PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Friday will mark the 70-year anniversary of D-Day.
Veterans who took part in the largest sea invasion in history are now in their 90s; their memories of the war still with them, some sharing those experiences before they no longer have the chance and their battles slowly fade from memory.
Warren Goss, of Mount Lebanon, is one of those veterans telling his heroic story.
“I was in the 530 First Brigade. I went over with the Fourth Division and I volunteered to go in as part of the 530 First. I got to England in ’43 and I did all my training in England,” Goss said.
Goss tells Bill Rehkopf on the KDKA Afternoon News that he trained there for a year. They were never told exactly what they were training for, but they knew it was geared towards an invasion. He recalls it taking one year of training to do one day’s job.
Goss recalls when he found out he was going to Normandy.
“Actually, they really let out the news really when we were on the ship to go over there, but you knew it was coming before you ever got on the ship because when we got on the ship we were carrying live ammunition, we were carrying hand grenades and we were getting stuff that we never got for maneuvers,” Goss says.
During training, they practiced with wooden bullets or blanks so as to see all the live ammunition around them, and they knew they were in for something big. Goss went in at Utah Beach.
He can’t speak for his fellow soldiers, but when asked if he was afraid, he answered with ease.
“I don’t think I was. I didn’t know how to be afraid then, you know. When I hit the beach and I found out these guys were disappearing, then I started realizing this was real,” Goss said.
Goss’s family has a military legacy. He tells the story of his grandson coming home from his tour of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Marines and tells him of his experiences.
“He comes over here and talks to me. He told me, he says ‘Pap, we never had it as bad as you guys had it,’ because they would go fight skirmishes one a week or one a month or whatever it was. They had to put up with the bombs; we had to put up with landmines along with everything else. So the wars today are, I think, completely different than they were when we were in there. Hell, today you can’t even see the man your killing, you don’t even get a chance to see ’em,” Goss says.
You can listen to the whole interview here:
You can also listen to the KDKA Afternoon News with Bill Rehkopf weekdays 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.