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29TH DIVISION - WWII STORIES

 

Agee IVY

 

29th Infantry Division

111th Field Artillery Battalion

Battery B

The time for the troops to go to ashore had arrived. We were tired, wet, cold and sea sick. I climbed down the net from the craft to a jeep on the Rhino Ferry, a flat boat with 150 vehicles on it. I was assigned a jeep equipped with radio for setting up communications. Because it was my duty to get ashore and set up communications I would be one of the first ashore with the 111th Battalion. Only two vehicles made it off the ship, my jeep and a 6x6 truck. As I came off the water was so deep I had to stand in tip toe to keep my nose above water. I was able to steer the jeep with one hand and choke it with the other. The jeep came right off. I had to abandon my jeep as soon as I reached Omaha Beach because of shell fire.

I crawled across the beach on my stomach. Sand was flying all around me and I knew it was bullets. I got behind a rock wall and crouched down. A soldier was there whom I did not know. We were talking about what we were going to do. An air burst came over us and a fragment from a shell hit him between his eyes. He died immediately.

I crawled beside the wall following others soldiers. A tank was approaching, drawing fire all around me. Wounded soldiers were lying on the beach, they could not move and the tank could not stop. The screams are with me yet. My partner left me before we reached the beach. Someone told me he was wounded before he reached shore. We had to watch out for snipers who were hidden.

We continued to inch forward, using holes dug by the Germans. We did what we could to help the wounded and try to protect ourselves. My pistol had so much sand in it that it would not fire. I took a gun from a dead soldier for my own. 

After we got off the beach we found an abandoned building. Behind the building was a sand table with all the German gun positions drawn in the sand. The Germans retreated so fast they did not destroy the drawings which were valuable information for us. This helped us to put fire into those positions.

 

Copyright: Laurent LEFEBVRE