First Army Honors D-Day Soldiers, Including 94-Year-Old Veteran

Jun 6, 2019

The Army unit that led the liberation of Europe 75 years ago has honored a soldier who was there, along with the entire group of soldiers who served on D-Day. Herb Trix has more. 


This morning, First Army commemorated the anniversary of D-Day during a professional leadership development session. 

Historian Kevin Braafladt (L) and First Army's Lt. Col. Joe Odorizzi (R) in the newsroom
Credit Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

Command Historian, Kevin Braafladt, says most people know D-Day refers to the US invasion of Normandy, France on June 6th, 1944.

But they probably don't know First Army planned and implemented "Operation Overlord," which began about a year before D-Day, and continued until the end of World War II. 

Lieutenant Colonel Joe Odorizzi, First Army's Public Affairs Director, says a famous movie about D-Day featured a portrayal of the Clinton, Iowa soldier, Henry Langrehr, who spoke at this morning's session.

First Army planned to honor Langrehr at tonight's River Bandits game in Davenport. But it was moved to Peoria because of flooding on the  Mississippi River, and that part of First Army's D-Day commemoration will be rescheduled. 

Currently, First Army's mission is to help organize and train soldiers, and its headquarters are located on Arsenal Island.

From YouTube, here's a video about paratroopers on D'Day.