Duaine J. "Pinky" Pinkston

Duaine "Pinky" Pinkston was a medic when he jumped that June 6th, their job was to secure the La Fiere bridge and keep the Germans from moving reinforcements to the beaches.

June 3, 2012 at the Dropzone La Fiere, thats where I met Duaine "Pinky" Pinkston, a medic in the 82nd Airborne Division, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, who was back in Normandy for the third time since the war. "We lost a lot of guys," he said, the sprawling meadows and hedgerows of the Cotentin Peninsula his backdrop. "One thing you notice now is that everything is so quiet. You ask yourself, 'What happened?'"
Pinkston remembers walking into one particular ambush 68 years ago when a German 88mm artillery round vaporized the soldier next to him. He also remembers those he saved, hundreds of them during the march to Berlin. He remembers, for instance, treating a man named Wally Crawford, who took three gunshots through the arm. There was Wendell Angel, badly wounded in the head, who Pinkston saved and handed off the beanie from inside his own helmet to keep the bandaged Angel from becoming an easy sniper target. "That was tough, giving up my beanie ... Those helmets were cold." He remembers patching up a radio man who got hit in the buttocks and the throat. Another, named Gus Sanders, who broke a leg in the Battle of the Bulge.
Years later, at various reunions, Pinkston has found many of his former battlefield patients, including Crawford, Sanders and Angel, alive, well and grateful.
The war, he said, "meant a lot to me. I saved a lot of guys. Then when I had heart bypass last September, they decided to return the favor. They all prayed for me. It worked out good that way."
After the successful operation, Pinkston, a retired GM supervisor and farmer from Michigan, decided, "well, maybe I will go back one more time."