22 July 2013
15 June 1944
D + 9
0145:- Secure from G.Q.
0225:- Returned to bed -- just dropping off when the whistle screamed again. Back to G.Q. Enemy aircraft have been dropping flares lighting up the whole sector. Bombing the beach rather briskly -- considerable anti-aircraft barrage from our shore installations. We can here the explosions here below decks. All in readiness -- waiting.
0305:- Quiet -- waiting.
0530:- Secure from G.Q. Daylight. Had a little nap between 0400 and 0530. Returned to bed (again!)
1015:- Up at 0730. Routine sick call. Trying to teach myself to type -- very laborious -- hard to keep awake this morning. This morning’s press news -- that we have temporarily lost Montebourg, Tilly and Troard. Also a note in the news that Secretary Forrestal in his weekly press conference published the names of the ships of war making up this American portion of the Allied Fleet. (Battle ships NEVADA, ARKANSAS, and TEXAS, cruisers AUGUSTA, TUSCALOOSA, and QUINCY.) Now we know -- as we have suspected -- that the people at home are aware of our location and probable function. It is rather disquieting to realize the tremendous concern that they must feel. Wish we could let them know that we are secure -- at least for the moment.
2400:- Prophylactic G.Q. (I hope). Not much activity during this period. Some A.A. fire from the beach and an occasional plane heard overhead. We are now flag for Com. Task Force 129 Made up of the U.S.S. NEVADA, ARKANSAS, and TEXAS (battleships) and the U.S.S. TUSCALOOSA, QUINCY, AUGUSTA, H.M.S. BLACK PRINCE, ENTERPRISE, GLASGOW, and WARSPITE along with about 15-20 cans. Our job will be to support the 1st U.S.A. in the conquest of the Cherbourg peninsula. At present we are all sitting here like clay pigeons -- firing an occasional salvo while the Nazis drop their calling cards at night. Somebody certainly was fouled up when it came to supplying ammunition for this evolution. Imagine planning an invasion and then having insufficient ammunition. (Situation soon corrected.) It is bad for the crew’s morale to sit here just taking it and not being able to dish it out in return. These battle wagons are really quite defenseless against night bombing activity, as radar isn’t sensitive enough to control A.A. fire. So far we haven’t fired a shot at enemy aircraft. The talk among the crew is “Wo ist die Luftwaffe?” -- and the chances are fairly good that we will discover “where” before this is through, for we have some weeks yet to go before our part of the task can be secured.
Posted by E. Belanger at 08:32