Serving Our Veterans,
their Families and Friends
for over 30 Years.
Historic Tours Staff
Ray Pfeiffer is the senior American WWII Tour Director. He and Cristy are the only tour leaders to have lived in Normandy. From 2002 to 2008 they lived in a home on Omaha Beach. Ray directed group tours and private tours for many groups and guided 350 private tours. Ray knows every inch of Normandy. He guided tours for White House staff as well as Congressional delegations and former Speaker of the House Hastert.
Ray was born in raised in Jersey City, just across from lower Manhattan. Ray's Dad served aboard USS George Clymer (APA27) and he was in almost constant amphibious combat from Operation Torch in North Africa in 1942 to the invasion of Okinawa in 1945. He left the Navy after the war but joined the Naval Reserve in 1956 and retired as a Senior Chief Petty Officer in 1978.
Ray is a Vietnam-Era veteran who served in The Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean and in the Second Fleet in the Atlantic. He does not recommend crossing the Atlantic on an LST as the first way to visit Europe! However he fell in love with Europe and vowed to visit Europe as often as he could. During the Cold War he served on active duty with the US Navy from 1969 - 1972. His first ship was the USS Terrebonne Parish (LST1156) and his second ship was the USS Robert K. Huntington (DD781). Ray left active duty as a Radioman 2nd Class (E-5). During his time in the Navy he served with the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean and in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Pacific with Second Fleet, spending most of his time at sea.
After leaving active duty in 1972, Ray utilized the GI Bill to get his B.A. from New Jersey City University and his M.S. from The Polytechnic Institute of New York University.
He and his wife Cristy have spent about half of their adult lives in Europe and living in Luxembourg, France and Ireland.
Ray believes that a lot of people from his generation feel some guilt and confusion concerning the institution of the military. He believes that touring the sites from WWII helps people deal with the emotions left over from Vietnam. He notes that touring with Ray Pfeiffer's Historic Tours has become a pilgrimage for many Baby Boomers.
Growing up in the 50s and 60s, Crisy Pfeiffer was exposed to TV and movies about World War II. She developed a natural interest in that period.
Her father served in the Pacific in WWII and her brother served in Vietnam. She realized how differently those two wars were viewed. Seeing how during WWII, everyone made sacrifices had a strong impact on her. Cristy graduated from The College of New Jersey and became a Speech Pathologist and Audiologist with the State of New Jersey. Her area of expertise was language acquisition for Special Needs children in an institutional setting. She was nominated as "Teacher of the Year" for the State of New Jersey in 1978.
When she met Ray, they shared a respect for the military and an interest in the Second World War, so they started to visit the places of their common interest. They decided to conduct historic tours partly because they felt it was a calling and a mission.
Cristy notes that Vietnam was a very difficult period for our country. She has come to see that for Americans, there is a comfort in going back to a period in time, WWII specifically, where the lines between good and evil were clearly defined. During WWII, the country was united and the nation, our military, and our people were at their greatest. Knowing this history allows us to understand who we are as a people, what makes us great, and why we have a reputation that people admire all around the world. Twentieth Century History helps us understand why we are in this role. Cristy and Ray started their business to help bring this knowledge to their generation.
Susan Erickson is the Communications Director for Historic Tours and also acts as the Tour Manager on many tours, typically handling all e-mail communications for Historic Tours while Cristy and Ray Pfeiffer are operating their WWII commemorative tour programs.
Susan is a small animal veterinarian who currently practices in Portland, Oregon. In addition to being a student of military history, she holds a Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, where she did research with Arctic seals for many years.
Her interest in World War II history was inspired by the experiences of her late uncle and a personal visit to Normandy with her brother and sister in 1999. In particular, she enjoys educating young people about the Second World War.
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