Veterans prepare for 70th anniversay of D-Day

World leaders to honor survivors

SAN DIEGO - Next month will mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day, where on June 6, 1944, thousands of Allied troops left England to uproot Nazi-occupied Europe at the beaches of Normandy.

The night before, Bill Galbreath and thousands of other paratroopers dropped behind enemy lines ahead of the invasion.  

"The Germans were waiting for us. They took out half our company on the first day," he said from his home in Murrieta.

Max Gurney of La Jolla was already in Europe having fought his way through North Africa and on to Italy.

"I was in Rome when D-Day happened," he said.

Both will be a part of the 70th anniversary next month which will draw dignitaries like President Obama as well as the presidents of France, Russia and Queen Elizabeth II of England.  

Gurney is a member of the Return to Normandy association.

"It's a mission of mine to remember all those who did not come back," he said.

As part of the remembrance, the National War Museum in New York restored a C-47 cargo plane that actually flew and dropped paratroopers during the D-Day invasion. The restored plane arrived in Europe this week.

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