Tuesday, April 21, 2009

RIP to the last of the "Bedford Boys"

Last surviving D-Day 'Bedford Boy' dies at 94

When World War II broke out, the "Bedford Boys" left home to serve. Many of them didn't come home — so many that the community had among the greatest losses per capita on D-Day.

Now the last survivor has died.

Elisha Ray Nance died Sunday in Bedford, a spokesman at Tharp Funeral Home and Crematory said Monday. He was 94.

Nance was among 38 National Guardsmen from the close-knit community of Bedford who were in Company A of the 116th Infantry, a spokeswoman at the National D-Day Memorial Foundation said. On June 6, 1944, 19 were killed when they landed on Omaha Beach at the start of the D-Day invasion. Two more died later.

The great loss from a town of 3,200 and its surrounding area led Bedford's selection as the site of the D-Day Memorial.

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