William T. Fleming
William’s boyhood was full of interest in WWII. As a boy, he would regularly go through his father and uncle’s ARMY trunks, and poured over their uniforms, dog tags, photos taken in France and Germany, and military decorations. His favorite boyhood television show was the famous television series “Combat” during the early 1960’s, after which he and his childhood “army” buddies would re-inact many of the scenes, forever battling the “Gerries”. Also as a boy, William collected many WWII artifacts and pieces of equipment that were readily available in many Army Surplus stores.
In college, William was a United States History major at Syracuse University. Much later, his interest returned to the study of WWII when he saw Stephen Spielberg’s famous movie “Saving Private Ryan” and the HBO series “Band of Brothers.” Although he is widely read on the subject, William believes that nothing can convey the enormity, nor the level of planning and execution of the D-Day Invasion than an actual visit to Normandy– Standing in the very field where Lt. Winters took out the German batteries firing on the Beaches on June 6, 1944, and hearing a clear explanation of the attack by a guide from Overlord, simply cannot be described.
William has two children- Brad who is a combat veteran after having served 4 years and two tours of duty in Iraq as a paratrooper in historic 82nd Airborne Division, and Kelsey, who will be a senior at Susquehanna University, graduating in 2011. William’s first trip ever to France and Normandy was in the summer of 2004, during the 60th D-Day celebrations. The trip was a high school graduation present for Brad, who was about to enter the ARMY in the fall of 2004. It was during this trip that William and Brad met Alain Chesnel, and spent two wonderful days with him on an Overlordtour, which he will never forget. Since then, William has become very good friends with Alain, his “brother in arms”, and has returned to Normandy with his daughter, Kelsey, so that she too could visit the site of this historic event.