- Associated Press - Sunday, November 9, 2014

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - An amateur French historian has connected a Daytona Beach-area man with his soldier-father who died in World War II when the Florida man was just an infant.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal (https://bit.ly/1405JMK ) reported Sunday that Dave Phillips, 71, had spent decades trying to learn more about his father’s death before Jerome Postel provided some answers.

Postel works on irrigation systems in the French countryside and has found artifacts from members of the U.S. Army’s 29th Company, which fought in that area.

Postel reached out though Facebook and told Phillip’s that he had found his father’s mess kit. Phillips later traveled to France where he met Postel and visited his father’s grave.

Phillips said he was overwhelmed by the experience.

“To track exactly where they were fighting, it was like living history, it was like we were going through the events. In a way it was bringing me closure,” Phillips told the newspaper.

Through his research, Postel learned that Phillips’ father fought near Chateau de la Luzerne. He later adopted Phillips’ grave at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.

Postel he adopted Phillip’s grave because was part of the 29th Infantry, which also liberated his grandparents’ village on the same day Phillips was killed.

Shortly after Dave Phillips was born, his father was sent overseas at the height of World War II to fight the growing threat of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. At the age of 27,

David Phillips helped the Allies storm the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. From there he and his company encountered heavy resistance from the Germans, battling from hedgerow to hedgerow on their march to St. Lo, which was liberated on July 18, 1944.

It is not known exactly how Phillips died but it happened on July 15 near the French village of La Luzerne while his company was heading to St. Lo.


Information from: Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal, https://www.news-journalonline.com

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