UTAH BEACH, France — Traveling back to Normandy is one thing. But going back to the exact place you fought? That’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Just ask Floyd Wigfield.
“We come up from here,” Wigfield told FOX31, pointing to the sands of Utah Beach in Normandy, France, a landing zone for American D-Day troops on June 6, 1944.
Wigfield is 101 years old. He was able to locate his landing zone with the help of The Greatest Generations Foundation. The Denver-based charity returns veterans to the battlefields where they served all over the world, at no cost to the veterans.
And they go one step further. With the help of public records and some personal expertise, they try to find the exact drop zones, landing zones and battlegrounds where the D-Day veterans served.
On Tuesday, a caravan of cars loaded with veterans weaved through the backroads of Normandy, looking for a German bunker near the spot where Wigfield was wounded.
“We were driving down this road, he was telling us about 600 meters before we came around this corner that there is a German bunker to your left. And as we got closer and closer we identified it, and the reaction of him in the car was like a little boy going into a toy store. It just brought back some deep memories,” Timothy Davis, president and founder of The Greatest Generations Foundation, told FOX31.
Davis has spent 15 years helping veterans relocate the places where they fought and were wounded.
It is an immersive experience for the veterans, many of whom are still willing to climb down into bunkers and step up onto tanks.
For those who want to relive their time in Normandy and refuse to let their age get in the way, this is the old way to return to the battlefield.
All this week, FOX31 is reporting from France for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. We’re traveling with The Greatest Generations Foundation.