Four Veterans Share Their D-Day Stories in Bedford
Bedford, VA - It's been nearly seven decades since D-Day. As the years pass, first-hand accounts of the day that changed the course of history are getting harder to come by.
A special event in at the D-Day Memorial in Bedford Tuesday highlighted four stories from living Veterans.
It would be nearly impossible for Bill Oversteet, and three fellow D-Day veterans to forget what happened so many years ago.
"I remember D-Day well," Overstreet said.
Overstreet spent 8 long hours over Normandy that day as a pilot in the Army's 357th Fighter Group.
"We were able to take off in zero visibility and it stayed that way until we cleared over 20,000 feet."
When the USS Arkansas took position off Omaha Beach, Carter Fisher was waiting on board.
"We went into Omaha Beach at 2 o'clock in the morning and we set there until 5 before they started letting us fire and you talking about a long three hours to wait that was," Fisher said.
Charles "Buster" Shaeff would ferry three boatloads of servicemen to the beach that day.
"When they dropped anchor at 3 o'clock D-Day morning, they dropped the boats in the water and we went to work," Shaeff said.
Evelyn "Chappy" Kowalchuk found herself on the beaches three days later, one of only 500 flight nurses during the war.
"When we got those boys on the plane, we had the worst shock We had nurses that were training in New York and California. They had never, never seen the injuries and the blood and the pain these boys were going through," Kowalchuk said.
What the four living American heroes went through is not to be forgotten.
A quality that was not lost in a room at the D-Day Memorial, as roughly one hundred people stood to applaud.
Unfortunately ,the tragedy of war was not left on the beaches of Normandy.
Kowalchuk says of the 25 flight nurses in her unit, three would eventually commit suicide after returning home. Kowalchuk says she probably won't be able to fall asleep tonight, with all of the memories going through her mind.