Story from our Vice Chair about his fathers journey to defeat evil and liberate the people of Europe.
Seventy-Five years ago, on June 6, 1944 my father was in England waiting to move to Portland Harbor. “The Invasion was on! It was going well; it was going badly; the Germans said it was being swept off the beaches….”
On June 10th at 18:30 his XIX Corps started ashore on Omaha Beach. By June 14th they were at full strength and on the move toward their first major objective, the town of Saint-Lo, France. The XIX suffered over 11,000 casualties in that 13-day battle. Dad was a 21-year-old Sargent leading 18-year-old men of the 113 Mechanized Calvary into battle.
Dad told me that the first three days was fun then he had to jump from his truck for cover and broke the butt off his rifle which he used to break his landing and his best friend was killed. After that it was hell. He was in combat for 306 days out of the next 309 days delivering men and equipment from forward depots to front lines and bringing back bodies. They fought for 800 miles, the distance from CT to Iowa. His unit made contact with the Russians on April 30, 1945. Two days earlier two of his men were killed by Russian artillery. They were still glad to link up with the Russians. It meant the death and destruction was almost over.
Liberty is easily lost, Be vigilant or we will need to repeat the history of WWII.
Harold S. Harris