Local D-Day Veteran Shares The Day His Infantry Landed On Omaha - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Local D-Day Veteran Shares The Day His Infantry Landed On Omaha Beach

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WILLIAMSTON, MI (WLNS) - On this day 70 years ago hundreds of brave American soldiers landed in Normandy, France as part of America’s efforts in World War II.
6 News Nick Perreault introduces us to a private first class who was there.

"Finally our company commander said get this thing as close to shore as you can, drop the ramp, we're getting off,” said Army Private First Class Richard Crum, served on D-Day.

Richard Crum says June 6, 1944 was calm and peaceful. That is until his 26th Infantry Regiment, who were the third wave to arrive on Omaha Beach, got out of their landing craft.
"We knew that something big was going to happen,” said Crum. But they didn't know what or when.

"Pretty soon we found a beach house down the cliff from the village of Covial Sumer,” recalls Crum.

Roughly 30 minutes in from getting out of the water they could hear the difference.
"In the distance we heard German machine gun fire so everybody prostrated themselves down in the grass,” said Crum.

Crum says it felt like an eternity, but was probably about 15 minutes. He says they were in the clear until dark.
"Apparently a couple Germans had been following us and now that we were stopped and setting up for the night they saw an opportunity.”
So Crum says they came out of hiding and began firing sub-machine guns.
"I remember seeing tracer bullets flying all over the place, killing several and wounding a number.”

Miraculously Crum remained untouched. He still has one of his formal Eisenhower jackets. Today Crum is one of only four remaining of the 220 men of his Regiment who stormed Normandy 70 years ago.

"I am no hero, I am a survivor,” says Crum.

A survivor who says he's glad for his service he put in and proud of his country.
"I did my part and I'm glad that things worked out the way they did."

Crum, who's also a Michigan State retiree, says he's happy to share his story and glad to take part in the 70th anniversary ceremonies. He says it's unlikely if any of his company will be around for the 75th anniversary.
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