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Tucson vet remembers fighting the war in Europe

75 years since D-Day
Posted at 7:23 PM, Jun 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-06 22:23:25-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - It still stands as the largest invasion ever, and as one of the bravest moments in history.

75 years ago the D-Day invasion put soldiers in France to begin liberating Western Europe from the Nazis.

Nine On Your Side talked with one of your neighbors who risked his life in that fight, but lived to tell his story today.

Manuel Cady is 94 years old now, but he was just eighteen as he boarded a ship and headed across the English Channel to France. There, thousands of Germans were waiting to kill him.

He says, “We never thought about it . Never knew what we were getting into.”

His unit, the 79th Infantry Division, arrived on Utah Beach a few days after the invasion began. The beach was quiet by then, but there was plenty of danger ahead---including an ambush that killed most of the soldiers with him.

He took care of his buddies and pushed through the danger and death.

"I was strong-minded. I never thought about it, you know. I just thought, I've got to keep going, keep going and take care of myself."

But this Bronze Star recognizes he did more than take care of himself. When an officer near him was hit, he carried the man on his back and ran through enemy fire to get to a field hospital.

"I started going and the Germans were trying to pinpoint us but I ran as fast as I could so they weren't able to get us."

Manuel Cady thinks God was watching out for him as he made it unhurt through France, Belgium, Holland and Germany.

The war was winding down when he captured a German officer and brought him to his Sergeant.

"That's fine, Cady, he says. You take care of him. So what am I gonna do with him? I took him back where I found him. I said, home, go home, house. I let him go and he left."

Soon after that Manual Cady and the 79th Infantry Division were moved to Czechoslovakia. The war in Europe ended a few days later.