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The Way We Were - Col. Ben Vandervoort
"Col. Ben Vandervoort" is the fourth volume in noted historian Michel DeTrez's WWII paratrooper portrait series titled 'The Way We Were'.
The 505th PIR of the 82nd Airborne Division is one of the finest parachute infantry regiments to emerge from the Second World War. Its second battalion did much toward earning this reputation, and the records show that its intrepid commander, Lt. Col. Benjamin H. Vandervoort deserves much of the credit due in securing these accolades. His two Distinguished Service Crosses are certainly evidence enough to support this claim. Among the more riveting stories of heroism in WWII is that of Lt. Col. Vandervoort, who led his battalion of paratroopers to victory on D-day, despite having broken his ankle when he dropped on Ste. Mere Eglise in the early morning hours of June 6th. His coolness under fire, outstanding courage and initiative, coupled with his dogged determination, contributed materially to the successful completion of the missions assigned to him. His tenacity and resourcefulness demonstrate the highest qualities expected of US Army paratroop officers Throughout the war, Col. Vandervoort enjoyed the reputation of being a commander who could take on any job and do it well, no matter how tough the opposition or how limited his own means were. He also had the reputation of being such an able commander that he could accomplish his combat tasks with a minimum of casualties.
Colonel Vandervoort's role in the Normandy campaign was immortalized when actor John Wayne portrayed him in the Hollywood epic "the Longest Day", based on the best-selling novel by Cornelius Ryan. His name remains a legend in the armed forces today. Vandervoort was described by Gen. Matt Ridgway, then Commanding Officer of the 82nd Airborne Division, and later to become the US Army Chief of Staff, as "one of the bravest and toughest battle commanders I ever knew". Oliver B. Carr, a lieutenant who fought under Vandervoort in Normandy, stated "He had the respect of every man in the outfit. He was very brave and very calm in situations where it was extremely hard to remain calm".
8 1/2 x 11 1/2, Paperback - 88 pages with 250 illustrations
This book is also available in a deluxe hard-covered, numbered, limited edition, which is signed by the author.
Only 82 copies have been printed in this format.
VERSION : ENGLISH/FRANÇAIS
"I want to let you know the books arrived in a splendid condition.
At first I was rather sceptical about the ³Portrait² series, wondering whether they would be as interesting as other books, probably caused by not being used to the concept. Since I bought two in a shop in Ste-Mere-Eglise I know how terribly wrong I was in being so sceptical.
Beyond all doubt the 3 of the books I¹ve read now are as good as it can get ! I¹m very thankful for you immortalizing those paratroopers in such an extraordinary way.
I sincerely hope more books of its kind will follow.
Keep up the brilliant work !"
Reinout Waelput, Belgium
"I have recieved my ordered book! Absolutely amazing book!"
Bob Moolenbeek, Holland
"I received the book today. Thank you for the fantastic service and the item was received without damage. Your service was better than any that I have received here in the states by far. Thank you."
Owen Zeigler, USA
"I am the current Adjutant for the 2nd Battalion 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82D Airborne Division. I am working on a memorial for the Regiment that will honor LTC Vandervoort. The new battalion HQ will be named in his honor.
Thank you for the information. Your book proved to be a vital and indeed the core asset in getting the dedication
proposal approved by the Fort Bragg Public Works Commission. General Caldwell, the 82nd Division Commander, weighed in and got involved to help the project along. My Battalion Commander, LTC Parker, remembered meeting you and gave me your book to use."
1LT Fergal O' Reilly, USA
"I just wanted to let you know that I received the book and it is outstanding. Thanks a million."
Glen Nakata, USA
"Your style of writing, supplemented by profuse illustration, has really impressed me. No matter what, please keep up the good work."
Mike Gorman, USA
"Thank you for your fabulous scholarship and dedication to preserving the history of our brave fathers."
Tom Shockey, Canada
"What a wonderful tribute to my Dad. Plus you covered aspects of his career that I was not even remotely aware of. I really wish that he were here to read The Way We Were. In that context, I also wish my Mom, Nedra, and a guy named Cornelius Ryan could go through it also. They would approve.
On a personal note, the "action figure" completely blew me away - well done. Thank you so very much."
Ben Vandervoort Jr.
"I have just received the book and doll and I am very impressed with the beautiful job you have done. My father, Charles Vandervoort, would have been very excited to see them and enjoyed them immensely. Thank you for all your hard work. It is truly appreciated."
Virginia Mueller, Niece of Col. Vandervoort, USA
"I have just read one of the recent gems in Michel De Trez's WWII paratroopers portrait series. This booklet details the remarkable military career of Benjamin H. Vandervoort. As many others, my introduction to Lt. Colonel Vandervoort was the larger than life portrayal of the Colonel by John Wayne in the epic film, The Longest Day. Even as a student of WWII paratroopers, it has been tough to get much detail of the "real" Lt. Col. Vandervoort, until now. Michel has presented the military career of Lt. Col. Vandervoort in his usual excellent mixture of first hand accounts, period photographs, and related artifacts. As it turns out, it is Lt. Colonel Benjamin Vandervoort who had the larger than life military career, not the other way around! Thank you Michel for giving us the story behind this well known, and courageous soldier."
Charles Counts, USA
"Vandervoort book arrived in good condition. It is EXCELLENT. All of us involved in that history owe you a great deal for collecting these photos and editing them so well. It is most amazing that it has been done by you, not a US historian. Thank you for a job well done."
Bob Gillette, 505 PIR veteran, USA
I'm glad to see I ordered the book from you. For a long time, I've been an admirer of your work over on Trigger-Time as well as in print. I've got the Forrest Guth book here in my library.
Once I saw you wrote a book on LtCol. Vandervoort, who's a long-time hero of mine, I knew I just had to have a copy of it. My hobby is historical miniature modelling. Again, I thank you for the book and all your efforts that have gone into your work,
Pete Herrera, USA
"I would like to thank Mr. de Trez for his awesome books perpetuating the history of the US Army airborne. His collections are tremendous and I treasure them. Thank you."
Glenn Stover SSG, US Army XVIII Airborne Corps, USA