“We all knew what was ahead of us.”
That’s the amount of time Chuck Neighbor spent in basic training for the Army.
“And we had no feeling of what the landings, but we knew we all couldn’t come back. But we just prayed to the lord that we would,” said Neighbor.
But the 94-year-old’s experience in the Army would last a lifetime.
“Soon we were informed that we were going to be landing on Omaha Beach in Normandy in France,” said Neighbor.
Chuck would be one of the soldiers to storm the beach on that dark June morning in 1944.
With a rifle in one hand and a flamethrower in the other, watching his commander get shot right in front of him, his group was actually dropped off at the wrong section of the beach.
They spent days pushing through nests of German soldiers, capturing some along the way and gripping with the terms that many of their fellow soldiers would not make it home.
“I think most of us were just sort of numb into thinking this is it we just gotta do what we gotta do,” said Neighbor.
Soon his battle days would be over.
“A barrage of mortar shells came over us. I hid in a foxhole and about the 2nd or 3rd volley, one came my way. As I was sitting there I got hit. That was the end of my D-Day experience,” said Neighbor.
He was hit in the diaphragm and face.
75 years later he will spend the anniversary of D-Day at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford.
“I’m amazed to get out to the 75th anniversary. I’m looking forward to it, we’re already lined up the D-Day Memorial to have the 75th anniversary. You can’t call it a celebration but a commemoration. And I suppose that’ll be about the end of my, what I can expect. I’m 94. I will not be, that will be my last hurrah,” said Neighbor.