Veterans remember D-Day
June 6, 2014
A flight of World War II aircraft that visited Minden-Tahoe Airport this week brought back memories of World War II today on the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
The B-17 Flying Fortress, B-24 Liberator, B-25 Mitchell and P-51 Mustang operated by the nonprofit Collings Foundation took off Wednesday for Stead Airport.
Johnson Lane resident Pamela Rogers said her recently deceased brother, John Hayward, would have loved to see the World War II aircraft.
“They came over so low when they flew in, but I didn’t have a camera,” she said. “Then I was in Carson for an appointment and I saw them fly out, and the camera was in the car.”
Rogers said her brother was a flier during World War II and had a map that showed all the airports in Germany they bombed.
The brother and sister came to America in the late 1950s, settling in California. Rogers moved to Carson Valley in 1992, and her brother joined her in 2007 after his wife died.
While her brother was serving in the war for the D-Day invasion, Rogers was in Kent when the planes and gliders took off over the English Channel.
“I was also up in London with mother and grandmother at the time of the Blitz,” Rogers said of the German bombing of London. “We were told to leave the coast in case of invasion, so we went to the outskirts of London right in the middle of the Blitz. That was not the right place. I even slept on the platforms on the London Underground.”
Emeritus at Gardnerville Executive Director Katie Nichols said a group of residents visited the aircraft on Wednesday.
In honor of D-Day, two veterans who live at Emeritus Senior Living in Gardnerville will take to the skies today at Reno Stead Airport.
The flights will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A barbecue will be held at the same time to honor those who have served in the armed forces. The public is invited to attend.
The flights are sponsored by the Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, a program that honors seniors and U.S. military veterans living in long-term care communities.
Allied forces landed on the Normandy coastline on June 6, 1944, with the aim to liberate France, and then advance to Germany.
To mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day, and to honor Americans who fought in the campaign, the Normandy American Cemetery will be the site of a bi-national ceremony this morning, according to the U.S. Embassy to France.
By September, the Veterans Administration estimates there will only be 1 million surviving World War II veterans. By September 2015, there will only be 843,000, which means they are dying at a rate of 435 a day.