Aiken Standard: Still growing and building for the future 7/24/19

The Aiken (S.C.) Standard is in the process of deconstructing its 34-year-old printing press and clearing space in the pressroom for a more powerful and faster printing press.


Before history disappears 6/11/19

By Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

"This morning about 0500 the convoy realized its destination and the first wave was formed and started for the beach. Our job was to sweep for floating mines and air protection. When we were about 1800 yards from the beach we threw our mine sweeping gear over and that is where the fun started. They begin to fire at us from the shore as we went in LCF 31 on our port side was hit and went down. And on our starboard side I saw P.C. 1261 going down. After we saw this we were all so damn scared. We wish we had never seen that many but we had to keep going.

"After the first troops and rockets hit the beach things begin to quiet down. All day and night troops were sent to the beach."

P.C. 1621 was the first ship sunk on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

William Lunsford was a Navy Gunfire Support Craft specialist on USS LCF-27 (or Landing Craft Flak), part of the invasion force at Utah Beach in Normandy. Lunsford is the father of Margie Bennett, a sales support employee at the Aiken Standard in South Carolina. He kept a diary, and excerpts from it made up part of a package of stories commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day last week.

"They're all in their 90s now," said Managing Editor Michael Harris. "Time is killing them more than the Germans did, as I pointed out in the editorial. We're losing them. So I wanted to go into it with something different."

The Standard asked readers for their memories, stories, photos and other contributions, knowing that the dwindling number of World War II veterans meant that direct interviews would be limited. The plan was flexible based on what was submitted.

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