Men of D-Day


    
 Troop Carrier
Michael N. Ingrisano
Robert E. Callahan
Benjamin F. Kendig
John R. Devitt
Arthur W. Hooper
Ward Smith
Julian A. Rice
Charles E. Skidmore
Sherfey T. Randolph
Louis R. Emerson Jr.
Leonard L. Baer
Robert D. Dopita
Harvey Cohen
Zane H. Graves
John J. Prince
Henry C. Hobbs
John C. Hanscom
Charles S. Cartwright
 
 82nd Airborne
Leslie Palmer Cruise Jr.
Marie-T Lavieille
Denise Lecourtois
Howard Huebner
Malcolm D. Brannen
Thomas W. Porcella
Ray T. Burchell
Robert C. Moss
Richard R. Hill
Edward W. Shimko
 
 101st Airborne
John Nasea, Jr
David 'Buck' Rogers
Marie madeleine Poisson
Roger Lecheminant
Dale Q. Gregory
George E. Willey
Raymond Geddes
 
 Utah Beach
Joseph S. Jones
Jim McKee
Eugene D. Shales
Milton Staley
 
 Omaha Beach
Melvin B. Farrell
James R. Argo
Carl E. Bombardier
Robert M. Leach
Joseph Alexander
James Branch
John Hooper
Anthony Leone
George A. Davison
James H. Jordan
Albert J. Berard
Jewel M. Vidito
H. Smith Shumway
Louis Occelli
John H. Kellers
Harley A. Reynolds
John C. Raaen
Wesley Ross
Richard J. Ford
William C. Smith
Ralph E. Gallant
James W. Gabaree
James W. Tucker
Robert Watson
Robert R. Chapman
Robert H. Searl
Leslie Dobinson
William H. Johnson
 
 Gold Beach
George F. Weightman
Norman W. Cohen
Walter Uden
 
 Juno Beach
Leonard Smith
 
 Sword Beach
Brian Guy
 
 6th Airborne
Roger Charbonneau
Frederick Glover
Jacques Courcy
Arlette Lechevalier
Charles S. Pearson
 
 U.S.A.A.F
Harvey Jacobs
William O. Gifford
 
Civils
Philippe Bauduin
Albert Lefevre
René Etrillard
Suzanne Lesueur
 

 

George A. Davison
Omaha Beach - 320th AAA Barrage Balloon Battalion, VLA.

The following letter written by Sgt. George Davison, son of Mr. and Mrs Frederick Davison, of West Franklin Street, describing the invasion, was received by his wife, Mrs. Mary Reeves Davison and son Richard, a few days ago. The letter was written June 14. Two other (Davison) brothers are in the service, one in England and the other in New Guinea.

"I am writing you my first letter since I left England. You know I told you in my letter previous to this one, it would be some time before I would be able to write you. Well that time has over lapsed now. I don't know whether to say I am a lucky man. You know the war separated us for a while, but after laying in my hole in the ground and listening to bullets go over my head bursting beside me, not more than reaching distance away, I have come to the conclusion that there is one with more power than the walking, would stand by me and see me home again. I have experienced something that few have in the world because these few who hit France before we did said it was hell. I have seen things happen worse than things in the World War.

I don't know how much they will allow me to write in this letter, but I came to France just a few hours after the first ones. I am in good health and condition. I don't have a scratch on me. I have been to church and Sunday School and asked forgiveness of everything I ever done to anyone and prayed. There was not a moment that I was not thinking about everyone back home. All sorts of thoughts came through my mind. After I had secured myself firmly in the ground like a ground hog. I felt a little bit better. I could write page after page of about what happened. Probably it would be cut out, but nevertheless I will have lots to tell when I get home. I hope that won't be too long. You can realize how much it means to one when they are living the life I am. A dinner of beans would taste like turkey to me. Write me and tell me what went on in the States and at home on the day of Invasion. Well, ours was a day of ducking bullets and anything that would kill a man. I an still trying to take care of myself. They told us not to keep any diary of anything that went on at this time.
I know they must have been worried about me. Tell them I am thankful and still carrying my old nick name of "Stuff".
I hope I shall see you and Ritchie and you all soon."

The following Stars and Stripes article by Allan Morrison tells of the Unit my father, George Davison, was with but does not list the Unit by name. The Unit was 320th AAA Barrage Balloon Battalion, VLA (Very Low Altitude).
"Balloon Umbrella Raised on D-Day Has Sheltered the Beachheads Since" by Allan Morrison (Stars and Stripes Staff Writer)
A U.S. BEACHHEAD, July 5---

During and since D-Day barrage balloons flown by a Negro barrage balloon battalion have provided a screen of rubber several miles long on the two main beachheads, assisting in the protection of troop landings and the unloading of supplies. There are two significant aspects of this unit's work. First, the VLA (very low altitude) balloons confounded sceptics; their part in keeping enemy raiders above effective strafing altitude. Second, the unit has the distinction of being the only Negro combat group included in the first assault forces to hit the coasts. The balloons were flown across the channel from hundreds of landing craft, three men to a balloon, and taken ashore under savage fire from shore batteries. Some of the men died alongside the infantryman they came in to protect, and their balloons drifted off. But the majority struggled to shore with their balloons and light winches and set up for operation in foxholes on the beach. The balloons still fly as protective umbrellas, some from the sites taken under 88 fire, others snugly established in former German pillboxes built into the cliffs and man their balloons around the clock. The balloons are armed with a lethal device attached to the cable. Should an enemy pilot try to fly through the barrage and strike a cable, the device releases a "flying mine" which explodes against the plane. The unit's first kill came recently when a JU88 ran afoul of the cable supporting the balloon of commanded by Cpl. George Alston, of Norfolk, Va. Pride of the battalion is a group of medics who covered themselves with glory on D-Day by landing in the face of heavy fire to set up a first aid station on that beach.
The men praised by the unit's CO, Lt. Col. Leon Reed, of Middleboro, Ky., are:
Capt. Robert E. Devitt, Chicago, Ill.;
S/Sgt Alfred Bell, Memphis Tenn.;
Cpl. Waverly B. Woodson Jr., Philadelphia;
Cpl. Eugene Worthy, Memphis, Tenn.;
Pfc. Warren W. Capers, Kenbridge, Va.

All have been recommended for decorations."

From my father George's written account :
"..........Then came the time for the business at hand, we were told that we would be attached to the 1st Army and land with them. Also they would be our mothers because they knew what the score was they had been through the Italy Campaign and had landed or made a beach there. We were to ask them anything that might puzzle us because they were already told to help us any way possible we were Greene Troups. They did just that, on my boat there was 1 Balloon crew and myself and one other colored soldier, we ask a lot of questions. And we were answered promptly and kindly. These men of the 1st Army were of the best group of men I had come in contact with any where. The ones with the Western Southern or New England accent, it didn't make any difference they were all the same........
.........As a truck went down the ramp, I grabbed on to the racks and this truck went out of sight so I let go of the truck racks thinking to myself I'll try and make it on my own, I can swim and that vehicle might keep me down for some reason in that deep water. So there I am in that water, with to much weight, so I shrugged my shoulders and off went my musette bag.........
.......all the time this was happening the enemy was putting down a steady stream of cross fire, we were let off in to deep waters. I believe the Lord was on my side because if he would have let just one of those tracers hit those 105 Hw shells it would have been all over. You could have taken the skillet off the stove cause the gas would have been gone!"

Sgt Davison was onboard an LCT, # 608. George died 01 Oct 2002 at the age of 80 years. I heard him say little about the D-Day Invasion but as I look at his photos and read his words about that day in June, it was an experience that greatly affected his life.

This story is published with the permission of George A. Davison's Son : William A. Davison.