On this day 75 years ago, my friend Mr Tom assisted the D-Day invasions on the Meredith, a ship so new the paint was still wet. Before their mission ended, the Meredith was torn in two and scuttled in the English Channel.
Read more about Mr Tom’s D-Day experience and eventful life in my short story, “Stories in the End”, available on Amazon.
My friend and grandfather Mr Tom passed on earlier today. He will be greatly missed as he was greatly loved.
This photo was taken at (and by) Tryon Palace on Pearl Harbor Day, where he was the guest of honor. It may be one of my favorite pictures of him.
Before you now appears the militia of Christ’s triumph.
Tom Poole: 1918-2017, USN (Ret), WWII veteran of Pearl Harbor and D-Day, the greatest man I have ever known.
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.
USS Meredith – navalwarfare.blogspot.com
USS Meredith – navsource.org
USS Meredith – wikimapia.org
*You can read the official Commander’s Narrative here.
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