Last weekend I phoned 4 veterans who served in the same company as my great uncle George Lineberry and 2 of them remember him but did not know him well. One of the men instantly said yeah “he was an older guy”. He then told me that he remembers hearing what happened to George. George was standing up while advancing and shooting, like a one man army, when he was shot because he exposed himself. This veteran said George wasn’t afraid, he did his duty but he was a little too brave. The veteran said he could have it wrong, that George wasn’t in his platoon but that’s what he remembers. The other man who remembers George, sent me the full company troop photo and identified most of the men in the photo. The third man we spoke with lives here in Oklahoma and invited us to visit with him more, which we will be doing next weekend. He does not remember George, was in the same company just a different platoon but his recollections are fascinating.
I’ve asked some cousins for information on what they remember or have about George and am looking forward to hearing back from them. I also spoke to an author of several books about the 101st who, during the war, was a radio operator for General Taylor and is one of the Division historians. When I told him my great uncle’s name he said he remembers the name. He said he had to type the roster many, many times so consequently he remembers the names. He asked me to write to him, mainly as a reminder, and that he would see what he has about him. He asked me to send a photo of George because he writes articles for a 101st newsletter where he tells about the person and provides a photo. He said you’d be surprised at how many people remember the person when they see the photo with a few details. I’m hoping he will try that and maybe we’ll learn more.
My husband just finished a book, Hell’s Highway by George Koskimaki and learned much about what the 502nd and Company F was doing the day that George was killed. Mr Koskimaki has other books, one of which I’ve ordered through Interlibrary Loan at my library, D-Day with the Screaming Eagles. Mark Bando also has several books that deal with the 502nd battalion that I will be reading. For those of you who, like me, are not familiar with the the 101st Airborne in WWII, there are a few well known books and movies about the Division: A Bridge Too Far about Operation Market Garden as well as A Band of Brothers.