Cunard Cruise Lines pays tribute to the GREATEST GENERATION and Their WORLD WAR II Triumph
In the last, triumphant months of World War II, young Americans won their nation’s greatest victory or victories. For the war, they won was a world war, a conflict fought on two very different fronts in two very different ways. In Europe, the battle-tested troops who had landed in Normandy on D-Day fought their way onto Adolf Hitler’s doorstep, then crossed the Rhine and brought down the Nazis thousand-year Reich. Meanwhile, across the Pacific, sailors, Marines and airmen teamed up to invade a series of crucial islands Tarawa, Iwo Jima, Okinawa rolling back a tough Japanese enemy and paving the way for the surprising end of the war with the dropping of an atom bomb on Hiroshima.
Millions of men and women were involved in this tumultuous journey through adversity and achievement, despair and triumph. Certainly, there were those who failed to measure up, but taken this generation did have a "rendezvous with destiny" that went well beyond the outsized expectations of President Roosevelt when he first issued that call to duty in 1936. The stories that follow represent the lives of some of them. Each is distinctive and yet reflective of the common experiences of that trying time and this generation of greatness. Join us on this historic journey to pay homage to the Greatest Generation and Their World War II Triumph.
SPEAKER MICKEY GANITCH
On the morning of Dec 7, Mickey Ganitch was preparing for a football game against the USS Arizona team. His team, from the USS Pennsylvania, was geared up and ready to play. When the attack hit, still wearing his pads and rearing to go Mickey made his way up to the crow’s nest, still wearing his pads and watching as the battle unfolded.
speaker arthur staymates
On June 06, 1944, Staymates landed on Omaha beach in D-Day's first wave, German machine-gun fire hammered on the door of Staymates’ landing craft as it approached easy-red sector which puts Staymates on a prominent branch of history's tree, when it was like to supervise the unit that guarded the 21 highest-ranking Nazi officers involved in the Nuremberg Trials.
SPEAKER DOUG DILLARD
Dillard made his first combat jump on August 15, 1944, in the South of France when he was just 17. His unit fought throughout Southern France before moving up to join the fight in the Battle of the Bulge, where the conditions were so brutal and quarters so tight that at one point, Dillard said the famous words, "Lieutenant Durkee, who's buried over there, he yelled to fix bayonets and let's go."
SPEAKER JACK HOLDER
After survivor the attack on Pearl Harbor, Jack Holder went on to fly missions all over the Pacific theater. He flew 34 missions over the Solomon Islands and Guadalcanal, where he from 6,000ft witnessed Japanese Commanding General Yamamoto’s plane shot down. Holder also fought in a crucial victory at the Battle of Midway.
SPEAKER STUART HEADLEY
On the morning of December 7, 1941, out of nowhere, the attack began. Japanese fighters and torpedo bombers poured over the horizon, intent on the destruction of the U.S. Pacific fleet. With the West Virginia reeling from the blows it had received, Headley continued to fight in nearly 13 battles aboard the USS. San Francisco, including Bougainville, New Guinea and the Battle of Guadalcanal.
speaker joseph reilly
In the late hours of June 5, 1944, Joseph Reilly and the 101st Airborne Division took off from Merryfield Airport, England at 22:45. All units flew across the English Channel and were set to drop into Normandy, five hours prior to the seaborne landing. Reilly and the 501st drop zones were north and east of Carentan near Utah Beach.