Local Veteran Remembers D-Day

The Department of Defense reports the invasion at Normandy as the largest amphibious operation in history.

Seventy-nine-year-old John Farrell is described by fellow war veterans as a "man of steel." Members of VFW post 3308 in Tallahassee all know Farrell's story.

"I was involved in the invasion with the 101 Airborne, attached to the 502nd Parachute Regiment and we landed outside of France,” says John.

Farrell says on that hostile day in June of 1944, he was only 19 years old. He carried close to 200 pounds of equipment and he remembers how dark it was.

"You don't know where you're hitting, if it's in the water, mud or land. It was dark and we had different objects to take when we got there," he adds.

Within his company, Farrell says there were 132 men, and of the original 132 only two never got hit. He says he has read all of the books and has seen the Hollywood depictions, but nothing compares to having been there.

"They showed you film, possibilities of what could happen, people being shot up in front of you and stuff, but you don't know until you're there," he says.

Farrell says this September he will attend a special reunion in Holland. There he hopes to reunite with other World War II vets and those who took part in the D-Day landings.