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Honoring The Brave 80 Years After Storming the Beaches of Normandy

Honoring The Brave 80 Years After Storming the Beaches of Normandy

Eighty years ago, on June 6th, 1944, the allies stormed the beaches of Normandy. Codenamed Operation Overlord, the D-Day attack was the largest naval, air, and land operation in history at that time. In honor of its 80th anniversary, we’ve compiled a list of episodes that share the stories and recollections of that historic day.

First Entry: S1c Richard Coombs interview from Warriors In Their Own Words

S1c Richard Coombs: Crawling Through the Sands of Omaha

S1c Richard Coombs served as a Navy Seabee during D-Day. In perhaps the most powerful Warriors In Their Own Words interview ever, Coombs gives his recollection of fighting in the first wave of the attack.

“If you were to stand up, you're dead, you would've got hit for sure. I never knew there was so much firepower like that. You can't imagine, bullets hitting the sand, 88s going over your head and explosions here. And it smelled like death. You heard moaning, guys screaming, smell of gunpowder in the air. It was a very bleak, stormy day. How we ever accomplished and got in there, I don't know, but we did it.”

Second Entry: BG Theodore Roosevelt Jr. episode from Medal Of Honor

BG Theodore Roosevelt Jr.: A D-Day Hero

Son of former President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, BG Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was the oldest soldier and the highest ranking official to fight in the Invasion of Normandy. His seasoned and unfaltering leadership during D-Day inspired and reassured assaulting troops, leading to a successful establishment of the beachhead in France. He was later awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions that day.

Third Entry: Higgins Boat Operator, Al Sipple interview from History Shorts

BONUS: Interview with D-Day Veteran Al Sipple

When conducting research for a book about his hometown, "Denville in World War II" Peter Zablocki interviewed numerous veterans from the conflict, including that with Higgins Boat Operator, Al Sipple. Mr. Al Siplpe was just 17 years old when he joined the Navy to help support his family. The evening before the Normandy invasion, Sipple stepped in as a volunteer replacement for an operator who happened to be sick, and in turn became one of the first transports onto Omaha beach. This interview with Al Sipple was featured in the book and Zablocki's other podcast History Teachers Talking.

Fourth Entry: BM1 Nelson Dubroc interview from Warriors In Their Own Words

Blowing a Path Through Omaha Beach: BM1 Nelson Dubroc

BM1 Nelson Dubroc was just 18 years old when he stormed the beaches of Normandy. As a member of a Naval Combat Demolition Unit (NCDU), he was tasked with destroying enemy obstacles with explosives in order to clear the way for the rest of the invaders. Here he describes his experiences and the chaos of the attack.

Fifth Entry: BGen Sydney Radley-Walters interview from Warriors In Their Own Words

BGen Sydney Radley-Walters: A Tank Ace on D-Day

BGen Radley-Walters served as a Tank Commander in the Canadian Army. He landed in Normandy after the initial assault as the allies pushed deeper into the French countryside. Credited with destroying 18 German tanks and many other vehicles, he was the leading ally tank killer during the war.

Bonus: 2Lt. Daniel Clark interview from Warriors In Their Own Words

2Lt. Daniel Clark served as a Glider Infantryman, and was dropped behind enemy lines early in the invasion. Hear him discuss the lead up to the invasion, and what he experienced that day.

This episode will release on June 13, 2024. Subscribe to Warriors In Their Own Words on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to be notified of it's release.

We hope these episodes will help provide a better understanding and appreciation of what the men went through that day. To see more episodes & interviews about D-Day, click here.

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