On Monday the Mail and other newspapers reported the sad death of Joe Ekins. On the 8th
You can hear Joe in a Veteran Podcast describing his encounter with Wittmann on the Tank Museum website.
I never had the pleasure to meet Joe but in all the TV interviews he gave he always seems to be an especially self effacing and humble man. Another hero has gone and we are left just a little bit poorer for his passing.
*[Apologies folks, a typo got through the net! Wittmann was killed on 8 August 1944 while taking part in a counterattack ordered by Kurt Meyer of the 12th SS Panzer Division, to retake the tactically important high ground near the town of Saint-Aignan-de-Cramesnil.]
He would have been a great man to sit and talk to over a few drinks. RIP.ReplyDelete
The real heroes are like that I think. RIP indeed.ReplyDelete
I've met quite a few Normandy Veteran's over the years and I'd always hoped that one day I'd get a chance to shake Joe's hand and say "thanks". We owe his generation a huge debt.ReplyDelete
Sleep well, Joe.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing. God speed, Joe. A thank you is never enough for all that his generation accomplished. RIP.ReplyDelete
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Very good write-up and thank you very much for sharing this.ReplyDelete
I agree very much about your take on the world owing that generation so much. In my area there is a local air force museum (Hill Air Force Base museum http://www.hill.af.mil/library/museum) and as a volunteer there I've met so many amazing vets, guys like Joe. Who did unimaginably heroic, gut wrenching, often unknown, unappreciated, yet of epic importance during the war. They returned home to populations (especially here in the US) who didn't fully appreciate just what they'd done. They mostly went back to lives similar to those they'd let before the war.
They were never thanked properly, I don't even know if a proper thanks would have been possible, but those weren't the kind of people those guys were anyway. They did what had to be done and they'd all tell you "I wasn't a hero ... it was the guys who didn't come back that were the heroes" things like that. They really were the greatest generation I think. It is sad they have to go ... oh but for more like them ...
RIP Joe and RIP to all those unsung heroes like Joe ...
Very well said. I've never met a Veteran who thought he was a hero. But when they tell their stories I'm usually sitting there thinking "I could never do that".Delete
Always sad to hear of such blokes passing.ReplyDelete
(BTW I think it should read August not November for his Wittmann exploit)
Ooopskie! I've corrected the typo now, thanks for pointing it out to me. Its amazing that no matter how many times I proof read before publishing some glaring errors still end up getting posted! I must be getting senile...Delete
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