Obituary of Willard H. Lynch
Willard H. Lynch, age 97 of Yankton, SD passed away on Saturday, March 6, 2021 at Angelhaus East in Yankton. A visitation for family and friends of Willard will be 5 to 7:00 p.m. Friday, March 12, 2021 at Opsahl-Kostel Funeral Home and Crematory in Yankton. Burial will be at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, March 13 at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Yankton with Military Honors conducted by Ernest Bowyer VFW Post 791 of Yankton and SDARNG Honor Guard. Those wishing to attend either event are asked to wear a mask and to practice social distancing guidelines. Online condolences may be made at: www.opsahl-kostelfuneralhome.com. Arrangements are under the direction of Opsahl-Kostel Funeral Home and Crematory in Yankton.
Within minutes of hitting the beach he saw death. “I had never even been to a funeral before. That kind of opened your eyes.” “Now I realize that I am not at Yankton High School.”
Night after night of walking on scout patrol in water and mud and then freezing temperatures caused Bill’s trench foot. “I couldn’t walk,” Bill said. “I didn’t know my feet were frozen until I was ordered for patrol. They had to cut my shoes off.”
He was moved to an evacuation hospital, but it wasn’t safe. “The Germans were unloading bombs on tents with Red Crosses. They strafed us. Men were screaming and nurses were trying to calm us down. We were fish in a barrel. Finally, I was put aboard a ship to Naples.”
Just like at Anzio, Bill was back with Battle Patrol, an elite group of soldiers chosen from within the 3rd Division. Their job was to join the beaches. As they arrived at a lighthouse, “Everyone was gone, but the coffee pot was still hot.”
Like many veterans, he avoided past war stories and lived for today.
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In Loving Memory
1923 - 2021
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