Photo: Eisenhower library-gov

HAGERSTOWN, MD — Thursday marked 80 years since D-Day, U.S. and allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy on France’s northern coast on June 6, 1944 to battle and defeat the Nazis.

Local Historian Philip Mayhue has talked to thousands of veterans, recording 50 or 60 of those conversations.  On Thursday, he shared some of those conversations on Panhandle Live. 

Kenneth Jones – D-Day  Veteran Born in Hagerstown 

Mayhue talked with Combat Infantryman Kenneth Jones of Company B 115th Regiment 29th Division of Hagerstown who was born in Hagerstown 100 years ago.

He talked landing in the second wave of D Day on June 6, 1944 that day 80 years ago.

He was wounded twice – one of those times his Bible slowed down shrapnel.

His brother Jay was killed in combat in Europe and his brother Bill survived the war. I tried to incorporate some photos of both Kenny and Jay.

Merwin Hans US Navy, Hagerstown Resident

Local Historians Philip and Justin Mayhue talked with US Navy Veteran Merwin Hans,  who was on a command boat among six Higgins Boats, that delivered troops to Omaha Beach, including the troop Kenneth Jones was in.

He talked about the German defenses on the beach and described the troops as moving targets:

Hans said they didn’t have radios, so he had to communicate with the other boats via flag. He estimated each trip out to the landing area took around 15 to 20 minutes and when they got to the beach, they realized the intel they’d gotten about the landing situation wasn’t exactly as advertised:

Both veterans have passed away since those conversations.

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