WWII Veteran Paul Andert was 97 when he died June 6, 2020. He was 21 on June 7, 1944, when he landed on Omaha Beach during the Normandy invasion.
JE: The Normandy landings happened on the 6th of June.
PA: And we went in on the 7th, the next morning, right behind the 29th Infantry that had moved in on the 6th.
JE: So you saw a lot of the casualties from the Normandy landing on the 6th all over the place?
PA: Oh yeah, absolutely, but that was just the beginning of the casualties you know. There were 6,000 men killed on that beach there.
JE: And you could hardly keep from stepping on bodies probably?
PA: Yeah. Well, again we always covered them if we had anything to cover them with. A lot of them carried a pack and they had a blanket or a canvas in their pack and we could take that and cover them up because we didn’t want them exposed.
Paul served in Africa, Sicily and Europe while participating in seven major campaigns, plus making two major landing invasions. He shares vivid memories of General George Patton and General Dwight Eisenhower, among others, and remembers listening to Axis Sally. He was wounded twice and received the Silver Star, three Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts.
Listen to Paul’s oral history here. It is his way of telling these stories which will make you feel like you were there! In Chapter 13: “Omaha Beach” – Paul talks about the Normandy invasion.
There are many adults who remember listening to Paul in their classrooms as he gave liberally of his time telling the story of his WWII experience. It is an honor to have Paul Andert’s oral history on Voices of Oklahoma.