Question re: Maj. John P. Stopka

KlondikeFox
Registered User
Joined: 03 Mar 2008, 14:33

10 Nov 2011, 13:26 #11

The reason why I write so candidly about this tragic syndrome, (which I
have seen all too often over the past 4 decades), is simply to bring this
painful and tragic attitude to light.  How many other heroes gave ALL in
various wars, only to be unappreciated by their own families, who remain
blind to the importance of what these soldiers achieved?
I don't need to tell you that this attitude has also been applied to the fortunate
ones who survived and returned home. Many of the living heroes have been
all but disregarded by their own families.  Millions of them passed-on before the
Rennaisance of interest in WW2 began a decade ago. Of the small percentage
that are still alive, not all of those are respectfully regarded to the degree which
they deserve.  This is food for thought, as Veteran's Day approaches.
On this Forum, every day is Veterans' Day.
I am happy to report that James H. 'Pee Wee' Martin will be honored in
a ceremony at 4th BCT (506th) HQ tomorrow, where he will receive the
award of DMOR status (Distinguished Member Of the Regiment). Pee Wee
went from Toccoa to Austria with G/506th and didn't miss any combat in
Normandy, Holland, Bastogne, Alsace, The Ruhr Pocket and So. Germany.
He is a well-deserving recipient of this honor.
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adam517
Registered User
Joined: 27 Jun 2010, 10:05

10 Nov 2011, 15:17 #12

Thats great news for Pee Wee, truly a deserving recipient. Pee Wee is one of the friendliest veterans I have had the honor of meeting and I am truly happy for him.



Adam
Ignorance means life is lost.
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raricar
Registered User
Joined: 11 Jan 2011, 03:44

08 Jun 2012, 00:10 #13

Just as a note of clarification. My mother, Vivian Esse, was John Stopka's wife who you refer too. Actually she never lost contact with John's mother Mary and they were very close for years. I grew up knowing her as Mom Kerr. There was no attempt by my Mother to lose track of the family after his death. Thank you for putting up his photos I have only a few left. As a child I was given his dress uniform cap I wish I still had it. Bill McCune, Denver Colorado.
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Drew Cook
Registered User
Joined: 07 Dec 2007, 17:16

08 Jun 2012, 16:28 #14

I must have missed (or forgotten about) this thread when it was originally posted last year.  Always-fascinating information presented by our webmaster, which many times generates often-as-interesting responses and discussions. 
Major Stopka, along with his boss Colonel Cole, have always been two very interesting (of many) individuals in the 101st I've come across in all my reading about the WWII 101st in Normandy and Holland, particularly Normandy -- what with the "Stopka Strongpoint" at Marmion and the Carentan Causeway fight, and the fact that both can not only be seen, but also heard, on film just days after those actions.
As a minor, trivial equipment note, it continues to puzzle me a bit when I see paratroopers like Major Stopka wearing their helmets like he is in the vintage photo the webmaster posted -- with his helmet liner's chinstrap on the liner's brim, under the steel pot's brim, not over the pot's brim.  It seems quite obvious to me, from physically handling WWII helmets and liners (including one that I own), that the placement and tight cinching of the liner strap over a steel pot's brim greatly aides in the securing of the liner to the pot, and the keeping of both together -- I would think this would have been particularly true when jumping.  I would have thought that the paratroopers would have used this method more often, but I've seen a lot of vintage photos where they don't (a` la the Stopka photo).  I discussed this years ago with the webmaster, and he told me some WWII troopers told him that it didn't really help much in keeping liner and pot together when jumping, but...  It still strikes me as odd to see liner straps under steel pot's brims.
 
    
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SymmMcCord
Registered User
Joined: 29 Aug 2017, 17:58

29 Aug 2017, 18:23 #15

KlondikeFox wrote: Received the below email inquiry off forum today:

It is about  Major (or Lt.Col?)  Stopka.

I am very interested in what happened to him.

After a long search I found on TT why he was awarded the DSC for his brave
actions in Normandy during the charge of LtCol Cole.


But please could you help me with information about his death at Bastogne?

I understand that he was killed by a bomb from a P 47 Thunderbolt.

Have you more details?

Is he buried at Luxembourg cemetery??

Do you have a picture of him?

 

Thank you very much..

 

J.Edelhausen,
NL
Hi, Lt Col. Stopka was killed by friendly fire which was, like you said, a bomb dropped from a P-47 that he had called in to wipe out the enemy which, closer to him, was a machinegun nest that had slowed their movement. As you probably know he took over the 3rd Battalion of the 502nd PIR when Col. Cole was killed near Best in the Netherlands during Operation Market Garden. Yes Stopka was buried in a Belgium Cemetery somewhere in or very near Luxembourg. A Major Simmons became the third and final Battalion Commander of the 502nd PIR. Your question caused me to answer because I just had a book of historical fiction published about the 502nd. The Deuce (the affectionate name the troops gave the 502nd ) is a historical representation of their movement using a fictional squad from the 3rd battalion. In it I told the story of the death of Lt. Col. Stopka. I'm trying to find a picture of him also. I have a Facebook page for The Deuce and like to post the leaders and pictures of other WWII heroes. www.SymmMcCordBooks.com
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SymmMcCord
Registered User
Joined: 29 Aug 2017, 17:58

29 Aug 2017, 18:25 #16

Hi, Lt Col. Stopka was killed by friendly fire which was, like you said, a bomb dropped from a P-47 that he had called in to wipe out the enemy which, closer to him, was a machinegun nest that had slowed their movement. As you probably know he took over the 3rd Battalion of the 502nd PIR when Col. Cole was killed near Best in the Netherlands during Operation Market Garden. Yes Stopka was buried in a Belgium Cemetery somewhere in or very near Luxembourg. A Major Simmons became the third and final Battalion Commander of the 502nd PIR. Your question caused me to answer because I just had a book of historical fiction published about the 502nd. The Deuce (the affectionate name the troops gave the 502nd ) is a historical representation of their movement using a fictional squad from the 3rd battalion. In it I told the story of the death of Lt. Col. Stopka. I'm trying to find a picture of him also. I have a Facebook page for The Deuce and like to post the leaders and pictures of other WWII heroes. www.SymmMcCordBooks.com
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DDMT
Registered User
Joined: 22 Sep 2017, 22:09

22 Sep 2017, 22:55 #17

You talk about Maj Stopka, i m interested to know what was the situation at Marmion Farm Ravenoville on June 6th, there was a German's battery at that place?
My name is Jean-Pierre French living in Florida. Originally from Normandy and Brittany .
WWII enthusiast, Performed few Jump Round canopy in Normandy and US from C47
After been injured during Jump in Normandy I setup www.ddaymemorytour.com
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SymmMcCord
Registered User
Joined: 29 Aug 2017, 17:58

23 Sep 2017, 01:44 #18

DDMT wrote: You talk about Maj Stopka, i m interested to know what was the situation at Marmion Farm Ravenoville on June 6th, there was a German's battery at that place?
Hi DDMT...I can't give any info on Ravenoville. I'll research it but maybe someone more knowledgeable can answer that.
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DDMT
Registered User
Joined: 22 Sep 2017, 22:09

23 Sep 2017, 01:59 #19

SymmMcCord wrote:
DDMT wrote: You talk about Maj Stopka, i m interested to know what was the situation at Marmion Farm Ravenoville on June 6th, there was a German's battery at that place?
Hi DDMT...I can't give any info on Ravenoville. I'll research it but maybe someone more knowledgeable can answer that.
You can call me jp
Thanks ...I heard about there was a battery with 4 canons at the place just 100 yards in the field south west from the marmion building
Because they were situated on the sams defence line as criqsbec st Marcoux battery...
My name is Jean-Pierre French living in Florida. Originally from Normandy and Brittany .
WWII enthusiast, Performed few Jump Round canopy in Normandy and US from C47
After been injured during Jump in Normandy I setup www.ddaymemorytour.com
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SymmMcCord
Registered User
Joined: 29 Aug 2017, 17:58

23 Sep 2017, 16:17 #20

DDMT wrote:
SymmMcCord wrote:
DDMT wrote: You talk about Maj Stopka, i m interested to know what was the situation at Marmion Farm Ravenoville on June 6th, there was a German's battery at that place?
Hi DDMT...I can't give any info on Ravenoville. I'll research it but maybe someone more knowledgeable can answer that.
You can call me jp
Thanks ...I heard about there was a battery with 4 canons at the place just 100 yards in the field south west from the marmion building
Because they were situated on the sams defence line as criqsbec st Marcoux battery...
DDMT...I'm not an expert so I'm giving you a link to an interview with a fellow named Flanagan who was the soldier in the famous photo from the farm who was holding the Nazi flag.  He talks about how they arrived at the farm, the battle, and how then Major Stopka took over and organized the troops.   http://www.historynet.com/world-war-ii- ... -d-day.htm . Wish I could tell you more but like I say, I'm not an expert.
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