Dedicated To The Memory Of

Stanley E. Edwards, Jr.
January 14, 1923 - April 4, 2004

Chicago Tribune Obituary

"D-Day And Beyond"
by Stanley E. Edwards, Jr. and Julie Phend

Get your copy of
D-Day And Beyond

Stanley E. Edwards, Jr., co-author of "D-Day and Beyond: A True Story of Escape and POW Survival", was born in Boston in 1923, but spent most of his early years in Chicago. He always loved airplanes and worked for a time at O'Hare field. In 1941 he enlisted in the army and attended flight school in Granada, Mississippi, before being sent to England prior to his D-Day mission.

He co-piloted a C-47-a (Serial # 42-23638) to drop paratroopers in the early hours of the invasion. The aircraft was named "LaVerda Belle" after pilot Lt. Hitztaler's wife. See the reports regarding the fate of the aircraft and crew. When his plane was shot down, he bailed out and landed alone in a field, separated from the rest of his crew. Luckily, he was able to hook up with a crew of paratroopers trying to fight their way back to the American troops. They were captured by the Germans, escaped and were re-captured three times before Stan was eventually sent to prison camp at Stalag Luft III.

After returning from the war, Stan married his sweetheart, Shirley Broecker, and they raised four daughters (Pat, Margaret, Kathleen, Elizabeth) in the Chicago area where he worked for International Harvester for 30 years.

He was an avid golfer and maintained his interest in WWII and flying all his life. A member of Former Prisoners of Stalag Luft III, he attended reunions and maintained contact with his fellow prisoners for 50 years.

As he says in the book, "I am bound to them by the extraordinary circumstances in which we found ourselves. And all of us know what it means to be grateful just to be alive. That's what I want to tell young people of today. Live while you can. Spend time with your loved ones. Make every day count. It's not what you accomplish in this life that matters - it's how you live it."

Stanley Edwards died in April, 2004, having lived a long and full life.

Photo of memorial plaque at crash site. Click the link below for a map.
It's off the northern side of the D146 down a dirt path next to a metal fence.

Crash Site Memorial Plaque

Includes a Google map and directions to (and pics of)
its exact location!

Address: D146, Rouville, 50-Manche,
               Basse Normandie, FR

GPS: 49.50444, -1.57417

49° 30' 15.984" N   1° 34' 27.012" W

Google "Stanley E. Edwards, Jr."

Danny's Reports

A few years ago, cousin Daniel Edwards was searching and came across many WWII reports mentioning our Uncle Stan. The bulk of the information on this site came from those reports, plus a CD acquired from the National Archives containing microfilmed Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) #6139. Without that discovery, this site would likely have remained a single page.
The BEST WAY to view the report is via the FLIPBOOK.

Final Flight Of #42-23638

is a summary of Stan's final mission, including maps, crew & paratroopers lists, and information about the aircraft in Stan's squadron (14th Troop Carrier Squadron.)

Video Re-Creations

were made using Google Earth views of the English countryside over which Stan flew (as near as could be determined.)

Squadron Formation Diagram

has a different summary of Stan's mission plus a formation diagram of all of the C-47s that flew that night in Serial 24 of "Mission Neptune-Boston".

Group Parking Diagram

shows where all of the C-47s were parked pre-mission at Grantham AFB at Barkston Heath, England. So if you get to the UK, you can stand on the spot Stan started from, as Tom Martin (see below) did for his father's aircraft.

Flight Path Map

shows the path Lt. "Bill" Hitztaler & Stan followed that night, including their intended destination and scheduled arrival times at various checkpoints along the way.

Tom Martin Info

Tom's father was Herschel Martin who flew in the 14th TC Squadron as the pilot of C-47 #42-92907. Tom has a boatload of information about the squadron which he is graciously sharing.

John Little Info

John's father (Col. J.R. Little, Jr.) flew a C-47 in the Marine Corps in the South Pacific. A conversation with Kathy Edwards led him to this site. He was able to pull up more information on Stan's plane and other C-47s that flew in Stan's squadron, including their history before and after D-Day. Really interesting to see where they ended up.

Over And Out Online (PDF)

is a story "dedicated to the 24 Men who flew in aircraft number 42-23638 on June 6, 1944", created by Brian N. Siddall. It goes into great detail recounting the fates of the crew and paratroopers on the way to France and what happened after they got there. Since this is a PDF (and doesn't have links to other pages), it will open in a new window. Close the window when done viewing.

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