Bloody Omaha: My Remembrances of That Day (Paperback, Fall - 2010) by James Robert Copeland, S/SGT., 5th Ranger Infantry Battalion
I remember receiving sniper fire from above in a similar scene as pictured here -- none of us thought we'd make it. I did make it and here is my story.
It begins from my childhood in West Virginia, where my family and my family's family, worked in the coal mines.
When war broke out (Pearl Harbor), I enlisted in the Army and became Army Ranger -- fighting that fateful day, on the bloodiest beach, June 6th, 1944.

As a home health aid my wife Linda discovered James Robert Copeland. Linda and I were surprised with his energy, his vitality and his story. It didn't take much conversation to convince him of the importance of recording his story for posterity. We had several interviews over the past year and each time JR (as Ranger Copeland likes to be called), reminded me he felt his time was running out. He wanted me to hurry in my writing so he could see the finished book.
JR Copeland will be 89 years old this year. There has never been a time when I didn't find him cordial, informative and quite lucid in his conversation. Hopefully JR will see his story published -- this man is a magnanimous individual, besides being a war hero. I hope my writing does justice to his great story.
--garry m graves, biographer

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Granddaughter Brenna and me.


  Here’s a picture of me and granddaughter, Brenna. Isn’t she a beauty? And smart too.

  Hope everyone had a nice Christmas holiday and got all the presents they wanted. It was a big time around my house, lot’s a people and lot’s of food. It was great.

  2011 was a good year for me and my book, ‘Bloody Omaha – My Remembrances of That Day by James Robert Copeland.’ The digital book, they call it an eBook, sells better than the print version. That’s the way book sales are today, the eBooks outsell the hardbacks and the paperbacks. People even read on their phones now. Whew! Now that’s something.

  We’re hoping 2012 will be kind to our book sales as well. It’s a little book, only 106 pages in the print version, but it has 39 pictures, that make the story more enjoyable. The book was fun to do and just between you and me, I’m thinking about doing a 2nd book. Sort of a follow up to the first one. I’ll include some stories that me and the biographer left out of first one.

  I was lucky to have returned from that horrible War and that beach, Omaha Beach. I remember all the soldiers who didn’t make it off that beach. If you’re the praying-kind, say one for all the soldiers who fight or died in Wars. Thanks.

Respectfully, James Robert Copeland, S/Sgt., Company B, 5th Ranger Infantry Battalion, World War II Survivor.

Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Smashwords

Monday, December 19, 2011

‘Bloody Omaha’ Video

‘Bloody Omaha,’ – is a biography of my life and the landing on Omaha Beach, Normandy, France, June 6, 1944. The above video introduces the book. It’s sort of like a preview of an upcoming film. It’s a short piece, only about one minute. Take a look if you have the time.

My book is selling very well and is still available at Amazon for $99 cents (eBook). Click here to go to the books Amazon page.

Many Thanks. Enjoy your Christmas and New Year Holiday. Keep family first.

Respectfully, James Robert Copeland, S/Sgt., Company B, 5th Ranger Infantry Battalion, World War II Survivor.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day

Hello All,

Today is veterans day, a day of special meaning to me. I'm a veteran of World War II. A survivor of WWII. Naturally, I remember the times when fighting in the Normandy Invasion, that I thought I'd be killed soon. All the soldiers, not just me, felt that the next moment would be their last. Many, many, of my fellow soldiers never made it to the next day, after D-Day, June 6, 1944.

I'm truly sorry for that. Surly they would have wanted to come home after the war, like I did, and have a loving family, a wonderful job...a meaningful life. It's sad to think of the soldiers who were young and full of life to have lost the chance to grow up.

Every man and women I met while in the military always believed in what they were doing. They felt good about their effort, the war effort. After all it was for a great cause, perhaps the greatest cause of all. So today, veterans day, take a few moments and think of the many who gave their lives, willingly, to help our great country survive. Those who didn't make it would want you to enjoy your freedom's, love your family and do your best in every pursuit you have. It's every soldiers dream for you to enjoy life, for what they did.

Don't forget those who serve our military now. They have the same mission as those who have perished.

Respectfully, James Robert Copeland, S/Sgt., 5th Ranger Infantry Battalion, WWII Survivor.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

‘Bloody Omaha’ Author says THANKS…


  Just wanted to say ‘THANKS’ to all of you out there who have bought my little book. Each and every month the sales numbers continue to increase. And, it’s all because of your interest in my little story…and of course telling your neighbor or friend about it. And so it goes…

  Occasionally I’ll sell a paperback but most of the sales are from the ‘eBook’ side. This, I’m told, is happening with most books today, not just mine. The invention of the ‘ereader’s (digital gadget that lets you read a book), along with many who read on their phone, who would’a guessed that happening 10 years ago…even 5 or 2 years ago. It’s amazing. Besides, the digital version, compared to the paperback, is much cheaper, only 99 cents. Now who doesn’t want that today?

  My biographer, Garry M. Graves, and I have talked a little about a second book. He knows (as we revised ‘Bloody Omaha’ plenty of times), that I have several more stories in me. HaHa! Yes, some of the stories are gruesome and shouldn’t be told. And, I won’t tell them. However, there are some cute and funny stories, from the war, and from my times after the war, that just might prove to be interesting reading. Garry seems to believe a second book might compliment the first and readers will enjoy some further exploits we omitted from the first book.

  Not sure what we’ll call it…the second book. We’ve tossed around titles like: ‘Beyond Bloody Omaha,’ or ‘Bloody Omaha – Continued,’ or ‘Bloody Omaha – The Untold Stories.’ 

  Maybe you have a suggestion? If so, drop us a line with your email, here. Am thinking of making a contest out of  it (that’d be fun). If we used your title (giving you full credit in the books acknowledgement), we might also throw in a $50 Amazon gift card. How’d that be? HaHa!

  Anyway, let us know. Am thinking this project won’t be done til fall 2012. Maybe we could release it on my birthday, November 2012…when I’ll be the big ‘9-0.’ I’m still young at heart…remember I told you that. To always be ‘young at heart.’

Respectfully, James Robert Copeland, S/Sgt., Company B, 5th Ranger Infantry Battalion, WWII Survivor.

Bloody Omaha – My Remembrances of That Day by James Robert Copeland’  (Amazon Link)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Trusty Thompson Submachine Gun at Omaha Beach.


  The .45 Thompson Submachine Gun was the kind of weapon I used at Omaha Beach, June 6, 1944.

  It was clumsy and weighed too much but it put a lot of lead in the air plenty fast…and that’s a good thing.

  This year the military is thinking about a new machine gun, the #M27. It’s lighter (2-1/2 lbs. lighter), with larger magazines and way more easier to handle. That’s important. The soldiers today have plenty of gear strapped to their body, so any piece of equipment that’s ‘better and lighter,’ is a real advantage. Our soldiers need every advantage.

  M27machinegun It’s always nice to read and hear about the newer gadgets, guns and armament now being used by the military. Makes you wonder if things might have been different, you know, losing those 5000 men at Omaha Beach. Probably not; it was a real gun battle…but we pushed on.

  I still like that Thompson, it saved my butt several times that day.

Respectfully, JR Copeland, S/Sgt., Company B, 5th Ranger Infantry Battalion, WWII, Survivor.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day - 2011


  The American Cemetery at Omaha Beach is the final resting place of a few good friends of mine.

  Soldiers killed on D-Day.

  They all wanted a life beyond WWII. A family…kids to love and take care of.

  I was one of the lucky ones, I made it off that bloody beach. Sure, I’d been shot a couple times but I was breathing -- unlike the 6000 or so others who took their last breath June 6, 1944.

  War is hell.

  Take just a minute today and remember all veterans, living and dead.

Respectfully, James Robert Copeland, S/Sgt., Company B, 5th Ranger Infantry Battalion, WWII Survivor. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Email from a Reader…

In early April I received an email from someone who had purchased ‘Bloody Omaha’ in the eBook version. They reported reading it on one of them ‘new-fangled’ Amazon Kindle eReaders. HeHe! Two things surprised me: 1) it was the first email coming to my own address – ‘rangerJRCopeland at gmail dot com’ and 2) it was such a nice letter praising the book and congratulating me on my service…I just had to post it here so you could share in my joy. (I asked permission from the writer of the email to let me post it on the blog).

Here it is…

  Ranger Copeland:  My name is Randall Seely; I'm retired U.S. Air Force, having retired in 1986.  My father, Col. Donald Seely (US Army retired) swore me into the AF in 1965 on his birthday.  He served proudly in Europe during the war, as did you.
  I just completed your book (on Kindle), and found it fascinating.  Next year, my wife and I are taking another cruise (our 13th), sailing from Southampton, England to Ft Lauderdale, Fla, by way of Le Havre, France...Vigo, Spain...Lisbon, Portugal...the Azores, Portugal...
Bermuda...and finally, off the ship at Ft Lauderdale. 
  The high point of our trip will be Le Havre, which will give us the opportunity to visit Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery.  As a child, I lived in France for 3 years, as my father was stationed there; you will understand, of course, it had little meaning to me as a child.  However, thanks to my avid interest in WWII and the sacrifices made by brave men such as you, I will visit the region with incredible gratitude; I'd visited the Cemetery in 1957 without realizing what I was experiencing.
  You, sir, are an American Hero. I appreciate what you did at Omaha Beach...and will do everything I can to explain to MY grandchildren the sacrifices made by great soldiers such as you.  Your book is's educational...and it 'brings home' what patriotism is all about!
  Ranger Copeland...and I wish you well.  Thank you for your service...your dedication...and your wisdom into what sacrifices are made by great Americans who are forced into war.
  From one Veteran to another...I salute you!
Best wishes,  
Randall Seely
USAF Retired

When Garry printed off Mr. Seely’s email and brought it to me I was surprised beyond belief. It was sure a nice letter and a very nice thing for Mr. Seely to do. I replied to Mr. Seely, who is retired military, with my heartfelt thanks for his service to our country AND his father’s service too.

I’m glad to have made the acquaintance of this fine man.

Respectfully, James Robert Copeland - S/Sgt., 5th Ranger Infantry Battalion, WWII Survivor.