Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

WW2 hero aged 107 travels to France for D-Day 80th anniversary

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun5,2024

A World War Two veteran, 107, has flown to Paris from Dallas, Texas, along with 59 other heroes to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

Reynolds Tomter touched down in France with other WW2 vets on Friday, with VIPs from around the world expected to arrive to pay their respects.

The youngest of the travelling party of WW2 heroes is 96, while Reynolds is the oldest at 107. The anniversary itself is on June 6 – the date just shy of 160,000 soldiers from the USA, Britain, Canada and other Allies landed on the northern French coast, armed to liberate Western Europe from the Nazis.

According to the Necrology Project – the “world’s most complete account of D-Day fallen” – 4,415 Allied troops were killed on June 6 alone.

One of the soldiers that flew from Dallas to Paris was Don Graves, who served in Iwo Jima, Japan.

The former US Marine Corps serviceman was part of the brave band of heroes that took the island from Imperial Japan in February and March 1945.

He said: “Seven thousand of my marine buddies were killed. Twenty thousand shot up, wounded, put on ships, buried at sea.

“I want the younger people, the younger generation here to know what we did.

Ralph Goldsticker, a captain and veteran of the US Air Force who served in 452nd Bomber Group, added: “We did our job and we came home and that’s it. We never talked about it I think. For 70 years I didn’t talk about it.”

Speaking of the D-Day landings, he remembered seeing from his war plane “a big, big chunk of the beach with thousands of vessels”.

He also mentioned his bombing raids on Nazi strongholds and routes that Hitler’s forces may have used to try and repel the Allied advance, had the bombing raids not been successful.

He said: “I dropped my first bomb at 06:58am in a heavy gun placement.

“We went back home, we landed at 09:30. We reloaded.”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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