The Suffering Podcast

Episode 86: The Suffering of D-Day with Bob Gibson

August 07, 2022 Kevin Donaldson & Mike Failace Season 2 Episode 86
The Suffering Podcast
Episode 86: The Suffering of D-Day with Bob Gibson
Show Notes Transcript

Very seldomly in this life do we get to hear about history from a participant. Bob Gibson was a young man who was compelled to fight for his country during World War II. He found himself entering into the unknown as he landed on the beach during the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944.  At 98 years old the memories are as fresh now as when they first happened.  After D-day was over, the war did not stop as Bob went  onto fight in the Battle of The Bulge.  In this episode of The Suffering Podcast, join us as we hear living history, and learn from it so that we can never forget.


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Kevin Donaldson:

Sit your ass down, down. Sit your ass down, down. Let's talk about suffering. It's time to start Sit down sit your ass down this is gonna hurt let's talk about suffering suffering. It's time to start the pain, the pain. This is gone. It's time for the sufferings podcast podcast. Collectively, our memories are very short. The worst of our lives fades away and the memories that are pleasant, replaced the trauma and suffering, the forge a new history. A scar tells a story, where you were, what you were wearing, and what you felt. Some will try everything in their power to cover them up, so that they never have to see them again. lying to ourselves like it never happened. That suffering rears its head in some surprise fashion. What if we were to wear our scars like badges of honor award ribbons pinned to our chest for all to see, to show that we are battle tested, and life prepared. The feelings we experienced during those times of trouble are there for a reason. So that we do not repeat history and learn from our pain. I'm Kevin Donaldson here with Mike Felice. And on this episode of the suffering podcast. We're honored to sit down with living history. We're here with Bob Gibson, Bob Gibson has a very interesting story to tell. Because he was a survivor, I guess the survivors the right term to put might

Mike Failace:

say so I would say a hero. I would think so without

Kevin Donaldson:

a doubt hero. He is a survivor of D Day and this is the suffering of D Day. Thank you so much for joining us, sir. We really appreciate it. Before we get started, I want to thank our marquee sponsor, that's Toyota of Hackensack. We buy our cars there because we trust them. If you're looking for a car, go to Toyota hackensack.com and let them find you a car. Now this

Mike Failace:

isn't same Bob Gibson, a pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals back in the day was it looks a little different look a little different. Yeah.

Kevin Donaldson:

Mr. Gibson, thank you. It's a real honor and sitting with us is our very own Chris Jaeger. Chris has been on a call on an episode. And he's been a longtime supporter to suffering podcast also. He's your chauffeur today.

Unknown:

Yeah, very fortunate. I had a hell of a time finding this.

Mike Failace:

Personnel but I find it.

Kevin Donaldson:

Thank you so much for coming in today. Thank you for joining us.

Unknown:

Thank you for offer.

Kevin Donaldson:

It is really our honor. And this this episode, just so you know, Mr. Gibson, I'm sorry. I'm gonna refer to you as Mr. Gibson. It's just it's it's in me to do that. This episode is solely it. I think it's I think the audience needs to hear this story. But this is a selfish episode for Mike and I, we've we've talked about this for a long time since Chris told us of your existence. This is one we wanted to get down. We wanted to get this on on tape to tell the story so that we may never forget. Right. So before we get into any of the any of the good stories, any of the good stuff, let's talk about this week social media question and it comes from Derrick has time faded. Your traumatic memories. Mr. Gibson, you've seen trauma on a scale that I don't think people realize you're 7878 years gone. I need your sense, from June 6 1944. Has any of those memories faded in time?

Unknown:

Now? never will. So that remembers really?

Kevin Donaldson:

Well, you need to talk about those memories. Because there's there's a whole generation of kids out there and only read about it in books. And you're somebody here to attest to the to the horrors of that day.

Mike Failace:

You're like a living book down. You know, people just read about what you saw. I mean, that's that, to me is that's unbelievable.

Unknown:

But the most important thing is the basic training. This is a jet pull through the whole thing. It was tough. 13 weeks of basic training,

Kevin Donaldson:

and they shortened it for what were two people, right?

Unknown:

Yeah. And it was done at Camp Davis, North Carolina.

Kevin Donaldson:

Now, those people that you went through with and were on the beach with at Utah. Did you ever stay? Did you stay in contact with them?

Unknown:

Very few, very few. So factor as the only one left that I'm aware of?

Kevin Donaldson:

Oh, really? Chris, I want to pass this question off to you. Sure. All right. So you've been through you were teaching you're a veteran of some serious conflicts. You've done some heavy crap. Sure. As time moves further away from your incidents, has the bad memories faded at all?

Unknown:

Now? No, no fact. I would say that the memories are are even more present now than ever.

Kevin Donaldson:

When you talk about them, do they seem to bubble up?

Unknown:

They have, but I definitely think you know, as we've talked before, talking about it has helped me tremendously to the point where now, you know, I can talk to people and answer questions. And it's it's not as bad as what it used to be. Mike,

Mike Failace:

you don't like like, it's I don't think the memories ever gone away. I don't think they fade. For you personally. The thing that really bothers me is it seems that the memories fade. For people who haven't gone

Kevin Donaldson:

through it. You know, the public has short memories, public,

Mike Failace:

public and short memory. I mean, we talked about 911 all the time, like you couldn't buy a flag in the United States, right after 911. Then all of a sudden, we started going down, down, down. World was never as close as it was after 911. And look where we are now.

Kevin Donaldson:

Was it the same Mr. Gibson? Was it the same after Pearl Harbor? On December 7? Do you know? No. As far as the Unity

Unknown:

everybody woke up? Yeah.

Mike Failace:

We got caught sleeping. We got caught sleeping. Pearl Harbor, we got caught sleeping as a nation. And 911 we got caught sleeping as a nation,

Unknown:

in fact, is one survivor of Pearl Harbor. That was with me yesterday and no kid really 300 years old

Kevin Donaldson:

that my grandfather was there. My grandfather,

Unknown:

was this supposed to happen during a weekend? Yeah, it has nothing to shoot back with. Everything was kind of locked up?

Kevin Donaldson:

Well, they say there's a myth of Pearl Harbor. That when the last Pearl Harbor survivor dies, because there's oil dripping up from the boats that are under the water when the last drip of oil comes up from the ship. That's when the last Pearl Harbor survivor will go. That's the myth. That's the myth. Who knows? Oh, that's

Mike Failace:

true. That's a good story.

Kevin Donaldson:

Yeah, I think it's a good

Mike Failace:

Hollywood story

Unknown:

of a difficult for them, it couldn't get anybody out. Because of the fall hide between the incident the installation, so just sort of put a carrying torch and that started fumes in that.

Kevin Donaldson:

And then when the people who made it into the water were covered with oil. It's a horrible event. And you know, there's some really hard there's some real hard that went on in during World War Two that people don't realize.

Unknown:

Let me tell you what she told me the other day by is a good friend of mine. Yeah, I wanted to say you had less was potato guns. drainpipes.

Kevin Donaldson:

For me, my my honor. At the time of this recording, which today is July 6, my my shooting happened on July 10. Every year after my shooting around this time, it gets very difficult for me. I start having the same nightmares. I started waking up in sweats. I started having just I'm uneasy, I'm on edge a little bit more. And I'm I'll be nine years removed as of this Sunday. And I just I hope, I hope and pray for a day. Where it is a it is just a vague memory in my head. I don't know whether it's ever taken a

Unknown:

long while to go away.

Mike Failace:

Yeah, but I mean, you still think there's something that triggers it every day? Yes. There's some and I'm sure Mr. Gibson, it goes for you today. There isn't a day that goes by where you don't think about, right. Absolutely. Nothing else.

Kevin Donaldson:

I mean, you see a piece of charred meat. I'm assuming you saw a lot of charred bodies on the page. So yeah. Is there something specifically that triggers you back? I hate to use that word trigger. I don't even like

Unknown:

that. Triggers very often young fellas that never made the beach. Yeah.

Kevin Donaldson:

Wow. So is it what I want to call God? I don't even know where to start on this one. When that door opened and the bullets started coming. You saw a lot of people in front you were there to wave were you in second wave or the second wave so when that door opened up? How many would you say out of 10 people made it out?

Unknown:

I would private 50% Five

Kevin Donaldson:

50%. Geez, you mentioned breaching the door as a cop?

Unknown:

To me explain a little bit how I would get landed on the beach. But we were left to England on and that was tea. Okay. All our equipments in the bottom. We landed on the beach on a rhino ferry. This is a pontoon boat at whole several pieces of equipment. That's how we got on the beach because we had too much weight on an LST to get in close enough to the beach. And there is also bomb holes and everything else along the beach. Right.

Kevin Donaldson:

So before we get into the real meat of what the day was, you were born in 1923. Your depression, baby? Yeah, I grew up with a lot of my aunt Phyllis was a depression baby. She can everything. Yeah, absolutely. Let's give us because everybody was afraid was coming back.

Unknown:

We're here in the attic.

Kevin Donaldson:

So growing up in the Depression, you know, let's let's let's start there because that's another piece of living history that we need to discuss. How did that shape your formative years? And not I don't. I heard stories I heard the worst of the worst stories. Was that like you how you grew up?

Unknown:

Well, I was very fortunate. My father was a signal maintainer of the jersey Central Railroad at that time. So he knew quite a bit what was going on? Because the railroad was being used for everything. Yeah. That's how I knew what it was gonna be like,

Kevin Donaldson:

right? That did you use some of your friends? Their parents obviously lost their job. It's just the law of statistics.

Mike Failace:

Did you lost everything?

Kevin Donaldson:

Did you feel that growing up? That loss? Yes. Yeah. Not knowing if you're good. I remember my grandfather telling me that the his mother couldn't afford shoes. So they would put newspaper in the bottom of them no holes when they got holes. Now my kids have so many shoes. They don't know what to do with them. They don't know which one to wear.

Mike Failace:

You know, and sneakers today?

Kevin Donaldson:

I mean, forget it. Yeah, they're not. They're not the same. So I

Mike Failace:

walked in my son's room. He's got like, 30 pairs of sneakers is that how many feet do you have? Yeah.

Unknown:

You ever conservative pay for you know, farmers? Basically? My parents were farm where were

Mike Failace:

you born and raised? Right in Hampton, New Jersey.

Kevin Donaldson:

That's how that's office 78. Right. Yeah. Yeah. So they were they hit just as hard or did you not feel it as much as people say in the cities?

Unknown:

I, I stayed there. In fact, the only time that I left in my 47 years of married was two years, I spent four miles away. So I was very fortunate to live in Hampton. I have a lot of friends. I was mayor of Hampton. You were the mayor of Hampton. Yeah. And the Seven News. Okay, so I had a little experience,

Kevin Donaldson:

you know, one of those dirty politicians.

Unknown:

Still Republican.

Kevin Donaldson:

Sorry, you're allowed to say whatever you want to say.

Mike Failace:

You got carte blanche. Nobody's gonna say anything bad about it.

Kevin Donaldson:

If anybody's ever earned a card to say whatever they want to say, at 98 years old, you have that

Unknown:

on and off? probably say it.

Mike Failace:

Go right ahead.

Kevin Donaldson:

How vividly Do you remember the events at Pearl Harbor? And let's talk a little bit about that.

Unknown:

Never. So all I remember is that I was in school, and it was through the principal. I think we had a TV at that time.

Kevin Donaldson:

Wow. That's a progressive school.

Unknown:

Yeah. So that's, that's how basically how I found out about it.

Kevin Donaldson:

What was the announcement like?

Unknown:

Your your thought, well, what's next? Oh, really? What this is the attitude you got towards it, you

Mike Failace:

get and that's the same thing I had at 911. Me too. You know, that's the only thing we could correlate that to is, it's the same thing. I had a 911 year like, you know, playing a tower, then, you know, playing at the other tower and playing his pentagon and like, what's gonna happen next? Yeah, that's where we're going.

Kevin Donaldson:

That's the only thing we have to relate to D Day or pearl. Actually, Pearl Harbor is 911. Because that's, that's our generation. I was sitting in the police academy. And we heard a plane hit the World Trade Center. And you think, okay, planes hit the World Trade Center all the time, little Cessnas or whatever. So you didn't think anything of the first plane. And then you hear the second plane? And I remember it was

Unknown:

oh, incidentally, I was working at that time. And I was in Port Elizabeth. No kidding. Now, you're right there. I worked. I worked for Eriko welding supply, which made all welding and cutting equipment familiar with and I was on a call. They're in Jersey City. No kidding. And this is where I see. So you saw it. You saw a second second plane? I

Kevin Donaldson:

think no kid.

Mike Failace:

did that. I don't want to I know flashbacks isn't a thing. But that that gives you like, bring you back to the day. Similar? Yeah, yes. It had a similar feeling to Right. Right.

Kevin Donaldson:

And this is something we're trying to get to, to our audience, something that they can relate to those who are alive and there's many people now you got to remember that we're talking 21 years ago, people who were alive during 911 and the feeling of anxiety and the terror And what's next coming the unknown and the unknown? And you're telling me it's a similar feeling so then everybody can feel what Pearl Harbor was like. Okay. And I remember going, oh my gosh, like, what now? What? What's what's going on now? Right? Yeah. Now how old were you when Pearl Harbor have? You had to be 1819 years old?

Mike Failace:

It was 1941. Dude.

Kevin Donaldson:

December 2018 1718. Are you were? You had to be you. I bet your parents were more concerned than anybody else because they knew what was coming. All right. Were you drafted?

Unknown:

Yes, sir. 43, October 43. I was in senior high school.

Mike Failace:

What was the feeling like when you when you got drafted? Because you knew you were going to war at that point? I mean, people, people in lists now. Well, I'm not saying now. But when I was 18 years old, and I was too much of a baby to go in the military was no wars going on.

Kevin Donaldson:

You still a baby. Mr. Gibson? Yeah, he's still a baby. Yeah, just want to let you

Mike Failace:

know, but you knew you were going into the war. You know, back when I was 1819 years old, there was nothing going on. You know, people just have

Unknown:

less you can do about it. Yeah, I'm gonna say it says, I warned you. You went and you're done your job or the poster.

Mike Failace:

I want you

Kevin Donaldson:

to know, when you have when you got drafted. Was there a patriotic feeling? Like I'm gonna go do my job? I'm gonna go fight.

Unknown:

Absolutely. I wasn't the only one in that senior class is going to

Kevin Donaldson:

know the reason I asked you this is because my grandmother's brother. I have his letters. He we lost him in World War Two. And I have his letters that he wrote home to my grandmother and I read them and if you read the first letter, it's like, I'm gonna go kill the Japs. I'm gonna go kill the Germans. I'm real patriotic.

Unknown:

You couldn't write anything or like to you had an email, you only said you could say, well, I've done fine. Everything's okay. Whatever everything was a sacred

Kevin Donaldson:

the. So he these letters came back and then over time as he's writing letters, you see him getting very dejected. It because war will bring out the dejection in people. They'll it'll it'll kill their morale and their spirit because everybody thinks of war as and Chris, you can attest to this as well. Everybody thinks a war is you're constantly shooting constantly fighting. The downtime. That's the bad stuff. Yeah,

Unknown:

that's, that's when it really hits you. You know, you start missing home. And you know,

Kevin Donaldson:

that's that was him. That was that his name was Frank blank. And he's buried in in a military cemetery cemetery in Camden County. I've been down to his grave. But he you see this idealistic kid turned into what the Army really is, was that when you got in,

Unknown:

you weren't even render. It didn't have time to show your WHY ARE

Kevin Donaldson:

at that age, geez, geez, you know, and think of how many kids went to war without sowing their wild oats and missing out on all the good stuff and a lot

Mike Failace:

of virgins died in war.

Kevin Donaldson:

Was that you though? Did you did you realize the reality of the army and the military?

Unknown:

Once you got in basic training? You're sure did. Yeah.

Mike Failace:

And they weren't they were fast track to them, right. I mean, like you said, What was it 13 weeks?

Unknown:

To where you didn't have much sleep? Yeah.

Mike Failace:

You had a lot to learn in those 13 weeks they save your ass is really

Unknown:

carrier so yeah, that's why I take all the young kid to go to it is service. Number one you learn how to take care of yourself health wise and mentally why?

Kevin Donaldson:

So the drill instructors in your basic and I know this was this was true during the Vietnam era, the drill instructors were a little extra hard on on the recruits than a normal peacetime military. Was that was that the same in World War

Unknown:

Two have suddenly we had our first soldier really bark, but

Kevin Donaldson:

he but if you look at it now removed, they're responsible for your staying alive,

Mike Failace:

right? Absolutely. Yeah, for shaping a person in order to save your own life. Right, really what it comes down to so you have your life and save others lives.

Kevin Donaldson:

I heard the story from early army. When he was still alive. He was sitting. He would he would sit after he was at the drill instructor. He would sit in a in a coffee shop reading the paper. And we'd look through the names because they would post the names of people who were killed in action. And he would look through the names and he talks about the feeling of losing one of his recruits. So I've heard that before and it's interesting that you say 13 weeks is not a long time to prepare a guy to go out

Unknown:

and kill. Serve June tough wage.

Kevin Donaldson:

I can imagine. I can imagine you went in. did you how did how talk to me about basic training. Back then tough. Tough. Get a couple of wax from the DI

Unknown:

the reason why So you have to learn how to take care of yourself. Yeah. These are all younger fellas. Same way. You know, you get a couple of guys, Bill Collector, you had to take him up behind the chair, knock them down a few pegs. Right? Right. Right this is the part that you have to learn. And the training was tough. How to how sad every anybody we're gonna be going in whether everyone rifle where the band at the end of that.

Kevin Donaldson:

I think one of the I don't know if you ever saw the movie called Biloxi Blues is Neil Simon play. And they talked about basic training during World War Two. It was at the end of the war, and the torturous conditions that they went through. But he makes it kind of funny. And I always imagined that it's that way, because it's not. It's tough. And I'm sure you can understand the value of what you went through when you were going through it. But when you got out the important. Yeah. So when you get out of basic training, did they tell you where you were going?

Unknown:

Yeah, we were four when they told us we are going to be there for 13 weeks. You're headed for oversee.

Mike Failace:

Yeah. Now was it was it immediate? Like once you graduated? You shipped off right away? Yeah. You'd have gotten

Unknown:

no 10 days between? Well, we're gonna have four day pass for for relapse,

Kevin Donaldson:

and you're all trying to fight over one girl in the town right.

Unknown:

Now I lost my first girlfriend.

Kevin Donaldson:

Well, they had to pick it up later. You better be one damn look good looking guy.

Mike Failace:

Kevin wouldn't have done very well.

Unknown:

Let me tell you a little bit of experience and basic training. We were down in South North Carolina. Okay, Camp David. Our captain was from the south. And he get a captain. Wake up about five o'clock or more. So we're going to take a 25 mile hike and say in full pack in

Kevin Donaldson:

in some heat

Unknown:

to, to write well, how they had two and a half ton trucks fall on us picking the guys up to fill out. But I made it. But I made up my mind. That was the last time I was going to take a 25 mile hike.

Kevin Donaldson:

So no marathons in your future. Those

Unknown:

died directly went into the motor pool.

Kevin Donaldson:

That was my grandfather. My grandfather was in motor pool. Yeah, he wasn't a motor.

Mike Failace:

No. Being down south and having a drill instructor from down south. But they still fight and like the north south battle. Like did they pick it up? Pick on North northerners more than harder? Yeah, I figured that. They are still. A lot of them are still fighting a civil war now. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Hell yes. Yeah. Try driving through Virginia.

Kevin Donaldson:

So you you find out you're going to ship overseas? What's that was a dread? Was it a feeling of oh, no.

Unknown:

You had to do it. Queen Elizabeth three went over i five days.

Kevin Donaldson:

And that's not a cruise liner. Just

Mike Failace:

that's a cute way to win.

Unknown:

Five days. Just remember that. Wow. Well zigzag even a zigzag course.

Kevin Donaldson:

You right, because you got to

Unknown:

we had the opportunity there man and a gun than the top deck.

Kevin Donaldson:

Okay. Did you did you were in artillery at that time. When you were going across? Did you ever did you come across any U boats any resistance?

Unknown:

A couple of times? They sped up the vote a little bit? Oh, really? Yeah. Something must have been in the area but we weren't aware of it.

Kevin Donaldson:

Now. What was the conversation like on the boat? Between you and your your fellow soldiers? Like a lot of you want to say whatever you want

Unknown:

to get into a conversation with the lower deck, there's a bunch of wax.

Kevin Donaldson:

Well, those are the conversations that people need to hear. Because everybody thinks that everybody has a very romanticized version of World War Two. But it's still war. And Chris, you know, wars war, Chris. And you guys are young kids. I'm sure. Carson like I don't want to say sailor drunk, because your army so you don't call an Army vet a sailor. But I'm sure you were talking about girls and all the stuff that young kids talk about. Right? Right. Yeah. Playing Cards gambling, a

Unknown:

lot of false bravado until Friday night.

Kevin Donaldson:

Friday nights we're gonna train. See sick? Well, you have all the other things see sickness, horrible food.

Unknown:

You couldn't complain? Well, you know, you're likely to get something to eat.

Mike Failace:

Well, you're a captive audience. You can't complain. You're gonna eat so you're not like McDonald's is gonna fly anything out here down there, then I bet

Kevin Donaldson:

how long in this we're going to fast forward for a second. How long after you got out of the army? Did you stop putting Tabasco and catch up on everything

Unknown:

you've ever said? Absolutely right. Right. But that shit on everything

Kevin Donaldson:

my grandfather always did I could never understand like ketchup and tabasco on everything. And he did that for his entire life. He was a, he was a vet just like you. But we

Unknown:

basically when we got over there we were February, we had a kitchen setup, no matter where we went. We landed in Ireland, and Belfast. We stayed there a few days, and went on into England and Wales then down into England. We wound up in Southern England, a little town called Western Superman.

Kevin Donaldson:

You didn't run into any Donaldson's over in Belfast Did you know that's why I said they wouldn't they wouldn't help you. They would have given you some some liquor and some beer and

Unknown:

some potatoes.

Kevin Donaldson:

They would give me a couple of potatoes. Yeah.

Mike Failace:

inland, Donaldson, I know it gives me a headache now.

Kevin Donaldson:

The shine off of your head gives me keep going to question. Mr. Gibson, I just want to know, how is it that you have more hair at 98 years old than my partner,

Unknown:

Mike? Yeah, I don't have as much as he does.

Kevin Donaldson:

Oh, you got more than he does? On the back. In fact,

Unknown:

I just got a haircut yesterday.

Mike Failace:

So But see, he's a good looking guy. He doesn't have to cover his face with with hair like you

Kevin Donaldson:

know, I'm a good looking guy. That's what you used to.

Mike Failace:

Gibson's for a helmet. That rubs the hair off.

Unknown:

Yeah.

Kevin Donaldson:

Well, you were probably still shaved clean. Oh, yeah. Yeah, I guess there wasn't probably a whole lot of showering going on.

Unknown:

Oh, hell no. was when we got in England? Yeah.

Kevin Donaldson:

They treated you good. Oh, I guess people in England and Ireland and Scotland. They would probably thrilled to see you. I have Oh, yeah. Absolutely, least a little bit of pieces coming their way. Now at this time in the war,

Mike Failace:

that's when they sold their wild oats when all the Irish women's

Unknown:

winter town dance.

Kevin Donaldson:

Love it. I love it was now I know D Day is the technical portion of the World War Two where the tides were we were winning. We were truly winning. What was the what was the feeling as far as who was winning the war when you landed in Angular couldn't

Unknown:

care less we had a job to do and do it.

Kevin Donaldson:

See that's that's all. That's a man. That is you have a job to

Mike Failace:

do get chills when he said that.

Unknown:

A lot of times we're getting LIDAR data, you know,

Kevin Donaldson:

of course. I hate my job a lot. But I do it. But I also don't have bullets flying in my head on my job.

Mike Failace:

podcast at times to

Kevin Donaldson:

see what I got to deal with Mr. Gibson.

Unknown:

Well, when we first landed in a beach, we've got a job of guarding the Army Depot, munition depot, and it is free to size, size and fill in first second night. Second night when they bombed the plane crashes, you can work it prints lessons are shot gone off. Yeah.

Kevin Donaldson:

Really? No kidding.

Unknown:

Nobody got killed. We've stayed plenty logo.

Kevin Donaldson:

How long were you in? Where were you stationed in Ireland and England? Before year, a year before Operation Overlord, which is the the term used by the higher ups right before the D Day invasion.

Unknown:

I spent a lot of time in Wales practice firing. All it was at that time we were getting all new equipment to Oh, really? Sure.

Kevin Donaldson:

Well, I guess you know, I know the war machine in Germany when they were hurting for raw materials. So they were starting to wind down their production. I know. But and thankfully so. Because from everything I've read, Germans had better technology than the US. Of course. Yeah.

Unknown:

I heard this from example. Ad gun, the ADA got a gun. That was a portable. No matter where you step. Like to watch it.

Kevin Donaldson:

My uncle George was prisoner of war for 27 months in Germany. And he at the end of his his prisoner, his prisoner ship I don't know where the top ship prisoner ship. He was guarding. They had they were fixing up the jet planes because the Germans came out with the jet plane. And he always called it a polka dot plane. And every day it came back and they would put another American flag on it because it shut down an American plane until one day he came back on the back of a truck. And he said all the prisoners they all cheered, because that plane was a dangerous plate.

Unknown:

Let me tell you, the older German people were for us. Yeah, the younger ones. You had a watch. Real champion.

Kevin Donaldson:

What do you think that is? That's a good point.

Unknown:

I have probably been bringing up. Yeah. This is Hitler's time you do this you do that we're gonna do this. And they had to do was to

Kevin Donaldson:

what was your personal feelings towards Adolf Hitler? Hey, you could say it. Let us go ahead shithead noted the motherfuck why?

Unknown:

He he thought he was going to rule the world G one person can't do that. Correct. The people that he had, I said someone who understood this to the older

Mike Failace:

generation understood that he couldn't do it. But he watched the young younger cadre so that he could do that. Absolutely. Yeah. So that said about your dad's German, young Germans.

Unknown:

We've got to the point where they take our your F our uniforms off for that soldier were really, and and you were jeho. Now Yeah.

Kevin Donaldson:

Right. Because it's not like they're this person

Unknown:

at the end of the war is or this is Jordan war.

Kevin Donaldson:

I never thought about that aspect of it, but it makes perfect sense. You got to camouflage yourself any way you can. Yeah, yes. Yeah. So at what point do you know that this big invasions coming? Obviously, you can't tell anybody? You can't write a letter home?

Unknown:

We're prepared to leave England. Yeah, everything had to be waterproof. And we spent at practically three weeks that's about waterproof equipment.

Kevin Donaldson:

What was something give me an idea of what what you had the waterproof

Unknown:

all electrical components and this is nothing but graphite and oil. And it would stick to any location that you put it. So anything that was in contact with electricity, and like the motorized motor equipment, a lot of spark plugs and things had to be covered. Wow, it took us a while to do this.

Kevin Donaldson:

So you're you seem like a very fairly intelligent man. So you know, you're you know, you're going somewhere to invade you know, you're doing a water landing, right? These are all things that you're extrapolating from how you're preparing.

Unknown:

I'm going to add a couple of practice invasion for Logan LST to

Kevin Donaldson:

At what point did you say this is this is happening

Unknown:

right when we're doing that because we're the last one that I LSD that at? That, that that procedure? No kidding. And we know that so it's a matter of time.

Kevin Donaldson:

June 5 comes around the day before the invasion. You guys are loading up I know that the invasion at Utah Beach started at 01 30 What time did you start packing up?

Unknown:

Oh, David for

Mike Failace:

me for a while.

Unknown:

But don't forget we had big equipment so

Kevin Donaldson:

no, no sleep that night? No.

Unknown:

Oh, hell no. You didn't get you weren't worried about sleeping.

Kevin Donaldson:

What was the what was the atmosphere amongst the guys?

Unknown:

We had to do what they had to do was any anybody scared?

Kevin Donaldson:

You'd know that you know of anybody that turned tail and ran as

Unknown:

soon as you when second lieutenant. Never went on the beach. Went back on ALS. It's funny. He's He's the one who stared at the chow line and wonder just check your fingernails over there to dirt.

Kevin Donaldson:

It's funny you said that because during my shooting one of the lieutenants ran away left me for dead it's got to be something would lieutenants

Mike Failace:

he's up he's up there.

Kevin Donaldson:

He was a lieutenant

Unknown:

it sucks such a this is the turning point where we knew damn well that we're where we're headed. This shit

Mike Failace:

got real. This you just got real out.

Kevin Donaldson:

You start loading up into the LSAT. You know anybody throwing up? No, no, everybody's stone face stoic.

Unknown:

South does their job. We had to change everything fast. Don't forget the dances are flat bottom both channel was the smoothest 78

Kevin Donaldson:

Yeah, it wasn't calm.

Unknown:

The thing of it as we had to untangle that stuff when we get ready to go on a beach. And there was just like snapping and you had to get going. You reverts

Mike Failace:

back to your training at that point. Also, you know, in the heat of the moment when you go back you will revert right back to your training and it's like almost like clockwork and you know, it's like it's it just keeps going. It's the

Unknown:

only thing I can remember after we got everything all done. We hadn't pulled out Yeah, we were all hungry. And the Navy has a lot of pitched canned peaches already retired into them.

Kevin Donaldson:

It's funny you're one of our sponsors is x bar to us. It focuses really focuses on first responder, body health and mental health with a lot of different procedures that they have in there. And you boys I know you didn't have that stuff but you still move forward anyway, you didn't have all this all this mental health training or physical, physical training but you understand we

Unknown:

had his guts,

Mike Failace:

guts and balls.

Kevin Donaldson:

Go to x bar to us and check for the gut health. You had you had balls the size of cantaloupes. I'm going to say that and I know it's odd to say that to a 98 year old man because I was always taught to respect my elders, but you guys had it. You guys had it. And you're on these

Mike Failace:

LM got thank God they did. The world's a different place. Otherwise,

Kevin Donaldson:

you know, things could have turned out real bad for us. It wasn't easy. I know. I can't imagine the fortitude.

Mike Failace:

I said as a 17 or 18 year old kid, you know, the last thing you're thinking about is strapping on the gun and going to war.

Unknown:

And then we come over and an LST then dumped us off on a rhino fairy that's a flat bottom by like a bark. And that's where we went on fish with because the LST we had too much weight it couldn't get any closer close

Kevin Donaldson:

enough that door drops

Unknown:

down the ramp you went into the water now I don't know what went on on the beach and we're actually on arrival ferry first for we went on to the beach.

Kevin Donaldson:

Okay, so you went on the ferry first?

Unknown:

Never you run on a beach. You're getting closer

Kevin Donaldson:

did the the rhino

Unknown:

average chance round going over your head was a tracer.

Kevin Donaldson:

So yeah, so for people who don't know what the tracers are, there's you'll see it in movies. It's a red show. What Yeah, what people don't realize with those those tracers is there's 10 live rounds in between them. Right, right. Absolutely. It's and it probably lit up the sky, and there

Unknown:

wasn't one of us. That was 1819 years old, that wasn't cry, leaving. And I know that

Kevin Donaldson:

somebody wrote a book about civil war experience. And they say if any soldier it was, it was about soldiers in the Civil War, if any soldier tells you they never shit their pants,

Unknown:

they're lying. You're right. You're absolutely right.

Kevin Donaldson:

So, again, this goes back to the wars war. I don't care whether it was 70 years ago, 150 years ago, or 300 years ago. You got to think back to Roman soldiers. There. They're going through the same feelings that you're going through. And the people who went to Iraq and Afghanistan, feeling the same things over and over again, only only differences, your training, and your support system was probably better than what's yours. Yours was

Unknown:

how far yeah, ours is in the 40s.

Kevin Donaldson:

So that door, you get on the beach, every 10th round, every trace around the sea. There's 10 live rounds. And

Unknown:

again, you're going on a beach. Hey, here's his pillboxes up, and you're just like Dixon upon?

Kevin Donaldson:

Yeah, it's a shooting gallery. Yeah, sure. And the

Unknown:

only way they get the get the Germans out of the pillboxes frame third,

Kevin Donaldson:

which is the most dangerous job because a bullet hits the Flinter.

Unknown:

And they had passed from one pillbox another underground.

Kevin Donaldson:

Oh, yeah, they had the tunnels, which I think the pillboxes are still there. All right. Some of them some of them now. What's what's going on internally in Bob Gibson?

Unknown:

Boy, you don't know what the hell's that.

Kevin Donaldson:

You're, you're in you never went into the water. But you see, and

Unknown:

when I when I went into the water off, they ran out ferry, I was driving an M Ford tractor with a 90 millimeter gun on the back. And everything was waterproof. Okay, when I went down a ramp that bombs holes in the beach was pretty deep. And we were going like this. The water was up to my lap. Okay, and now it's about six feet

Kevin Donaldson:

above. Where you want autopilot at that time? Or was the fear setting or didn't you have time for fear?

Unknown:

We've managed everything ourselves.

Kevin Donaldson:

No kidding. Now, how many give me

Unknown:

my buy tractor was just like that bulldozer that's had levers instead of steering wheel.

Kevin Donaldson:

What are you seeing on the beach? What's that

Unknown:

people? That people i Our job with? Get off of the beach as soon as you're good.

Kevin Donaldson:

So you actually had to drive over? You're wounded and dead.

Unknown:

I don't even like to talk about that. Okay, don't forget we're all here tonight. G here is poor guys never even had a chance to hit the beach.

Kevin Donaldson:

There was something like 35,000 troops that hit the beach, Utah. And I know you listen. You lost 10% of this statistics or 10% roughly 3400 I think were the casualties on the beach. Yeah. 10%. So think about your current life. Get your 10 closest friends. One of them is gone. Yep. One of them is gone. How many of your close compatriots that you were with that? 11 know that that were lost on that beach?

Unknown:

to two main ones, two main ones, they were communication they were, they were first to set up the communication lines and so forth. Now we lost them to the trailer, the whole site, we're

Mike Failace:

just going back a little bit how many guys were in your, your, your, your class when you when you got enlisted, when you were when you went to basic when you thank you when you went to basic how many people were in your, in your class or your group?

Unknown:

Let's say you're at 75.

Mike Failace:

And now all of them went over there. How many actually made it that you know,

Unknown:

of a toe to toe,

Kevin Donaldson:

you lost? You lost him. But you don't even have a chance to grieve for your friends. Yeah, that's the worst part. I had visited Gettysburg. And there was a there was a guy there and he was reading a letter home from this soldier who who charged up little roundtop. And alongside of him is his brother and his father. And he talks about, he looks to his left and he sees his brother getting separated by a mortar. And within two sets within a heartbeat later, he sees his father get filled full of many balls. And he doesn't even have a chance to grieve. All he has to do is move forward. Because in three in two seconds time, he lost his brother and he lost his father and he still has to move forward. That's how

Unknown:

crazy things happen. Yeah, that's crazy.

Kevin Donaldson:

I I got chills thinking about it. Because I don't know how these men were able to move forward. With such resiliency. Everybody says it's a different generation. The people who fought in World War Two are different generation we're, we're people call our generations now a bunch of crybabies. Well, Mike's a cry baby, but not me.

Unknown:

But I think I my generation knows how to work. And when you know and how to work you're physically and mentally prepared to do anything?

Kevin Donaldson:

Was a was an ethic? Right? Yeah, it was an ethic you

Mike Failace:

don't don't it really goes back to like the social media question. You know, how long do these memories stay with you? At the onset of it, you know, like you said, you know, seen all these people dead on the beach. I mean, that's really where it starts. And you have to start moving on from that point.

Kevin Donaldson:

You know, it's no different. Let's go into a critical critical call on

Mike Failace:

going on to the next call went on to get to keep going. I mean, I

Kevin Donaldson:

had no choice. You got no choice. Now. Yeah.

Unknown:

First thing you're doing. And the other time you're stopping help somebody?

Kevin Donaldson:

You can't just you couldn't you stop. You're dead.

Unknown:

Yeah. Right. Absolutely. Your job is to go and go fast as you could.

Kevin Donaldson:

How close did any rounds come to you? Personally? Yeah. I imagine it was like a ping, ping. Ping. Yeah. Because you're in a you're in a metal cask. Right. Right. Pretty much

Unknown:

think of it as my, my unit. For track. I had 2090 mineral shells in the back. Plus gasoline on the top. There was just like a bomb. And

Kevin Donaldson:

now you get on the beach. We take the beach. Yeah. I mean, there was Omaha there was Utah was what were the other beaches that they landed at. Other than in northern. And I know Omaha is that's the Saving Private Ryan beach. And that was one of the worst. At what point? How long did it did it last when you were on the beach of this battle? Two days. Three days. No sleep for three to four days now because of the prep. Right? Right. And everybody's exhausted. Everybody's on autopilot.

Unknown:

Everybody couldn't care less what happened? You just felt that way. tired out.

Kevin Donaldson:

That's the sheer exhaustion. No, you can't stop and eat. What do you got to stop and have a picnic? Kay ration? So you ate franks and beans? For maybe

Unknown:

some Christmas to cigarettes? Spam spam after coffee

Kevin Donaldson:

you know what now you're selling a good product because I love spam today. Oh my grandfather used to make me spam and eggs I make my kid spam and eggs we gotta get our we gotta get our our sponsors grand saloon. Nick. If you're listening at the Grand saloon 940 van Houghton Avenue. Put spam on the menu. Please put spam on the menu make it a delicacy that's all I want to spam. Alright, so

Mike Failace:

Kevin just like meet Nick can.

Kevin Donaldson:

Spam is some delicious stuff. I don't know what it's made out of. And frankly, I don't want to know what it's made out of.

Mike Failace:

He never read the ingredients. Anything. I

Unknown:

don't read angry. I can't be the same as what we had. It's kind of very different.

Kevin Donaldson:

I don't I don't know. But I've been to Austin, Minnesota which is spam Town USA. That's where the Hormel factories I've been there. Alright. Yeah, I've seen it. Yes, I have. It's it's it's an interesting experience. I

Mike Failace:

have to stop. I'm hungry. right now so we can't talk about food I meant to go get spam on the way home you

Kevin Donaldson:

got to cook you got to cook that spam were you able on when you ate your spam? You gotta you gotta like chart how to

Unknown:

cook.

Mike Failace:

What do you put it on a barrel your rifle ate it up a little

Kevin Donaldson:

John Bass Aloni Bert the hell out of his hand on his rifle.

Unknown:

So 50 caliber granted over the bow hot

Kevin Donaldson:

standpoint I know in the desert in the tank brigade, Sherman's Sherman's not Chairman's Patton's Army in the Sherman tanks. They used to cook eggs on the east to fry eggs on the top of the Sherman tanks.

Unknown:

My uncle used to be through the families out Patton's head mechanic,

Kevin Donaldson:

no kid, really. Majan he had a problem fixing that car after that accident. I was probably bad one. But now you get you get to save three days are gone. D day is over. At what point did you guys take your helmets off and just

Mike Failace:

take a deep breath. That's the

Unknown:

fourth day. Then after that we started on a move.

Kevin Donaldson:

No kidding. Did you encounter I don't

Unknown:

forget I one thing I like to explain. This is back in 1943. Yeah. And we still had radar at that time. Anyway, we had a fuse finder on our on our gun, that radar would send information down to the gun, and a guy would crack, put the show on crank and set the fuse. Okay in Florida, in 1943. Now,

Mike Failace:

on that fourth day, when you had time to take that deep breath, you're sitting around with all the other guys what were like the conversations like what's next? What was it like holy shit, what did we just go through? How we're gonna how we're gonna go from here. Now we in law enforcement, we use humor, you know, to break the tension and break the tension. Was there any like jokes going around that are like,

Unknown:

everybody's too serious? Yeah, I know. Everybody's looking at their own zone. So yeah, I should say look, I have grown has

Mike Failace:

a lot of sleeping going on now for today.

Kevin Donaldson:

Did you encounter any of the German prisoners? Or didn't you take any prisoners?

Unknown:

receive them? Yeah. Nuff said.

Kevin Donaldson:

I guess the Treaty of Versailles didn't need much at that point. You're so mad from what the hell just happened? Yeah. Where did you go after after Utah Beach.

Unknown:

Right on St. Lo area. And we follow the infantry and our aircraft gun. That's aircraft that night. Our tour in a day time. They would call us that if they needed help ground by we would fire artillery. Okay, this was all communication type.

Kevin Donaldson:

How far did you make it inland? Did you did you actually

Unknown:

suffer first day was about three quarters of a mile and

Kevin Donaldson:

in how much resistance in France? Did you encounter

Unknown:

not not too much right day? But the second day? Yes. Yeah.

Kevin Donaldson:

Now I bet you the the citizens who you did see in France were pretty darn happy to see you.

Unknown:

You better believe it. Yeah. That's when you get the girlfriend.

Kevin Donaldson:

Yeah.

Unknown:

Let me tell you this story. They're going on the beach wasn't bad. A we had a job to do. We got it. Everybody took off what were the officers told us to go. But in the meantime, the night before glider had been coming in. No engines can't hear anything. It's can't hear anything. And these poor guys can get it even on the ground. They hung on the truth. The first experience was see one of these guys walking down the road with his eye out with his eye out. And he was doing was going like this. Okay, he was it was pretty cool, really, all alone. All along. He didn't learn how I was going to say it done his job.

Kevin Donaldson:

It's amazing how many people did their job and paid the price for afterwards. So you make it in how far inland? Once you're in, and you're encountering resistance and you're fighting war. You're fighting what a traditional war is thought to be.

Unknown:

Why though? That's a thief of progress. We would follow it.

Kevin Donaldson:

Now. Did you make it? Do you ever make it into Germany? No, no,

Unknown:

sir. kilometers from Germany. 30 kilometers.

Kevin Donaldson:

So you were right there at the forefront.

Unknown:

Seen some of the rushing? You did? Yeah. Four or five years from now. I really didn't know what time it was.

Kevin Donaldson:

Did you trust the Russian Russians back then? Oh, no trust nobody trust nobody. The war? At what point did you know the war was coming to an end? At the time they're in the speed we were going? Yeah. When the speed picked up, you know, things were starting to.

Unknown:

I can tell you some stories, you know, I was broke twice. 45 Yeah. And this is in the Rhine River area where the wiring is okay. So we spent a couple of days in a winery. And we had a little time to first sell. So I take a walk me and another fellow walked out in the road. And there was a nice German BMW laid along the road. Oh, boy, we got to get that sucker God. We did. And I did anymore and get on. Start down the road. And two star general come across the farm. I lost my stripes, right. In a fight, I had a chance after I'd run him for

Kevin Donaldson:

so crazy. The worst thing you can give a soldier is idle time.

Unknown:

Hey, time is the devil's playground. All the time. That's

Kevin Donaldson:

same thing in police work. Yeah, you know, the idle time is always the worst. So the war ends. You go home.

Unknown:

You're gonna talk a little bit about we're in violent battle on a boat to you now.

Kevin Donaldson:

I did not understand. I did not know you were in the battle

Unknown:

Yesh. De, because they broke our I fit up the 90 millimeter gun crews alone for under four in each battery. And our job was to go at intersection. And Belgium. And our AP shell was the only thing that can stop a German tank. But it had to be hit in the right place. So most of us had intersections we had a cover. Now, that's the first time I was really scared.

Kevin Donaldson:

That's the first time you were scared

Unknown:

really scared?

Mike Failace:

How long it is. Was it after you? After you hit the beach? How long was this?

Unknown:

Oh, this is a six to seven month after they're both bowed out.

Kevin Donaldson:

So there's a great scene in Band of Brothers, which I'm sure you've seen. I'm sure I'm sure you've watched, it's probably very difficult for you to watch. Bringing back so many memories. But there's a great scene where they're walking through a forest, these the 82nd airborne had been through the Battle of the Bulge. And they they think they do the battle, some justice from what the vets were talking about who were there. And they're walking through this forest in Austria or something. And they say, Wow, this just looks this look, I forget what battle particular battle in the Battle of the Bulge was a conflict. And he says, Well, this reminds me of that forest that we were we were fighting and he goes yeah, it does. Except the trees aren't exploding.

Unknown:

There was the tree standard. Yeah. If it wasn't maybe four or five foot high. It just our gun crew was severed from we had to foot drove the chive tractor, so we had to stay away from the gun. So we would stay a quarter of a mile away from the need to get out in a hurry. But that's the first time I was really scared. At night the Germans had come down and chill. Right along the hedgerows. Krejci, we're getting close. And I thought boy, that's it. Because it's so cold. You couldn't dig a foxhole. You had a lay on cabinet Ground Cover yourself up with snow. That's

Kevin Donaldson:

guys. I know got a lot of guys lost a lot of appendages from frostbite. No, you

Unknown:

better believe it. But we weren't equipped for that. Yeah.

Kevin Donaldson:

I don't think you're there's certain cold in this world that you never actually, no matter how much you prepare, no matter how much equipment you have. There's certain cold that just bite you.

Unknown:

Okay, yeah. Anyway, couldn't run our equipment because there's shortage of gas. I used to run the full track. Exhaust was about like this size, it would get nice and warm.

Kevin Donaldson:

sucking in all those fumes. And happy to do it was dead,

Unknown:

right? It didn't bother me a bit

Kevin Donaldson:

like your cigarettes off the off the exhaust pipe.

Mike Failace:

So now when when this whole thing, when you finally find out, it's over. Like how would you how were you notified that it's over. It's done. We're heading back home.

Unknown:

Well, however notify there we started to break up again, or quit and we were transferred from an artery to our engineering department that were being deployed. That that's that that's the time we knew something was going on. We didn't know where we were going to get back home, but it was over.

Kevin Donaldson:

How great was that trip? trip back home. Terrible, it was terrible. You know you're going home and tie

Unknown:

and troopship. 18 days. That's because Italians

Kevin Donaldson:

can't build anything right you know that Mr. Gibbs Since

Unknown:

a teen gay and you talk about people being sick, oh, there was a sick guy that could eat even their own sailors.

Kevin Donaldson:

Well, that's that's how they saved on food.

Unknown:

I was able to look out the patch on a day I had quite a bit a couple of guys. They opened the hatch up. I looked at the waste of both the both the signals, the reverse was starting to pop up on the bulkhead. That's when I had a lot of equipment I was going to bring home, but I saw it overboard.

Kevin Donaldson:

No. Oh, no. So at the bottom of the ocean somewhere in the mid Atlantic, there's some very valuable World War Two memorabilia, you

Unknown:

better believe it.

Mike Failace:

On this Italian boat. They didn't give you like veal Parmesan and Boston all that. I mean, it wasn't anything like that. We'll just

Unknown:

think you make it through all that the invasion of Normandy in your thinking you're gonna die coming back home on a ship. And you didn't know what to use your dams. He was gonna make it back or not.

Kevin Donaldson:

You finally touch American soil by erasing

Unknown:

the Statue of Liberty. We got on our knees were

Mike Failace:

really

Unknown:

you were grateful? Better believe it.

Kevin Donaldson:

gratitude. Gratitude for what you left behind gratitude for what you're coming home for

Mike Failace:

and a sense of accomplishment. Because I like a sense of accomplishment. Like we really did something good. Right? Yeah. That's what was the welcome like when you got back. This was great. was great. Wasn't like Vietnam, where they were spitting on the soldiers and hands down and

Unknown:

we had a great reception.

Kevin Donaldson:

Any woman you want? I want to know. lined up. I saw the night cover the sailor.

Unknown:

They're not telling a war story. Short, were to tell you at this time now that the war was over, okay, we were up 30 kilometers from Berlin. We had nothing to do. So we wandered again. And I ran into an old Mercedes. I didn't know what it was pretty well beat up so we tried to get it going. Damn if we didn't get it gone. Get caught again.

Kevin Donaldson:

Again. The lesson there is don't try to steal a German via

Unknown:

lesson is don't get caught. Don't get caught.

Kevin Donaldson:

Don't get caught. Mr. Gibson. So you you finally touch American soil. And you've seen you were at the D Day invasion. You were at the Battle of the Bulge. You were you admittedly scared at the Battle of the Bulge. You went to all this crap.

Unknown:

Let me tell you the first start when we first went in when it came to it. Okay, give the card number tense at that time with potbelly stoves and the Senator to keep for what did I get? I got Firewatch the first night.

Kevin Donaldson:

You must have that's because you still to be.

Mike Failace:

Exactly. That's why two sort of generals BMW isn't what job is.

Kevin Donaldson:

At what point did what you went through start to set in mentally? Because again, I have this understanding of war. I've never been to war. But war is war. Okay. And I know it had to it had to affect you. Up here. It did. How did you deal with it

Unknown:

got to the point where you didn't trust anybody. That's that support real? So? Yeah.

Kevin Donaldson:

Was there ever any question golf

Unknown:

bed at night? Do you hear me being here?

Mike Failace:

So a lot of right. Yeah, a lot of post traumatic stress or whatever they call it back in the day. Shell Shocked.

Unknown:

But to take advantage you had to do something you had to get that your mind off. So you went to work as soon as you could. And I did. And that helped that.

Kevin Donaldson:

Because you know, your generation dealt with post traumatic stress much differently than our generation deals with it. And I think there's some lessons to be learned for how you because you didn't have the resources that we have available. Now. You know, if you told anybody tell me if I'm wrong, please. If you went to tell anybody say hey, look, I'm a little screwy. And ahead and like something something's not right here. You'd probably get looked at a little fun. Yeah. Yeah. So you had to eat it. And you went to work. And that's how you got through it. Was did it ever rear its head in any unhealthy ways for you?

Unknown:

No, I worked with other GIs that had been Navy and Army personnel that helped that we worked together.

Kevin Donaldson:

Yeah, you were the American version of the band of brothers.

Mike Failace:

You had people to talk to and try it out. Right.

Unknown:

That's like how I know Bob's my VFW. Right. You know, I mean, all of us. We meet once a month, we put on, you know, different events at the VFW and, you know, it's a camaraderie that I know personally, it helps me and I know it helps Mr. Mr. Gibson,

Kevin Donaldson:

so Bob

Unknown:

Hey, guys, I've missed it.

Kevin Donaldson:

I have to be Mr. Gibson, you can call him Bob. That's that's what it is. But you've you've shared blood on foreign soil, even though you were in two different conflicts in two different wars

Unknown:

1,000%. We were talking on the right up here. And we started talking about the differences, you know, from World War Two to, you know, when I deployed in Iraq and whatnot, and it's, it's different, but it's the same.

Kevin Donaldson:

The one thing I'll say about you, Mr. Gibson, is what you went through landing on that beach. None of us will ever see again, in American history, that will never happen again. It'll all be pushed by. Correct. Correct. So you went through sir, living history. And I'm so grateful for you, I'm so grateful for I'm proud, I've done it. I'm proud. I'm proud to have you sitting across the table from me where I'm able to have this discussion. And it's an education for me to sit down there. Because like I said, I told you earlier that I've known some people who were at the D Day invasion, but I was too young, too stupid, or maybe too afraid to ask them certain questions about the way they felt. And that's why you sitting here is so important to me. Now, we're coming to the end of this thing here. And you've seen suffering on a level that most people cannot imagine. couldn't even fathom. Can you tell us what you've learned from it?

Unknown:

How to take care of myself and help other people as much as you can? And don't forget, the old boy upstairs. has, he has a final call has yet to final say exactly. I say to him every night.

Mike Failace:

Well, listen, I want to thank you every night, you and everybody that was over there, because it's because of you. And people like you that made this country as great as it is. And I truly agree. I had chills the whole time just sitting here looking at you and speaking to you. It is an absolute honor.

Unknown:

This is the way that people are treated you in France. Incidentally, I went over the May 31 to come back to eat for the anniversary of the 78th anniversary.

Kevin Donaldson:

And how was that going back? What was it like for you to go back to France?

Unknown:

Everything's change. 70 years.

Kevin Donaldson:

Do you see? I know the craters are still there.

Unknown:

Yeah. Some of the pillboxes is still there.

Kevin Donaldson:

When you stepped on that beach, did it. Do you have some flashes of water?

Unknown:

Yeah. And the tide was coming in at the same time it was when we ran two or three of the afternoon.

Mike Failace:

Now your accommodations get there were probably a lot better this time around. Absolutely.

Unknown:

Yeah. Absolutely. Never seen a celebration, like they had on D Day. It was fantastic.

Kevin Donaldson:

i You're a dying breed, sir. You're a dying breed. We need to hear these stories. We need to continue to remember the stories in so that we can never forget some of the bravery that the young men sacrifice that the young men of this country and women nowadays are putting up they're giving them themselves

Unknown:

less than we had women in our day. 30 Now

Kevin Donaldson:

yes, I do. I do. They went out and picked up a rifle. But they were they were just as valuable.

Unknown:

I read it in a field hospital act and I got caught a barbed wire fence. And I went into that place and you were exactly a character was given these fellas I

Mike Failace:

was gonna say some of the things that these women had to say you also have to put out a saw the worst

Unknown:

guys in their legs off. And how, and I couldn't take it. I certainly I got a band aid and I left.

Kevin Donaldson:

I'm certainly glad you're sitting here today, Chris. This is living history right here.

Mike Failace:

I agree. On Bulaga said I've had chills the whole time.

Kevin Donaldson:

Mr. Gibson from the bottom of my heart. Thank you so much for everything.

Unknown:

I appreciate you too.

Mike Failace:

And thank you for all you've done. Thank you for all you continue to do. And thank you for coming in here and sharing your story with us. It was it's heartfelt. I appreciate it.

Kevin Donaldson:

Are you a cigar smoker? You are okay. One of our we're going to we're going to give you a nice Bella dama cigar. She's one of our sponsors. It's Chantal is one of our greatest supporters. She's one of two female cigar owners in the country. She's wonderful. And if you go to Belle dama cigars.com Put in the suffering 10 You get a 10% discount, but we're gonna send you home with a couple of them today. Okay, once again, thank you so much. And thank you. That's gonna do it for this episode of the suffering podcast, the suffering of D Day. And let's think about all the stuff that we learned today. perspective at one simple word. War is war. No matter what time no matter what age. Sometimes you just have to you have a job to do and you do Do it.

Unknown:

Bite the bullet.

Mike Failace:

Literally and figuratively, sometimes.

Kevin Donaldson:

Hitler was a shithead. Gratitude and honor. That's one of the biggest lessons that I've taken from you today. Absolutely. But most importantly, take care of yourself and take care of those around you. Absolutely. That's gonna do it for this episode of the suffering podcast suffering of D Day. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Follow Mike at Mike underscore Felice. Follow me at real Kevin Donaldson and follow the suffering podcast don't forget to look out for our best defense foundation taken care of the ones that take care of us these men and women, the service that they gave this country we can never repay. And we will see you on the next episode. Have a good night.