150 West College Street, Rocky Mount,  Virginia  24151 
"A Tradition in Storytelling"
FRANK REESE MAYS (1924 -2005)
Frank Reese Mays is available for  personal appearances to speak about his war experiences  and his new book, AND NO PURPLE HEART .    If you are a member of a Veteran's group or a group that  would like to arrange  for Frank Reese Mays to speak  to your organization, please click  here. (include complete contact  information and organization, fax, phone, etc). 

All requests will be  forwarded directly to Mr. Mays and he will make decisions  concerning his personal appearances. 

Note:  Briarwood Publications, Inc cannot be  responsible for any  requests that may or may not be fulfilled by the author. 

Not just another story of war and  love, AND NO PURPLE HEART is a true story  taken from the notes, combat mission logs,  and memories  of the author as he recorded events of experiences during  World War II, starting with D-Day, 1944.  Along with  the men of the Army Air Corp, the reader will meet  several young ladies who  touched his life, sharing the  range of emotions of a teenage boy as he lived day to day  in war-torn England.

Fly with Sergeant Frank  Mays as he performs his duties as a ball turret gunner in  a B-17 Flying  Fortress named "War Horse."   Feel his joy, his pain and his sorrow as he made, then  quickly lost buddies on combat missions over occupied  France and Nazi Germany.  This story will keep  you  turning the pages for the history, for the old  photographs, for the intrigue and for the experience  of being only 19 years old and already a six-time  decorated war hero.  All of this, and no purple  heart....


For other true life stories and photos from WWII


Dateline:  March 9, 1999 Arlington  Virginia

"D-Day, June 6, 1944  Remembered"

 Undeterred by the worst  snowstorm of the past two years, four men, with the  assistance of a Marine Honor Guard, braved the elements  and placed a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in  Arlington  National Cemetery.  The ceremony, a joint  venture of the D-Day Memorial Foundation of Bedford  County Virginia and the USO of Metropolitan Washington,  was part of a tribute to honor Steven  Spielberg with a Merit Award for his  philanthropy and creating the movie,"Saving Private  Ryan."

Selected to represent all WWII  veterans were three D-Day veterans; Bob Slaughter,  Roanoke Virginia,  (Infantry); Clarence Tipton, Fairfax,  Virginia, (Navy); and Frank Reese Mays, Madison Hgts.,  VA.(Army Air Corps).

The veterans assisted Steven  Spielberg in placing the  wreath then stood with a salute  as TAPS was sounded. Mournful notes mingled with the  falling crystals and drifted to settle on the multitude  of snow-covered  graves. After the ceremony, the four men  engaged in a round-table discussion concerning the  veterans' roles on the infamous day at the beaches of  Normandy, France.   Steven Spielberg was most  interested in Mays and his duties as a ball turret gunner  on a B-17 named "War Horse." Spielberg told of  his father's WWII duties on a  B-25 bomber while flying  out of Burma with a squadron known as, "The Bridge  Busters."

Group photos were taken of the  four men as they stood arm in arm. As the meeting was  adjourned Spielberg's  assistant, having been made aware  of Mays' soon to be released book, AND NO  PURPLE HEART, was directed to secure  necessary data concerning the book.  He also  has  given permission to use his name in reference to news  releases concerningAND NO  PURPLE HEART.

Frank and the "War  Horse" Crew - 1944

WWII Ball Turret Gunner
Decorated 6 times

NOTE: AND  NO PURPLE HEART was  recently nominated by the  Library of Virginia Center for the Book for the Library  of Virginia 2000 Non-fiction Award

The early morning weather appeared similar to that of June 6, 1944 as a crowd of 4,000
gathered in Bedford Virginia to dedicate the Arch, the first section of the Memorial 
completed for the Historical National D-Day Monument. A delegation of 40 Village Mayors 
and visitors from the coastal area of France were in attendance.
From the West were gathering watery clouds. A gentle breeze pushed the moist air through 
summer clothing as the United States Navy Ceremonial Band provided Patriotic music. The 
invocation, Presentation of Colors, and then a welcome statement was given by Dr. William A
As six D-Day veterans began to give their views of what they experienced on that infamous 
day, a light cold rain began to fall. Undeterred, the men carried forth their parts same 
as did they back some 56 years ago.
Speeches by six Virginia Legislators, a memorial salute, the unveiling of a statue,
"Death On The Shore", highlighted by the ribbon cutting by Mrs. Jeannie Schulz, the wife 
of deceased Charles Schulz-Creator of the comic strip "Peanuts" and Chairperson for the 
D-Day Foundation.
A poem was read:
     They shall grow not old, as we that are left to grow old:
     Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
     At the going down of sun and in the morning,
     We will remember them.
        -- Laurence Binyon, For The Fallen
With closing ceremonial music, and Benediction, the Arch was opened to the public.
Representing the 8th Air Force, the first of six veterans to speak, was Frank R. Mays
          Here is his script:
As I look upon this gathering---I see the faces of many veterans---I remind myself ---
this ceremony IS NOT ABOUT US---rather those that made the ultimate sacrifice.
Fifty-six years ago---I was in England---90 miles north of London---near Cambridge---
at Great Ashfield ---an 8th Air Force base---home of the 385th Heavy Bomb Group.
Imagine---this young boy from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia---In a foreign land---
Healthy---Patriotic---One soldier among many---A teenager---about to become a man.
My duty was a Ball Turret Gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress. For those not familiar with 
just what that was---there was a gun turret hung beneath the belly of the Bomber---
Two 50 caliber machine guns were my weapons.---Through the glass between my feet---I could 
observe everything taking place below my plane.
It was a typical British early morning---cool---damp---and no moonlight.---Roused from sleep,
without conversation---Airmen made their way from their Huts to the mess hall---then to a
briefing for today's mission.
The briefing officer's words are as clear in my ears today as they were at zero two hundred 
thirty hours that morning---"OK,boys---this is it.---"D-Day"--"Disembarkation day."---
A loud cheer rose from every man in the room as they realized what was about to happen.---
The rumors of an invasion were true!
While that briefing was taking place---paratroopers had been jumping into France.---Later,
---as our formation of 35 - B-17s flew out of the slow moving, watery clouds that was 
making their way toward Normandy,---I thought about them ---the possibility of rain--
and about the thousands of guys in the landing crafts I watched beneath us. ---
People on the ground were in for a tough day.
A Tradition in Story Telling
Book Catalog History & Staff Return to Home Page
Release  Calendar Meet  the Authors Submission  Guidelines
Copyright  1998-2005 Briarwood Publications & Sassy Cat Books, Inc
All rights reserved.
Selected images and material property of our individual  authors.
Web site design and maintenance by:
Volaeris Engineering, LLC.