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D-Day veteran and WWII prisoner of war share stories at Warner Robins D-Day event
WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)- The Museum of Aviation and Warner Robins Heritage Society hosted a D-Day 75th Anniversary Ceremony to honor WWII veterans and show appreciation to D-Day veterans.
D-Day is the WWII military operation that took place on June 6th, 1944.
The operation was code-named Operation Neptune because it involved a water landing on the beaches of Normandy, France.
Operation Neptune is the largest military operation by the sea in history and laid the foundation for the Allied victory on the western front.
Karen Sisk is the local organizing coordinator for the Warner Robins Heritage Society.
She says there are about 50 WWII veterans in Warner Robins and three of those are D-Day vets.
Sisk says the vets in Warner Robins range in age from 91 to 101. A lot of them lied about their age during WWII so that they were able to fight.
Sisk says that the importance of this event is major. “Children need to hear these stories,” she said.
Sisk developed very close relationships with a lot of the veterans in Warner Robins.
Warner Robins Mayor Randy Toms says D-Day was not the end of the war, but the beginning to an end.
Victor Nicollette was 18 years old when he went into the Navy. He says he was a mechanic on planes during D-Day and never thought there would be an event where he could meet new people who fought in the same war.
Crawford Hicks was an officer during WWII. Hicks was in a prisoner camp in Germany during D-Day and didn’t even know about the invasion until a German guard told him about it.
Hicks was on a train heading to the Belgium border when a guard told him of the Neptune Operation.
Imprisoned for 11 months, Hicks says he didn’t eat much but was treated better than most because of his ranking. He says all he wanted to do was get home to his recently engaged fiance.
George Mayo is one of the D-Day veterans that lives in Warner Robins. He says he worked to put gliders together for soldiers to use for the invasion on D-Day. He worked throughout the night before and into the next morning assembling the gliders.
Mayo says the gliders were planes without engines that carried soldiers safely to the beach.
Mayo says he was just doing what was asked of him.