August 6, 1994 found Dad's unit, the 44th AIB of the 6th AD on the road to Brest, France. Given orders by General Patton to take the coastal town, Brest was a harbor on the end of the Brittany Peninsula used by the Germans. The photo above was taken on one of the roads after the breakout at Avranches. Traffic was backed up until the units were able to break into multiple roads that were headed west. The hedgerows created ambush points for Germans to utilize snipers and anti tank Panzerfausts. By the Evening of Aug 7, the 44th was just a few miles east of Brest setting up bivouac in a field outside of Plouvien. Tired from the rush to Brest and weary from the sporadic attacks by the German Wehrmacht, the soldiers bedded down in hastily dug foxholes and trenches. Tanks, trucks, and halftracks lined up in various spots around the field.
The next morning, disaster struck.
This is one of the stories I am learning about as I continue my research into my fathers unit during WWII. Exciting, poignant, and sad at times, the history of it all comes to life in the letters I read.
As a professional photographer, I almost long to travel back in time to record the happenings using my best equipment. What images I could get. But would I really want to see the carnage?