Normandy Invasion Vet Remembers D-Day Campaign

John Tiranno and Lee Mueller were high school sweethearts when John was drafted into the Army in the fall of 1943, he was just 18 years old.

The couple had agreed they'd get married once John returned back home to Buffalo.

John landed at Normandy on June 12th, six days after the initial invasion.

John Tiranno: "First thing we did when we entered a new area was dig a foxhole, first thing we did and we weren't there very long and they (the Germans) would somehow know we were there and start shelling. And of course we'd set up the mortars and return the fire as well as we could."

Scott Brown: "Were you scared during this time?"

John Tiranno: "Yes I actually I was and actually I had many close calls before I actually got hit."

It happened about a month after John first landed, near Saint-Lo France when his unit encountered some German tanks.

John Tiranno: "There happened to be a creek close by and some of us dove into that creek for cover and before you know it they started putting the shells in the trees just above us and shrapnel came down and that's how I got hit. I was wounded in the leg, the fellow right next to me was killed instantly."

John won a purple heart for his injuries, but he lost his left leg.

The war was over for John and it was back home to Buffalo and the girl he left behind.

Scott Brown: "When you came back did you still think you were going to get married?"

John Tiranno: "No I didn't think so. I thought who wants to marry a man with one leg, you know so I didn't think so."

But Lee would hear none of it...

Lee Tiranno: "He was still the same person."

And so on June 6th 1946 John and Lee got married at Holy Cross Catholic Church on the West Side.

John Tiranno: "Today is our 68th wedding anniversary."

Lee Tiranno: "68 years with the same man."

Happy anniversary guys, and many more.


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