Corpsman - Company B - 6th Naval Beach Battalion
off loaded our ship some ten miles out to sea at 6am, June 6, 1944.
was a member of the 6th Beach Battalion, Company B. We proceeded to the beach
in a LCM landing craft. Upon arriving about a mile off shore we were ordered to
circle. At 7am we were instructed to proceed to our assigned beach, draw number
3. Our landing craft was the first to head to Fox Green Beach and we were immediately
fired upon about 200 yards from the beach. Our craft hit a mine that blew the
front of the boat clear out of the water at the same time we were hit with 88mm
shells from the beach. It was then that I found myself in the water over my head
with a full pack on my back. Some how I made it to the beach behind a headgehog
which gave me some cover. There were bodies, body parts and blood everywhere.
I proceeded up the beach on my knees and elbows where I came across a Army medic
and helped him with the wounded. The enemy was firing at us with machine guns,
mortars and 88mm cannon from all directions. There were more killed and wounded
on the beach than those of us left alive. I finally made to the dune line in fair
shape and this offered us a bit of protection. An Army captain then ordered me
to the top of the dune line to fire my rifle at the enemy. We could see the Germans
moving around as there was no one firing at them. For a sailor, I was pretty good
shot with my World war I Springfield 30-06 rifle.
noon Navy Lieutenant Wade spotted and abandoned Caterpillar bulldozer and ordered
me and my shipmate Dick Weyant to take charge of it. We spent the rest of the
day clearing driveways through the beach obstacles that had been put in place
by the German forces. This effort made it possible for landing craft back to the
sea that had become beached due to a receding tide. My orders were to push no
boats for their return trip unless they had taken wounded aboard. I have always
felt that this was an anormous effort in getting the wounded off the beach and
to the hospital ship for prompt medical attention.
the first three days it seemed that the Germans never stopped firing at us. Even
though our army pushed them back the enemy still had artillery that could reach
us. To this day I have felt very lucky and thankful that, after 28 days on the
beach, I wasn't killed.
Robert Watson (January