WWII D-Day veteran Jack Hamlin returns to Springfield after visit to Normandy
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Jack Hamlin is a WWII veteran from Springfield. He made the trip to Normandy a few weeks ago.
Now, he has returned from his trip with lots of stories and even more memories.
“I mean, I was treated like a king,” said Hamlin on his visit.
Hamlin served in the United States Coast guard on D-Day. He was accompanied by Dr. Norman Knowlton on his trip, and both say the experience was special.
”This was a wonderful opportunity to see Pointe du Hoc from the water. They gave me a dozen roses to present as he got near the shore to throw into the wire in remembrance of the Rangers on Pointe du Hoc on D-Day,” said Hamlin.
”It was moving, very moving, taking a rose and throwing a rose into the water. The boat stop, very quiet, ask people to say prayers, and then throw the rose out into the water. Very moving,” said Dr. Norman.
Visiting the beaches of Normandy wasn’t the only thing on the itinerary. Jack was in for a few surprises as well.
”This lady in France had arranged to find out if she could find this nurse for me to meet me again,”said Hamlin. “She found out the nurse had passed away. Now she did find the daughter, the nurse, she found two granddaughters the tour. They gave me a surprise, and they came from all the way from Paris to meet me and have dinner with me.”
That nurse’s name was Jaqueline. She and Jack dated while they were stationed in France. After the war ended, she went to Paris and became a fashion model.
But the surprises didn’t end there.
“All five days that I was there, there was a surprise every day,” said Hamlin ”Something different. One day ‚we were going through a museum and they said, ‘Before you leave, Mr. Hamlin, you need to step out into the back yard.’ Here’s a band playing for me and it’s a premature 100th birthday party they are giving to me.”
A crowd gathered to wish Jack a Happy 100th Birthday, complete with a birthday cake.
“All I can say is that word. Thank you,” said Hamlin. “I appreciate it. I’ll see you again and God bless everywhere.”
Jack Hamlin has been recognized for his service earning him the French Legion of Honour. He will turn 100 this fall.
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