Wednesday, June 26, 2019

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World War II documentary features Marcella LeBeau


Normandy nurses such as LeBeau share their stories in film Angels in our Midst

This weekend, South Dakota Public Broadcasting will air Angels In Our Midst a documentary featuring American nurses who participated in the Normandy Invasion and played important roles during the European Theater of World War II.

One nurse featured in the film is Eagle Butte resident and WWII veteran Marcella LeBeau (Oohenumpa, who served as a 1st Lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps, and whose duties took her to many battles across Europe.

LeBeau was present on the beaches of Normandy during the D-Day Invasion, helping wounded service members with medical aid. In the film, LeBeau shares her first-hand accounts of the battle and what she experienced.

“I could see this plane coming and strafing the nurse’s area. Esther came to my ward, our tent had been hit and she picked up the shrapnel that went through our tent,” recalled LeBeau.

On the 60th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion, LeBeau travelled back to France to receive the French Legion Medal of Honor, the highest French decoration awarded.

The film shows archival photos and video footage of LeBeau’s return to Normandy Beach, where she gathers beach sand, and in a very poignant moment, says a prayer.

Throughout the film, viewers are treated to similarly intimate and important stories of brave nurses, called “angels in our midst”. The 54-minute documentary will air on Sunday, May 26, at 10pmCT/9MT on SDPB1.