It’s been 75 years since American troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, France, in the largest land, sea and air invasion in history. D-Day gave the Allies a long-awaited foothold in Europe, and its success led to the continent’s liberation and the end of World War II.
About 160,000 men took part in the June 6, 1944, invasion, about half of whom were American. The U.S. suffered tremendous casualties that day, but their valor will never be forgotten.
Three-quarters of a century later, a dwindling fraternity of men who survived that day and the rest of the war remain. While they’re in the twilight of their lives, they’re still willing to tell the stories they’ve carried with them all these years. Here are three.
At 19, Army Air Corps pilot Richard Heyman was one of the youngest men in the sky on D-Day. Unlike the naval and land forces, they’d been at war over Europe for months. But this day was different.
“This was the first time we had troops on the ground that we could try to protect,” the now-95-year-old Oregon resident said, remembering the day vividly. As a 364th Fighter Group P-38 Lightning fighter pilot, his mission began as an escort for the 101st Airborne Division. “We flew with the C-47s and C-46s and gliders. …They had to make their drops at about midnight.”
It turned out there was little to no opposition from the skies on D-Day. Instead, Heyman and his fellow fighter pilots were forced to watch the battle unfold as paratroopers landed in the dark.
Click Here: bape jacket cheap