Episode 2: “Why Am I Alive?”

With Frank Devita, Coast Guard Gunner’s Mate

D- Day was a Disaster for Axis and Allied alike.

Fresh out of High School in Brooklyn, New York, Frank Devita joined the Coast Guard in the summer of 1943. He then met adulthood in the bloody waters off of the Normandy beaches on D-Day and while crisscrossing oceans between additional battles. A finicky eater from an Italian foodie family, Frank found some sneaky ways for him and others to eat in his 33 months in Service.

A gentle warning: Frank shares engrossing details about D-Day and death in this episode. We hear these memories as we step back in time together

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Thank you to the Greatest Generations Foundation for connecting us with Frank for this episode. Explore how you can support a veteran’s visit to memorials and hallowed grounds at www.tggf.org.

Behind the Episode:

Hear Frank describe how he ended up in the Coast Guard after contemplating the Air Corp and the Navy. (outtake from the interview)

Read accounts of D-Day veterans (including Frank) at Coast Guard Compass and The Associated Press.

Learn more about Frank’s ship – The USS Samuel Chase – from D-Day Overlord and NavSource.

Dig deep into D-Day facts with video, photos, and more from History.com.

Since the episode aired!

Bridgewater Renames Ardsley Lane in Honor of WWII Veteran Frank DeVita

World War II veteran gets surprise parade for 95th birthday

Watch an Associated Press video with images behind the D-Day story Frank shares in our episode. (Listen to his episode first!)


(Click photos to enlarge)