Joseph Lane, of Amherst, New York, is the son of a U.S. Army veteran who participated in an important battle, Dornot Bridgehead, to liberate Eastern France from the Germans during World War II.
“Every year since WWII, the French citizens of Dornot and Corny have commemorated the brave Americans who fought and died there,” Lane said.
“Older people share their parent’s first-hand accounts of life under Nazi occupation.
“Younger men, like Arnaud dal Pian, represent a third generation determined to continue the tradition, find and honor found GI relics, and never forget.
“As the son of a First Lieutenant, who earned the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, who’s heavy weapons platoon held the left flank of the Horseshoe Wood against repeated infantry/armor attacks, I was proud to meet these fine people and share in their solemn ceremony.
“I have been to France several times to participate in honoring the fallen there,” Lane said.
“One young Frenchman (Arnaud dal Pian) who participates in reenactments, sent me a photo of him in an attic holding up a dusty GI sweater bearing the name Roy B. Gentry,” Lane said.
The sweater also carried Gentry’s service number.
Gentry served in 19th Field Artillery Battalion and was born in Wyoming County in 1922.
Lane hopes to connect Gentry’s family to the young Frenchman who found the sweater.
There were two servicemen named Roy B. Gentry from Wyoming County and served in World War II. The two, however, were born in different years.
The sweater belongs to the Gentry who enlisted in 1940 in Kentucky at the age of 18. He was single at the time and had three years of high school before enlisting.
In 1944, Gentry was wounded during battle and spent less than a month in a military hospital.
Lane believes that battle could have been Dornot Bridgehead.
“Mr. Gentry must have been serving with a unit affiliated with my father’s 11th Infantry regiment, possibly during that Dornot Bridgehead battle, as part of the 5th Infantry (Red Diamond) division,” Lane said.
“Your Roy B. Gentry won the Silver Star, which is one of the highest medals awarded for heroism, so it would be wonderful to know the details behind that medal which would now only be found on the original citation.”
Lane hopes someone in Gentry’s family still has the citation.
Anyone with information concerning Gentry is urged to phone 304-890-0086 or email email@example.com.