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
 

 

 Ralph E. Gallant
Motor Machinist's Mate 2/c - LCT(6) 546

As a young sailor just getting to England was a chore, with the U-boats, bad weather, we lost all Life Boats, Rafts, had to return to East Coast landing in St Johns Newfoundland for repairs, and replacement of lost rafts, life boats, repairing damaged gun tubs, hull damage, propeller repair. As one blade of a 5 bladed propeller had broke off the tip, Divers cut other 4 blades to same length, gave us slower speed, no vibration. This damage repair took 3 weeks, we were then sent to sea, and a new convoy landed at King George IV Dock, Millwall Dock part of London,(we were 87 days out of New York, NY.) with a LCT in 3 pieces.
While it was being assembled I lived in a Seamans Hostel, with the Blitz going on nightly. At night as the German aircraft dropped bombs on the area,we were instructed to go to the Bomb Shelters, here we met the people that had been going thru this type of bombing nightly for years. We seen lots of London flattened, but they still believed in the end it would turn out better for all. All ships would fire as well as guns thru out the city.

One day we had the LCT(6) 546 assembled, supplied, Myself and 2 crew members moved aboard. Commanding Officer Jerome T. Landsberger Ensign USNR, arrived with the rest of our crew, we were ordered to move vessel to Dartmouth England. This done, we did a few practice landings, later was moved to Portland-Weymouth Harbor loaded with Army vehicles and men. As the German aircraft flew over head dropping bombs and mines in to the harbor, we knew our time to leave was close.

At 0300 (3 am) on June 5th, we started engines and moved out of the harbor, weather was real bad, it was a bad day, high seas, impossible to steer these flat bottom, over loaded vessels. We were instructed to return to harbor. Lots of ship had problems getting turned around, we returned to harbor anchored, all during this time the Minesweeper ships were clearing harbor of floating mines.

Next morning we started the engines at 0300 (3am), and with others departed the harbor, sea was calmer, we ran up the English Channel made our turn and headed for France. Our landing area was Omaha (red) Beach, Normandy France, by now every one knew this was going to be a tough day. We wanted to land, others wanted us kept off the beach. We were to be in 6th wave, but ended up earlier. We needed to get in to spot where we could off load vehicles, we moved over, the German 88 fired over us, small arms fire was sweeping our bow, one vehicle got off , but couldn't make it to the beach, raised the ramp to waters edge, retracted to make a better landing.
Noticed several wounded men in water, CO, moved us over closer to the men in the water. I was instructed to lower ramp more, then myself and John E. Foulk went down the ramp, pulled the men we could reach on to the ramp, Army men aboard pulled wounded aboard for what little medical we could give. We had collected 20 bodys. After off loading Army men and gear, we went to Hospital Ship for our off loading of wounded..
Then we did our job of off loading all the supplies and moving them to the beach, we ran day and night, till the storm hit. We had damage , we lost our ramp, we found a small river with several damaged LCT's, we removed a ramp with the help of the Army, crane and men, we were back at work hauling supplies. The ship break water was installed, made of cement ships and old ships sunk to form a harbor for us.
Some of us at later date got to make trip to Paris.. Great..

In November I returned to USA, then was sent to Pacific, made invasion of Okinawa, seen several islands, then sent to Leyte, Philippines..
Served aboard LCT (6) 546 in Europe, LST 284, LCI (G) 346 in Pacific. I was Regular Navy, after war decided I needed a change, took discharge from US Navy, one day, joined U.S.Coast Guard the next, stayed in service served 23 1/2 years and retire. Senior Chief Engineman..

Ralph E. Gallant     (November 20, 2006)