WWII Veteran who was part of D-Day Invasion dies at the age of 102

Vernon Guthrie died just weeks shy of his 103rd birthday.
Vernon Guthrie died just weeks shy of his 103rd birthday.
Vernon Guthrie died just weeks shy of his 103rd birthday.(wctv)
Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 4:17 PM EST
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NASHVILLE, Ga. (WCTV) - A South Georgia World War II veteran who participated in the D-Day Invasion passed away this week at the age of 102.

Family members tell us Vernon Guthrie died Tuesday, just a few weeks shy of his 103rd birthday. His funeral was Friday afternoon in Nashville, Georgia.

“He lived a long and prosperous life. He traveled all over the globe during his lifetime and saw many things come and go,” Guthrie’s grandson, Ronnie Guthrie said Friday. “It was a life well lived for sure!”

Vernon Guthrie was drafted into the US Army at the age of 21 and participated in the D-Day Invasion. Guthrie says he was part of the second wave and stormed the beach on June 7, 1944. He shared some memories with us in June 2019 as the world marked the 75th anniversary of that famous invasion.

“We got in to the shore good, got in to the first hedge rows that was pretty close to the shore,” Guthrie told us, “and the boy that was with me, my runner, me and him jumped over a hedge row, and they shot him twice. From there on, it was just fighting.”

Guthrie traveled to Washington, D.C. on Honor Flight in April 2019. WCTV’s Julie Montanaro was with him as he saw the National World War II Monument for the first time.

“You are 99 right now?”

“99. Yeah,” he said.

“99 and did you ever think you’d have a chance to see this memorial?”

“No. Never think I’d see it. It’s better and bigger than I expected,” Guthrie said as his grandson wheeled him around the memorial.

Guthrie remained active, riding a golf cart around the Guthrie Lumber Company in Cecil, Georgia, well past his 100th birthday.

“He was blessed to have a son Ronnie and grandson, Ron and great-grandchildren Forrest , Meghan , Blake and even great great grandchildren Carson, Luke , and Jake! He was very proud of the legacy that he left behind!” his grandson said.