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Russell LeeRoy Pickett

Russell LeeRoy Pickett (2020), one of few soldiers to survive first wave of D-Day

by Kirk Fox

Russell LeeRoy Pickett was in the first wave of U.S. soldiers to storm Normandy Beach on D-Day. He was honored in 2019 at the 75th anniversary event held in Normandy.  

  • Died: August 2, 2020 (Who else died on August 2?) 
  • Details of death: Died of complications of heart disease in Soddy Daisy, Tennessee at the age of 95. 
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World War II Hero 

Pickett joined the U.S. Army at the age of 18. During D-Day, he was knocked out of the boat he was riding in as they stormed Normandy Beach. Dragged to shore and unable to walk because of an injured back, he had to endure the sound of men around him dying during the invasion. Pickett recovered and returned to fight in the war. He was injured two more times in battle, and then was assigned to work at a military hospital in England. After the war, he became the owner of a store called Mr. Pickett’s T.V. Shop.

2019 75th D-Day Anniversary Celebration in France 

The Best Defense Foundation flew Mr. Pickett to the 75th D-Day Anniversary Celebration in France in 2019. While there, he was honored by the French government and President Trump. Back home, he began to receive letters from all around the world thanking him for his bravery. His granddaughter Sherry Price told The Chattanoogan, “Our family is so very thankful for how God worked this out for Papa to be honored in this way and for the world to get to meet the wonderful, soft spoken man we all love so much. It meant the world to him and gave him renewed energy.” 


What they said about him

Full Obituary: The Chattanoogan

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