PILOT’S HEROIC, TRAGIC FATE

 

Florian Rochat's book cover - The legend of Little Eagle
Book Cover

THE LEGEND OF LITTLE EAGLE

« The Legend of Little Eagle » is a novel about destinies that intersect. It is based on a true story which involved an actual American pilot – Lieutenant LeRoy Lutz – whose warplane was hit by anti-aircraft fire while strafing a German train. He then made the decision of purposefully crashing into a clear area instead of dashing into a French village called Mardeuil in Champagne, in June 1944. He did not survive to his feat, but the villagers did.

LeRoy Lutz has been turned into « John Philippe Garreau », and LeRoy Lutz flew a P-38 Lightning whereas Garreau is on a P-51 Mustang for the novel.

Here is further information about this book from a post written by Florian Rochat – the book’s author – published in French on January 24th, 2012:

In 1999, while I was in Montana researching my novel « Cougar corridor », I discovered a letter mailed from France in 1947. It said how a pilot of the US Army Air Force, Lieutenant LeRoy Lutz, had avoided a tragedy by staying on his damaged plane in order not to fall on a small village of Champagne, Mardeuil. It was in June 1944. Having renounced the bail out option while still able to do so, Lutz (picture below) had paid with his life this heroic act. His Lightning P-38 crashed in a field.

I told in a previous article of this blog how this letter led me to write my latest novel, The Legend of Little Eagle.

But now I have found its author. His name is André Mathy and he lives in Epernay, France…

…Time passes by, History is forgotten, but for the old inhabitants of Mardeuil LeRoy Lutz is always a hero whose sacrifice helped avoid civilian casualties in their village. « This story keeps coming to my mind, » said André Mathy.

I have been able to find him, which moves me. For this endpoint in the long story that was the writing of The Legend of Little Eagle highlights a surprising phenomenon on which I return repeatedly – over the reconstruction of the life of my hero who experienced a similar fate to LeRoy Lutz – in this story in which the notion of fate is perhaps the theme: the meaning and weight of stories, as explained in several books by William Kittredge, one of the great writers of Montana. According to him, our lives are ceaselessly intertwined with narrative, with the stories that we tell or hear told, those that we dream or imagine or would like to tell, all of which are reworked in that story of our own lives that we narrate to ourselves in an episodic, somewhat semiconscious, but virtually uninterrupted monologue. We live immersed in narrative (have you noticed?) These stories allow us, according to him, to situate ourselves in the world, and find meaning in our existence in the chaos of life. « We live in stories. We are stories, »  he asserts.

“We tell stories to talk out the trouble in our lives, trouble otherwise so often so unspeakable. It is one of our main ways of making our lives sensible. Trying to live without stories can make us crazy. They help us recognize what we believe to be most valuable in the world, and help us identify what we hold demonic,” Kittredge adds.

Seventeen years ago, when he finally learned about his father’s display of courage, Richard Lutz, LeRoy’s son, declared: « I was twelve years old when my mother told me that my father had died in France. I always thought he was the bravest pilot on earth. But now I know. »

 This book has already had 4.7 stars out of 13 customer reviews on Amazon.fr. It is a breath-taking novel according to them. The readers did love Florian Rochat’s talent and style. The synopsis made them believe that it was a book on aviation. It is, with many scenes of air combat during John Philip Garreau’s missions over Germany and France. But there is more to it. As mentioned above, it mainly deals with puzzling questions on destiny and fates bound within a same tragic event. However, these readers loved reading this unbelievable story. Air combat is not swept out of sight as the act of gallantry when LeRoy Lutz veered away from the village to save lives is well highlighted. Moreover, the hero amazingly meets with a famous WWII aviator.

Many reviews, and articles have been posted about this book, especially in French since it was first written in French. Here are two of them:

https://baugelitt.eu/florian-rochat-la-legende-de-little-eagle-le-passe-tenace/

You can read Florian Rochat’s biography on Xavier Cotton’s blog « Passion pour l’Aviation« . Special thanks to Xavier who passed the information on.

« The Legend of Little Eagle » is on sale as an ebook on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.UK, Amazon.ca, and Amazon.com.au, Smashwords and other digital platforms, and as a paperback on all Amazon bookstores. Author’s website: http://www.florianrochat.com

6 June, 1944: Roosevelt’s prayer on D-Day (with script)

 

Excerpts of President Franklin Delano ROOSEVELT’s address on D-Day:

 

Transcript:

My fellow Americans,

Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far, and so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer.

Almighty God, our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. Lead them straight, and true. Give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard for the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again, and we know that by thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried by night, and by day, without rest until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war, for these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home. With thy blessing, we shall prevail… Over the unholy forces of our enemy.

Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace – a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil. Thy will be done, Almighty God.

Amen

PEARL HARBOR ATTACK & WWII

The Pearl Harbor Attack(called Hawaii Operation or Operation AI by the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters – Operation Z in planning – and the Battle of Pearl Harbor) happened on Sunday December 7, 1941 ie 70 years ago. Here is a video of remembrance of the infamous day which dragged the United States of America into World War II:

 

Pearl Harbor: A Landmark in History, part 5 from Pacific Historic Parks on Vimeo.

WWI REMEMBRANCE DAY

WW1 remembrance flanders book
Flanders Fields Poem, John McCrae - Photo © Wikipedia user: Lx_121

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Lieutenant Colonel John Alexander McCrae (1872-1918) – Ypres battlefield 1915. Photo: Lx 121Wikipedia courtesy

The WWI armistice came into effect at the eleventh hour (Paris time) of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. The War to End All Wars left 37,000,000 casualties – 16 million deaths and 21 million wounded. The Allies lost 5.7 million soldiers. May their souls rest in peace

WWI Lafayette Flying Corps in remembrance

WW1 – Tribute to the Lafayette Squadron
envoyé par KumKum91. – L’info video en direct.

by Capt. Tony Wickman

U.S. Air Forces in Europe Public Affairs

6/1/2010 – PARIS (AFNS) — U.S. and French civilian and military leaders paid their respects to America’s first combat pilots during ceremony at a memorial outside of Paris, May 27.

Gen. Roger Brady, the U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander, U.S. Ambassador to France Charles Rivkin, French Lt. Gen. Paul Fouilland, the Strategic Air Forces commander, several local elected officials and nearly 200 guests gathered at the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial’s central Arc de Triomphe to pay tribute to the 68 American pilots who died in service to the Allies during World War I.
READ FULL ARTICLE >>>>> www.af.mil courtesy.

Article about the Escadrille Américaine

List of the 269 pilots who joined up the Lafayette Flying Corps