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Seventy Years Ago Today


Nate
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Our boys hit the beach in Normandy France

 

My Uncle Roy was a sergeant with the 29th Division. His unit landed at Omaha Beach  June 6, 1944

 

Roy survived. He drove truck after the war and also was a really good artist. He would get commissions to paint murals, portraits, all kinds of stuff.

 

But what he loved to paint was landscapes. There was something about the quiet farmland here in Pennsylvania that he saw real beauty in. It isn't too hard to imagine why

 

800px-Omaha_Beach_Landing_Craft.jpg

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Roy hardly ever talked about the war. My Granddad either, especially to us kids. But sometimes at a big family get together, the men would be talking and they would let me and Jimmy and Mikey and some of our other cousins sit and listen if we kept our trap shut.

 

the only story I ever heard of that day was one time Roy told this story about being pinned down under the cliffs there at Omaha beach. The guys were just crouched up against the rocks, hunkered down. This one fella was sitting on the ground with his back to the rocks  and up on the cliffs above a German got hit with a shell and somehow the German's buttocks landed in this fella's lap. the guys said something like "My God, did I get hit THAT BAD?" and Roy said everybody just was falling down laughing. It was just the craziness of the situation. They all thought they were going to die, they were all scared as hell, and then when something funny happened, it just broke down the floodgates and they guys couldn't help laughing

 

Roy said they were just glad for something that wasn't dead serious that morning

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My grandfather and his three brothers all served during WWII in Europe. Two of his brothers were part of the D-Day invasion. All made it home safely from the war.

 that's the same here. Grandpa was in the engineers in the Army. He was in North Africa, Sicily, Italy and France.

 

Roy got wounded in the breakout from Normandy, but he was back in the war that fall and was  assigned to Patton's 3rd Army where he met my Uncle Harvey. Harvey married my aunt Jean when they came back to the States. Roy and Harvey were part of the spearhead that relieved Bastogne

 

My uncle Charlie was a career Navy man. He was captain of a destroyer in the Missouri battle group. He was there on the deck of the Missouri the day Japan surrendered. He was the skipper of a cruiser during the Korean War, too.

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My Dad, Uncles Jim and Don and my Grandfather all served in WWII.

 

Dad was infintry, Don was a waist gunner in B17's, and Jim was Navy in the Med. All three came home. Dad was hurt pretty bad, but healed ok. Both Uncles came back unhurt.

 

My Grandfather...MIA North Africa. But not before Rommel got a taste of his Long Toms. It was years before we found out exactly what happened to him He was a ninteresting guy. Came back from WW1 at age 18 a sargent, went to West Point and made his career in the U. S. Army.

 

No one ever really spoke of thier trials...but they would tell the goofy/funny side of the time they spent in the war.

 

God Bless all who have served.

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