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Corporal Edgard Gamble

819th Aviation Engineer

Utah Beach>

 

We boarded on the 5th of June and on the 6th of June we dropped anchor about five rules off the coast of France at about 2 or 3 o'clock in the evening, off Utah Beach. There were two landing zones (Red) and (Green) Beach. Our first casualty we saw was a Navy sailor. We started unloading heavy equipment bulldozers, graders, and loaded trucks on to an LCT. But due to rough sea the chain snapped losing the bulldozer but the operator jumped clear. The remainder of us were put on a Higgins Boat sometime around 11:00 o'clock on the 6th of June. I don’t remember whether it was Red or Green Beach which we landed on. The sailor drove the boat as close in as possible and we were told to get off, that he was not going to take us back. He was navagating by black out fight flashed from the beach. For all we knew we were in the middle of ft Atlantic, It took a little prodding to get us off the boat.

By that time I had been promoted to a Corporal and was told that I was a squad leader and to become a bazooka team with a Sgt. Neither one of us had any experience with such a weapon. One of the guys had told us how to load the weapon with little instruction on how to fire the weapon. Reluctantly the Sgt. said hold the gun and I will jump. To our surprise the water was only waist deep. As we got closer to shore I suddenly went under, probably stepping in a shell hole but managed to come out Ok. After getting ashore we found a hole had been blown in a concrete wall that we could access the beach easily. After a short time we were staffed by a fighter and in hitting the ditch I rammed the barrel of my Ml in the bank, completely stopping the barrel with mud. If I had fired the weapon it probably would have exploded.

After marching another 45 minutes of so we passed a burning Sherman tank. However we did not know if there were occupants in the tank or not. In another 30 or 40 minutes I stumbled over a body which turned out to be a German soldier. We marched until daylight, 'digging in' at an apple orchard at two unpaved crossroads. On the opposite corner from our position there was a farm house and in the front yard lay three dead Germans and one American 82nd Airborne trooper. In the house we noticed that there were plates still on a dining table where they had been eating beans. Off the dining room was a toilet and on the commode there was a nude German that had been shot.

Edgar Gamble