Exclusive: D-Day Survivor Arthur Seltzer Relives Harrowing Day

Published June 08, 2009

| FoxNews.com

ARTHUR SELTZER, WWII VETERAN AND D-DAY SURVIVOR: That day, for me was considered the longest day of my life.

JONATHAN HUNT, 'FOX REPORT' CHIEF CORRESPONDENT: On June 6th 1944, Arthur Seltzer, a 19-year-old communications specialist with the 4th signals battalion, was attached to a unit of the 29th infantry.. As they approached Omaha Beach at dawn the men on Arthur’s landing craft signed a dollar bill...36 signatures, a signal of their bond, a lucky dollar in Arthur Seltzer's pocket...

Minutes later they were in the water...

SELTZER: We were in the 3rd and 4th wave going in and we were told not to go out the front of the ship but to go over the side of the ship so naturally I had 60 pounds of equipment on my back, soldiers had their stuff and so over the sides we went. I can't swim. I wasn't worried about getting shot I was worried about not drowning.

When we finally got to the beach there were no craters for us to hide in and naturally machine guns up there were firing... The only thing you could see was soldiers lying on the beach that were dead, blood all around you… soldiers that were wounded and it was just a mess on that beach.

Click here for photos

HUNT: As you waded through the bodies floating in the water trying to get onto the beach, what on earth is a solider thinking?

SELTZER: Well basically I believe each one was trying to say where can I go to be saved, where can I hide, where can I be that I won’t get hit…

HUNT: Your main objective was to stay alive?

SELTZER: Stay alive...

HUNT (VOICE OVER): Arthur did stay alive and later on that fateful day he saw the sergeant whose idea it had been to sign the dollar bill, a dollar bill Arthur has kept to this day...

SELTZER: He says you and I are the only two who survived from that landing craft and I said to him you mean to say you lost your whole squad and he says yes, I lost my whole squad.

HUNT (VOICE OVER): Arthur Setlzer's war did not end on D-Day. He went on to fight in the Battle of the Bulge, forever known as the greatest ever land battle. And on April 29th, 1945 Arthur, who is Jewish, was with the American troops who discovered the Dachau concentration camp.

SELTZER: There were dead bodies all around, naked skeletons lying around there were, people dressed in these uniforms with white and black stripes, they were half starved, the odor in that camp was so bad you could hardly take it

HUNT: The odor of death?

SELTZER: The odor of death...

HUNT (VOICE OVER): Six and a half decades on Arthur still suffers from post-traumatic stress...

SELTZER: Every June 6th, the first thing I do is put my flag out... That’s very important to me. It’s a bad day for me...

(PAUSE, CRYING, WIPES TEARS)

HUNT (VOICE OVER): But Arthur Seltzer is also ready to forgive...

HUNT: It's a different generation now. I’m hoping they have learned something from the past. So this anniversary we forgive but never forget?

SELTZER: That's correct...

(TEARS)

You never forget… never forget any anniversary. You don’t forget all of your friends you lost when you served over there. You don't forget all of the people who gave their lives to make this country a free country…

HUNT: In Cherry Hill New Jersey, Jonathan Hunt, FOX News.

URL

http://www.foxnews.com/story/2009/06/08/exclusive-d-day-survivor-arthur-seltzer-relives-harrowing-day