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D-Day, June 6th 1944: Remembering the Fallen

The officers and men of the 6th Naval Beach Battalion dedicate this plaque to our fallen comrades who gave their lives in defense of good over evil. They are silent sentinels who from their final resting place above the cliff perpetually watch over the sacred ground of Omaha Beach.

Inscription on the 6th Naval Beach Battalion plaque, unveiled June 6th, 2001 in Normandy, France.

Photo from Orlando resident Mario Mesa who experienced D-Day firsthand.

World War II Veteran Mario Mesa, Jr. was born in Key West, FL and raised along the Florida seashore. At age 17 he joined the U.S. Navy and was in Casco Bay, Maine when World War II began. Veteran Mesa landed at Normandy on D-Day at Fox Green Beach with the 6th Beach Battalion. His two superior officers were killed in battle and Mesa took charge in their place. Veteran Mesa was at the International Dateline when WWII ended. He left the Navy in 1946 then joined the Reserves in 1950. He spent 38 years serving his country in the U.S. Navy and loved it! He retired as a Chief Boatswain’s Mate, BMC, USN. He met his wife Glenette at Morrison’s Cafeteria on Orange Avenue in 1947, was an original member of the Orlando Aero Club, and has served our community as an usher for St. James Cathedral for 50 years.

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WWII Veteran Mario Mesa

Inscription on the 6th Naval Beach Battalion plaque, unveiled June 6th, 2001 in Normandy, France: The officers and men of the 6th Naval Beac...

WWII Veteran Mario Mesa Interview

Interview with World War II Veteran Mario Mesa, Jr. with his wife Glenette and daughter, Laurie, at their home in Orlando, FL, August 28th, 2010.

Mr. Mesa was born in Key West, FL and raised along the Florida  seashore. At age 17 he joined the U.S. Navy and was in Casco Bay, Maine when World War II began. Veteran Mesa landed at Normandy on D-Day at Fox Green Beach with the 6th Beach Battalion. His two superior officers were killed in battle  and Veteran Mesa took charge in their place. Veteran Mesa was at the International Dateline when WWII ended. He left the Navy in 1946 then joined the Reserves in 1950. He spent 38 years serving his country in the U.S. Navy and loved it! He retired as a Chief Boatswain's Mate, BSM, USN.

Hear how he met his wife Glenette at Morrison's Cafeteria on Orange Avenue in 1947, his love for flying a Stearman, and his service to our community as an usher for St. James Cathedral for 50 years.




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