WWII veteran traveling to Normandy to remember D-Day

CARLISLE, Ky. (WKYT) - A Central Kentucky veteran, who was one of the first to set foot on Normandy Beach on D-Day, is making his way back to France.

Saturday, PFC Charlie Wilson will board a flight bound for Paris. He's headed to Normandy, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Few are alive that can tell a story like Charlie Wilson's.

"Bullets was flying everywhere," he remembers of D-Day, "we come out like a wild Russian or a mad bull."

One of the first Americans to set foot on the beaches of Normandy, the Nicholas County veteran remembers that day as if he's celebrating the seventh anniversary, not the 70th.

"We had to push those Germans from the inch, foot, yard, mile and keep them going toward home," he explains, "the 4th Division wasn't gonna be pushed back into sea."

Wilson was an 18-year-old PFC when his 4th Division Infantry fought their way into France. He turned 19 the day they liberated Paris.

"We led everything that was done. The 4th division led it."

Wilson leaves his hometown in Carlisle and heads to France Saturday. While there, he'll talk about his time serving overseas and how important it is to remember it.

"I didn't speak for years. And I saw that patriotism was going to heck in a bread basket. And I said it's time for us to start talking. And so I began talking."

His words got the attention of an organization wanting to keep stories like Wilson's alive, The 70 Voices of Freedom. They're helping Wilson return to Normandy.

"I'm going back to stick my butt close to the water, and act like I'm a tank coming out of the water. I'm gonna stand there and remember."

Wilson has a group from George Rogers Clark High School to thank for his trip to France. Their interview with Wilson is what caught the eye of the 70 Voices of Freedom initiative.

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