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

Invasion of Normandy
[Text] ‘Some German Shells Started Whizzing By’

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“It was as though the curtain was about to go up on one of the biggest shows in history, and I was part of the cast! I knew it was going to be a small part, but the overriding sense of it all was that I was there!” Raymond L. … Continue reading

Invasion of Normandy
[Text] Setting Up Radio & Communication Centers on Utah Beach


Roger L. Chagnon, a Naval Officer in Charge (NOIC) during D-Day, gives his firsthand account of setting up radio and communication centers on the beaches of Normandy: It was D-Day, June 6, 1944 – at approximately 10:30 a.m., the Communications Group, comprising about 7 officers and 40 enlisted men (mainly … Continue reading

Invasion of Normandy
Setting Up Hospitals During the Normandy Campaign

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Veteran Travis Winfree, who served with the 29th Division during D-Day, gives a firsthand account of his landing on Omaha Beach and his role during the Normandy Campaign. Winfree was responsible for setting up hospitals around various places in Belgium during that time. He tells one story about being sent … Continue reading