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Experiencing War (D-Day 65th Anniversary, June 6, 1944-2009): Stories from the Veterans History Project

Not everyone involved in the Normandy Invasion was slogging ashore on June 6. There were the airborne troops parachuting in, some even before the assault by sea began. And there were the officers who stayed aboard the giant ships and small landing craft to monitor progress of the invasion and offer whatever support was needed. The danger was great for all involved that day, but the stakes were too high to give in to fear.

Featured Story: Philip A. Russell
Image of Philip A. Russell

“On the way down I could see something white going around in a circle down below me, and I didn’t know it at the time, but it was a ... herd of cows. And I landed right in the middle of them.”

They didn’t storm the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, but the men of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment had their own challenges. Parachuting into enemy territory at night presented plenty of obstacles. Philip Russell’s own landing—in the midst of a herd of cows—was one he could still laugh about over 50 years later. Russell went to serve in two of the biggest operations in the European Theater, Operation Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge.

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Philip A. Russell's story
Experience more Stories of D-Day 65th: Beyond the Beach more stories

"We were exhausted and we were exultant. We had survived D-Day!"
-- Tracy Sugarman

Hubert Amstutz - story

"The things that you'll have to take care of in the Army..."

Hubert Menno Amstutz's story

Image of Carl Beck

"... we didn't get anything but a bell."

Carl D. Beck's story

Charles Luther Blount - story

"Anybody that wasn't scared or apprehensive at the time, they wasn't telling the truth..."

Charles Luther Blount's story

Image of Robert Huttemeyer

"... had there been a sixth, I wouldn't be typing this story."

Robert Huttemeyer's story

Image of a quote from Arthur Klobe's Manuscript

"... made you feel that you were carrying the weight of the world."

Arthur H. Klobe's story

Image: Lawrence W. Kubale, Sr.

"When [Patton] found out we were glider pilots, he said anybody would be a damn fool to do that..."

Lawrence W. Kubale, Sr.'s story

Image of Arch Joseph Lewis, Jr.

"...I put my hand over my heart. It was beating so hard."

Arch Joseph Lewis, Jr.'s story

Image of Frank McKee

"Some guys went AWOL out of the hospital..."

Frank E. McKee's story

Image of Robert H. Powell

"Get some rest. We don't know when you're going to get any more."

Robert H. Powell 's story

Image of James W. Bill Simpson

"When we heard the news everyone just went crazy..."

James W. "Bill" Simpson's story

Image of Tracy Sugarman and his wife

"Above all, I prayed that I would live to make you happy."

Tracy Sugarman's story

Image of Stanley Weinberg

"Things aren't as bad you make them in your letters..."

Stanley Weinberg's story

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  July 10, 2017
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