Any person who has ever stepped foot on a battlefield is in their own right – a warrior, a legend, but for some like WWIIs Robert E. Wright, the legend lives on and on. Recently, the Armed Forces History Museum in Largo, FL was honored to have Robert E. Wright visit the museum. Mr. Wright toured the museum in his medic jacket which proudly held all his military awards, medals, citations and accomplishments. It was a heartfelt moment and Mr. Wright’s pride could be felt by all.
The Drop Into Normandy
On the evening of June 6, 1944, members of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions began to parachute into Normandy. Robert Wright – a member of the 101st - was among the 13,100 paratroopers that night. They were successfully placed behind the exits to Utah Beach, where their objective was to cut off the main road near the small town of Angoville-au-Plain.
Robert E. Wright and Kenneth Moore - both medics with the 501st - entered the small town and began posting medical signs around a local 11th century church, establishing it as the hospital to treat the wounded. In addition to attending to the unending line of wounded, the two would often have to go out and search the fields for the injured and bring them back to the church for medical attention. One evening, German soldiers kicked the door of the church open, but quickly left after seeing Wright and Moore were also treating German soldiers, without any prejudice.
Three Long Days
The next three days, the village changed hands several times. At one point, Wright and Moore were told the American’s would be leaving the area and the two would be left behind with the wounded. Battle raged outside in the church yard, but the two continued to tend to the wounded, saving countless lives. Their work was endless and even compounded when a mortar hit the church causing additional wounds to those already being treated.
A couple days after setting up the hospital, two German soldiers descended from the church tower, though armed, they quickly made known their intent to surrender. Prior to this, Wright and Moore had no idea they had been inside the church.
The Memory Lives On
Finally, on the June 8, 1944, the fighting came to an end. Each man eventually received a Silver Star for their service. Almost 70 years, later, the town of Angoville-au-Plain and the church still remember the courage and the humanitarian efforts of Robert Wright and Kenneth Moore. They have erected a memorial honoring these two brave warriors. If one reads closely, they will see that the efforts of Robert Wright and Kenneth Moore went beyond wounded soldiers; they are also accredited with saving the life of a young child.
After his actions in Normandy, this young WWII soldier, Robert E. Wright, went on to receive a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart in Holland, two Purple Hearts in Bastogne and 2 Presidential Citations.