June 6, 1944, D-Day. Petty Officer 3rd Class Bob Rovan, 18, was serving on the USS Thurston during the Normandy invasion. As an electrician’s mate, Rovan’s duties kept him aboard. However, when a good friend returned from Omaha Beach with his leg blown off, Rovan took his place on the next boat.
“I offered to go,” Rovan, 81, said from his home in Tucson, Ariz.