1st Lt. Matt Williams of Englewood, Fla. flew his first combat mission piloting a B-24 “Liberator,” four-engine bomber over Nazi-occupied France during the D-Day Invasion, June 6, 1944, along the beaches of Normandy in World War II. Read the rest of this entry »
Posts Tagged ‘Normandy’
John Silvani grew up in an Italian neighborhood in Detroit, Mich., graduated from high school about the time World War II began and went to work at the Ford plant in Dearborn as a teenage tool-and-die maker after receiving a military deferment. Read the rest of this entry »
* George Wolhuter took all of the black and white photographs presented here with his twin-lens reflex camera. He also developed and printed them aboard ship in the darkroom on his LST.
Ensign George Wolhuter was a gunnery officer aboard an LST which took part in the invasion of Sicily, a secret Malaysian invasion, and the Normandy invasion of Europe during World War II. Read the rest of this entry »
John Baumer went down to the recruiting office in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he grew up to enlist in the Army in 1942 and ended up in the Merchant Marines before he walked out. Read the rest of this entry »
Phil Lockwood of Port Charlotte, Fla. was in the 175h Artillery Company attached to the 29th Infantry Division that stormed Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944 spearheading the Allied invasion of Europe during World War II. Read the rest of this entry »
Pfc. Vito Mancine of Port Charlotte, Fla. was a 21-year-old Browning Automatic Rifleman when he landed in Normandy, France, about a month after D-Day, June 6, 1944. He was a member of the 5th Division in Gen. George Patton’s 3rd Army. Read the rest of this entry »
It was a voice from the past typed in blue on the sheet of yellowing copy paper that dropped from the little book about the 2nd Armored Division’s exploits in Europe during World War II. Read the rest of this entry »
His dark blue ball cap with the orange patch and gold lettering read: “SCOUTS AND RAIDERS, 1942-1945, U.S. NAVY WW II, WE LEAD THE WAY.” It was what Art Nicholas of Englewood, Fla. wore when he, his wife and two grown daughters visited all five beaches in Normandy, France on the 65th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion during the summer of 2009.
Billie Hopkins, who winters at Little Charlie Creek mobile home park in Wauchula, was only 5-feet, 3-inches tall and weighed 112 pounds. His size made him a perfect candidate to be a ball turret gunner on a B-17 or B-24 bomber in World War II. But the Air Corps didn’t want him because he was color bind.
Ed Kent was the gunner on an M-7, self-propelled 105 millimeter Howitzer, who landed June 6, 1944 at Utah Beach on D-Day in Normandy, France during World War II. The 20-year-old corporal survived 15 days before being seriously injured by shrapnel from incoming enemy fire, was sent back to England and eventually the States to recuperate.
Mike Stata was a “hot shell man” on a 5-inch gun aboard the destroyer USS Harding 1500 yards off Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944 during the Normandy Invasion. He also served aboard the Harding off Okinawa on April 16, 1945 when his ship was hit by a kamikaze and 22 sailors aboard the destroyer were killed.
He landed on Utah Beach on D-Day plus 6, took part in the breakout at St. Lo, the Battle of the Bulge, Hurtgen Forest, Remagen and stopped at the Elbe River near Berlin at war’s end.
Edwin Erving of Port Charlotte, Fla. was trained as an ambulance driver and medic attached to the 5th Armored Division in World War II. He landed at Utah Beach in Normandy, France on D-Day plus 6 with the 5th Armored.
A small American flag hangs from the brick wall outside the front door of Buck Fields’ Port Charlotte home. It’s a manifestation of the former World War II infantryman’s love of the country he fought for so long ago.
He hit the beach at Normandy on D-Day plus two, June 8, 1944, with Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 38th Regiment, 2nd Division of Gen.Omar Bradley’s 1st Army. Fields was a member of a 10-man anti-tank gun squad. Read the rest of this entry »
It was his baptism of fire. Ten days before, in early August 1944, 2nd Lt. Harry Long, a member of the Medical Administration Corps of the 318th Infantry Regiment, 80th Division landed on Utah Beach in Normandy, France as part of Gen. George S. Patton’s 3rd Army. Read the rest of this entry »
Bert Rockower was a corporal in the 9th Army that landed on Omaha Beach five months after D-Day during World War II. By then U.S. troops had advanced across France and liberated Paris. American forces were at the Siegfried Line, the massive concrete and steel fortification protecting Germany’s Western Front.
“It was just before the Battle of the Bulge, early December 1944, and our outfit, the 334th Regiment, 84th Division, moved into battle in Holland. Our objective, Prummern, Germany a little town on the other side of one of the most heavily fortified areas in the world,” the 85 –year-old former infantryman who lives in Port Charlotte, Fla. explained.
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