CHERBOURG, France – A U.S. Navy sailor from West Virginia is one of the select military service members who is participating in D-Day commemorations in France on the 75th anniversary of the invasion.
Petty Officer 1st Class Nathan Channell is from Valley Head, a small community in Randolph County.
Channell is serving aboard the U.S.S. Roosevelt, a destroyer that was diverted to Normandy while heading home after participating in exercise Formidable Shield 2019.
Channell has a family connection to D-Day and U.S. military service in France. His grandfather was a glider pilot on D-Day and his great-grandfather served as General John Pershing’s personal blacksmith in WWI.
Roosevelt Sailors are part of more than 1,300 U.S. service members who are partnered with 950 troops from across Europe and Canada, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy. This is the first ship named in honor of both President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his wife, Eleanor Roosevelt. The ship’s current home port is at Naval Station Mayport, which is in the Jacksonville, FL area.