My adopted grandfather, Mr. Tom (USN 1938-1957), remembers D-Day:
I was assigned to the Meredith*, an American destroyer out of Plymouth England. She was new – so new parts were still wet with paint. As at Pearl, my duty was the engine room. The Meredith wasn’t transport, she was a destroyer; we shelled the shore to soften it up for the landing. We stayed there in the [English] Channel for the entire day and the next, that’d make it June 7 when we were ordered to change position. I don’t recall where we were going; regardless, we struck a mine. That brand-new ship struck a mine and threatened to break in half. We ended up abandoning ship and I spent the night in the English Channel tied to my buddies so we wouldn’t drift. There was fuel all over, some of it ignited. One of my buddies [name redacted] was burned so badly he knew he was dying. He gave me some effects to pass on to his girl and some of the others started accusing me of robbing the dead. What was I supposed to do? What was I supposed to say? Well, we were picked up in the morning and I was shipped on to Scotland for recovery before being sent back to the States for a spell. I really can’t describe it. D-day was the worst day of my life. Worse than Pearl. Worse than the day my wife died. It was the absolute worst day of my life.
*You can read the official Commander’s Narrative here.
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