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David Osler: D-Day Veteran Remembers

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Photo illustration by Lauren Abdel-Razzaq / The Detroit News and a self portrait, drawn April 41944

David Osler (BFA 43) is featured in a Detroit News photo gallery that features area D‑Day veterans on the 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion.

David Osler, 93, was a promising artist when he realized his draft number was coming up. His brother convinced him to enlist in the Navy to avoid the Army. He thought the Navy would place him in a job similar to his skills but instead he went to work on a repair ship in North Africa. 

Eventually, when he was 23, he was transferred to the USS Thomas Jefferson, where he commanded five landing craft assault vehicles in the first wave of the first attack on Omaha Beach. The Jefferson’s mission was to get 300 of the Army’s 116th regiment, 29th Division, safely to the French shore.

D‑Day veterans: Young men when history came calling | Detroit News