WW II Veteran Shares Horrors Of War - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

02/05/04

WW II Veteran Shares Horrors Of War

Marvin Perrett came to Hancock High Thursday, dressed as though he was ready to go into battle. He wore a replica of the uniform he had during World War Two. He was on the front lines June 6th, 1944, when US troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, France.

"All of a sudden you hear a shump, and man what was that? It gets your attention, and it was overhead. You look up and it was air current of that projectile coming from that 16 inch gun of that vessel."

Perrett served in the Coast Guard back then. He drove a landing craft on D-Day that transported troops from the USS Bayfield to shore. That was also his job during the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

Perrett was not wounded in battle. He counts himself one of the lucky ones.

"A lot of these fellows met their demise right there. War's not pretty."

Perrett is reliving those days of terror, so young people can understand the true horrors of war.

"I feel like someone has to do it, because with the kids get these days from the history books, doesn't really tell the whole story. I derive much joy and pleasure and comfort in bringing my message to the students in the schools, especially if they have ROTC involvement, because these kids are going to be the leaders of tomorrow."

Perrett's personal war story left quite an impression on students, many of whom plan to enter the military.

"I think how he went through all that, all the pain of seeing his friends die, and it just made me think if he can do that, I can do it too," JROTC Cadet Jessica Hall said.

"I had no choice in the matter, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat, and that goes for today," Perrett said.

Marvin Perrett plans to return to Normandy in June for the 60th anniversary of the invasion. Perrett is from Metairie, Louisiana. The Coast Guard plans to dedicate a meeting room at its New Orleans facility in his honor.

by Trang Pham-Bui

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