We departed from
Camp Shanks, New York on December 27th 1943, and spent 11 days
at sea on the troop carrier ship U.S.A.T. James Parker. We landed in
Belfast, Ireland on January 9th, 1944.
Our camp was at
Port Stewart on the northern coast of Ireland and [we] spent a chilly
winter receiving ground and weapons training.
became accustomed to warm Guinness stout, blackouts and Irish girls.
In our exercises
along the coast we were surprised to see that the refreshment stands,
diving pavilions, amusement piers and other innocent looking buildings
along the beaches were really gun emplacements and fortified troop
I remember two
incidents in Ireland, the first was that Southern Ireland was neutral and
was actually host to a German Consulate.
One night I picked
up a girl in Port Stewart and in the course of our conversation she stated
that the German consulate office in Southern Ireland financed trips for
women to go to Northern Ireland, mix with the troops, get information by
identifying regiments, divisions and strength, then report back to the
German consulate. She was one of such informers. I guess I should
have handed her in.
The second incident
was that I had a relative living in an area which was somewhere below
Belfast and bordering on the Southern Ireland border.
I travelled down
there alone to visit a relative who owned a pub. I found the place, walked
in and informed the chap drawing beer that if he was the owner, I was his
relative from the U.S.A.
acknowledge me, and kept drawing beer and went about his business. All the
patrons were civilians; I of course was in my army uniform.
Finally a little
Irish man came up to me and told me that it would be smart to get out of
here and informed me on how to get a bus.I said something to my relative
like, who the hell needs you, and left.
It occurred to me
sometime later that either I had wondered into Southern Ireland, or they
were Southern Ireland sympathisers.
There were no Yanks
in that town, and I donít remember the name of that place.
In March of 1944,
we shipped out to Scotland.
incident happened to me there.
I received an over
night pass to Glasgow. I met a girl there and thought that she was quiet
attractive Scottish lass.
Later in the
evening she informed me that she lived in Scotland for several years, but
she was actually Italian. That was o.k. with me but it seemed funny that I
was to go to Scotland to meet an Italian girl.
The regiment soon
found itself in our real home in Europe - Wollaton Park, Nottingham,
We loved it there,
the people, the quaint pubs and innís, the girls, all of these things were
We continued our
airborne training and prepared for the invasion of Europe.
I remember one
night jump in particular. We were flying in a large formation at night
with only two paratroopers to a plane. I was to be the second man out of
The idea was to
jump two men, the second man delaying his jump by 14 seconds after the
first man. Once on the ground you were to plot your position. In this way
the dispersion of the regiment could be obtained without jumping all of
We were instructed
that once on the ground, stay there for the night, then head for the
nearest road and wait there for a jeep to pick you up.
I landed in a field
near a haystack not to far from a farm house. I could see lights in the
house and decided to roll up my parachute and sleep in the hay stack.
I awoke early
morning to find an English Home Guard man poking at me. He carried a
rifle, and questioned me quiet intensively before he was convinced that I
was an American. He later informed me that Germans had actually landed in
England in the past.
I jumped in
Normandy on D-DAY and fought for about a month and was wounded on 4th
July, 1944, taking Hill 95 near Le Hay De Puits.
I recovered and
rejoined my regiment after the Holland drop, just in time for the Battle
of the Bulge.
I survived that one
and when war ended I served as Honor Guard in Frankfurt, Germany.