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Military.com remembers D-Day
Military.com remembers D-Day Military.com remembers D-Day Military.com remembers D-Day
Soldiers' Stories

On June 6, 1944, Allied Forces invaded Normandy and turned the tide of World War II in Europe.   More than 100,000 soldiers swept ashore and nearly 10,000 died that first day.  By June 22, the Allies had broken out of Normandy heading for Berlin.

These stories are the first-hand accounts of the men and women who participated in this "mighty endeavor."

Roger Airgood
Lieutenant Airgood flew C-47s in the ETO.  During the D-Day he dropped paratroopers over Normandy. More...
1st Lt. James P. Alford
Before invading Adolf Hitler's "Fortress Europe" in 1944, the U.S. Army reorganized its armored formations to better deal with their German counterparts. No less than 14 American armored divisions would slash their way into the German Reich by the end of World War II.  One such unit, the 746th Tank Battalion, First Lieutenant James Posey Alford of Gonzales, Texas, led a platoon of M4 Sherman tanks with the 746th.  More...
Hubert Mark Alvater
After dropping out of the University of Michigan after Pearl Harbor, Altvater entered the U.S. Army Air Force. Though his wartime flying was cut short by a burst of Nazi flak, Altvater recounts his time as a bomber pilot in the ETO. More...
Roy Arnn
He participated in the Normandy Invasion on Omaha Beach as part of Boat Crew #8. This is his story. More...
William John Arnold
As a captain in the Durham Light Infantry of the British Army, Arnold gives an interesting account of the great invasion from the point of view of our “cousins across the pond.”  He tells his tale with characteristic British aplomb as he and his “batman”, Private Blair, land at Juno Beach and push into France. More...
Garwood Bacon
Part of a Navy beach battalion, Bacon's landing craft hit a mine on its way to shore. More...
Edwin J. Barrios
A worker in the Higgins shipyards in New Orleans, Barrios gives a view of the war effort from the home front. More...
Sherman Baxter
A veteran of North Africa and Sicily, he drove a tank ashore on the D-Day invasion.  He was on the beach head for only a few days before being wounded by a German anti-tank round. Baxter later returned to his unit and drove on through Germany. More...
James Hollis Bearden
A boatswain on a Navy LCT Bearden witnessed the invasion from the high-tide mark. More...
Frank Beetle
After enlisting in the Army in 1940, Beetle tells of going AWOL to landing on the beaches at Normandy. More...
Joseph Beryle
This story is the stuff of legend. Thought to have been killed in the airborne landings of D-Day, Beryle relates his captures and his escapes before he finally linked with the oncoming Russian army. 
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George Bonadio
Lieutenant Bonadio saw action in North Africa and served on the Liaison Staff to the British Admiralty during the landings at Normandy. More...

Felix Branham
Felix Branham went ashore in the second wave at Omaha Beach as a demolition man for the 29th Division.  In this story he tells his experiences on the beach, losing his comrades and surviving.  More...

Thomas M. Brown
Thomas M. Brown was a private first class with the Company A, 115th Infantry of the 29th Division.  After his initial training in Maryland, Brown landed at Omaha Beach as a machine gunner on D-Day plus two.  More...

Brown-Stigler
They met briefly over the skies of Germany, one the pilot of a crippled B-17, the other at the stick of a Luftwaffe Me-109.  Read how a show of chivalry towards a helpless foe became the foundation of a friendship forty years later. More...

John G. Burkhalter

Former Miami minister Burkhalter landed on Omaha beach  as chaplain for the  "Fighting First."  He penned this letter to his wife Mabel shortly after the invasion.  

"When my part of the Division landed, there were impressions made on my mind that will never leave it ... I was looking toward land and saw a large shell fall right on a landing craft full of men ..." More...

John C. Capell
From the Battle of the Hurtgen Forest up through the Battle of the Bulge, Capell gives the view from the foxhole on life as an infantryman.  More...
Fred Carmichael
Originally slated to be sent to the Pacific Theater, SGT Carmichael served in the 347th Infantry Regiment in Patton's Third Army from the Battle of the Bulge and the waning days of 1944. More...
Donald Carl Chumley
Though not in the D-Day invasion, Chumley entered the ETO as a replacement rifleman in
the 90th Division, 357th Infantry Regiment, Co. E just in time for the Battle of the Bulge. More...
Ted Cook
In an interview, Cook tells of the nearly insurmountable obstacles he faced as a prisoner of the Japanese after the fall of the Philippines.  A survivor of the "Bataan Death March", Cook's account is a tale of the horrors POWs faced in the hands of the armies of the Rising Sun. More...
Andrew J. Cooper
From the beaches of Normandy, through the Battle of the Bulge and straight on to the fall of Berlin, Cooper sees the fight through the eyes of the infantryman.
More...
Maj. Crocker
As the intelligence staff officer for a field artillery division Crocker found himself on D-Day as the liason to the British forces.
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I. J. "Irish" Degnan
Part of a revolutionary Signal unit that hit the beaches with the waves of "grunts."  Degnan shows how the "command and control" of the Allied invasion helped to ensure its success.
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Sgt. Bill Dunfee
On June 6, 1944, Dunfee's battalion was one of the few that hit the right drop zone. As they jumped into Ste. Mère-Eglise, the commander carried an American flag because, as Dunfee explained, 'he realized the historic significance of what we were going to do.' More...

Edward A. Dunton
Commissioned in 1942 as an ensign in the Naval Reserve, Dunton specialized in code and ciphers on active duty.  From the U-boat infested waters of the North Atlantic to the beaches of Normandy, Dunton tells of the buildup prior to the great invasion fleet leaving England. More...

Joseph A. Dragotto
Joseph A. Dragotto fought with his unit from the beaches of Normandy on D-Day through Belgium and Germany.  He fought in the Battle of the Hurtgen Forest and the Elsenborn Ridge during the Battle of the Bulge. More...

Malcolm Edwards
A bombardier on the B-26 Nicks' Chick in the 344th bomb
group, 495th squadron, the following are his recollections of D-Day.
More...
Joseph Henry Esclavon 
A crewmember on an LCT during the Normandy invasion, Esclavon gives the view from the high tide mark. More...
Dr. Bernard S. Feinberg
As a captain in the 116th Infantry, Dr. Feinberg had a unique view of the D-Day invasion as the regimental dental surgeon.  He gives a gripping account of landing at Omaha beach and attending to the wounded. More... 
Maro P. Flagg
A funeral director by trade, Flagg served during the invasion of Normandy as a Pharmacist's Mate on an LST.  From German POWs to grounded paratroopers, Flagg saw D-Day from a seldom seen point of view. More...

Roy Aaron Ford
As a Seabee, Roy Aaron Ford helped get soldiers and equipment onto the beaches of Normandy.  Ford tells the story of the Rhino barges made especially for the beaches of Normandy and provides readers a personal glimpse into the food, lifestyles and experience of the Normandy invasion.  More...

Ed Fredericks

Ed Fredericks, 76, was part of a glider crew in the 439th Troop Carrier Group of the 101st Airborne Division told his story to Military.com while visiting Normandy May 2000.  More...

Richard A. Freed, Sr
Though not drafted into the Army, Freed played his part in the war as a member of the Merchant Marine.  He survived wolf packs, convoys and met his brother before D-Day on the USS Ancon.
More...
Leroy Fritz
In the 16th Armored Division Fritz saw action from the campaign on Normandy through to VE Day. More...

Richard Gates
From the ivy covered halls of Tulane University to the cockpit of an A-20, Richard gates flew over 60 bombing missions in the ETO.  Gates literally had a birds-eye view of the war while he with the 409th Bomb Group.  More...

Congressman Sam G. Gibbons

Congressman Gibbons saw action on D-Day as part of the 501st Parachute Infantry of the 101st Airborne Division.  His story takes a close personal look at a soldier's experiences in this 10 part history.  "

"My parachute snapped open with a loud crack -- reflecting the added weight of combat equipment..." More...

F.W. Glaze
As a young lieutenant in the 4th Infantry Division, Glaze relates two of his very unique memories of the war.  More...
Dr. Samuel N. Grundfast
An LST skipper during the D-Day invasion, he was scheduled to hit Utah Beach in the first wave.
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Andrew Hertz 
As a communications sergeant in the 834th Engineer Aviation Battalion, Hertz was assigned to a follow-up force to repair German airstrips in Normandy. These strips allowed the 9th Air Force to deepen its attacks into German territory.
More...
Howard W. Hicks
First a Technical Sergeant and later a Platoon Sergeant, Hicks was a Pathfinder with the 82nd Airborne.  In addition to seeing action at Normandy, he took part in the invasions of North Africa and Italy.  This is D-Day seen by someone who was first in the fray.  More...
Sam Jacks
From a small town in rural North Carolina to the invasion beaches of Normandy, Jacks tells of his transition from being in the peace-time Army through the bloody battlefields of the ETO.  More...
Steve Kellman
As a young, green replacement to a unit with the invasion of Sicily already under its belt, Kellman tells how his unit prepared for the Normandy landings.  Wounded on the beach, Kellman stayed alive under withering German as his unit drove inland. More...
Sam Kornfeld
As a radio operator for a combat engineer regiment, Kornfeld landed at Omaha Beach in the early hours of the invasion and was on the beach for the duration. More...
Lou Mais
An engineer in the British Army, Mais gives an interesting account of the delivery of the "Mulberry" artificial piers to supply the follow-on forces on the Normandy campaign. More...
William M. McConahey, M.D.
A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Dr. McConahey joined the Army Medical Corps soon after Pearl Harbor.  McConahey landed in Normandy on D+2 and passed through the ruins of St. Mere Eglise on the road to Cherbourg.  The heavy fighting in the hedgerow country kept his battalion hospital operating at full capacity and Dr. McConahey witnessed the horrors of battle firsthand.  More...
James B. Nannini
Assigned to the 222nd Infantry Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division as a rifleman, James Nannini missed the initial landing at Utah Beach.  He fought during the harrowing first weeks of the invasion in the hedgerow country of France against a tenacious German army.  Wounded outside of Cherbourg, Nannini recuperated in England and returned to the continent in time to witness the Battle of the Hurtgen Forest.   More...
William Thomas O'Neill
O'Neill served as a quartermaster aboard the U.S. LCT 6-544 during the invasion of France at Normandy, Omaha Beachhead, June 6 1944.  More...
Bill Oatman
As a member of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment from the beginning, Oatman jumped into history.  But as Oatman says, "It didn't work out like it was planned."  From the French Underground to Fred Astaire's sister Oatman's account is truly one of a kind. More...
Lawrence Orr
 As a Coast Guard coxswain Orr was in charge a Higgins boat landing troops on the blood soaked shores of France. More...
Anthony Paulino
From the suburbs of Philadelphia, Paulino served as an aerial gunner in the 344th Bomb Group.  He recounts his trip across the Atlantic on the Queen Elizabeth and living in southeast England before the big push.  He flew over 65 missions after D-Day bombing German industrial centers until the surrender in Europe.  More...

George Thomas Poe
As a coxswain of an LCVP landing craft during Operation Overlord, George Thomas Poe had one of the most unique views, as well as one of the most unique experiences, of the D-Day landings.
More...

George "Dad" Rarey
In 1942, George Rarey, a young cartoonist and commercial artist, was drafted into the Army Air Corps. He flew a P-47 before he drove a car.  He was killed in action a few weeks after D-Day, but during his service he kept a cartoon journal of the daily life of the fighter pilots.  This is a selection of his work.  More... 

Arnold Rodriguez
Following his draft notice from Uncle Sam, Arnold Rodriguez left the shipyards of New Orleans to become a member of the glider infantry.  He landed with the 502nd PIR on D-Day and rode a glider into Holland during Operation Market-Garden.  More...

Charles Roland
Here, Capt. Roland tells of his experiences beating back the Axis powers.  From basic training through his part in the Nuremburg trials, Roland shares every exploit with candor and pride.  
More...

Col. Robert P. Tabb III
A graduate of West Point in 1938, Col. Tabb recounts the trials of a junior officer helping to build a combat engineer unit.  From the disaster at Slapton Sands to the D-Day landing, Col. Tabb gives his account as an officer in the 237th Combat Engineer Battalion.  More...
Col. B. B. Talley
The commander of I. J. "Irish" Degnan's unit, Col. Talley's account of the landing is riveting in its detail and lends more insight as to the "big picture" of D-Day and how that was conveyed from the top brass to the men on the beach.
More...

August Leo Thomas
August Leo Thomas was a coxswain on LCT 633 during Operation Overlord.  His is a first hand account of the landings which took place on the beaches in Normandy.  More...

William D. Townsley
William D. Townsley landed at Omaha beach where he braved the murderous hail of German fire.  Wounded on the first day, he stuck it out on Omaha and pushed inland with the rest of his unit.  More...
Kenneth Trott
A veteran pilot of the RAF, Trott flew Typhoons against radar and V-1 rocket sites in France.  He flew missions on D-Day in support of the Canadian landings and special operations. He was later shot down during the Battle of Normandy.  More...
Sarifino R. Visco
A Marine during the Great Depression, Visco joined the Army in 1942 and landed on D-Day with the 457th AAA. He served from Omaha beach through the Battle of the Bulge. More...
Dr. Simon V. Ward, Jr.
Torpedoed early in the war while serving as ship's surgeon on a United Fruit freighter, Ward threw his hat into the ring and volunteered for the Navy.  Dr. Ward served during the D-Day invasion on an LCT treating wounded soldiers and sailors. More...

Fritz Weinshank
Born and raised in Germany, Fritz Weinshank fought for his adopted country with no regrets and paints a compelling picture of a young radioman on the front lines.  More...

Edward Ambrose White
Originally turned away from the Navy, White joined the field artillery, where he worked on the innovative 'proximity fuse'.  He arrived in Germany in time for V-E Day and found himself as a member of the occupation forces. More...

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