I am René van Oirschot (pronounced as Van Ohrshot) and from a very young age I have been interested in WWII history. I was fascinated as a child by the stories of my parents and grandparents shared with us at home in Holland. Stories of how my grandfather was in the Dutch army and mobilized in 1940 to defend our country. At the point of capitulation capitulation he was taken prisoner of war and held in a camp at Altengrabow (Germany). It must have been horrendous, as he did never wanted to talk about this experience as long as he lived.
During Operation Market Garden, the 101ste Airborne division picked their Drop Zone in the vincinity of the village I grew up. The Americans after the war left their vehicles behind, as this was cheaper than shipping them back to the US and my got involved in restoring them. This gave me the enthusiasm to research these vehicles and that is where I learned of this great military event. Since the age of ten it was always my ambition to own a Jeep and kept up a constant and enthusiastic approach to my research of the events of the D-Day landings. In later life I did buy the Jeep. This is still the Jeep we use these days for conducting private Jeep tours. I joined a re-enactment association who were very acytive in keeping WWII history alive. This association made it possible to meet a lot of WWII veterans and I attended lots of battle field tours with them telling us their stories. More than once, their own families where amazed by the stories they told us. Being at the exact spot, it brought the veterans back to where happened like yesterday. These stories we have heard first hand are part ofour presentation and to share these on our tour gives us great pleasure so we can honor the memory as the years go by. This decade we are in transition from remembering to history and sharing these these stories will keep the memory alive of ‘The Greatest Generation!’’
In 2004 “WWII Airborne Demonstration Team” cane to Sainte Mère Église for the 60th anniversary annual commemoration parachute jump. I witnessed this great event and was so determined to be part of this great historical re-enactment that I attended their jump school at Frederick, Oklahoma. There I learned to jumo, with full equipment jumping from a WWII C-47. I graduated and my proudest moment was to get my jump wings pinned on by WWII 501 PIR 101st Airborne Division veteran and friend Bobby Hunter (1924-2013) from Gunter, Texas. It was a pair of his original WWII jumpwings and I now wear them with pride on special occasions.
Before we moved to Sainte Mère Église I have been visiting Normandy numerous times over the years to build on my knowledge and to see first hand where and how the events happened here on the beaches. It was on one of these visits with my wife Monica that we met Ellwood von Siebold and were truly impressed with his touring company D-Day Battle Tours. We were both enraptured by his approach to telling this interesting and life changing D-Day story here where it happened. Ellwood was looking to a form of business alliance with enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides who could join him and be part of this truly remarkable event. We went on tours with Ellwood and since then I have conducted many tours of my own.
Monica and I are now working with Ellwood at D-Day Battle Tours and we are sharing the tours to give our clients an information and yet enjoyable experience walking the ground that those brave soldiers fought over our most precious good: Freedom!
René van Oirschot bc
I would like to thank all past clients who have contributed to the success of my dream and to say thank you for the many kind remarks on Trip Advisor
The objective of this tour is to provide you with a visit to the most significant area of the American military activity that took place on the 6th June These tours can be made up by single parties, individuals or groups.
The objective of this tour is to incorporate all of the most significant events of the D-Day tour into a schedule
Private tours bring a special focus to your tour with D Day Battletours and provide the ultimate in experience and satisfaction Experience has shown that the majority of clients have chosen Private Tours.
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