“We talked about it, even on the ship going over, that some of us would be wounded or killed eventually,” Denman Wolfe said.
The retired Army Ranger stormed the beaches of Normandy, France on June 6, 1944.
“The water was so rough going in that half the guys were seasick, and then we got thrown in the ocean, and we had to wade into water or swim,” Wolfe said.
Wolfe said the ships were taking on water, and a lot of weapons and equipment was lost in the ocean.
“What I was really thinking was making it to the beach…just getting across the beach,” He said.
He served 22 years as an Army Ranger in World War II and Korea.
“We were trained not to be scared of anything, and we knew we had the number one chance of getting killed…all of us did, but we didn’t discuss it one way or the other,” Wolfe said.
Wolfe said he doesn’t talk about his military service, but he will never forget his fallen Rangers.
“If I had been one of them that got killed, I would have felt proud to have been a Ranger,” Wolfe said, “And proud of the men that helped me do what we had to do that day.”
Fort Smith Army veteran John Harmon also was on the beaches of Normandy seventy years ago.
Harmon said he and his fellow soldiers got to the beach 13 hours after the first wave of U.S. soldiers laid down their lives.
Harmon said he was 18 years old during the invasion. He said he worked with the armored division of the Army, working with machine guns on the tanks.
He said the hardest part of the beaches were the cliffs. Harmon said the Germans were shooting on top of the cliffs killing thousands of soldiers.
He said all of the men next to him were young and just did what they were told to do.
“They told us what was going on, and what we were going to do, and that’s what we did,” Harmon said, “And we were scared, because I figured they were going to get me anyways…looking at all those people laying down there.”
Harmon served in the Army as a sergeant for D-Day and throughout World War II. He continued his service in Korea where he was awarded two purple hearts and a bronze star.