ON 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF D-DAY, POP-UP EXHIBIT SPOTLIGHTS SOUTHLAKE RESIDENT’S BRAVERY
In honor of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, the Southlake Historical Society is telling the story of Southlake’s own Lt. Col. Charles H. Young in a pop-up exhibit June 3-15 in the Southlake Public Library, 1400 Main St.
Also, the society is inviting relatives and friends of people who participated in D-Day to write the service members’ names and units in a special book at the library. On D-Day, more than 140,000 Allied troops crossed the English Channel at Normandy, France, paving the way for the liberation of Europe.
Hours before Allied troops stormed Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword beaches, Young and other Troop Carrier Group pilots spearheaded the attack by flying paratroopers behind German lines. Flying 70 feet apart with minimal lights and poor navigation technology, the unarmed planes were easy targets as they descended to 700 feet and slowed to just above stalling speed for their drops. The paratroopers secured causeways and bridges to make it easier for Allied troops to move inland.
Young’s plane was The Argonia, named for his hometown of Argonia, Kansas.
After the war, Young resumed his job as a pilot for American Airlines. In 1953, he and Virginia (Ginny) Young, his wife, bought a 100-acre place that today is part of the Monticello subdivision. In 1956, the pair helped found Southlake by working with a handful of neighbors to incorporate a small part of rural Tarrant County into a town.
In the 1970s, Young was editor of Grapevine Area History, the go-to book for anyone interested in local history. In 1995, he published Into the Valley: The Untold Story of USAAF Troop Carrier in World War II, From North Africa Through Europe to set the record straight about the under-appreciated Troop Carrier Command. His son, Charles D. Young, was the editor.
Also on display will be WWII helmets, medals and other items owned by history enthusiast and UNT student Paul Porter of Southlake and D-Day memorabilia from the father of Tamara McMillan of the Southlake Historical Society.
The exhibit is open during library hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Closed Sunday. The exhibit is free.