Forrest Guth is an original member of E Company, 2nd BN, 506th PIR, and is one of the very few of those original members who would go through WWII without being hit. Guth chose to disregard orders against taking a camera into combat and snapped pictures in the Normandy fields. He took some of the most outstanding photographs taken in the combat zone. At age 81, he is currently enjoying retirement in Delaware.
This book, The Way We Were: CPL Forrest Guth, traces Guth's military career, via photos and artifacts, from Toccoa in 1942 and into1945. The whole concept of this book is new, tracing the activities of an obscure enlisted man through an entire war. This project was made possible by the uniqueness of Guth himself. He was one of the most colorful and prevalent men of Easy Company. Now, as the first volume of a WWII paratroopers portrait book series, Forrest Guth's original uniforms and photographic collection are presented in a 72 page book.
The author, Michel De Trez, is a 36-year-old Belgian historian who specializes in the subject of airborne forces. He is an avid collector of WWII airborne history and equipment, and runs a museum in Brussels that is dedicated to the airborne veterans. Michel is considered to be an international authority on the subject, having a unique access to many veterans' personal archives.
Michel frequently travels worldwide, meticulously researching and conducting interviews with veterans, visiting public archives, libraries, battlefields, WWII celebrations, and attending reunions with veterans. He has a great respect for the sacrifices and bravery exhibited by the WWII generation and is moved by a need to make available the history depicting the service and sacrifice that the American paratroopers gave for their country and for Europe. He feels the stories need to be saved for future generations to appreciate and study, and the reason he has chosen to devote most of his time and energy to the American paratroopers is that he does not want the sacrifice of all those brave men who fought and died during WWII to be in vain. He has the deepest respect for those who freed his country some sixty years ago and wants the people of his generation and younger to know about these heroic soldiers, who they were and what they did . . . he feels they must never be forgotten.
Michel is a regular contributor to numerous historical military publications and has also worked for the film industry and television, which also includes the movie Saving Private Ryan and the HBO Band of Brothers mini-series. He is currently working on writing and publishing two series of pictorial books covering and portraying the involvement of the American airborne troops.
|Michel de Trez displayed his book, along with Forrest
Guth's uniforms and memorabilia,
in Sainte Mere Eglise, Normandy, for the D-Day 2002 commemorations.