MADISON — Commander Bob Peal, longtime Boone County resident, former educator and veteran of the D-Day Invasion of Europe in WWII, was honored at the Jan. 4 meeting of the Madison City Council.
After a prayer and the pledge of allegiance, mayor of Madison Sonny Howell, “Good way to start our new year is to honor heroes…We would just like to show a little bit of appreciation. It’s just a small token to be given to a hero like you. The City of Madison would like to salute and thank you for your service to our country.”
Peal explained he turned 18 three weeks before the Pearl Harbor attack, and, by his 19th birthday, he had signed up for the Navy.
Peal added he joined the Navy because he thought he would have access to good food and he would not be required to sleep in a tent. “In May of 1943, I found myself in a tent in Africa” a smiling Peal added.
In Africa, Peal was trained to pilot the amphibious landing craft used in the D-Day Invasion.
Peal explained, after several incursions into southern Europe in Greece and Italy, his boat sailed for the Atlantic only to turn up to England and begin preparing for D-Day.
“Normandy was my fourth D-Day. I was…at Sicility…on the mainland of Italy just south of Naples…and a little town south of Rome called Anzio,” Peal noted.
Peal also told the crowd about his move to Boone County in 1949. Peal added his wife went to school and worked at the company store while he taught school in Prenter.
Peal ended his address with a story he said he often tells to school age children. Peal noted his wealthy relative (Uncle Sam) sent him on an 11 month Mediterranean cruise, but the cruise was extended for another year in Europe.
Owen Wells is a reporter for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 ext. 1729 or by email at [email protected]