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
 

 

Edward W. Shimko
Technical Sergeant - Hq Company 1st Bn. - 325th Glider Infantry Regiment

SWORN STATEMENT OF TECHNICAL SERGEANT EDWARD WILLIAM
SHIMKO WITH REFERENCE GLIDER LANDING IN VICINITY OF
CAEN, FRANCE ON 7 JUNE 1944

My glider load was loaded with equipment the day before we took off, that is, on June 6th. It was inspected and found satisfactory by the glider pilots that day. It was loaded properly and everything was loaded as it should be. We had 22 boxes of AT rifle grenades, 36 rounds of 81 mm mortar ammunition and an 81 mm mortar in it. There were 13 men and pilot and co-pilot to ride.

On June 7th, when we took off we had no trouble on the take-off part. When we were about 300 feet high, being in the air about 10 or 12 minutes, the nose came up about 2 or 2 ½ feet. When it had opened that much we grabbed it, pulled it back a little, and prevented it from opening any further. The co-pilot called the tug plane and had the plane to slow down. That enabled the glider to go along all right. We got ropes and lashed the nose so it could not open any further. We also relatched the nose in place, but it came undone again. However, the ropes held it so it could not open any more than about six or eight inches.

After the nose had come undone the second time we were brought back to Ramsbury Airport, the place from which we had taken off. There they wired the latches together. Then we took off again.
While at the airport, before our second take-off I talked to the tug pilot, and he said he knew the course. The glider pilot was Schuller. The co-pilot was John H. Hampton, APO133.

The second time we took off we went on over to Normandy. We landed north of Caen. The coordinates of the spot where we landed are : CAEN-FALAISE, Scale 1:100,000, Sheet 7F (405.5-173.5), about 3 miles north of Caen.
We came in over the coast of France from north to south to our landing area. We were going at an air speed of about 160 miles per hour, at an altitude of about 50 to 75 feet, just over the tree tops. We were being fired on all the way from the coast to the landing area. When we were cut the glider gained altitude immediately in order to slow down before landing. We were cut by the tug pilot just after the plane had made a 180 degree turn, about 3 miles north of Caen. We landed to the east.

We landed in a field were there were mines, but I don't believe we went over any in the part of the field where we happened to land – at any rate none went off. We cut thru some barbed wire, however, on the landing, which cut up the glider somewhat. At the time we landed it was 0713.

Immediately after landing we scattered and stayed still a few minutes to see what would happen. After that we made a reconnaissance of the immediate vicinity and found no Germans right around there. They had left when we came in. There were trenches all around, about six or eight feet deep and underground living quarters about every 500 yards. Having found no Germans in the immediate vicinity we unloaded the glider and put the equipment and ammunition in hedge rows in the area where we took up a defensive position. I placed guards on the road and went out on patrol with two mens to see where we were and what was around in that area. On patrol we found German artillery. We were fired on, then went back. I had told Sgt. Callier to take over if I didn't return within a designated time limit. I went out on another patrol in another direction and encountered artillery again. After that I figured that we must be two or three miles behind the German front lines, which must be to the north of us. I talked about this with the Pilot, the co-pilot, Sgt ? Callier and the others. We still didn't know where we were.
At about 1000 I went with a patrol of two men to the north, and got to Lion-sur-Mer. As we entered the town the town was being shelled by the British from the sea. The Germans left as we came into the town. We worked our way up to the beach to see if we could make contact with allied troops. There were no landings being made then. The British spotted us and started to fire at us from the boats. We went back at a run into the town. We were shelled in the town.

We took three bicycles there and went back to the unit. Back at the unit the guards had taken a Frenchman who spoke English. He was going back to Caen when he was taken. Thru him and the escape kit map I located our exact position. The Frenchman stayed there with us until we left, or just before we left, When we did go, about 1400 we went to the east of Periers-sur-le-Dan and on toward Luc-sur-Mer. We had decided to go to that place as the Frenchman had told us that the English held that place. How we didn't let the Frenchman knew that's where we were going.

Moving up toward Luc-sur-Mer we found the German front lines in the vicinity of Periers-sur-le-Dan. We came up behind their lines at that point. They fired on us with small arms, mortar and light artillery. We were pinned down for about seven hours.

At about 2300 we crawled back to a wooded area where we made a defense for ourselves. The fighting died down at about 2300.

The next morning, the 8th, the British were shelling around that area. When the British let up on their artillery firing at about 0930 I went with 2 men on patrol and met British marine commandos at about 1100. A British major and an American Lt. Colonel were with them. The American Lt. Colonel must have been a liaison officer of air corps. They asked us about the enemy and then went on into Lion-sur-Mer. They told us to go to Luc-sur-Mer, where we would find the forward echelon of some British headquarters. We went there, rested and got some rations. This was the 8th.

At Luc-sur-Mer we were told to go to a spot west of Bernieres-sur-Mer where some British were landing. We went there, and tried to get some transportation to our unit. Nothing was available. We talked to a British Naval officer and he said he would take the pilot and co-pilot back to England. One of the boys, Pvt. Ibanez went to a British hospital there.

We left that day, June 8th, to go west, to Courseulles-sur-Mer, where we were picked up by British Mps. They put us on a truck and said we would be taken to a British assembly area. We couldn't find the assembly area, so we went to a Canadian supply battalion. There we acted as guards for two and a half days, then left, walking, to the west. We left that place on the 11th.

On the 11th we went to St. Come de Fresne, where we met a British unit where we stayed the rest of that day and the next day and night.

Then on the 13th we started west again, walking. We hitch hiked our way to Bayeux. That town was in the hands of the British at that time. From there we went on, hitch hicking, to the 1st Army headquarters, near Vierville-sur-Mer. We stayed there the night of the 13th.

The next morning, the 14th, we got a truck to Ste. Mere Eglise.
From Ste. Mere Eglise we were sent to the 82nd A/B Division by jeep loads. The 82nd A/B Division Headquarters was then at or near Etienville. From there we were transported by truck to our regiment, the 325th that same day, the 14th. We got back to our company that day. There were 12 of us at that time.

Edward W. Shimko     (June 1944)                                                            Charles A. Carrell, Lt. Col., Inf.

Map of Normandy showing distance between designated LZ and real landing spot
Mission Galveston - 7th June 1944 - Serial #34 - Chalk #50
Map north of Caen showing the location of the landing of the CG-4A
Mission Galveston - 7th June 1944 - Serial #34 - Chalk #50
Extract of S-2 journal 325th GIR acting the return of T/Sgt Edward W. Shimko and his men

 

 

 

Statement of T/Sgt. Shimko transcribed before.
8 June 1944 - Men of the 325th GIR walking through Courseulles sur Mer, going west to join their unit in the Cotentin Peninsula. On 7th June they landed in their CG-4A Glider near Bieville Beuville, 70 kms East of their dedicated landing zone.