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Date Posted: 13:13:56 03/17/04 Wed
Author: Trevor Wilkinson
Subject: My dad & your Jeep, LST, Blimp photo
Re: your Picture of the 'LST, Barage Blimps, and a Jeep on the beach' on your original Jeep Photos page...
"Attack Vehicles Enter LST On Beach. LST 404 was transfered to the Brits in 1942, so this may be a photograph of the mobilization for Normandy. Another LST has a card on the bow reading LST-15, which was in the Pacific. The jeep at the lower right has a one-star general's license plate and the general can be seen in the passenger's seat."
History of the 967th
The Bn was technically housed in an armory that had housed a unit of the British Home Guard; however, the unit lived in pup tents on the Salisbury Plains. The unit practice-fired their guns daily in preparation of combat. There was no doubt when D-Day arrived. The constant drone of aircraft engines went on from 2AM until several days later. The officers were issued maps of Normandy and French language compendia. On or about June 10th, the Bn filled their foxholes on the Salisbury Plains and moved to their quarters at Dorchester where all defective equipment and all worn clothing was replaced. Then they waited for two weeks for the orders to move out.
The battalion sailed on 4 different ships: Hq and Hq battery and the medical detachment sailed on US LST 982; Battery A and Battery C sailed on US LST 389 (the unit history states US LST 352); Battery B sailed on US LST 16; and Service Battery sailed HM LST 404. First Lt. Wayne Gise is listed as Assistant Communications Officer.
From evidence gathered from Dad's papers, it appears Dad was assigned to headquarters battery and therefore would have been on board US LST 982. The following is the exact text from the After Action Report: Starting on the Short Sea Voyage at 0001, we met and joined the convoy bound for France. It was a distinct treat to That Grand Navy Food and enjoy the accommodations provided for us. The men were treated to showers and comfortable quarters. Morale was high. The sea was calm, but it rained frequently.
The Battalion anchored off the French coast at about 1400. The 967th Field Artillery came on shore in Normandy on June 26th, 1944. Headquarters, Headquarters Battery, the Medical Detachment, Battery A and Battery C landed on Fox White Sector Omaha. Fox White is about 5 miles northeast of Trevieres. Battery B and Service Battery landed at Fox Red sector, Omaha Beach (Fox Red was stated as being just to the west of Fox White). I do not know if there is an error in these reports since no map shows Fox White Sector or if additional sectors were added after the initial invasion. Maps marked by Dad indicated that the equipment was moved inland via a cleft in the beach located in Dog White Sector. This cleft is located just to the west of the American Cemetery at Omaha. The road from the beach through this cleft leads to the village of Vierville Sur Mer. The delay in landing was due to the necessity of acquiring 1000 to 2000 yards of beachhead in which to operate the guns. That it took until June 26th to acquire this beachhead highlights the intensity of the fighting in the area as well as the difficulty of fighting in the hedgerow country. Headquarters, Headquarters Battery and the Medical Detachment beached at 1750. They stayed on board the LST until the tide had gone out and then landed their first vehicle on French soil at 2030. Dad's notes state that the first vehicle rolled onto French soil at 2030 hours. Battery A and Battery C landed at 2000. Battery B landed at 0812B. Part of Service Battery landed with Battery B.
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