NEWINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) – More than 70 years have passed since the infamous D-Day in June 1944, and this Memorial Day CT native John Provini shares his experiences as a soldier in the first wave of troops to land in Normandy.
Provini, a U.S. Navy Veteran who now calls Newington home, was one of hundreds of thousands brave soldiers to head to battle in what is now known as World War II. In April of 1944 Provini was training in the U.K. in preparation for D-Day when the training took a turn for the worst as they fell under attack by the Germans. “I see the ship behind us get hit and blow up, and then two behind that got hit, and then a third one got hit,” said Provini. “All during that time I was never scared for 1 second.”
The attack was one of the most devastating naval disasters in history, but that didn’t stop Provini from continuing his mission. In June he was part of the first wave of troops to storm Normandy. “When you look up, it was sunny day, you couldn’t see the sun because of all the planes.” Nearly 160,000 allied troops joined him to fight Nazi Germany on the French coast.
The battle was a success for the Allies, but not without cost. Nearly 10,000 troops lost their lives and will be remembered this Memorial Day. Memorial Day brings back bad and good memories for Provini. “The good outweighs the bad, and call it a day.”