Advance praise for "We Who Are Alive & Remain"

“Presents the ordeal of war for the horror it truly is, yet it also shows how the indomitable spirit of ordinary citizens can prevail and triumph in the face of incredible odds.”
--Robyn Post
Co-author of the New York Times bestseller
Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends


“I’ve always thought it was too bad that Ambrose’s book and the HBO series selected only a few people to profile .... Easy Company was made up of a hell of a lot more guys than those of us who got all the notoriety.... This book gives an opportunity for some of those men to share their stories. That’s a good thing. These are all top flight men. I was honored to be included in their ranks.”
--Lt. Lynn “Buck” Compton
Member of Easy Company and author of
Call of Duty



"This book adds valuable and fascinating information from men in E Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne .... These are men who volunteered for their duty because they wanted to be the best in the army. They are some of the finest men I know—both then, and today.”
--Tech. Sgt. Don Malarkey
Member of Easy Company and author of
Easy Company Soldier


"My father, Joe Toye, knew well and served alongside many of the contributors of this book and shared many of the experiences they have so succinctly described. A distinct honor in my life was to have had the privilege of personally meeting many of these great men of Easy Company and having the opportunity to listen to their stories firsthand. A more courageous and humble lot I have never met—nor ever will. Their stories of joy, sacrifice, and suffering are America’s stories and shall forever be cherished and preserved thanks to this wonderful and timely publication."
--Pete Toye,
son of Joe Toye (1919-1995), Easy Company member



“Imagine being able to sit down and listen to twenty veterans of one of the most fabled American military units of World War II tell their personal war stories––stories full of pain and fear and camaraderie and pride that most of them, like a lot of veterans, probably never even told their families. That priceless opportunity is here in Marcus Brotherton's fascinating collection of oral histories by a remarkable group of American heroes. Be amazed, be humbled.
--Flint Whitlock
Pulitzer-nominated author and military historian
Author of The Fighting First: The Untold Story of the Big Red One on D-Day

About the book

“We Who Are Alive and Remain” is the newest book about the Band of Brothers, the men of E Co, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne.

The book is told in oral-history style, similar to Bill and Babe's memoir. It will be published by Berkley Caliber in May 2009.

Back cover copy from the publisher reads:

From Marcus Brotherton, co-author of Call of Duty, comes a new collection of untold stories from the Band of Brothers. With candid, personal accounts of training, combat, triumph, and loss, the men of Easy Company let you know what it was really like.

As America geared up to fight World War II, the Army decided to try something different. A selected division would receive boot camp and paratrooper training in one place and time. The result, they hoped, would be a group of men unparalleled in their cohesiveness; a force of heroic spirit and deadly efficiency. They were not disappointed.

After almost two years of hard training, the men of Easy Company parachuted into Normandy on D-Day and, later, Operation Market Garden. They fought their way through Belgium, France and Germany, survived overwhelming odds, liberated concentration camps, and drank a victory toast in April of 1945 at Hitler’s hideout in the Alps.

Here, revealed for the first time, are stories of war, sacrifice, and courage as seen by one of the most revered combat units in military history. In We Who Are Alive and Remain, twenty men who were there and are alive today—and the families of three deceased others—recount the horrors and the victories, the bonds they made, the tears and blood they shed—and the brothers they lost.

Table of Contents: We Who Are Alive & Remain

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Preface
Perspective

Chapters:
1. A Future that Nobody Could Prepare Us For
2. Young Lions, East
3. Young Lions, West
4. The Day Everything Changed
5. Cutting Teeth at Toccoa
6. How the Rest of Us Trained
7. Aboard the Samaria, Toccoa Men
8. Atlantic Crossings, Replacements
9. Aldbourne: Calm Before the Storm
10. Bad Day for a Lot of Young Men
11. Fighting in Normandy
12. Battle of Carentan
13. R&R in England
14. The Fight of Our Lives in Holland
15. Defending the Island
16. Respite in Mourmelon
17. Frozen Hell
18. Blood
19. Enemy Across the River
20. Meeting a Defeated Aggressor
21. Toasting Victory
22. Last Duties in Austria
23. Coming Home
24. Lives In Freedom
25. Thoughts on Heroism

Epilogue

Appendices: Memories of my father...
Herbert Sobel, by Michael Sobel
Robert Burr Smith, by Susan Finn
George Luz Sr., by Lana Luz Miller and George Luz Jr.

Reference material

About the author

1. About Rod Bain, contributor


Rod Bain
Current hometown: Anchorage, AK
T/5
Toccoa
Fought in:
* Normandy
* Holland
* Bastogne/ Belgium
* Hagenau
* Germany
* Austria

Quote:

"I was minding my own business as a student at the University of Washington when suddenly we were in a world war with no apparent limitations. December, 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Many students quit university and signed up for various military branches. We faced the task of defeating Germany and Japan, the two powers who wanted to rule our world."

[Photo courtesy the Bain family]

2. About Don Bond, contributor

Don Bond
Current hometown:
Albany, OR
Pvt.
Replacement
Fought in:
* Hagenau
* Germany
* Austria

Quote:

"I was 15 when Pearl Harbor hit. My brother, Lou, was seven years older than me. Everyone was worried about him having to go into the service. Nobody ever thought I’d have to go. My brother went into the Air Force. He went over to Spokane, then to Douglas, Arizona. In four years he never went anywhere except those two places. I was in the service for twenty and a half months and was in nine foreign countries."

[photo courtesy the Bond family]

3. About Roy Gates, contributor


Roy Gates
Current hometown:
Santa Rosa Beach, FL
1st Lt.
Replacement
Fought in:
* Germany
* Austria

Quote:

"In my battery in the 10th, there was a kid named Peterson from Kansas, a cross country and track man, who kept saying we ought to stop going on maneuvers and go fight a war. So when a man came around looking for volunteers for the paratroopers, we signed up. You made extra money for jumping out of an airplane. That sounded pretty good to me. Peterson and I both signed up.

"A-stage at Ft. Benning was all physical. They ran you until you couldn’t run anymore. If I was lagging, Peterson would put his arm under mine and keep me going. He did great on the running part. But in the end he flunked out. After five jumps you had to jump another two jumps on your own, a day jump and a night jump. Whenever Peterson got pushed out of the plane he did okay, but couldn’t muster the guts to jump if forced to step out by himself, so he wasn’t able to do the last two jumps. I never knew what happened to him."



[photo, courtesy Roy Gates]


4. About Forrest Guth, contributor

Forrest Guth
Current hometown:
Hockessin, DE
Sgt.
Toccoa
Fought in:
* Normandy
* Holland
* Bastogne/ Belgium
* Hagenau

Quote:

"Coming down, I had a malfunction of my parachute. It was twisted. The chute had not been properly packed. Or maybe it had been packed in damp conditions. We hadn’t jumped high enough to be able to use the reserve. We had jumped under 500 feet. So my main chute opened but didn’t open completely. You try to shake out the twist if you can, but there’s so little time. I couldn’t do a lot and came down fast. I just hoped for the best. I hit with a thud. I hit on my left hip and back and was knocked out. I don’t remember much, just hitting hard and seeing stars. I was paralyzed in leg and back. I couldn’t move. Medics came along, gave me a shot of morphine, and put me in a cattle barn. That was the extent of my fighting in Holland."


[Picture courtesy of Forrest Guth]

5. About Joe Lesniewski, contributor

Joe Lesniewski
Current hometown:
Erie, PA
P.F.C.
Replacement
Fought in:
* Normandy
* Holland
* Bastogne/ Belgium
* Hagenau
* Austria

Quote:

"As I looked across the road, there was a German soldier directly in front of me with a potato masher grenade. He threw it at me. I ducked as fast as I could. The grenade hit my helmet and bounced off. I hollered to the guys: “Live grenade! Get the hell away from here!” The thing exploded. Every one of us got wounded. Jim Alley got hit thirty-two times. In 1994 he went to the hospital again, even this late in life, and they still found a piece of shrapnel in his body."

[Picture courtesy Joe Lesniewski]

6. About Ed Joint, contributor

Ed Joint
Current hometown:
Erie, PA
Cpl.
(Joined at Mackall)
Fought in:
* Normandy
* Holland
* Bastogne/ Belgium
* Germany
* Austria

Quote:

"We were sent out to take a machine gun position. It was just before the battle of Foy ended. I was running up a hill and got hit by shrapnel in my right arm. I went flying up in the air, I didn’t know at first what hit me. Somebody hollered for a medic. They put me on a stretcher and took me to a field hospital. They couldn’t do nothing with it there, so they took me back and put me in a hospital in Paris. A medic said, `You can go home now soldier, you ain’t going to fight no more.' But twenty days later I hitchhiked back to Company E to find them. They were just getting ready to go to Germany.


"What made me want to go back and fight? I don’t know. They were my outfit, my friends."

[photo courtesy Ed Joint]

7. About De witt Lowrey, contributor

De witt Lowrey
Current hometown:
Montgomery, AL
P.F.C.
Toccoa
Fought in:
* Normandy

Quote:

"On the march to Atlanta a little dog started following us. He had no collar or identifications and must have been a stray, for he kept up with us for several miles. Finally we noticed he was limping. I picked him up and saw that his toenails were worn to the quick and the pads on his paws were sore. I told my buddies, `If y’all will take the stuff in my backpack, I’ll put that dog in my backpack and carry him.`

"So they did. The dog rode to Atlanta on my back and on to Fort Benning. We named him Draftee. He became our mascot. He was a pretty cute old thing. At Benning, a bunch of nurses had just transferred in. They took one look at him and said, `We’ll take care of him.' So we gave Draftee to the nurses.

"Along with the dog, I carried my machine gun for the whole march. Some guys traded off the heavier weapons, but I figured I had been issued that weapon and might have to use it someday. So I needed to keep my hand on it."

[photo courtesy Rich Riley]

8. About Clancy Lyall, contributor

Clancy Lyall
Current hometown:
Lexington Park, MD
Sgt.
Replacement
Fought in:
* Normandy
* Holland
* Bastogne/Belgium
* Hagenau
* Germany
* Austria

Quote:

"While I was fighting in St. Mere Eglise, a German popped out from behind his cover across the street. He looked pretty young. I aimed at his knees and hit the lower part of his leg. A couple of his guys came over and helped him away. That was fine as far as I was concerned, just as long as they weren’t shooting at me. Truthfully, I never wanted to kill anybody. I know I did—don’t get me wrong. But I was never bloodthirsty or anything. Anytime I could, I would shoot to wound, not kill."

[photo courtesy Clancy Lyall]

9. About Al Mampre, contributor

Al Mampre
Current hometown:
Skokie, IL
S/Sgt. (Medic)
Toccoa
Fought in:
* Holland
* Bastogne/Belgium
* Hagenau
* Germany
* Austria

Quote:

"There were some Scotchmen in Aldbourne who went for drinks in a pub every morning about 10 o’clock. Sometimes I went there too. They argued back and forth in their Scotch dialect—just barumpt armph bah—I never did understand what they were saying. Every morning they argued. I couldn’t understand a word.

"One morning I decided to join in. `Barumpt armph rut rut,' I said. It was complete gibberish.

"One of them looked at me and said, `That’s right, Yank,' and kept right on with his conversation."

[photo courtesy Al Mampre]

10. About Earl McClung, contributor

Earl "One Lung" McClung
Current hometown:
Pueblo West, CO
Cpl.
(joined at Ft. Bragg)
Fought in:
* Normandy
* Holland
* Bastogne/
Belgium
* Hagenau
* Germany
* Austria

Quote:

"Kaprun, Austria—I thought I had died and gone to heaven there. My job was to hunt and feed the prisoners that the Germans had taken for slave labor who were incarcerated there. The prisoners were freed by then but they had no place to go. I think they were Polish and Romanian mostly. The job fell to us to feed them. I fed them stag and chamois (goats with little hooked horns) until they were coming out of the ears. So I finally got to do some hunting like I enjoyed. I just camped out. [My outfit] saw me maybe once or twice a week."

[photo courtesy Earl McClung
]

11. About Norman Neitzke, contributor

Norman Neitzke
Current hometown:
Menomonee Falls, WI
P.F.C.
Replacement
Fought in:
* Hagenau
* Germany
* Austria

Quote:

"I joined Easy Company in Hagenau. It was just before my 19th birthday. We celebrated in the cellar of a house with one candle going. We were stationed in a three-story house near the river with the Germans right across the river from us. Mostly we did guard duty and went on patrols. Being in a house, we were fairly comfortable at that time. The Germans sent over artillery once in awhile—that was about it. Did the guys get me any presents for my birthday? No (laughs). The Germans missed us with their artillery—that was present enough."

[photo courtesy Norman Neitzke]

12. About Ed Pepping, contributor

Ed Pepping
Current hometown:
Whittier, CA
P.F.C. (medic)
Toccoa
Fought in:
* Normandy
* Holland

Quote:

" You have to realize that a medic is no doctor. Our job was to reach a wounded man as quickly as possible out on the field, get him stabilized by bandaging and giving him morphine, then get him back to a doctor—if you could. But if you don’t have any bandages or morphine, what can you do? You scrounge around and find whatever you can. When you come across catastrophic wounds—what can a medic ever do about those? It’s not like I had a first aid book with me or could call up a doctor on the phone."

[photo courtesy Ed Pepping]

13. About Frank Perconte, Contributor

Frank Perconte
Current hometown:
Joliet, IL
P.F.C.
Toccoa
Fought in:
* Normandy
* Holland
* Bastogne/Belgium
* Germany
* Austria

Quote:

"I was here at home in Joliet [when Pearl Harbor hit]. It was on a Sunday and we heard it on the radio. What was my reaction? Well, a war with another country, my God. We were all surprised.

"The draft was on and we were about to be drafted. So we enlisted instead. That way we knew when we were going. I was 26 when I joined. We went to a theater and saw a show about paratroopers. When they said they were paying paratroopers extra money, well that was that. Why else would we jump out of a perfectly good airplane?"

[photo courtesy Frank Perconte]

14. About Shifty Powers, contributor

Darrell "Shifty" Powers
Current hometown:
Clincho, VA
Sgt.
Toccoa
Fought in:
* Normandy
* Holland
* Bastogne/Beligum
* Hagenau
* Germany
* Austria

Quote:

"Here’s a story about Popeye [Wynn]: While we were in Toccoa Captain Sobel told us, `Anybody who makes expert rifleman gets a three-day pass.' Me and one other guy, Buck Taylor, made expert. Well, Toccoa, Georgia, is three states away from Virginia, where I lived. Popeye and I were good friends by then. He asked, `You going home, Shifty?'

'Nah,' I said, `I don’t have enough money.'

`I’ll take care of that,' Popeye said. He got one of those steel helmets and walked through the barracks giving a big talk: `Shifty’s got three days off and doesn’t have enough money to get home. Everybody chip in a bit. Here—I’m going to start it with $5.' He placed a bill in the helmet. Everybody else threw in a dollar or fifty cents, whatever they had. Popeye handed it to me to count. `How much money you got in there, Shifty—you got enough?'

'Yeah,' I said, 'in fact, I’ve got a little bit left over.'

Popeye grinned. 'Then give me my damn $5 back.'

So I gave him back his $5, (laughs)."

[photo courtesy Shifty Powers]

15. About Frank Soboleski, contributor

Frank Soboleski
Current hometown:
International Falls, MN
S/Sgt.
Replacement
Fought in:
* Holland
* Bastogne/
Belgium
* Hagenau
* Germany
* Austria

Quote:

"Constantly, we took prisoners and sent them to the rear for interrogation. They came out of the hills, seven abreast in endless columns, no weapons, tearing off any insignias they had so not to be recognized as any specific unit when they surrendered in large numbers. There were so many of them at a time that it actually scared us. We were really outnumbered at times."

[Photo courtesy Frank and Renee Soboleski]

16. About Herb Suerth, Jr., contributor

Herb Suerth, Jr.
Current hometown:
Wayzata, MN
Sgt.
Replacement.
Fought in:
* Bastogne/Belgium

Quote:

" They used maggots on my legs to eat away the dead flesh. I guessed it worked, because I kept my legs. At one point they had talked about amputating them. Altogether, I was in the hospital for eighteen months—three months in traction, then another six months in bed, then months of rehabilitation after that. It took a long time before I could set a foot on the floor. The first day I did, I stood up. The next day after that I walked across the damn hospital floor on a pair of rolling parallel bars. Ten days later I was out on a weekend leave. They fitted me for a set of braces that I wore for about three months after that. I worked at rehab eight hours a day until I finally healed."


[photo courtesy Elaine Taylor: 1946 reunion, New York. L-R Herb Suerth Jr, Bill Guarnere]

17. About Buck Taylor, contributor

Amos "Buck" Taylor
Current hometown:
Stuart, FL
T/Sgt.
Toccoa
Fought in:
* Normandy
* Holland
* Bastogne/ Belgium

Quote:

"The days and hours before the D-Day invasion were filled with tension and nervousness. We knew this was it. We poured over maps and sand tables, studying the area. I think we knew every road and bridge in Normandy."

[photo courtesy Buck Taylor]

18. About Ed Tipper, contributor

Ed Tipper
Current hometown:
Lakewood, CO
P.F.C.
Toccoa
Fought in:
* Normandy


Quote:

"When I came out of the Army I walked with a cane and wore an eye patch. The thing I remember most was the tremendous response of everybody I met to do everything they could do to show support for the military. Maybe the support felt exaggerated to me because I had clearly been shot up and wounded. Whenever I ate at a restaurant I went to the cashier and there was almost never a bill. Or the waitress nodded her head and said, `A gentleman over at that table has paid.' Of course I was home a year ahead of everybody else. But that sort of thing happened to me a lot."

[photo courtesy Ed and Rosalina Tipper]

19. About Bill Wingett, contributor

Bill Wingett
Current hometown:
Salem, OR
P.F.C.
Toccoa
Fought in:
* Normandy
* Holland
* Bastogne/Belgium
* Hagenau
* Germany
* Austria

Quote:

"Early on in our training, it could have been Sink, or Sobel, or Winters, somebody said. `Determination is the answer.' I took that to heart. At Bastogne we were cold. We were hungry. But we had to get the job done. A job ought to be done right if you’re going to do it at all."

[photo courtesy Bill Wingett]

20. About Henry Zimmerman, contributor

Henry Zimmerman
Current hometown:
Oak Island, NC
P.F.C.
Replacement
Fought in:
* Bastogne/Belgium
* Hagenau
* Germany
* Austria


Quote:

"I feel honored that I have been one of the chosen few to tell of my experiences. My hope is that my story and those of others will encourage today's youths to carry on a legacy of freedom for all. I hope we can open the eyes of today’s younger people to what is going on in the world and awaken them before it is too late. We are too apathetic today. The dictators we had in the World War II era, they’re similar to the dictators of today. Freedom is never free. My message to the new generation is to value the freedoms that you enjoy."

[photo: courtesy Hank and Millie Zimmerman]

Unpublished photos


While in Berchtesgaden, Norman Neiztke found these envelopes addressed to Adolf Hitler. [photo courtesy Norman Neiztke]


The records for Joe Lesniewski's examination to become a pilot were lost, so he applied to be a paratrooper instead. Later, the records were found noting he passed the exam with flying colors,(pictured). [photo courtesy Joe Lesniewski].



This letter was sent home to Joe Lesniewski's parents saying he was dead, with an envelope signed by then-E Co commander Ron Speirs. (Joe was actually alive but wounded). [photo courtesy Joe Lesniewski.]


[Check back again ... more photographs to come soon...]