COOKE COUNTY, Tex. (KXII) - 75 years ago Allied Forces stormed the beaches of Normandy to liberate France. A Texoma man was one of the men on Omaha Beach, just minutes after it all started.
Texoma Veteran Mugg Pawless recalls being on the shores of Normandy during D-Day 75 years ago.
95-year-old Mugg Pawless of Cooke County says there are few moments to this day when he doesn't think about WWII and D-Day.
"We lost a lot of good boys over there, left them over there," said 95-year-old Mugg Pawless of Cooke County.
Pawless was 19-year-old and serving in the U.S. Army June 6, 1944. At 6:30 a.m. he remembers the first wave of landing crafts had reached the shores of Omaha Beach.
Two minutes later, at 6:32 a.m., Pawless would touch ground while receiving fire from the Germans, all while trying to get past barbed wire and mines.
"We got out of our boats and went p across that beach, of course. We couldn't do that very fast. We had to use Bangalore torpedoes and blow our path across there," said Pawless.
In his landing craft full of all 19-year-old soldiers, Pawless says their mission was to destroy at least 12 poles that were cemented into the ground, blocking vehicles from getting off of the beach.
That was when he was shot in the leg, but kept moving forward.
"There was three or four of us that got killed, and those that didn't get killed got wounded," said Pawless.
To this day, he still has shrapnel in his leg.
Pawless says that while movies come close to showing what that day was like, the moments will never be replicated.
"When you were on that beach, every breath you took was different. You might breathe one time and you'd smell gunpowder, and the next you'd take would be gunpowder and just hair burning. You could smell hair burning," said Pawless.
When asked if he considered himself a hero on a day where more than 2,000 Americans lost their lives, he said he does not.
"No, uh uh. The heroes are buried over there. They're the heroes to me," said Pawless.