The American War Bride Experience

GI Brides of World War II

French Wife of American GI Thankful
For Allied Efforts To Free Paris

Nampa resident Jannie Lytle was a 16 year old French girl going to school in Paris when the Allies stormed the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944.

But with a German-imposed media blackout in place, she heard the news from whispering classmates.

"The Allies have landed," Lytle, now 77, recalled them saying. She spoke Sunday after visiting the Veteran's Home in Boise to thank American soldiers who fought to liberate France.

"Of course, we were elated," Lytle said of the invasion. "But (with the Germans still in control of Paris) it had to be kept hush-hush."

But the elation soon turned into a long wait. Under peaceful conditions, Lytle said it would take about 2 1/2 to 3 hours to drive from Normandy to Paris. France's liberators would take slightly longer to make the trek as Allied forces battled their way inland from the coast.

"It took from the 6th. of June to the 24th. of August,"Lytle said.

After the liberation of France, Lytle said she and a cousin visited an American military camp in Versailles. It was there, on Dec. 31, 1945, that she met her future husband, Donald Lytle.

Not long after, the American combat veteran from Oregon who fought in the Battle of the Bulge propsed. The couple was married on Aug. 12, 1946. After moving to Nyssa, Oregon, Janine and Donald had six children before moving to Nampa. The pair are looking forward to their 59th wedding anniversary this August.

Bur even after six decades, Janine can still remember what it felt like to taste freedon after living for four years under an Axis yoke.

"We were all feeling so liberated," she said.

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