs Josette Deltieure and her son, Claude, the Rock of the Marne Association…

 

07 may 2006 : 11h30 AM : Vervezelle : dedication of the plaque in memory of Staff Sergeant Rene Deltieure :



Speeches by Mr Etienne Robert, mayor of Vervezelle, and by the first deputy mayor of Vervezelle. They spoke about the life of “Frenchy” (nickname of Rene Deltieure in the Third Infantry Division). They spoke about his story between America and France…
They spoke about the work for memory…



Then speeches by Jean Marie Siret and Eric Vandroux, about “Frenchy's" war,
his citations, and the circumstances of his wound at Vervezelle…

Speech by Mrs Deltieure… She spoke about the meaning of this plaque for her family, for her husband born in France, for “Frenchy”, for Staff Sergent Rene Deltieure who was so proud to be soldier in the famous Third Infantry Division, so proud to have done something for the liberation of France…
Then, we sang “The MARSEILLAISE”, our national anthem… Just after, the members of the Rock of the Marne Associations sang “God Bless America” !

plaque Staff Sgt René Deltrieure

This plaque on the wall of the town hall of Vervezelle…
This plaque is not only for the memory of Staff Sergeant Deltieure…
This plaque is also for the memory of Rene’s comrades in arms.…

   
The Rock of the Marne Association
 


The team of Jean Pierre Cocquard, owners of Jeeps and dodges of Lunéville in Lorraine.

After the “vin d’honneur” at the town hall of Vervezelle, after the lunch at Biffontaine, there was the visit of the others monuments for the soldiers of US Army in the District of Brouvelieures :
- Biffontaine at the monument for the 442nd Infantry Regiment US (the famous Japanese Nisei),
- Frémifontaine at the monument for the 45th Infantry Division,
- Bruyères at the monument for the 36th Infantry Division…
In October 1944 there were great battles in this area… A lot of young American soldiers suffered and often died for our freedom in these mountains and deep forests…
This day nobody wanted to forget them…
Each time, offering of weaths… and a thought for them…

 

08 may 2006 : 11h30 AM : Vesoul : Victory in Europe Day commemoration…

Each year it’s always a great ceremony in Vesoul !
French Army (French Air Force from the Air Base of Luxeuil), French Gendarmerie, Policemen, Firemen, but also members of patriotic associations, a lot of French flag holders, and of course a lot of citizens of Vesoul took part in this event presided by the Colonel of the Luxeuil Air Base and the mayor of Vesoul, Mr Alain Joyandet.


Mrs Josette Deltieure and Mr Claude Deltieure represented the American veterans, and especially the veterans of the Third Infantry Division…



And at the end of this ceremony, the presentation of the plaque for the memory of the soldiers of the Third Infantry Division US…


Mr Alain Joyandet spoke about the work of the Third Infantry Division during the liberation of Vesoul this September 12 1944…
And about the friendship between France and America… And how is important the work for memory… Not forget !

Mrs Josette Deltieure told about the sacrifice of these young American soldiers… And explained that her husband was so proud to have been in this Third Infantry Division… The greatest division of the US Army he always said…
The members of the Rock of the Marne Association were the guardians of this plaque… This plaque for the memory of the Marnemen that we represent since a long time …


This plaque will be dedicated next September at Vesoul…
It will be fixed on the Boulevard Charles de Gaulle, the road of the liberty for the citizen of Vesoul in 1944…
This plaque was the wish of the citizens of Vesoul…

 

08 may 2006 : 13h30 PM : Saulx de Vesoul : Reception by the mayor, the deputy mayors and the citizen of Saulx de Vesoul.



Mr Christian Bresson, Mayor of Saulx de Vesoul

The team of Mr Christian Bresson and Mr Jean-Claude Lachat, first deputy mayor of Saulx de Vesoul, did also a lot for the work for memory… The plaque in 2004 for the memory of the soldiers of the Third Infantry Division who died during the liberation of their village, the Memorial Day of French Children in 2005 and 2006, and others events…
They wanted to receive Mrs Josette and Mr Claude Deltieure for a lunch !

During several weeks in september 1944 there was an US Field Hospital in their village… As Private Deltieure was wounded during the battle of Vy les Lure, at a few km from there, perhaps that… It’s quite possible… Certainely…


16h PM: visit of Villers le Sec, Chapelle de Saint Igny



Mr Jean Claude Lachat, Mr Michel Clement, Mrs Josette Deltieure, Mr Jacques Theulin, mayor of Villers le Sec

Mr Michel Clement was 21 years old at the liberation of Saint Igny, a part of the Village of Villers le Sec… He met these American soldiers of the 7th Infantry Regiment. He remembered very well them…
The French resistants were their translators… But he remembered that one of these American soldiers spoke very well French… Perhaps Private Rene Deltieure ?
Then visit of this old very nice chapel…

16H30 PM : visit of Noroy le Bourg
Private Deltieure was awarded a Oak Leaf Cluster (Silver Star) for gallantry in action in this village (September 11 1944) … The citation is at the beginning of this report…
Some citizens of this city remember very well the liberation of Noroy le Bourg : a great battle, a lot of German and American soldiers Killed in Action…
Raymond Zussman, Second Lieutenant Co A, 756th Tank Battalion, 3d Infantry Division was awarded the Medal of honor for the same battle…


Between two members of the Rock of the Marne association :
Mr Claude Deltieure, Mr Jacques Jeannin, mayor of Noroy le Bourg, Mrs Josette Deltieure

17h00 PM : visit of Vy les Lure


Mr Henri Steinmann, Mayor of Vy les Lure, Mrs Josette Deltieure,
Claude her son, and the Rock of the Marne Association

 During his speech, Mr Henri Steinmann read a part of the book “LURE LIBERE” by Mr Pierre Antoine, historian of this area. This part was about the battle of Vy les Lure (September 15 and 16 1944), near the cemetery…
He explained how the Company “L” and 29 soldiers of the Company “M” did their job during this very hard battle…
7 Killed in Action… 16 Missing in Action… 14 wounded in action…
Private Rene Deltieure was wounded for the first time during this battle…
Vy les Lure was liberated by the Third Infantry Division this September 16, at 09 A.M.



Then, everybody went to the cemetery… And in front of the monument for the Killed in Action of the French Resistance,
everybody sang “La Marseillaise” for the memory of “Frenchy”, for the memory of the soldiers of the Third Infantry Division…
Then “vin d’honneur” at the Town Hall, with the citizens of Vy les Lure…

 

09 may 2006 : 09.00 AM : Lure

The French patriotic association “Le Souvenir Français” of the district of Lure finances the visit of the American Cemetery of Epinal by the very young children of the school of Lure and of the school of Mailleroncourt Charette. They are from 9 to 11 years old. 30 schoolboys and schoolgirls…

Mr Serge Lecing, president of the “Souvenir Français” of Lure, Mr Jean Besançon, past president of this association wanted that these children had a “special lesson” about World War Two, about the work for memory, just before this visit…
Mrs Josette Deltieure, Mr Claude Deltieure, Mr François Bardot, 21 year old, prizewinner of the competitive exam about Resistance and internment in concentration camp, Mr Michel Marlin, president of the Souvenir Français of the District of Marchaux (near Besançon), and two members of the Rock of the Marne Association were the others teachers during this morning.


Mr Michel Marlin with Mrs Josette Deltieure and Mr Claude Deltieure

Claude Deltieure asked : “What do you know about World War Two ?”
Luciane, 10 years old answered : “This war began in 1939 and finished in 1945.”…
Blandine, 9 years old answered “The American soldiers liberated Lure on September 16 1944”.
Louise, 10 years old explained : “23 young American soldiers died for the liberation of our town”…
And we discovered that Mrs Michele Didier and Mrs Angelique Sanchez, the two teachers of all these children, had explained a lot of things about this period…
But it was not all… We discovered too that some of these very young students got informations thanks several websites…

Then everybody explained to these French chidren the meaning of this war for Hitler and german people, the invasion of Europ by german troops… The war in the world… The life during this terrible period, the liberation of our country…
Mrs Josette Deltieure spoke about her life in France during this time… The story of this very young jewish girl who disappeared for ever…
Mr Claude Deltieure spoke about her father during the war…
Mr Michel Marlin, child during the liberation, met these marnemen at Besançon… He remembered that the American soldiers made no noises when they walked… He remembered that it was not the case of the german soldiers…
He said that he remembers an American soldier who spoke very well French…
Perhaps he was in the 7th Infantry Regiment ? Perhaps this GI’s was Private Rene Deltieure ?
During these three days there were a lot of “PERHAPS”…
Claude Deltieure asked to the children : “Why history is important” ?
A schoolgirl answered : “Because our grandparents lived history, and I want to know it”…
Claude Deltieure said that the most important thing is not the stories of the war, not the stories of unknown soldiers, not the stories of politics people, but the stories of all the members of our families… All these stories who made what we are today…

Mathilde, Mélanie, Anthony, Alizée, Lauriane, Mailys, Océane and the others children…

Then, everybody distributed a lot of chewing gum “Wrigley’s” to the children, nearly the same that the American soldiers gave to the European people during World War Two…
And everybody sang “The Marseillaise”, then Mr Claude Deltieure and me sang “The Star Spangled Banner”…


Claude Deltieure and the exposition about the Third Infantry Division during World War Two

At 11:00 am, end of this event, and end of these three days of remembrance… The remembrance of S/Sgt Rene Deltieure, the remembrance of the soldiers of the Third Infantry Division US… The remembrance of all the American soldiers of World War Two…
These three days of remembrance was the result of the work of a team…
A great thanks to :
 "The Communauté of Communes of the District of Brouvelieures,
- Mr Etienne Pourchet, County Councillor and President of this Communauté, Mayor of Frémifontaine
- Mr Etienne Robert, Mayor of Vervezelle,
- Mr Jean-Marie Siret, citizen of Frémifontaine, associate member in the 45th Infantry Division, coordinator in second,
- Mr Bonnard, Colonel retired of the French Foreign Legion, district of Brouvelieures,
- Mr François Jeancolas, Président of the Souvenir Français of Brouvelieures,
- Mr Denis Henry, mayor of Biffontaine

- Mr Alain Joyandet, Mayor of Vesoul
- Mr Alain Chrétien, Deputy Mayor of Vesoul,
- Mrs Sonia Wicky, Public Relation of the town of Vesoul,

- Mr Christian Bresson, mayor of Saulx de Vesoul,
- Mr Jean-Claude Lachat, first deputy Mayor of Saulx de Vesoul, coordinator in second,

- Mr Jacques Theulin, Mayor of Villers le Sec,
- Mr Jacques Jeannin, Mayor of Noroy le Bourg,
- Mr Henri Steinmann, Mayor of Vy les Lure

- Mr Serge Lecing, Président of the Souvenir Français of the district of Lure,
- Mr Jean Besançon, Past Président of the Souvenir Français of the district of Lure,
- Mr Michel Marlin, Président of the Souvenir Français of the district of Marchaux (near Besançon)

- The members of the association Rock of the Marne…

You have to know that all these persons were very pleased to do something for these three days of remembrance, for the memory of the American soldiers who delivered our country… They did all the best they could, and it was so nice to work with each of them during this project…
The work for memory is not only a thought … It is projects… There are others projects…. Projects about others plaques for American soldiers, projects for monuments…Very soon…"

God Bless America !
Rock of the Marne !
Eric Vandroux
Coordinator and Public Relation