Texoma D-Day hero recalls battle that changed the world - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Texoma D-Day hero recalls battle that changed the world

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Mugg Pawless was among the first wave of GIs to hit the beach in the D-Day invasion. (Facebook) Mugg Pawless was among the first wave of GIs to hit the beach in the D-Day invasion. (Facebook)
Now 95, Mugg Pawless talks about the role he played in the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. (KTEN) Now 95, Mugg Pawless talks about the role he played in the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. (KTEN)

GAINESVILLE, Texas -- For 95-year-old U.S. Army veteran Mugg Pawless, June 6, 1944 is not a distant memory.

"I remember every bit of it like it was yesterday," he said. "I'd like to forget it, but I'm not... there's no way you can."

Pawless was among the first wave of GIs who stormed Omaha Beach 75 years ago Thursday in Normandy, France. We've come to know the unprecedented assault on German forces as D-Day.

"I landed at 6:32, and the invasion started at 6:30," Pawless recalled. "They shot at the first row, and we kind of sneaked in."

Led by Denison's own General Dwight Eisenhower, Pawless was one of thirteen 19-year-olds tasked with destroying obstacles for trucks and tanks to pass through.

All of them were either killed or wounded in action.

"I was wounded in the leg, shot in the leg," Pawless said. "Out of the 771 people that were in my battalion, there are three of us left."

Pawless was among the World War II veterans who were honored Thursday at the Stanford House Senior Activity Center in Gainesville. 

"Many didn't make it back to tell their stories," said Pawless' daughter Toni Holland. "As Americans, we need to know those stories, and our family is so proud of him for what he's done."

And on this 75th anniversary of D-Day, Mugg Pawless took time to pay tribute to his fallen brothers. 

"I had the greatest bunch of guys to work with that I ever knew, and we respected each other like we were brothers," he said.

That impossible mission in 1944 forever changed America and the free world.

"It was a pleasure to fight for the greatest military force that was ever put together, and I'm glad I got to do it... but I don't want to do it again," Pawless said.

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