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June 6, 2014 5:09 AM
Emails from France reveal a father's D-Day horror and the hospitality that followed
Posted by Staff
Tampa Bay Times:

He didn't open the first email. He thought it was spam, some memorabilia about World War II. The subject line said: "USCG in Normandy."

Kirk Vail, 60, is a plumber, like his dad. He knew his dad had been stationed at St. Petersburg's Coast Guard station, and that he had turned 26 the day his cutter joined the D-day invasion — 70 years ago today.

But that was about it.

The second email arrived two days later, on March 11. This one had an attachment, "Picture taken in 1944." Kirk clicked open a black and white photo of a young man in a sailor shirt with dark, wavy hair, intense eyes and a Clark Gable moustache. Kirk had never seen the picture, but right away he recognized his dad.
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