Alongside a small road in Normandy near the little town of Pouppeville, there is a monument in a green pasture, dedicated to 501st PIR Medic T/5 Edwin Hohl and Major Lawrence Legere.
Here is our research article on these men. The location, the legend, the story, the eyewitness reports, the paperwork: The Quest. It is D-Day, June 6th 1944... Jump in with us. GERONIMO!

Text on the monument: 'At this place on June 6th 1944, early in the morning a group of 150 American paratroopers coming from the west, started its progression througout the vicinity of Pouppeville
on order to seize Causeway no.1. At the crossroads, Major Lawrence LEGERE's thigh was hit by an enemy bullet and falling on the ground. T/5 Edwin HOHL left his position and raced towards
the wounded officer. As he knelt beside him, the young medic (20 years old) was killed by a bullet in the chest although he was wearing a Red Cross armband. MAY WE NEVER FORGET.'

Using Google Earth and a June 6th 1944 aerial shot of the little vilage of Pouppeville, we pinpointed the spot where the monument is situated. Weird to realize that Hohl would sacrifice his life right there, that day.

In the original D-Day aerial photograph we spotted at least three 'objects' on the road from Utah Beach (right) to Sainte-Marie-du-Mont (left). Persons, vehicles, could be either. Could be men of the 501st PIR.
The object of the make shift paratrooper force right there, was to capture this exit-road from the beach and hold it till the 4th Infantry Division would releave them, after the beach landings of that morning.

We've heard of Major Lawrence 'Larry' Legere, the (assistent) divisional G-3 (101st AB), who became a diplomat post WWII. Here is the original loading manifest for Tail nr. 2716, chalk 1.
Check out the roster: a Taylor or two, and Major Lawrence J. Legere (SN: O-22937) is the D-Day jumpmaster of this stick heading for Normandy, now this story sure caught our attention!
What do we have on Major Legere in our archives? The picture of Major Legere being presented a Silver Star by General Maxwell Taylor post Normandy (General McAuliffe attending).
We contacted his (great-grandson/nephew) Michael Legere. He shared some more pictures and information with us. An amazing photo of Lawrence, post Normandy, and his parents.

So we knew about Major Legere, but who was Edwin Hohl? A medic in the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment. 20 years old. A technician fifth grade. What can we find out about him? A quest for sure.
First step: check the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiments Morning Reports for Medical Detachment. An entry for T/5 Edwin S. Hohl (Duty to KIA - 6 Jun 44) was logged on the 14th of June 1944.

More info from the 501st PIR MR's and Payroll: Hohl was on a 10 days furlough in November 1943 (after the Second Army Maneuvres). He was promoted to T/5 on May 2nd, 1944 in the UK.
Payroll entry has him enlisting in the army on the 14th of December 1942. And the record of events shows he is the only KIA of the 501st Medical Detachement until the 7th of June 1944.

Many familiar names show up in the 501th PIR Medic Payrolls & Morning Reports: Moore, Wright, Charpentier, Oliver, Grant, Webber, Tuel, Wilson, Lunin, Blatherwick and Jedziniak.
Some of these medics names will resurface again in this article (and in the article we're publishing about the two medics at Angoville-au-Plain (Bob Wright and Kenneth Moore)).

Second step: when it concerns research into the 101st Airborne Division, always check the Pulles Rosters. And we find both: Medic T/5 Edwin S. Hohl and Major Lawrence Legere (G-3).

Third step: check the oldest history of the 101st Airborne Division: 'Rendezvous with Destiny' by Leonard Rapport and Arthur Northwood jr. (research started in 1945 - RWD published in 1948).

We've got the book and we also have the digital version which makes it easy to find the name of Major Lawrence Legere. There's mention of him throwing a grenade into a group of German
soldiers who mistakenly took him for a Frenchman. Same story has been retold by Clancy Lyall of 2/506 ('Silver Eagle' - 2013). What is more surprisingly is that the group of paratroopers
had grown from a few dozen to almost 150 man. And that 101st AB CO General Maxwell Taylor, 101st AB artillery CO General McAuliffe, LTC Pappas and Colonel Ewell were part of it!

It also becomes clear from this early recollection of 101st Airborne Division veteran memories, that by the time the book was finished, nobody knew the name of the medic who was KIA while caring for Major Legere.

Fourth step: check the first book of a man who dedicated his life to the 101st AB Division and the 101st Airborne Association: George E. Koskimaki: 'D-Day with the Screaming Eagles' (1970)

In 'Rendezvous with Destiny' (1948) medic Edwin Hohl is killed by a shot to the head, and nobody can remember his name. In 'D-Day with the Screaming Eagles' (1970), T/5 Hohl is identified and shot in the chest.
Koskimaki even remembers looking at Hohl, and the gaping wound in Major Legere's leg. He determined the wounds were inflicted by German (sniper) 'hollow wooden projectiles' acting like dum-dum bullets.

What happened to this narrative between 1948 and 1970? First of all, let's take a look at the two known make-shift rosters for the medics of the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment.


Photo above: 501st PIR medics Sterling Hammons, Dick Hutto, Blas Valdon, Joe Madigan, Ken Moore, Wayne Walton, JC Nicholas, David Tuel, Hank Rossetti, Carl Ancell & G. Acheson.
Lying on his back: Robert E. Wright (his son has checked this photo). All these men are accounted for in one of the rosters above of the 501st PIR Medical Detachment and/or unit medics.

But as you can see, T/5 Edwin S. Hohl is not listed in any of these medic rosters. So if George Koskimaki found out that the medic he examined, dead near the crossroads at Pouppeville.
was in fact 501 medic Edwin Hohl, how did he find out? Well, we've got that answer for you. If you have been lucky enough to meet George K. you'd known the man was an archivist.
George did his due dilligence when it came to research. He made questionnaires and sent them out to any 101st AB Division veteran he could find. He added many of their eyewiness
reports, stories and experiences to the manuscript of his books. It's a masterful jigsaw puzzle with, eventually, interlocking pieces. T/5 Hohl was a missing piece. But he was found.

Here is how George started his WWII book research, in his own words. As a matter of fact it was his girlfriend (who became his wife post WWII) who started his archive!

George contacted ALL the WWII 101st AB veterans he could track down. With their response he tracked down even more 101st AB veterans. And this way before the global internet and smartphones.
Also check out the written remark: 'I WANTED TO IDENTIFY THE MEDIC'. That remark must be about Edwin Hohl. So one of George's main reasons to do all the research was to identify Hohl.

Here is an example of a questionnaire that George K. sent out to the veterans. Most questionaires were specific for the Regiment and/or Company. But we will focus on the quest for medic Edwin Hohl.
This questionnaire was answered by Corporal Richard E. Frame, mortar section, HQ-Co First Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment. A global question (11) about the D-Day medics on it.

Dick Frame did remember two D-Day medics: 'Charpentier and Dan Pullberg', (both Red Angels as shown in the medic roster a few images back). His story about 'Gramma' Wilson is simply epic!
The stick of 1-HQ Co. paratroopers was to assemble to the sound of Wilsons bugle after the drop. But Wilson 'threw the 'SOB' (bugle) away' afraid to lure in any Germans in the area no doubt!
A simple follow-up search shows Pfc. Richard E. Frame being promoted to Corporal in July, in Normandy. Wilson turnd out being Clarence W. Wilson, going on a furlough after Normandy.
The two entries top left, from the 1/HQ-Company payroll for May 1944 have handwritten remarks on them. Wilsons nickname has been added: 'Gramma'. Frame passed away in 1972.

Now let's get back to the questionnaire. For the 501st PIR questionnaire the remark about D-Day medics in global changed into various rephrased variations of a more detailed quest to ID Hohl!
And from from the simple remark George makes 'Detective work after 21 years is real tough' we can make up that these questionnaires were really sent out in 1966, 21 years after WWII ended.

Some men responded that they couldn't live in the past anymore, or that they were afraid their memories had become tained or too dramatized. One man wrote 'Tempes Fugits', and ain't that the truth!

Have you read all eight of the clippings above? Did you? Now re-read the biggest one. Check out the name the man mentions after 'Byrd' (second paragraph). Did George miss that? Did you?
Hohl wasn't in the 501st medic rosters and nobody came forward with a positive ID on 'the medic KIA at Pouppeville'. This veteran had 'no desire to go back', yet he did. He remembered Hohl.

How about Captain Robert Blatherwick, surgeon, of the 501st PIR? Wouldn't he remember medic Hohl? Turns out Blatherwick was captured on D-Day with a 'small group' of paratroopers.

The story Captain Blatherwick shared about the horn being a cow... reminded us of Dick Frame's story of 'Gramma' Wilson and his bugle. (We now know that Wilson threw that 'SOB' bugle away!)

In 'Rendezvous With Destiny' we read that General Taylor gave the command of the group of paratroopers moving towards Pouppeville to Colonel Ewell. Would (now a Brigadier General) Ewell remember Hohl?

On the specific question about 'the medic who was killed near Pouppeville' Julian J. Ewell simply responds 'Sorry'. But by 1966 Ewell had served in WWII, Korea and the Vietnam War...

So results didn't come in straight away... But it sure was close sometimes! The paratrooper below mentions an 'Eddie Holse', but didn't think that was the medic George was looking for...
The story about the round faced Lieutenant and the fighting on Purple Heart Lane... some serious stuff. And both George and this veteran were into school sports (coaching) post WWII.
But then a second veteran mentions a guy named 'Eddie Hole'... just a name. One that was not in the medic rosters, and didn't ring a bell! How about that? The answer was right there.

The names 'Holse' and 'Hole' didn't ring any bell. George started his quest following 'the process of elimination' (his own words), most likely starting with the rosters, scratching off names...
But as we know by now Hohl wasn't on the rosters! He wasn't even in 'The Honored Dead of the 101st AD', at that time. The handwritten note reads 'Check with Waldman'. So George did!

Waldman turned out to be no other than Captain William J. Waldmann, surgeon of the 501st 3/HQ. Waldmann (M.D. at a VA hospital) responded. He remembered 'my medic' (his words)
he could even picture him vividly... but just couldn't remember his name. He refers George to check with Doctor (Arthur) Lunin, who was at the scene at Pouppeville on June 6th, 1944...

And then... FINALLY... 22 years, 1 month and 2 weeks after D-Day, 501st PIR surgeon Captain Arthur B. Lunin sends a letter with a positive ID for T/5 medic Edwin S. Hohl, and a complete eyewitness report!

The letter is clear. Edwin Hohl came to the aid of Major Legere and was killed right away. His (red cross) armband in plain view. From this time forward our medics went without arm bands or any
'other distictive markings.'
As a matter of fact some medics realized right after the jump that the red cross armband was not helping navigating the battlefield. As stated by one 501 medic, above.
Another 501st PIR trooper remembers how John Callaman (a medic) was killed, 'landed in a tree over a German CP (Callaman) was machine gunned while he was wearing two medial arm bands.'
Similar lessons were learned with the big bright white markings on the helmets. By the time the paratroops jumped into The Netherlands, many a helmet marking was smaller and more faint.

Now real progress has been made! 'Eddie Hole' could be the medic. Time to double check. And T/5 Harold K. Nolley, a medic of G-Company 501st PIR, also thinks the medic is 'Eddie Hole'.
George K. compiles a new roster with names provided, including 'Eddie Hole'. Then he mentions the info from Waldmann and Lunin. And... that he contacted Edwin Hohl's family!

In 1995 Raymond Geddes, a 501st PIR G-Company T/4 radio operator, wrote to George about Edwin Hohl. His eyewitness report is as vivid as it is gruesome. 'Hohl rolled over, 8 or 10 feet away.'
T/4 Ray Geddes lost his left eye later on in the battle, in a 2 or 3 story house he tentively identified as the Dead Man's Corner building (St. Come-du-Mont), this would be at Purple Heart Lane.
Cross referencing his info with the Morning Reports from G/501: record of events shows Pouppeville captured at 12.30hr (June 6th), and Raymond Geddes Jr. (S)WIA on the 8th of June 1944.

A few years later this story pops up in a 1998/1999 Geronimo Newsletter, written by private William Gibbons, another radio operator within F-Company of the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment.

The eyewitness report of private William Gibbons is confirming all we have found out so far. Gibbons added 'It was obvious to me that he died instantly. There was no movement. I don't think he knew what hit him.'
Researching this story was a journey and felt like finding a hidden time capsule. From an unknown medic, sacrificing his life on D-Day, to a full disclosure of events. George's Quest for the ID was succesful.

What happened to Major Lawrence J. Legere, after WWII, we wondered? Michael Legere shared some information on pictures with us. Lawrence Legere became a well known international US diplomat.

Legere worked with various US Presidential administrations alongside President (nr. 39) Carter, President (nr. 41) Bush, Secretary of State (nr. 56) Henry Kissinger and Secretary of State (nr. 64) Madeleine Albright.

If you are ever in Normandy, in the Utah Beach area. Drive up to Pouppeville. Along that road, there is a monument in a green pasture, dedicated to 501st PIR Medic T/5 Edwin Hohl and Major Lawrence Legere.
Two young men who risked their life for our liberty. Two citizen soldiers of the Greatest Generation, answering the call. One a Combat Medic, the other a Combat Leader. Both worthy of you to learn their names.

Technician 5th Grade Edwin S. Hohl, SN:12216462, combat medic in the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, was awarded posthumously with the Silver Star Medal.
The clipping from 'The News' tells us that his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Hohl of Williamsville, had been notified by the War Department. Edwin was survived by his sisters Florence and
Frances, as by his brother Freadmonde. His oldest sister Florence remembered 'his fine ideals and his real Americanism' (Buffalo Evening News, September 1966)'. Lest we Forget!

In May of 2023 our friend Max van den Wijngaard drove us up to the little roadside monument at Pouppeville. Once back home I started researching the story. It took me about
two full weeks to get this together from the material I had (in my library, paperwork- and digital archives). It seems this story found me and connected 'a lot of pieces'. George's
book helped. RDW helped. The De Trez, Bando , Gardner, Woodadge, Poyser, Groen books helped. They all inspired as did all the (AB) veterans we met over 40 years. AATW!

101st AB veteran, historian and author George Koskimaki did extensive research on the 501st PIR medics and their 'exploits' in Normandy. We met George K. during
various tours in the former ETO, and he was always vivid, strict and on point with his information and knowledge. For his books he interviewed hundreds of veterans
of the 101st Airborne Division, including men of the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment Medical Detatchment. George was kind enough to share much of his material
with us at PRT: rosters, interviews, photos, stories (and locations during ETO tours), as long as it was used (non-profit) as a credit to the Screaming Eagles of WWII.

This article is a salute to this quest of George Koskimaki, on our online non profit Airborne legacy scrapbook which we have been dedicated to for 25 years by now.

Paratrooper Research Team - Normandy 2023 - 501st Medic Edward Hohl & Major Lawrence Legere (G-3)
Special thanks to: George Koskimaki, Michael Legere and Max van den Wijngaard.