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Pushing on

By , Fairfield, OH

The diesel engine roared, and the landing craft lunged forward. It rocked pretty hard and some of the men threw up. They gave us a good breakfast but I did not eat, being so nervous for the invasion. As we got closer to the beach I could smell the smoke and hear the explosions and gunshots. Water sprayed over top onto us, made us freezing. We had gotten close enough to start getting off. The ramp fell and as it did, so do the men in the front. I decided to save myself and just jump over the side into the red water littered with dead bodies that just floated there. As I crawled my way up the shore there was a bright flash of light and just ringing in my ears.
   Additionally I had to lay there blinded for a second my ears still ringing. I could feel the sand and mud flying on me, being kicked up by incoming bullets. Eventually my sight came back but my left ear drum busted and blood slowly came out. I crawled forward into the freshly made crater from the artillery shell. The ground still warm from the blast heated my cold body. But I knew I would not last long here. I gazed over the edge to see what was going on. Many of the landing craft were still approaching. There were some men about 25 meters ahead hiding behind a sandbar. I got up with the bullets flying all around and I ran forward to the sandbar.
     However, just before reaching the sandbar I fell straight to the ground. “Private get your head out of the sand and getup here,” I heard a voice scream. I gazed ahead and saw Sergeant Wilson lying against the sandbar motioning for me to move forward and take cover. I crawled most of the way, until Sergeant Wilson just dragged me up there. “What did I tell you!” he ordered “Don’t stop until you get to the sandbar”. I sat there for a second catching my breathe. “See that bunker up there,” he shouted. “You mean that concrete slab up there,” I answered. He looked down and shook his head “close enough,” he yelled. “We are going over this sandbar and straight for the cliff, do no stop until you reach the cliff!” he ordered. “Yes sir!” I and about five other men yelled back. “Go, go, go!” he shouted and him along with the other men raced up and over in a wave toward the cliff. A hail of gunfire blasted sand as we made the straight sprint forward to the cliff face under the bunkers hopefully protecting us from fire. Sergeant Wilson turned his head as if he were going to say something when a bullet went through the back of his neck. He fell to the ground but I kept running, many other men started to fall. My heart was beating so hard when I felt a sharp pain in my chest. I fell to the ground and lay there still, and then everything went black.






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