Grandpa on Flickr.
68 years ago this man took part in the D-Day invasion as not just a part of the second wave of troops to hit Normandy, but as a combat medic, by far one of the most brutal jobs a soldier can be asked to do.
He landed near the Dog Red/Easy Green sector of Omaha Beach, where none of the first wave of troops managed to land. That means that he was one of the first people to go up against the German defenses in that area.
This is the citation for his first Bronze Star Medal, received just past the beachhead in the town of St. Laurent-sur-Mer
For heroic achievement in connection with military operation against the enemy in the vicinity of St. Laurent-sur-Mer, Normandy, France, 6 June 1944. Despite heavy fire, Private Szymkowski fearlessly crossed exposed, heavily mined terrain and assisted in the treatment and evacuation of a seriously wounded soldier. Private Szymkowski’s heroic devotion to duty exemplifies the finest traditions of the Army Medical Department.
Here is something I wrote about him a little over 3 years ago.
Rest in peace, Papa.