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Meet this Lynchburg native who, as a teenager, landed on Utah Beach just after D-Day

He was on the battlefield when Germany surrendered. Then, he returned to Lynchburg and graduated.

As we honor the 20th anniversary of the National D-Day Memorial being dedicated, one local veteran was just a teenager when he hit Utah Beach.
As we honor the 20th anniversary of the National D-Day Memorial being dedicated, one local veteran was just a teenager when he hit Utah Beach.

LYNCHBURG, Va. – As we honor the 20th anniversary of the National D-Day Memorial being dedicated, one local veteran was just a teenager when he hit Utah Beach.

Memories of serving in World War II come flooding back to 95-year-old Bill Sisk.

The Lynchburg native joined the Army during his senior year at E.C. Glass High School, and as a teenager, landed on Utah Beach in Normandy shortly after D-Day.

“I didn’t see any Americans killed at all. Only guys we came across were German POWs,” said Sisk.

A radio operator in the 90th division, Sisk was shot in the leg one month after putting boots on the ground.

“As soon as I got hit, they pulled me to the command car and started working on me the best they could,” said Sisk.

He was taken to a nearby hospital, where doctors planned to amputate.

“I was lucky, I guess. The Germans put the rockets over on us. The rockets landed pretty close to the hospital,” said Sisk.

He was evacuated to Oxford, England, where medics were able to save his leg.

Sisk was in the battlefield as Germany surrendered in May 1945; he then returned to Lynchburg, went back to E.C. Glass and graduated high school.

To him, serving his country was a way of life.

“We just got the idea that’s what we wanted to do,” said Sisk.


About the Author:

Tim Harfmann joined the 10 News team in September 2020 and works at the station's Lynchburg bureau.