Saturday, June 21, 2014

VET STORY 5 | Jerry Goodman ("Adam Smith")

George J. W. ("Jerry") Goodman, aka
"Adam Smith", Rhodes Scholar 1952
Jerry Goodman was a Harvard graduate, a Rhodes Scholar, and then became a soldier.

Ann Medlock just told me that Goodman talked with her once before he died about his basic training in the army around the time of the end of the Korean War.

He said he "hated what they did, and thought it was stupid at the time," but then added that when he finished the training, “I was a soldier.”

The April 30 memorial service in New York City for George Jerome Waldo ("Jerry") Goodman will stick with me as a reminder of how such events should be conducted. Goodman died on January 3 this year at the University of Miami Hospital, after a long effort to fend off the bone-marrow disorder myelofibrosis.

Goodman was elected a Rhodes Scholar from Missouri in 1952, but resigned from residence at Oxford University because of plumbing and padlocks at Brasenose College.

His moniker "Adam Smith" was reportedly given to him by Clay Felker when he was editing New York Magazine, to preserve Goodman's anonymity as he tried to stay in the business while pillorying it. Goodman said others have also claimed credit. Later, Goodman used the nom-de-plume for his wildly popular books about Wall Street and then as a trademark for a widely praised show on economics for the general public.

Goodman was born in St. Louis on August 10, 1930. He was the son of Alexander Mark Goodman, an attorney, and Viona Cremer Goodman. Jerry Goodman's officemate and friend, Craig Drill, has written a testimony to the public-spiritedness of Alexander Goodman in the attached comments at the memorial service.

Jerry Goodman attended Harvard College, graduating magna cum laude in 1952, and was an editor of The Harvard Crimson. Goodman won a Rhodes Scholarship to Brasenose College, Oxford, where he studied political economy. However, he quit the college before the end of the first year of his scholarship. As his son Mark told in April:
He liked the people at Oxford, but he did not like the facilities. He also didn't like the fact that the college gates were locked every night and he had to climb over to walls to get back in.
Instead of a thesis at Oxford, he spent his time writing a novel, The Bubble Makers, published in 1955, about a Harvard student in conflict with his grandfather. He wrote several other novels and a book for children.

Then, in 1954, he joined the US Army First Special Forces (later called the "Green Berets") in the Intelligence Group known as Psywar (psychological warfare). Although there was a cease-fire in Korea, the Cold War was very much alive.

In 1961, Goodman married an actress from Phoenix, Sally Cullen Brophy, who had a full Broadway and television acting career in the 1950s and 1960s. When she retired from acting, they moved to Princeton. She taught theater arts at local universities. She died of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2007. Their two children, Susannah and Mark, both spoke at the memorial service, with warm words for Goodman's participation in their childhood activities, and an emphasis on the music that they shared a love for.

Goodman pioneered a style of financial writing that made the language and concepts of Wall Street more understandable and accessible to the typical investor. He was founding editor of Institutional Investor in the second half of the 1960s, and in the process transformed financial writing. Michael Lewis at his best is channeling Goodman. The first non-fiction book that Goodman wrote, The Money Game, was published in 1968 when he was at Institutional Investor and was soon Number 1 on the bestseller list. A colleague who was at the Harvard Business School at the time told me after the memorial service yesterday:
It is hard to imagine the impact that Adam Smith and the book had on B School students at the time. When the first piece about "Red-Dogged Motorola" came out in New York Magazine, we rushed out to get on the phone. We got early copies of The Money Game and we couldn't get enough of Scarsdale Fats and the other characters.
In the book he memorably introduced the joke that ends with an economist on a desert island proposing to two fellow storm survivors faced with cans they can't open: "Assume a can opener". His point was to make fun of economists who make unwarranted assumptions.

His love of music, and especially opera, led him to interview Placido Domingo, during a period when Domingo was singing in Wagner's Ring Cycle at the Met. Jerry showed him why so many Americans know the "Ride of the Valkyries" theme. He played a clip of Elmer Fudd in a Warner Brothers cartoon, bedecked in a Teutonic helmet and plunging a spear in the ground as he goes, singing as he chases Bugs Bunny from hole to hole:
Kill Da Waabbit, Kill Da WAAAbbit, Kill Da WAAABit... etc. (see video clip here)
After they watch the clip, Jerry sings the theme again, and Placido Domingo lustily joins in. A cartoonist celebrated Jerry's 70th birthday with a picture of Lincoln Center lights advertising the duet - "Placido Domingo/Adam Smith sing KILL DA WABBIT".

I met Jerry through a fellow alum of Trinity College, Oxford -  Ham Richardson, the late Louisiana-born top-ranked tennis great who moved to New York City after his tennis career was over to participate in venture capital and other Wall Street deals. We got talking about the British Empire, Rudyard Kipling, The Just-So Stories that we both loved (done up by Disney as The Jungle Book) and then the "great grey-green greasy banks of the Limpopo River, all set about with fever trees." Jerry said the Limpopo River was in the Congo, and I said that didn't make sense, Kipling was writing about South Africa, and I said the my recollection was that the Limpopo ran through the top of the eastern end of South Africa. He was interested, and bet me $10 that I was wrong. So we Googled it on our iPhones (actually, no - it took a while for us to get an Atlas in Ham's library, and find the river), and when he saw I was right he immediately handed over a $10 bill with no hesitation. Not as exciting a betting amount as the one that starts Liar's Poker, but Jerry got something he seemed always willing to pay something for - good information. I saw him many time after that and we always updated each other in a bantering tone.

During a stint in Hollywood, he wrote screenplays, including an adaption from one of his novels,  The Wheeler Dealers (still a good flick), starring James Garner and Lee Remick.

He was a member of the Editorial Board of The New York Times, an editor of Esquire Magazine, a writer for Fortune, and a founding member of New York magazine.  In 1984, PBS television launched him as the anchor and editor-in-chief of Adam Smith's Money World, which won eight Emmy nominations and five of its Awards. The program was aired in more than 40 countries and the Soviet Union ran a Russian-language-dubbed edition, doubtless watched by a young Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, who was born the year that Goodman was elected a Rhodes Scholar.  Goodman interviewed, among others, Warren Buffett and (in Moscow) Mikhail Gorbachev.

Here are links to some memorable obituaries of Jerry Goodman:
Jason Zweig, in the Wall Street Journal, who provides some of the original comments that Goodman was most famous for.
Douglas Martin, New York Times.
Martin Sosnoff, Forbes


Jerry entered his early teens during World War II and always had a special interest in military history.  He rarely spoke about his time as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, but told many stories about his time in the US Army First Special Forces Group.  His favorite World War II hero was Ernest Evans, a mixed-blood Cherokee, who, as Captain of a destroyer in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, repeatedly attacked, against all odds, the Imperial Japanese Fleet.  

Of his time at Harvard, Jerry talked mostly about writing for The Crimson. Moreover, he was thrilled to have been accepted into a small seminar on modern poetry led by Pulitzer Prize winner Archibald MacLeish. 

He enjoyed singing in the Glee Club and had a solo in one Christmas concert, which he later sang out to our office with gusto.  But he truly “sang his song” as a writer.  

Through the prism of humor, he helped us to better understand ourselves (sort of), as well as this sport -- and addiction -- called the modern stock market.  He had an uncanny ability to tell the real from the phony, even though the phony for many of us has glittering attractions.  

Jerry was proud to have coined some memorable words and phrases.  “Gunslingers,” a term for aggressive money managers from his classic, The Money Game, was one of his favorites. Some of his unforgettable phrases have found a permanent place in Wall Street vernacular, among these: “The stock doesn’t know you own it” and “If you don’t know who you are, the stock market is an expensive place to find out.”  

And he was proud of some of the images he created, among them the partygoers at the Masque of the Red Death ball -- money managers in the frothy “go-go” years -- asking, “What time is it?  What time is it?  But the clocks had no hands.”  

And he was gratified that his pioneering “Adam Smith’s Money World” -- which ran for 13 years on PBS -- won five coveted Emmy Awards and that his popular Goodman Lectures at Princeton on Media and Global Affairs had to be moved to larger auditoriums.  At the tail end of the dot-com bubble, Jerry, Mark, and I started, which was a tremendous success in terms of fun and for father and son to work together.

Jerry was a polymath, a Renaissance man. He would take our lunch discussions from the Coptic-language Gospel of Thomas to his meeting with G√ľnter Schabowski, the portly spokesman for the East German Politburo whose comments on TV -- inadvertently -- helped to bring down the Berlin Wall. 

Invariably, at our lunches, Jerry could not refrain from talking about investing and stocks. “Why is John Hancock so cheap?” “Is Continental Airlines going bankrupt again?” Jerry did his homework, and to better understand the biotech stocks, he actually went back to Princeton and audited two courses.

Despite many financial successes and fame, he never changed homes. He certainly never behaved ostentatiously or arrogantly. Jerry was destined to become a carrier of our culture, not just a passive observer, articulating with grace and wit the voice within us that knows what is right… as his father had done.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


D-Day Monument in Normandy.
The following posts on the 70th Anniversary of D-Day week in Normandy and Laval are in order of frequency of page views as of Jun 18, 2014

May 30, 2014

Jun 13, 2014

May 26, 2014

Jun 14, 2014

Apr 25, 2014

Jun 11, 2014

Jun 18, 2014

The Allies in France - September 1939-May 1945

On D-Day 2014, Queen Elizabeth II pays her respects to British
 and other Allied soldiers and airmen who died in the
Liberation of France.
The story of British and Allied action in Europe is told in the introductory pages of the French section of The War Dead of the Commonwealth, 1939-1945.

The story helps explain the burial of World War II British and other Allied war dead in the Vaufleury Cemetery in Laval, as early as 1939.

Many British Commonwealth and other Allied soldiers and airmen are buried in France as a consequence of both World Wars.

The graves from World War II were less than one-tenth the number from World War I. But often the WWII deaths came on top of those sustained in the prior war by the same families.

WW I - 530,000 graves
WW II - 45,000 graves

The War in France Started in September 1939. After Britain and France declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939, following Hitler's invasion of Poland. A British Expeditionary Force went at soon to France - landing troops at Cherbourg and supplies and vehicles at Brest, Nantes and St. Nazaire.

The French and British prepared a joint detailed plan for the defense of France. But in May 1940 the Germans attacked and drove rapidly to the south, splitting the Allied forces in half. By May 26-28, a large portion of the British army was trapped in Dunkirk. The famous evacuation saved the lives of many British and French soldiers, who as a matter of policy were evacuated in equal proportions:

211,267 fit British soldiers
13,053 British casualties
141,841 Allied troops, mostly French

On June 12, 1940, General Weygand announced that the French Army was incapable of further resistance. The Germans entered Paris on June 14. The French asked for an armistice on June 17. The last British troops were evacuated from Cherbourg on June 18, when the Germans were only three miles from the harbor.

During the next four years, commando raids were successfully conducted. A major attack in 1942 on Dieppe by the RCAF was successful at gaining information, but at a huge cost. Of 6,100 troops that embarked, 3,648 were killed, wounded, missing or captured; many are buried in Hautot-sur-Mer and Rouen.

Secret agents also were sent to France by a joint British-U.S. organization that assisted patriots in France. The value of this work, which involved loss of more than 130 Anglo-American lives, became clear after D-Day, when resistance groups guided Allied troops after the landing. The value of their help was estimated as equal to ten divisions of regular troops.

D-Day, June 6, 1944. On D-Day, the allied forces were led by General Dwight Eisenhower as Supreme Commander, with Air Chief Marshall Sir Arthur Tedder as Deputy Supreme Commander.  General Sir Bernard L. Montgomery commanded the land forces, Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsey the naval forces and Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory commanded the air forces.

The United States was given the western beaches (Utah and Omaha) to attack because supplies were coming directly from the United States and it was important to capture Cherbourg and ports in Brittany quickly and deliver supplies for the large numbers of troops who were landing. The British were given the remaining three beaches to the east, with the Canadian troops between two British armies.

To prepare for D-Day and the subsequent assault southward, bombing was essential to reduce German air strength and attack German essential industries and communications. Bridges over the Seine and Loire were all destroyed. Airfields within 130 miles of the battle area were attacked. Coastal artillery positions and radar installations were bombed and French and belgian railway services were disrupted.

The weather around D-Day was the worst in 20 years, but helped surprise the Germans, who did not think an attack was possible under these conditions. Casualties were fewer than expected, except on Omaha Beach and, to a lesser extent, Utah Beach.

One reason for the slaughter on Omaha Beach is that bombers who were supposed to take out machine-gun emplacements over the beach were told at the last minute to delay their bombardment by a few seconds to avoid hitting U.S. troops. This resulted in bombs being dropped beyond the target.

Because the Germans continued to believe that the real attack would come at Calais, they kept a million troops tied up there until July, by which time it was too late to stop the advancing Allied Armies. Further German efforts to stop the liberation of France were, in the large scheme of things, of a token nature.

Casualties in the Normandy area from D-Day to August 25, 1944
German losses: 240,000 killed, 210,000 captured
Allied losses: 200,000 killed, wounded and missing

V-E Day, May 8-9, 1945. It was on May 8, 1945 in western Europe, May 9 on the eastern European front. Stalin insisted that the Germans surrender to him personally, which added a day.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

WW2 | Laval Military Graves Include 20 Allies

Six additional British and Commonwealth graves in
a different part of Vaufleury Cemetery from the 14
airmen from the two Halifax bombers. One of the six
was Australian Flying Officer K. J. Trask. 
The 14 airmen from the two Halifax planes that crashed on June 10, 1944, are buried in Section E, Sub-section D, row 1, a special section of the Vaufleury communal cemetery in Laval. Photos are posted here on a Belgian site. Six additional graves are mentioned.

I wondered why there were 20 names listed in the cemetery when the number of airmen who crashed was 14 (two crews of seven men each). The number of tombstones in the cemetery in the airmen's section is 14. Where did the other six come from and where are they located?

The Belgian link provided above gives some of the answers. It cites a 55-page book on French grave sites published in 1960 by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. I now have a copy of this book.

The six additional graves are in a different part of the Vaufleury Cemetery. The five soldiers and one Australian airman are in section A, sub-section A, row 28. 

The airman is Flying Officer Kenneth John Trask from the Royal Australian Air Force, who died November 11, 1943 at age 24, and is buried in grave #42500. He was the son of Albert Oswald Trask and Claudia Adair Trask of Camberwell, Victoria, Australia.

The five soldiers are:
- Frank Edward Clark III, age 34 (the second-oldest of the victims buried in the cemetery, two years younger than Sgt. Peake in the plane piloted by Henderson; both van Stockum and Wicks were 33 when they were killed).
- Ambrose Hunt, 
- William Morgan, 
- James Enoch Sharratt, and 
- Arthur Stokes.

Here is a complete list in the form of a table. The ages of two of the dead are missing:
LAST NAME First Names Citizen Enlisted Age, Date Died Rank, Assignment, Service Number
20, 10-6-44
Pilot Officer (Air Gnr.), 10 (R.A.F.) Sqdn,  J/89951
20, 10-6-44
Sergeant (Air Bomber), Volunteer Reserve 10 Sqdn., 1425774
BROTHERTON Leslie Arthur
24, 10-6-44
Sergeant (Air Gnr.) Volunteer Reserve 10 Sqdn. 1576786
CLARK Frank Edward
Royal Artill.
34, 23-9-39
Warrant Officer Class III (T S M), 27 Field Regt. 1064423
22, 10-6-44
Flying Officer (Nav.), 10 Sqdn. 151788
27, 10-6-44
Flying Officer (Flt Engr.) Royal Air Force 10 Sqdn. 51911
?, 10-6-44
Sergeant (W. Op.), Volunteer Reserve 10 Sqdn. 1549492
HENDERSON Norman Random
21, 10-6-44
Flying Officer (Nav.), Volunteer Reserve 10 Sqdn. 144341
HENDERSON Thomas Whyndam
27, 10-6-44
Pilot Officer, 10 Sqdn. 415981
HUNT Ambrose
26, 27-9-39
Private, 2nd Bn. 3524489
MARSHALL Robert Keith
30, 10-6-44
Flying Officer (Bomb Aimer) Volunteer Res. 10 Sqdn. 151917
MASON Albert
?, 10-6-44
Sergeant (Air Gnr.) Volunteer Reserve 10 Sqdn. 2211801
MORGAN William 
23, 15-5-40
Driver, Service Corps, 528 Ammunition Company. T/110288
PEAKE Stanley William
36, 10-6-44
Sergeant (Flt. Engr.) Volunteer Reserve 10 Sqdn. 1606629
PERKINS Alfred Charles
22. 10-6-44
Sergeant (W. Op. [Air]) Volunteer Reserve 10 Sqdn. 1461925
SHARRATT James Enoch
Royal Artill.
27, 23-9-39
Warrant Officer Class II (B.S.M.) 27 Field Regt. 1070673
Royal Artill.
21, 10-10-39
Lance Bombardier, 1 Heavy Regt. 886972
TRASK Kenneth John
24, 11-11-43
Flying Officer, 409357
VAN STOCKUM Willem Jacob
33, 10-6-44
Flying Officer (Pilot), Volunteer Reserve 10 Sqdn., 144600
WICKS Edward Charles
33, 10-6-44
Flight Sergeant (Air Gnr.) Volunteer Res. 10 Sqdn.  1376921.

For those who want to do their own research on World War II airplanes and grave sites, here are two comprehensive sources:

List of planes that crashed in France (text in French) -

Sources of information on downed airplanes anywhere in Europe in WWII (in English), showing escape routes and acknowledging help from the local Resistance -

Friday, June 13, 2014

June 14 - Thoughts for Flag Day on the Origins of the Stars and Stripes

The Stars in the Stars and Stripes are more of a puzzle to
explain than the Stripes. Why five points on the Stars?
Today is Flag Day in the United States. The stars and stripes flag was adopted in 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. Two years earlier, the U.S. Army was born on the same day. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed June 14 as Flag Day and in August 1949, an Act of Congress made it statutory.

On Flag Day it is appropriate to consider the origins of the Stars and Stripes and their connection with the coat of arms of America's first president, George Washington. The various occurrences of the Washington coat of arms are readily found, but their influence on the American stars and stripes is denied. I would like to restate the case against the connection and then why I believe the case against the connection is biased and unproven.

The Case against the Connection
  • In a 1914 letter to the NY Times, a self-certified heraldry expert considers the connection unproven, based on a trip around England looking for evidence of a connection between the coat of arms and the flag. 
  • The American Heraldry Society website features an article written in 2006 by Joseph McMillan, Director of Research for the Society, who says: "there is not a shred of evidence that the one [coat of arms of George Washington] had anything to do with the other [U.S. stars and stripes flag]."
  • The five-pointed star on the American flag is an invention of Betsy Ross - unrelated to the fact that the Washington coat of arms morphed from six-pointed to five-pointed stars (originally pierced mullets, later unpierced mullets or stars in Scottish heraldry).
  • The 1876 play by UK poet Martin Farquhar Tupper features Benjamin Franklin explaining that friends of George Washington were behind the stars and stripes, is said to have been based on a excess of imagination to give greater importance to the stars and stripes.
  • George Washington was a modest man who professed disdain for the trappings of office.
The Case for the Connection
  • The "shred of evidence" for the connection between the flag and the Washington coat of arms is that both have stars (or mullets) and stripes (or bars) in them, and George Washington was leader of the country when the flag was created. Whether the influence came from Washington or his many supporters, the visual resonance is satisfying.
  • The opponents of the connection may have a bias against the connection with the Washington family coat of arms because of its English origins, or its basis in aristocratic English heraldry, or in their distaste for the personalization of the American Revolution.
  • The 1914 letter may have been written by someone wishing to keep the United States out of the War in Europe by minimizing the historical ties between the United States and Britain.
  • Evidence of the attachment of George Washington to his family coat of arms is that he includes it on his correspondence and on silver items used in the house.
  • Gilbert Stuart's 1796 "Lansdowne" portrait of George Washington, for example, has an inkwell below his right hand with the family coat of arms on it. It did not imply that a family was in the nobility, just that it owned property and was thereby entitled to a coat of arms. English heraldry wasn't regulated until centuries later.
  • Whatever Washington said about the trappings of office, he used his coat of arms a great deal, certainly more than any later president. He actively incorporated changes in the coat of arms - substituting a griffin for the traditional raven. Article 1, Sections 9-10 eschews titles, but says nothing about use of coats of arms.
  • The two red stripes on the Washington coat of arms are alleged to represent the English king's honoring of a soldier who slew a great Dane in battle, by dipping two fingers into a wound on the Dane, and drawing two lines across the shield of the soldier. That became the soldier's coat of arms. (I could not verify the story, but it is so appealing I leave it for future research.)
  • A more plausible explanation than the Betsy Ross story is that George Washington's family was attached to the five-pointed pierced mullets, which over time lost their pierce (and thereby became stars in Scottish heraldic terms). 
  • The Washington family once had a stars-and-stripes coat of arms with six-pointed pierced mullets (star-like spurs), based on records from County Durham that I have seen in the British Library on two separate visits. The change to five points may have been a matter of family pride, since it has prevailed and distinguishes British from French heraldry.

Veteran's Story 4 - Steve Robinson, Prudential, R.I.P.

Stephen Robinson, Prudential - died
on Thursday, June 12.
Stephen Robinson, himself a veteran of 20 years of army service, became a formidable advocate for Veterans.

From 2010 to his death on June 12, 2014 he was vice president for External Veteran Affairs at Prudential Financial, where he focused on Veteran employment. His role was to advise the Prudential leadership on policies toward Veterans, expand programs, create partnerships and liaise with relevant agencies to improve access of Veterans to job opportunities.

He expanded Prudential's external network for Veteran initiatives by meeting with industry leaders in both the public and private sector, such as Veteran service organizations and legislators. He maintained Prudential as a leader in promoting education, training and employment for returning Veterans, in the tradition of Franklin D'Olier.

From 2001 to 2010, he was a retired Army officer and an independent advocate for Veterans and their families, working with several nonprofits to support service members and families. He served on the Department of Veterans Affairs Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Illnesses and was a special advisor on chemical and biological weapons exposures to Vietnam and Gulf War Veterans. Robinson was regularly called before Congressional committees to speak about military suicide, the mental health of Veterans, PTSD and the resiliency of the Armed Forces.

Previous to 2001, he had 20 years of service in conventional and Special Operations assignments including the 1/75th Ranger Battalion, 24th Infantry Division, 1/10th Special Forces, 8th Infantry Division, Ranger Instructor, 6th Ranger Training Brigade, Long Range Surveillance Detachment Team Leader in Korea, ROTC Instructor, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, as briefer and analyst on health effects that arose out of the 1991 Persian Gulf war.  

From 1995 to 1998 he was at the University of West Florida. He prepared for college at Milton High School in Milton, Florida. Robinson also served on the board of directors for USO Metro Washington and as a military and veteran advisor for the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, and as a member of the board of advisers for the Call of Duty Endowment.

FRANCE | June 10–Remembering Airmen Downed 70 Years Ago

At the Air Force band concert on
June 9, the two crews, of the MZ 532
and the MZ 684, were displayed
on the screen above the musicians.
L to R: Deborah and Dr. Rex
Henderson by the grave of Rex's
father Tom, pilot of the MZ 532.
This and all following photos by
JT Marlin.
The memorials in honor of the 14 downed airmen at Vaufleury Cemetery on May 8, 2011 were more elaborate than this year.

That is because they were part of a larger celebration of V-E Day, the end of hostilities in Europe in 1945, and the Town of Laval turned out in large numbers.

But this year's memorial on June 10 was unquestionably more special for the family members who came. (Missing from 2011 were Nicola and Robin Sumner; Robin is the nephew of Daniel Gilbert.
2011 -  L to R: Nicola and Robin Sumner (nephew of Daniel Gilbert), Cpl Pamela Turney (great-niece of Fred Beales), Luke Shergold (son of Suzanne), Michael Hayes (Beryl's husband), Beryl Hayes (daughter of Edward Wicks), Martin Clegg (Suzanne's husband), Suzanne Clegg (Beryl's daughter), Ashley Shergold (Suzanne's son), John Tepper Marlin (nephew of Willem van Stockum), Silvia and John Ellyatt (son of John Elyatt).

Crew members of the MZ 532 as
shown on the monument (stele) at
St. Berthevin.
One reason is that in 2014 the memorial has been entirely focused on the airmen who crashed on that date in 1944. Those who were at the cemetery were there for one reason, to honor the two crews of the Halifax bombers that were shot down nearby on June 10, 1944.

Another reason this year was special is that the families of six crew members were represented by their families - one more crew member than in 2011. Also, 20 family members showed up to pay their respects, eight more than in 2011.

This year, three crew members from each plane were represented by family.

In 2011, from the St. Berthevin-crash plane, MZ 532, only Sgt. Edward C. ("Eddy") Wicks had family there.

Representatives of the families of Sgt.Wicks (on left) and Sgt.
Brotherton (on right), whose younger brother and three
more generations attended in 2014 for the first time.
This year, the pilot of the MZ 532, Australian P/O Thomas W. (Tom) Henderson was also represented by his son, Dr. Rex Henderson and Rex's wife Deborah, who came from Australia for the occasion. Sgt. Leslie Brotherton was represented by four generations - his younger brother, daughter and other family members.

From the plane that crashed in Entrammes, the MZ 684, three crew members were represented again, as they were in 2011 - the pilot, Dr. Willem J. van Stockum, F/O John Ellyatt by his son, and Sgt. Fred Beales by his great-niece Cpl. Pamela Turney, who was in the uniform of the Canadian Forces Air Command.

Crew members of the plane that
crashed in Entrammes, the MZ 684.
John Tepper Marlin, nephew of F/O
Dr. Willem J. van Stockum (pilot of
the MZ 684), and wife Alice Tepper
Marlin.  Photo w JTM camera.
The MZ 684 crew is of interest for a number of reasons. The plane included four Flying Officers, which in the anglophone military is equivalent to an army rank of Lieutenant. A Pilot Officer is equivalent to a 2nd Lieutenant.

The MZ 532, by contrast, had two Pilot Officers, the rest being Sergeants. In other words, the MZ 684 had twice as many officers aboard.

Cpl. Pamela Turney next to
the marker of her great-uncle,
Sgt. Fred Beales.
My uncle Willem van Stockum's grave site is marked as both Canadian and Dutch. Dutch, because he was a citizen of Holland (his grave marker is different from the other 13 because it was provided after the others were in place, by the Dutch Government). Canadian, because he was seconded from the RCAF, where he had been an instructor in flying the Halifax bomber. He is also variously identified in those who have written about him as Scottish (his Ph.D. in physics was from Edinburgh), Irish (graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, where he met my mother and father), and American (he was teaching mathematics at the University of Maryland when World War II broke out and was previously a fellow at the ).

Van Stockum's work as a mathematician, utilizing Einstein's equations, has earned him a place in the history of time travel and the father of scientific approaches to the subject. Dr. Robert Wack, an Army Major and pediatrician, has written a science-fiction novel, Time Bomber, centered on van Stockum's life and death.

View of gravesite looking away from the
flag - the MZ 684 end of the site. At left
is M. Cousineau of the Canadian Embassy
 in Paris, who attended with his wife.
At the ceremonies on June 10, representatives of the embassies of Australia and Canada were in attendance. Each embassy has several military attaches who travel to pay respects to nationals of their countries who died in prior wars and are buried in France.


If someone from the Dutch Government ever attends an event at Vaufleury, it would be good for them to know that when they asked my mother what she wanted on the tombstone, her answer was: "Greater love hath no man..."

It would be nice if this request were some day honored, especially since the Dutch Government wrote to my mother to ask what she wanted inscribed. The minister who officiated at the ceremony on June 10 cited that exact quote...

For those unfamiliar with Anglophone military ranks, the following guide may be helpful:
NaviesArmiesAir forces
Admiral of
the fleet
Marshal or
Field marshal
Marshal of
the air force
AdmiralGeneralAir chief marshal
Vice admiralLieutenant generalAir marshal
Rear admiralMajor generalAir vice-marshal
CommodoreBrigadierAir commodore
CaptainColonelGroup captain
CommanderLieutenant colonelWing commander
Major or
Squadron leader
LieutenantCaptainFlight lieutenant
Sub-lieutenantLieutenantFlying officer
Pilot officer

Seamen, soldiers and airmen
Warrant officerSergeant major
Warrant officer
Warrant officer
Petty officerSergeantSergeant
Leading seamanCorporalCorporal
SeamanPrivateAircraft man