A Survivor’s Story Remembered with Visit to Omaha Beach on 75th Anniversary of D-Day in Normandy France
An Amazing Story
Jim Trippon has an amazing story to share. To commemorate the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, he is heading to France to spend time at the famous castle that his father helped liberate from the Nazis during the allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944.
This pivotal event in history is the remembered in history as the day the allies pushed ashore and began the invasion that ultimately led to the defeat of the Nazis in World War II.
His father, John Trippon, was a combat engineer and a Technical Sergeant in the US First Army’s Technical Corps, 6th Engineers Special Brigade assigned to the 11 Port of Embarkation.
On June 6, 1944 he was sent ashore with 550 men, after the first wave was decimated by the Nazis at Omaha Beach. In the first 90 minutes over half of the men in the unit were killed.
To get the troops secured on the beach, his father was ordered to throw his body across the barbed wire fences so his fellow soldiers could run across his back to get off the beach inland. He kept the events of that day a secret that he finally shared about how he got the scars across his abdomen, 70 years later.
On the second day of the invasion, Trippon and a group his fellow soldiers pushed out the Germans and captured the Chateau Vierville, just a ¼ mile from the beach. The Chateau was the German command headquarters for that part of Omaha Beach. Only 125 of them survived the assault.
In the process, they rescued the Hausermann’s, the family who owned the Chateau. As a result, they became lifelong friends of the and invited Trippon to visit with his family and stay at the Chateau many times over the next 70 years.
Jean Paul, the current owner of the Chateau was a 14-year-old during the invasion. Now almost at 90, he once again invited the Trippon family to stay at the Chateau, this time to commemorate the 75th.
Plans for the Week at the Chateau Vierville
Jim and his sister and their children will be guests of Jean-Paul and Odette Hausermann, the current Chateau owners, and decedents of the Vierville family.
The grounds of the castle is being utilized to stage a very large encampment and a reenactment of the D-Day invasion, with men in vintage US Army uniforms and with over 100 original US Army jeeps, tanks and equipment.
To relive the experience, Jim Trippon plans on spending one night on a WW2 style cot in the same barn, his father had slept in during the invasion
He plans on taking a walk across the same field where his father and another soldier had successfully foraged for food, finding a dead cow and bringing back beef for the soldiers, not realizing until the next day they had traveled right through a heavily mined emplacement.
There will be a remembrance program on Omaha Beach, parades, a family visit with the Mayor of Vierville, and a church service.
Jim will also be conducting interviews with any family that was alive during the war to record their stories. He will add these to the audio recording he made of his Dad during the 70th anniversary.