Donald Gilbert Englar

Donald Gilbert Englar - Stories

Experiences on D-Day

  • Normandy Beach

Donald Gilbert Englar was born in 1925. He was drafted into the Navy and served as a coxswain on a Higgins Boat during D-Day on June 6, 1944. He made 5 separate beach landings that day. Englar was awarded the Purple Heart and The French National Legion of Honor Medal. He recalled seeing his best friend cut in half by an artillery shell as he stood beside him on a landing craft. He told men on his landing craft that he'd try to deliver them close enough to the beach so they wouldn't get their boots wet. On some attempts he hit sandbars and soldiers had to exit the boat in water over their heads. On his 5th and final landing attempt, his boat took a direct hit. Englar was knocked unconscious, burned and bleeding. He regained consciousness and took control of the damaged boat and made his way back to the troop ship. Englar was awarded the Purple Heart and The French National Legion of Honor Medal. He died October 27, 2014.