Friday, June 4, 2010

A ringside seat for D-Day invasion

The memories appear and vanish for Elvin Mahan.

They are the ghosts of D-Day.

Sixty-six years is long, long ago.

“It just fades away,” said the 90-year-old Navy veteran.

Yet there are moments the visions return. Compelling images for an Indiana kid who had a ringside seat aboard the battleship Texas for the historic invasion.

Everywhere Mahan turned those first few days of June 1944, he saw an armada of 5,000 ships with 155,000 allied troops steaming toward France for a place called Normandy.

“It looked like a big city, all the ships out there,” he recalled. “It was just tremendous.

“You knew something big was going to happen. You just didn’t have any idea what. I was too young to realize the danger. I didn’t have enough brains to be scared.”

Read more about Elvin Mahan in Sunday's Bradenton Herald.

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