D-Day vet to lead Memorial Day parade in Vergennes
VERGENNES — American Legion Post 14 has chosen Ron Hadley of Middlebury as the grand marshal of the Vergennes Memorial Day Parade this year. Hadley joined the U.S. Navy in the midst of World War II, completed his training in the fall of 1943, and then served all over the world before rounding out his duty in June 1946. He gave this account of his war service:
My war experiences started with my assignment as a junior officer (ensign) to an attack transport ship destined for the invasion of Normandy. Our cargo was 900 Army men and 20 landing craft.
We sailed the Atlantic through threatening U-boats. While awaiting D-Day, German Junker airplanes bombed our ship concentration.
On D-Day I was assigned command of the fifth wave. This was changed to the third wave because more troops were required immediately on the beach. I fear none of those Combat Engineers in the first wave made it through the cross fire. My boat returned to our ship and our boat brought more soldiers to a neutralized area.
The next orders took us to the Mediterranean to relocate troops and take part in the Southern France invasion. After
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