Melancholy Baby: The Unplanned Consequences of the G.I.s' Arrival in Europe for World War II

Melancholy Baby: The Unplanned Consequences of the G.I.s' Arrival in Europe for World War II

Melancholy Baby: The Unplanned Consequences of the G.I.s' Arrival in Europe for World War II

Melancholy Baby: The Unplanned Consequences of the G.I.s' Arrival in Europe for World War II

Synopsis

More than one million American G.I.s were crammed into the UK prior to the invasion of France during World War II. Many British women, dazzled by the movie star image of American men, fell in love with the G.I.s. The children of these liasons deserve to learn about the missing half of their heritage. Winfield, who now runs an organization that helps the children of G.I.s search for their fathers, tells us their stories.

Excerpt

It is a sunny spring day in March 1998, I am about to address a ladies' luncheon on what is still the most popular subject on my list of talks: "G.I. Brides and G.I. Babies," which relates to the romances between British women and the G.I.s. The venue is Peterborough, a cathedral city that would have received visits from thousands of G.I.s from 1942 to 1945 because the 8th Air Force was stationed all around the area. As poignant a fact today is that Madingley, the U.S. military cemetery, is not far away, so some of them are still here.

I will know from the smiles, winks, and nudges in my audience that many of the older ladies share happy memories of those hectic wartime years. The magic of Hollywood was suddenly personified by real Americans. Those G.I.s may not all have looked like film stars, but they talked like film stars. Their uniforms were very smart compared to their British counterparts, and they had such charming manners. No one had ever met their like before. Someone in the media, possibly inspired by jealousy, quickly dubbed the American G.I.s "over-paid, over-sexed, and over here." It carries to this day and is not a reputation they deserve. They were normal young men, many from small-town America who had never been far from home until they hit training camp. They came to the United Kingdom to help finish a war that had been dragging on for three years.

The arrival of those G.I.s is a phenomenon that will never happen again, unless men come down from Mars. They left their mark on a . . .

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