Today I sadly heard about the passing of another 101st Airborne paratrooper who I have had the honor to meet in person: Bert Collier, from the 501st PIR, Dog Company. A remarkable man is no longer with us, rest in peace now Bert, your memory will live on.Bert Collier was at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked. Later, he nearly suffocated while parachuting into the pitch black skies over Normandy. Then he jumped into Holland from such a low altitude he could see surprised enemy soldiers sunbathing. He endured bitter cold and starvation during a siege at Bastogne, Belgium. Each time, the bloody encounters would claim most of those around him.
"I was too young to die,” he said.
Some nice memories from meeting Bert in September 2009, when he came for the last time to the Market Garden commemorations in Holland, Eerde, near the windmill where he landed and fought in September 1944.
My sincere condolences to the Collier family.