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D-Day plus 72 years: A realization of the tragedies

'We can never forget the sacrifice Marion Paul Nordine and so many of his comrades in arms made on that blood-soaked day seventy-two years ago. - JIM
RELATED: D-Day at the Library presentation, with Mike Watson, at the Adair County Public Library, 307 Greensburg Street, Columbia, KY. Refreshments. Displays. Free and open to the public. - Ernestine Bennett, Genealogical Librarian

By JIM

Seventy-two years ago today-June 6, 1944-Operation Overlord, better remembered as D-Day, began, and Adair Countian Marion Paul Nordine lost his life in the invasion.

Pfc. Marion Paul Nordine, a native of Iowa, had moved to Kentucky in 1941 to work on the Wolf Creek Dam. When that project closed down in 1942 for the duration, he removed to Columbia, where he gained employment at the Cardinal Inn. Toward the end of August that year, he and Miss Frances Maupin quietly slipped to Lebanon one Saturday evening and were married.

Just before the middle of May,1943, with Frances about seven months with child, Marion reported to Ft. Benjamin Harrison for induction into the US Army. In keeping with the policy of the time, he was granted a two week furlough and by the end of May had reported to Camp McQuaide.

Between then and the end of the year, he made two trips back to Kentucky, one in September, when saw his son (born in early July) for the first time, and again in December, when Marion saw Frances and his son for the last time.

Shortly after the December furlough, he was sent to New York and from the East Coast, embarked for the ETO, arriving safely overseas some time in March. Without a doubt, the next two months and more were devoted to training for the invasion-time, place, and method unknown.

Pfc. Nordine was a member of Battery C, 397th AAA (Anti-Aircraft Artillery). That units grim story is concisely told here:
"The 397th Provisional Machine Gun Battalion was the first American AAA battalion to land in France. It was supposed to land on Dog Red or Easy Green, names given to sections of the [Omaha] beach [one of the five Allied landing sites] by Allied planners to enhance control. Instead, Battery C landed on Dog White and Battery A and Battery B were washed ashore on Fox Green. The battalion came ashore, hit the beach and encountered a withering rain of German antiaircraft and machine gun fire after negotiating mines and wire and obstacles to get the Rhinos and LSl3 on the beach. The battalion, which had only existed for about three months and was commanded by a great soldier named Art Meyer, a captain, took 60 percent casualties in the first 15 minutes after landing."
Fifteen days later, the stark reality hit Adair County when this headline appeared in the newspaper (name spelled as found): "Marion Nardine Killed on D-Day." Said the brief article about his death, "It came as a shock to the entire community and brought close to home a realization of the tragedies of World War II."

The most recent research indicates some two thousand five hundred American troops died on D-Day with many thousands more injured or missing. The invasion, however, marked the beginning of the end of the little dictator's illusionary Third Reich. After the Allied troops landed on the continent, the war, which had dragged on since the later summer of 1939, ended in less than a year. By the time Germany formally surrendered in the spring of 1945, Hitler was dead, his top henchmen either dead or captured, and the once-mighty German military in utter disarray.

We can never forget the sacrifice Marion Paul Nordine and so many of his comrades in arms made on that blood-soaked day seventy-two years ago.


This story was posted on 2016-06-06 05:57:14
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