One-Eyed Kate

Kate is one of those stories I couldn’t resist putting in the next book Where Did They Burn the Last Grand Master of the Knights Templar? A Walking Tour of Medieval Paris. While she lived in the 17th-century—more than 100 years after the end of the Middle Ages—Kate was in the right place at the right time.

RUE FRANÇOIS MIRON

I learned about Kate while researching one of the streets in the historical district: Rue François Miron.

If you start at the Place de la Bastille and walk due west, you’ll be following Rue Saint-Antoine. Just before the Métro St. Paul, the road splits: Rue Saint-Antoine becomes Rue de Rivoli—the northern split; and Rue François Miron—the southern split. Rue de Rivoli did not exist until Napoléon’s rule and then finished off in the mid-19th century when it was completed by Baron Haussmann.

For centuries Rue Saint-Antoine and its western extension, Rue François Miron, was the primary east-west route through the city. You would enter Paris from the east through the Porte Saint-Antoine next to the Bastille and then proceed west until you got to the city’s center near the Hôtel de Ville and Place de Grève. During the Middle Ages, this major street was called Rue du Cimetière Saint-Gervais.

11 & 13, rue François Miron. Photo by GFreihalter (2011). PD-CCA Share Alike 3.0 Unported. Wikimedia Commons.

11 & 13, rue François Miron. Photo by GFreihalter (2011). PD-CCA Share Alike 3.0 Unported. Wikimedia Commons.

  • 11, rue François Miron: known as the Maison à Penseigne du Faucheur (the house with the sign of the reaper).
  • 13, rue François Miron: known as the Maison à l’enseigne du Mouton (the house with the sign of the sheep).

The names of houses referred to hand-painted signs dating to the 13th-century. Such signs typically identified houses rather than house numbers. These 15th-century houses have undergone extensive renovation. Historians acknowledge the changes were made post-Middle Ages but they give you a sense of what a typical medieval house might have looked like.

  • Maison d’Ourscamp: 44, rue François Miron. Photo by Alessia Smaniotto (2011). PD-CCA Share Alike 3.0 Unported. Wikimedia Commons.

    Maison d’Ourscamp: 44, rue François Miron. Photo by Alessia Smaniotto (2011). PD-CCA Share Alike 3.0 Unported. Wikimedia Commons.

    44, rue François Miron: This building is Maison d’Ourscamp, constructed in 1585. Today it houses the local preservation organization. The building’s foundations are from the original structure constructed in 1255. The 13th-century cellar still exists and if you’re nice to the folks inside, they might let you go down into the small hole in the floor that leads to the cellar.

  • Front of Hôtel de Beauvais. Photo by br (2007). PD-Author Permission. Wikimedia Commons.

    Front of Hôtel de Beauvais. Photo by br (2007). PD-Author Permission. Wikimedia Commons.

    68, rue François Miron: The former residence known as Hôtel de Beauvais. It is now used by a public agency and has limited access.

CATHERINE BELLIER

Catherine Bellier (1614–1689), otherwise known as “One-eyed Kate,” was the lady’s maid for Queen Anne of Austria. Anne was the mother of the young French king, Louis XIV. Catherine, in her forties, taught the 16-year-old king the ways around a bed, and to show her appreciation, Queen Anne gave her the land upon which Catherine and her husband, Pierre de Beauvais, built the large Hôtel de Beauvais (68, rue François Miron). This marvelous mansion was built on the site of a former 13th-century townhouse used by visiting monks of the Cistercian Abbey of Challis.

Engraving of the façade of the Hôtel de Beauvais. Procession of King Louis XIV and Maria Thérèsa. Engraving by Jean Marot (c. 1660). Photo by Siren-Com (2010) PD-Art/PD-CCA Share Alike 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Engraving of the façade of the Hôtel de Beauvais. Procession of King Louis XIV and Maria Thérèsa. Engraving by Jean Marot (c. 1660). Photo by Siren-Com (2010) PD-Art/PD-CCA Share Alike 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

On 26 August 1660, the 22-year-old king and his new bride, Marie-Thérèsa of Spain, entered the city and traveled down Rue Saint-Antoine and Rue François Miron—right past this building. Facing the building, you will see the original balcony directly above the entrance. The Queen Mother, One-eyed Kate, and Queen Henrietta of England (her husband, King Charles I, had his head cut off 11 years earlier) stood on this very balcony to watch Louis XIV and his procession stop in front to salute his mother before moving on. Take a close look at the stones used to build this mansion. They were left over from one of the Louvre’s construction periods.

Hotel de Beauvais. Stone relief caricature of Catherine Bellier. Photo by Siren-Com (2010). PD-CCA Share Alike 3.0 Unported. Wikimedia Commons.

Hotel de Beauvais. Stone relief caricature of Catherine Bellier. Photo by Siren-Com (2010). PD-CCA Share Alike 3.0 Unported. Wikimedia Commons.

One-eyed Kate was broke at the time of her death. Her son sold the Hôtel de Beauvais to pay her debts. A little over a hundred years later, the seven-year-old music prodigy, Mozart, stayed here. His second-floor room overlooked Rue François Miron.

PARIS STREETS

The history of Parisian streets is fascinating. From Roman times to Haussmann’s reconstruction (mid-19th century), the streets have changed names and direction. New streets have been constructed and old streets destroyed. Many streets provided Paris citizens with blockade positions and ammunition (e.g., cobblestones) during protests, revolutions, and foreign invasions.

I have yet to find a definitive and comprehensive history of Paris streets. Perhaps it is a topic for a future book? What do you think?

SOMEONE IS READING OUR BLOGS

I’d like to thank Kenn P. for his kind comments concerning our first series of walking tour books, Where Did They Put the Guillotine? Kenn purchased both volumes and wrote a very nice review on Amazon. His story about how his daughter got turned onto history after reading the books was very cool. You can read his comments on Amazon or as the testimonial on the back cover of the new book Where Did They Burn the Last Grand Master? A Walking Tour of Medieval Paris.

We need your help

Please tell your friends about our blog site and encourage them to visit and subscribe. Sandy and I are trying to increase our audience and we need your help through your friends and social media followers.

What’s New With Sandy and Stew?

We have worked with some extremely talented people to come up with our new logo. It was necessary to brand Stew Ross, the author as opposed to the corporate entity, Yooper Publications. I hope you like the Stew Ross Discovers™ logo:Stew_Ross_Logo_CMYK

We’ve also tried to refine our tag line to more accurately reflect our product:

WALKS THROUGH HISTORY

As part of this refreshing process, we will be working on our blog site to ensure it is updated, professional, easy to navigate, and contains relevant content.

GUIDRR has recently published Stew’s newest Guide: a driving tour around Franklin, Tennessee based on the Battle of Franklin. All proceeds will be donated to the Battlefield Trust organization. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration and preservation of the Franklin Battle sites.

We have a lot of stories and we’re looking forward to sharing these with you. Please continue to visit our blog site and perhaps you’d like to subscribe so that you don’t miss out on our blog posts, past and current.

GUIDRR GUIDES

The GUIDRR app can be downloaded for free. Individual Guides can be purchased on an in-app basis. At this time, Guidrr is only supported by Apple and the iPhone.

Here are some of my Guides that can be purchased:

Published:

The Curse of the Knights Templar

Marie Antoinette’s Last Ride

The Passage of the Queen of Hungary

The Murders in the Rue Paris

Creepy Paris Attractions

A Walk Through Versailles Village: The Estates-General

Historic Nashville: Battle of Franklin

Coming Soon:

Historic Nashville: Battle of Nashville

Amazing Women of Historic Nashville

Historic Sites of Nashville

Deportations and Liberation: Paris

Cruising Norway’s Fjords

Amsterdam and a Rijsttafel

Find Stew’s books on Amazon and iBooks.

Thank You

Sandy and I appreciate you visiting with us. We have some exciting things on the horizon and we’ll keep you updated as we go along.

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Please note that we do not and will not take compensation from individuals or companies mentioned or promoted in the blogs.

Copyright © 2016 Stew Ross

Flowers, Birds, a Jewish Community, and a Murder

FLOWERS AND BIRDS

Inside a shop – Marché aux Fleurs de Paris. Photo by Yannick Bammert (2010). PD-CCA 2.0 Generic. Wikimedia Commons.

Inside a shop – Marché aux Fleurs de Paris. Photo by Yannick Bammert (2010). PD-CCA 2.0 Generic. Wikimedia Commons.

In the middle of an island (Île de la Cité) in the middle of the Seine River (France) and in the heart of Paris sits a flower market. It is called the Marché aux Fleurs and you can visit it every day of the week. That is, except on Sunday when it is transformed into the Marché aux Oiseaux (bird market). The market has been in operation since 1808—more than 200 years ago—a very short amount of time when putting it into perspective with the history of Paris.

A JEWISH COMMUNITY

Almost a thousand years ago, this small plot of land was home to the Jewish population of Paris. It was considered one of the first Jewish quarters (or ghettos) in Paris. Today we think of the Marais District as the heart of the contemporary Parisian Jewish community with streets such as Rue Pavée, Rue des Rosiers, Rue des Ecouffes (often used as a derisive word for pawnbroker), and Rue Ferdinand Duval (a.k.a. Rue des Juifs—Street of the Jews—until 1900).

Quai de la Corse and Louis-Lépine place - Paris. Photo by Mbzt (2011). PD-CCA 3.0 Unported. Wikimedia Commons.

Quai de la Corse and Louis-Lépine place – Paris. Photo by Mbzt (2011). PD-CCA 3.0 Unported. Wikimedia Commons.

The twelfth century Jewish community on the Île de la Cité was bounded by Rue de la Cité (then known as Rue des Juifs: different street than the one in the Marais), the Quai de la Corse, and Rue de Lutèce. A 12th-century synagogue stood on this site. Small Jewish communities began here during the 10th- and 11th-centuries. Eventually, several communities settled on the Left Bank. One was located on Rue de la Harpe, bounded by Rue de la Huchette and Rue Saint-Séverin. Another Jewish community was located on Rue de la Vielle Juiverie (Old Jewry Street—no longer in existence). Two Jewish cemeteries were once located at the corner of Boulevard Saint-Michel and Rue Monsieur-le-Prince as well as the corner of Rue Pierre-Sarazin and Boulevard Saint-Michel. Each met the same fate as all municipal cemeteries—shut down with their occupants ending up in the Paris Catacombs.

Today, this area on the island is known as the Place Louis-Lépine. This small square is named for Louis Lépine, a 19th- and 20th-century prefect de police (chief of police).

LOUIS LÉPINE

Louis Lépine (1846–1933) was known as “The Little Man with the Big Stick.” He served Paris as the head of the police from 1893 to 1913, with two years off between 1897 and 1899. Lépine is given credit for modernizing the Paris police force, including the introduction of forensic science and fingerprinting. Before Lépine, the Paris police force was known for its corruption and low standards. Lépine turned the department around and created a well-respected, professional, and modern police force. Appropriately, the Préfecture de Police (police headquarters) is located across the street from the Place Louis-Lépine.

GUILLAUME DE TIGNONVILLE

Assassination of Louis, Duke of Orléans. Illustration by unknown (c. 1470-1480). Bibliothèque nationale de France. PD-100+. Wikimedia Commons.

Assassination of Louis, Duke of Orléans. Illustration by unknown (c. 1470-1480). Bibliothèque nationale de France. PD-100+. Wikimedia Commons.

One of Lépine’s medieval predecessors was Guillaume de Tignonville (c. 1347–1414). Beginning in 1401, de Tignonville was appointed to be the provost of Paris (essentially, the police chief and the king’s top law enforcement officer). On the evening of 23 November 1407, the king’s younger brother, Louis, Duke of Orléans, was murdered. Guillaume was given the responsibility for finding and bringing the murderer to justice. Louis was ambushed in the narrow street Rue Vieille du Temple. His murderers hacked him to death and then fled. At the scene of the crime de Tignonville discovered that what was left of the body had been carried to a house (where 42-43, rue Vieille du Temple now stands). He examined the body and reported one hand had been cut off, an arm slashed to the bone, and the head mutilated to the point that the brain spilled out. The provost ordered all the city gates closed, sent men out to search the general area of the ambush site, and then set about solving the crime. What he found out shocked everyone.

SPOILER ALERT

Portrait of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy. Oil on panel painting by anonymous (mid-15th century). PD-100+. Wikimedia Commons.

Portrait of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy. Oil on panel painting by anonymous (mid-15th century). PD-100+. Wikimedia Commons.

The murderer was the king’s cousin, John the Fearless who confessed to the crime. It would mark the beginning of a French civil war between the Armagnacs (supporters of the monarchy) and the Burgundians (those who supported John, Duke of Burgundy). You will follow the story of Louis and John in our new books Where Did They Burn the Last Grand Master of the Knights Templar? A Walking Tour of Medieval Paris (Volumes One and Two).

SOMEONE IS READING OUR BLOGS

I’d like to thank Mark V. for his kind comments concerning our first series of walking tour books, Where Did They Put the Guillotine? Mark visited Paris taking one of the walking tour books. He followed the exact route Marie Antoinette took to the guillotine. I appreciated his comments and suggestions.

What’s New With Sandy and Stew?

The final galley of Where Did They Burn the Last Grand Master of the Knights Templar? A Walking Tour of Medieval Paris is about to be submitted to our printer (Pollock Printing). We will then begin to put together the electronic version. At this time, Volume Two will be published only as an electronic version.

Sandy and Stew will be visiting Paris in September 2016 to wrap up our research for the next book, Where Did They Put the Gestapo Headquarters? A Walking Tour of Nazi Occupied Paris (1940–1944). We’re looking forward to seeing our friend, Raphaelle Crevet. She is a talented private guide and I highly recommend her if you are visiting Paris and some of the attractions outside the city (raphaellecrevet@yahoo.fr).

GUIDRR GUIDES

Stew has finished the first GUIDRR Guide on a series of guides in Nashville. The first one is a driving tour around Franklin, Tennessee based on the Battle of Franklin. All proceeds will be donated to the Battlefield Trust organization. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration and preservation of the Franklin Battle sites.

The GUIDRR app can be downloaded for free. Individual Guides can be purchased on an in-app basis. At this time, Guidrr is only supported by Apple and the iPhone.

Click here:

Guidrr_logo icon

 

 

 

We have a lot of stories and we’re looking forward to sharing these with you. Please continue to visit our blog site and perhaps you’d like to subscribe so that you don’t miss out on our blog posts, past and current.

Find Stew’s books on Amazon and iBooks.

Follow Stew:

1462505356_Facebook

1462420482_Twitter

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Thank You

Sandy and I appreciate you visiting with us. We have some exciting things on the horizon and we’ll keep you updated as we go along.

Please note that we do not and will not take compensation from individuals or companies mentioned or promoted in the blogs.

Stew_Ross_Logo_CMYKCopyright © 2016

Please, No Pissoirs in Public!

You may recall reading our blog The Pee Ladies of Paris (November 7, 2015). Well, I’m going to take you on another journey into the history of public urination in Paris. Our discussion could easily take place in London or any major European city (e.g., Berlin, Stockholm, or Lisbon).

During the Middle Ages, there were no toilets (unless you were the king and queen or of high nobility), no sewer systems (other than the river and city streets), and no way to relieve oneself in public unless you were female and had your ladies-in-waiting form a circle around you to shield your actions. For the men, it was much easier. They just urinated in public—seemingly no shame in this other than the smell.

PUBLIC URINATION

Public urination was banned in Paris by the 1700s. For convenience purposes, “barrels of easement” were placed on the street corners. Unfortunately, the problems—public views and the stench—were not solved.

Palais de Justice. Notice the pissoir in the foreground. Photo by Charles Marville (c. 1853). Gift; Government of France; 1880. PD-100+. Wikimedia Commons.

Palais de Justice. Notice the pissoir in the foreground. Photo by Charles Marville (c. 1853). Gift; Government of France; 1880. PD-100+. Wikimedia Commons.

Napoléon III had enough of this by the mid-1850s and he ordered Baron Haussmann to create a device for men to urinate in but out of public sight. These became known as Pissoirs or Vespasiennes: structures to support and screen the urinals (and men) in public space. The name Vespasienne was given to the urinals in honor of the Roman Emperor Vespasianus who installed the first public toilet system in Rome.

Cast iron and slate urinal with three stalls. Avenue du Maine, Paris. Photo by Charles Marville (c. 1865). Gift; Government of France; 1881. PD-100+. Wikimedia Commons.

Cast iron and slate urinal with three stalls. Avenue du Maine, Paris. Photo by Charles Marville (c. 1865). Gift; Government of France; 1881. PD-100+. Wikimedia Commons.

Haussmann did not have to go far to meet the emperor’s expectation. About sixteen years earlier, Claude-Philibert Barthelot, comte de Rambuteau designed a green steel public urinal with ornamental columns and a screen that encircled the core. Although it did not provide total privacy—only the man’s torso was covered—it did result in a cleaner city and reduced the stench. England imported the urinal where it became known as the “Superloo.” Read More

A City of Light

I love it when I get feedback from folks who read these blogs (and my books). Thank you for taking the time to write me (yes, I know it’s e-mails but it’s still writing). One of the things I appreciate is constructive feedback. That is one of the best ways for anyone to improve.

SOMEONE’S READING MY STUFF

Christina and her husband live in Australia and recently read one of my books. They are frequent visitors to Paris. She loved the illustrations/images and mentioned how she learned new things about the city from reading the book. It’s that type of feedback which keeps me going.

Fortunately, Christina pointed out an error I made. I referred to Paris as the “City of Lights” when in fact, the proper term is “City of Light.” I greatly appreciated her bringing this to my attention. Not only will we correct that in future editions but also I decided to write this blog on the “City of Light” so as to enlighten all of us. Read More

Marie Antoinette’s Lover?

Was he or wasn’t he? Only Axel von Fersen and Marie Antoinette know the truth. However, historians accept the fact that Count von Fersen was madly in love with Marie Antoinette (1755–1793). He was at the center of several key events during the French Revolution involving the king and queen. Eventually, like Marie Antoinette, von Fersen met a violent death.

THE SWEDISH NOBLE

Axel Fersen. Oil Painting by Carl Frederik von Breda (18th century). Löfstad Castle, Sweden. PD-100+. Wikimedia Commons.

Axel Fersen. Oil Painting by Carl Frederik von Breda (18th century). Löfstad Castle, Sweden. PD-100+. Wikimedia Commons.

Hans Axel, Count von Fersen (1755–1810), was a Swedish noble, diplomat, and soldier. As a young officer in the French army, von Fersen met the French Dauphine in 1771—they were both sixteen at the time. She soon invited him to Versailles and von Fersen quickly became one of Marie Antoinette’s favored guests. By 1781, von Fersen was serving with other French officers in the American War of Independence. Marie Antoinette became queen during his years away from France and the two of them frequently exchanged letters. Read More

The Street of Horrors

On Monday, 22 March 1944, the crumpled and broken body of Pierre Brossolette (1903-1944) lay on the ground outside the building located at 84, avenue Foch in an upscale Parisian neighborhood of the 16th arrondissement (district).

After two and a half days of torture by the Gestapo, Brossolette recovered enough consciousness to determine he was about to divulge information about his colleagues in the French Resistance. He stood up in his cell and flung himself out the sixth floor window. His last words were “all will be fine Tuesday.”

THE STREET OF HORRORS

11, rue des Saussaies à Paris. One of the Gestapo headquarters. Photo by Erwmat (2013). PD-CCA-Share Alike 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

11, rue des Saussaies à Paris. One of the Gestapo headquarters. Photo by Erwmat (2013). PD-CCA-Share Alike 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Upon entering Paris on 14 June 1940, the Germans and the various military and civilian units began to immediately appropriate hotels, vacated buildings (many by Jewish citizens), French government buildings, vacant embassies, or just kicked out the existing residents of a building they wanted to occupy.

The different departments of the Nazi police system (commonly grouped under one name: Gestapo) annexed many of the buildings on Avenue Foch. It didn’t take long for the Germans to settle into Paris. The Abwehr (German Intelligence Service) had been operating in Paris during the 1930s and it was clear they had “mapped” out the entire city and identified all potential sites for the Germans to occupy.

The building at 84, avenue Foch became the main headquarters for the Gestapo. The sixth floor was converted to torture rooms and cells. Throughout the Nazi Occupation, the neighbors could hear the screams from the victims of Gestapo torture. Parisians quickly determined this street was not a place you wanted to visit.

Avenue Foch became known to the French as The Street of Horrors.

POLICE

Read More

Twenty Years After the End of World War II: Dutch Memories

Twenty Years After the End of World War II: Dutch Memories

Posting this blog on the fifth of each May has become a tradition for me.

Today is Liberation Day (also known as Freedom Day) for Holland. It was 5 May 1945 that Canadian forces along with other Allied forces were able to obtain the surrender of German forces in the small Dutch town of Wageningen. This led to the complete surrender and liberation of the country.

NETHERLANDS AMERICAN CEMETERY (MARGRATEN)

American World War II Cemetery in Margraten, The Netherlands. Photo by Kees Verburg (2014). PD-CCA-Share Alike 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

American World War II Cemetery in Margraten, The Netherlands. Photo by Kees Verburg (2014). PD-CCA-Share Alike 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

There is a cemetery near Maastricht. It is the final resting spot for 8,301 American soldiers and a memorial for the 1,722 men missing in action. They were casualties of Operation Market Garden (17–25 September 1944) and other battles aimed at liberating Holland. Operation Market Garden was a failed Allied attempt to liberate Holland.  There are other military cemeteries nearby for the British and Canadian men who did not survive the battle.

John J. Lister killed in action on 7 April 1945 – 48 Infantry Batalion – 7th Armored Division – C Company. Photo by Erfgoed in Beeld (2006). PD-CCA-Share Alike 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

John J. Lister killed in action on 7 April 1945 – 48 Infantry Batalion – 7th Armored Division – C Company. Photo by Erfgoed in Beeld (2006). PD-CCA-Share Alike 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Individual Dutch families have adopted every man who perished in the battle. Each man’s grave is kept up and decorated by their adopted family. Even a portrait of their adopted soldier sits in their respective homes.

HONGERWINTER

Read More

They Listened to What I Said

The United States government finally listened to what I had to say.

Worth $100,000 in mint condition!

Inverted Jenny – 1918. Photo by SabreCEO (2006). PD-USGOV. Wikimedia Commons.

Effective 10 April 2016, the Post Office reduced its rate on first class mail from 49 cents to 47 cents. This was the first time they lowered the cost of a stamp in 100 years. Why? I have no clue. Seems stupid to me considering their financial condition. But hey, I’ll take a 4% cut in any of our expenses.

MY CONVERSATIONS WITH THE GREEN HILLS POST OFFICE

I have a lot of interaction with the Post Office. I have a P.O. Box there to collect mail for Southeast Business Forums and Yooper Publications. One at a time and when requested, I mail my books to Amazon from the Green Hills post office (presumably someone has put an order in for a book). After Amazon conducts their quarterly inventory count and finds too many of my books are taking up shelf space, I receive the extra ones back. Happy Face!! Oh, I also buy my stamps from the nice folks behind the counter. Read More

Killed in the Service of Her Country

One of my friends, Rhea Seddon, was one of the original six women astronauts selected in 1978 for the space program. She and the other five women were pioneers. One of those five women, Judy Resnik, lost her life on one of the Challenger missions.

I’m writing for a mobile travel app called Guidrr. The Guides I create specialize on historical events and people. One of the new Guides is “Amazing Women of Historic Nashville.” As I began my research, I found someone from Nashville who was another pioneer and like Rhea, she was an aviator. And like Judy, Cornelia was killed in the line of duty.

DEBUTANTE TO WARTIME PILOT

Cornelia Fort (with a PT-19A). Photo by Unknown (c. 1942). PD-USGOV. Wikimedia Commons.

Cornelia Fort (with a PT-19A). Photo by Unknown (c. 1942). PD-USGOV. Wikimedia Commons.

Cornelia Fort (1919–1943) was the daughter of Rufus Fort, the founder of National Life and Accident Insurance Company. She grew up in a privileged Nashville home with a future of cotillions, marriage to a prominent Nashville man, and the quiet country club life.

Cornelia didn’t want to become a debutante—she wanted to fly. She became the first female pilot instructor in Nashville. By 1941, Cornelia had signed up as a flight instructor with the Civilian Pilots Training Program. Shortly after that, she was sent to Honolulu and hired to teach flying to defense workers, soldiers, and sailors based at Pearl Harbor. Read More

Hallucination Caused by Fear?

Sandy and I recently shared cocktail hour with some good friends of ours. Joe grew up in upper New York in a town (Malone) twelve miles from the Canadian border and 58 miles south of Montreal. After World War II had ended, Joe’s father told him about the German U-boat activity in the St. Lawrence River and the effect it had on the Canadians.

Daniel Gallery, Commanding Officer of the Guadalcanal on the Conning Tower of the captured U-505. Photo by USN (June 1944). PD-US Government. Wikimedia Commons.

Daniel Gallery, Commanding Officer of the Guadalcanal on the Conning Tower of the captured U-505. Photo by USN (June 1944). PD-US Government. Wikimedia Commons.

According to Joe’s father, the French Canadians weren’t too worried about the German occupation of France and the collaborationist government known as Vichy. That is until a U-boat was discovered in Montreal Harbor and stories of German spies being off loaded onto Canadian soil. That woke them up.

The Battle of the St. Lawrence

This is the term used today to describe the periods of time when the U-boats actively hunted down convoy boats in the St. Lawrence River. There were two primary periods of activity: May 1942 to September 1943 and then a resumption of activity in the fall of 1944 (due to a new technology on the submarines that allowed them to stay submerged longer). Read More