One would be lead to believe that a medic for a particular side would only tend to their comrades. This is not the case however. This is the true story of two medics who tended to the wounded, regardless of sides. They were trying to save lives.
Jim Karpeichik and Tim Gray are two filmmakers from Rhode Island who were preparing to film another documentary in regards to the memories of WWII. One of their guides brought the men to a 12th century church. The guide looked down one particular set of pews and said, “Ah, there it is, after all these years.”
The guide gladly told the men of the story. The story began with the bloodstained pew and two American medics who, along with Airborne troops, were dropped into the village on June 6, 1944–the early hours of the Normandy D-Day. The battle became intense, almost instantly.
During the fighting, the two medics would risk their own lives to help the wounded, be they German or American. These two heros names were Robert E. Write and Kenneth J. Moore of the 101st Airborne Division.
Warwick Online reports that the medics had only one condition for help. The soldiers were to leave their weapons outside. It is reported that most had no issues with the policy except for one German officer. It was only until he came to the realization that if he did not give up the weapon, he would die. Needless to say, his gun stayed outside.
The filmmakers were riveted by the story. They believed that Americans needed to hear the story and they too would be captivated. While Americans may not know of the heroes, those in Angoville-au-Plain know of it. The village has a monument dedicated to the medics and the church itself has a stained glass window which the image of the 101st Airborne landed in Normandy. It also has another window that is dedicated solely to Write and Moore.
“Eagles of Mercy” will be the ninth WWII film that Karpeichik and Gray have worked on. Like the other films, this one does not utilize fantasy to create an engrossing tale. And, like other films they worked on, it is a matter of time to get the medics to give their first hand experiences of that time. The men were located and agreed to be interviewed
Some of the memories the men shared were quite compelling. One story was of a little boy, 9 years old, who was caught in the cross fire. The medics treated the boy and sent him to look for his family.
The wounded were placed on the pews to wait being treated. Even after 70 years, the blood stains are reminders of the kindness that people can have toward one another.
Karpeichik enlisted the use of local WWII re-enactors to bring authenticity to the movie. The re-enactors brought authentic uniforms from both sides to make the film that much more remarkable.
Karpeichik and Gray will be releasing the film on November 9th at the Showcase Cinema in Warwick at Division Street and Route 2. The show time is at 10 a.m.
After the premier of “Eagles of Mercy”, the two filmmakers will be working on their film about the B-17 bomber, “Damn Yankee”. This plane was piloted by Bruce Sundlun and unfortunately due to German fighters using anti-aircraft weapons shot the plane down, killing Sundlun and his crew.