Through firsthand accounts, historical photographs, and original maps, Longshore Soldiers recounts the wartime experiences of Cortland Hopkins and ten other port battalion veterans. As part of the US Army's Transportation Corps, they were responsible for ensuring that thousands of tons of military supplies were packed, unloaded, and delivered to the front lines. Moving from training stateside, to supply operations on the beaches of Normandy, to dockwork in the massive, high-risk seaport of Antwerp, Belgium, and finally to deactivation, Andrew Brozyna offers a compelling narrative of what daily life was like in this remarkable yet often overlooked service. Perhaps most importantly, Brozyna's use of personal histories as the basis for examining the logistics of WWII's European theater ensures that readers never lose sight of the individuals involved.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Chapter 1. Schenectady
An introduction to Cortland Hopkins, grandfather of the author, and his hometown.
2. American Locomotive Company
Cortland take a job welding M-4 tanks and the secret M-7 "Priest" mobile howitzer.
3. In the Army Now
Cortland joins the Army. An introduction to the 519th Port Battalion, Fort Indiantown Gap, and the other veterans interviewed by the author.
Training, supply work, and anecdotes from Boston harbor.
5. The Atlantic
A description of the voyage to England
Stories from the GI's interaction with the people of Bristol.
7. The Invasion
Preparations for the invasion and the morning events of D-day.
8. Utah Beach Dangers
A description of dangers faced by the supply troops on Utah Beach: German snipers, weeks of artillery fire, and attacks by air.
9. Beach Work
An explanation of the duties performed by the port companies, an unprecedented method of unloading supply ships at sea.
10. To Antwerp
The liberation of Antwerp, the Battle of the Scheldt, and the port battalion's move to Belgium.
11. The V-weapons
A discussion of the Germans' V-1 and V-2 rockets, the bombardment of the city, and its effect on the civilians and military servicemen there.
12. Work in the Port
The duties of the American supply troops in Antwerp: unloading ships, guarding the docks, and traveling through Belgium as train guards.
13. The Ardennes Offensive
The effect of the Battle of the Bulge on American supply operations in Antwerp.
14. War's End
A description of the leisure activities in Antwerp that kept the GIs out of trouble after Germany's surrender: sports, dancing, and tours of Europe.
Cortland's last duties in Europe, his last brush with danger, his return to the US, and marriage to his sweetheart.
The port battalion veterans after the war.
Appendix A: Battalion Honors
The military decorations awarded to the 519th Port Battalion by the US, France, and Belgium
Appendix B: Company Rosters
A list of names of the men who served in the 519th Port Battalion
Appendix C: 519th Port Battalion Insignia
A description of the shoulder patches and uniform insignia
Appendix D: 519th Historic Data Report
A copy of the official battalion history written by 519th HQ in 1946
Appendix E: Timeline
A list of important dates in the battalion's history
Appendix F: Port Battalion Organization
Organizational charts of a standard WWII US Army port battalion, headquarters, and port company