ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Saturday is the 71st anniversary of the Allied invasion of France, known as D-Day.
Many those who survived the largest seaborne invasion in history have passed away, but one Albany veteran is still committed to helping others.
92 year old Charlie Phillips was one of the sailors during the first waves of D-Day. One of that greatest generation who stormed the shores to stop Hitler,but is low key about his role.
Charlie Phillips helps build ramps for people in need. 71 years ago tomorrow Seaman Phillips went ashore at Normandy, transporting troops in the invasion of France.
Phillips said "Sure doesn't seem like that long. Believe me."
Phillips was part of the crew on LST ship number 30, loaded with Canadian troops and equipment that left England for the invasion, but that was all they knew.
Phillips said "Had no idea where we were going. The officers knew where we were going, stuff like that. But the crew had no idea where we were going."
Phillips said he is still not sure which of the five beachheads they landed on....but he says it was no picnic.
Phillips said "There was a lot of wreckage. People floating. That's the main thing that's still in my memory. There were so many of them that didn't make it to shore."
Phillips said then their LST got stuck on the beach.
Phillips said "We were the only ship that stayed on the beach for as long as we did."
After what seemed like hours under fire, a bulldozer got their ship back afloat, and back to England. Today Phillips said D-Day was just one of the days of the war.
Phillips said "I'm satisfied with what I did."
For weeks Phillips transported more men and supplies to France, until Germany surrendered.
Phillips said "If we hadn't a stopped them, they say we might be speaking German now. You don't know."
Phillips came back and settled in East Albany, raised a family, and still today stays very active helping others in the community.
Phillips said all his pictures and war souvenirs were lost in the Flood of 1994. He is very modest about the part he played at D-Day, saying he thinks most about the men who did not live through that day.