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Max Eugene Hollander is a fixture in Jefferson County.  He has lived 87 of his 90 years on the same farmland northwest of Fairfield.  Born there in a farmhouse in 1922, his only time away from the family farmland was his three years of service in the 843rd Engineers Aviation Battalion during World War II.   ÒIÕd never been out of Iowa until I entered the service,Ó he says.<br />
	Hollander landed at Utah Beach at daybreak on D-Day. ÒThere was such a mass of planes over us, the sun was not visible,Ó he recalls.  <br />
He and fellow soldiers fought their way through five feet of rough seawater toward the beach while under heavy German fire.  ÒWe were scared to death at all times,Ó Hollander says, noting many soldiers drowned after being shot, or succumbed to the strong currents.  ÒThe waters were quite red,Ó he said.<br />
Hollander credits the work ethic he formed as a farmer as having helped save his life on D-Day.  ÒThe guys that had to work when they were younger were the guys that got ashore.Ó  <br />
Once his unit established a foothold inland, Hollander joined in the task of building landing strips for Allied airplanes to use for refueling in Normandy. ÒWe felt like we were an important cog in the wheel.  We saved a lot of pilots from getting shot down by having an airfield for them to land on.Ó<br />
A sense of pride and purpose came home with Hollander after the war when he returned to build a successful farming business in Fairfield in 1945.  It still rings true with him today.  ÒBe ambitious, try to help others. Be a service to your community, do your job well and be honest with people.Ó<br />
(Christopher Gannon/The Register)  --  DES.m0606dday - shot by Christopher Gannon/The Register on 5/23/12 in Fairfield, IA

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Copyright Christopher Gannon