D-Day: 'It made full-blooded Americans out of us'

EUGENE, Ore. - Rex Stevens landed on Omaha Beach 70 years ago this Sunday, 2 days after the initial D-Day invasion.

The 90-year-old University of Oregon graduate said he is proud of his service with the Intelligence Recon Platoon of the 8th Infantry Division.

He just doesn't dwell on it.

"It's terrifying. Hard to remember. I try not to remember," Stevens said. "The major thing that to me came out of that experience is it made full-blooded Americans out of us. We believed in our country."

Stevens and his generation liberated Europe, by land and by air.

Mike Pungercar's father did his part flying 30 bombing missions over Germany.

Pungercar now coordinates South Willamette Valley Honor Flights to get veterans like Stevens to Washington, D.C., to visit the World War II memorial erected in their honor.

On Friday, the 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion, he is set to give a talk at the Eugene Public Library on the air war over Europe.

The talk is based on research he did for his book "The Promise Kept," about his late father and the U.S. 8th Air Force who paved the way for the D-Day landings in France.

"The bomber crews, while they were on missions to bomb military targets, were also up there to draw the Luftwaffe in to the air so that the American and Allied fighters could take on the Luftwaffe and knock them out of the skies," Pungercar said. "So in a lot of respects those men were sacrificed."


President Obama will deliver remarks honoring the 70th Anniversary of D-Day and the Allied Invasion of Europe this Friday, June 6, 2014. His statement from Normandy is expected to begin at approximately 8:21 a.m. Pacific time. | Watch Live Online