Monday, May 29, 2023

Updated: D-Day Anniversary Exhibit in Southlake Library 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. Colonel Charles H. Young in a pop-up exhibit June 3- July 6 in the Southlake Public Library, 1400 Main St.

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 included in the exhibit.

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 flew paratroopers and towed artillery filled gliders to targets 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. 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 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 authentic WWII helmets, medals and other items owned by history enthusiast and UNT student Paul Porter of Southlake.

Library hours are 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, closed Sunday. The exhibit is free. Learn more about the Southlake Historical Society here.