JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Arthur Wood is a Jacksonville hero.
His name is etched in the Memorial Wall downtown, under the Andrew Jackson High School heading.
He invaded Normandy from the skies as a fighter pilot on June 6, 1944. He flew a successful D-Day mission and came back to his base.
But it was the next day that would prove to be his last.
"The next day his friend was sick," said his granddaughter Dru'Anne Singletary. We spoke from the World War II section of MOSH in downtown Jacksonville, where there is an exhibit dedicated to Mr. Wood.
A sick call sealed her grandfather's fate.
"So he stepped up and took his friend's mission on the 7th, and he never returned. His plane was shot down."
Wood was declared missing in action for a full year until his remains were finally discovered.
Now his picture, story and even some artifacts from his plane are on display at MOSH.
"It's amazing to see, it's really emotional," Singletary said. "It's amazing to look at his picture and then my high school yearbook photo, they're identical."
Be sure to follow along on First Coast News as Jeannie Blaylock and Lewis Turner travel to Normandy to report from the same beaches and cliffs the Allies stormed on D-Day.
This is the 75th anniversary of the invasion, and we'll have live coverage beginning June 2 on First Coast News.