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Volunteers' search helps honor Sagle native

| June 8, 2024 1:00 AM

In preparation for honoring the sacrifice of Sagle native Private Frank Bradetich, killed on Omaha Beach during the June 6, 1944, D-Day invasion, Bonner County Museum volunteers Will Valentine and Ken Conger studied actual Omaha Beach maps and documents that were used on the beach that day.

Bradetich, who has many family members still living in Bonner County, was a member of Company G, 2nd Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, which landed on the Easy Red sector of Omaha Beach, Conger and Valentine said of what they discovered in their research.

Pvt. Bradetich performed an act of gallantry before being killed attacking German defended Normandy Coast. Bradetich was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for Gallantry. The family has no specifics of what their loved one did to earn the award, Conger said. The Silver Star is the third highest military combat decoration that can be awarded to members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

D-Day was the largest amphibious invasion ever accomplished," Conger said. "Over 150,000 Allied soldiers, sailors and airmen took part in the first day of retaking German-occupied France. Over 7,000 vessels crossed the English Channel delivering men and materiel to the shores of Normandy. 4,414 were killed in action on the first day, of which 2,501 were Americans.  

The Bonner County History Museum is located at 611 S. Ella Ave. near Lakeview Park in Sandpoint. The museum can be found online at bonnercountyhistory.org and reached by phone at 208-263-2344.

    A photo of Frank Bradetich who was killed on Omaha Beach during the June 6, 1944, D-Day invasion.
 
 
    A photo of Frank Bradetich's grave at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer France. The Sagle native was killed on Omaha Beach during the June 6, 1944, D-Day invasion.
 
 
    Bonner County History Museum volunteers Will Valentine and Ken Conger are pictured studying Omaha Beach maps and documents used during the D-Day invasion as they prepared for a recent exhibit honoring the life of Sagle native Private Frank Bradetich who killed on Omaha Beach June 6, 1944.