Frank Riesinger, a Broken Arrow World War II veteran is on a historical expedition in the Netherlands this week. He is joined on this venture by Dale Lindley who is with the Liberty Jump Team, an organization dedicated to ensuring that U.S. Military Veterans are continued to be honored and not forgotten.
Operation Market Garden and Remembrance by Stitching Netherlands-America has put together a 12-day trip, honoring the history of WWII. Riesinger and Lindley will be joined by nine veterans from the United States and eight veterans from the United Kingdom.
“This trip allows me to serve those veterans that are the greatest generation. The generation that is quickly disappearing,” said Lindley.
The group has visited important landmarks, museums, memorials, and a concentration camp, and experienced reenactments all connected to the 2nd World War and Operation Market Garden .
Operation Market Garden was an Allied military operation during the Second World War that was fought in the Netherlands from Sept. 17-25, 1944. The mission was to create a 64-mile salient with a bridgehead over River Rhine creating a direct invasion route for U.S. and British airborne forces to advance into northern Germany, which was Nazi territory at the time.
Ultimately, the history books describe Operation Market Garden as both a victory and a loss. Dutch cities, Eindhoven and Nijmegen, and several other towns were liberated by the allied forces. However, when troops failed to overtake the bridgehead over the Rhine, it cut short their path to victory.
“Frank was asked to be on this trip to the Operation Market Garden celebrations because he is representing all those that were in the service, training to fight the Nazis in Europe and the Japanese in the Pacific, and did not get to go fight,” said Lindley.
In the 1940s Frank Riesinger was just 18 and training to be a B-29 navigator in the U.S. Air Corps. He was willing and ready to fight for our country and for universal freedom. Riesinger was back in Tulsa on furlough when V-J Day happened on Aug.15, 1945, which was the end of the 2nd World War. Riesinger says this trip to the Netherlands has meant everything to him.
“We’re celebrating what our troops did here back 77 years ago. I’ve heard all of the stories of those who were here and fought here. And hearing those stories from those who were in action here has been very exciting,” said Riesinger. “It’s been a wonderful trip. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. Every day has been exciting. Every hour and every minute has been exciting.”
Riesinger’s best part of his trip was when he got to lead the 101st Army Band at the Airborne Memorial. “I was thrilled!”
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