An excerpt from the film Sixth of June: a story of why we remember and what we lose if we forget.
William Kellerman was born to Jewish immigrant parents in 1925. He grew up in the Bronx at the height of the Great Depression. On June 10th, 1944, 4 days after D-Day, William landed on Utah Beach as a member of the 79th Infantry, 315th Regiment, Company D. On July 4th, he was forcibly taken prisoner by a German tank after being sent to find his battalion’s headquarters because their radio was shot out. As a POW, on one of their nightly marches, while surrounded by SS Guards, he escaped. He was traveling across France until he ran into French Resistance, who hid him in the Freteval Forest with other allied soldiers. In August, American soldiers liberated the camp and William returned to the 79th where he fought until he was shot twice. He was taken to a field hospital in Czechoslovakia and then moved to a hospital in Bayreuth, Germany. In 2018, William returned to Normandy for the first time since the war, he was presented with the French Legion of Honor. Other than his wife Sandy (68 years) his children, grandchildren, and escaping the Nazis, it was the greatest moment of his life.