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
 

 

Walter Uden
Driver Mech. - 20th Beach Group R.E.M.E.

After being in training with the Royal Welch Fusileers for 2 years, and a foot accident, I was transferred to R E M E in October 1942.
We were at Gailes Camp in Ayshire thats were we practiced waterproofing all vehicles ready for the big day. We drove them down a ramp in Irvine Harbour and drove them in the ocean till they drowned, then towed back to camp to get the results till the main Red Tape were satisfied.

We went by convoy to Tonbridge Wells for a few days. Then marshalled into a large fenced off area near Portsmouth. This was very secure, no phones, no mail, no nothing. Without warning we were 20th beach group REME with 1 Corps the Spearhead.
We were marshalled on to the Portsmouth docks with all our kit and vehicles we had a new one a BARV it was Sherman Tank no gun turret but built up like a submarine to operate in 12 feet water, We thought, some more training but no when we sailed well away they told us this is it.

With the Navy shelling and the Air Forces bombing we went in after the commandos.Then Hell broke loose. A ship loaded with ammunition and gasoline was hit and went up in flames with every thing exploding, we were scared but could only do what we were told to do, the landing craft were coming in at full speed they got beached so we had to push them back with the BARB after they had wounded loaded and some injured very bad.
This was our job to do for a few days along the 3 beaches Gold , Juno and Sword.
We helped to bring in the Mulberry Harbor and Pluto which was the Pipeline Under The Ocean.

Three of us were send down into Carne to get a weasel which was a rubber tracked carrier used by the recky corp, we found it on an island in the river with the enemy still on the other side. It was finished so our orders were if we could not fix it, destroy it. So we blew it up I was the youngest so I had to press the button with 7 seconds to get out. When it went up in a big bang and then, every body were shooting at us not just the enemy. It took us three days to get back to our unit at the beach and were told we were missing believed killed.
My wife was expecting a baby so that message to the UK was cancelled. In august we started to get our mail there we were still on the beach, all the unit knew about the baby and my mail was huge so we all started together to open. Then a cheer and the Captain read it out : IT IS A boy born July 13.
We were not wanted on the beach any more so we did road patrols to get back any vehicles that were broken down from all nations. We also had to go to dumps of shot up Tanks to take them apart for spares like tracks , engines and gear boxes.
We were working on a Sherman to get the gear box this was the front of the tank. My job was inside with a wrench while my mate broke the spot weld on et outside. inside the tank were three dead bodies which we could get out when the gear box vanished. But another tank came along and bumped us and knocked some of the phosphorous plastic grenades out of the turret and one exploded in a big fire. All I could do was to pull the bodies on top of me and wait it out. The turret was still open and the only way out, I crawled out and nobody expected me to come out. I just had a burn on the back of my right hand with holding the bodies on top.

We continued our road patrols till it was time to cross into Germany. We got to Nijmegen and when the thaw started we convoyed down to Venlo passing a Town with my name UDEN.
The Royal Engineers set us up with a pontoon bridge to cross the Rhine. My truck was the heaviest contained Blacksmith shop etc , so they guided me on to the first pontoon with orders keep going, what i was told after it was like snake with some of it coming apart we did the Sergeant and I, we watch the rest come over it was easy nobody shot at us so off we went to tour Germany.

Walter Uden     (February 09, 2010)