Getting his due: 66 years after parachuting into France on D-Day, Sgt. Bob Bearden being honored today at Fort Hood

Getting his due: 66 years after parachuting into France on D-Day, Sgt. Bob Bearden being honored today at Fort Hood

Not long after midnight more than 66 years ago, a young Texan named Sgt. Bob Bearden was in a C-47 that buzzed over England.

Bearden's plane was one of hundreds that circled the sky that night, the formation growing with each pass as the 82nd Airborne Division gathered for what Bearden said last week was the "biggest show ever staged."

Today at Fort Hood, Bearden will be presented with the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Presidential Unit Citation, Prisoner of War Medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one Bronze Service Star and Bronze Arrowhead Device, World War II Victory Medal, French Fourragere, Expert Badge with Rifle Bar, Basic Parachutist Badge with one Bronze Service Star and Honorable Service Lapel Button-WWII.

Among those awards is the Combat Infantryman Badge, an honor he was denied until today.

Bearden talked about D-Day, his injuries, his capture by German forces two days later, life as a prisoner of war and eventual liberation Friday at his home near Stillhouse Lake. He wrote a book about his experiences: "To D-Day and Back: Adventures with the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment and Life as a World War II POW: A memoir."

Bearden and the crew chief took off the plane's door and he looked below. The moon lit the English Channel, which was full of "nothing but ships," Bearden said.

It was an awesome sight to see, and Bearden then realized the magnitude of what was unfolding...

..."I've never been a hero and I ain't today," he added.

Instead, Bearden insisted the heroes were the ones who didn't make it home. He said there was only one way he could accept today's awards and honors.

Well you're a hero in my eyes Sarge-Stan. HOOAH! :thumbsup:

To read the full story:
kdhnews.com/news/story.aspx?s=42562

Thank you so much for posting this wonderful story about one of our many heroes that serve and have served honorably in the armed forces of the United States.

HOOAH! :thumbsup:

Finally honored: WWII vet receives medals 66 years late

FORT HOOD — Bob Bearden has been a fixture in the Central Texas community for years, and anyone who knows him has heard his stories about World War II and D-Day.

They are epic tales that transform an 87-year-old man into a 20-something paratrooper, jumping from a plane with a rifle stuck down in his parachute reserve. This paratrooper tells of the men with whom he served, throwing grenades to clear buildings, blasting Tommy Guns, running from German tanks, facing certain death and being forced to march through Paris as a prisoner of war.

Though Bearden told his stories for years, it was only recently revealed that he never received the awards and honors he earned more than 66 years ago.

That was remedied Monday as Bearden was presented with the Combat Infantryman Badge, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Presidential Unit Citation, Prisoner of War Medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one Bronze Service Star and Bronze Arrowhead Device, World War II Victory Medal, French Fourragere, Expert Badge with Rifle Bar, Basic Parachutist Badge with one Bronze Service Star and Honorable Service Lapel Button-WWII.

Read more five photos
kdhnews.com/news/story.aspx?s=42571

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