OKC D-Day Survivor Remembers Epic Battle
OKLAHOMA CITY - It’s been 74 years since World War II’s most important victory, but memories of the battle die hard.
“The whole landscape was loaded with dead people,” said Oklahoma City’s Paul Hatley.
Hatley arrived on Omaha Beach on June 7, the day after what‘s recognized as D-Day.
“They said anything in front of you is the enemy,” remembered Hatley who was drafted into the Army in 1943.
The 95-year-old still tears up as he remembers the intense battle on the beaches of Normandy.
“It never leaves, it’s always there,” said Hatley about the memories.
After the victory Normandy, Hatley and his unit pushed into France with orders to not give up ground.
“Run into a nest of Germans and we had a pretty good knockdown, drag out,” said Hatley, who was wounded twice during the war.
After the war, Hatley returned home and started a family. He’s lived in the same south OKC home since 1950.
Hatley said every D-Day anniversary he thinks of the other members of our country’s greatest generation who lost their lives at such a young age.
“I was lucky, lucky. I've had a good life,” said Hatley.