Freedom Fighters: Hand Family - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Freedom Fighters: Hand Family

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By Joan Hallmark

Whether it was the 1940's,..the 1970's, or the 1990's, their service in combat often seems like yesterday to Robert, Jack and Heath Hand.

Robert Hand was eighteen when he joined the army. He hit Omaha Beach in the Normandy invasion June 7th,1944, held up from the first day's action by hundreds of ships ahead in line.

While Robert may have missed the first day's invasion, his ship was still fired on constantly.

When Robert finally landed, he was to find out both what he missed and what was still ahead.

Robert was to get in plenty of action as the third army advanced through France, Belgium and Germany..Robert says the Battle of the Bulge, surrounded by a mighty German panzer division, was the most frightening time of all.

Robert Hand has the distinction of shooting down the last plane downed in the European theatre of war.

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