75th Anniversary of D-Day Commemoration
June 1 - 6, 2019

The Town of Hamilton, Massachusetts - the military home of record for General George S. Patton Jr in World War II - along with Patton Homestead Inc (PHI), the Wenham Museum, and other community partners held a commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of D-Day the week of June 1 – June 6, 2019.

Saturday, June 1st

  • 12:30pm – 4pm Community Picnic and Food Truck Festival

  • Hamilton Historical Society Open House—North Wing

  • United State Marine Corps Truck Display

  • 12:45pm; 1:30pm; 2:15pm; and 3:00pm—Tours of the Patton Family Archives—South Wing

  • 2:30pm Wilber’s War, An American Family’s Journey through World War II. An autobiographical presentation by Hale Bradt. (Stables)

  • 4: 15pmOpening Remarks by – The Patton Family, Sen Bruce Tarr, and Rep. Brad Hill

  • 5:00 pm Keynote Lecture (Stables):

    George Patton: Reluctant D-Day Decoy
    Speaker: Sherman Fleek, Lt. Col. - US Army Ret.
    Command Historian of West Point

Monday, June 3rd

  • Hamilton Wenham Public Library
    WW II commemorative display & collection of WW II books

  • 7:30pm WW II Movie Community House, Hamilton

    Tuesday, June 4th / Wednesday, June 5th

  • Hamilton Wenham Public Library
    WW II commemorative display & collection of WW II books

  • Homestead grounds open to the public - Sunrise to sunset

D-Day Thursday, June 6th

  • 11:00am—1:30pm Brown Bag Lunch for Seniors at Patton Homestead with tour of Hamilton Historical Society and Patton Family Archives

  • 11:00am  Open House Hamilton Historical Society (North Wing)

  • 3:30pm; 4:15pm; 5:00pm; 5:45pm Tours of the Patton Family Archives

  • Patton Family Movies (Main House)

  • Closing Ceremonies 7:00pm – 8:30pm – (Patton Homestead)

    • General Patton’s Speech to the Third Army dated June 5, 1944 (Note: strong language)

    • General Patton’s D-Day Letter to his son, the future General George Patton IV

The general public was invited to share a photo and read the names of local family members who participated in the D-Day Campaign

The June 1st presentation was by the Command Historian of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Lt. Col. Sherman Fleek (US Army-Ret). He explored the behind-the-scenes contribution of General George S. Patton IV in planning the D-Day Campaign.

Sherman Fleek retired from the U. S. Army in 2002, after a 25 year career as a lieutenant colonel.  He served as an aviator, Special Forces officer, and enlisted armor crewman, ending his career as Chief Historian of the National Guard Bureau.  Lt. Col. Fleek joined the Army in 1973, serving in Mainz, Germany. Commissioned from the ROTC in 1982, he has also served in air cavalry, air assault, and fixed wing support units. He was commander of several units, served two joint tours, and served in combat arms units from platoon through division.

Lt. Col. Fleek’s awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and eight other decorations including the Master Aviator Badge, being qualified in several rotary and fixed-wing aircraft with more than 2,200 flying hours. He also received the Army Parachutist Badge, Special Forces Tab and Air Assault Badge. In May 2016 Fleek received the Secretary of the Army Award for Valor for disrupting an armed robbery at a restaurant in California in May 2015.

In 2009, he was appointed the command historian for the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY. Fleek has taught military history to cadets at West Point since 2013, and a graduate history course to Army officers affiliated with Columbia University’s Teachers College.

As a historian, he has more than thirty articles published on military, frontier army, Mexican War and Civil War history in national periodicals and historical journals.  In 2006, his first book appeared, the award-winning History May be Searched in Vain: A Military History of the Mormon Battalion; his second book, Place the Headstones Where they Belong, a biography of Thomas Neibaur, a World War I recipient of the Medal of Honor, appeared in 2008.  He later published two historical novels on the Mexican War in the Far West.  His latest book, Saints of Valor: Mormon Medal of Honor Recipients, was published in late 2011, and again in 2013.

He served from 2002-2005 as historian for a Civil War preservation foundation, telling the Civil War story in the Shenandoah Valley.  In 2005, the U.S. Army appointed Mr. Fleek as the historian to record and to write the Army’s official history of the reconstruction efforts in Iraq, then served in Iraq in early 2006.  In May, 2007, he became the first ever historian for Walter Reed Army Medical Center.  

A native of Layton, Utah, he holds a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University and a Master of Arts degree in American History from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Idaho. He married Michel E. Johnson in July 1982, and has five children: three boys and two girls.

This program is supported by a grant from the Hamilton-Wenham Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

The Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of D-Day and the mission of PHI was generously supported by the following corporate sponsors: