Oxford WWII veteran remembers D-Day, 75 years later

Connecticut

The number of veterans still around to remember that historic day is dwindling.

News 8 spoke to 93-year-old Joseph Montanaro of Oxford who survived that day 75 years ago and helped make history.

When Montanaro was 18, he was a brand-new Navy seaman, serving on a tank landing ship delivering U.S. Troops and equipment to Omaha Beach.

Looking back on it a lifetime later, Montanaro says he didn’t know enough to be frightened.

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He still has vivid memories of the big guns of U.S. warships going off next to him and the sound of enemy fire, whizzing over his head.

While the bullets were flying, he says crew members were using poles to stop German mines from blowing them out of the water.

“We had a couple of men with long poles, if a mine comes close enough they would push them out of the way,” Montanaro said. “They couldn’t shoot them cause they were too close.”

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Montanaro says even all these years later, he still thinks about D-Day nearly every day. And he’s glad this 75th anniversary has the attention of the world.

“It happened.  We didn’t want it to happen. But it did happen. They should never forget it,” Montanaro said.

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