"The Germans were having target practice with us because we couldn't shoot at them. They were too far away," says Staymates. "They were up on such an angle they could get us with their high-powered machine guns."
More than 2,000 American soldiers were killed on June 6th, 1944.
"General Eisenhower told us before we kicked off there would be a large number of losses, so you were prepared for it, I think, but if you had never been in combat before, and I hadn't and many of the guys beside me hadn't, no matter how bad you thought it was going to be, it was unbelievable," says Staymates.
Regardless of his Bronze Star and Purple Heart, Staymates says he's not a hero. He says he did what he had to.
"We were all really young kids when you evaluate it now from my age looking back," says Staymates. "And we didn't know any better, and it's a good thing we didn't because there is nothing else you could do."
For years he's been in touch with the two other men still alive from his squad that fought with him on D-Day. They haven't met since then.
"We'd talk about how lucky we are, how lucky we were," says Staymates. "Can't talk about that other stuff. I wouldn't know what to say. They were great people. They are great people."