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Topic: 75 Years Ago Today
Replies: 8   Last Post: Jun 6, 2019 10:48 AM by: ddclemson
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75 Years Ago Today

[20]
Posted: Jun 6, 2019 8:04 AM
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I will attempt to describe, as best I can, events on June 6, 1944. Having no notes, my comments will be limited to what my memory provides. However, I do have vivid memories of the looks on the faces of the men with me although I can no longer call their names. One thing I regret is my inability to find words to adequately describe events of that day.

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I was stationed at Camp Crowder, MO. We were in the process of completing our final training exercises after which we would be assigned to the European or South Pacific Theaters of operation. The war in Europe, thus far, had been limited to bombing raids. I had already lost a cousin who was a Navy Fighter Pilot and a close friend who was a Army Air Force Fighter Pilot. The Air Force did not become a separate unit until after the war.

It was a foregone conclusion that at some point, ground forces would be landing on the continent. Hind sight now tells us the emphasis on our final training exercises may have been a clue that an invasion was imminent. The bugle sounded on the morning of June 6 and we assumed we would follow our normal procedure ---- breakfast, clean the barracks and "fall out" in full gear for our scheduled training exercise. But after breakfast, we received news of the invasion and that our training exercises were cancelled for the day. There were several radios in each barrack and there was no need to suggest we listen to the radio, It was evident that was on the mind of each man.

As additional news reports arrived, I could easily see the concerns of many men. They had brothers, relatives and friends who may be among those directly involved in he invasion forces. Most of the men were bowing in prayer. Emotions were characterized by motions and appearances rather than words. News reports also mentioned the many casualties. Progress in moving forward was measured in yards, with every yard gained costing the lives of many young men.

Those reporting from the front gave vivid accounts of the progress. The Air Force was attacking targets behind the enemy lines. The Navy had been shelling the German defenses before and during the invasion. Wave after wave of ships and support vessels were continuing to take men and equipment ashore. And there were landing craft and other vessels that did not make it ashore due to German gunfire. Progress was slow and casualties were mounting. Those of us at Camp Crowder also suffered but in an entirely different way. Our suffering was in mourning the death and injuries of our unknown buddies.

There were not many spoken words that day but the expressions on the faces of the men spoke millions of words. Those expressions are permanently etched in my memory.

The next day, we resumed our training exercises. There was a noticeable difference in the attitude and demeanor of the men. No one was complaining. We were safely in Camp Crowder. Those men in the invasion forces did not have time to complain. We completed our training exercises and war games in July and for most of us, were granted a two week furlough. We knew this would be our last furlough before we left for foreign soil.

Message was edited by: Joe21®


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I cannot even imagine,

[3]
Posted: Jun 6, 2019 8:08 AM
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only thank all who served.

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Re: 75 Years Ago Today

[3]
Posted: Jun 6, 2019 8:15 AM
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I wish you guys could live forever, Joe, and keep us and our kids reminded of the untold and great sacrifices that were made by so many. No one learns history anymore. And if they do, they don't learn it in context to fully understand it.

What many also don't realize is that though we say that they "gave their lives for their country," that's not entirely true. Those young men fought for their lives. They fought for their buddies' lives. They fully wanted to live, but also none of them wanted to let down their friends or their family. No one looked to "give their life," but they fully knew that that may happen. Now, we throw the word "nazi" around like just another insult with no idea of the depth, depravity and evil that they truly possessed.

Thank you for your service and your willingness to share your stories. It is needed and appreciated and we're all better people for it!


Re: 75 Years Ago Today

[2]
Posted: Jun 6, 2019 8:29 AM
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One of my uncles went ashore at Normandy in the Army, while another uncle was on a Navy ship shelling the German positions. Thanks to all those who served and God bless all of our brave soldiers throughout our history.

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Re: 75 Years Ago Today

[2]
Posted: Jun 6, 2019 8:37 AM
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Cheers Joe....here's to you and your brothers some of which gave the ultimate sacrifice on this day in 1944.


We remember all of them today, and thank God

[1]
Posted: Jun 6, 2019 9:09 AM
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for those who survived and are still with us today, and for those who gave their lives 75 years ago.

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Re: 75 Years Ago Today

[1]
Posted: Jun 6, 2019 9:44 AM
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Thanks Joe for a poignant reminder of the far reaching effects of that fateful day. Visiting Normandy last year gave me a new found respect and even reverence for those profound acts of courage that shaped human history for good. Seeing the memorial to the 82nd Airborne, in which my father served, gave me a new understanding of the enormity of the risks these men faced. Thank God for every one of you!

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Re: 75 Years Ago Today

[1]
Posted: Jun 6, 2019 9:47 AM
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Thanks for sharing the memory Joe.

God Bless and the deepest of gratitude for you and your service!

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wwLBBd


Re: 75 Years Ago Today

[1]
Posted: Jun 6, 2019 10:48 AM
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My dad was wounded at St.Lo, flown to England and returned to the states. I thank God for saving him and many others. But I'm especially thankful for the men who gave their lives.


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