A Walnut Creek hero got his Bronze Star — 68 years later — this week at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado.
“They gave us a job to do, and we did it," said Frank Walden, now 86, a Walnut Creeker, told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "(Awards) were the last thing we thought about. I got out of there with my life. I figured that was enough.”
Walden suffered shrapnel wounds and a broken shoulder on Omaha Beach on D-Day (68 years ago Wednesday), according to a piece by Nathan Max in the Union-Tribune. The Navy corpsman hit the beach around 6:30 in the morning. Walden was injured by an artillery blast after first treating dozens and dozens of wounded soldiers, administering triage and morphine.
Frank Walden was with the 6th Naval Beach Battalion on Omaha Beach on D-Day. A group of corpsmen and doctors are now getting medals they might have gotten during the war except that many of the officers who would have made the recommendations died on the Normandy beaches, according to an Associated Press piece by Chris Carola.
Walden received the Bronze Star and Combat Medical Badge in a ceremony at Coronado.
The upper echelon of the battalion, a forerunner of the Navy Seals, was decimated by German machine gun and artillery fire, said Kenneth Davey in upstate New York, whose late father was a young doctor with the battalion, the AP reported. With letters found in his father's sea chest, Davey has tracked down other veterans of the battalion.
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