Sixty British veterans, including a very rare former WWII SAS trooper who dropped into occupied France to aid the Maquis (French underground) in communications, arrived yesterday, to pay their respects to their American allies and lay a wreath in memory of those Gi’s who lost their lives.
The small ceremony, which was held at the Sainte Mere Eglise Airborne Museum, was hosted by Ellwood von Seibold. No one from either the town council or the museum management was available to greet these old warriors, so Ellwood, who is fast becoming the face of Ste Mere Eglise in the U.S, stepped into the breach, to issue a welcome on behalf of the town.
Preceded by bagpipes and a drummer, the old soldiers, some in their early nineties, marched up Rue Eisenhower, past the famous church where an effigy of American paratrooper John Steele hangs from the bell tower.
“We all had our jobs to do” said veteran Don Baker of 21 SAS (pictured on right). “The American Gi’s caught the worst of the D-Day slaughter. It’s only right that we should make this trip to honor them."