Monday, August 23, 2010

519th men attacked by German bombers

A Landings Ship Tank (LST) sinks off the coast of Utah Beach. Photo courtesy of Dave Weaver, 519th Port Bn.

Chapter 7 of Longshore Soldiers discusses the 519th's part in the Normandy invasion. On June 14, 1944 a Chicago Tribune reporter interviewed GIs working on Utah Beach. Naturally, he choose to speak to men from Illinois. Matt Marvin, from 519th Port Battalion Headquarters was from Freeport, IL. He described the nightly air attacks by the Germans. The Luftwaffe pilots assumed the ship Marvin was unloading was carrying ammunition, so they tried bombing it three nights in a row. He was quoted as saying "What are we—magnetic?"

Click on the image at left to read the article. Another Illinois native from 519th HQ, Larry Botson, sent me this clipping: Noderer, E. R. “Chicagoans on Target Ship of Nazi Bombers,” Chicago Daily Tribune, p. 1. June 15, 1944.

Marvin's Liberty Ship avoided destruction, but another supply ship unloaded by the 519th was sunk four days earlier. See my post about the SS Charles Morgan.

1 comment:

  1. Longshore Soldiers is a must read for transportation enthusiasts. It is extremely interesting to read about the role of US Army transportation units before, during and after the Normandy Invasion. WOW!

    As a member of the 519th during the Vietnam conflict, I appreciate the duty, honor and sacrifice made by the men of the 519th.

    Thanks to Andrew for a great read.

    Joseph J. Wilson, Jr.
    SFC, USA (Retired)

    519th Transportation Battalion (Truck)
    Thailand 68 - 70

    The 519th Transportation Association, Thailand


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