The Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, NC will host special screenings of documentary films honoring some of the United States’ World War II Medal of Honor recipients. The event will take place on March 25 at 10 a.m. in the museum’s Yarborough-Bank Theatre.
The guest speaker will be state Rep. John Szoka, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who represents NC House District 45. Also in attendance, will be Maurice Renaud, the son of Alexandre Renaud — wartime mayor of Ste. Mere Eglise, France — and Simone Renaud — who was known as the “Mother of Normandy” for her care of the graves of fallen U.S. soldiers after World War II.
At 11:30 a.m., the museum will host a special screening of the Doug Stebleton-produced documentary, “The Heroes of World War II.”
A second film focused on Simone Renaud, “Mother of Normandy,” which also was produced by Stebleton, will be shown at 1:30 p.m.
During the Medal of Honor events, officials said the museum will highlight three World War II paratroopers: Pfc. Charles Neilans DeGlopper and Pvt. Joe Gandara of the 82nd Airborne Division and Lt. Col. Robert George Cole of the 101st Airborne Division.
DeGlopper and Gandara were awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for their valor in combat during the Normandy invasion. LTC Cole never lived to see his award, he was killed in action a few months later in the Netherlands during Operation Market Garden.
Renaud whose village of Saint Mere Eglise was a key target for the American paratroopers on D-Day, will be autographing copies of a book that was authored by his father “Sainte-Mere-Eglise: D-Day, June 6, 1944,” that was first published in 1945, and a book about his mother, “Mother of Normandy.”
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Photo courtesy of Airborne and Special Operations Museum