05 June 2012

5 June 1944

C.P.O Battle Station.

2230:- To G.Q. Heading for French Invasion Coast!

2300:- All secure. Report from the bridge -- All secure.

2400:- Flashes of anti-aircraft fire seen on horizon. Star shells 280° (true bearing)

0100:- Large concentrations of aircraft passing over above cloud ceiling. Landing craft as far as the eye can see both fore and aft. Anti-aircraft flashes much more definite on the horizon. Eight miles from anchorage. Ration one delivered and consumed at 0045.

0107:- C-47 transport over stern. Landing craft close on port bow.

0125:- Topside for a few minutes. Short burst of ack-ack off the port bow. Trajectory appears to be almost parallel to horizon. Mine-swept channel marked with flares -- red to starboard, white to port. Not much activity at present. Landing craft not easily visible. Sky remains overcast with moon lighting up the clouds to the left of the sky aft. Fifteen minutes to anchor.

0135:- Large numbers of C-47 transports overheard returning to England after depositing paratroopers at the bast of the Cherbourg peninsula. Otherwise quiet.

0235:- Anchor.

0330:- Activity reported along beach. Went topside to observe.

0345:- Far off starboard quarter activity cited. Constant drone of engine noise, constant rumble of drums with staccato concussions superimposed. Occasional flash of ack-ack exploding. More constant explosions sighted on beach as the strings of bombs are laid down. Wind sharp and gusty -- moon hidden beneath thin layer of clouds.

0400:- C-47 transports still passing over -- must have deposited a tremendous number of paratroopers. These C-47 just zoomed over fan-tail. Hell of a demanding noise -- stomach settles when their zoom is not followed by an explosion. Under weigh.

0515:- Proceeding toward final position for attack. Word just passed that we have anchored again in our firing position. Due to commence firing at 0550. Bridge dispatcher describes the loss of several of our planes -- falling to earth like small comets -- exploding in a geyser of flame when they land. Hope none of the CA37 boys are up there as yet. In condition Yoke Easy -- have just had coffee, a “Dagwood” sandwich and a chocolate bar. Ready to prepare for firing.

Image courtesy OmahaBeach.org

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