By Grant Segall  | The Plain Dealer

World War II Veteran – D-Day Survivor

David E. Silva promised God to become a priest if he survived World War II.

He won two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Starthen came home and served several parishes in the Cleveland diocese.

“It’s a mystery,” he told The Plain Dealer in 1999 about surviving the war, “why one is taken and the other is left.”

The tall, genial Silva was born in Maple Heights. His family lost its home in the Depression and moved to Garfield Heights. He attended Holy Name High School and graduated in 1943.

He left a landing craft at Normandy under fire on June 7, 1944. A bullet glanced off his canteen and hit his leg below the knee. He kept fighting. The next day, a fragment from a shell tore up his hand. He kept fighting.

By the end of the invasion, he was the only one of 150 men in his unit still fighting. He was finally discharged as a staff sergeant.

Rev. Silva died Nov. 13, 2010 at St. Augustine Manor at age 85.