I have not yet taken Bud & Wilmer's pictures and information and written formal military stories about them, but please take the time to go through the various links on the left to see the scans I have made of their information which will include some non-military pictures and family information.
Before they passed away, 2 Manning Veterans who fought on D-Day (Wade "Bud" Mohr & Wilmer Ranniger) let me go through their military pictures and information.
Unfortunately, at that time, I did not have my digital audio recorder to document the actual conversations I had with them, but I did take some notes and worked with them on captions for their pictures.
They previously had other interviews that were published in various papers, so I scanned those articles and used those stories to ask if they had pictures about specific topics they talked
about and add some more details.
Bud told me that some of his pictures were borrowed for a display but they stolen after the show - so he made it clear to me that he wanted his pictures that I borrowed to scan to be returned to him...which I told him I have been doing this for several decades and ALWAYS return the pictures I borrow.
I also told him that if I had already scanned those pictures for him that it would have been easy for me to make new prints of them should he ever lose them or they are damaged - so it is always best to let me scan those old photos so they can be digitally preserved.
These were the first combat Veterans I had ever interviewed about their service.
Unfortunately I went out of my way to avoid asking anything 'I thought' would bring back difficult and complicated memories they had.
After working with other combat Veterans during subsequent years, I learned how to ask more detailed questions so I could get more of their story.
Today I would have dozens of more questions for Bud & Wilmer.
But even though I didn't get as much information as I would have liked - I am so ever humbled and honored to have had the chance to speak with them about their service.
While I had studied a little bit about D-Day and WWII in school, I really had no idea what these 2 boys went through. The text books couldn't give you the first-hand experiences you get when actually talking with someone...the facial expressions, the near tears at times, the tough/gruff silence, and even the fun/happy/silly stories they told.
Now this was during the later years in their lives...previously they had never talked much about their service - except to a few of their Veteran buddies who also experienced combat.
Unfortunately, hundreds of their WWII Veteran comrades from Manning had already passed away, so I was never able to get a chance to at least try to visit with them about their service.
So I've been left to what little most family members heard their dads/granddads talked about and to scan the scrapbooks and pictures, most of the time with no captions.
I have over 660 names of Manning connected WWII Veterans. While I have maybe a picture and/or some brief information about a lot of them, for only a few of them like Bud & Wilmer do I have a lot of information and pictures.
I hope by showing the various pictures and presenting the information I have for Bud & Wilmer that it will encourage more family members of deceased Veterans to contact me and bring the pictures and information they have to me so I can digitally scan those items for use in the Manning Veterans' history book.