LCI Flotilla Two (32 ships)
left Torquay England early June 6 or June 5 with troops and barrage
balloons and proceeded to Utah Beach. Each ship carried about 125
fully armed infantrymen in heavy seas.
Just after daybreak, we reached
a marked (by buoys) supposedly swept lane to head for the beaches.
An LCT (#777) cut across our starboard bow and was several hundred
feet ahead when it struck a mine. The bow went straight up spilling
6-bys trucks and personnel into the channel. It sank in a few minutes.
We picked up a sailor with his life jacket on but unconscious or
dead and our corpsman worked on him over an hour while the ship
was bucking in heavy sea but to no avail. We transferred the body
to a troop ship later.
Word came to us that the higher-ups decided that the gradual sloped
beaches would cause the troops to have to wade too far to get to
A group of LCVP's came along
side and took our troops off and took them in. German shore guns
walked out to us in several places when we first tried but air cover
kept them inoperative in most cases. We never had to look up when
a plane flew over. The German Airforce was finished except for a
few that came at night.
We had to tie up to a Liberty
ship after loosing bow and stern anchors. At night on 7, the line
we used to tie to the Liberty broke and we started engines and not
knowing the line had broke at the Liberty and the line came under
our ship and fouled the screws shutting down the engines. We drifted
to shore going between the steel obstacles and finally going high
and dry at low tide. Fortunately the shore batteries had been destroyed.
The next morning the crew put ladders over the side and took hack
saws and cut the lines off the shafts. An anchor was borrowed from
a LCT and attached to the stern anchor cable which was attached
to a motorized winch. An Army bulldozer took the anchor out as far
as it could and buried it. At high tide, we pulled ourselves off.
After that we were used for
hauling troops and supplies from various points on the Normandy
beaches and finally we took a load of walking wounded to England
on June 22-23.
We experienced several of V-1 weapons before leaving England and
was amazed to watch the British Spitfires fly alongside the "buzz
bombs" using their wing tips to turn the weapons away from their
courses towards London. That's about it.
Thanks for the opportunity.
Sincerely, Joseph S. Jones, former Gunner's Mate 1/c on LCI
#5 (May 05, 1999)