John E. Hill, veteran of the landing and battle of Normandy, at his home in Syracuse in the United States.
May 21, 2017: A veteran of the Battle of Normandy finds his curb, 73 years later!
Information source: Sud-Radio
Author: Mathieu D’Hondt
A curb lost during the Normandy landings…
It was June 7, 1944 when 20-year-old John E. Hill arrived in Omaha Beach with his regiment. If the most terrible fighting on the beaches took place the day before, the situation is still far from being under control for the Allies, who must imperatively secure the coasts of Cotentin in order to install a strategic bridgehead for the landing of material. It is for this reason that John goes with his unit to the localities of Isigny-sur-Mer and then Saint-Lô in order to repel the last pockets of enemy resistance. During one of these missions, he was robbed of his jacket, in which was an object which he cherished more than anything else, the curb which his mother had offered him before his departure for Europe and war. Returning to the United States in his home town of Syracuse, New York, at the end of the conflict, the young soldier dared not confess to his mother that he had lost his precious jewel and he would not hear Never speak for 73 years.
… found by a historian 73 years later
So what was the surprise of the now veteran of the American army when he learned a few weeks ago that the object had been found in Normandy, by a 36-year-old historian, Mathieu Delamotte. The silver curb was indeed unearthed from a pruned slope in the commune of Hiesville (Manche), last February. Starting from the inscription and number 12141290 engraved on the jewel, Mathieu Delamotte sets out to find his owner, but comes up against a major difficulty, the name John E. Hill is a surname very widespread across the Atlantic. Finally, after searching the internet and with the help of a librarian, he manages to trace the soldier who – something incredible – is still alive on the side of Syracuse.
The curb of veteran John E. Hill, found in the dunes of Omaha Beach 73 years after being lost.