Jump to content

7th Beach Battalion Photo Album 50+ pics from Omaha Beach, German souvenirs, etc


Recommended Posts

The DD Sherman looks like it is in the Vierville area. Most likely a 743rd Tank Battalion tank. As I recall, 743rd supported 29th Inf. Division at that end of Omaha.

The 741st Tank Battalion supported the 1st Infantry Division and was at the other end of Omaha, by Colleville. They were out in front of WN 60, 61 (with 88), 62, etc.

 

Great album, photos, and captured material. Congratulations!

 

Paul

donation2019.gif


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that information! Im pretty sure I owned a rare theater printed history to either the 741st or 743rd and traded it to a buddy. Ill ask him about it to see. As combat moved in land did the DD crews eventually end up with regular Shermans?

Paul

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow - a 741st and 743rd theater printed history! I would be very interested in that! Do you think your friend would make a photocopy and sell a copy? (Please PM me with any info.)

 

Regarding your question, you do see photos of some of the DD's with their "skirts" inland in the first few days after D-Day.

At some point the skirts seemed to have been removed, but DD's still used. Same for wader version with the "smoke stacks".

Maybe someone else could shed light on if/when a complete switch out was done?

 

So few of the 741st DD's and wader versions made it ashore,I imagine they received replacements pretty quickly. The few 741st that did make it ashore played an important role. They took out the 88 at WN 61 within the first 30 minutes or so. Imagine if that had continued to fire down Omaha beach all morning. Two of them were guided up the slope near WN 60

and took out two PAK guns in bunkers. Very difficult mission for the tankers and made all the worse by high seas/the FUBAR of how far out to drop them form the shore, IMO.

 

Thanks,

Paul R

donation2019.gif


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats great Paul. Thanks for your response. I cant promise you about the 741st history but Ill check with him. Its one of the small Stars and Stripes histories which I also collect. It was the only one for the 741st I had ever seen. Ill pm you later.

Paul J

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
  • 7 months later...

Outstanding photo album! Were you able to meet with the vet and talk to him?

I took a look at the document and it is hard to read because the image is so small. It says it is a company order for 3rd Company, Landes-Bau-Pionier-Bataillon 17, dated June 5, 1944. The order concerns the unit's field kitchen regulations.

 

Order #1 says: Essen-Empfang ist Dienst. Der U.v.D. (Unteroffizier vom Dienst) hat dafür zu sorgen, dass bei Fliegergefahr während des Essen-Empfanges die Leute in Deckung gehen. Auf jeden Fall sind Ansammlungen vor und hinter dem Schloß zu vermeiden.

 

Translation: Meal reception is service. The NCO on duty is to ensure that everyone takes cover in the event of an air raid while meals are being served. Gatherings of people are definitely to be avoided in front of and behind the chateau.

 

I can't exaxctly make out #2 and #3.

 

Order #4 says: Es ist verboten, ungekochte Milch zu trinken. Ebenso darf kein Wasser getrunken werden.

 

Translation: Drinking unboiled milk is prohibted. The same applies to water.

 

Hope that helps you a little bit.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes! That is a great help. Thanks Redorger. Reading about what they were supposed to do while eating made me smile a little bit seeing that it was dated June 5th. If only they knew what was coming the next day. Thanks again.

Paul

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh and sadly Reforger I was all set to meet the vet and he cancelled due to some minor health issues. I was supposed to try again this Spring but we know why that didnt happen so hopefully this summer.

Paul

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 weeks later...

Great photos!  I believe the photo of the 2 ladies around the rocks was taken about 1/2-way up the road at D1 (Draw). On the left was a quarry.  At the top of the hill is a 4-way intersection.  Across the street on the left, running along the road was the Vierville School. No longer there, as it burned during the 7 June afternoon shelling.  A 21-year old CPL Donald E Myerly of Westminster, MD was killed with 17 others of B-Bat, 110th FA, 29th Division.  Don's ammo truck took a direct hit.  If you cross the intersection and make a right in front of the church, make a left and go 100 yds down the lane, you get to the Chedal d'Anglas home.  The German HQ's was the Maison, but it burned. The Germans had a huge observation platform in the huge oak tree, (no longer there).  I have a cut from the tree.  The family converted the carriage house into the home.  

You can contact Martin, by going to my page: www.ww2dday.com  ,  Links:  Oberst Goth  .  He and I have spent a great time in Vierville.  Both of us had relatives in the battle.  

 

Tim 

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Mapman said:

Great photos!  I believe the photo of the 2 ladies around the rocks was taken about 1/2-way up the road at D1 (Draw). On the left was a quarry.  At the top of the hill is a 4-way intersection.  Across the street on the left, running along the road was the Vierville School. No longer there, as it burned during the 7 June afternoon shelling.  A 21-year old CPL Donald E Myerly of Westminster, MD was killed with 17 others of B-Bat, 110th FA, 29th Division.  Don's ammo truck took a direct hit.  If you cross the intersection and make a right in front of the church, make a left and go 100 yds down the lane, you get to the Chedal d'Anglas home.  The German HQ's was the Maison, but it burned. The Germans had a huge observation platform in the huge oak tree, (no longer there).  I have a cut from the tree.  The family converted the carriage house into the home.  

You can contact Martin, by going to my page: www.ww2dday.com  ,  Links:  Oberst Goth  .  He and I have spent a great time in Vierville.  Both of us had relatives in the battle.  

 

Tim 

Thank you so much for your added insight Tim. I will put this information with the album. I've only been to Normandy one time and look forward to getting back someday with my family.

Paul

Link to post
Share on other sites

Paul,

Let me know when you plan to go back to Normandy.  I have "many" friends in the area that own restaurants and hotels, gives.  Especially in the Vierville and St Laurent area of Omaha Beach.  When Navy Lt William Bostick did the artwork for the Omaha maps, he didn't know that the railroad running along the coastal road thru Grandcamp, Vierville-s/Mer, Colleville-s/Mer had been shut down.  Most of the info came from 1890's Michelin maps and from photo missions that the Air Corps had taken.  Bostick did the work on-board the USS Ancon in Plymouth Harbor.  One day King George stood behind him as he painted.  On D+1 (7June 44) Bostick got approval to go on the beach to see the actual area that he had put on mapsheets.  As he walked along the coastal road he became very upset.  The railroad tracks weren't there?  I also looked my first 3 trips for remnants of the tracks and the station marked "RR Station" on the Vierville map, but no station?  I later learned that Suzanne Colebeouf lived in the station with her parents and siblings after the railroad closed, (10 years prior to D-Day).  It burned down on 7 June when the enemy shelling started.  In-fact, I would go to the corner restaurant, "Le Pie Qui Tette" and park my car on a slab, (former RR Station).  Mrs Colebeouf ran the station before it closed!  When I met Suzanne and showed her and her husband, "Michel Hardalay" the maps, she never told me.  Michel was the mayor of the town.  The n D-Day morning he was a much younger vice-mayor and was portrayed n the movie, "The Longest Day" watching a German soldier fall off his horse and wagon taking coffee to the position WN70, when the bombardment started.  Michel and his mother are jumping up and down on the back porch, as he was very happy.  Everyone that lived along the coast was forced to move away in November 1943.  Michel was an architect, (not lawyer as mentioned in the back of the book).  He built his villa, "Les Hortendas" and the Germans were going to tear it down.  He talked them into letting him get a crew of men to dismantle the house, and after hostilities, he'd rebuild it.  Fortunately, D-Day happened and the home withstood the actions.  You also have a nice photo of Belgian Gates.  Mr Edmond Scelles was only 16 when he was called by the mayor of St Laurent to be part of a work detail.  The Germans would tell the mayor, "Tomorrow morning you will have 20 men here, "or else".  He helped put up the obstacles along the beach.  These men were paid for their services.  Later, when the Americans landed, Edmond was again hired.  This time to take down the obstacles.  I used to tell him that he was a "double dipper".  He and his wife for many years ran the gas station between Vierville and St Laurent.  A Gite (rental home) is on the edge of St Laurent.  It's one of the former train stations.  They were all the same design.  In the movie, it look's like Michel is with his wife.  (Hollywood did this, as Suzanne was only 12 years-old at the time).  He later went to the town Tobacco Bar to meat an American soldier.  When a soldier almost shot him with an M-1 Garand!  The soldier had a blue diamond on his shoulder with gold wording:  <RANGERS> and Michel was upset when he was asked by the Ranger, "Vouslez-vous un Chesterfield" as he took the cigarette.  He was surprised to hear the soldier speaking very good French!  Years after Michel died, former Captain John Raaen of HQ's 5th Ranger Bn told me that the guy was Rene Kepperling, the 5th Rangers translator.  Both his parents were French Canadian!

 

Tim 

www.ww2dday.com

Link to post
Share on other sites

Tim. I love this post. Thank you. Reading what you said about walking where the tracks had been pre-Dday etc....so fascinating. I have had the pleasure of walking and leading some tours on various Civil War battlefields and walking the ground gives you such a better appreciation then just reading about it. I am passionate about WWII but have not had nearly the chance to walk the spots I have read about like I have with the American Civil War. I will be checking out your site today. Really, thank you for the info.

Paul

Link to post
Share on other sites

Paul,

i did Civil War re-enacting during the 60's and 70's, I was in the 1st Maryland Regular meant during the Bi-Centennial.  We did the Surrender ceremonies at Yorktown.  Bill Brown of the National park Service was our leader.  He had to work that day and was standing next to the Ambassador of France when we passed by President Reagan in Review.  Whenever Bill saw us, he explained the 1 MR was his unit.  The Ambassador of France wanted us to do the 200th Treaty of Paris, (1-3 September 1983).  Bill called me and told me it was a go, and that I would have a bus to take whoever wanted to go to Normandy for a day.  I would meet a lady at the spot where Donald Myerly got killed (friend of my uncle's from my hometown).  She told me to get into her car and we would quickly meet her cousin.  Very nice House along the beach with a 1/2-moon driveway.  A year later, I was invited to stay at their place with my 3 uncles.  But they wouldn't go. Well, Marie-Agnes told me I could stay at their cousins place if they hadn't arrived at their summer house.  She said, "Just ask anyone in Vierville where the "Ardalay's live".  (H is silent in French). I asked her if it was spelled with an H?  She answered "yes".  I said, is his first name Michel?  She replied, "You know him"?  I answered "No, but he's in the book, The Longest Day".  She replied, "I believe he is"?  Had she told me that a year before when we were knocking on his door, I would have known the name!  He didn't like the Germans as they were always breaking not his wine cellar.   When we went back to the house, I saw all the photos (The lone photographer of Vierville took) and I asked him what he thought of the lady sitting at the same dining room table I was sitting at with a lime-green tablecloth.  He said, "She's a real actress".  It was Nancy Reagan.  She had lunch there the year before.  While Michel was still the mayor. 

Tim 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Haha Tim. That is wonderful. Thanks for sharing....was just looking at your site a little while ago and was reading more about the young driver Donald Myerly who was killed when they were shelled. So sad. I'm going to send you a PM so we can continue the conversation there.

Paul

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/26/2019 at 7:57 AM, USCapturephotos said:

..

post-100030-0-27128600-1564142249.jpg

Paul,

i'm upset!  I went to the 7-11 this morning and noticed that the evening 3-digit on Sunday was 743.  The clerk know's I'm into D-Day, and I told him about the 743rd TD tanks with Duplex Drive and skirts, and how those Naval Personel ushering them off the landing crafts, watched in horror and fear, as the first tank went under.  But the fear-factor made several of these men continue to waive them into the drink.  Only 3 or 4 of these tanks got to the Beach.  Years ago, I heard veterans arguing with cemetery personnel about their comrades names being on the "Wall Of The Missing".  The 743rd men said, "They aren't missing, they're still out there n those tanks.  Why don't you bring them here for a proper burial"?  The cemetery worker said, "We already consider them buried".  

I was upset as I stood there after telling him that tidbit of history.  He knew my 3 uncles were with the 110th Field Artillery.  The 3-digit noon-day number was: 110.  "No, I didn't play it"!  

Tim

www.ww2dday.com

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Mapman said:

Paul,

i'm upset!  I went to the 7-11 this morning and noticed that the evening 3-digit on Sunday was 743.  The clerk know's I'm into D-Day, and I told him about the 743rd TD tanks with Duplex Drive and skirts, and how those Naval Personel ushering them off the landing crafts, watched in horror and fear, as the first tank went under.  But the fear-factor made several of these men continue to waive them into the drink.  Only 3 or 4 of these tanks got to the Beach.  Years ago, I heard veterans arguing with cemetery personnel about their comrades names being on the "Wall Of The Missing".  The 743rd men said, "They aren't missing, they're still out there  in those tanks.  Why don't you bring them here for a proper burial"?  The cemetery worker said, "We already consider them buried".  

I was upset as I stood there after telling him that tidbit of history.  He knew my 3 uncles were with the 110th Field Artillery.  The 3-digit noon-day number was: 110.  "No, I didn't play it"!  

Tim

www.ww2dday.com

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Mapman said:

Paul,

i'm upset!  I went to the 7-11 this morning and noticed that the evening 3-digit on Sunday was 743.  The clerk know's I'm into D-Day, and I told him about the 743rd TD tanks with Duplex Drive and skirts, and how those Naval Personel ushering them off the landing crafts, watched in horror and fear, as the first tank went under.  But the fear-factor made several of these men continue to waive them into the drink.  Only 3 or 4 of these tanks got to the Beach.  Years ago, I heard veterans arguing with cemetery personnel about their comrades names being on the "Wall Of The Missing".  The 743rd men said, "They aren't missing, they're still out there  in those tanks.  Why don't you bring them here for a proper burial"?  The cemetery worker said, "We already consider them buried".  

I was upset as I stood there after telling him that tidbit of history.  He knew my 3 uncles were with the 110th Field Artillery.  The 3-digit noon-day number was: 110.  "No, I didn't play it"!  

Tim

www.ww2dday.com

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.