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World War II WAC Remembers D-Day Mission

7:26 PM, Nov 8, 2012   |    comments
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Dozens of World War II veterans gathered for a luncheon at the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall in Warner Robins.

The guest speaker was 90-year old Helen Denton, who served in the U.S. Army, and went from a South Dakota farm girl to typing the battle orders for the D-Day invasion for Gen. Dwight Eisenhower.

"He asked if I knew what I typed, and I said, 'Yes, sir, these are your battle plans for the invasion," says Denton.

U.S. and other Allied troops landed in France on June 6, 1944, a turning point in the war in Europe.

She says her role in the mission was so secret that she could not discuss it for decades, and that many in her family passed away never knowing what she had done.

But since breaking her silence in 1994, she has shared her experience with different groups, including Thursday's group, which included WWII veterans from across Central Georgia.

"I enjoyed that, I think it's a good thing to have something like this," says Benjamin Jones, a veteran who inspired Kathryn Carver to create the non-profit group "Service for Service," which put on the event.

Denton says Eisenhower wasn't just a good general, he also cared about his staff. She recalls after handing him the orders, Eisenhower remarked out of the blue that her brother, whom she hadn't seen in three years, was serving nearby, and gave her a pass to visit him for the weekend. 

"Here's a man who knew thousands of men, and yet he knew who I was and that I hadn't seen Jerry, so I will always remember."

Denton lives in Fayetteville and wrote a book about her experiences called "World War II WAC."  You can look for it here, and half of the profits from her book are going to USO Georgia.

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