Maj. Gen. Greg Brady, Commanding General of the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, had the honor of speaking in front of American Soldiers, a first-wave D-Day veteran, and descendants of French citizens who aided American paratroopers on D-Day at the Eglise Notre Dame in Hemevez, France on the 78th anniversary of the invasion, June 6, 2022.
1 / 11 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Maj. Gen. Greg Brady, Commanding General of the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, had the honor of speaking in front of American Soldiers, a first-wave D-Day veteran, and descendants of French citizens who aided American paratroopers on D-Day at the Eglise Notre Dame in Hemevez, France on the 78th anniversary of the invasion, June 6, 2022. (Photo Credit: Robert D. Fellingham) VIEW ORIGINAL
Cans and containers from the 1940s remain tucked into cubbies in the barn where Madame Brisset hid three American paratroopers from enemy patrols on June 6, 1944. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. Robert Fellingham)
2 / 11 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Cans and containers from the 1940s remain tucked into cubbies in the barn where Madame Brisset hid three American paratroopers from enemy patrols on June 6, 1944. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. Robert Fellingham) (Photo Credit: Robert D Fellingham) VIEW ORIGINAL
Ms. Florie Tap, the great-granddaughter of Madame Brisset and Maj. Gen. Greg Brady, commanding general of the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, stand in the exact barn where Madame Brisset hid three American paratroopers from enemy patrols on June 6, 1944. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. Robert Fellingham)
3 / 11 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Ms. Florie Tap, the great-granddaughter of Madame Brisset and Maj. Gen. Greg Brady, commanding general of the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, stand in the exact barn where Madame Brisset hid three American paratroopers from enemy patrols on June 6, 1944. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. Robert Fellingham) (Photo Credit: Robert D Fellingham) VIEW ORIGINAL
Holes in the top of the wall are the only light source for the barn where Madame Brisset hid three American paratroopers from enemy patrols on June 6, 1944. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. Robert Fellingham)
4 / 11 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Holes in the top of the wall are the only light source for the barn where Madame Brisset hid three American paratroopers from enemy patrols on June 6, 1944. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. Robert Fellingham) (Photo Credit: Robert D Fellingham) VIEW ORIGINAL
Passing by, remember...
On June 6, 1944, 7 American paratroopers from the
507th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Division
airborne—taken prisoner—were taken to this
place (Sauderaie grove), chosen by the Nazis
as the theater of their barbarism.
They were shot there!
These 7 martyrs died for France. Never forget….
5 / 11 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Passing by, remember...
On June 6, 1944, 7 American paratroopers from the
507th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Division
airborne—taken prisoner—were taken to this
place (Sauderaie grove), chosen by the Nazis
as the theater of their barbarism.
They were shot there!
These 7 martyrs died for France. Never forget…. (Photo Credit: Robert D Fellingham)
VIEW ORIGINAL
Maj. Gen. Greg Brady, Commanding General of the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, had the honor of speaking in front of American Soldiers, a first-wave D-Day veteran, and descendants of French citizens who aided American paratroopers on D-Day at the Eglise Notre Dame in Hemevez, France on the 78th anniversary of the invasion.

After the ceremony, the granddaughter and great-granddaughter of Madame Brisset invited Maj. Gen. Brady to see their family home and the barn where their family bravely helped to hide three paratroopers from enemy patrols on June 6, 1944.
6 / 11 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Maj. Gen. Greg Brady, Commanding General of the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, had the honor of speaking in front of American Soldiers, a first-wave D-Day veteran, and descendants of French citizens who aided American paratroopers on D-Day at the Eglise Notre Dame in Hemevez, France on the 78th anniversary of the invasion.

After the ceremony, the granddaughter and great-granddaughter of Madame Brisset invited Maj. Gen. Brady to see their family home and the barn where their family bravely helped to hide three paratroopers from enemy patrols on June 6, 1944. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)
VIEW ORIGINAL
Straw fills the loft where Madame Brisset hid three American paratroopers from enemy patrols on June 6, 1944. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. Robert Fellingham)
7 / 11 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Straw fills the loft where Madame Brisset hid three American paratroopers from enemy patrols on June 6, 1944. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. Robert Fellingham) (Photo Credit: Robert D. Fellingham) VIEW ORIGINAL
A cut-out in the top of the wall remains the only light source for the barn where Madame Brisset hid three American paratroopers from enemy patrols on June 6, 1944. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. Robert Fellingham)
8 / 11 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A cut-out in the top of the wall remains the only light source for the barn where Madame Brisset hid three American paratroopers from enemy patrols on June 6, 1944. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. Robert Fellingham)

(Photo Credit: Robert D Fellingham)
VIEW ORIGINAL
The granddaughter of Madame Brisset and the Mayor of Hemevez, France invite Maj. Gen. Brady, the commanding general of the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, to see their family home where three paratroopers hid from enemy patrols on June 6, 1944. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. Robert Fellingham)
9 / 11 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The granddaughter of Madame Brisset and the Mayor of Hemevez, France invite Maj. Gen. Brady, the commanding general of the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, to see their family home where three paratroopers hid from enemy patrols on June 6, 1944. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. Robert Fellingham)

(Photo Credit: Robert D Fellingham)
VIEW ORIGINAL
Ms. Florie Tap, the great-granddaughter of Madame Brisset and Maj. Gen. Greg Brady, commanding general of the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, stand in the exact barn where Madame Brisset hid three American paratroopers from enemy patrols on June 6, 1944. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. Robert Fellingham)
10 / 11 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Ms. Florie Tap, the great-granddaughter of Madame Brisset and Maj. Gen. Greg Brady, commanding general of the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, stand in the exact barn where Madame Brisset hid three American paratroopers from enemy patrols on June 6, 1944. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. Robert Fellingham)

(Photo Credit: Robert D Fellingham)
VIEW ORIGINAL
Maj. Gen. Greg Brady, Commanding General of the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, had the honor of speaking in front of American Soldiers, a first-wave D-Day veteran, and descendants of French citizens who aided American paratroopers on D-Day at the Eglise Notre Dame in Hemevez, France on the 78th anniversary of the invasion, June 6, 2022.
11 / 11 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Maj. Gen. Greg Brady, Commanding General of the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, had the honor of speaking in front of American Soldiers, a first-wave D-Day veteran, and descendants of French citizens who aided American paratroopers on D-Day at the Eglise Notre Dame in Hemevez, France on the 78th anniversary of the invasion, June 6, 2022.

(Photo Credit: Robert D Fellingham)
VIEW ORIGINAL

Madame Brisset did not have to help the Americans who arrived at her farmhouse in occupied France on June 6, 1944. In fact, it was likely safer for her to shut the door and turn them away. When Pvt. Ashton Landry, Pfc. Paul Moore, and Pfc. Charles Wright approached a farmhouse called Le Castel, Madame Brisset, and her daughters offered them refuge from the foot patrol of 12 German soldiers that happened to be walking by at that moment.

The lady of the house surely knew that she risked her family’s safety by hiding American Soldiers, but something inside her—compassion, or maybe anger at the occupying forces, or hope that the Allies had finally arrived—compelled her to act. Thanks to the bravery of Madame Brisset and her daughters, three U.S. Army paratroopers of the twelve that landed in Hemevez on June 6, 1944, several kilometers away from their intended drop zone near St. Mere Eglise, survived their D-Day landing in Hemevez.

The other nine paratroopers in Hemevez that day were either killed in combat, captured, or executed in the woods at the edge of the village. Three soldiers, Pvt. Robert Watson, Pfc. Daniel Tillman, and Pvt. Andrew Kling were killed in brutal hand-to-hand combat. They all sustained gruesome wounds to their skulls from multiple strikes to the head by German soldiers with the butts of their rifles. At this point the remaining six soldiers surrendered and were led away by the German patrol to their headquarters a kilometer away. 2nd Lt. Shutt was taken to a prisoner of war camp in Rennes but was later killed trying to escape. Cpl. Wondell was taken to a German field hospital near Orglandes and survived. But the other four—Pvt. Robert Werner, Pvt. Delmar McElhaney, Pvt. Anthony Hitztaler, and Pfc. Elsworth Heck—for reasons unknown still to this day, were marched back into the woods and executed with gunshots to the back of their heads.

The bodies of the killed paratroopers may never have been found were it not for Leon Lequartier, who came upon the bodies collecting kindling for a fire and then rushed to the office of the mayor’s assistant, M. Emile Lainé. Mr. Lainé saw to it that the bodies were recovered and buried properly at Eglise Notre-Dame in a show of respect for the sacrifice those paratroopers made fighting to liberate France. Their bodies may never have been identified were it not for Mr. Lainé securing the soldiers’ dog tags and personal effects until American officials arrived at Hémevez 11 days later. And important facts about what happened may never have been learned by U.S. investigators were it not for Pierre Renault, who happened to see the four soldiers being marched back to the woods while riding his bike to work and later heard the gunshots that killed them, describing all this in agitated detail to U.S. investigators.

Last week Maj. Gen. Greg Brady, the commanding general of the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, had the honor of speaking to a crowd of Soldiers and descendants of French citizens who were liberated 78 years ago, including the granddaughter and great-granddaughter of Madame Brisset.

“Today is a day to remember—not just the service and sacrifice of the American Soldiers we honor here today, but also the French villagers who helped some of those Soldiers survive and helped preserve the memories of those Soldiers we lost here 78 years ago today;” remarked Maj. Gen. Greg Brady during a ceremony at the small church outside the tiny village of Hemevez in Normandy, France.

After the ceremony Ms. Florie Tap, the great-granddaughter of Madame Brisset, whose mother still lives in the same house, invited Maj. Gen. Brady a personal tour of the barn where the paratroopers hid from enemy patrols exactly 78 years ago. “I believe this house has been in our family since 1847; it was a farm originally,” said Tap.

The barn looked as if it hadn’t changed since the day those paratroopers left. Decades of dust left a thick odor in the air and the only light inside cut between the wooden slats on the side of the barn. Farm machinery from the 1940s was still standing just beneath the loft where Privates Landry, Moore, and Wright hid from patrolling enemy soldiers. Brady commented at the end of the day, “Standing in the same space with the descendants of that brave woman exactly 78 years later was a singular experience that I will never ever forget.”