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"It was time to go over...grab the rope net...lift my leg over the side...hang on for dear life...sixty pounds on my back!" (Memoir, page 2)

   Benjamin Alvarado
Image of Benjamin Alvarado
Contemporary photograph of veteran
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army
Unit: G Company, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, V Corps, 1st Army; G Company, 317th Infantry Regiment, 80th Infantry Division, XII Corps, 3rd Army; 129th Military Police
Service Location: Camp Fannin (basic training) and Camp Howze, Texas; England; France; Germany
Rank: Private
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A combat newbie, Private Benjamin Alvarado was part of the second wave of troops to arrive on D-Day, landing on the Easy Red section of Omaha Beach. In his memoir, he describes the adrenaline-filled first moments of the invasion. Continuing into the French countryside with the First Infantry Division, he witnessed tank battles, atrocities committed against French civilians by the Germans, and the sense of relief that permeated the American troops when Paris was liberated. Wounded on September 26th, 1944, he was evacuated from the field; looking in the mirror in the hospital, he at first didn't recognize himself.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (3 clips)
»Part 1 | Part 2  (90 min.)
  Photos
»Photo Album (4 photos)
 Memoirs
»Untitled Memoir of Benjamin Alvarado
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 Video (Interview Excerpts) (3 items)
Quiet, hushed atmosphere aboard ship heading toward Normandy; arriving at six in the morning; climbing the nets down to the landing craft; choppy seas. (01:34) What he saw on beach was unimaginable; fear during landing; running for shelter; not looking back. (NaN:NaN) Chaos on beach; units scattered amongst each other; clearing mines; following leader’s orders. (01:31)
  
 

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  October 26, 2011
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