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D-Day Documents

1st Division - 1st Medical Battalion - A Company - After Action Report

Eighty six men and four officer of Company A were aboard.

At 8:30 a.m. our craft, LCI 85, headed in for the shore with no enemy opposition encountered so far. As the boat slid in over the pilings that stuck up there in front of us one could see soldiers lined up all along the rocky beach ahead of us. Suddenly we came to a stop and at that instant we could hear gunfire and then report of shell fire. The men in charge at the front of the heat were then determining whether it was too deep to let down the ramps and at this time the first cries of the wounded from up front could be heard and we who were on the port side of the boat knew that we were the target for all the firing we heard around us. The skipper of the craft, Mr. Henley, then decided that a landing couldn’t be affected and so he backed the craft off the pilings and pulled out about a hundred yards for another try. At this time the report of fire was heard and smoke could be seen pouring out from out of the doorways just forward of our position. As the craft went underway again for another try at the beach Captain Rolston was seen standing in the doorway leading from the then smoking number three hold directing the men out of sure death down below to a position along the port side of the boat. This he did while we were still under enemy fire. About fifteen minutes had elapsed between the time we backed off the beach and headed in for another try at the shore. It was also evident at this time that we had suffered a hit below the water line due to a list to the starboard side of the ship.

The second attempt in at the beach was more successful as fast as getting the ship in close enough to disembark and one of the boat members we later learned jumped in with a life line and managed to get to shore via this line but the enemy was throwing all same time injuring and killing others who were crowded forward and trying to get off the ship. Fire now broke out in the two forward holds and the craft began to have a more pronounced list to the starboard. The craft was then backed away from the shore faster the skipper had evidently decided that no more landing could be made and also in view of the seriously damaged ship. All during this shelling the Medical personnel was giving what aid they could to the injured aboard the ship. I later learned that Captain Hahn had gone when into one of the holds that was on fire and had given plasma to one of the injured. Captain Apanasewicz was giving aid to two seriously wounded men who were injured on the starboard side of the ship which was then getting to be a dangerous place to be in. Captain Ralston was then seen giving plasma to men who had been shot an disfigured while standing amidships waiting their turn to get off.

It was then between 0930 and 1000 and the ship had made two attempts to land on shore, several men succeeding in getting ashore but others were cut down where they stood and others, still able to function, were doing all they could for the injured. Fire was still raging in the holds and the ship continued to list. At this point a small landing boat came alongside and about 30 men from the rear of the boat went aboard with Lieutenant Cox. None of the Company A personnel went aboard this craft. Enlisted personnel who were seen doing meritorious service all during this action were: Ginnetrti, later missing, Sergeant Klein, later wounded, Sergeant Dumphey who did outstanding service, later wounded, and Private Hopper.