Nearly 70 years ago today, Julian “Bud” Rice took part in the most extraordinary airborne assault in history. Rice, then 22, was piloting a plane full of paratroopers on June 6, 1944. They were to be dropped near the French town of St. Mere Eglise. Rice sits down with Tom Brokaw and recounts the run-up to that day -- the secrecy, the planning and the heavy fog along the coastline that stretched up 2,500 feet into sky.
Rice is back in Normandy this week with his family for the historic anniversary. What he looks forward to most is getting into an old C-47 plane that has been refurbished and flown back for the 70th Anniversary commemoration ceremonies.
Nightly News would like you to share your memories or tributes of loved ones who heroically defended freedom on June 6, 1944. You can upload photos and comments here.