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WWII D-Day veteran, awarded France's Legion of Honor
It’s June 6, 1944, Joseph Petrucci is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with 30-some fellow comrades in a landing craft hurtling through the English Channel toward Omaha Beach. Read more...
[Posted: 2016-04-29 07:24:18]
D-Day veteran Verdun Hayes celebrates 100th birthday
D-Day veteran Verdun Hayes made the jump at Dunkeswell Airfield near Honiton, Devon, to raise money for the North Devon Hospice. Read more...
[Posted: 2016-04-28 06:29:32]
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WALL - IN MEMORY OF: [See all Messages]
D-Day first wave H+90, landed on Omaha Beach Force O-2 Fox Green sector, transport USS LCT-209. Colleville-sur-Mer, France.
Honored by Michael Gallegos
[Posted: 2018-11-14 22:33:40]
Thank you.
Honored by Ezosn Qpxbrjx
[Posted: 2018-08-08 00:00:02]
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2nd Lieutenant Vincent E. Baker

58th Field Artillery Battalion

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We headed for France in the early morning hours of June 5, but the weather was so bad that we turned around and headed back to the harbor. I’d taken some seasick pills but with Colonel McQuade’s repeated warnings about the German machine-gun nests uppermost in my mind, I had decided not to eat anything in case I was gut-shot. Later that evening, we pulled out of the harbor again. H-Hour was at 0630 hours. The 58th’s guns were scheduled to land at H+90 minutes.
All night on our radios we could hear Axis Sally saying, "Invasion calling." She kept saying it over and over, drawing out those two words in an eerie, high-pitched voice. Around 0700, I read letters from General Eisenhower and President Roosevelt to the men on my LCT. We were supposed to land on Dog White. Later we learned that the current had pulled us off course, and we wound up landing on Easy Red.
Nothing went as planned. Our Navy skipper had gotten the hell shot out of him during the invasion of Italy, and he wanted to dump us and get out of there. He started letting the ramp down prematurely, which exposed us to the Germans’ machine-gun fire. I didn’t have long to worry about it, though. One minute I was crouched behind the LCT’s lowering ramp, rifle in one hand and lead rope in the other. The next minute, I was hurtling through the air sans rifle and rope. We’d hit an underwater mine. It had blown the ramp off and sent me flying. I felt weightless, which seemed impossible given my boots and heavy equipment. When I landed in front of the crippled LCT, it occurred to me that I was dead meat if the current pulled me under and the propellers caught me up. My clothing inflated, keeping me afloat, and I could hear bullets hitting the side of the craft and men in the water screaming for help.
"Need a hand?" someone hollered at me. I looked up and saw one of the Navy crewmen looking down at me over the side of the beached LCT. The sailor threw me a line and pulled me aboard. Except for the two of us, the craft was deserted. The water was knee-deep. None of our self-propelled guns had debarked.
The sailor offered me an almost empty bottle of bourbon. I grabbed it and took a swig. When I tried to hand the bottle back, he shook his head and said, "You finish it. I’ve had plenty."
I finished the whiskey, jumped off the landing craft and started wading to shore. The water was blood red. On the beach, bullets were flying, tanks were burning and men were bunched up behind the seawall. I took shelter in a shell crater, trying to get my bearings. The Germans at the top of the bluffs had their machine guns trained on every inch of the sand. I knew if I stayed there, I’d be killed, so I took off running toward the seawall.

Posted: July 16, 2011
Copyright: Laurent Lefebvre