He was in the first wave of troops to land on Omaha Beach on D-Day and his unit’s lone survivor of a machine-gun ambush, was shot in the hip a few days later and was wounded by a German landmine on June 15. After a brief recovery he was at the Battle of the Bulge, where he was wounded again by a bayonet and was the only member of his patrol who survived the Battle. Durning was also one of he few to survive the Dec 16 Malmedy Massacre. During his time in service, he was awarded a Silver Star for valor and three Purple Hearts and spent months in hospitals being treated for physical and psychological trauma.
Durning's father was a wounded veteran who died when Charles was 12 due to the effects of mustard gas exposure in WWI. His mother, Louise, worked as a laundress at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
We thank and honor Durning and his family for his service and thank him for the entertainment he has provided to us through the years, may he rest in peace.
Hat tip: Conservative Patriots of America.