WWII US Army Veteran is the last survivor of his unit. He was attached to the French Foreign Legion and awarded their Highest honor. Read more
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About this project
Thanks for checking out the TUCK Kickstarter page. We are raising $10,000 to produce a feature documentary about the life of an amazing WWII veteran; Corporal Robert Foster. And we need your help. Mr. Foster’s story might seem like the stuff of movies, but it all actually happened to one man. From a small town in Massachusetts to the European Theatre of war, from fighting in North Africa, to falling in love in Italy, disguising himself as a Nazi to aid in a French rescue mission in enemy territory; Tuck’s is an incredible story that just begs to be told. And we are hoping to tell it. Mr. Foster is an amazing man who’s led an uncommon life and we’re hoping that with your help we can document it for the world to see. Please check out our video and read below for more information about our fundraising campaign and how you can help.
David Perinchief, Kalilah Robinson - TUCK Production Team
In 1942 at the age of 22 Robert Foster hitchhiked to Hartford, Connecticut in order to enlist in the US Army. Like so many other young men and women of the era, the events of December 7th, 1941 had inspired a great desire to participate in the war effort and serve his country in whatever manner he could.
Assigned to the 168th Chemical Smoke Generator Company, a specialized unit that made smoke screens to camouflage allied troop movements and hide areas targeted by enemy bombers, Foster’s service took him from France and Belgium to Algeria and Tunisia in North Africa and back into Europe, to Italy, Germany and Austria, before the war’s end. From manning naval guns across the Atlantic to taking part in the liberations of Marseille, Wissenbourg, Alsace and the Colmar pocket, from falling in love with an Italian girl, to serving with the Légion étrangère (the French Foreign Legion), Foster would see numerous engagements in his three years in the European theatre and end his service with a variety of decorations including the Distinguished Unit badge,European-African-Middle Eastern Campain Medal with four bronze stars, Purple Heart with Oak Leaf
For his participation with the Foreign Legion Foster would be awarded the French Volunteer Medal, the Liberation of France Medal and the Croix de Guerre avec Palmes for his part in a rescue mission which saw him don the uniform of the enemy and trek more than a mile into Nazi territory to reach French resistance soldiers who had captured two German tanks behind enemy lines.
“The guy says to me in French, ‘We have a beautiful black helmet for you,’ and he took out a German helmet and changed my helmet and said, ‘Now you’re a German,’”- Robert Foster
The rouse worked almost too well, as the French soldiers he was sent to rescue believed him to actually be a Nazi soldier and held him at gunpoint until he could prove otherwise. Foster and the French soldiers eventually managed to escape and rejoin the Première Armée François losing only one man to enemy fire.
On July 19th, 2010, at the age of 90, 68 years and two days after Foster first enlisted, the French government awarded him the Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur (Legion of Honor) France’s highest decoration awarded in “cases of exemplary military and civilian services rendered to the country.”
At 93 years old, Corporal Robert Foster may be one of the last surviving member of of the 168 Chemical Smoke Generator Company, his is one of the last 30,000 surviving WWII veterans from the state of Massachusetts and he is one of an ever shrinking number of brave men and women, the Greatest Generation, who fought and won the most devastating conflict the world has ever seen. His story is exciting and incredible, full of thrills and heartache, at times unbelievable but undeniably unique and we hope to capture it, to make a documentary, to share with the world this man’s experience, through the war and beyond, so that all might know just how amazing one life can be.
Risks and challenges
“It’s very difficult when you get to be my age and all your friends are gone, and all the buddies. It’s really rough.” – Robert Foster
May 8th, 2013 marked the 68th anniversary of V-E Day when the Allied forces of World War II formally accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany thus ending the war in Europe. More than 16 million American men and women served during the Second World War but today, nearly 70 years later, the number of surviving vets stands at just over 1 million. According to the Veterans Administration, WWII vets are dying at a rate of 680 per day, roughly one every two minutes. It’s a sobering fact. The ranks of these vets are dwindling fast, in the coming years they will all be gone and their stories will be lost forever to history.
Achieving our Kickstarter goal will allow us to bring a production team to Mr. Foster’s home in Massachusetts this fall with time enough to capture and record all that he cares to share with us. We intend to produce a feature documentary to be shared with schools and veterans groups so that the public at large may know the exploits of this remarkable man.
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