Angels of Mercy: Two Screaming Eagle Medics in Angoville-au-Plain on D-Day

Untitled.jpg2The story of two 101st Airborne Screaming Eagle Medics on D-Day, June 6th, 1944. In Angoville-au-Plain, a small village between Utah Beach and Carentan, two medics treated over eighty casualties – American, German and French inside a 12th Century church. The book covers these events and also the history of the village throughout WWII.

Internationally recognized D-Day historian and tour guide Paul Woodadge vividly tells the riveting story about Angoville-au-Plain, the French hamlet where one of the most inspirational stories from June 6 1944 took place. After landing in the middle of the night, off-target and without their equipment, American medics Bob Wright and Kenneth Moore, made their separate ways to Angoville-au-Plain and established an aid station in the town church where, over three days, they treated over 80 soldiers from both sides and faced down death repeatedly. The book reads as if Dashiell Hammett was a historian, as Paul gives life to the men who fought there, the desperate and brave townspeople who woke one night to fighting in their midst and even the thousand year old church that served as the aid station and whose pews are still stained by the blood of the wounded. In the end, amidst the brutal combat, Paul has delivered a touching book about the people themselves: the men, women and children who made and, gratefully, shared, the history. This is an absolute must read by itself for the messages of humanity and sacrifice, and is invaluable for any historian trying to better understand the desperate fighting of those early days in June 1944.

Some reviews:

From the Back Cover

“Paul Woodadge has a laser-like instinct for detail. As one of the world’s foremost battlefield experts, he knows every nook and cranny of Normandy. Brilliantly illuminated and well-researched, Angels of Mercy tells a previously lost chapter of WWII history. The book is a great read that captures the stories of the participants and honors their valiant efforts.” – Patrick K. O’Donnell – DOG COMPANY: THE BOYS OF POINTE DU HOC
“A fascinating look at a heroic action in WWII by the best battlefield guide in the business.”

“Paul Woodadge brings those desperate days of June 1944 in Normandy to life again in this fascinating and moving tale. This is intimate history, as the participants experienced it, American, German, and French, written by one of our finest battlefield experts. If you want to know something about what the Normandy fighting was really like, you should read this book.” – John C. McManus – THE AMERICANS AT D-DAY and THE AMERICANS AT NORMANDY

“This well-researched book describes in great detail, the bloody losses sustained by paratroopers of the second battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, of the 101st Airborne Division, in the first crucial 48 hours of the D-day Invasion. The efforts of this battalion succeeded in halting and disrupting German forces east of Saint-Côme-du-Mont, France. Their heroic sacrifices prevented substantial German reinforcements from attacking the US sea-borne units, which were debarking on Utah Beach. Paul Woodadge’s vivid account brings to light a series of actions, by medics and combatants alike, which have been too-long ignored in previous WWII literature.” -Mark Bando –  VANGUARD OF THE CRUSADE and AVENGING EAGLES

 “The level of detail is something impressive, and as I see it is priceless because you, and almost no one else, are in a position to write this book, given your familiarity with the locals, the terrain, and the vets, and now that you have it’s a very valuable addition to the literature of Normandy.”

“This is the story of one of D-Day’s most inspirational battles; one set in a church and fought by two American medics. In this fresh and powerful book, Paul Woodadge gives a voice to old heroes and a soul to one of World War II’s holiest of sites, the church at Angoville-au-Plain.” -Adam Makos – A HIGHER CALL

“This is an absolute must read by itself for the messages of humanity and sacrifice, and is invaluable for any historian trying to better understand the desperate fighting of those early days in June 1944” – Dalton Einhorn –  TOCCOA TO THE EAGLES’S NEST

About the Author

Paul Woodadge has been a regular visitor to Normandy since 1986, having been told tales of the invasion by his late great uncle, Cyril, who landed on Sword Beach on D-Day as an officer in the Royal Ulster Rifles . Prior to moving to Normandy in 2001, Paul was involved in WWII history in numerous ways. For twenty years he was a WWII re-enactor and living historian travelling to and organizing events all over England as well as in France and the Netherlands. He was also the owner of two WWII military vehicles, a British Morris C8 1944 cargo truck, and with his father, an American White Scout Car. Paul was also an active associate member of several WWII veterans’ associations. Since establishing himself in Normandy, Paul has become internationally regarded as both a battlefield guide and also as a “friend of the WWII veterans.” Paul’s passion and enthusiasm for showing people the historic sites in Normandy has made him the “go to guy” for many organizations and fellow historians around the world. Between 2002 and 2010, together with his wife, Myriam, Paul ran the highly successful D-Day tour company – “Battlebus.” A large scale operation with multiple guiding staff and five minibuses, Battlebus was a five day a week, three hundred sixty-five day a year, business. Ultimately, the administrative side of the business was keeping Paul from guiding and writing, and with some members of the guide staff moving on to new ventures, Paul decided it was time return to his roots and concentrate again on guiding his own tours. Running Battlebus was an honor and to have taken so many thousands of people on tours was greatly rewarding; however, since the beginning of 2011 Paul has returned to working as an independent guide or “Site-Specific Historian” as he prefers to be known. 2011 and 2012 also saw him work for the BBC in the UK on a series called “Dig WW2” and continuing as a consultant to authors, galleries, and a high profile WWII foundation in the U.S.

You can buy Paul’s book here:



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