Episode 3: “I Came Off in Waist-Deep Water.”

A photo of John Bistrica, Army Private First Class, from 1945

With John Bistrica, Army

Rifles and rations beyond the beach.

Ep 3: Nov. 18 2019

Army Private 1st Class John Bistrica was in the 1st Infantry Division –nicknamed “Big Red One” – on D-Day, June 6th, 1944. His story balances watchful anticipation and fierce action as he moves from Youngstown, Ohio to stateside base camps, then to the D-Day beaches and into Normandy, finding both feast and famine along the way.

Listen for free: iHeartRadio | Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify

Send our veterans a message via the form on our home page.

See more on Instagram and join the conversation on Facebook.

Juuni Ramocan was our excellent on-site engineer with John for this episode. Deanna McGovern did our vocals for Mae West. Thank you to John’s son, Joe, for all of his help.

Behind The Episode:

Hear a story short story clip of John’s run-in with the Andrews Sisters at a USO show

Hear the song – Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, Oh! – that John so loves.

Read about the history of the Ration D Bar on Hersey and Business Insider.

Curious about Yorkshire Pudding? Try your hand at John’s favorite overseas discovery in this recipe by our friend J. Kenji López-Alt over at Serious Eats.

Read about the 1st Infantry Division, weaponry, and landing crafts that went in on D-Day, from History On The Net.

Watch a video from 2014 of John sharing his story (including details about the medals and citations, below) at the First Division Museum at Cantigny
Watch the most glorious video of the Andrews Sisters
Hear John remember meeting the Andrews Sisters, and how a recent meeting with a tribute trio brought him back in time to a sentimental place.


click on images to enlarge