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Archive for 2017

73 Years to the Day The Wereth Eleven Receive Their Recogniton

Just yesterday I received in the mail this beautiful signed Senate Resolution, S. RES. 99, honoring the service and sacrifice of The Wereth Eleven. Today December 17, 2017 I opened it 73 years to the day after they were murdered in 1944. Sometimes timing means something and this is the case here.

I have been involved with bringing the Wereth story to light for going on nine years both with the Wereth Eleven docudrama and the subsequent book, The Lost Eleven. The story has become a part of me and opening this Resolution today personally signed by Senator Joe Manchin (WV) @JoeManchinWV means more than words can express.

To me it means all lives matter and the drive to shed light on this atrocity fulfills my fellow producer, Joseph Small's simple reason for doing the story. He said, "I felt the men's dignity had been taken from them and I could not let that stand."

With passage of this Resolution I believe the men have had their dignity and honor restored. And I plan to continue to remind all about this story in every way I can so that something like this never happens again.

The Wereth Eleven.....Are

Staff Sergeant Thomas J. Forte

Technician Fourth Grade William Edward Pritchett of Alabama

Technician Fourth Grade James A. Stewart of West Virginia

Corporal Mager Bradley of Mississippi

Private First Class George Davis of Alabama

Private First Class James L. Leatherwood of Pontotoc, Mississippi

Private First Class George W. Moten of Texas

Private First Class Due W. Turner of Arkansas

Private Curtis Adams of South Carolina

Private Robert Green of Mississippi

Private Nathanial Moss of Texas

The Wereth Eleven docudrama can be seen often on American Heroes Channel (AHC) and it streams on Amazon Prime and Hulu.









Sunday
Posted by Robert Child

Free Gettysburg Book on Amazon Kindle

In honor of Veterans Day Weekend 2017 and my Great Grandfather, Thomas W. Child, who fought on Little Round Top with the 18th Massachusetts on the third day of battle, (See story) I am offering the Kindle version of my book Gettysburg Voices From the Front at the very low price of free. It is a stirring collection of first person narratives from the great battle.

The is also a paperback version and audiobook version but they are not part of this special promotion. If you're a Kindle user I hope you will garb a copy of this book while the promotion lasts!

Gettysburg Voices From the Front
(grab the book here)

A stirring collection of first-hand accounts from Privates on up to the commanding Generals at the Battle of Gettysburg woven into a dramatic and compelling narrative. The reader is transported back to the chaos and uncertainty of the sweltering first three days of July 1863 when Lee's Army of Northern Virginia invaded the North threatening Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington itself. Soldiers on both sides gave everything they had believing that Gettysburg would be the final epic battle in an already long and terrible war.

Below is an interview from the Gettysburg 150th Event in the summer of 2013 when I was interviewed by Steve Bannon on the hallowed grounds of Pickett's Charge.


House Passes Bill Honoring Wereth Eleven

This is a monumental day in honoring the service of the Wereth Eleven also known as The Lost Eleven.

I received an email this morning from the Policy Advisor to Representative David McKinley of West Virginia's 1st District with great news. Resolution 43 "Honoring the Service of The Wereth Eleven" has now passed the United States House of Representatives. A parallel bill has already passed the Senate.The next step is to reconcile the two bills and get it signed into law.

Among the greatest "unknown stories" from WWII is that of the Wereth 11. Shortly after the outbreak of Hitler's Ardennes Offensive or Battle of The Bulge in 1944, members of the all-black 333rd Artillery Battalion were just eleven miles behind the front lines. With the rapid advance of the Germans the 333rd was ordered to withdraw further west but C and Service Battery were ordered to stay behind to give covering fire to the 106th Infantry Division. 

On Dec 17th the 333rd were overrun with most killed or captured. The remnants of the unit were ordered to Bastogne and incorporated into its sister unit the 969th Field Artillery Battalion. Both units provided fire support for the 101st Airborne Division in the Siege of Bastogne, subsequently being awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.

11 soldiers, however, from the 333rd were separated from the unit shortly after they were overrun by the Germans. These men wound up in the little Belgian hamlet of Wereth, just 25 kilometers southwest of Malmedy, Belgium, site of another much more well known WWII atrocity.

At about 3 pm on Dec 16, 1944, the 11 men approached the first house in the nine-house hamlet of Wereth, owned by Mathius Langer. A friend of the Langer's was also present. The men were cold, hungry, and exhausted after walking cross-country through the deep snow. They had two rifles between them. The Langer family welcomed them and gave them food. But this small part of Belgium did not necessarily welcome Americans as “Liberators.” This area had been part of Germany before the First World War and many of its citizens still saw themselves as Germans and not Belgians. 

Word leaked out from a Nazi sympathizer in the area that the men had been sheltered and were hiding in the Langer home. When the SS troops approached the house about 4 pm that day, the eleven Americans surrendered quickly, without resistance. The Americans were made to sit on the road, in the cold, until dark. The Germans then marched them down the road and gunfire was heard in the night. In the morning, villagers saw the bodies of the men in a ditch at the corner of a cow pasture. Because they were afraid that the Germans might return, they did not touch the dead soldiers. The snow covered the bodies and they remained entombed in the snow until January when villagers directed members of the 99th Div. I&R platoon to the site. 

In the official US Army report it was revealed that the men had been brutalized, with broken legs, bayonet wounds to the head, and fingers cut off. And It was apparent that one man was killed as he tried to bandage a comrade's wounds.

In 2001, three Belgium citizens embarked on the task of creating a fitting memorial to these men and additionally to honor all Black GI’s of World War II. With the help of Norman Lichtenfeld, whose father fought and was captured in the Battle of the Bulge, a grassroots publicity and fund-raising endeavor was begun. The land was purchased and a fitting memorial was created There are now road signs indicating the location of the memorial, and the Belgium Tourist Bureau lists it in the 60th Anniversary “Battle of the Bulge” brochures. The dedication of the memorial was held in 2004 in an impressive military ceremony. 
Posted by Robert Child

Senate Passes Resolution on the Wereth Eleven

On October 16, 2017 the US Senate passed Resolution S.99 honoring after 73 years the sacrifice and service of The Wereth Eleven. The Resolution now moves onto the House where full passage is expected. Needless to say this has been quite a long time in coming. I am very proud of our entire Wereth team and the small part we played in helping to shed light on this terrible war crime.

The book I coauthored, The Lost Eleven, was optioned in August for a major motion picture. This will bring this story to an even wider audience and remind Americans of the sacrifices made in the name of freedom by African Americans during WWII.


This is the text from the Congressional Record, Oct. 16, 2017:
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


    RECOGNIZING THE 11 AFRICAN-AMERICAN SOLDIERS OF THE 333RD FIELD 
 ARTILLERY BATTALION WHO WERE MASSACRED IN WERETH, BELGIUM, DURING THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate Armed Services Committee be discharged from further consideration of S. Res. 99 and the Senate proceed to its immediate consideration.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will report the resolution by title.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A resolution (S. Res. 99) recognizing the 11 African-
     American soldiers of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion who 
     were massacred in Wereth, Belgium, during the Battle of the 
     Bulge in December 1944.

  There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the 
resolution.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I further ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The resolution (S. Res. 99) was agreed to.
  The preamble was agreed to.
  (The resolution, with its preamble, is printed in the Record of March 
27, 2017, under ``Submitted Resolutions.''






You can read more about the Senate passage and Joe Manchin's part in the bill at this link CLICK.
Thursday
Posted by Robert Child

Support Dale Dye in Funding His WWII Movie on IndieGoGo

Robert Child, Cpt. Dale Dye outside his home in CA
I just learned that Dale Dye has a funding campaign right now on IndieGogo for his WWII movie, No Better Place to Die. The campaign has little more than a week left so you can still contribute and get some great perks!

I worked closely with Dale on USS Franklin: Honor Restored. He was our outstanding narrator. It was a true pleasure and an honor to spend so much time with him. He even gave me a "challenge coin" which I carry with me and people in the military will know what that means.

Dale has been working on No Better Place to Die for several years and Joe Small was his original Executive Producer on the film. Joe is currently credited as the "only listed" EP on the film on IMdB Pro. I invite you to check out Dale's message below and contribute to the film if you can. Although he has many powerful friends in the film business he told me when we worked together that he wanted to do this on his own, which I greatly admire and respect.



Here is the link to the funding page for No Better Place to Die.

Below is a featurette I produced with Dale when I worked with him in the studio in Hollywood.


Saturday
Posted by Robert Child

Lost Eleven Book Secures Feature Film Option

Colorado Springs, CO – August 30. 2017. In a deal which was signed today Colorado-based, Black Rabbit Entertainment Group, LLC has secured the movie rights to literary property, The Lost Eleven (Penguin/Random House) written by Denise George and Robert Child

The book, which is based on the story of the “Wereth Eleven”, retraces the steps eleven black GI's from the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion took when Germans at the start of the Battle of the Bulge overran their unit. Their 10-mile trek from their battery position to Wereth, Belgium would be the last journey of their lives as a local resident turned them in to an SS scouting party. Subsequently all eleven were butchered and killed in one of the least understood, as well as unknown, war crimes of WWII.

Colorado Company has ties to Major Hollywood Studios

Black Rabbit Entertainment Group, principal, Kenneth Labossiere initiated the deal, which was negotiated by literary agent, Greg Johnson at WordServe Literary. Mr. Labossiere says, “We were looking for strong stories that showed the courage and patriotism of the African-American soldier, and The Lost Eleven had every element for a breakout theatrical production.”

Robert Child stated, “When Denise and I dove into the writing we agreed that it should have a feel very much like the film, Glory, which featured Denzel Washington. Washington won both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in his role as Pvt. Trip. Essentially, The Lost Eleven, is Glory set in WWII. A band of African American soldiers become brothers and meet a tragic fate while fighting for their freedom.”
"The action-packed and suspenseful true story of these courageous African-American soldiers," Denise George added, "will touch deeply the hearts of all Americans and show heroism at its finest."


Child continued, “A movie version of the story was also the desire of my fellow producer on The Wereth Eleven, documentary, Joseph Small. Joe who passed away in 2016 was adamant that the widest audience possible should see this story. In the early days of putting the Wereth documentary together Joe even brought the story to attention of executives at DreamWorks. A Lost Eleven movie would truly be the fulfillment of his dream.”


 For more information, contact Black Rabbit Entertainment or Greg Johnson at WordServe Literary (greg@wordserveliterary.com).

Watch the Wereth Eleven filmmaking team in a "making of" panel discussion at the National WWII Museum.

Wednesday
Posted by Robert Child

Summer Reading - Travel Back in Time on Ghost Carrier

For a very limited time I am offering my latest thriller, Ghost Carrier at just .99 cents. Consider this an offer to take the book for a test drive. The story is quite a departure from my past works in that I mix time travel, the paranormal and WWII alternative history all together for a compelling read.

Purchase Here

The Story:

Frank Rusk hasn’t been sleeping well lately. He’s approaching his milestone 70th birthday. Each night for the past two weeks indescribable scenes of horror have awakened him. He is on an exploding ship in WWII, which is sinking fast. Men are burning alive all around him. He hears sailors cry out, “A Japanese torpedo hit the bomb bay! We are all going to die!”

In these nightmarish visions Frank realizes he is not a spectator watching but a sailor living them. Everywhere he turns he sees buddies he knows taking their last breaths. Frank decides this horrifying scene must be what his father Joe Rusk experienced in his last moments alive before perishing on an aircraft carrier in November 1943. The sinking occurred just two months after Frank was born.

At his 70th birthday party before blowing the candles out on his cake Frank makes a wish he has kept secret his entire life; an impossible wish that defies time and the laws of the Universe. Frank yearns to rewrite history and have his Dad in his life. As Frank blows out the candles his father Joe's face materializes in the flames. Joe Rusk looks terrified and screams to Frank for help.

Unbeknown to Frank his father did not die in 1943 but entered a parallel dimension when his ship sank. Joe Rusk and the crew of the carrier are trapped in time on a parallel earth fighting a far superior Japanese naval force and America is losing the war. Outnumbered and out gunned the crew’s only hope is the unbroken soul connection Joe and Frank share. But will the father and son bond be strong enough to bring the doomed crew home?
Saturday
Posted by Robert Child

New 13-Part Amazon Prime Series on Gettysburg - History Storytellers

I am proud to announce a new 13-part series on the Battle of Gettysburg, History Storytellers that has debuted on Amazon Prime Video across the world. The now streaming series features some of America's preeminent scholars and storytellers discussing the epic Civil War battle.

Check out the series out HERE.

I have had the opportunity to interview hundreds of people for my films and the folks who always kept me on the edge of my seat were the historians. Why? Historians are among the most gifted storytellers in the world. They have to be and their passion transports you to distant places in time bringing history back to life in vivid detail. This series features some of the best History Storytellers on the planet. Below is the trailer for the series which features, Allen Guelzo, telling a GREAT story about the Battle of Gettysburg that perhaps you have never heard.


This is a new concept. You could call it a documentary series but it is much deeper than that. In essence it is sitting down with a person who is an expert on the subject and allowing them to "tell you a riveting story" without distractions. By distractions I mean a music sound track, narrator and sound effects. The story speaks for itself. Of course there are visual enhancements such as still images and footage but these elements complement the story. I had considered calling it "Naked History" to attract attention but opted for the more conservative "History Storytellers" which is more descriptive of what the series truly is about. Plus, combined, the terms 'naked' and 'historian' are perhaps something folks don't want to visualize.

For this first "season" much of the material has come from my work on the commemorative film, Gettysburg: The Final Measure of Devotion. The historian and scholar interviews were SO good that I knew someday I wanted people to see them. I could only use a very small portion of these interviews within Gettysburg: The Final Measure of Devotion as it was a film about the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg featuring the largest Civil War Reenactment ever staged. That audience wanted to see the epic Civil War staged battles.

This series is for people who want to learn more about the battle but also be entertained by a great story. Follow up "seasons" on other subjects in history are planned based on the response to this first season about Gettysburg. So if you want to see more of this type of program - tell your friends about it and share on social media.


Thursday
Posted by Robert Child

Award Winning Social Media Series

I'm proud  to announce the social media NBA themed series I directed, The Warmup, along with director, Jason Story, for Turner Sports has won a coveted national award.

The series sponsored by State Farm and broadcast on Twitter was awarded the Silver in the category Social Media Series or Live Video Content at the prestigious 2017 ProMaxBDA North American Promotion, Marketing and Design Awards announced June 8, 2017 in Los Angeles. See Award List.

The awards competition celebrates outstanding achievement in entertainment marketing across every screen, on-air, online, and on-the-go. The PromaxBDA Awards competition stands for excellence in media marketing and speaks to every part of the business from promotion and design to branding and interactive.

Congratulations to the entire Warm Up team at Turner Sports! Way to go in your first season!
Tuesday
Posted by Robert Child
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Memorial Day Weekend - Free Book Blowout

Hey folks for reading pleasure this weekend in honor of all our servicemen and women on this Memorial Day Weekend 2017 I am making almost all my military history titles FREE. This is a limited time offer of this weekend only. Honor our military and take time to learn their stories. I have books and stories from the American Revolution through WWII. And perhaps best of all my, Big War Box Set, is also FREE but for one day only - Memorial Day. In this compilation you will find five of my history titles at no cost!

I hope you will take advantage of this great opportunity to check out my work as you enjoy this patriotic weekend with your friends and family. Links to all the books are below.



Washington Crossing Film Trailer #2



This was a hidden gem I came across and thought I would share with folks. It is the unreleased trailer, trailer #2 if you will of the America's First D-Day film - unreleased till now. I have released it in honor of the recent opening last month of the brand new Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia.

What I love about this piece is it transports you back into the American Revolution instantly - to the snow that Christmas Eve, to the dying soldiers and misery. We spent a good deal of time in the film set-ups but the results were worth it.

Hopefully you will have a chance to not only visit this new museum but also check out this film which I wrote and directed for the Continental Film Alliance in Pennsylvania. It is one I am very proud of. Click on the cover art below or America's First D-Day to check it out.


My Livestreamed Talk from the National WWII Museum

Watch My Presentation February 7, 2016.



Today The Lost Eleven is Released

Today marks a very significant day in my professional creative career. Today, after two and a half years of writing, editing and packaging, The Lost Eleven, is being released to the world by the biggest publishing house in the world Penguin / Random House. The behemoth literally controls 25% of all books sold in the world.

I have written a number of self-published books both fiction and nonfiction which have found their place and an audience. The Lost Eleven, however, is my first book with a major publisher. People outside the publishing industry have no idea how difficult it is to get a "book deal" - any book deal even with the smallest publishing house. It is simply rejection letter after rejection letter and some fine writers never get a book deal during their lifetimes. That is why the whole self publishing industry has sprang up.

So I wanted to convey the significance of this to my readers and say how humbled, proud and blessed I feel about not only the fact that the book is being released but about the story itself. I have been connected to the Wereth Eleven story now for seven years. When I first learnt of it the tale touched me deeply. I felt I had a duty to tell the world about this injustice and atrocity that had been swept under the carpet of history. My visionary film producer, Joseph Small, felt the exact same way and led the charge to produce the film, The Wereth Eleven, which was nominated for an Emmy®. His sole motivation was not only to tell the world about these men who were brutally tortured and died at the hands of the Nazis but also to restore their human dignity.

The Lost Eleven, book is the culmination of Joe's vision to restore these men's very humanity and remind the world that this should never happen again. The book tells the eleven men's story but also illuminates the hardships that black soldiers endured during WWII fighting for freedom for their country while they themselves did not feel free.

I encourage you to look into this untold story of bravery, courage and sacrifice and let others know that this story and these men should never be forgotten. I am truly honored to have been a part of this effort. It has literally changed my life and how I view history and the world. And I believe once you read this story it will change your life too.

*Please check out, The Lost Eleven, which is on the shelves of every major book store as well as available on line in e-reader formats for Kindle, Nook and others.

Below is the trailer for, The Wereth Eleven, film which is also available everywhere on DVD and streaming formats.









New York Daily News Article on The Lost Eleven


Writer Sherryl Connelly wrote a fantastic feature piece for the New York Daily News this week on the story of The Lost Eleven and my book of the same name releasing on Tuesday. Hope you can check out the piece  online. Here is the link  NY Daily News Article.

WWII Speaking Event Will Stream Live 6P Feb 7, 2016

I just found out that the talk I am planning to present on my book, The Lost Eleven at the National WWII Museum will stream live as it happens on February 7th at 6PM. Below is info and a link that you can bookmark to see my presentation live.

Meet the Author
US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center

Robert Child presents The Lost Eleven: The Forgotten Story
6:00 p.m. Presentation  |  7:00 p.m. Book Signing
During the Battle of the Bulge, Nazis massacred 11 brave African American soldiers in the village of Wereth, Belgium. Although they sacrificed their lives during a time when they weren’t treated equally because of the color of their skin—even on American soil—this heroic story was left out of history books. It took 70 years for Congress to recognize the valor and bravery of these 11 men. Coauthor Robert Child tells the individual stories of these artillerymen, the Belgian family that took them in, and the boy who couldn’t forget the courageous men who died in the field. A book signing will follow the presentation.
For more information call 504-528-1944 x 229.


The Lost Eleven

The Lost Eleven
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Tribute to Joe Small

Tribute to Joe Small
Joe Small Exec. Prod. - Wereth Eleven
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