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"I think it was really good therapy for me [writing about his war experience] because I was able to think it all out and remember from day to day what I had done, and sort of put it to rest, I guess." (Video Interview, 54:48)

   Charles H. Neighbor
Image of Charles H. Neighbor
Charles Neighbor
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army
Unit: E Company, 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division
Service Location: European Theater; Omaha Beach, France
Rank: Private First Class
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Charles Neighbor witnessed firsthand the kind of confusion and mechanical failure that afflicted American troops in the deadly first hours of D-Day, June 6, 1944. First, he and his buddies were dropped off at the wrong section of beach. Then, assigned to carry an extra fuel tank for a flamethrower, Neighbor was forced to take over the weapon when his partner was hit in the shoulder soon after disembarking on the beach. Neighbor was unable to light it, and so never once used the weapon on which he had trained for months.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (5 clips)
»Complete Interview  (57 min.)
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»The War
»D-Day On the Beach
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (5 items)
Description of equipment carried on D-Day (02:25) Events of the morning of June 6, 1944; taking over a flamethrower after his partner is wounded. (02:11) Trying to make it across the beach; seeing a sergeant near him shot and killed; neutralizing a German pillbox—despite being unable to light his flamethrower. (03:41)
Advancing past the beach, into the hedgerows of Normandy. (04:22) Wounded during the fight for St. Lo, D-Day +38 (02:16) 
  
 

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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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