The 75th anniversary of World War II’s D-Day is June 6. That invasion in 1944, was the largest military assault by air, land and sea in history. Thousands of American service members died on that day and many more died in the following days, weeks and months until the war ended the following year. Among those that died on June 6, 1944, from Prince George and Hopewell were Staff Sergeant Edward A. Vargo and Private Harry S. Rust.

At the time of his death, S/Sgt. Vargo was survived by his parents, Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Vargo, six sisters, Annie, Esther, Lilly, Ruth, Alice and Mary, and one brother, William Vargo. He died on the day before his 28th birthday and is interred at Normandy American Cemetery in Normandy, France. He still has numerous relatives living in the area that remember his sacrifice and honor him at the Heritage Center Memorial Day Observance.

VargoS/Sgt. Edward A. Vargo

Pvt. Rust was survived by his parents, Mr. & Mrs. L. W. Rust, Sr., two sisters, Melville and Iris Rust, and one brother, Leonard Rust, Jr. He was 28 years old when he died and is interred at the Appomattox Cemetery in Hopewell. If anyone knows any of his relatives, the Heritage Center would like to have their contact information and obtain a better picture him for our Wall of Honor program.

Pvt. Harry S. Rust

On this anniversary of D-Day, please take time to remember their service and the families they left behind, as well as the others from Virginia and the United States that died in service to their country.

To see a complete list of fallen veterans from Prince George and Hopewell from the Civil War to the Global War on Terrorism, visit the Wall of Honor page on the Heritage Center’s website at