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Remembering D-Day, 70 Years Later

 
Posted Friday, June 6th 2014 @ 4am  by By KTRH's Nik Rajkovic

It was 70 years ago Friday when General Dwight D. Eisenhower rallied Allied troops for the Invasion of Normandy.

“Soldiers, sailors and airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force, you are about to embark upon the great crusade toward which we have striven these many months.  The eyes of the world are upon you,” said Eisenhower's message. 

Among local events being held to remember the anniversary of D-Day is one at Battleship Texas.

Former crew member Howard Mills will be there.  He celebrated his 19th birthday on the ship June 6, 1944.

“I was a shell handler down in turret five on the ship,” Mills tells KTRH News.  “These are 14 inch shells that weighed between 1,500 and 1,800 pounds, and we were shelling Omaha beach.”

“We got hit twice,” he says.  “One shell hit the conning tower of the ship and went up through the bridge and exploded, and killed a helmsman and injured about eight other people.”

“Then we got hit again, but the shell came in the port bow and didn't explode, it was a dud,” says Mills.  “And the shell is still down there on the ship.”

If you can't make it out to the San Jacinto Battleground, Dirk Van Tuerenhout says the Museum of Natural Science also has an exhibit.

“We have the flag that was flown during the D-Day invasion, we have a scale model of the ship, we have the silver that was used in the captain's quarters,” he says.

“We have also a number of video screens that relay the history of the ship, showing film that was made at the time of the invasion, but also interviews with some of the veterans that served on the ship,” says Van Tuerenhout.

There's also a D-Day parade in Liberty County Saturday morning, beginning at Memorial Stadium.

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