320th Infantry Regiment of WWII

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The Liberation of Janville, France by the 320th.

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Many thanks to Philip Carmichael who sent the pictures of the liberation of Janville! He has graciously agreed to share the following background stories with us...

       ...I have attached a few more pictures (perhaps some duplicates) of the GIs who stayed with my wife's family in Janville during the liberation. The other liberation photos were taken by Monsieur Bauger the village photographer. There is still a photo shop in the village in the same location but I don't know if the Bauger family still owns it. My wife was born and raised in Janville. She was about 11 when the liberation took place. Her memories are of the German officer and his aide who were quartered in their house. The house holder was required to feed both. As a measure of passive resistance, it was customary to spit in the food or have the dog eat some before it was delivered to the Germans. I asked her if she ever learned any German and her answer was never. She doesn't appear in any of the pictures but her Father Mr Lemaitre, Mme Lemaitre and her brother are in group photo JPG 11.

       An interesting story about the retreating Germans is that as they went through the town they looted various items. From their house they looted a full size pool table. I can't imagine what they were thinking when the grabbed a pool table with Patton's forces sniffing their tails.

       Two other stories of the liberation concern her brother Francis. In the photo of the Piper cub flying over the church: Her brother recalls speaking to one of the GIs talking on a radio and asking him what he was doing ( the family all learned English). He said he was talking to the plane and it amazed Francis. How could this be?? He was 9 yrs at the time.

       His other recollection is playing in the abandoned Tiger tank on the road to Toury. He doesn't recall if it was destroyed or if it just ran out of gas and was abandoned. The names of the GIs in the photos comes from Francis after half a century and may not be accurate. They loved the GIs and their American ways. Lean, lanky farm boys from the midwest have always been the true American symbol. I know from several years a SAC in Omaha. They were distinct from us easterners.

       Brigitte has fond memories of the cans of yellow cheese (probably Kraft) that they got from the Americans. And the chocolate too. This in a country with some of the finest cheeses and chocolate in the world. Such is the taste of children.

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