June 6, 2019 marked the 75th Anniversary of D-Day which took place on June 6, 1944. The Montpelier Francois Godfroy Chapter NSDAR held a ceremony at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Montpelier to honor a specific gentleman whom rest in peace there. This gentlemen’s name is Lloyd Milton (Dick) Evers. History of Evers, prayers, and a poem were read at the ceremony. Family of Evers that were in attendance placed a patriotic wreath and flags on Evers grave as well as flowers and flags on his parents who are also buried at the Woodlawn Cemetery. Charley Stepp from the Millard Brown American Legion Post #156 played taps to finalize the ceremony.
Evers was born on April 14, 1920 and passed on June 6, 1944. He was a Blackford County Resident. He is the son of the late Walter and Alta Evers who resided in Blackford County also. He married Betty Joe Thornburg Stafford in Muncie, IN. on April of 1942. Before entering the military, Evers attended Ball State University for a year. 2nd Lt. Llyod Evers entered the Army September 1941. He received his Basic Training in Texas and attended Office Candidate School at Ft. Benning, Georgia, followed by Paratroop school and Demolition school. He was a member of the 101st Airborne Division 502 Inf. Reg. He received more training in England. Lt. Evers parachuted into Normandy with the 191st on D-Day, June 6, 1944 and lost his life. His services were held at Walker Funeral Home in Montpelier, IN. Evers was known as a happy, outgoing, athletic guy.
A little background on D-Day; The Normandy landings were the landing operations on Tuesday, June 6, 1944 of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. Codenamed Operation Neptune and often referred to as D-Day, it was the largest seaborne invasion in history. The operation began the liberation of German-occupied France (and later western Europe) from Nazi control, and laid the foundations of the Allied victory on the Western Front.
Planning for the operation began in 1943. In the months leading up to the invasion, the Allies conducted a substantial military deception, codenamed Operation Bodyguard, to mislead the Germans as to the date and location of the main Allied landings. The weather on D-Day was far from ideal, and the operation had to be delayed 24 hours; a further postponement would have meant a delay of at least two weeks, as the invasion planners had requirements for the phase of the moon, the tides, and the time of day that meant only a few days each month were deemed suitable. Adolf Hitler placed German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in command of German forces and of developing fortifications along the Atlantic Wall in anticipation of an Allied invasion.
The amphibious landings were preceded by extensive aerial and naval bombardment and an airborne assault - the landing of 24,000 US, British, and Canadian airborne troops shortly after midnight. Allied infantry and armored divisions began landing on the coast of France at 06:30. The target 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast was divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword. Strong winds blew the landing craft east of their intended positions, particularly at Utah and Omaha. The men landed under heavy fire from gun emplacements overlooking the beaches, and the shore was mined and covered with obstacles such as wooden stakes, metal tripods, and barbed wire, making the work of the beach-clearing teams difficult and dangerous. Casualties were heaviest at Omaha, with its high cliffs. At Gold, Juno, and Sword, several fortified towns were cleared in house-to-house fighting, and two major gun emplacements at Gold were disabled using specialized tanks.
The Allies failed to achieve any of their goals on the first day. Only two of the beaches (Juno and Gold) were linked on the first day, and all five beachheads were not connected until 12 June; however, the operation gained a foothold that the Allies gradually expanded over the coming months. German casualties on D-Day have been estimated at 4,000 to 9,000 men. Allied casualties were at least 10,000, with 4,414 confirmed dead. Museums, memorials, and war cemeteries in the area now host many visitors each year.