Ninety-nine-year-old WWII veteran Warren Goss will travel to Normandy, France, to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, and Thursday morning the Veterans Breakfast Club is honoring him for his service before he embarks on his journey.

Elected officials will participate in the ceremony with VBC founder and executive director Todd DePastino, set for at the Pittsburgh International Airport Southwest ticketing counters in the Landside Terminal near the “Arch” bridge sculpture.

“It is a distinct pleasure for the VBC and the local community to honor Warren for his service before he embarks on his journey back to Normandy,” DePastino said.

A photo of Warren Goss during his time during World War II in France. (Courtesy of Crestwood School Oral History Project)

Eighty years ago, on June 6, 1944, U.S. Army Pvt. Warren Goss landed before the first wave on Utah Beach with the 531st Special Brigade, according to a VBC news release. His job was to clear mines and obstacles so that subsequent waves of infantry could land and create a beachhead for the final drive for the liberation of Europe from Nazi occupation.

Goss sent a photo home to his mother in Gibsonia weeks later. “Dear Mom,” he wrote on the back. “I made it.” 

A rifleman, sharpshooter and scout, Goss fought through the Normandy Campaign, the Siegfried Line, the Battle of the Bulge and the Rhineland Offensive. He came home and prepared for the invasion of Japan, which was canceled after Japan’s surrender on Aug. 14, 1945. After spending 33 months in the Army, he left in 1945, according to an interview on the VBC website.

Elected officials scheduled to attend Thursday’s event are state Sen. Devlin Robinson, R-Robinson, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps and fought in Afghanistan and Iraq; U.S. Rep. Chris Deluzio, D-Aspinwall, a former U.S. Navy officer; state Rep. Valerie Gaydos, R-Allegheny; Allegheny County Councilman Sam DeMarco, a former U.S. Marine Corps veteran; and Allegheny County Executive Sara Innamorato.

Goss, who lives in Ohio Township, with his wife of 74 years, Mary, will be traveling to Normandy with his daughter, Rhonda Goss, and a nephew, Glenn Goss.

He has spoken at many VBC events in the Pittsburgh area and to students at the Crestwood School in Toronto via Zoom in 2023 for the students’ oral history project.  In 2014 KDKA-TV recorded his D-Day recollections at a Beaver County 70th anniversary remembrance ceremony of the invasion.

Warren G. Goss of Ohio Township. (Courtesy of Veterans Breakfast Club)

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Pittsburgh Union Progress

The PUP is the publication of the striking workers at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.