Monday, July 15, 2013

Strange but True

Ok, so this is one of those weird sorts of things that happens to us all from time to time.  But it made me rock back in my chair and say "Weird!" so I thought I'd document it here.  I had previously decided to base my Bolt Action! troops on the US 29th Infantry Division.  There are a few reasons for my decision, but I won't go into them here.  For the past few days, I'd been doing a little research on the 29th looking for pics and unit markings, etc.  This morning I was trying to find pics of armor and other vehicles attached to the 29th in order to get an idea how to model them (I have a 1/48 Tamiya Sherman on order).  I learned the 747 Tank Battalion was attached to 29ID on D-Day.  Surprisingly, there appears to be little material readily available on 747 Tank Bn, considering the degree of engagement of 29ID.  Anyway, there was a book self-published in 1982 by 1LT Homer D Wilkes titled 747th Tank Bn-APO230.  According to one statistic I saw, there may have been fewer than 3000 copies printed.  After a bit of hunting, I was able to find a copy for sale in California.  I promptly ordered it and wait anxiously for its arrival.  Now comes the strange part.  Realizing the likelihood was slim, I began to wonder if Mr. Wilkes might still be alive.  A quick internet search revealed that, sadly, Mr. Wilkes died in 2001.  He is buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona - about a mile from where I live!  Weird!  I plan on paying my respects 1LT Wilkes - and bringing my copy of his book.