Several years ago I was in northwest
If you walk west to the bluffs over looking the ocean you can still see the remains of German defenses and of the massive cement piers the Allies created to land equipment into
I realize that lots of those graves belong to kids that were my age. Kids, many of them didn’t need to shave everyday. Boys that joined up to serve their country; that died before they finished high school, that never lost their virginity, kissed a girl, owned a car, watched TV or knew how the war ended.
If a young man was 18 in 1944 he would be 80 years old today. There are darn few of them left. I knew several WWII vets as a boy, most are gone now. I know of one who’s still around.
Gene was a spotter for an artillery crew in 1944. He didn’t land on D-day he came ashore on D+2. He won a silver star for saving a platoon a few days latter, when both he and they were under fire from a MG position that was supposed to be softened by artillery fire. They were driving across a ridge when his jeep came under fire. The driver panicked and got it stuck in the open. The spotting crew dove for cover behind a hedge. That was when Gene saw this platoon coming up the draw right in front of the MG bunker. They were getting cut to ribbons in an crossfire. The jeep had a MG mounted to the roll bar and Gene jumped up on it and let loose on the Germans suppressing the bunker and saving those men, the whole time standing skylined on the back of that jeep with Nazi bullet’s flying past him.
I was 25 the day I went to his house to fish and he told me that story. He was younger than that when it happened. He even let me hold the star and showed me the original commendation that he received. We haven’t spoke since I moved to