It was deceptively calm when 22-year-old James F. Sansom drove ashore in Normandy on June 11th,1944.
He was on Omaha Beach, which just five days prior had seen some of the heaviest fighting and biggest losses of the allied invasion of France. By his arrival it was a logistical hive of men, machines and supplies.
“There was still tank traps and pill boxes,” Sansom, 92, told The Local in an interview. “But things were reasonably quiet.”
Sansom’s luck would hold until that winter, when a massive surprise offensive from the Germans showed him another side of the war. At one of the lowest points during his captivity he would attend a funeral every day for a month.