A local veteran remembers his days as a Ball Turret gunner in WWII

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This June will be the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

With the National D-Day Memorial in our backyard, we wanted to share with you some of the stories of local soldiers who fought in World War II.

94-year-old Robert Homrich was born in Indiana the day after World War I.

The now Fincastle resident was drafted into the Air Force at just 19-years-old.

He served as a ball turret gunner, flying through 32 missions over Germany. 

Even though he did not fly on D-Day his efforts after that day landed him with a couple awards, including the Warsaw Freedom Medal and a Legion of Honor from the French government.

“I was only a Ball Turret gunner – the pilot and the co-pilot were the main… flew the plane.  And we just, we rode along.  And if Germans attacked us, we tried to shoot them down.  On the third mission – I think it was the second or the third mission – we lost a couple engines and shot out with flack and we just made it back to England.  We thought we were going to ditch it in the North Sea and we didn’t. The pilot got us back,” said Homrich.

With the anniversary, the D-Day Memorial has several events planned.  

The memorial foundation is asking for veterans to register ahead of time if possible so that they can be honored at the ceremony this year.  

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