Metro Man Remembers D-Day

Friday, June 6th 2014, 8:37 pm
By: News 9

70 years ago, our country's brave service members defied every danger in the invasion of Normandy in World War II.

Former U.S. Army Lt. Bob Perry, 90, fought on D-Day and says he remembers every moment and has a 70-year-old journal to prove it.

"Let's see, June 6, 1944, today, we were awakened at 00:30 hours," said Perry. "The Cornel told us that the gas load and then told us that today, our ground forces were starting to land just six minutes after we bomb the coast."

Perry remembers waking up that early morning with no hot water, shaving and eating breakfast before their general briefing.

"When we saw what it was, and they told us that today was the invasion day, then we quit grumbling and started paying attention," Perry said.

Perry says he was a part of the 8th Air Force, 379th bomb group, 527th bomb squadron, 1st bomb division and 41st combat wing.

"I couldn't imagine that it would fail, because it was just too much planning, too many men, and too much heart went in to it," Perry said. "I was there for that, and I saw that, and I couldn't imagine that there were that many boats in the whole world."

Now, with white hair and a walker, Perry remembers being a frightened 20-year-old navigator inside a B-17.

"Anybody who says he wasn't scared when people are shooting at him is either a liar or a fool or both," said Perry.

Perry says there was so much to fear, like the enemy flak, an anti-aircraft warfare.

"We always said if a bullet got your name on it, it's going to get you," said Perry. "But flak, they just shot it up there and labeled it To Whom It May Concern."

His well-decorated bomb group fought bravely, and some paid the ultimate price.

"Freedom is not free, a lot of fine young men didn't come back, and I saw a lot of my friends die, and that makes me think of what we have is worthwhile," said Perry. "We didn't think we were so special. We knew that there was a job that had to be done, and we were the ones who were called on to do it, so we did it."

Bob Perry has so many memories of his historic D-Day fight, but says his greatest memory is that he survived.