W.W.II form letter], June 1944:
"The O.W.I. has given you more information about the historic D-Day than we could
hope to include in one letter.
Of Interest to you is our personal safety and the thrills
we experienced. Hollywood could not reproduce them. When we were several hours
before H Hour, the sky was lighted by plane-dropped star shells, thence minutes passed,
our minds were torn from the dangers that lay on either side of the narrow mine-swept
roads as we waited to learn who had lighted the sky--friend or foe. Then came the
drone of hundreds of bombers and eight miles of exploding bombs on the peninsula made our
ship vibrate. Our Air Force worked in spite of the tracers that made beautiful
patterns against the sky.
Soon after dawn a Messerschmitt could be seen coming out of
a white cloud bank to meet the tracer fire from a P-47. As the American plane
passed, a spitfire drove it's fiery tongue at the crippled German and sent him down in
flames. We could see mines erupting: and geysers around the ships told of shore
batteries firing on the invasion fleet.
The hours melted into days and nights. By day the
allied transports extended from horizon to horizon, while allied bombers and fighters
worked overhead our guns responded to location D.T. on enemy positions. A message
from a fire patrol agent stated: 'your fire is removing the turrets from their tanks', or
another: 'the enemy hasn't been seen since your last salvo.'
Almost everybody got some mail recently. What a
thrill to realize that the radio and newspapers had given you an account of the excellent
performance of our ship.
The officers, men, and ship did a good job and I'm proud to
Till you hear from me again, keep praying, your prayers are
being heard." Love, Ray