Just days before his 100th birthday, World War II veteran and D-Day survivor Charles A. Maupin died Saturday morning in his sleep, his family reported on social media.
Maupin had shared his story of storming the beaches of Normandy in 1944 in a battle that changed the course of history many times. He recently shared with WRBL anchor Phil Scoggins for the 75th anniversary in June.
“It is with much sorrow that the family of Charles A. Maupin inform his many Facebook friends of his death,” the family posted. “He passed quietly in his sleep early this morning from heart issues. We thank you for all the love and encouragement you’ve blessed him with through the years. Funeral arrangements will be posted.”
The family and friends had been planning a 100th birthday party on Nov. 4 at Covenant Woods, where Maupin lived. He was also scheduled to be the grand marshal at the Columbus Veterans Day parade.
Unlike many his age, Maupin embraced social media and had many Facebook friends on communicated with him regularly. One of his last posts was a photo showing the view this week from his hospital bed at St. Francis Hospital.
Tributes to Maupin’s Facebook page are being posted today.
“The Soldiers who landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day showed courage and determination that you can’t imagine,” Maupin said in 2014. “I can’t imagine exactly how they felt. I landed on the second day when the beach area had just been cleared.
“It was the most dramatic moment of my life. The whole operation was so overwhelming that it was hard to absorb everything that was going on. There were ships all over carrying thousands of troops toward Normandy, thousands of planes flying over and battleships firing their guns. It was all so awesome. It’s indescribable, really. If you weren’t there and didn’t see it, you really can’t describe the scope and immensity of it. It was the greatest amphibious operation in military history. It was something to be a part of.”
Maupin spent nearly three years in the Army.
“I spent 34 months and eight days in service, with 28 months overseas,” Maupin said in the 2014 interview. “In all those 34 months, I never went home. I left home on December 8, 1942, and I got home October 17, 1945. But, I got home. A lot of guys didn’t.”