Local D-Day Veteran honored at 75th celebration
BATON ROUGE – Thursday is the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The day of the largest seaborne invasion in WWII back in the 1940’s. Not many soldiers who fought that day are still alive. But 99-year-old Johnnie Jones Sr., who lives in Baton Rouge, says he still remembers the battle like it was yesterday.
“I was going to do what was necessarily to survive,” said Jones. “The ship I was on encountered a water mine that was planted in the English Channel, and it was blowing up."
Jones can still describe the harrowing day, arriving in Normandy, and how he and his fellow soldiers encountered a German sniper.
“The bullets were going in front of you, back of you, side of you, everywhere,” said Jones. “I just stood still.”
He says it was a remarkable act from another American soldier who knocked down a pillbox the German was in that he has to thank.
“I know he didn't come back, but he saved my life and many people’s lives,” said Jones.
Jones is thankful he still has these memories, his battle wounds and medals to show for that day 75 years ago. Not many can say that. And while gruesome, Jones said he would do it all over again.
“I'm thinking about the advantages, the advantages and opportunities that my children have,” said Jones.
Jones was honored Thursday in New Orleans at the National WWII Museum alongside other veterans still alive today. Jones was also honored at the 50th anniversary celebration.
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