Remembering D-Day in Texoma

By: Nicolette Schleisman Email
By: Nicolette Schleisman Email

DENISON, TX -- 68 years ago today, the allied forces invaded German-occupied France, marking the beginning of the end of World War II.

160,000 Allied Troops landed on a 50-mile stretch of Normandy, France on June 6, 1944. More than 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircrafts supported the invasion.

One Texoma veteran was flying high above the Allied soldiers protecting them from a German attack.

David W. Williams was just over 21 during the Normandy invasion, now known as D-Day, and he was there, as an Air Force Major. His job was to cover the fleet on the English Channel as they went from England to Normandy.

"It was a wonderful invasion, we didn't take any casualties that I could see, the ships went in on the beach and landed," said Williams.

D-Day was the official opening of the second front in World War. The Allied Forces made an agreement to open the front to relieve the pressure on Europe.

"It's what allowed us to ultimately win world war two, at least the european portion of the conflict," said Mary Linder, Grayson College professor.

Three months after the invasion, the Allied Forces were able to liberate Paris and begin the ability to move focus to the Pacific Theatre of the war.

James W. Farris was also in the Air Force during World War II, but he was in New Guinea during the D-Day invasion. Though he was not directly involved in the famous battle, it did directly affect his life.

"I lost a brother soon after D-Day. He was killed in France, and is buried there," said Farris.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower played a major role in developing the strategy for D-Day.

After his triumphant victory in Europe, he returned to Denison for the first time to greet the citizens of his birthplace.

Eisenhower Birthplace is hosting "Ike Returns to Denison" Saturday, June 9, to commemorate General Eisenhower's role in fighting World War II, leading to the eventual allied victory.

"Ike Returns to Denison" will be held at the Birthplace starting at noon Saturday. The Eisenhower character portrayal begins at 1 p.m.


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