70 years ago, Paul Ybarra was part of D-Day – the largest seaborne invasion in history

first_img“Paul Ybarra of Wellington landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day as part of a reinforcement unit for the first waves that had taken heavy losses.He said that as they landed, they saw countless bodies either floating in the water or covering the entire beach. Mr. Ybarra said there was no time to stop because of the intense firepower by the Germans.A few days later, they met deadly fire from the enemy and, in the confusion, American planes accidentally killed most of the men in his unit.Because his unit was almost depleted, Mr. Ybarra served as the head scout, a position designed to draw fire from the enemy in order to pinpoint their location.Mr. Ybarra was seriously wounded and spent nearly a month in the hospital. For his actions, Mr. Ybarra won the Purple Heart with cluster, the Bronze Star with cluster, and the Gallantry in Battle Medal. After his recovery, he went back to the front lines and was wounded again while coming to the aid of a wounded comrade.He was sent back to the hospital for 30 more days. Mr. Ybarra also had two brothers who served in World War II, and he noted that his parents were extremely proud to have three silver stars posted on their window.In 1994, France presented Mr. Ybarra and other American veterans a medal commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Normandy invasion.”Follow us on Twitter. by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — If there is one person who best describes “Crusaders around the World”, it would be Paul Ybarra of Wellington, who participated in the D-Day arguably the most important battle of the 20th Century.Seventy years ago, the Allied forces invaded Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II.Paul Ybarra – a living D-Day vet from WellingtonIt was the largest seaborne invasion in history and one of the bloodiest. It was also the beginning of the European’s reclaiming of the German occupied Europe and the eventual Allied victory.Ybarra was one of 160,000 troops who crossed the English Channel on D-Day. He would survive that day and go on to raise four children while working for the Santa Fe Railroad for 40 years.The D-Day invasion took the lives of 4,400 Allied Troops including 2,499 American servicemen. Ybarra was one of the survivors – perhaps by the grace of God.Today, Ybarra is 89 years old and lives happily with his family.His grandson, Ricki Camargo describes the day his grandfather lived through on that fateful day at Omaha Beach:last_img

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