My father served in the 90th Infantry Division and landed at Utah Beach on June 8, 1944. He wrote nearly every day to my mother which she saved and passed on to her children. Reading these letters I have always wanted to trace my father’s footsteps through Normandy but had no idea if that was even possible – until we heard about Geert, and his « Normandy Heroes » tour. Geert’s research allowed us to trace my father’s footsteps during his three months in Normandy. We started at Utah Beach, and from there travelled through the region, stopping at bridges, fields, and hedgerows my father fought at, or camp at. He set up meetings with locals of the towns my father’s unit helped liberate. We even met the mayor of Cretteville, who treated us like royalty. . In short, I recommend Geert to anyone with a WW2 hero who is looking for an extraordinary experience. It was the highlight of our trip to France for sure, and a journey we will never forget. Thank you Geert!Nora Rooney, daughter of Sgt. Dudley A. Rooney
Sgt. Dudley A. Rooney served as an Operations Sergeant, Chemical Warfare Section, Headquarters Company, the 90th Infantry Division from 8 June 1944 through to the end of the war. In his letters home he described many of his adventures leaving a lasting lecacy for his daughter. From »practicing excavation with a hearty good-will » when talking about being under German artillery fire to collecting German belt buckles in the Falaise pocket, his writings brought things alive again for his daughter when visiting the battlefield locations which Normandy Heroes had identified. As an Operations Sergeant, Dudley Ambrose Rooney was eventually awarded the Bronze Star Medal for « his thorough knowledge of procedure and indefatigable energy irrespective of long hours of work often performed under hazardous conditions and adverse circumstances ».
Nora Rooney and Normandy Heroes guide Geert Van den Bogaert at the 90th Division Memorial at Utah Beach where Dudley Rooney landed on 8 June 1944
Mr. Jean d’Aigneaux welcoming Nora Rooney at his château de Beuzeville-la-Bastille where Dudley Rooney was stationed with the Headquarters of the 90th Division in June 1944