735th Railway Operating Battalion Francis Lewis (more)

John says (thanks john!) .... I found some additional photos of the 735th ROB in my father’s WW-II album. Most of these pics were either taped or glued onto pages of his 70+ year old album and I did not take the time to remove them when I sent my previous photos to you in July, 2013. It was a tedious process removing the pics without damaging the pages or the mountings. In this grouping I was also able to identify several specific men who were members of the 735th. Most but not all were from company C.
I was able to connect a story my father had told me about the place where several 735th men stayed during their first three months in France. Only two days before they had landed at Omaha Beach Sept, 30, 1944. My dad said he was given orders to commandeer the ….hotel? for members of the 735th company C. He said it wasn’t a forceful thing at all as the owners welcomed the arrival of the Allied forces. If it was a hotel it was quite a facility (see photos).

Several years following the war in 1965, my father took my mother on a 2+ week vacation to northern Europe. He wanted to show her the places he traveled while in the Army. He went back to this hotel and they remembered him! It was a family owned business and when he first went in, he explained who he was to a descendent of the previous managers/owners that he knew from 1944.

My mom said he spoke to them in broken French that she didn’t understand, and it surprised her that they seem to understand him. She said suddenly this younger man he spoke with got real excited and started talking loud to others in the room. He disappeared to the back of the hotel and came back with his father. My mom thought something had gone wrong until this elderly man started hugging my dad. She said for several minutes it was a blur of foreign language. The elderly man tried to explain to my mom in broken English how much he and his family appreciated all of the American servicemen for their efforts and sacrifices liberating France. My mother said they had other places to see but the family kept them there for hours. She said they were very kind and prepared a dinner for them.

Please review the attached photos and add them to your site as you see fit. I enjoy doing my part in providing pictures of ROB servicemen for their descendants to enjoy. Last week I contacted the youngest daughter of Lt. Donald Baughman also of the 735th. I had not seen or talked with her in over 50 years. Her dad passed in 1973. She said that she also has photos that her father took when stationed at Fort Snelling and later overseas. Don and my father Francis Lewis remained close friends for many years. They were both promoted to Captain at war’s end, and both also worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad before and after the war. Michelle has promised to scan and send to me some of his photos. I will forward them to you after they are received.
Thanks so much for your efforts in developing your site to honor all American ROB members.
Best regards,

  https://goo.gl/photos/FmthtP7bRa3VDXBq8 735 Lewis 2


Beckha said...

Thank you for blogging about this. How would I contact you? My grandfather was in the 735th C and we are attempting to put together a book of the letters he and my grandmother exchanged as well as many of the photos he took. I definitely have photos to share as well!