Mt. Pleasant, SC (WCBD) – Today marks 75 years since nearly 160 thousand American, British, and Canadian troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, a mission that would kick off the allied invasion of France in World War Two. More than 4,000 of those men were killed and nearly 9,000 were wounded or missing by day’s end.
This morning, the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum honored those who fought for our freedom that gloomy morning in 1944. The presentation, aboard the USS Yorktown, featured a brief history of the D-day invasion from the order by president Eisenhower until the last German troops surrendered.
The hundreds of people in attendance listened on as ten D-day veterans shared first-hand accounts of that day. All of the veterans were South Carolina natives.
D-day veteran Lt. Col. Leonard Gardner remembers vividly what he was told before storming the beach early that morning.
During the presentation, organizers unveiled the American flag that flew aboard the destroyer USS Laffey as it approached Utah Beach on D-day. The flag had been obtained and restored by museum staff.
The USS Laffey is one of only three remaining D-day allied warships that survived world war two, earning its nickname ‘the ship that would not die.’
Following the program, attendees were invited to participate in an hour-long meet and greet with the veterans and take pictures with the USS Laffey flag.