Magazine cover

Milburn Henke of Hutchinson gained celebrity status after he was selected to be the first official enlisted American to land in the European theater of World War II. He was depicted on the cover of the Feb. 21, 1942, cover of Illustrated magazine.

The 78th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy was remembered June 6. It marked the day the Allies stormed the beaches of Northern France. It was the largest seaborne invasion in history.

Of all the ways in which a nation at war utilizes its intelligence gathering, none may have ever been as clever and simplistic as the United Kingdom in preparing for the D-Day landings. The allies worked hard to find the perfect place to launch an assault on Nazi-controlled Europe. They eventually settled on the northern coast of France. However, they still had to decide where along the coast they would launch an assault, and with the Nazis controlling those regions, the Allies couldn’t exactly go take a photo. The answer to the problem became to simply collect postcards, which showed photos of people along the coastline. The postcards were then sent to the war office and played a role in the locations of the D-Day landings.

Brian Haines is executive director of the McLeod County Historical Society and Museum, 380 School Road N.W., Hutchinson. The museum is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 1-4 p.m. Saturday and by appointment. Admission is free. For more information, call the museum at 320-587-2109.

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