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
 

 

Milton L. Staley .
L Co. - 359th Infantry Regiment - 90th Infantry Division

I will start with our arrival from the Northern part of England to Southern England which was in early May. We went by train to Plymouth, which was our first sight of a bombed City. After departing the train we were trucked to our new home,which was a tent City. This was our marshalling area. Passes were very few but i received a pass to Plymouth with a couple buddies and we got a big kick out of riding in the double decker busses. We had left our cooks at the last camp we were in, and it was the last I ever saw them. At our new camp, a outfit of GI's from a American armored outfit did our camp work for us. such as KP and so on. We didn't do much now, but take short hikes, a few exercises and eat and sleep and wait. We ate in a large tent and one day or so later we were told we could not leave the area and in the Mess hall guards were stationed, we began to wonder what the heck was going on.

On the morning of June 2nd, I am not positive about the day, we were to assemble near the big tent, which we did and General Omar Bradley spoke to us and told us the news that we were going to be in the invasion of Normandy and how proud we should be that we would be involved in making History. It really stunned most of the guys as we never thought that we would be going to Normandy on the first day. Security then really tightend up, Guards were everywhere!

The first and third battalions of the 90th were assigned to the 4th Inf.Div. as support for the D-DAY invasion. I was in the the third battalion. We were supposed to land at H PLUS 6 hrs, which meant six hrs after the invasion began. When we were told the news that we were going a lot of the guys laughed to think that a small outfit like ours would be in on such important news. I found out about it weeks later as i did not hear anyone say it near me.

We went by truck to the harbor at Torquay on June the 2nd which was a Friday, I think, and were put on board a LCI craft (Landing craft Inf.). Each Company had it's own boat and the only other ones on board was a small navy crew to sail it. Each boat as I remember it had a large barrage balloon on it, I suppose to keep from running into each other at night. We sailed from the harbor at Torquay the next day and after finding our place in the convoy. Then we anchored with hundreds or thousands of other boats of all types. We read, ate and looked out over the water at the huge amount of ships etc. of all sizes. On Sunday a Chaplain came out to our boat and held services, which was a quiet moment, sobering moment, for us. The next day we were told that D-DAY was postponed a day. As I remembered it we played cards and had small talk etc. to pass the time and take our minds off our mission ahead.

Later that night we set sail across the channel, when we woke up the next morning, if we did go to sleep, we were anchored at sea and we heard the bombing, and incoming shells were all around us. With daylight as I looked around all I could see was ships every where, it was the most awesome sight that I would ever see! One that to this day I will never forget! The planes pulling gliders and planes straffing the landing area, smoke all over the beach, and the thought going thru my mind that we would be going there.
I don't think I was scared too much then as we all wanted to get off the damn boat before it was blown up!

Later we moved in closer to shore to land our guys, we were not in far enough as the tide was coming in and as we got off some of the guys were in water up to there necks almost which was quite a job as we were loaded down with our heavy Equipment such as machine guns and mortors plus ammo, our field packs etc.

The beach was secured by the troops ahead of us so we laid down on the sandy beach to rest, and that didn't last long as snipers shot at us and artillery started to come in.

We moved off the beach and regrouped sorta when two tanks showed up and we were told that about three hundred Germans were in a bunch of trees and we were told to go get them (I don't know how they knew how many were there?). As many of us that could for room, got on the tanks, after going less than a block the first tank hit a mine and the guys went flying off and the tank ended up in a ditch on its side. The other tank backed up and the word came to a abort the mission. The beginning of many screw-up’s for us. We ended up in a grove of trees and spent the night there, we were soaking wet and tired and after digging our foxholes we spent a quiet night, I think, as there was still a lot of activity going on around us.
Then began our journey across Europe, the hedgerows and the Seves area where we lost so many men, and all the other places we were.

That is my story of how the 90th div. was on the beach on D-DAY.

Looking at the morning reports that Norm Richards sent me we landed in the vicinity of la Dunes,Varreville fr.

Landed on Utah Beach June the 6th under enemy artillery fire.
no casualties
Moral good
Weather clear

June 7th
Vicinity of Reurville, France
moved from vicinity of La Dunnes,Varrville
under enemy mortor and artillery fire
FOUR KIAS
Morale Good
Weather clear

June 8th
vicinity of Bandienville, France
moved from Ruerville
no contact with the enemy
Morale Good
Weather ,Clear

Milton "Milt" Staley     (04 March 2012)