Tennessee Valley WWII vets honored in D-Day event

18 veterans gathered in Huntsville for 73rd D-Day anniversary

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - On the 73rd anniversary of D-Day, 18 World War II veterans gathered in Huntsville sharing their war stories.  Olin Pickens said he remembers returning home, like it was yesterday.  “When I got home my mother and daddy both hugging me and we were all crying, that was a very memorable moment."

Four of  the Tennessee Valley veterans, stormed the beaches of Normandy, France on June 6, 1944. Ninety-five year old Ross Malone Jr., arrived nine days after the D-Day invasion, and guarded prisoners of war. “What we did is worked at the depot and we guarded the German PW's and they would bring stuff in and we had to guard them."

Pickens was held captive and had to survive only on bread and water. "I was a prisoner of war for 26 months and I was in a slave camp for a year and 23 days. The first 30 days I was captured, I lost a third of my body weight."

Now these men are being honored at the "D-Day on Display" event hosted by the Forever Young Senior Veterans Group. The free event included a silent auction. "Everything's going to Forever Young Senior Veterans, and it's going to help fund the trips that we're going to take these gentlemen on, said volunteer Elaine Oakes.

The organization arranges trips for veterans who want to revisit the places they served like Belgium, Italy, France and Hawaii.
 


More Stories

Don't Miss

  • Weather Updates
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Find us on Facebook & Twitter
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Nominate your Valley's First Responder
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • 2017 Golf Tour Card
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Back in the Day Field Day postponed
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.