Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

June 6: A walk across a beach in Normandy
American Digest ^ | 6/6/2013 | Vanderluen

Posted on 06/06/2013 10:53:26 AM PDT by mojito

Today your job is straightforward. First you must load 40 to 50 pounds on your back. Then you need to climb down a net of rope that is banging on the steel side of a ship and jump into a steel rectangle bobbing on the surface of the ocean below you. Others are already inside the steel boat shouting and urging you to hurry up.

Once in the boat you stand with dozens of others as the boat is driven towards distant beaches and cliffs through a hot hailstorm of bullets and explosions....

In front of you, over the steel helmets of other men, you can see the flat surface of the bow’s landing ramp still held in place against the sea. Soon you are in range of the machine guns that line the beach ahead. The metallic dead sound of their bullets clangs and whines off the front of the ramp. And the coxswain shouts and the bullhorn sounds and you feel the keel of the LST grind against the rocks and sand of Normandy as the large shells from the boats in the armada behind you whuffle and moan overhead and the explosions all around increase in intensity and the bullets from the guns in the cliffs ahead and above shake the boat and the men crouch lower and yet lean, together, forward as, at last, the ramp drops down and you see the beach and the men surge forward and you step with them and you are out in the chill waters of the channel wading in towards sand already doused with death, past bodies bobbing in the surf staining the waters crimson, and then you are on the beach....

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: History; Military/Veterans
KEYWORDS: anniversary; dday; militaryhistory; normandy; ww2; wwii
A moving tribute to men much much better than I will ever be.
1 posted on 06/06/2013 10:53:26 AM PDT by mojito
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: mojito

2 posted on 06/06/2013 11:01:05 AM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mojito

Amen to that. My Dad, 89, was on Omaha Beach, and then on thru Europe to The Battle of The Bulge. He could still kick my butt.

3 posted on 06/06/2013 11:01:54 AM PDT by carriage_hill (Guns kill people, pencils misspell words, cars drive drunk & spoons make you fat.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mojito
If they are listening to the mewling of the effete princes its from high above.
4 posted on 06/06/2013 11:03:28 AM PDT by skeeter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: carriage_hill

My dad was at Utah beach... I guess that was lucky because that beach was not as contested.

However, he said that about a mile inland, German snipers were very busy and you had to walk bent over at the waist. He said he walked like that for so long, that he thought he’d have to walk like that for the rest of his life.

Anyway, he followed Patton across Europe to Germany. He had a lot of stories.

5 posted on 06/06/2013 11:19:24 AM PDT by SMARTY ("The man who has no inner-life is a slave to his surroundings. "Henri Frederic Amiel)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: mojito
What a wonderful post!

….This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day. Henry V, Shakespeare

6 posted on 06/06/2013 11:27:44 AM PDT by Portcall24
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: carriage_hill

Ping for later

7 posted on 06/06/2013 11:38:59 AM PDT by Chainmail (A simple rule of life: if you can be blamed, you're responsible.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]


Get him in a talking mood and record him!!!

Then make a book

We need to hear it

8 posted on 06/06/2013 11:47:33 AM PDT by Mr. K (There are lies, damned lies, statistics, and democrat talking points.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Mr. K

He’s gone now. He told me a lot of things. We sat on the porch and he let me ask.

It was toward the end. He never talked about all that when I was young.

I read military history as a hobby and I think he was surprised that I was interested.

9 posted on 06/06/2013 11:57:46 AM PDT by SMARTY ("The man who has no inner-life is a slave to his surroundings. "Henri Frederic Amiel)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

I'm at work and it's a slow day and I just started writing this because of D-Day. I'll finish it later but I wanted to post this in commemoration.


June 6, 2013

On this anniversary of the Normandy invasion to liberate Europe, I am reminded of a couple of men that helped save America in two different wars, two different eras.
The first, my grandfather, participated in the War effort in the 1940’s as an electronic engineer developing something we take for granted every day in almost every aspect of our lives with one small exception, the speeding motorist. I’m talking about RADAR.
At the beginning of WWII, very few of our ships had the capability of detecting other ships and aircraft other than the eyeballs of the posted lookouts.
Radar was a very new technology that was still being refined and the United States Navy was in a race to get the latest technology installed on their warships.
My grandfather and grandmother put their lives on hold to spend an entire year in New York working for RCA in the 1940’s.
His job was to install a radar system on Navy ships that came in port one at a time. His team would board the ship, take measurements, engineer the plans and fabricate a working radar system for each ship.
Electronics engineers, machinists, welders and electricians swarmed the ship and after 2 or 3 days, the ship left port to go into harm’s way.
Later in life, my grandfather taught electronics engineering at Texas A&M. While I was serving in the US NAVY I got a call that he had passed away. I was at a radar school in San Diego.

The second, my father, spent 53 years working as a civilian for the Department of Defense at Kelly Air Force Base, Texas as an electronics engineer like his father.
Before being hired by the DoD, he was working as a broadcast engineer for a local radio station, but with a growing family, the need for higher pay and job security pressed him into applying for the job at Kelly AFB.
Eight months before I was born, he was hired and told to report on a day that was a federal holiday. He showed up anyway and was told to go home.
The next day he began a 53 year career that took him around the world and helped shaped world history.
Unfortunately, most of the details of his travels have to remain in the dark and unreported due to the sensitive nature of his job, however some of them can be told because they were long ago.

My father’s job as an electronics engineer was to design and install electronic listening devices on aircraft that would gather intelligence by collecting information on electronic transmissions and emanations known as Signals Intelligence, or SIGINT.
This was a fairly new method of gaining Intel in the 50’s and my father helped develop highly selective, very sensitive amplifiers and data collection devices that helped the US win the cold war.
During my childhood, I remember my father being gone for weeks at a time, returning in the late evening most of the time. My mother would grab all three of us boys and go pick up dad at Kelly Air Force Base because we only had one car.

Dad died on Good Friday of this year after suffering Alzheimer’s, but I remember the few stories he was allowed to tell us and I wanted to remember him and my grandfather on this day. They didn’t put their lives on the line like the boys of Normandy, but they played a small part in keeping America safe.

10 posted on 06/06/2013 12:33:40 PM PDT by red-dawg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Portcall24

I think of this:

It’s the same in every country
When you say you’re leaving
Left behind the loved ones
Waiting silent in the hall

Where you’re going, lies adventure
Others only dream of
Red and green light, this is real
And so you go to war

For the passion, for the glory
For the memories, for the money
You’re a soldier for your country
What’s the difference? All the same

Far away from the land of our birth
We fly a flag in some foreign earth
We sailed away like our fathers before
These colours don’t run from cold, bloody war

There is no one that will save you
Going down in flames
No surrender, certain death
You look it in the eye

On the shores of tyranny
You crashed a human wave
Paying for my freedom
With your lonely unmarked graves

For the passion, for the glory
For the memories, for the money
You’re a soldier for your country
What’s the difference? All the same


11 posted on 06/06/2013 12:41:21 PM PDT by Unknowing (Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]


My grandfather was as well. When asked, he would say “they weren’t there as tourists”. He talked little of it until going to France for the 50th Anniversary. After that, we learned that he was “lucky” to have been in one of the later craft. I found it interesting that you mentioned they had to walk bent over at the waist- he had his hip shattered by rifle fire after he had made it inland “maybe a mile”. Makes me wonder if that was his highest point at that moment and gives me even more of a picture of him. He said he was propped up against a fence pole so that when medics got there they would recognize him as one that might live with their attention.

12 posted on 06/06/2013 4:29:49 PM PDT by philled (If this creature is not stopped it could make its way to Novosibirsk!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: philled
It all began for most at Normandy. My father was Army Air Force.

But for them, the fight started earlier.

They were stationed at air fields in S. England....and had been bombed routinely leading up to the invasion.

The one time my father actually cried was when he talked about night drills to scramble aircraft in the dark. A soldier backed up his jeep into a prop.

Also, he was very emotional talking about crews sitting out on the tarmac until their ship would return, after a raid. He said that crew members didn't go the into mess until their ship returned. He said that sitting there in the mess looking at guys still out on the tarmac, who were waiting for their ship long after any possibility of its return, was difficult. He said 'we couldn't even eat'.

13 posted on 06/07/2013 4:02:05 AM PDT by SMARTY ("The man who has no inner-life is a slave to his surroundings. "Henri Frederic Amiel)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson