The Unsung Hero

January 10, 2008
By Michael LoBello, Las Vegas, NV

June 6, 1944 (725 hours military standard time)

We’ve been waiting on this rotten United States Navy ship for the past fourteen days. We have no clue what the hell we are being sent to do and although I’ve gotten seasick three times we have been at anchor for nine days. I can tell from all the commotion on board that today is the day. Today is the day that many lives would be spent and wasted, today is the day that blood would run freely, and today is the day that many families will mourn the loss of their sons. It’s 730 hours and I haven’t slept all night. Captain Jacobs is coming I’ll write a little bit later.

June 6, 1944(825 hours)

We’re going to be loaded on the boats soon. If this is my last entry, I love my family and my girlfriend and I’ll see you guys later.

The Story

“You guys better get your butts up there and cover our men advancing towards those nests. Fire on those nests!” Blue Squadron’s commander yelled at everyone that wasn’t firing a weapon. Private James Conrad Evans of Red Dog Squadron was hit the deck when a grenade was thrown, then he got up and just started firing his modified M1 Grand. Every time a empty clip popped out, he just loaded a new one in without thinking. His best friend, 1st Class Private Sean Adriane Renard was firing his Thompson machine gun. His clips were dropping and loading back up, firing, firing, and firing. Suddenly James’ captain started yelling at him, “ Load a new clip in! You and Private Renard are going to clear that pillbox on 3rd hill.” James looked at Sean and he looked back. “Just keep your eyes ahead. I’ll cover your butt and you cover mine, we clear?” “Yeah, were clear.” He could feel his hands shaking and he felt like he was going to throw up.

Jumping out of the pit that served as field HQ, Sean and James started running towards the next cover in site. They got there, and then ran to the next cover. Five yards before the base of hill three James heard a yell and Sean was cut down behind him with nine German machine gun bullets in him. “No! Come on Sean, make it you can do it we are almost there!” James yelled while being on the verge of tears.

He was crying and moving, crying and moving at the same time. Half way up the hill, two bullets cut into his right leg. He dropped and cried out in pain. Suddenly, he jumped back up and started limping towards his objective. Finally, when he got there, he had eight bullets in him and three clips left for his M1. He pulled two grenades out of his backpack and pulled the pins. He yelled and threw the grenades threw the opening in the pillbox. As James took cover and hit the deck, German shouts were heard and then two explosions two seconds apart.

He then turned around to head back to his squadron when a German pair came up the hill and started yelling in German at James. When he didn’t comply with their orders they lit him up with one full clip of MP40 ammo each. When James hit the ground, he was dead.

James was not noted for his bravery. Many weren’t. But Red Dog Squadron knows that Private Conrad was one of the most important key soldiers in the Battle for Normandy. The D-Day invasion.

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