LOOKING FOR WWII SHIPMATES IN THE FOLLOWING STATES: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Missouri and Virginia.

Dear WWII Shipmates,

I hope this email finds you all well and in good health.

A little prelude to the reason for my posting this Notice on our Website…

During the first 2 years of my naval career, prior to my service on the Boston my duty station was aboard the USS Springfield CLG-7, which was the Flag Ship of the Sixth Fleet, in Villefranche-Sur-Mer, France.

Unfortunately, in 1967, then French President Charles de Gaulle, decided to take France out of NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and by his doing so the U.S. was forced to leave France and make its homeport in Gaeta, Italy.

In January of 2017 my wife and I attended an exciting 4-day event in Villefranche-Sur-Mer, France.  The event was to mark a 50th Commemoration of the departure of the U.S. Navy’s Sixth Fleet from Villefranche.

While at this fabulous event, I met a young historical interviewer by the name of Florent Plana, a 27-year-old French man who was interviewing all the returning crewmembers from the 6 ships that served as the Sixth Fleet Flag Ship over the 30 plus years in Villefranche. After his more than 60 interviews, he will be taking all the video footage and all the notes that he took from the questions asked of the returning shipmates and he will be producing a documentary film of all our memories of our time while serving there. I received a copy of this documentary film which was phenomenal.

Now to the point of this post…….  In speaking with this young man during this four (4) day event, I found out that he had traveled the U.S., in a camper that he purchased and named “Coyote”, and he had interviewed and spoken to over 300 WWII veterans about their service. (He currently resides in Normandy, France) He has captured their memories on 1000’s of hours of film.  His interest in WWII relates back to stories that his grandfather (who lived in Normandy) and was a Prisoner of War in a German work camp had told him. His grandfather told him about all the events and atrocities during the invasion of Normandy and how allied forces saved many lives.

He actually had tears in his eyes when he relayed the story that his grandfather told him about the American soldiers and sailors that fought there and how those brave men were responsible for the freedoms that he now enjoys. This young man wants to return the favor to them by doing this. 

For a young man of his generation wanting to capture this information and having the drive to preserve it for future generations shows incredible insight. He said, and I quote, “that if this generation doesn’t capture all of these memories and stories from all of the American and Allied WWII Veterans now those memories and stories will be lost forever and that would be a tragedy”. I agree!

He is also in the process of trying to raise money to purchase some land just a few kilometers from the American Cemetery at Normandy. He is going to establish “The WWII Veterans Memories Museum” to house all of the 1000’s of pieces of memorabilia and all of the photos that he has collected since he was a teenager in France and from all of the Veterans that he has interviewed. He also plans to show this documentary film in a continuous loop.

His intention is to interview many more WWII veterans, which is the main reason for my writing this to you.  He is currently back in the US and in Virginia right now and will be traveling to Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Missouri and then back to Virginia this time. I am wondering if any of you would be willing to be interviewed by him to become a part of this very historic documentary that will be shown in this Museum in Normandy. It doesn’t matter in which Theater you served, European or Pacific.

If you think that you would have an interest in becoming part of this documentary and history, please contact me as soon as possible so that I can let Florent know of your interest and have him contact you to schedule this interview. He may have a film crew with him or he may do the video himself?

You can contact me by email at president@ussboston.org

Once again, I hope that are well and can participate in this historic opportunity.  If you have access to the internet…  below is a brief video of his journey through the US and a brief description of his Project.  Just type the Link into your browser and click on Watch Video. Please don’t miss this opportunity to be part of history.

Be advised that he has already interviewed Bob Knight and Nick Zeoli and is scheduled to Interview a couple of Shipmates in the State of Virginia this month. I will also send an email or a letter to anyone else that you think would have an interest in doing this interview.


https://www.gofundme.com/ww2vetsmemories/donate if you have an interest in donating to his project!. Not a requirement

I hope to hear from you soon.

Barry L. Probst