Belle Chasse veteran’s birthday brings memories of war
Frank Patti turned 95 on Dec. 15, 2019. For 75 years the date has triggered memories that carry him back to one of the most grueling battles in military history.
Patti, who moved to Belle Chasse 1950 with his late wife Rose who passed in 2016 after 70 years of marriage, was 20 years old on Dec. 15, 1944. His Army unit had landed at Omaha Beach in Normandy several months prior in September, months after the June 6 fighting of D-Day. The landing was peaceful, but that didn’t last long as Patti’s infantry unit was fighting Nazis in southern Germany by December.
The Nazis’ last-gasp offensive push through the Ardennes Forest officially began on the morning of Dec. 16, but Patti’s regiment had scarcely gotten a break from fighting in southern Germany on his birthday before they were loaded onto trucks and sped to the Belgian city of Bastone.
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