Friday, May 23, 2008

Saint Quay Portrieux...Mitch's Grandpa's monument

During WWII Mitch's grandpa was a B-17 pilot (they were very high-tech planes that could fly at very high altitudes and they carried bombs) and his mission was to fly from England and bomb the German submarines on the coast of northern France near Brest. Well, unfortunately things went awry and all of the men in his plane had to bail out and parachute down...into German occupied territory. Long story short he ended landing in the city of Saint Quay and his plane crashed near the shore. All of the town saw him coming down and he was rescued by the underground French resistance. He basically escaped death many times. He eventually made it out of France into Spain and then back to England all due to the help of the underground. It all took several months in hiding. So, we went there to meet many of the people that helped him and their families. What an amazing experience! Unfortunately, one of the main rescuers that we were to meet was very ill and we could not meet him. The main rescuer (he was not part of the resistance but a farm boy who first helped Mitch's grandpa when he landed) died a few years ago but Mitch's family is still very close to his kids and grandkids. They showed us around to all of the important sites. There is a monument to Mitch's grandpa and the resistance members (two of which were sent to concentration camps and killed when the resistance networks were found out). The monument is one of the propellers that was still intact and was pulled out of the water. Amazing!

Another thing that is amazing is French food! The daughter made us homemade french food for all the meals! Not only did each meal have about 5 courses but it was all divine and there was so much fresh seafood! Real, homemade French food is amazing!

It was such a special experience and when we left we all cried. The spirit was so strong. I can't wait to go back already! It was truly a tender experience for Mitch. Sadly, Mitch's grandpa died a few years ago so this was great for him to remember his Grandpa.

1st is the tree where my grandpa landed, 2nd, 3rd and 4th are in front on the monument,
5th and 6th are us saying goodbye to Andre and Agnes, and their daughter (Florence), 7th is me standing on the beach overlooking the bay where the plane crashed, 8th is standing in front of the tree that my grandpa and his parachute landed in.

1 comment:

Julia M. said...

That is such a moving story. It brings tears to my eyes. What a special experience for you all. That's so awesome!