Valley man recounts D-Day 70 years later - KMSP-TV

Valley man recounts D-Day 70 years later

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - A Mesa man who lived history shared his story with FOX 10. Lew Campbell recounted D-Day 70 years after he stormed the French shoreline with other soldiers from the US Army's 2nd Armored Division.

"I was there the second day after the actual landing of the infantry," said Lew Campbell.

Campbell and the rest of his platoon were supposed to land on the beach 70 years-ago Friday, but the rough weather damaged equipment delaying it.

"We would've been in the day earlier, but the Mulberry because had some damage to it because of the bad weather, we were still standing waiting on the ship to be unloaded," he said.
Campbell said they had one mission in the first hours. "Actually our first objective was to get those heavy guns that were up on point Le Hawk, because they had no heavy equipment on shore at the time. Most of the people on the shore were infantry, and they needed some heavy equipment to dig out, that artillery was causing a problem down on the beaches," said Campbell.

The Second Armored Division took out the heavy artillery and swept through France. Campbell also fought in the battle of the bulge where he walked for days in harsh winter conditions wearing only his uniform and combat boots.

Their only goal push back the nazi's and take control of Berlin.

He laughed this morning recounting General Patton's reaction upon learning the US 2nd Armored Division wouldn't be the first going into the Nazi capital.

"But at that time that's when a political decision was made by Eisenhower and Roosevelt, and it was to let the Russian Army go into Berlin. When you talk about somebody being mad, that was Patton, at that point he wanted Berlin," said Campbell.

The highly decorated Campbell grabbed a Nazi flag while staying in a German beer hall, used by the third reich. One of the few mementos he grabbed from his days in Europe.

When asked what he wants Americans to remember on the anniversary of D-Day, his answer was simple.

"I guess to think about most of the GI's who were over there, especially those who didn't get an opportunity to come back, and to be appreciative of what had happened," he said.

As it turns out Lew Campbell also has a pretty good voice. He will sing the National Anthem at Friday night's D-Backs game.
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