George Gilliam Hilliard, now 84, who had been feared killed in action at Normandy on D-Day, has been found in a shack behind a Mutual of Omaha building in Boogersboro, alive and well, wearing a now very tattered Army uniform, and still desperately looking for Omaha Beach, where he was ordered to go fight in 1944.
As it turns out, when the then 19-year-old was ordered to report to his unit, Charley company, 114th Infantry, 28th Division, for what he was told was an invasion of Normandy at the area code-named "Omaha Beach", Hilliard thought he'd meet his comrades directly at the spot of the invasion so he headed for the nearest Mutual of Omaha office, located in Boogersboro.
That's when the mix-up probably occurred.
"He was always a confused teenager, and it turns out that's what saved his life", said George's sister, Utah Beech. "He went to Boogersboro, desperately searching for his unit, but never found them. The important thing is that he never stopped looking. He's a hero."
According to Boogersboro resident Juno Beach Lane, this isn't a real shock. "Stories have circulated throughout Boogersboro for decades about a khaki covered, rifle wielding man marching around town asking where the beach is. Everybody just laughed and thought it was a joke, but I'll be diddled if he was serious."
Another resident, Dee Day Johnson stated, "He was out there every day by the river, walking up and down. One time he asked me if it was the Normandy River. No, I said. This here's the Ohio."
For now, Hilliard is happy to be reunited with his sister and other family members here in Boogertown.*
* Update: George was whisked off to Afghanistan during the night.