Intermission Stories (21)

Pacific Paratrooper

!8 yer old, Walter Gumula !8 yer old, Walter Gumula

Walter Gumula

D-Day Frogman

Walter Gumula was a state champion swimmer from Hammond, Indiana and became an 18 year old frogman among the first waves to land on Omaha Beach.  He recounted his experience as:

Their mission was a secret, so Walter and his 6-man crew boarded a British freighter, wearing Army green instead of Navy blue.  The idea was to fool the Nazis into thinking they were regular troops instead of frogmen, the highly-trained underwater demolition experts known today as Navy SEALS.  Their orders were to blow up the fearsome German fortifications on Omaha beach.  But as soon as they boarded the landing craft, the plan went horribly wrong.

“When we got close to the beach, a shell hit the front door and went through the boat.  It went right through a bunch of guys in my unit.  One guy lost an arm and…

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