The Palm Springs Air Museum gave Marjorie Snell, the widow of a D-Day veteran, the flight of a lifetime. Marjorie told NBC Palm Springs she couldn’t believe she was going to fly in a C-47 for the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
“I miss him. I really miss him. What a great guy,” she said.
Not a day goes by that Marjorie doesn’t think about her sweetheart veteran Russ Snell, the 101st airborne trooper who waited a year in England before the Normandy invasion. However, today, she honored her late husband by flying in the same plane he jumped out of on that historic day.
“I went from highs and lows. I was just in awe. It was very emotional.”
Marjorie got to experience it all. From flying in his plane, to honoring him in a very special way.
“He would be so thrilled that I sat on the same seat where he sat on D-Day.”
An experience that took her down memory lane, when her husband would talk about feeling safer in a parachute, than in the plane, during combat.
“He was anxious to jump because he thought his chances were better in a parachute than they were in that plane. All of those memories just came back to me.”
Memories that brought tears to her eyes, and happiness to her heart.
“He really was a great, great person. He had such love and value for life, family, friends, country, because of surviving the war.”
As a result, year after year, Marjorie and Russ would do something special on D-Day.
“D-Day was more important to him than his birthday,” Marjorie told NBC Palm Springs.
Now she continues the tradition with her granddaughter, Natalie Tomlin.
“She was able to fly for Russ and we were together so that was very meaningful to us.”
Certainly becoming a day she will never forget, but this time for very different reasons.
“We’re a very special club. Those of us who flew on that plane today, 75th anniversary, there are not many people who have had this privilege,” she said.
Marjorie tells NBC Palm Springs she is proud to have been married to Russ for 30 years and adds that she will forever share what happened 75 years ago, through her book Lest Never Forget.