- Associated Press - Saturday, August 9, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A longtime South Carolina engineer who was 19 when he parachuted behind enemy lines to prepare for D-Day is addressing University of South Carolina students at summer graduation.

Leif Erik Maseng is receiving an honorary degree of doctor of engineering at Saturday’s ceremony.

Maseng was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, which cleared the way for the D-Day beach landings in Normandy. He also served as a paratrooper during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. U.S. forces fought off a German counteroffensive that was intended to cut through the Allied forces and turn the tide of the war in Hitler’s favor.

After the war, Maseng studied engineering at the University of Illinois. He joined Wilbur Smith and Associates in Columbia in 1964.

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