Joe Crilley

Utah Beach II

We stand on Utah Beach with the pictures taken by a friendly British tourist. Here on June 7, 1944, D+1, our Dad landed after his ship, the USS Susan B. Anthony was sunk. Upon landing, our Dad was the first one off the landing craft and promptly went down in water over his head. To make matters worse, the forward momentum of the craft caused the door to catch his leg trapping underwater. Luckily, a fellow trooper saw this and he was able to free him. The fact they didn't have a weapon or equipment-that went down with the Susan B.- is the reason why he survived. After this close call, the Engineers are strafed by four German ME-109 fighters who are all shot down by a massive wall of anti-aircraft fire from the beach and the offshore batteries from Naval ships. He would latter write that it was "quite a sight".
Letter Home (9/3/44)

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