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U.S. Pilot & German Soldier Share Their WWII Stories

D-Day, WWII, Normandy
United States Department of Defense

The 70th anniversary of D-Day, the invasion of Normandy, is Friday, June 6. D-Day, a part of Operation Overlord, was the largest seaborne invasion in history, and set the stage for the Allies to drive the Germans from France and led to the ultimate defeat of Nazi Germany. 

The men and women who fought in this war are now mostly in their 80’s and 90's.  

These are the stories of two men who fought in World War II on opposite sides.  

KVNF’s Ali Lightfoot produced the story of 93-year-old retired Colonel Robert Bryson, a Marine pilot, who fought at Guadalcanal in the Pacific. Bryson lives in Paonia, Colorado.

WWII, Germany
Rudy Franke served in the Germany military in WWII. He was selected to be a driver because he had a motorcycle license.

KVNF's Laura Palmisano produced the story of 87-year-old Horst "Rudy" Franke, a Tucson resident, who was in the German military during WWII. Palmisano used to live next door to Franke, and interviewed him using Skype. 

Laura joined KVNF in 2014. She was the news director for two years and now works as a freelance reporter covering Colorado's Western Slope. Laura is an award-winning journalist with work recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists, Colorado Broadcasters Association, and RTDNA. In 2015, she was a fellow for the Institute for Justice & Journalism. Her fellowship project, a three-part series on the Karen refugee community in Delta, Colorado, received a regional Edward R. Murrow Award.