The identification of a Norman on an American photo of 1944 in Trévières

This photograph taken in Trévières, portrays the American soldier Fred Linden holding on his knees a young Norman whom his family wishes to identify.
Photo: US National Archives

July 22nd 2017 : The family of an American veteran seeks to identify a young Norman in a picture of 1944 taken during the Battle of Normandy
Author: Marc Laurenceau

This photo, published on the site D-Day Overlord since 2008, is located in Trévières in Calvados, during the Battle of Normandy. It was taken on June 23, 1944 by an American war photographer: one can see soldier Fred Linden of the 2nd Infantry Division holding on his knees a Norman boy, all smiles. Today, the family of the American veteran would like to put a name on this face, and if possible arrange a meeting between the two families.

A call for identification was thus launched at the beginning of July 2017 by the nephew of Fred Linden via social networks, whose power to touch people is now inseparable from this type of research. In a few days, the photo was shared thousands of times and the press also took over, in order to reach the greatest number.

In just one week, two people identified themselves: the first was called Gérard Poincheval, 76, now living in Saint-Martin-des-Entrées. He was recognized by his daughter and the interested person, whose memories of this period are still vague, evokes to the journalists of La Manche Libre: For me the picture, was taken in Bayeux street of Bellevue, that is where Mom And my aunt was washing the linen of the Canadian soldiers based at Little Magny. I was told that the photo was taken at Trevières, why not … my grandparents lived nearby, but the nephews of the GI may know better. This photo is part of my life, I have always seen it at home, my mother had it in her family album.
The second person is named Marcel Gastel and lives in the Pyrénées-Orientales. “The little boy in the picture with Fred Linden is Marcel Castel. He now lives near Perpignan and has given me permission to give you this information. I am the nurse of his wife and the photo throne in the dining room “.

A meeting between Marcel Gastel and Gérard Poincheval could be organized in the coming weeks to help the two men to clarify this part of their childhood and so that the Liden family can finally meet the one who, for the moment, is still only The “little boy of Trévières”.

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