Lynchburg, VA - D-Day Veteran Bill Sisk returned to Normandy this week, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the day he landed on Utah Beach. ABC 13 is with Sisk in France.
Angela Hatcher interviewed Sisk before he left. This is an account of his experience fighting his way through Europe after D-Day.
"We engaged the Germans all the time, but it was slow moving," said Sisk.
It would take the 90th Division 11 days to take Hill 122.
"It was the highest terrain in Normandy. The German observers would get on there and they could see everything that was happening all the way to the coast," said Sisk. "Every time the Americans made a move, from Utah to Omaha, they could see us and that's why we got hit so hard in Normandy."
"After we took it, we had the high ground and that was about the end of the Battle of Normandy," said Sisk.
That was also the end of combat for a while for Sisk. He was wounded on top of Hill 122.
"We took the hill a little bit earlier. We were on top of the hill and the Germans had us zeroed in," said Sisk. "I got the artillery shell hit in front of me and I got the burst. Then I was put on a stretcher, evacuated to South Hampton in England, the hospital there."
After nearly four months Sisk rejoined his outfit in Eastern France.
"That point was the Battle of the Bulge we found out a little later on," said Sisk. "From the time I rejoined my outfit, we kept battle."
The 90th Division was in combat with the 11th Panzer Division, a German armored unit.
Members of the 11th Panzer thought a re-assignment from the Russian front to France would be like going on holiday. Instead of mademoiselles, they were greeted by the "Tough 'Ombres" of the 90th.
"We had the 11th Panzer division, who we had pushed from Normandy all the way across. Wherever we were, they were," said Sisk. "We were in Czechoslovakia and a German courier came up with a white flag and wanted to surrender."
The 11th Panzer would not surrender to replacement unit, only to the 90th.
Sisk soldiered with his outfit into Germany.
"We liberated Flossenburg concentration camp. I got photos of that," said Sisk. "Then later on we liberated a prisoner of war camp we found and that was the end of the war."
Bill Sisk turned 19 just three days after he landed on Utah Beach. The war in Europe would end before his next birthday. He's lived the last 70 years remembering those who never saw another birthday.
"Don't make me a hero. I'm no hero. The heroes didn't come home. So I feel like all those guys over there are heroes. I'm not a hero," said Sisk.