Today is the 73rd anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, the beginning of the end of World War II. Few of the men of I interviewed for my book "Forgotten" are still with us, but Henry Parham of Pittsburgh, 96, of Pittsburgh, is one of them. On May 7, 2013, the French Embassy in Washington, DC, awarded him the Legion of Honor for his service on that very long day. His war story begins in Dec. 1942, when the draft letter came in the mail. “They got me,” he said. Parham's reluctance to serve wasn’t rooted in the extreme difficulties of serving in a racist Jim Crow army where he knew he would be treated as less than a man. He didn't lack patriotism. His reasons were more practical. He had left a sleepy corner of rural Virginia where mostly everyone he knew worked as a sharecropper. He wanted something better, and was happy to land a steady job as a porter at a bus station in Richmond, Va., where he was earning a sum that provided, for the first time in his 21 years, a dose of security. Yet he boarded a train bound for a new Army training camp in Tennessee, and trained to fly giant balloons. That secret mission would take him across the sea to a 5-mile-long patch of sand called Omaha Beach. There, Parham would be tested as never before. You can read more about him and the men of D-Day's only African-American combat unit in my book and here.
Among the thousands of soldiers who landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day, there were two young men whose stories were remarkably similar. They both raced along the shooting gallery at the water's edge pulling the wounded to safety. One was injured during the landing. The other was not. One received the Medal of Honor. The other did not. Read about their stories HERE in The Daily Beast.
Thanks to NPR's Here & Now, recorded at WBUR in Boston, for inviting Linda Hervieux on the show to talk about FORGOTTEN: The Untold Story of D-Day's Black Heroes, At Home and At War. They also published an excerpt from the book. Read it here.
Should D'Day's hero medic, Waverly Woodson, receive the Medal of Honor? That was question Al Sharpton explored on his MSNBC show PoliticsNation. Woodson, dubbed the invasion's No. 1 hero by the black press, was nominated for the nation's highest honor, though he never received it. His widow, Joann Woodson, eloquently made the case to Sharpton about her husband's heroism. Linda's Hervieux's book FORGOTTEN: The Untold Story of D-Day's Black Heroes, At Home and At War, makes the case for Woodson to posthumously receive this important award. See the interview here.
Lowell Sun photographer Julie Malakie takes a selfie with Linda Hervieux on a frigid, windy day at the Centralville War Memorial in Lowell. Julia's photo and video with Linda appeared on page 1 of the Lowell Sun, along with Christopher Scott's page 1 story about the men of the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion, the only black combat unit to land on D-Day. Read the story here. FORGOTTEN also make page 1 of the Nashua Telegraph. Read the story here.
FORGOTTEN makes page 1 of the Lowell Sun on Dec. 4, 2015.
Historian Antony Beevor came to Miami to talk about his new book, "Ardennes 1944," and Linda took the opportunity to ask him about her book, "Forgotten." Beevor said he's love to read it. A book is on the way!
Linda was so very happy to meet Tom Brokaw at the Miami International Book Fair. His review of FORGOTTEN-- "utterly compelling" is on the cover -- opened many doors for Linda, a first-time author. It was a packed house at Miami Dade College to hear his inspiring talk about surviving his 2013 bout with blood cancer. His new book "A Lucky Life Interrupted: A Memoir of Hope" is excellent.
Linda will be speaking Sunday at 12:30 as part of a three-person panel entitled "Black Heroes of the 20th Century." See all the details here.
Veterans Day coverage of FORGOTTEN was overwhelming! The book made various TV, radio, print and websites. Linda Hervieux appeared with 320th veteran William Garfield Dabney in Roanoke, VA, on Nov. 10, to a full house at the Harrison Museum of African-American culture. On Nov. 11, she spoke at American University where she was joined by 320th vet Willie O. Howard and Joann Woodson, the wife of Waverly Woodson. The Woodson family has launched a campaign to obtain for him the Medal of Honor for his service on Omaha Beach.
See ABC7-TV's interview with Linda and Joann here.
ABC News reporter James Gordon Meek found a clip from Waverly Woodson's 1994 interview on the 50th anniversary of D-Day. See his report and video with Brian Ross here.
Hear Linda on the Kojo Nnamdi show on WAMU radio, Washington DC's NPR station here.
See Linda's interview on Bob Herbert's Op-Ed TV here.
See Linda's interview with NY1's Cheryl Wills here.
Richard Sisk at Military.com wrote up this piece on the Medal of Honor campaign, click here.