Tomorrow morning, I head out of Rogers AR after a week at the Military Order of the Purple Heart Convention. I ran into JJ Wiitmeyer, who I had on my radio show in December, while at the conference. He took a fall while in AR and it was decided he needed a traveling companion. All things happen for a reason, so I changed his flight so he could be on the same flights with me. Soldiers’ Angels graciously picked up the flight changing fees – phew! He looks good today and is anxious to go back home and I’m honored to be his traveling companion. Below is some info I dug up about JJ and I would like to add that he is also a docent at the National WWII Museum.
8788, who lives in the New Orleans suburb of Harahan, was an infantry soldier who landed on Utah Beach aboard a New Orleans-built Higgins landing craft, featuring a front ramp that dropped, allowing the troops to pile out.
On this day, they were greeted by German fire.
“When the ramp went down, you were going through the gates of hell,” Whitmeyer said. “You didn’t know how deep the water was, where the beach was and they were firing at you.”
Whitmeyer escaped injury that day, but later was wounded twice. He won a battlefield commission as a captain, served as an acting military governor in Dortmund, Germany, and as commandant of two camps for displaced war victims in Czechoslovakia.
Info taken from here