Dad often talked about this experiences and I am afraid it did provoke the reaction “Not the war again, Dad”. We also used to joke about him being in the Intelligence Branch. It was only later that we came to realise what a defining period it was in his life.
He was seconded to General Bradley's US 12th Army Group and in 1944 was with them when they landed at Omaha Beach just after D Day.
"On the Monday morning we zig-zagged our way across the Channel (to avoid enemy submarines) and arrived off the beach at around 11pm, some distance off our landing point. Sporadic bombing went on during the night from high level German bombers. We slept where we could on the craft. Just as dawn was breaking, at 04.00am the captain started up the engines (there was quite a roar) and we moved in fast to the beach. The ramp was dropped, we drove off and we were in France! The first night I slept in a tent but during the night it poured down and my sleeping bag was in two inches of water. I had a brief time off and went into the village. I saw some small bottles of brandy in a shop – and not much else, so I bought the lot (16 bottles) – they cost around 1/8 (under current 10p.) a bottle!"
|Dated on the reverse|
Paris - Sept. 12th 1944
Onto Paris, where Dad was stationed at Versailles and experienced a warm welcome from Parisians.