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75 years ago today.

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They called it the Great Crusade (Operation Overlord).  My Grandfather called it the day he lost a brother to the madness of mankind.

My Grandfather Donald with the grace of God waded ashore on the beaches of Normandy at Utah Beach.  He was an engineer.  My grandfather was awarded a Purple heart for his wounds sustained in the leg while clearing an obstacle.

His brother Ora was in the landings on Omaha beach.  He made it to the bluffs before succumbing to wounds.  He is buried in France.

My Grandfather was again wounded later in April 1945.  He returned home to a 196 square foot house where my Grandmother, mother, and aunt awaited him.  It was located 280 miles north of Detroit (Were he was released from active duty).   While hitchhiking home my Great Uncle just happened to be driving from Bay City and saw him on the road.  A ride for the final last 100 miles going home.  He never really had much in the way of possessions, and what he had he gladly shared with others.  He was appointed the Postmaster of his small town (at the time pop:480),  Along with the postmasters position the U.S. Government built him a home for his service on a small loan guarantee.   As new people moved in to town they were always invited to dinner.  It might have been venison, Fresh trout, or a recently butchered hog from my Great grandfathers farm.  You never knew what was for dinner but it was always enough to feed more than those that sat at his table.  He knew everybody and I do mean everybody and everybody knew him.  When he retired from the Postal Service the towns population was 2400.  Everybody knew him.  Nobody ever said a bad thing about my Grandfather.  He passed away in 1991 and I miss him to this day.

He's my hero and I try to be more like him every day.

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JG51 "Mölders" is an online virtual squadron that focuses its attention mainly on flying WWII era German aircraft. We have been flying together as a group since the late 1980's.

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