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D-Day Remembered: Westport’s Robert Loomis

Today’s Sunday Hour of Norwalk features Westport D-Day veteran Robert Loomis in its coverage of the 60th anniversary of the Allied landing at Normandy.loomis060604.jpg
Robert Loomis rides in the Memorial Day parade. Julia Mally/ WestportNow.com

As a native Parisian, Loomis, 79, could have taken a relatively easy assignment as an interpreter, the newspaper reported. But he chose the infantry instead.

“They had plenty of French interpreters, and I wanted more action,” he said.

Loomis was 19 when he found himself off Utah Beach on June 6, 1944, when the naval bombardment began.

“I was with the 87th Chemical Mortar Battalion, 32nd Regiment, 4th Infantry Division,” he recalled. “We landed at H-Hour plus 90 minutes.

“The tide was so low we jumped off the landing craft into four feet of very cold water and had to wade and swim ashore.”

Loomis worked the front lines spotting targets for his mortar crew which had been equipped to loc chemicals at the enemy, if necessary.

“We never used them because the Germans didn’t,” he said.

Loomis and his wife Joan have lived on Kings Highway North since 1960. A decade ago, he accompanied Westport veteran Clayton Chalfant to Normandy for the 50th anniversary of D-Day.

Chalfant was grand marshal of Westport’s Memorial Day parade this week. Loomis rode alongside him as his aide.

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