Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Remembering the Invasion That Molded the Face of the World from the End of World War II to the End of the Cold War

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Remembering the Invasion That Molded the Face of the World from the End of World War II to the End of the Cold War

Article excerpt

It was half a century ago, but their memories are as clear as the light of dawn.

Tom Koester of Munhall, helping pilot one of the first landing craft to reach bloody Omaha Beach, remembers the heat on the back of his neck from naval gun shells whistling overhead.

James Jordan of Greenfield remembers ditching his heavy backpack so he wouldn't drown, after his landing craft was hit by an artillery shell.

Earl Jenkins of Uniontown, walking onto Utah Beach unscathed, remembers setting up his mortar and then firing it almost continuously for 72 hours, without sleep.

Paul Swazuk of Bethel Park remembers how somber he and his fellow paratroopers were as their plane droned through the night sky toward France. "Everybody was scared. A guy would be a damn fool if he said he wasn't scared."

And back home, Velma Wolf did her part, too, working with an all- women's shift that made fragmentation bombs in a Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp. …

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