THOMSON, Ga. — A World War II veteran turns 100 years old on Feb. 6 and his friends are encouraging WSB viewers to send him a birthday card.
Louis Graziano took part in the June 6, 1944 invasion of Normandy, coming ashore in the third wave of American troops on Omaha Beach.
“I drove a gasoline truck onto the beach and I jumped out of it real quick and got my guns and flame thrower,” Graziano said in an interview posted on YouTube. He “laid down on the ground of the beach there with the dead soldiers.”
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As German gunfire rained down, he crawled over to the cliffs.
Using his flamethrower, he shot up the cliff to take out a machine gun.
After D-Day, Graziano took part in weeks of fighting across Normandy and months later took part in the Battle of the Bulge, where he nearly lost his feet to frostbite.
He later became the utilities foreman for the 102nd Infantry Field Artillery Battalion, Special Headquarters Command in Reims, according to a blog on the Department of Veterans Affairs website.
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As part of his job, he was responsible for all American-occupied buildings in Reims, including the Little Red Schoolhouse where the Germans signed the surrender documents.
After witnessing the signing of the surrender documents, Graziano took the Germans to another room to meet Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.
If you’d like to send Mr. Graziano a birthday card or letter, mail it to Louis Graziano, 238 W. Hill Street, Thomson, GA 30824.
His birthday is Feb. 6 and he will be honored by the Thomson-McDuffie Friends of the Library on Feb. 4.
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