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My Normandy Invasion — by Rocky

Today it is November 7, 2002 and it is 3:00am and I can’t sleep so I am writing about "My Normandy Invasion."

On June 08, I was aboard a troop ship anchored off the coast of Normandy, France. We were waiting to disembark into landing crafts.At about 1200, we were ordered to start climbing down the rope ladders into to landing crafts. We were crowded together and soon the boat headed toward the beach.

TBeach headhe boat hit a summerged obstacle and they lowered the front ramp and told us to jump out the sides of the ramp because it could not be lowered any further.

My buddy, a tall Texan, jumped in front of me and then I jumped. The water was a little over my head and my buddy grabbed me and pulled me toward shore.

I am 5’4" tall and he was over 6" tall. If he hadn’t pulled me toward shore, I would have drowned for sure, because I had an 80-pound pack on my back an ammunition belt full of bullets, canteen, and bayonet, two bandoleers strips full of clips and two grenades along with a rifle and a steel helmet.

I was really weighed down. Thanks to my buddy, I made it to shore.

As I neared the beach I had to go around dead bloated American soldiers, and on the beach was dead bloated horses and cows. The stench was sickening, as was the sight of dead soldiers.

From there on, I had to crawl, run zig zag, crawl and run zig zag until I reached the sand dune. All the while, a German machine gun was raking the beach with bullets.

At the sand dune, I was next to a captain and we looked over the sand dune and could see coiled barb wire and through the wire we could see the German pillbox that was firing at the soldiers arriving at the beach.

The captain called for a "bangalore torpedo," (this is a long hollow tube filled with explosives) it soon reached the captain and he pushed it threw the opening in the barbed wire and blew a large hole in the wire.

He told me to crawl through and the rest of the men followed us into a gully and we crawled up the gully until we were aside of the pillbox.

The captain then called for a "satchel charge."( a satchel full of explosives) and that soon arrived and he told me to take off my back pack and take the satchel charge and run to the front of the pillbox and set the charge and run back as fast as I could. I ran as fast as I could both ways.

The charge went off and blew a hole in the wall and the men captured or killed the stunned German soldiers inside the pillbox.

This pillbox would no longer machine gun our troops still coming ashore.

A pillbox has a long slit in the front of it and this is where the Germans fire

Out the front to anything that is in front of them. They have no vision out of the sides of the pillbox.

We advanced through the town of Sainte Mere –Eglise that was freed by the 101 Airborne. Here we saw a man in a parachute. His parachute was caught on a barn with him just hanging there. We yelled to him that we were Americans. There was no movement from him. We assumed that he was dead. The Captain ordered two men to get up there and cut him down.

We continued on to the hedgerows where we met the German soldiers and our fighting begun.

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