By Jug Varner
The ranks of those of us who served in WWII are rapidly thinning. Relatively few remain who experienced certain major events: the Japanese sneak attack against Pearl Harbor… President Franklin Roosevelt’s radio address announcing the United States declaration of War the following day… raising the flag over Iwo Jima… D-Day…VE-Day… the atomic bombs that ended the war… VJ-Day… to name a few, including all of our own personal experiences, heroic and otherwise.
June 6, 2006 marked the 62nd anniversary of D-Day - the turning of the war when American and allied forces landed at Normandy and began the struggle for control of the war in Europe that eventually led to VE-Day… Victory in Europe.
Almost anyone who was serving on active duty at the time can still remember exactly where they were and what they were doing on that memorable day in 1944.
In my own case, I was in my final stage of training as a Naval Aviation Cadet at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas, flying the OS2U Kingfisher seaplane, hoping to graduate in July and go to sea aboard a cruiser or battleship flying this scout-observation aircraft.
We were in the hangar area when a voice on the loudspeaker sounded ATTENTION ALL HANDS… and told us of the exciting news. In those days, television was only a dream and military news came either from newspapers or radio commentators.
There was no “immediate” news in those days, and I might add that few news people were anti-war or anti-administration. A “Liberal” media was practically an unknown.