Air raid siren alerted Statesboro residents to D-Day attack

Air raid siren alerted Statesboro residents to D-Day attack

STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - We sometimes take instant news coverage for granted these days, but word of the D-Day invasion in France quickly made its way back here to the States.

Within hours of the invasion of Normandy, people in Statesboro knew something was going on - thanks in part to a piece of equipment that is still around today.

The air raid siren sits in the Georgia Southern University Museum. With Statesboro’s airport used as a military landing strip, people worried it might come under German attack. A system of sirens around town served as an alert when when the anticipated allied attack came. Town leaders heard the news around 3 in the morning.

“The mayor waited a short while since it was so early in the morning, then had the wildcat fire siren used around 5:30 in the morning on June 6," said Dr. Brent Tharp, GSU Museum.

People flocked to their radios to hear the correspondent’s account of the attack.

“That was a call for people to attend prayer services at different churches around the country,” Dr. Tharp said.

Tharp says the battle was more than just a news event for people here.

“Everyone knew someone. If they didn’t have a family member there, they had neighbors and family and friends who had people in the Armed Forces that were over there and that this would affect.”

He says a group of Boy Scouts found a horn decades after the war and restored it, then eventually donated it to the museum for people to see and remember for decades to come.

Dr. Tharp says D-Day may have been one of the last times the siren was officially used.

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