From the Diary of Paul W. Krug

Preparing for the D-Day Invasion

Paul W. Krug.small

 

June 10, 1944 - Pulled into Portland early this morning.  Cleaned up some dirty gear and took it easy.

June 9, 1944 - Slept aboard 495.  We found our old #6 beached pulled alongside and came aboard.  She pulled out for Portland 1600.  We left our boat with another crew to do duty for the anchor.

June 8, 1944 - Tied alongside LST 495 Deutsch and I slept in boat.  Shoved off from the LST 0830.  Reported to a liberty ship picked up a couple of Lieutenants and took them around to check on limey fuel barges.  The battle wagons were still firing inland all day.  Went back to the 495 and tied up.

June 7, 1944 - Slept aboard LST 309.  Had an air raid about 2400.  They got a couple of them.  I sure was tired last night and really slept when I hit the sack.  Shoved off from LST 0800.  They have some 88's hit back inland and they wait until we land some boats on the beach then they shell the hell out of them.  Our battle wagons have been firing inland on them all day.  Our beach was the hardest to take.  They have it filled with mines and obstacles.  We've been blowing up mines all day.  They're having a hell of a time getting boats up on the beach with their men and equipment.  The USS Susan B. Anthony got sunk, she hit a couple of mines.

June 6, 1944 - D-DAY - Got lowered over the side 0330.  You could see large fires in the distance which meant our bombers were really going to town.  We're going to hit the beach at 0620 (H-hour 0630).  The LCT's left off the tanks and we start to support them in (our warships are really pouring shells into the beach).  They kept firing on us but we couldn't see their positions.  The water was pretty choppy and some of the tanks went down before they could reach the beach.  We got two survivors into the boat and went in after a third but when I got him to the boat he was too far gone.  We then went on in and fire our rockets on the beach.  They really made it hot for us with their 88s.

June 5, 1944 - We're underway and it's still rough as hell.  Our destination is 10 mi. off the coast.  We're to be lowered over the side sometime early tomorrow morning and our job is to support some DD tanks onto the beach under the barrage of our warships setting off shore and when we're about 200 yards off the beach we fire our 48 barrage of rockets.  The name of the town we're hitting near is Colleville. 

June 4, 1944 - Stored our sea bags and hammocks in hold and there's a pretty strong gale and the water is really choppy. This old piece of tin is sure rollin.

June 3, 1944 - Loaded amm and assembled our rockets.  All of us and our officer got together.  He tolf us we're going to invade the norther coast of France between Cherbourg and LeHavre.  They're going to bomb it steady 12 hrs. prior to landing and then a naval bombardment 40 min before H hour with 3 squadrons of destroyers and 2 battle wagons the Texas and Arkansas.

June 2, 1944 - Loaded 8 smoke pots on boat.

June 1, 1944 - We took V.P. and went to get our supply of rockets, there are 3 rocket boats aborad and each one gets 48 barrage rockets and 6 smoke rockets.  Our ship pulled into dock and loaded up with ambulances, jeeps. ducks, and etc.  Pulled out and anchored bouy. 

May 31, 1944 - All liberty is cancelled.  The landing craft are pulling into docks one by one and loading up with troops, supplies, and mechanical equipment.  It looks as if this is going to be the real thing.

May 29, 1944 - Had G.Q. at 0100 a few planes were over but didn't drop any bombs at the ships.  I went out on topside and the H-C smoke was so dense you can't see anything and it chokes you up.  Worked on boat eng. scraped paint.

May 28, 1944 - A.V.P. was blown up this morning by a mine.  The minesweepers were busy all day sweeping the harbor.  I don't see how they missed last night as it's just full of amphibious craft transports and warships around here.  I hope they stay home tonight so I can get some sleep.

May 27, 1944 - We got transferred from 317 to LST #6 came aboard at 2100.  Had a big air raid 0200, they dropped quite a few bombs but their aim was pretty bad, didn't hit a thing.  When you're below deck you can hear the concussion of the bombs all throough his tub.  Went up topside and the sky all around was lit up with tracers.  It sure was hot.

May 23, 1944 - The ship pulled into docks and loaded supplies and ammunition.  Cleaned twins 50's.  Pulled out and moored to bouy.

May 18, 1944 - Worked on engine.  Fired at sleeve with twin 50s.  Stood 1600-2000 eng. room watch.

May 16, 1944 - We got some water in our fuel; have to clean out engine tomorrow.

May 13, 1944 - Took the oat to Portland to get mail.  Took all our gear in our boat and left Weymouth.  Run out in the harbor and boarded the USS LST 317 for permanent duty at 2100.  Deutsch, Bowen, and myself helped the cook clean ducks for tomorrow's dinner (getting in good with the boss).

May 12, 1944 - Let Salcomb in our boat at 0800.  Arrived in Weymoouth at 1800.  Don't know how long we'll be here. Slept in boat.

May 11, 1944 - Worked on boat.

May 10, 1944 - Borrowed a dingie from a guy and took a boat ride.

May 9, 1944 - Worked on boat.

May 8, 1944 - Packed all our gear in our boat & shoved off the ship at 0800.  Arrived at Saloome at 1300.  Moved into huts, expected to stay here until Friday & then move on to Portland.

May 7, 1944 - Going to leave the ship tomorrow, went on liberty, everything closed up.

May 6, 1944 - Reder and Soulier's crews are going to take over British communication boats, they're fast little jobs but they don't have any firepower.

May 5, 1944 - Worked on the boat.  Pulled into Plymouth and dropped anchor.

May 4, 1944 - Got up 0200 had chow, went over the side 0500.  Got to the line of departure too late, other boats had already gone into the beach and were firing their rockets.  I wish they'd pull the real thing.  I'm getting tired of these dry runs.

May 3, 1944 - Finished her up, go on maneuvers tomorrow.

May 2, 1944 - Started to paint her today.

May 1, 1944 - Worked on our boat.

April 30, 1944 - Packed our gear in our boat and came aboard LST495.  She loaded up with soldiers and trucks, we're going on a maneuver.

April 29, 1944 - Worked on the boats, cleaned guns.

April 28, 1944 - We shoved off in our boats for Weymouth at 100.  Arrived here at 2300, picked up 32 dead soldiers on the way that were victims of a torpedoed LST [victms of Slapton Sands tragedy].

April 27, 1944 - It's a nice place here but we don't expect to stay long.

April 26, 1944 – Got discharged from hospital 0900.  Left by train for Teignmouth at 1600, arrived 1900.

April 25, 1944 – Getting along swell.  Hope to get out tomorrow.

April 24, 1944 – Feel pretty good today.

April 23, 1944 – Feel pretty sick.

April 22, 1944 – Got food poison and went to hospital.

April 21, 1944 – Cleaned up some gear.

April 20, 1944 – No pay today hope to get some soon.  Stood sentry watch in gale.

April 19, 1944 – Worked on our boat.  Saw “China Girl” it was OK.

April 18, 1944 – Tried out our 50s

April 17, 1944 – Got the rudder foxed and put on a new screw.  Had trouble with the throttle, fixed it up.  We named her the “Ramblin’ Reck” because there’s always something going wrong with her.

April 16, 1944 – Cleaned up some gear.

April 15, 1944 – Worked on the boat.  Saw “The Lodger”

April 14, 1944 – Started out to sea for a little practice on our twin 50s but one rudder broke so we had to turn back.

April 13, 1944 – Received my first mail from the states, they were old but they sounded good to me anyway.

April 12, 1944 – Washed some gear. I went to see “The Song of Bernadette,” it was OK.

April 11, 1944 – Our crew went on maneuvers all day.  They had the band from the USS Samuel Chase here at the camp to play for us and they sure beat it out.  There are only 3 crews here at this base.

April 10, 1944 – Went to see “Pistol Packin’ Mommy” it was a pretty good show.

April 9, 1944 – Washed some gear.  Took a 5 mi. hike with a couple of buddies. 

April 8, 1944 We started out on maneuvers but had to come back as it was too rough.  Went into town (a small place with not much to do) had a couple of… (tasted like water).  The Pubs close at 2100. 

April 7, 1944 – I bought my weeks rations, which consist of 1 carton cigarettes, 1 bar soap, 1 chocolate bar, 1 box of hard candies and a razor blade.  The chow on the base here is lousy.

April 6, 1944 – We moved into the base today and are bunking in huts. This base here is just a big mud hole

April 5, 1944 - I didn't get much sleep last night on the train by the looks of the country around here it sure took a beating by bombs.  We arrived here at 1600 in a little town by the name of fowey.  Slept in a hotel.

April 4, 1944 - Shoved off at 1400 by train expect to arrive at destination tomorrow.

April 3, 1944 - I got all my gear packed as we're shoving off for south England tomorrow.

April 2, 1944 - The only thing you can get to eat is fish, chips and sausage.  I had my picture taken in kilts.  There's practically no entertainment at all here.

April 1, 1944 - Had cleaning detail this morning. Started for Glasgow at 1800, got there 1900.  We went to a pub and had some beer it sure is lousy, they all close at 2100.  Bunked at Red Cross Center.

 

 

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