Serving Our Veterans,
their Families and Friends
for over 30 Years.
When we first began guiding tours in 1983, many of the Second World War veterans and their wives were in their late 50's or early 60's. We are grateful to have shared many important moments with them; both private moments and also great public moments when they were being thanked by grateful citizens of Europe for their liberation with parades, ceremonies and other events.
Sadly now most of The Greatest Generation are gone, we are losing them so quickly.
Below you will find comments from many of these veterans and their families.
70th Anniversary Tour - June 6, 2014
A year ago this June 6, 2014 the 70th anniversary of D-Day, I went on my second World War II tour with Ray and Cristy Pfieffer, the owners of Historic Tours, Inc. www.ww2tours.com. I took my oldest son to see the only place where his grandfather is honored and remembered. My father was MIA at Château-Salins, France. His remains were never recovered, but his name is etched for posterity in the Wall of the Missing at the Lorraine American Cemetery at Saint-Avold, France.
How do I describe a tour of such magnitude, enormous in both depth and breadth?
Even though they have been doing these tours for 33 years, the Pfeiffer’s keep returning–revitalized for another journey of discovery for a veteran or their family, re-energized by their love of what they do and for whom they do it. They had been making special plans for this 70th Commemoration Tour of D-Day for five years. I doubt any other tour directors have the experience and know-how that they do. They obtained by-invitation-only tickets from the offices of Presidents Obama and Hollande for all of us to attend the ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery atop Omaha Beach. They worked very hard to acquire VIP seating for the families of WWII vets. On the evening news all around the world, our tour's veterans were seen seated on stage right behind our president. In addition, they arranged for VIP receptions in the towns in France, Belgium and Luxembourg where we visited.
Ray and Cristy Pfeiffer were like theatrical agents for rock stars. They waited patiently behind the scenes making certain their veteran "stars" got all the limelight and applause they deserved. Handshakes, embraces and kisses from European dignitaries, soldiers, their children, and their grandchildren were offered everywhere we went. The Pfeiffer’s never urged them away to continue with the tour but made certain the vets got to enjoy every moment of gratitude anyone, anywhere offered them.
These older gentlemen remained brave troopers. I never heard one complaint during the entire tour. Even during the June 6 ceremony when the weather was hot and uncomfortable, the crowds intimidating, and protocols challenging to endure at times. I saw a strong Cristy at her awesome best. She scolded, cajoled and may have intimidated the gendarmes to get our vets out of unforeseen difficulties. Then she kissed them in thanks and got smiles from all of them! She truly loves all soldiers deceased and alive.
The Pfeiffer’s were also agents for every tour member. They helped bring us as close to our soldiers as they could, where they landed, where they fought, who their leaders and comrades were. And where they, like my dad, died and were buried. They etched memories like tombstone rubbings chiseled in granite, in my soul for eternity.
Their knowledge goes far beyond facts found elsewhere. Ray did his own research to present to us when we met him. I learned more about my father before even going on the tours than my own family ever knew. He made my father come back to life on the exact spot on Utah Beach where he landed when I was two years old.
It couldn’t have been any better than a private tour since I felt what they did for me and my son was very personal and special even though they had 50 other people to care for. They hired a special driver to take us to the Lorraine American Cemetery at St. Avold, France where my father’s name is etched in the wall of remembrance and ordered flowers to take with us. Then to my complete surprise, Ray Pfeiffer himself left the tour in Cristy’s very capable hands for the day, and went with us to my father’s place. On the four hour trip, he showed maps of my father’s entire history from where he landed on Utah Beach to Chateau Salins where he was killed. Even at the cemetery, he continued searching for my father's comrades who might be buried there. He found one that died with him. I can't describe to you exactly how that felt.
Theirs is an intimacy, a loving bond, with history and the soldiers not found in books and movies. It seeks out life, soul and spirit of the events but especially the human beings who were there, whose spirits they still help keep alive.
35th Infantry Division Tour - July 2014
Dear Cristy and Ray,
Again Alice and I and the boys want to thank you for such a wonderful trip. A trip of a lifetime we will call it!
We were amazed at your info on the 35th Infantry Division. It was so well planned and executed, as if you had the same before (even though the 35th had never done a tour with you before).
The accommodations were super, the meals, what can we say, were European. We saw all of our friends and saw places which I had not seen Orleans or Nancy, as I had not joined the Division until The Bulge. So Paris and Normandy were the only places we had seen before.
Thanks for a wonderful time!
Jim and Alice Graff and grandsons Theo and Zadok
Paris and Normandy Tour
Cristy and Ray,
Your tour and attention to detail were the best we've ever experienced!
We are so proud to now be included in the "Pfeiffers' Fan Club"! and can call you both our new friends from around the world.
We sincerely hope to be traveling with you again soon!
Au revoir for now
Jennifer and Tim Trovato
35th Infantry Division Association Tour 2014
October 8, 2004 - South Philly, PA
Dear Cristy and Ray,
I want to thank you both and Sue, Steve and Alain. The trip we just came back from was the best! It took me back to the 40’s. Enjoyed all and want to thank you both for the nice things you did for Babe and me. I also want to thank all were in the background. There was a lot of homework done behind the scenes. Thank them too! Just remember this – your tour – the Easy Company 60th Anniversary Commemorative Tour was the best! Thanks a million for all of the memories.
Love to all,
“Wild Bill” Guarnere
Easy Company 506th P.I.R. 101st Airborne Division Band of Brothers
Dear Cristy and Ray,
I want to thank both of you once again for the wonderful September 2006 tour –
Babe and I look forward to traveling with you in 2007.
“Wild” Bill Guarnere
Edward "Babe" Hefron
First I want to thank you both for the finest trip to Europe that I ever been on. I must tell you two people what a wonderful job you did as the leaders of this tour group.
Edward “Babe” Heffron
Easy Company, 506th P.I.R. 101st Airborne
Band of Brothers, From South Philly
Dear Cristy and Ray,
Well you did it again! I did not think anything could beat the tour of 2004, but you sure did! The young people on the tour changed my outlook on today’s youth. They made me proud to be part of your tour. They can cry also as we grown men are not supposed to, but do. I know Bill Guarnere feels the same about the tour. Your love of America also stood out again. Ray again showed his knowledge of World War II is the best I’ve ever heard.
Thanks again for letting Bill and I speak for the kids who did not come home.
Edward “Babe” Heffron
Easy Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne Division
Three Generations of a Family on a Prestigious Tour
I thought you might like to know that we used Ray and Christy for a private family tour through Germany and Salzburg, Austria, and the trip was a 10 all round! We had seven grandkids ranging from 6 to 14 and quite honestly I was a little concerned that the trip might be boring to the younger ones. But O contrare! The itinerary was well planned and allowed us several nights in two hotels so we did not need to pack and repack each day. They loved riding in a private bus with table and chairs and a toilet, the hotels with great amenities, and thoroughly enjoyed the food (which was fabulous). Even the family members with celiac were given great options in food.
Rothenburg was a charmed medieval town which allowed a good bit of freedom for hiking and exploring shopping. Eagle's Nest and the town of Berchtesgaden were breathtaking, and on and on. Ray wove WWII history throughout the trip and both Cristy and Ray loved on our family in unbelievable ways. Alanin never fussed that the kids had their stuff everywhere on the bus, and the fact that my son-in-law picked on him unmercifully. The children actually thought Ray and Cristy hung the moon. Another unexpected treat was going to a convent and meeting with Sister Emagarde at Dachau Concentration Camp grounds, who took special time to teach our family about their special ministry of praying for people who are persecuted and places that are undergoing turmoil.
It just could not have been better planned or executed. I did not have to worry about a thing and was just so happy and thankful how the whole trip worked out. Just thought you would like to know. Thanks for finding them in the first place!
My best to you. Linda
World War II Commemorative Tour to Normandy and Paris
Ray and Cristy,
Thank you for the memories! Another superb trip!
Byron and Terri Strickland.
2012: Anniversary Trip through Ireland and France
Chalk it up to either blind luck or good fortune that we stumbled upon Cristy and Ray. We were planning a 50th Anniversary trip for our parents, who had never been to Europe, and we knew we needed some knowledgeable, resourceful, patient souls to shepherd them through Ireland and France -- if you knew our parents, you would understand why one such person would not be enough. Cristy handled things from the moment our parents deplaned in Dublin until they boarded the flight for Paris. From there on out, Ray had the reins. We could not have asked for better guides.
Perhaps there are a number of "services" that offer tours of the historic battlefield sights, and most of them are more than proficient at what they do. However, we can't imagine anyone offers the level of service we received from Cristy and Ray. They set compelling itineraries, suggested superior accommodations and side trips, strove to personalize the trip in every way imaginable and yet also accommodated the wishes and whims of our parents. At every step of the way they maintained an open line of communication with us that set our minds at ease. We never doubted that our parents were in good hands.
Guides for tour groups often seem to be cattle drivers. Who hasn't seen them coaxing
and prodding the tourists along their appointed route? We are happy to say that we found not cattle drivers but friends for our parents, friends who turned an anniversary trip into the trip of a lifetime! Thank you! – EB and SJ
2012: Retracing My Father's Footsteps
Ray Pfeiffer has forgotten more about U.S. military history than most guidesknow.
My wife and Iﾠ spent ten days with Ray on a private tour retracing my late father's
WWII footsteps. Ray took us from the location where my dad landed at Utah Beach in Normandy, to many of the locations where he fought and even earned a Bronze Star during "The Lorraine Campaign", to the very small village in Luxembourg where he was wounded during the "Battle of the Bulge". Along the way, Ray and arranged for special ceremonies (in the villages where my father had fought and helped liberate from the Nazis) honoring my father and his fellow soldiers. It was an unbelievable experience. Ray and Cristy did extensive research and planning to make our visit one of our life's biggest highlights If you're looking to book a historic military tour in Europe, save yourself a lot of time researching tour guides and companies – just call Ray.
Bill Black, Massachusetts
June 14, 2012 Special Thanks to Our Hosts
It's been a few days since the group of students, veterans and survivors returned to
the United States. One by one, we have enjoyed hearing from them as they recall the highlights of the trip. Some reflect on specific locations, some on the relationships that developed. There are no complaints - only gratitude for an experience that has changed each one for the better.
This would not be possible without the professional work of Ray and Cristy Pfeiffer of Historic Tours, Inc. The Pfeiffers have hosted three such patriotic trips for College of the Ozarks, and have been operating commemorative tours in Europe for 29 years, focusing on the role of American forces in WWII. Ray is a lifelong student of the war. He and Cristy had a home on Omaha Beach, and have directed tours for the White House, Congressional delegations, and other institutions.
College of the Ozarks is blessed to partner with such knowledgeable and caring people. The Pfeiffers spend countless hours in advance of our tour to set up tours, special ceremonies, commemorative events, and more. They are well-connected with officials and leaders at every stop along the way. If you have a need, they will see that it is met.
Thank you, Ray and Cristy, for providing a trip of a lifetime for our students, and for treating our veterans and survivors with the honor and respect they so deserve. We appreciate your partnership with our patriotic program, and look forward to working with you again!
From the Keeter Center for Character Education
Easy Company Tour - September 2007
Ray & Cristy,
I just wanted to take a minute and, once again, thank you for such a wonderful tour.
I have been fortunate enough to have traveled to many places in my life, but I must say that your tour was by far the most meaningful trip that I have been on. I am a lover of history, so the knowledge that you were able to share was just fantastic. With this being our first trip to Europe, the efforts that you put into making sure that every detail was taken care of (i.e., the transportation, hotels, meals, breaks, etc.) allowed us to just relax, take in the sights, and absorb the history. It was absolutely wonderful.
Thank you so much and I hope that Renaye and I will be able to go on another tour with you sometime in the near future.
Larry and Renaye Dillon
October 2, 2007
Ray and Cristy,
Just wanted to thank you again for an amazing trip. I can't begin to express what a fantastic experience this was. Ray's knowledge and expertise made the battle of Normandy really come alive. His personalized guidance made this such a unique tour, and I was able to see many "off the beaten path" areas I never would have found otherwise. In fact, I'd probably still be wandering around lost in translation! And Cristy's trip planning and assistance was invaluable, and made the journey that much better (well, except on the way home...but I was out of your hands at that point!) This really was a dream come true for me, and I can't thank you both enough.
I look forward to bringing my family to the region in the future, and we'd love to meet up with you again someday.
December 7, 2007
Dear Ray and Cristy,
The 2007 Easy Company 506th PIR Tour was a tour I shall never forget. With nearly 600 photos taken, the two photo albums I put together were very time-consuming, butwell
The trip (tour) was flawless in all ways. You people do a fantastic job. From greeting us at CDG Airport to seeing us off at the Brussels Airport was wonderful. There was not one problem that I can remember going wrong on the tour. Everything went like clockwork.
Thank you for a wonderful WWII tour and for meeting some of the many friendly people in these towns and cities we toured.
Historic Tours is far and beyond the best. Should anyone ask me for a good WWII tour, I would give them your site with its information, picture gallery and FAQs.
Take care and have a Merry Christmas,
All my best,
September 29, 2007
Dear Ray and Cristy,
I just had to write and let you know how much I enjoyed your recent Easy Co. tour. It was certainly everything I hoped for and more. I'm not usually a group tour person, but
I must admit, yours was wonderful. It certainly shows that you have a lot of experience doing them. I usually starve when I travel to Europe because of being somewhat of a picky eater. This time I believe I packed on a couple of pounds! Selection and quantity was good and the desserts were fantastic.
Having the group to your home was a special touch. Everyone I talked to thought you went above and beyond. I had many wonderful conversations in your backyard.
I can't thank you enough for what you did for Nick. The reception, certificate, coin and cap were just so special. His mom told me he couldn't wait until I got home to see all my photos. What he didn't realize was I had all the other mementos for him… But as Babe wrote on an autographed item, he's "HANGING TOUGH". Even such a simple gesture of having people sign the sheet of paper on the bus was much appreciated.
Secondly, I can't believe the quality of people on this tour. What a group of caring, interesting individuals….Keep us all on the mailing list for future tours. I know a lot of people who would love to tour with you again. Is this common for people to bond like this on your trips? I've never experienced this on other trips and wonder if this was just luck of the draw. I had so many deep discussions with my new friends, I still can't believe it.
The Beaches at Normandy - August 2, 2007
Ray and Cristy
Sorry for the delay in returning your e-mail. I hope you enjoyed your time in Ireland.
Ray, it is hard to express just how much we appreciate how you arranged the details of our trip with my dad. While we greatly enjoyed the educational and historic parts of your presentations, it was how you arranged and handled the emotional and honorific aspects of our time in Normandy that we will always remember. Sarah and I thank you for how you planned our visit to the Utah Beach Museum and also to the American Cemetery.
More importantly, you made an impression on a 93-year-old veteran who suffers from dementia and has little short-term memory. For this we all thank you. We have come to accept that if you are able to make a vague, but lasting positive impression (or memory) with my dad, then you have achieved a victory. Your efforts were victorious.
Perhaps the greatest surprise we had while there was how he was received by the French people. The extent to which many went to thank him and hug him was touching. Again, it was the emotional aspects of this trip that will remain in our memories. Sarah and I have been to France several times and have always found the French to be good people, but we were not prepared for the outpouring of appreciation they showed my father. One of the more poignant stories you told us is how on Memorial Day, when many of our countrymen are barbecuing or looking for sales, French families are honoring our war dead.
Sarah and I intend to return to the Normandy area at some point. There is so much more there to experience that was not possible to do on this trip. We very much hope that we will be able to meet you again when we return.
Again, thank you both very much for giving us an experience we will always treasure.
Paul and Sarah
90th I.D. Memorial Periers, France
I wanted to write to thank you for one of the true highlights of me life. The two days I spent with you was a true blessing. I will always be indebted for your help in allowing me to walk where my father served. I have shared my experience with so many since I returned and each time I am thankful that I can help tell the story of how special all those men and women were from the Greatest Generation. Your ability to allow me have such
a unique experience was awesome.
The Proud Son of John Humrichouser
Sergeant 315th Medical Battalion
90th Infantry Division
Trip of a Lifetime
This was the trip of a lifetime for us. And you certainly made it so.
We love you both.
The best to you in the future.
Truly My Dream Trip
This was truly my Dream Trip. Imagine…a dream coming true! I was concerned that my son who’s not the history buff that I am, wouldn’t really enjoy what I wanted to do. But he did… SO much! I’m a bit surprised how much he got into what we did and saw. and what Ray told us. And he picked up on things I didn’t. We are still talking about it and I imagine we will for a long, long time.
The diploma of honorary citizenship for my father really threw me for a loop. I was so surprised .. and moved. I wish my Mom were alive to see it. I’m going to copy and frame it and give copies to my sister and brother. What a thoughtful thing for you and Ray to do! In this day and age of superficial sentiment, it is so nice to meet two people who really do care about the people with whom they work – and go the extra mile.
Again ….thanks so much. It was incredible… just incredible. I hope to be a part of one your other tours and will check to see if any of them fit into my school schedule.
Mary Ann Watkins
The History Channel
Forwarded from History Travel and The History Channel
We have just returned from the Beaches to the Rhine tour with Cristy and Ray Pfeiffer. What an incredible experience! I had some misgivings at first, as we had our six-year-old son with us, but he enjoyed it as much as we did.
The tour far exceeded my expectations. While this provides a living for Cristy and Ray, it is obviously a labor of love. Ray’s knowledge of military subjects, particularly the war in Europe, is encyclopedic. He provided minute details of all the places visited. Many of the places and memorials were out of the way. I don’t see how it would be possible for someone to do this on their own. For example, it is doubtful that individuals traveling on their own would enjoy private receptions with local officials as we did. I also found the opportunity to participate in the flag raising ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery quite moving. Not a single detail was overlooked. The hotels were wonderful and the food was excellent.
Cristy and Ray have been doing this for so long that they really have it down to a science. I feel that they have become friends as well as tour guides. They took our son Chip under their wing and took such good care of him, answering his questions and watching out for him. There was enough to do for the non-military types, too. My wife enjoyed the river cruises on the Seine and the Rhine. We will remember this trip for the rest of our lives.
I would give this tour my highest recommendation for anyone interested in WWII history,
A 10+! The Pfeiffer’s are truly a credit to the History Channel.
Allen J. Jones, MD
Port Orange, FL
French Awards So Very Appreciated by Vets
Dear Ray and Cristy,
We want to tell you how much we appreciated your hard work to make the V-Day 60 Anniversary Commemorative the finest tour that, without a doubt, we have ever been on and ever will be on.
Very obvious to us were the tremendous amounts of "connections"(pull) and preparations involved in putting together a tour of such magnitude. Coincidence had nothing to do with the village reception of French thanks at Sainte Marie-du-Mont; the seating at the D-Day memorial ceremony at the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach; our friendly welcome by Superintendent Atkinson, American Ambassador Terpeluk, and Helen Patton (General Patton's granddaughter) at the American Cemetery in Luxembourg; the ceremony of genuine gratitude shown to Americans at Clervaux, etc. Such heart-warming and historical experiences were the result of much moxie and concern on the part of seasoned tour operators who, it would seem, realized this might be the historical tour of their lifetimes as well as ours.
To you, Ray and Cristy, and to Sue Erickson. Carole Barre. Catherine Bitai, and all the others who had a hand in putting together and carrying out such a magnificent undertaking, our heartfelt thanks.
Bob and Deanne Gancarz
P.S. The certificates of French appreciation given to us on behalf of the people of Sainte Marie-du-Mont were overwhelming for our Normandy veteran friends back home to whom they were presented.
Historic Tours Incorporated 1281 Paterson Plank Road, Secaucus, New Jersey 07094
800-222-1170 firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook
It Is Not Simply A Tour, It Is A Life Experience