Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra was among the Allied Forces that stormed the beaches of Normandy 70 years ago yesterday.
The 19 year old from St. Louis was part of a six-man crew operating a 36-foot landing craft support ship (LCSS). Their mission was to fire rockets at the German gun targets to protect Allied troops who were making their way on shore. Three of Yogi's young crew members died that fateful day, but Berra survived and the rest as they say is history. Not only the history of the World War II, but the beginning of an unbelievable life for Yogi.
Berra was honored yesterday by the museum that bears his name the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in Montclair, New Jersey, the Navy and several veteran groups. Confined to a wheelchair the 89 year old Berra did not speak formally to the gathering, but did tell the Associated Press afterwards the horrors of that day including firing at Nazis just 300 yards from shore. Yogi explained their orders were never to hit the beach, but stay in the water and protect others.
Yogi was presented with a Quilt of Honor from the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award Foundation. The quilt bared Berra's likeness and had several quotes about his memories of that day.
Yogi Berra played 18 seasons for the Yankees from 1946-1963 and won 10 World Series Championships. He made 18 All-Star appearances, won 3 MVP titles and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972. That same year the Yankee organization retired his number 8 into Monument Park.
Berra was one of many Major Leaguers who were in the war and some other notable names like Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio lost years of playing time because of their military service.
We honor all the Army, Marine Corp, Navy and Air Force personnel who have defended this country and sacrificed so much so we can enjoy all the freedoms it has to offer.
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