My dad Ralph DeFlaviis enlisted in the Navy to serve his country in 1943 during WWII. He completed his training in Rhode Island. In August 1944, he landed in St. Thomas, France.
His unit played a supporting role in Operation Dragon, a large operation with airborne commandos and a well-executed amphibious assault. The operation involved United States forces from the 3rd, 36th and 45th infantry divisions, French forces including commandos from the Bataillon d'Afrique, and also British and Canadian forces.
They were the first U.S. troops to enter the region. Together they liberated most of the country in only four weeks while inflicting heavy casualties upon the enemy. In honor of my dad (a veteran of WWII), in 1971 I joined the NJANG.