Skip to comments.Minn. Vet Looks Back 65 Years To Normandy Beaches
Posted on 06/07/2009 7:09:21 PM PDT by ButThreeLeftsDo
Minnesota veteran Jim Carroll has no problem remembering where he was 65 years ago Saturday.
"We started taking anti-aircraft fire shortly after we crossed the coast of France," he recalled.
Carroll was one of 13,000 members of the 101st and 82nd Airborne who left England onboard close to 900 C47s heading toward the beaches of Normandy, France.
"That's our main concern is getting on the ground and be battle ready when we hit the ground," he said. "We jumped down right on top of them."
The Bronze Star-recipient said jumping out of an aircraft while enemy fire filled the air was frightening. But he said he somehow knew what he was doing would change the course of an entire century.
Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy to fight the Nazi war machine that occupied countries in Europe. Some-215,000 Allied soldiers and just as many Germans were killed or wounded during D-Day and the following three months.
Celebrations were held around the country and in the Twin Cities Saturday in honor of those who many say saved the world from evil.
At the Parkway Theater a classic World War II film, "The Longest Day" was viewed by hundreds.
Afterwards anyone who wanted to talk to veterans of the Normandy invasion about their experiences was welcome to do so, especially the younger generation, who the veterans said need to know the sacrifices that were made for them.
"This is really a good thing for to get them to know that this was really a war that had a real purpose to it. If we hadn't done well we'd be talking German today," said veteran Robert Erikson.
"If you learn what they've been through you should learn to appreciate what you have right now a lot more," said self-described history buff Carl Senkyr.
Carroll said he appreciates his life experiences, especially his time in France. Sixty-five years later, he has no regrets.
"I'd do it at the drop of a hat for this country, because we are the greatest," he said.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, as many as 1,100 World War II veterans die every day.
Mine too. He was in Italy at the time, 5th Army, I think. Had a soft spot for Italian kids the rest of his life.
Mine may have met your’s......
Miss my FIL, a WWII vet who among other things disposed of UXBs, one of which nearly killed him, but another of which could have destroyed an historical treasure I viewed decades later.
A very good and wise man. (Mostly wise: allowed his daughter to marry me, but nobody's perfect. *\;-)
Me too. He was in the Pacific Theater in WWII. I wish that generation was still in charge.