Mike Wells



wells   My father, Franklin Wells Jr., served with Company B, 1st Battalion, 30th Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division during World War II. After recovering from wounds sustained at Anzio he returned to his unit to fight inFrance. He only began to talk about his experiences when I would come home on leave from service in the Army and then only when we were alone. Unfortunately, he died of cancer before I could persuade him to write down his memories.

Norman’s book is the story of the ordinary soldier. A “dogface” as they proudly called themselves. It has helped me to understand what my Dad, indeed, what all “dogfaces” experienced in fighting to preserve our way of life. For this I will remain eternally grateful to Norman. His recounting of what it was like to be a GI in the European Theatre is something that should be required reading, to use the words of another 3rd Division veteran, Joe Fournier Sr., “Lest we forget”.

It has been said many times that no matter what reason a person had for entering the service, after the first combat they fought for each other. They became “brothers”. I am PROUD to think of these veterans of the 3rd Division as my “uncles”. It makes no difference what company, battalion, or regiment, they were and still are The Rock of the Marne.

I regret that my Dad is not here to enjoy the benefits of the internet that have allowed me to come to know men like Norman, Stan Smith, Sherman Pratt and Joe Fournier Sr. I often feel when I am “talking” to these and other veterans or my “cousins” like Lee Hatfield and Lew Pergament, that Dad is looking over my shoulder.

Thank you Norman for telling your story for your story is their story.  You have helped us to know what it was like for our fathers. God Bless you, all our veterans and those who serve to this day to protect our Freedom.

A Proud Son of the 3rd,

Michael Wells

May 2002