‘We wanted to win’: Wakefield veteran shares experience of Normandy landings

Veterans Voices

WAKEFIELD, Neb. (KCAU) — World War II veteran Densel Moseman was born and raised just outside Wakefield, Nebraska. After basic training at Ft. Jackson in South Carolina, a young Moseman set sail for Europe with 18,000 other men with the horrors of D-Day waiting around the corner.

“We didn’t no want no truce. We didn’t want no armistice. We wanted to win,” said Moseman.

Moseman remembers the beaches of Normandy like it was yesterday.

“We started out with three tanks, dozer tanks, one got dunk sunk in the channel D-Day,” said Moseman.

Moseman was part of the 612th Engineer Light Equipment Company, a special outfit put together for that fateful D-Day landing.

“They asked for volunteers for demolition. I’d played around with blasting wedges when I was a kid, so I thought, ‘Well, heck, I can do that,” said Moseman.

The 612th was tasked with breaking through the sea wall D-Day, making a clear path for the vehicles behind them.

“Any new pictures was taken where this gun was buried up there and all this, we had to know. ‘This is where you’re going to land. Remember that clump of trees. Remember this bush’,” recalled Moseman.

Then the day came.

“They started handing out live grenades, live ammunition, and they said, ‘This is it’,” said Moseman.

Moseman landed as part of the second wave, saving men from drowning as he made his way to the sea wall.

“A major, and he said ‘Hey you, will you help me?’ I don’t know how many we pulled out of the water,” said Moseman.

Breaking through the sea wall, the carnage all too real.

“There was paratroopers hanging from trees. They was on rooftops. Loads of gliders, all the crew,” said Moseman.

Through some miracle, Moseman’s outfit didn’t suffer any casualties that fateful day. But their mission was far from over. Moseman remembers being assigned the grisly task disposing of the dead in the surrounding area, many soldiers, many civilians.

“Amongst the dead livestock was two young girls. That’s when it really hit me.” said Moseman.

Since the war, Moseman has shared his story with Siouxland students and despite the many struggles he and his outfit faced, he says he’s glad to have served his country.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Local News

More Local News

Trending Stories