TRIBUTE TO FRANK DE FELITTA PT. 11--"THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE"
Here, in honor of my father who was a veteran of the Second World War (he was a pilot in what was then known as the Army Air Corps) is one of his one-hour documentaries that he made for NBC in the 1960s. 'The Battle Of The Bulge" aired on the twentieth anniversery of the battle and remains a stirring and dynamic tribute to (and explanation of) this significant turning point in the bloodiest war the world has ever known. The film contains priceless footage of many of the significant participants in the war, including Generals Omar Bradley and Anthony McAuliffe--the latter was the general who famously replied "nuts!" when told by the Germans that he had no honorable choice but to surrender to them.
My father flew "troop carrier" missions, dropping parachuting fighters deep into the battle zones. Indeed, he participated in this battle and--astonishingly to me--wound up documenting it a mere twenty years later for national television. In 1996 at the Deauville Film Festival, I had the opportunity to mention the fact that he participated in the battle that liberated Bastogne and Northern France. The next morning I received a number of notes under my hotel room door. They were thank you's from the people who had lived there during the war, children then and now adults. They asked that I convey their deep appreciation for what the Allies did for the French. One of them recalled seeing the very planes that my father flew dropping troops and wrote that to their eyes, on that never to be forgotten day, the planes and the troops looked 'like God had arrived and was raining freedom upon us.' I've never been more proud of my father than when I read that note, written fifty-two years after the event.
Posted by Raymond De Felitta at 10:32 AM