Sparks winery honors WWII vets on 70th anniversary of D-Day - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sparks winery honors WWII vets on 70th anniversary of D-Day

Posted: Updated:
Ernest Pennington Ernest Pennington
Raymond Fiveash Raymond Fiveash
James Hewett James Hewett
Harry Whiddon Harry Whiddon
SPARKS GA - (WALB) -

"Many of those guys were beyond recognition, but the dog tags were used for burial."

That's how WWII veteran Ernest Pennington described the beaches in France as he went ashore a few days after D-Day in 1944.

Horse Creek Winery held it's 3rd annual D-Day commemoration ceremony Friday, remembering all of the soldiers who died during the invasion and honoring some of the local South Georgia WWII veterans. All of the veterans at the ceremony were given a quilt of valor.

Raymond Fiveash was one of those. He recalled his time driving trucks on the Normandy beaches once they had been cleared after the initial invasion. "Carried supplies and soldiers, too. They only let us go so far, then they stopped us and say, 'whoa, you can't go no further,'" said Fiveash.

James Hewett served as a gunner on a Destroyer in the Pacific Ocean during the war. He said words can't express what it was like. "You...you can't explain it," said Hewett.

Harry Whiddon was also stationed in the Pacific. He vividly remembers a close encounter he had with any enemy plane as they were headed to his duty assignment from the U.S. "Three of us was sittin' down playin' cards. Looked up and saw that thing flyin' around and that plane took our minds completely off them cards," Whiddon recalled. 

Celebrating those stories, and honoring the men who lived to tell them and those who gave their live at Normandy and around the world is what Friday's celebration was all about.

Copyright 2014 WALB.  All rights reserved.