December 6, 2001
A book detailing the history of 101st Airborne during World War II is one of Everett Oliver's treasures.
Little did the Kentucky native know after he volunteered for the Army in 1940 that he'd find his greatest treasure on the ship to England. He met his future wife, Irene, who was in the Women's Army Corps.
"She wouldn't give me the time of day," said Oliver. "And I thought to myself, 'Well, who in the world does she think she is?' And I just tried that much harder."
They married five months later in England.
About four months after that on D-Day, he was storming Utah beach. He was one of only eight men in his company not killed or injured.
"I've heard people say they weren't scared, but there's something wrong with a person that doesn't get scared when you're getting shot at and you're seeing people beside you get hit," said Oliver.
He was among the soldiers transported behind tow planes in gliders.
He earned many medals including a Bronze Star for taking action after his platoon leader and platoon sergeant were wounded.
"I knew somebody had to do something," he remembered. "So I got up and went forward and took charge of that weapons platoon."
He said a dream he had back in England made him feel God's protection.
"I dreamed that I was in combat and that I could see bullets coming straight at me," he said, gesturing with his hands in the air.
"But when they'd get about ten or 12 feet in front of me, they'd split and go around me. And I'll tell you, I got in a lot of situations to where that dream popped back in front of me and just gave me courage to keep going."
Oliver said when the Germans surrendered he was in Germany. He said the American soldiers partied all night long drinking German whiskey.
He was reunited with his new wife after the war. They were together for 46 years until she passed away in 1990.
by Alicia Smith