Cumberland veteran recalls D–Day invasion - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Cumberland veteran recalls D–Day invasion

Cumberland veteran recalls D–Day invasion

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By: Melissa Randall

70 years ago Norman Large was crossing the English Channel when the boat he was on was knocked out by German Forces. Forced to jump, the Cumberland man swam to the shores of Omaha Beach.

"They wasn't very high waves. There just the rollers coming in," he said. "They were pink with blood."

Even at 98–years–old his memories of d–day remain crystal clear.

"All along the beach there was the same thing. Bombs were landing on the beach and machine gun bullets on the beach, bodies on the beach," said large.

The allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944 in an attempt to get control of Europe back from the Nazi's and bring an end to World War II. The planned attack was the largest amphibious invasion in history.

"This was really the turning point– the really fundamental turning point in the war," said Dr. Raymond Sickinger, a History Professor at Providence College.

Dr. Sickenger says the troops knowingly waded into gunfire without protection.

"It was really a treacherous situation. The courage of the individuals who landed was remarkable," he said.

Large says instincts kicked in. There was no turning back. He knew he had to get over the hill, but was scared he may not make it.

"It's always in your mind. Many times it's in your mind— when the bombs are coming at you," he said.

Thousands of U.S. troops were killed in the invasion. Large was one of the lucky ones. He made it home.

Dr. Sickenger says it is especially important to mark this particular anniversary. A number of the men who fought so bravely are passing away. The youngest survivors are now in their late 80's.

(C) WLNE–TV 2014

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