In a 2014 Tribune story about the D-Day Normandy landings, it was stated that Bill Ternes of Shields and Bob Feland of Almont, both residing at the time at a care facility in New Salem, were veterans of the June 6, 1944 D-Day landings. Bill Ternes had participated in the D-Day landings, Bob Feland had not.
Bob Feland’s story was impressive. He had made numerous amphibious landings during the war but the Normandy landings was not among them. Mr. Feland’s memory at the time of the article was a bit shaky and he had confused one of his other landings with the D-Day events. A rudimentary search into Bob Feland’s war record would have revealed this.
I immediately contacted the article’s author about the mistake but received no reply.
Now again on the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, the Tribune’s June 6 editorial “ND Soldiers Part of D-Day, Other Events,” the same mistake was made, stating that Bob Feland was involved in the landings, referencing the 2014 article.
Bob Feland had been drafted in 1942, was trained as a medic, made five amphibious landings, the first in Morocco, then Sicily, Salerno and Anzio in Italy (where he was awarded the Silver Star for bravery).
Bob did get to France but not in the June 6 Normandy landings. Feland landed in France on August 15, during the little publicized Operation Dragoon in southern France.
Feland received seven battle stars for every major engagement he participated in. Bob was in battles in Africa, Italy and Europe and got caught behind enemy lines during the Battle of the Bulge. Nearly the only major action he missed out on in Europe was the Normandy landings.
Bill Ternes and Bob Feland, like most of the heroes from World War II, have passed away.
Scott Nelson, Solen