Local D-Day vet had bird's eye view of Normandy landings

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- Chet Bowers saw it all from his perch as a B-17 bomber co-pilot flying over Normandy on D-Day June 6 1944.

"Looking down, I could see the rough choppy English Channel," said Bowers, 95, of Boise. "And the boat wakes, thousands of boat wakes."

And he saw American infantry hit the beaches.

"Not only did they have a rough crossing, they had a rough (landing) in icy cold water," he said. "A lot of them drowned before they ever got there. And when they did hit the beaches, they were under pretty murderous fire. Every one of them was a hero as far as I was concerned."

The view came with a price, it could have cost Chet Bowers his life. but the Allies had air superiority.

"We didn't even get shot at," Bowers said. "Generally we just blew up everything that would be a resistance to our troops moving in from Normandy."

It might be easy to forget because it was so long ago, but D-Day, indeed the entire Second World War, is above all a story of individuals, men and women, caught up in the greatest struggle in human history."

In the end, good conquered evil.

And Bowers hopes people never forget: "I just think the kids to be born should be well aware of what happened on June 6, 1944."