social icons WMMM twitterfacebook RSS facebook twitter RSS Center

Kitty Dunn

What does Kitty have to say?


 


D-Day 70 years later: Kitty's dad's story


This week marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy. Twenty years ago I chatted on the phone with my dad about his experience there, and wrote it down so I wouldn't forget.  Here's a portion of that story:










The other day I asked my father if he was watching all the TV programs marking the 50th anniversary of D-Day.

"Why in the hell should I watch it? I lived it," he snapped, with more than a little attitude.

I'd heard a few stories over the years about my dad's five years in the Army Air Force, but on the 50th anniversary, I thought I needed a refresher course.

My dad, James T. Dunn, served from 1939-1945. He was a waist gunner and bombardier on B-17's and B-24's, and in June of 1944 was stationed just 50 miles from Omaha Beach. He spent 19 hours in the air on June 6, 1944, 15 of them on oxygen.

"We had to fly around for four hours before we could even get to our plane in line," he told me. "I saw planes I had only seen before in books. Every single plane the Allies had was up in the air. I bet planes that hadn't flown since World War I were up in the sky over France that day."

A weather front had moved in, so during his first mission that day, his crew didn't shoot or drop any bombs because it was too cloudy to see the targets. It was on his second D-Day mission that the real drama happened.

"We were supposed to be the lead plane, but somehow we got lost and didn't have any planes to lead. Even our two hotshot navigators had no idea where we were," he said.

My dad thought they were saved when they saw an airfield just ahead. Heading in for a landing, they were so close to the ground he said they could see a buggy being pulled by a brilliant white horse. "But then piles of dirt surrounding the airfield started shooting at us. A good chunk of our tail was cut off but somehow we got the hell out of there. We weren't sure if the fire was friend or foe, so we didn't dare shoot back," he said. "To this day, I didn't know if were were over Holland or Belgium."

Over the Atlantic Ocean, he said the tension increased and tempers flared.

"Then one of the guys put a handgun to the radio operator's head, shouting "Hampton, if you don't turn on that radio and get us some help, I'll blow your head off."  In a flagrant violation of the rules, Hampton broke radio silence. Then, he said, "two British Spitfires came to our rescue and we followed 'em in."

I asked my dad if that was the most scared he'd ever been in his life. He paused, and then told me he didn't have time to be scared. He said he was was "too busy doing his job," adding "but everyone sure did a lot of praying."

My dad, who passed away in 2004, received many medals for his service in World War II, including the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with three clusters. With his crew above, he's in the front row on the far right.
 



Tags :  
People : James T. Dunn


Share This: | More


 
06/05/2014 10:20AM
D-Day 70 years later: Kitty's dad's story
Please Enter Your Comments Below
06/05/2014 11:49PM
D-Day 70 years later: Kitty's dad's story
thanks for sharing your Dad's story, Kitty. There will never be a Generation quite like them. Randi :)
06/07/2014 10:47AM
D-Day 70 years later: Kitty's dad's story
Great story, or I should say, recap of your father's history. I only wish my father-in-law would talk a little more about his WWII experience. His grandkids would remember that their entire lives. You have a piece of history from your dad you will always cherish because HE shared it personally with you. Joyce
Title :
Comment :
Listen Live (WMMM)
Playlist (WMMM)
Activate With M
Submit
We still miss you Stevie Ray Vaughan
It's hard to believe it's been 24 years since we lost Stevie Ray Vaughan in that helicopter crash after a show at Alpine Valley. I've talked to lots of people who were at that concert, which also featured Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, and...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Donny Osmond "Soldier of Love"
It's hard to believe that Donny Osmond scored his second biggest solo hit in 1989, but it's true! "Soldier of Love" went all the way to #2 on the charts. When the song was released, the record company was afraid no one would buy a...
Read More
Butch Vig--the actor?
Butch Vig and his pal from Garbage Duke Erikson, Freedy Johnson, and Jay Moran get together every once in a while as "The Know-it-all Boyfriends."  Well they're getting the band back together, and this time they're doing it for a...
Read More
Kitty's Summer's Not Over Checklist
Summer slips through our fingers so quickly. It seems we were just celebrating the longest day of the year--and now Labor Day weekend is upon us! There are some things you wanted to do this summer that you haven't gotten around to yet, and...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Exile "Kiss You All Over"
Kitty thought this song was an example of country disco and was not a fan...but just about everybody else was. "Kiss You All Over" was #1 for four weeks in 1978, and was probably one of the year's best songs. Exile rocks out with the...
Read More
The next Jonny Lang? Quinn Sullivan is the real deal
I was up in Wausau for the Big Bull Falls Blues Fest, and had a great time watching all the great live music. The big surprise of the day was the guy who played at 3pm. He's just 15 years old and is a good friend of Buddy Guy, and even got to play...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Young MC "Bust a Move"
Kitty apppeared to be all alone on her dislike of this song, which made it to #7 on the charts in 1989. Rolling Stone described the song this way: "a G-rated funk-bomb integral to hip-hop's eventual mainstream acceptance." The...
Read More
The most beautiful spot in Dane County right now
If you get a chance to head out to Pope Farm Conservancy in the next couple of days--I highly recommend it! Pope Farm Conservancy is 105 acres that sits on top of three recessional moraines in the Town of Middleton, where three different watersheds...
Read More
 
Recent Blog Posts
We still miss you Stevie Ray Vaughan
It's hard to believe it's been 24 years since we lost Stevie Ray Vaughan in that helicopter crash after a show at Alpine Valley. I've talked to lots of people who were at that concert, which also featured Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, and...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Donny Osmond "Soldier of Love"
It's hard to believe that Donny Osmond scored his second biggest solo hit in 1989, but it's true! "Soldier of Love" went all the way to #2 on the charts. When the song was released, the record company was afraid no one would buy a...
Read More
Butch Vig--the actor?
Butch Vig and his pal from Garbage Duke Erikson, Freedy Johnson, and Jay Moran get together every once in a while as "The Know-it-all Boyfriends."  Well they're getting the band back together, and this time they're doing it for a...
Read More
Kitty's Summer's Not Over Checklist
Summer slips through our fingers so quickly. It seems we were just celebrating the longest day of the year--and now Labor Day weekend is upon us! There are some things you wanted to do this summer that you haven't gotten around to yet, and...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Exile "Kiss You All Over"
Kitty thought this song was an example of country disco and was not a fan...but just about everybody else was. "Kiss You All Over" was #1 for four weeks in 1978, and was probably one of the year's best songs. Exile rocks out with the...
Read More
The next Jonny Lang? Quinn Sullivan is the real deal
I was up in Wausau for the Big Bull Falls Blues Fest, and had a great time watching all the great live music. The big surprise of the day was the guy who played at 3pm. He's just 15 years old and is a good friend of Buddy Guy, and even got to play...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Young MC "Bust a Move"
Kitty apppeared to be all alone on her dislike of this song, which made it to #7 on the charts in 1989. Rolling Stone described the song this way: "a G-rated funk-bomb integral to hip-hop's eventual mainstream acceptance." The...
Read More
The most beautiful spot in Dane County right now
If you get a chance to head out to Pope Farm Conservancy in the next couple of days--I highly recommend it! Pope Farm Conservancy is 105 acres that sits on top of three recessional moraines in the Town of Middleton, where three different watersheds...
Read More
Categories
Archives