LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
By KEITH ROGERS
June 5, 2016
Firecrackers on the Fourth of July or even the smell of diesel fuel is enough to trigger horrible flashbacks that have been etched in Onofrio Zicari’s mind since June 6, 1944.
World War II veteran Milton Duran holds up the front page of the Onaway newspaper at the North Las Vegas VA Medical Center on Friday, June 3, 2016.An Army private in the 5th Amphibious Brigade, he landed in the fifth wave on Omaha Beach during that deadly Tuesday on France’s Normandy coast.
(Loren Townsley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
“The last man off the boat got hit. The boat got knocked out. Three sailors and my buddy got killed,” he said Friday, during one of his regular post-traumatic stress disorder classes at the North Las Vegas VA Medical Center.
“I was scared, man. I was scared,” he said.
Those from his outfit who made it through nearly neck-high water to reach “Red Easy” beach were pinned down for five hours by machine-gun fire from a German pillbox on a cliff.
“I said a confession and said, ‘Lord, take me, take me,’” he said. “I wasn’t afraid to die, But I was scared.”
Bleeding from shrapnel wounds in his knee and shoulder, he “looked over and saw this G.I. sitting on his helmet,” Zicari recalled.
“And he’s just holding his guts … He kept laughing at me and saying, ‘I’m going home! I’m going home!’ I don’t know if he ever made it. He was a redhead. I’ll never forget him,” said Zicari, a draftee from Geneva, New York.
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