Table of Contents

D-Day, June 6, 1944

This photo was probably taken on D-Day plus three of the Normandy Invasion. I was on L.S.T. #59 with 4000 other ships taking part in the landing. This photo shows several of the L.S.Ts (Landing Ship Tanks) on the beach unloading men, tanks, trucks, and other equipment.

Our captain wanted to be the first L.S.T. on the beach and we were, but he forgot to drop the stern anchor. The anchor was connected to a winch to help us get off the beach. Because of that, we were stuck on the beach for the first 5 days. During the 3rd day, a flight of B-17’s flew over our ship, bombing the front about 12 miles inland. However, the first wave dropped the bombs and the wind carried the smoke towards our line of men. The second wave of B-17’s bombed our own men by mistakes, thus wounding many men.

We then took 400 wounded back to England aboard our ship, and a few died before we could get them medical help. I told one Navy medical person that one man needed help. His head had a fountain of blood gushing out of the top of it. He ignored me as he was busy helping others. I felt like hitting him to get his attention. It was not a great feeling not being able to help.

We made 65 round trips back and forth from England to the beach in the 18 months following. On one trip we took 1100 prisoners back to England aboard our ship.

On one trip we took tanks to Rouen, France up the Seine river, and another trip to Ostend, Belgium where we unloaded our cargo.

Thousands of men gave their lives for their country on the beaches of France. Many are still there in graves overlooking the beach at Normandy.

Most every man could write a book on his experiences during the invasion. This is just a small part of the history of that “Longest Day”.

Sincerely,

Deane Anderson (Radioman) RM1/c USN

Leave a Reply