Tony O'Rear saw some of the most important battles in the European Theater in WWII
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. —
Alf R. "Tony" O' Rear was drafted in 1942.
"I was living here in Chattanooga," Mr. O'Rear said.
They sent him to England. He was there in June of 1944.
"I was transferred. The man told me said don't unpack your bags because you are leaving in the morning," Mr. O'Rear said.
That next day, June 6, he was on Omaha beach not long after the initial waves landed in Normandy. He says when he got there. He saw American soldiers and landing crafts on the beach.
"And battleships they fired in there. They fired those big guns. That's when my ears left me, and that's why I'm so hard of hearing today," Mr. O'Rear said.
He survived D-Day and fought across Europe for the rest of '44.
Mr. O'Rear listed the places he fought including, "Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Central Europe."
He says he saw what looked like an Army of Germans surrender in Northern France. He was in Belgium when the Battle of the Bulge started. He fought in the cold there for the six weeks of the battle. He then he marched into Germany
"We were about five miles outside of Berlin, and they told us that the Russians were gonna take over our spot," Mr. O'Rear said. "They wanted them to go in first so we backed off."
He said when that happened his fighting was over. They put him on a liberty ship and sent him home.
"I'm proud to be with the Greatest Army in the World," he said.
After the war he was a lawyer and at one time a Tennessee state representative.
Mr O'Rear is about to turn ninety-five years old.