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Friday, December 2, 2022

The Greatest Generation and Their D-day Fight In France | Coffee or Die

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They were both born during the Great Depression on different sides of the country, but on June 6, 1944, a world war took them both to Normandy. Eighty years later, on the anniversary of D-Day, they would be reunited in France.

Staff Sgt. Thomas M. Rice, 22, a Screaming Eagle with the 101st Airborne Division, flew over the English Channel in a Douglas C-53-DO Skytrooper on his way to a Normandy drop zone near the village of Carentan that the Nazis controlled in the dead of night. His task would be to assist in seizing and maintaining control of the crucial rail and road hub while defending the American troops arriving at Utah Beach from German counterattack. Dick Ramsey, a 20-year-old US Navy Coxswain 4th Class, watched as his battleship Nevada pounded German coastal defenses at first light, occasionally hurling steel 17 nautical miles inland while avoiding and engaging Nazi batteries all morning. When Tom Rice recounts the events surrounding his arrival in France, he maintains eye contact with the audience, almost as if he were escorting them back in time. He is waiting for a bus inside the Mercure Caen Côte de Nacre hotel in Hérouville-Saint-Clair. He’s located about 45 miles east of Carentan, which served as the paratrooper’s D-Day goal in 1944 and the start of his 192-day combat tour.



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