By Tony Lopez

RIO VISTA (CBS13) — Few remember D-Day like Rio Vista resident Henry “Hank” Tussy. The 92-year-old World War II veteran survived that fateful day and tells CBS13 News the images will never leave him.

“I can remember bodies flying up in the air–pieces of body and stuff–so close that you can feel it — you can feel it in your face and stuff,” Tussy said.

Tussy was 19 years old when he stormed the beaches of Normandy, France on June 6, 1944. He was a captain of a Higgins Boat, used to transport men to the shores. Hank quickly realized this would be a mission of survival.

“You can’t imagine 9,500 killed on that one day, on a stretch of beach about 4, 4-and-a-half miles long,” he said. He goes to describe the waters around his boat, saying “The beach water was red–washing up on the beach –the waves–it was more red than it was blue.”

Hank Tussy ended up making countless trips from the shores of Omaha Beach to the Hospital Ships out at sea.

Of the 24 boats in his squadron, his was the only one to make it back.

But the Rio Vista veteran doesn’t consider himself a hero, telling us, “The heroes are the ones that were left over there that died there on that beach, to me, they are the heroes.”


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