Invasion of Normandy
A Veteran Remembers His Close Call on Omaha Beach

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World War II veteran Torre Tobiassen recalls how Beach Master Joe Vaghi saved his life on D-Day as he and his battalion took Omaha Beach during the Normandy Campaign. Tobiassen also talks about his family taking him to see the movie, Saving Private Ryan, due to the D-Day scene in … Continue reading

Invasion of Normandy
WWII Veteran is Awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor

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Walter Ehlers is a veteran who served as staff sergeant in the U.S. Army’s First Infantry Division during World War II. Here, Ehlers is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor because of the amazing courage and heroism he showed on June 9, 1944, just a few days after D-Day. Ehlers … Continue reading

Invasion of Normandy
[Text] Vivid Description of Surviving Omaha Beach

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“All of our leaders were gone. It was just — just a bunch of privates and sergeants and corporals trying to, you know, get something going and trying to get it to succeed…Nobody could possibly be trained for what we found that day. But you learn fast, you know. It’s … Continue reading

Invasion of Normandy
[Text] U.S. Soldier’s Narrative on Fighting the Germans

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“The most horrible was when we landed at the beachhead that so many dead were still floating in the water. They had already turned black, and decay had set in. The stench was awful.” Clarence William Dotson was a technical sergeant in the 343rd Field Artillery Battalion of the U.S. … Continue reading

Invasion of Normandy
[Text] Escape Story of U.S. POW Assumed Dead on D-Day

American prisoners of war. (December 22, 1944). Source: German Federal Archive, # 183-J28589 / CC-BY-SA.

“Sometime during the questioning I called a German officer a ‘SOB’ and woke up several days later in a hospital with a big headache and a bashed head.” Joseph Beryle, a U.S. Paratrooper for the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, recounts his time as a prisoner of war after making his jump … Continue reading

Invasion of Normandy
[Text] Paratrooper Imprisoned During Operation Overlord


“We were so low that when my chute opened, I swung twice and hit the ground. I know that all the men didn’t get out. If they did, they were too low and their chutes never had time to open.” Bill Oatman, U.S. paratrooper for the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, gives his personal … Continue reading

Invasion of Normandy
[Text] Air Force Pilot Describes Utah Beach on D-Day


“It has always been my feeling that the Germans were so terrified of the sight of so many ships and so many planes that they weren’t sure who to shoot at.” The following is an account of D-Day as told by Hubert Mark Altvater, a pilot for the U.S. Army … Continue reading

Invasion of Normandy
African-Americans of D-Day

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Veteran Edward Farley describes his experience as a member of the 463rd amphibious truck company and other African-American veterans recall their experience as they stormed the beach on D-Day. These interviews were conducted by makers of the 2008 Emmy-nominated documentary, “A Distant Shore: African Americans of D-Day,” produced by the … Continue reading

Invasion of Normandy
[Text] Minister With the Fighting First Division At Omaha


“As I lay there listening I thought of the awfulness of it all; the birds were singing and we Human Beings were trying to kill each other.” John G. Burkhalter was a former Miami minister before becoming part of the 1st Infantry Division with the U.S. Army during the Normandy … Continue reading

Invasion of Normandy
[Text] A Jewish German Fighting for the Americans on D-Day

LCVP landing craft put troops ashore on "Omaha" Beach on "D-Day." (6 June 1944). Source: National Archives, #26-G-2337.

“There were guys lying on deck, sailors, and I thought, ‘Why are they sleeping here?’ I hadn’t connected that these guys were dead.” Fritz Weinshank is a Jewish, native-born German who moved to America in 1935. Upon the start of World War II, Weinshank decided to enlist in the U.S. … Continue reading