A Family Treasure

« My husband and I drove into Bayeux to meet Geert. Across the street stood a young man with a big smile as he waved us over. His pleasant voice and enthusiasm struck us both and with confidence and high hopes we began our day. Geert has a special gift at what he does. He takes to heart the personal story about your loved one and he does extensive work to uncover the untold story. We learned more about my Uncle, his division and his sacrifice than my father ever knew. My only regret was that my father and his sister could not have been there with us to experience and learn what we did about their brother. We spent a whole day with Geert going from strategic place to place tracing Sergeant John Pikolas’ footsteps.We met wonderful sweet people who recalled the presence of the 30th Division liberating their beloved town.  Geert made it possible for ourselves to come to a deep understanding of what happened historically and where my uncle was KIA. We are forever grateful to Geert. We highly recommend him! »
Katina Patitsas, niece of Sgt. John M. Pikolas

Sgt. John M. Pikolas’ Company E, 119th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Division left England one week after D-Day destination Omaha Beach. Four days after coming ashore Sgt. Pikolas and his outfit headed towards the front lines near the village of La Meauffe in the hedgerow country of Normandy.  After successfully crossing the Vire river on 7 July 1944, Sgt. Pikolas was killed on 12 July during the bloody fighting in the hamlet of La Belle Lande.

DSC_0346Katina Patitsas and her husband Chris At La Belle Lande, now part of Pont-Hébert, where her uncle John Pikolas was killed on 12 July 1944

DSC_0356Katina and Chris Patitsas welcomed by the deputy mayor of Pont-Hébert. Several gifts awaited the Patitsas including a bottle of Calvados and a WWII canteen found in the Pont-Hébert area.