Veteran Recalls Normandy Invasion On 70th Anniversary of D-Day - My9 New Jersey

Veteran Recalls Normandy Invasion On 70th Anniversary of D-Day

Posted: Updated:
Denville, New Jersey (My9NJ) - The 70th anniversary of D-Day has come and WWII veteran, 87 year-old, Alfred John Sippel set-off on a journey back to Normandy, France for the first time to pay his respects.

Sippel is a First-Class Seaman, from Denville, New Jersey. He joined the Navy when he was just 16 years-old and fresh out of boot camp. He turned 17 years-old in January and was in Normandy that following June.

"I made a little promise to myself a long time ago that I wanted to go back and pay my respects. Those guys weren’t as lucky as I was and that’s what I’m gonna do,” he explained.

This trip and the history behind D-Day are clearly very emotional for Mr. Sippel. He shared stories about how his ship headed for Omaha Beach, taking on men from another ship for the mission. He described the conditions they were under at that time which were horrid.

“It was a long trip and these guys were tired and weary from being on that boat, cooped up there for a week and they were soaking wet. They were cold and they were sick. Most of them should have been headed for sick-bay instead of heading for that meat grinder," he recalled holding back tears.

As a brave young man Sippel volunteered for a very important task. Mail from loved ones for men stationed out in the sea off Normandy had been piling up and Sippel took a small boat out to hand letters to his fellow soldiers.

“They asked for volunteers so I volunteered so we went and got their mail and brought their mail out to them and I was kind of glad that happened,” he said.

This was particularly hard for Sippel to talk about because this was probably the last piece of mail that many of those seamen ever got to read from loved ones.

The youngest survivors of the June 6, 1944 allied invasion are now in their late 80's, making this possibly the last large gathering of D-day veterans.


Watch Chasing New Jersey weeknights at 10pm on My9 and don’t forget to like us on Facebook!

  • Chasing New JerseyMore>>

  • Controversy Over Jersey Shore Carousel Up For Auction

    Controversy Over Jersey Shore Carousel Up For Auction

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:16 AM EDT2014-07-23 14:16:02 GMT
    The Carousel at Casino Pier in Seaside Heights, New Jersey is a staple of the Jersey Shore, fully equipped with handcrafted animals and a Wurlitzer organ. Many people feel the carousel is a spinning work of art full of history. The carousel has survived the Seaside fire and Superstorm Sandy. Some residents think the carousel should be preserved, but others want to sell it.
    The Carousel at Casino Pier in Seaside Heights, New Jersey is a staple of the Jersey Shore, fully equipped with handcrafted animals and a Wurlitzer organ. Many people feel the carousel is a spinning work of art full of history. The carousel has survived the Seaside fire and Superstorm Sandy. Some residents think the carousel should be preserved, but others want to sell it.
  • Odor Out Of Clifton, NJ Is Angering Residents

    Odor Out Of Clifton, NJ Is Angering Residents

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:11 AM EDT2014-07-23 14:11:23 GMT
    New Jersey is known for a lot of things, including its smells. In Clifton, New Jersey, people have been complaining of a diesel-like smell coming from the smoke stack of a printing press, Kay Printing, owned by KM Media. Some people believe the smell is making them sick.
    New Jersey is known for a lot of things, including its smells. In Clifton, New Jersey, people have been complaining of a diesel-like smell coming from the smoke stack of a printing press, Kay Printing, owned by KM Media. Some people believe the smell is making them sick.
  • 26 Year Old Takes On The Triple Crown Of Swimming

    26 Year Old Takes On The Triple Crown Of Swimming

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:05 AM EDT2014-07-23 14:05:57 GMT
    Charlotte Samuels, 16, from Ridgewood, New Jersey, is planning an epic open water swim this August in California. She will swim 20.2 miles across the Catalina Channel in the Pacific Ocean. The race could take anywhere from 11-13 hours. Samuels isn't only physically fit, she has to be mentally fit to endure the unexpected conditions. 
    Charlotte Samuels, 16, from Ridgewood, New Jersey, is planning an epic open water swim this August in California. She will swim 20.2 miles across the Catalina Channel in the Pacific Ocean. The race could take anywhere from 11-13 hours. Samuels isn't only physically fit, she has to be mentally fit to endure the unexpected conditions. 
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices