Great World War II story from Bill Shea.
Mr. Shea was at D-Day during World War II and we got to talking about it (as we approach the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor).
I mentioned about the LST-325 that is touring the Illinois River at the current time. Bill said he landed on Omaha Beach in a Higgins Boat, the one you see Tom Hanks on in "Saving Private Ryan." He said that the guys running the boat would always drop that front end way out in the water so that the soldiers would be completely inundated when they stepped off it. That was particularly bad for him as he was short to begin with.
Making the disembarkation worse was that the Higgins Boat had stopped over some shell craters caused by the huge bombardment that preceded the landings.
He'll never forget the guy from Louisiana who left the boat when he did. When the two managed to surface, the Louisianan sputtered, "This will be an even easier landing for the bastards behind us because I just drank half the channel."
Mr. Shea still has sand taken from the beach on D-Day as well as some dragon teeth from an emblem from the German line and rocks from the cliff scaled by US forces at D-Day.
Now, That's a Good Story! --RoadDog