Corpus Christi Veteran Remembers Experiences of D-Day

Thursday is the 69th anniversary of D-Day, one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history. In was back on June 6, 1944, when Allied forces invaded Normandy.

More than 156,000 American, British and Canadian troops landed on five beaches along France's Normandy region. The battle freed western Europe from Nazi Germany's control, and helped bring World War II to an end.

Corpus Christi resident Felix Longoria, Jr., 91, was a platoon sergeant in the U.S. Army on D-Day. He was a part of that historical event along the northern coast of France.

Longoria was in charge of 62 men on D-Day, when he was 23 years old. He said his lieutenant got sick and couldn't make the landing, so he was put in charge as sergeant. 12 of his men were killed that morning.

"The thing that I was concerned with was my men. What was going on left to right wasn't any concern," Longoria said. "One of my landing crafts, one of the scouts fell in the water. So I reached in there and grabbed him, and then my watch got wet and it said five after 11. I never forgot that."

Eventually, he was shot in the arm and ended up being sent back to England to recover. When he healed up, he quickly ended up in another huge battle -- the Battle of the Bulge.


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