published: Friday, May 25, 2012
'Secret Six' photos give rare look behind the D-Day invasion
Special to the South Lake Press
The Groveland Historical Society invites the public to a special Memorial Day program from 11 a.m. to noon on Monday when retired Col. Ric Baysinger presents a fascinating, never-before-seen look behind part of the planning of D-Day -- the history-changing World War II invasion of Normandy.
The program will be presented at the museum located at 243 S. Lake Ave. immediately following a 10 a.m. rededication ceremony of Veterans Park, which is beside the museum.
The program will be repeated at 11 a.m., June 9.
Baysinger's deceased father, Bob Baysinger, was one of the hand-picked members of the "Secret Six," who were tasked with preparing scale models of the beaches and countryside where the D-Day invasion was to take place. Baysinger was a photomapper who worked with fellow mapper William Eisenberg, who later changed his name to Will Elder and as a talented illustrator helped start "Mad" magazine.
Ric Baysinger will share his father's pictures showing scale models of the five D-Day beaches, Pointe du Hoc and other objectives.
Baysinger also will detail the history of his father's unit, the 668th Engineer Topographic Company, as it moved through England, Normandy, France, Ger-many and finally the liberation of Pilsen, Czechoslo-vokia, on V-E Day.
Retired Col. Ric Bay-singer is a graduate of Groveland High School and Lake-Sumter Commu-nity College. He served in the Florida Army National Guard and Army Reserve for more than 30 years.
He received numerous awards, including the Meritorious Service Medal and Florida Distinguished Service Medal. He was inducted into the Florida National Guard Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame.
Baysinger's civilian career included 38 years in the telecommunications industry before retiring from Embarq. He and his wife, Sue, live in Mount Plymouth. They have two daughters and eight grandchildren.