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Pathfinders were night-bomber squadrons whose crews were selected for their navigating skills. After August 1942 they flew at the head of night-bombing raids on Nazi Germany. Using oboe, a improved navigational device based on radar, the team's main task was to drop accurate markers (flares and incendiaries) over the intended target. This system considerably improved the Royal Air Force record of finding targets at night.

Pathfinders - History

Pathfinder, Inc. is a non-profit corporation, incorporated in August of 1971, with an initial enrollment for the year of 6 students in a preschool program. The licensing agent was Mental Retardation Development Disabilities Services (MR-DDS). As awareness of the services available in the Jacksonville area increased, Pathfinder was approached by a group of concerned parents to make services available to their adult disabled dependents.

The professed goal of Pathfinder is to provide parents and individuals with the option of remaining at home or in the community, rather than seeking institutionalization. Pathfinder, Inc. is governed by a Board of Directors selected from a broad community base. We are committed to the Non-Discriminatory Delivery of Services and are an Affirmative Action Equal Opportunity Employer.

The Board of Directors realized the need for a comprehensive array of services and developed the long-term goal of providing services from infant throughout life within the community setting. Pathfinder, Inc. developed a pilot project for MR-DDS and the Division of Employment Development in 1979. This project demonstrated the feasibility of relocating institutionalized individuals within the community by providing skills training in the world of work as well as self-help living skills training. The project was very successful.

In July of 1989 Pathfinder, Inc. opened an ICF/DD in Cabot and has since opened nine more around the state. The homes have 10 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, a living-activity room, kitchen and service area. The facilities are home to ten individuals who have chosen to live in the community.

Currently Pathfinder, Inc. operates 10 ICF/IIDs housing 104 individuals, 4 supervised apartment complexes serving 16 individuals, 6 group homes serving 32 individuals, 6 apartment complexes serving 120 individuals and 7 workshops which serve approximately 1600 individuals.

The 1991 Transcontinental Tour - Williamsburg, Virginia to Vancouver, British Columbia

On July 3rd 1991, Ken and myself in our 1911 Lozier and Marge and Earl Young in their 1913 Pierce-Arrow embarked on another “Great Adventure,” driving from our homes in the Chicago area to meet with the crews of 21 other vintage automobiles gathered in Williamsburg, Virginia to participate in the tenth Transcontinental Reliability Tour. This was our eighth tour cross country and the sixth for the Youngs. Tour Director Millard Newman, Judy and Howard Henry and Althea and Ernie Gill have done all nine tours, including the Transatlantic Tour that circled the British Isles. Our 945 miles to Williamsburg was relatively uneventful except for running out of gas and being held up by a parade in Ripley, Ohio.

Williamsburg was warm, but we did manage to visit Colonial Williamsburg and have lunch in Chowning’s Tavern there. Sunday, our July 7th kickoff banquet in the Williamsburg Inn was a happy occasion, greeting old friends an meeting new ones, including Donna and Noel McIntosh from Australia, and receiving our final instructions. Monday morning, we were anxiously awaiting our 9:00 departure, this being the only time during the tour that we leave en masse. We drove in rather humid weather that reached 99 degrees part of the day.

Apex Legends Video Finally Unveils Pathfinder's Origin Story

Apex Legends' latest lore video finally delves into Pathfinder's history — including his purpose, when he was made and who his family is.

Apex Legends released a short film that digs into the past and history of popular robotic Legend Pathfinder, illuminating "the truth" about the character's background.

The film sees Pathfinder upon a stage, addressing a crowd about how he now knows "everything" about his origins. "It all started when this energy crisis threatened the Outlands," Pathfinder explains over the course of a video montage showing his creation. "But there was hope. It was found in a small group of very smart science people who came together from all different parts of the Outlands for one reason: to save everyone. But they needed help, so they created me."

He goes on to describe how he and his "family" were attacked by none other than Dr. Ashleigh Reid — who fans have speculated to be the Simulcrum Ash's former self, prior to her appearances in both Titanfall 2 and Apex Legends. The film sees Dr. Reid and her team mistaking Pathfinder for a normal MRVN automaton, despite his updated programming, family and purpose. After defeating Dr. Reid, Pathfinder's creators ultimately decide to save the rest of the Branthium from the ongoing enemy assault by destroying the Phase Runner — with them still inside.

The video wraps up by revealing that the plan to save the Outlands succeeded, and that the "crowd" Pathfinder is addressing is made up of the Legend's teammates, including Horizon, Wattson, Gibraltar, Lifeline and Mirage. Before the video's conclusion, Pathfinder reveals that there had been a "child" made out of his spare parts — explained to him by none other than Kuben Blisk, the protagonist of Respawn's Titanfall and Titanfall 2, and the original commissioner of the Apex Games. Pathfinder reflects upon his offspring and vows to find his son.

Having been playable in Apex Legends since the game's launch in 2019, Pathfinder's origins have long been a mystery. Other characters' histories have featured the Legend, but little had been revealed about the adapted MRVN automaton aside from his ultimate mission to unveil his history and find his creators.

Apex Legends is a free-to-play battle royale game, available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and Nintendo Switch. Apex Legends: Mobile is currently undergoing beta testing.

Pathfinders - History

Club Ministries

North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists

About Pathfinders

Pathfinders are a worldwide organization of young people sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, though young people of any religious persuasion, or none at all, are welcome and encouraged to join the organization.

Pathfinders offer a wide range of activities including, but not limited to:

  • Camping & camping/survival skills
  • Grade appropriate leadership training
  • Activities promoting community pride & involvement through outreach activities such as helping in downtown soup kitchens, collecting food for the disadvantaged, cleaning & maintaining city and county parks, visiting and encouraging the elderly, and MANY more
  • Interactive training in a variety of recreational, artistic, nature, conservation, vocational, and outreach areas, with awards (honors) given for successful completion of the interactive training modules
  • Personal care and encouragement by a caring staff member! While many school classrooms have 10-30 students per teacher, Pathfinders offers AT LEAST a 1 staff member to every 5 Pathfinder ratio!

Joining a Local Pathfinders Club
Pathfinders is for those who are in the fifth (5th) grade or its equivalent through the eighth (8th) grade. 5th and 6th graders are often referred to as "Junior" pathfinders, and 7th and 8th graders are often referred to as "Teen" Pathfinders.

The Teen Leadership Training (TLT) program works closely with the Pathfinder program and is for high school students (grades 9-12).

Staff positions are available in many locations that offer adults the opportunity to make a difference for young people, develop friendships with fellow staff, learn more about God's creation, and improve their training skills.

Our History

July 1997 – Simon Kenton Pathfinders founded with 17 members to develop a shared-use trail in Champaign County.

April 20, 1999 – Awarded $272,397 Transportation Enhancement Activity grant, in partnership with Champaign County commissioners, to construct Phase 1 of the Simon Kenton Trail (SKT) with 20% local match.

July 18, 2000 – Land for trail purchased with funds raised by Simon Kenton Pathfinders transferred from West Central Ohio Port Authority to the county commissioners.

July 1, 2001 – The first section of the Simon Kenton Trail is opened.

October 4, 2002 – Received $450,000 for Phase 2, in the first year of the Clean Ohio Trail Fund grant program. Simon Kenton Pathfinders raised the 25% match to extend the trail from Woodburn to County Line Road.

July 2003 – Simon Kenton Pathfinders purchased the old Pennsylvania Railroad Station, 644 Miami St., to restore and update the building for trail users and the community.

September 27, 2003 – Phase 2 completed as a partnership led by the Champaign County commissioners and including the Clark County commissioners, National Trails Park and Recreation District, City of Springfield, West Central Ohio Port Authority and Clark County Transportation Coordinating Committee.

October 17, 2004 – Completed 6.5 mile-section of Simon Kenton Trail in City of Urbana with $1.1 million in federal funds plus a $250,000 ODNR grant.

March 2005 – Simon Kenton Pathfinders sold the building to the City of Urbana so it could qualify for funds for renovation. The City received $544,000 from the Ohio Department of Transportation for restoration, repair, new restrooms, landscaping, sidewalks, and street lights.

Fall 2006 – Representatives of West Liberty and Bellefontaine met to join Simon Kenton Pathfinders and pursue connection of the trail to Logan County.

December 2006 – The City leased the depot to Simon Kenton Pathfinders.

April 15, 2007 – Depot opened to the public as a rest area, and Simon Kenton Pathfinders sub-leased space to the Depot Coffeehouse.

July 2007 – Simon Kenton Pathfinders installed bike lockers at the depot on Miami Street. Available for a one-year lease.

November 2007 – Began planning Phase 1 of the Urbana-Bellefontaine Connector of the Simon Kenton Trail (1.25 miles from the Urbana Depot to near Grimes Field airport), collaborating with the City of Urbana.

Fall 2011 – Entered partnership with the City of Bellefontaine to apply for a Clean Ohio Trail Fund grant from the ODNR to fund Phase 2 of the Bellefontaine Connector, the largest section of trail to be developed in Simon Kenton Pathfinders history: 16.8 miles.

June 2012 – Phase 1 of Northern Connector of Simon Kenton Trail completed.

December 2012 — Awarded $500,000 Clean Ohio Trail Fund grant with 25% local match ($300,000) for Phase 2 connector construction.

July 28, 2014. Started construction of Phase 2 of the Northern Connector

May 2015– Opening of trail extension to Bellefontaine. A Crushed aggregate trail.

2014 – Simon Kenton Pathfinders completed the construction of the 16-mile extension from the north corporation of Urbana to Carter Avenue in Bellefontaine. This 10 feet wide trail section was constructed utilizing crushed limestone which expanded recreational, social and economic benefits to the citizens of Champaign and Logan counties.

2017 – The Simon Kenton Pathfinders chipped/sealed a 2.13 mile section of the trail from the end of the present asphalt pavement (Urbana corporation line) north to S.R. 296 at a cost of $28,622.89.

2018 – A 2.30 miles section was chipped/sealed south from Carter Avenue in Bellefontaine to T.R. 199 and the parking lot at Carter Avenue at a cost of $29,017.20.

2019 – The final sections to be chipped/sealed consisted of 5.22 miles in Logan County from T.R. 199 to the Logan/Champaign county line and the bike trail parking lot, and ramp to access the trail at West liberty. This cost $61,261.63. The remaining 6.23 miles in Champaign County from S.R.296 north to the Champaign/Logan county line were completed at a cost of $72,654.74

This completed the entire 15.88 miles project of chip/sealing the trail (plus 2 parking lots and access ramp)from the end of the present asphalt pavement (Urbana Corporation line) north to Carter Avenue in Bellefontaine. The cost was $90,278.83 for 7.52 miles in Logan County and $101,277.63 for 8.36 miles in Champaign County. The grand total for the 15.88 miles was $191,556.46.

Nissan Pathfinder 1987 – 2017: A brief history

In the mid-1980s, compact pickup trucks were making major inroads in the United States truck market. With their affordable prices, favorable fuel economy and easy maneuverability, they were perfect for recreational use &ndash especially when topped with an aftermarket camper shell.

As Nissan was getting ready to launch a new generation of its pickup, which came to be called the "Hardbody" for its durable double-wall pickup bed and aggressive styling, the company rolled out a surprise &ndash a full-bodied SUV based on the new truck's platform. It was called, in the U.S., the Pathfinder.

Thirty years later, Pathfinder remains one of Nissan's best-known and popular nameplates. Following is a brief history as the new 2017 Pathfinder opens the next chapter of the iconic SUV's proud heritage.

First Generation (1987 - 1995)

Introduced in 1986 as a 1987 model, the two-door Pathfinder was a trend-setter, sharing its aggressive front end styling with the Hardbody pickup, including the three horizontal slots on the front edge of the hood. Underneath, the rugged body-on-frame platform proved popular with off-road enthusiasts &ndash especially combined with a relatively roomy and comfortable interior. Halfway through the first generation run (1990 model year), two rear doors were added &ndash complete with what became Pathfinder's signature "hidden" C-pillar mounted rear door handles.

Available engines included a base 2.4-liter 4-cylinder and a 3.0-liter V6 rated at 140 horsepower (145 as of 1988). From 1990 through the end of production, horsepower for the V6 was increased to 153 hp.

Second Generation (1996 - 2004)

For the 1996 model year, Pathfinder switched to a unibody platform and adopted new, more aerodynamic styling &ndash separating Pathfinder from the Nissan pickup design. Engine displacement grew to 3.3-liters and horsepower increased to 168 hp. Additional refinements in handling and ride were priorities, and strong sales followed as a result.

For the 2001 model year, Pathfinder switched to the 3.5-liter V6, part of the award winning VQ-series engine family. Producing 250 horsepower (with a five-speed manual, 240 horsepower for the automatic), the new engine was well received by consumers &ndash as were the family friendly interior features and technology, such as a Navigation system with a unique three-dimensional "Birdview" display.

Third Generation (2005 - 2012)

The third-generation Pathfinder made its world debut at the 2004 North American International Auto Show, along with new generations of the Frontier pickup and Xterra SUV. With the new 2005 model, Pathfinder returned to body-on-frame construction, using a modified version of the F-Alpha platform developed for the then-new Titan full-size pickup and Armada full-size SUV. A split fold-down 3rd row seat gave Pathfinder seven-passenger capability for the first time. Pathfinder celebrated its 25th anniversary with the 2011 model year.

The third generation's standard powerplant was a larger 4.0-liter V6 rated at 266 horsepower and a hefty 288 lb-ft of torque. For the 2008 model year, Pathfinder was available with a V8 engine for the first time &ndash borrowing the full-size Armada's 310-horsepower 5.6-liter V8. With 388 lb-ft of torque a Pathfinder V8 could tow up to 7,000 lbs. (when properly equipped).

Fourth Generation (2013 &ndash 2016)

With the introduction of the all-new 4th generation, Pathfinder provided capability with comfortable seating for seven, intuitive 4WD and 5000-pound standard towing capacity &ndash along with an unprecedented level of premium style, comfort, fuel economy and thoughtful technology.

Addressing buyers' desire for more efficiency in every aspect of their lives, the all-new 2013 Pathfinder utilized a refined new drivetrain featuring a 240 horsepower 3.5-liter DOHC V6 engine mated to a next-generation Xtronic transmission to help provide a 30 percent increase in combined City/Highway fuel economy over the previous V6-equipped 2012 Pathfinder model &ndash up to 27 MPG highway. Use of a unibody platform provided numerous benefits, including a flat floor for enhanced interior packaging flexibility and more space. Overall interior roominess increased by 8.4 cubic feet versus the previous Pathfinder design.

The fourth generation Pathfinder also introduced a long list of innovations, starting with its EZ Flex&trade Seating System with 5.5 inches of 2nd row seat travel for ease of entry and exit to the 3rd row. The 60/40-split 2nd row featured innovative LATCH AND GLIDE&trade technology that allowed forward movement and access to the 3rd row with a child safety seat remaining securely in place (on the passenger curb side).

2017 Pathfinder

Reborn for the 2017 model year with more adventure capability, more power and towing capability, a freshened exterior look and new available driver assistance technology features, the new 2017 Pathfinder takes the nameplate to the highest level of performance, technology and style ever.

Pathfinders: A Global History of Exploration

“Passion”, which Fernandez-Armesto says is what drove him to write Pathfinders, is not really evident in this work. So although it is full of intelligent and thought-provoking observations – I hadn’t realized, for example, that maritime exploration had almost always been limited to the direction against the prevailing winds (because it was at least as important to get home as to get anywhere new) – it has a rather academic flavour and can be a bit dense in places. Better than 3 stars though.

He s “Passion”, which Fernandez-Armesto says is what drove him to write Pathfinders, is not really evident in this work. So although it is full of intelligent and thought-provoking observations – I hadn’t realized, for example, that maritime exploration had almost always been limited to the direction against the prevailing winds (because it was at least as important to get home as to get anywhere new) – it has a rather academic flavour and can be a bit dense in places. Better than 3 stars though.

He starts from the very earliest days of human life with the “divergence” of peoples spreading out across the world, before launching into all the “convergences” that resulted from intentional exploration, beginning many thousand years BC with the first agricultural societies around Mesopotamia. In later chapters he deals with the development of the Silk Roads between China and Eurasia, the 15th century Portuguese and Spanish voyages, and so on right to the present day (or at least the last century when exploration of the known world was essentially complete).

Also, he says, he wanted to limit his narrative to this:

- which may explain the absence of certain explorers that, according to some other reviewers, should have been included.

But this is still a huge landscape, and in attempting to be so complete he has had to skim over so much that it’s at once excessively detailed but still feels like it misses too much.
For instance, he devotes many pages to the routes that the US railway pioneers explored from the Atlantic to the Pacific yet just one line to the corresponding trans-Siberian crossing.
Part of the problem may also be that he’s at his best on the renowned sea voyagers of the 15th to 18th centuries while the voyagers from earlier centuries are necessarily anonymous, so it’s impossible for him to treat every era in a similar way. And despite his intended limitation, he has thrown in a number of what one might call re-interpretations of earlier voyages - ones that follow in others’ footsteps – and explorations such as those to the Poles where there were certainly no “sundered peoples” to meet the explorers.

In short, a bit daunting and uneven, though Fernandez-Armesto is a good demolisher of myths and I did like one of his concluding remarks …

The ocean to be cross&aposd, the distant to be brought near,
The lands to be welded together.

-Walt Whitman

The stories of the great explorers have always enchanted me. I assumed they went off on their wild adventures simply for the heck of it all, but as this book makes clear, the main reason for the beginning of the &aposPathfinders&apos was to overcome the adverse balance of trade. Because China and the lands of the Indian Ocean provided silks and spices and gems, the Romans and later Europeans were the end The ocean to be cross'd, the distant to be brought near,
The lands to be welded together.

-Walt Whitman

The stories of the great explorers have always enchanted me. I assumed they went off on their wild adventures simply for the heck of it all, but as this book makes clear, the main reason for the beginning of the 'Pathfinders' was to overcome the adverse balance of trade. Because China and the lands of the Indian Ocean provided silks and spices and gems, the Romans and later Europeans were the end-consumers with a burning desire to control the sources.

This book looks at exploration from the ancient times, providing chapters on every corner of the globe. Each discovery is presented chronologically, so that we see mankind grow braver as the centuries roll on. The Polynesians were quite exceptional, as they developed a system of sailing against the wind, which sounds crazy. However, by doing this, the masters of the currents could ensure the ability to return quickly with the wind, which could be life-saving. Hawaii was a one-off discovery, which allowed its culture to develop in isolation until Mr. Cook came along.

What makes an explorer go through great perils? The Norwegians felt the answer was in man's threefold nature. One motive is fame, another curiosity, and a third is lust for gain. Magellan's famous voyage was barely survived (minus the leader) thanks to scurvy and absolute fear. Franklin's men died in the frozen wastes of the Arctic. Chinese explorers fought with dragons who spit wind. Mysterious demons were blamed for lost paths and treacherous reefs.

"We are in an unknown world and we stop for. blubber."

The book shows there were always disputes about priorities. Find new lands or exploit new lands. Or do both. Propaganda was used to build up dreams of glory, such as naming the southern tip of Africa, the 'Cape of Good Hope'. As anyone who has ever sailed in those wild seas filled with huge rogue waves would know, the name was a misnomer. The greatest ocean in the world was named the 'Pacific' so that the next set of explorers would believe it was a benevolent and glassy field of blue.

Patriotic pride exempts explorers from sanity.

The author does not hold back on occasional slipped-in thoughts about various countries and explorers.

1. "Cortes is overrated as a conqueror."

2. "The English tend to be self-congratulatory about their maritime traditions."

3. "England was a realm of lightly gilded savagery and serious underachievement."

4. The Lewis and Clark Expedition was a "heroic failure".

I am right in the middle as to my thoughts about this publication. The research is there and I did rather enjoy some of the revisionist razzing. But the writing feels academic and the weird orientations of the maps. disoriented me. I had to keep turning the book around to get a feel as to where I was when a map appeared. Still, I could not stop reading, hearing the sirens much as the sailors heard the seas.

"Stop staring at the sail and steer by the feel of the wind on your cheeks."

Book Season = Summer (broiling sun, no water, no land)

This wasn&apost quite the book I was expecting it to be, given the many quoted "hype" of its sales blurb, my expectations might perhaps have been raised a little too high. Pathfinders: A Global History of Exploration is undoubtedly an excellent, comprehensive, globe-spanning survey of the history of human migration from the earliest epochs to the more recent era of globalised colonial expansion driven by commercial and scientific motives. And it certainly distills a lot of information with an engagi This wasn't quite the book I was expecting it to be, given the many quoted "hype" of its sales blurb, my expectations might perhaps have been raised a little too high. Pathfinders: A Global History of Exploration is undoubtedly an excellent, comprehensive, globe-spanning survey of the history of human migration from the earliest epochs to the more recent era of globalised colonial expansion driven by commercial and scientific motives. And it certainly distills a lot of information with an engaging style which keeps the subject fresh and interesting throughout. Yet, I felt there are a few flaws worth highlighting which, for me at least, somewhat deflated the book's grandest plaudits.

Whilst it is inevitable that such a broad-ranging topic, covering such an extended time-period will necessarily or inadvertently omit some details, to miss out *any* discussion of female explorers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is very regrettable. There were many women who are worthy of note in this regard, for instance to name only a few: Mary Kinglsey, Isabella Bird, Amelia Edwards, Gertrude Bell, or Alexandra David-Neel. And even when writing about so-called 'travel writers' rather than bonafide explorers, mentioning Peter Fleming without even a passing reference to Ella Maillart seems quite an oversight. Hopefully this is a defect which could be rectified at some point in the future, given the book's success, if ever a revised edition is published.

Plus, (and this is not wholly a criticism) I found the chapters were oddly structured, seeming to start with a largely persuasive conclusion which is then followed by a sequential narrative of linked explorers' personalities/journeys to very deftly get the writer and reader chronologically from the A to B of the relevant time period. This does enable Fernandez-Armesto to lay-out some parallels and make some interesting comparisons which might not necessarily be so readily allied or immediately apparent in terms of geography or substance (this probably being the book's main virtue, and hence its 'global history' tag), but I would have liked it if he had returned to the points made at the start and dug a little deeper into them before closing off and moving swiftly on. That said though, this may well be how the book manages to maintain its remarkable sense of pace and forward momentum.

The book is filled with interesting illustrations, but the sketch maps accompanying parts of the text seem rather artificial devices/distractions, primarily aimed at prompting the reader to see the globe from a perspective which isn't bound to the standard north-point of a compass rose, yet sadly not giving enough geographical detail (i.e. - corresponding place names) to aid orientation with the main body of the text. There are admirably few typos throughout, and only a couple of surprising factual errors given the vast breadth of detail the book manages to encompass and include (for instance, a reference to a "Percy 'Jack' Fawcett" (p.386) - Percy and Jack Fawcett were actually two separate individuals Jack was Percy's eldest son, who also went missing with his father during their exploration of Brazil's Mato Grosso region in 1925).

Likewise, there are some curiously personal authorial asides which tend to jut out from an otherwise smoothly academic-style of presentation, such as Fernandez-Armesto's dismissal of the "gigantic folly of wasting billions of cash on space exploration" (p.399). As another reviewer here on Goodreads has pointed out, depending on your perspective, you could see this money as being much better spent in this pursuit rather than the billions+ which gets spent each year globally and locally on developing and stockpiling military armaments and hardware. Also, the rather glib final sentence quoting Monty Python similarly struck me as an oddly flippant note to end the book upon. That said though, as a 'native Briton', I did enjoy the acerbic veracity of the barb about the "self-congratulatory" traditions of early modern English maritime adventurers (p.219). I'm sure other nations do it too, but no sour grapes there, especially if (ironically) the UK is *primus inter pares* in that respect!

On the whole, not wanting my criticisms above to prejudice any prospective readers against it, this is an excellent book. It does give a very broad yet admirably comprehensive account of mankind's wanderlust for exploration on a global scale across the many epochs of human history and our socio-political evolution from the prehistoric era to the present, which is no mean feat! - From early hominid migrations, Viking explorers, Admiral Zheng He, Columbus, Magellan, and Captain Cook, to Lewis and Clark, Burton and Speke, Robert Falcon Scott, John Hemming, and Robin Hanbury-Tenison, Pathfinders manages, through a deft narrative and discursive synthesis, to make some interesting contrasts and parallels across both time and space giving the breadth of the subject a sense of unity in each of those two dimensions.

This book also clearly demonstrates how, in its later phases from the early modern period onwards, when global exploration seems to accelerate with rapidly advancing technology and scientific know-how, exploration predominantly became the preserve of white men but it also shows how in certain regions this was either led or assisted (both voluntarily and under violent compulsion) by local indigenous peoples. To give just a few examples it cites: Christopher Columbus kidnapping locals in the West Indies and compelling them to act as guides and pilots or when certain Mexican polities allied themselves with European Conquistadors in order to overthrow their regional-rivals, the Aztecs or the Polynesian navigator, Tupaia, who voluntarily joined Captain Cook's crew, and who was of pivotal assistance to Cook's exploration of the wider Pacific region. Yet sadly, as Fernandez-Armesto rightly points out, we are mostly left with the white man's record and perspective on such interactions and collaborations. Likewise, it is an unavoidably male-dominated history, for sure but this book would, without a doubt, have benefited from making this fact stand out more clearly by nuancing it with an examination of some of the foremost examples of female explorers, for instance as Gerry Kearns has done in a paper contrasting the nineteenth-century African expeditions, respectively led by Mary Kingsley and Halford Mackinder (cf. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Vol. 22, No. 4 (1997), pp. 450-472).

Generally it is a very well-written and accessible book which isn't overly burdened by academic jargon. Hence it is a highly enjoyable and similarly, a highly recommended read - good for both students of historical geography and for general-interest readers alike. . more

Armesto’s book is a complete travesty and a direct testimony of the deceitfulness of academics determined to spit on the greatness of European history, solely for the sake of enforcing a make-believe world of equality and racial mixing in the West.↓

Europe’s singular achievements are unbearably disconcerting to promoters of diversity and to white academic men who seek approval from their feminist colleagues. In the first page of Pathfinders, Armesto informs us that he will write
Armesto’s book is a complete travesty and a direct testimony of the deceitfulness of academics determined to spit on the greatness of European history, solely for the sake of enforcing a make-believe world of equality and racial mixing in the West.↓

Europe’s singular achievements are unbearably disconcerting to promoters of diversity and to white academic men who seek approval from their feminist colleagues. In the first page of Pathfinders, Armesto informs us that he will write about this subject as if he were an imaginary cosmic observer, not just any observer, but a ‘goddess’ standing on high with a gift for judging the affairs of men on earth:

Imagine a cosmic observer [Armesto], contemplating humankind from immensely remote space and time, seeing us with the kind of objectivity that we — who are enmeshed in our history — are unable to attain. Imagine asking her — for, perhaps on the basis of my own experience of home life, I see omniscience and omnipresence as female qualities — how she would characterize the history of our species on our planet. Imagine her answer.*

Armesto is happy and enthusiastic in his role as a goddess in the opening chapters as he recounts ‘the first trail finders’ from prehistoric times, the migrations of Lucy’s ‘descendants’ out of East Africa, the ‘communications’ between civilisations, the Polynesian exploration of the Pacific, and the navigators who learned to decode the monsoon system in the Indian Ocean. He really appeared to be offering us a survey ‘of humankind’s restless spirit,’ as a New York Times reviewer describes his book. It all seemed so global and ‘stirring’ — never mind that Armesto was confounding two very different subjects: migrations and explorations. Never mind either that the explorations of the Greeks and their invention of the science of geography and cartography were barely mentioned, and that the territorial expansion of the Mongols and the Silk Road trade were loosely defined as exploratory, while all European territorial and commercial expansions were left unmentioned. On the plus side, Armesto does afford his readers with lively anecdotes about a Japanese woman’s maritime diary.

But as his narrative reaches the modern era, with only European explorers holding centre stage and outperforming the Chinese, there is a conspicuous change in attitude toward the whole business of exploration. The goddess is noticeably upset. Indeed, just when the European voyages take on a more scientific and humane character the tenor of Pathfinders becomes extremely cynical and disparaging. Chapter 8, which deals with the period between 1740 and 1840, opens with this sentence: ‘What good came of all this exploration?’ After which Armesto uses Diderot’s words to denounce the ‘base motives’ that drove the explorers: the ‘tyranny, crime, ambition, misery, curiosity’. The most illustrious member of this emerging group of ‘criminal’ explorers was Captain Cook. But who really was Cook? Armesto merely notes a few facts about his voyages. The historical record shows that, on the contrary, Cook was part of a new breed of explorers that began to adopt more humane methods of exploration. As a young apprentice on a navy merchant ship, Cook applied himself to the study of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, navigation, and astronomy. During the course of his three legendary Pacific voyages between 1768 and 1779, Cook showed that New Holland and New Guinea are two separate lands or islands, dispelled belief in the long-imagined southern continent, discovered New Caledonia, charted Easter Island, and discovered the Hawaiian Islands. It is said that Cook explored more of the earth’s surface than any other man in history. His methods were ‘painstaking, practical, and humane,’ and he prided himself on feats achieved ‘without loss of life among his crew as in the discoveries themselves.’** Cook was undoubtedly a heroic figure filled with a zeal for greatness and adventure, a man with ‘indomitable courage.’ In his own words, what Cook wanted above all else was the ‘pleasure of being first’: to sail ‘not only farther than man has been before me but as far as I think it possible for man to go.’***

Armesto’s disapproving tone takes on a heightened character regarding the most benign forms of exploration, those to the Polar Regions and the interior of Africa during and after the 19th century. As he bluntly puts it at the end of Pathfinders, ‘almost all the explorers who have featured in this chapter [from 1850 to 2000] were failures… hampered by characteristic vices: amateurism, naivety… credulousness…bombast, mendacity… sheer incompetence’.* David Livingstone, arguably one of the greatest land explorers of all time, is portrayed as a buffoon:

Livingstone…had a strong sense of his own ‘Channel of Divine Power’, but how much of a missionary vocation he ever really had is doubtful. Notoriously, he is supposed only ever to have made one convert who soon reverted to paganism…He tackled slavers and Boers and intractable native chiefs with gusto…The expedition failed in all its objectives: no trade, no converts, no suitable sites for British colonization, no new geographical discoveries resulted…His meanderings took him nowhere useful.*

This is a shameless caricature. At the age of ten, Livingstone started working in a cotton mill for 12-hour days, while putting himself through medical school, later landing in Algoa Bay in 1841, and until his death thirty two years later in 1873. He travelled thousands of miles every year, for a total of about 30,000 miles (!), mostly alone, ‘a solitary white man with a nucleus of faithful [African] attendants’, enduring sickness and dangers of every kind, at times during the rainy season and even once desperately sick with dysentery. His legacy includes discovering the southern end of Lake Tanganyika, and the locations of Lake Mweru, Lake Bangweulu, Lake Nyasa and the Victoria Falls. Contrary to Armesto’s claim that his missionary efforts involved no compromises with Africans, he lived with them, learned their local language, vehemently condemning and working against the cruelty of the slave trade inside Africa.

Armesto has nothing to say about Ernest Shackleton’s incredible voyage to the South Pole, except that it was a ‘failure,’ ‘pointless.’ Of Henry Morton Stanley (1841–1904), the first European, and possibly the first person, to circumnavigate Lake Victoria, to connect the Lualaba River to the Congo River, and add many new place names to the map of Africa, Armesto simply says that Stanley did nothing worthwhile except ‘spent his patron’s wealth and his men’s lives with equal profligacy…Stanley worked for millionaires or governments.’

He describes Robert Peary’s identification of the location of the North Pole as an achievement that ‘was much disputed…unverifiable,’ ‘remains a matter of doubt.’* Armesto is equally dismissive of Amundsen’s explorations, describing them as futile, even though he was the first to traverse successfully the fabled Northwest Passage, where he learned from Inuit’s techniques, which he then used to become the first to reach the South Pole. According to Russell Potter, Amundsen’s achievements ‘stand unequalled.’**** But Armesto is not impressed: ‘Amundsen demonstrated the paradox of the Northwest Passage. The American Arctic was navigable between the Pacific and Atlantic — but uselessly so.’* (. )

** Whitfield, New Found Lands, p. 123.
*** Cited in Robin Hanbury-Tenison, ed., The Oxford Book of Exploration (Oxford University Press, 1993), pp. 490–503. This is an anthology of the writings of explorers.
****Russell Potter, ‘Roald Amundsen, A Burning Ambition to Reach the Poles,’ in The Great Explorers, p. 181.

Book Review: Why Church History Matters

Robert F. Rea, Why Church History Matters: An Invitation to Love and Learn from our Past. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2014. 231 pp. ISBN 978-0-8308-2819-7. Paperback, USD $20.00.

Most Seventh-day Adventist colleges have an undergraduate course or two on church history. Rea, a professor at Lincoln Christian University, argues that “Christianity is essentially historical” (16). Thus Christian colleges are justified in offering such courses in their department repertoire. Rea goes on to argue that by studying earlier Christians that it provides the student of history greater accountability. “The problem is this: when we ignore centuries of God-loving Christians and the rich well of resources that have passed on to us, sometimes ignoring even Scripture itself in the process, our perceived needs are often little more than mirrors of our fallen culture” (15).

The book is neatly divided into three parts. Part one covers how we understand the tradition (28-80), followed by a second section on expanding circles of inquiry (81-132), and completed by part three on tradition serving the church (133-190). A reflective essay on how to “celebrate the body of Christ” (191-194) along with a list of recommended resources for ministry (195-200) round out the volume. I personally found this last section extremely useful as I checked the holdings of my own institutional library to make sure that we have a well-rounded collection. There can be a tendency within institutional libraries of collections to reflect the whims of administration, faculty, and librarians. And just like book acquisitions, the student of history is reminded by studying the past that objectivity requires not just consulting authors who share your perspective. Ultimately objectivity, argues Rea, requires understanding those views different from your own (27-28). He agrees with C. S. Lewis that assuming that previous generation are inferior is nothing short of chronological snobbery (148).

A fundamental thesis of this volume is that it was not until the Protestant Reformation that a dichotomy was created between tradition and Scripture. He thus argues that Protestants minimize Christian history thus exhibiting a fundamental distrust of tradition (72). I would argue that certainly Protestants in general could do better about emphasizing such history, yet the real issue is that of authority. The author recognizes that the Reformers did not reject tradition outright, but rather that tradition could overturn tradition. The very diversity among Protestants, Rea argues, is evidence that the church must provide a proper interpretation of Scripture (65). Thus I wish the author had done a bit more in clarifying the role of tradition within Protestantism because the underlying problem is more a problem of authority rather than a neglect of the past. Protestants simply do not place the same authority that Roman Catholics and the Orthodox churches do upon tradition (although the author recognizes that for the Eastern Orthodox that they do not see any distinction between Scripture and tradition as superfluous [63-64]). He thus rightly notes that Protestants deny that tradition is revelation (73), yet many Protestants have provided rich and deep insights into Christian history. It appears that the author’s own biases in this regard shine through. Despite this, the author argues that church history provides a helpful corrective across time and space, even if it functions authoritatively in different ways for different Christian groups. Yet I could not help but desire a more nuanced analysis in this regard.

What I found valuable, particular for when I teach courses on research, are some of the pedagogical hints richly dispersed throughout the volume. Thus the author notes how teaching faculty do a disservice to their students when they teach their students to form their opinion first because it falsely implies that we can come to the text without any presuppositions. I find this one of the most common pitfalls in my teaching experience so far. Students tell me what they are going to argue before they have begun to examine the evidence. Such patterns have led to many false teachings in Christian history. Modern biblical students will benefit from the historic community because studying the past allows us to become more sensitive to the presuppositions and worldviews of those whom we study (90).

This is a helpful volume that belongs in religious library collections. It is a perceptive treatment that convincingly argues about the significance of Christian history. The author urges us to make friends across the centuries (190). “By studying the past we learn to be cautious. We could misunderstand God’s will and take a wrong position, sometimes with disastrous results” (187).

First In France: The World War II Pathfinder Who Led the Way on D-Day

His signature cigar between his lips, 101st Airborne Division pathfinder Frank Lillyman became the first American to set foot in Normandy on D-Day.

Michel de Trez/D-Day Publishing/ Colorized by Brian Walker

101st Airborne Division pathfinders and their headstrong leader set foot in a dark Normandy just 15 minutes into D-Day.

T he shadows were lengthening at England’s North Witham airfield on June 5, 1944, when an officer stepped down from a C-47 transport plane, a small case attached to his right wrist. Armed guards, who usually patrolled the airfield that lay 100 miles north of London, accompanied the officer into a building where he was met by 28-year-old Captain Frank Lillyman, a slightly-built New Yorker who often could be found with a wry smile and impish glint in his eye. Now he was all business.

The officer opened the case, pulled out a message, and handed it to Lillyman. Since December 1943 Lillyman had commanded the 101st Airborne Division’s pathfinders—paratroopers who jump in before the main assault force to mark drop zones. At last, after weeks of growing tension and restless anticipation, the top-secret orders from the division commander, Major General Maxwell D. Taylor, had arrived: D-Day was on. The drop was a go. “Get the men ready,” Lillyman told a sergeant then the message was burned.

Out of nowhere, it seemed, there appeared grinning Red Cross girls with hot coffee, a gaggle of cooing press photographers, a Signal Corps cameraman using rare color film, and several members of the 101st Airborne’s top brass, all present to witness the departure of the very first Americans to fight on D-Day—the spearhead of the Allied invasion.

There was playacting for the cameras, followed by nonchalant waves and friendly punches to buddies’ shoulders. A paratrooper did circles before a plane on a tiny motorized bike to much laughter. Then a medic gave Lillyman’s chain-smoking pathfinders “puke” pills in small cardboard boxes to combat airsickness, and bags in which to vomit. Some threw the pills away, not trusting them, wanting to be sharp, clearheaded, the moment they touched the ground in France.

With a guttural roar of engines, the C-47s that would carry them to the drop zones started warming up and the horsing around came to an end. Lillyman’s men—some carrying their body weight in equipment—clambered or were helped aboard the twin-propped aircraft, hastily daubed with black-and-white invasion stripes to distinguish them from enemy aircraft. Brown masking paper still covered some areas of the fuselage to protect them from the rush paint job.

Captain Lillyman, weighing in at all of 140 pounds, took his place beside the door of one of the C-47s, his customary stogie between his lips, wearing white leather gloves and a Tommy gun strapped to his left leg just above the M-3 trench knife, useful for slitting throats, attached to his shin. He would be the first American to leap into the darkness over Normandy—if they made it to the drop zone. None of the pathfinder aircraft were armed, none had any protection against antiaircraft fire, and there would be no escort to defend against enemy fighters. Once airborne, Lillyman and his men would be all on their own.

The pathfinders set to accompany Lillyman on the lead plane, their faces camouflaged for the night drop, gather before their C-47. (Courtesy Alex Kershaw)

IN THE PLANE’S COCKPIT was lead pilot Lieutenant Colonel Joel Crouch, known to all as “Colonel Joe.” The commander of the IX Troop Carrier Command’s pathfinder unit, Crouch, 33, was considered the best in his business, having previously been the lead pathfinder pilot for the invasion of Sicily in July 1943 and of mainland Italy a few months later. To his right was copilot Captain Vito Pedone, 22, who, like Crouch, had plenty of game. Behind them was navigator Captain William Culp, 25 one report called him “a square-jawed, thoughtful sort of man.”

It was 9:50 p.m. and the light was fading fast as Crouch’s C-47 lifted into the air, carrying the 18 men who would be the first Americans to drop into enemy-occupied France. In radio silence and bad weather, Crouch would lead two other planes in his flight in a “V” formation at low level. More flights, carrying 200 additional pathfinders, would follow. They would then set up radar and lights to guide a sky-train delivering an entire division of airborne troops. Any failure would jeopardize the entire invasion.

Exactly four minutes after takeoff, Crouch reported to ground control that he was on his way to France, making for the English Channel at 3,000 feet. A former pilot for United Air Lines who’d mostly flown along the West Coast before the war, he would soon be followed by scores of other planes carrying 6,600 men from the soon-to-become-legendary “Screaming Eagles.” He was now what one reporter called “the spearhead of the spearhead of the spearhead” of the D-Day invasion.

It was around 11:30 p.m. when Crouch saw the English Channel below—the cue, copilot Pedone recalled, to turn off the plane’s lights they would stay dark until the pathfinders had hit the drop zones and the C-47 was headed back over England. It was a sobering moment. Crouch knew that he and three-quarters of his fellow flyers could be killed or wounded over the next 60 minutes. That had been the prediction in planning.

The C-47 swooped toward the gray waves and leveled out in radio silence below 100 feet, engines throbbing as it flew undetected toward France, soon passing above a vast armada, flying so low it seemed to sailors below that it might actually clip the masts of some ships. Crouch’s only guides were two Royal Navy boats, positioned at prearranged spots in the Channel, shining green lights. After passing the second boat, Crouch turned his C-47 90 degrees to the left. The two other planes in his flight followed. France was now 60 miles away. Crouch spotted German searchlights stabbing the stormy skies from two of the Channel Islands, the sole British territory occupied, since 1940, by the Germans.

In the cargo hold behind Crouch, hunched up on folding seats, his passengers began singing, belting out drinking songs. The pathfinders sounded like they were headed to London for a wild weekend with some saucy “Piccadilly commandos,” not toward enemy territory. Bound to be among the loudest was their commanding officer—the fast-talking Captain Lillyman, who hailed from Skaneateles in upstate New York. Once described by a superior as an “arrogant smart-ass,” he was standing with a black cigar still clenched between his teeth in an open door at the rear of the shuddering plane. The cigar was, in his words, a “pet superstition.” Uncle Sam had thoughtfully issued him 12 a week, and he’d never jumped without one stuck between his lips.

Tonight, this night of nights, Lillyman and the other pathfinders aboard the C-47 would mark out Drop Zone A—one of six landing zones for American airborne troopsinland of Utah Beach. Seven amber lights, placed in a “T” shape and turned on when Lillyman gave the order, would indicate to later waves of pilots when to turn on the green jump light, in this case for arriving paratroopers of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment. Others in Lillyman’s group carried Eureka radar sets, which would send out signals to be picked up by the aircraft bringing in the main body of 101st Airborne.

Lillyman was in pain, having torn leg ligaments in a training jump four days earlier. Not wanting to miss D-Day, he’d tried his best to hide the injury. He looked down again at the whitecapped waves of the English Channel. A coastline appeared, and then the plane entered thick clouds.

They were over enemy territory.

Before long, Lillyman was staring at a patchwork of Norman fields, hedgerows, and old stone farm buildings bathed in the moonlight. Then Crouch began to follow a narrow road Lillyman could also see below, heading for Drop Zone A.

Lillyman stood up straight and ordered his men to get to their feet. To shed weight, many had dispensed with their reserve chutes, leaving them stuffed under their seats.

In the cockpit, navigator Culp told Crouch that they were close to the village of Saint-Germain-de-Varreville. Dark fields rushed past below. Crouch pulled back on the throttle, slowing the plane, cutting prop blast.

A green light flashed a few seconds later.

“Let’s go!” shouted Lillyman at the open door.

He then stepped out into the prop blast, followed by 17 others. Crouch noted the time as he dived low, heading back toward the English Channel. It was 12:15 on the morning of June 6, 1944—the most important day of the 20th century.

The first Americans had arrived in France.

Paratroopers en route to Normandy shield their eyes from a photographer’s flash dropping into the dark required acute night vision. (National Archives)

UNLIT CIGAR BETWEEN HIS LIPS, Lillyman drifted down from 450 feet at 16 feet per second, trying to spot a clearing as the earth rushed up to meet him. He pulled on his forward risers and a few seconds later touched down in a small field. After freeing himself of his parachute, Lillyman took off across the field. He thought he could see something moving in the shadows cast in the moonlight by tall poplar trees. Germans? He loaded a clip in his Tommy gun. There were shapes moving. Friend or foe? He used his “cricket,” a small metal signaling clacker.

He was about to open fire when he heard one of the shapes make a sound—a loud “moo.” The shapes were cows, and he laughed to himself and felt a little less nervous.

Some men replied with their crickets, and within minutes Lillyman had connected with seven of his group. Silently they examined maps and scouted the immediate vicinity in pairs. Lillyman soon realized he had been dropped more than a mile north of where he should be, but there was no time to get to the planned position for setting up lights. They had fewer than 30 minutes before the main body of troops would arrive, so Lillyman decided to use the nearest suitable fields.

Machine-gun fire suddenly broke the silence and Lillyman took cover as Germans, hidden in a hedgerow, fired several more bursts. He sent two men to “convince these Krauts of the errors of their ways,” as he put it, and soon heard a grenade go off with a “whumf,” and then everything was “lovely and quiet.”

Lillyman could make out a church, less than 100 yards away, at the center of Saint-Germain-de-Varreville, and soon he and his men had gathered in its graveyard. The church steeple would be an excellent spot for a Eureka set.

A priest came to the heavy wooden door at the main entrance. He looked afraid. One of Lillyman’s men, a young lieutenant, could speak French.

Bonsoir, padre,” he said. “You’ve just been liberated.”

The lieutenant explained what they were doing, and a Eureka set was soon in the steeple, as well as three others along a hedgerow near the church. The pathfinders laid out lights forming the “T” 200 yards to the east of the church, in a field beside a narrow lane. Then two men climbed a tree and put another Eureka set in the branches.

All they could do now was wait. But then Lillyman learned from a scout that there was a large farmhouse, seemingly occupied by Germans, close to a 20mm antiaircraft gun position that could wreak considerable havoc. “Two others and myself went to the house where we met a Frenchman smoking a pipe,” Lillyman remembered. “He was standing in the doorway. He jerked his thumb toward the stairs and said, ‘Boche.’ We caught one German, in a nice pair of white pajamas, in bed. We disposed of him and expropriated the bottle of champagne beside the bed.”

Lillyman made his way back to the church and waited anxiously for the sounds of engines. Time passed slowly, making for what he called the “longest minutes” of his life. At 12:40 a.m., he finally heard it—the steady drone of hundreds of planes to the north—and ordered his men to turn on the drop zone’s lights. “Those lights never looked so bright in training,” he recalled, “but that night they looked like searchlights. One light went out, and we had to rig an emergency connection. We were silhouetted against it for a few minutes.”

The first aircraft flew over the “T” that Lillyman’s men had placed on the ground. It was 12:57 a.m. The main body of American airborne troops had arrived.

Lillyman and his men located each other in the darkness by mid-June, when the photo above was taken, Lillyman (center) was famous. (Michel de Trez/D-Day Publishing)

BY 2 A.M. CROUCH AND PEDONE had returned to England, crossing the Channel in darkness, the flame-damper on their C-47’s exhaust helping to conceal their path through the moonlit clouds. They had been ordered, according to one report, to provide a detailed account to D-Day commander in chief General Dwight D. “Ike” Eisenhower, who had wanted “a first-hand assessment.” Pedone later remembered: “We reported to Eisenhower and told him the pathfinders did their job and explained what we saw.”

The pathfinders had indeed done their job, but it could hardly be described as a smashing success. It would later emerge that less than a third of the pathfinders had landed on their drop zones. In some cases, pilots had panicked under heavy flak and dived too low and too fast and released their human cargo too soon.

The pathfinder operation had, however, been less chaotic than the main drops that followed. Dozens of men had landed in flooded fields and drowned. Thousands were now enduring a long, lonely night of confusion and sometimes terror, snapping their “crickets,” hearts thumping, wondering if the sudden rustle in a bush had been made by a comrade or a teenage Nazi pumped up on amphetamine with dagger drawn. Lillyman’s own 502nd Regiment had been scattered far and wide, some men landing with a sound, recalled one paratrooper, “like large ripe pumpkins being thrown down to burst.”

Among the marshes and hedgerows of Normandy, Ike’s paratroopers were displaying plenty of bravery and devotion to duty. But it would be days before the 101st Airborne Division, or their fellow paratroopers in the 82nd Airborne, gained any semblance of unit cohesion.

By the time the shadows were lengthening on June 6, the three 101st Airborne regiments had been in France for more than 18 hours and were in urgent need of resupply. As part of an operation called Keokuk to provide personnel, heavy equipment, and supplies to the 101st, tow-planes lifted 32 British Horsa gliders from an airfield southwest of London. It was up to Lillyman and his pathfinders to mark the gliders’ landing zone.

Near a village called Hiesville, south of that morning’s position and still inland of Utah Beach, Lillyman located a field that had been cleared of defensive obstacles and was large enough to fit the gliders. As he and his men positioned Eureka sets, lights, and pots exuding green smoke that would guide the Horsa pilots, heavily camouflaged German troops infiltrated into neighboring fields. At just before 9 p.m. the Horsa gliders crossed Utah Beach, cut loose from their tow-planes, and aimed for Lillyman’s landing zone.

The Germans opened fire as the gliders swooped in toward land. Some pilots panicked and crashed into trees. Lillyman was running toward a smashed glider to help men get out when a bullet hit his arm. Someone shouted his name, and he looked at his sleeve and saw blood flowing. Then he collapsed as a piece of mortar shrapnel sliced his face.

Operation Keokuk was a success, boosting the morale of the troops on the ground. But Lillyman wasn’t around to see that. A medic treated him, and he was taken to an aid station and, after that, evacuated to a hospital in England. His wounds were far from life- threatening, but for Captain Frank Lillyman, D-Day was finally over.

Lillyman, though, wasn’t prepared to wait on the wrong side of the English Channel. A few days later, the captain went absent without permission from the hospital, determined to rejoin his men in Normandy. He wrangled his way onto a supply ship on June 14 and reported for duty back in France. News footage of the 101st Airborne in Normandy showed an ever-cocky Lillyman, already feted by the American press as the first American to land in France on D-Day, surrounded by his fellow Screaming Eagles, Tommy gun in hand, nonchalantly answering questions.

The 101st commanding general, Maxwell Taylor, having just encountered savage German resistance at Carentan, was apparently far from pleased to see his wayward, now-famous pathfinder. According to one report he “waved the papers for promotion under Lillyman’s nose and then ripped them up.” A few weeks later Lillyman paid the price for going AWOL and was ordered to change units, moving to the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment’s 3rd Battalion. His days as a swashbuckling pathfinder were over.

The 3rd Battalion was the right unit for someone eager to see action. He and his fellow Screaming Eagles in the 502nd Parachute Infantry were in the thick of it at Operation Market Garden—the Allied operation that fall intended to shorten the war by dropping a large force across the lower Rhine in Holland—and again at the Battle of the Bulge. When supplies ran desperately low for the ill-equipped defenders at Bastogne, none other than Lieutenant Colonel Joel Crouch, seated beside Captain Vito Pedone, piloted the lead plane on December 23 carrying pathfinders to mark the drop zones for ammunition and medical supplies.

By the end of that bitterly cold January 1945, the Allies had regained lost ground, and the Battle of the Bulge came to an end. As spring beckoned and the winter snows began to melt, advanced Allied armored units rolled toward the banks of Germany’s swollen Rhine River, the last major obstacle on the road to Berlin. On March 24, Colonel Crouch was back at the controls of a C-47, this time as the lead pilot for the 17th Airborne Division during Operation Varsity, an Allied assault across the Rhine—the largest airborne operation in history carried out in one place on one day.

Crouch would go on to enjoy a long and successful postwar career in the air, dying in Hawaii in 1997 at age 86.

In a photo that originally ran in Life magazine, Lillyman basks in a wish come true. Luxuriating at New York’s Hotel Pennsylvania, he, the caption informs us, “considers getting out of bed.” (Yale Joel/The Life Images Collection/Getty Images)

CAPTAIN FRANK LILLYMAN also survived the war and, in true Lillyman fashion, devised a headline-worthy homecoming. When not in combat, he had killed time scribbling letters, sketching, and fantasizing about a dream vacation he would take with his wife and young daughter Susan. After Lillyman returned to Skaneateles in the fall of 1945, he had a few drinks one night and wrote a letter to the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City after reading an advertisement promising special treatment for guests who were veterans.

“I’d like a suite that will face east,” jotted Lillyman, “and English-made tea that will be served to me in bed…. For breakfast, a fried egg with yolk pink and the white firm, coffee brewed in the room so I can smell it cooking…. No military title…“Mister” will be music to my ears….”

Lillyman also wanted a “grey-haired motherly maid” to look after his daughter while he ate lobster à la Newberg and filet mignon.

“Can you do it?” he challenged.

They sure could. A few weeks later, in November 1945, a concierge greeted Lillyman and his wife and Susan, then four, and assured them “everything was set.” Lillyman had turned up wearing his 12 wartime decorations—including the Distinguished Service Cross—and was soon enjoying a five-room suite, complete with a sideboard full of booze and a sunken bathtub. He was even photographed by the press lying in bed with a cooked breakfast, feted by Life magazine as the cheeky combat veteran cocky enough to ask for and receive the perfect homecoming.

Lillyman would stay in the army, retiring in 1968 as a lieutenant colonel. He died of a stroke in 1971 at Walter Reed Hospital at age 55 and was remembered in a New York Times obituary as a “dreamer” who had been “much honored as the first American paratrooper to drop behind German lines during the Normandy invasion in WWII.” ✯

This story was originally published in the August 2019 issue of World War II magazine. Subscribe here.


  1. Merewood

    What an entertaining topic

  2. Bliss

    And how in that case to act?

  3. Phil

    I believe you were wrong. I am able to prove it.

  4. Dennie

    The matchless theme, very much is pleasant to me :)

  5. Dagonet

    Endless discussion :)

  6. Derrick

    Wonderful, very useful phrase

  7. Grey

    Of course. And I ran into this. Let's discuss this issue. Here or at PM.

  8. Brently

    Don't tell me where I can find more information on this topic?

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