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"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,
All requests will be forwarded directly to Mr. Mays and he will make decisions concerning his personal appearances.
Briarwood Publications, Inc cannot be responsible
for any requests that may or may not be fulfilled
by the author.
|AND NO PURPLE HEART|
|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
"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
FRANK REESE MAYS
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
BEDFORD, VIRGINIA: DEDICATION OF HISTORICAL NATIONAL D-DAY MONUMENT
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 MacIntosh.
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.
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