By Garry M. Graves
What makes a guy, a guy? How can we degree a man?
James Robert Copeland lives this present day in party of our country’s enduring freedom. JR’ (as he loves to be called), enlisted within the military the day after Pearl Harbor and he was once mad as hell. in general, whilst your twenty years outdated and the son of a coal mining kinfolk from West Virginia, a significant lifestyles doesn’t manifest itself on a silver platter. JR’ isn't really average in any regard. along with his 8th grade schooling he was once singled out to steer males lower than his command to safeguard alongside the berms of Omaha seashore, Normandy, France, D-Day, June 6, 1944. Shot in every one leg he led his males throughout a German minefield, with no wasting a man.
It was once a terrible day — yet Ranger Copeland had a mission.
JR’ Copeland, employees Sergeant, fifth Ranger Infantry Battalion had an obligation to his kingdom. He did it with delight and function and many gusto. How JR’ grew to become a heroic chief of guys is that this tale; his upbringing, his relations, his ideals, all contributed to what might develop into a magnanimous person. JR’ Copeland, 89, nonetheless celebrates at the present time.
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Additional info for Bloody Omaha: My Remembrances of That Day
The tide movement combined with heavy battle and fire smoke caused Colonel Rudder’s 2nd Rangers to miss Pointe du Hoc all together, instead almost landing at Pointe de la Percée. The error had caused a thirty minute delay in landing at the correct beach, which was Pointe du Hoc. “Most things that day went wrong for us,” JR’ said smiling. The commander of the 5th Ranger Battalion was Colonel Max Schneider’. At the staging area Colonel Schneider’s Rangers, which included JR’, waited for a signal from Colonel Rudder .
HMS Prince Leopold British Landing Ship-Infantry. Sunk by a German U-Boat, July 24, 1944 Landing Craft Vehicle-Personnel (LCVP) Also known as the Higgins Boat, typically constructed of plywood, carried 36 men. Over 20,000 LCV’s were made. Prior to loading onto the LCV’s, just after breakfast, we gathered on the Prince Leopold’s deck and watched the bombing of the Normandy coast. “Most of the soldiers thought there wouldn’t be much left for us to do when we got there,” JR’ said about the prolific bombing.
The wagon, loaded with men, rolled over him before they could stop the mules, causing severe internal bleeding. He died before they got him to the local hospital. JR’ was eighteen years old at the time. JR’s father possessed incredible courage for standing firm in his beliefs about unionization with the coal mine owners. The unions finally came to the coal mines but James Anthony did not live to see it. His spirit and strong-will certainly influenced the young teenage JR’. Many would conclude there was no mystery why JR’ reacted as he did on Omaha Beach.