Few remain to tell the stories of 1944
There is no central database of D-day survivors. Here are others in Greater Boston we found with the help of veterans groups and senior communities.
Paul Burke, 87, of Norwood
The Newton Highlands native served as coxswain on a landing craft, delivering troops from a
large transport ship offshore to beaches in the British zone. Often under fire, he narrowly escaped death twice: once from shellfire while beached in Normandy, and the other time when a German submarine torpedoed the ship ahead of his in a convoy crossing the English Channel. After the war, Burke worked for the Newton Public Works Department. He and his wife, Florence, raised three children, living first in West Newton and then Needham. They moved to Norwood last year. Boating is not among Burke’s hobbies.
Matthew Glinka, 97, of Chelmsford
The Greenwich, Conn., native was a sergeant and originally trained for a top-secret project intended to disrupt German defenses with powerful tank-mounted lights. Stymied by the Normandy hedgerows, the project was abandoned. After landing on Omaha Beach, Glinka spent most of the war repairing combat-damaged tanks and other vehicles. When he returned home, he won a battle with polio and went on to manage a Princeton University eating club. Widowed with four daughters, he now lives at Chelmsford Crossings.
David A. Rosenthal, 94, of Revere
Raised in Marblehead, Rosenthal landed on Omaha Beach as part of the second wave on D-day. Under fire from Germans positioned behind hedges, his unit rushed across a narrow stretch of beach and knocked out the enemy. Inland, they encountered fire from camouflaged German bunkers and snipers from upper floors of village buildings. Part of a mortar team, Rosenthal was hit in the spine when his squad was trapped in a gully by German fire. After the war, Rosenthal worked in his family’s dry cleaning business and then for several moving van companies. He retired at 91. The parents of two children, he and his wife, Rose, now live in the Jack Satter House in Revere, which is operated by Hebrew SeniorLife. The war left Rosenthal with a lifelong souvenir, shrapnel surgeons were unable to remove. Now, it is a conversation piece every time he passes through airport security.
Bernard Glassman, 98, of Revere
Glassman, a native of Chelsea, lives two floors down from Rosenthal at the Jack Satter House. Seventy years ago they both were pushing through Normandy. The Chelsea native, then 28, served as a cook in the officers’ mess of the First Army, satisfying General Dwight Eisenhower’s craving for salad with onions and tomatoes and regularly preparing three meals a day for up to 500 soldiers. After the war, Glassman worked in the food industry, notably Bernie’s Deli in Malden. He and his wife, Minnie, raised two daughters in Everett. During the war, Glassman did have a private moment with a general. Stepping into the shower tent, “who do I happen to see but General [Omar] Bradley,” Glassman said. “He was a nice guy.”