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Memories
Norman G. Jensen


 

Fri. May 12, 1944

Pulled out of New York 0945 hrs. Destination unknown.

Sat. May 13

Seas a little rough. Nothing else.

Sun. May 14

Mother's Day. Crew got a pack of cigarettes, good evening mess.

Mon. May 15

Seas still rough.

May 16,17,18 & 19

Pretty much the same. Seas better and some sun. Still steaming east.

May 20

Short evening storm.

May 21

Strawberry shortcake at evening mess. Free pack of cigarettes. May 22. Supposed to pull in tonight, but still don't know where. 

Tues. May 23

Anchored sometime after 0100 hrs. Pulled up anchor 0620 and headed for Lisahally, Ireland. From there to Londonderry. Gets dark after 2300 hrs and light at 0530 hrs. Rumor of 15 planes being sabotaged near here. Air raid alerts last several nights.

May 24 thru 29

Lots of liberty. Inspections, etc. Bought a shillelagh. Tues. May 30. Played baseball this evening. All hands called back to ship about 2300 hrs and pulled out for Plymouth, England. May 31. Steamed toward Plymouth all day.

Thurs. June 1

Arrived 0300 hrs. Lots of ships. Looks like possible invasion.

Fri. June 2

Told to test lifebelts and issued gas masks at 1400 hrs. LST's pulled out. My first ship, USS Corry DD, is in the harbor, no chance to get aboard. Got a message to them by light signal and return message from Brown and Brantly, saying, "Hello and good luck." 

Sat. June 3

Captain Michel briefed us on what to expect. 

June 4

Nothing.

Mon. June 5

Left Plymouth about 0830 hrs. No attacks on way. Tues. June 6. 

Tues. June 6 General Quarters in the 1.1 ammunition shack with Carl Boedecker at 0100 hrs. At 0550, the USS Nevada opened up shelling "Utah Beach". Very little enemy action and all large ships are firing. The Corry is sunk a short way off. Her fantail is sitting on the bottom and she continues firing her forward guns. A few large shells hit near by but still not much opposition. At 2100 hrs. 3 flights of C47's with gliders go over. 109 planes and 109 gliders. All we have eaten are cold Spam sandwiches.

Wed. June 7

Bombarding all day. Picked up dead soldiers. One brought by a PT boat. Brig. Gen. Donovan came aboard from a cruiser. Went ashore on a landing barge. Picked him up again later. Still not much enemy action.

Thurs. June 8

Called to CQ about 0200 hrs. Enemy plane tried for us. Destroyer nearby caught a torpedo. Couple missed us. Laid down smoke screen. CQ again at 0800 hrs to pick up survivors from USS Glennon. Told assistance not needed. Left the Glennon and at about 0920 hrs. a large explosion about 50 yards off the starboard beam shook us up. We left the ammunition shack to investigate and when we returned found many ammunition clips out of the racks. While putting them back in, another explosion at the fantail. Carl and I immediately left the ammunition shack and second time and observed the fantail of the ship floating away. As I recollect, I thought I saw a couple of guys sitting on It with their arms around their knees. I don't know where Carl went, but I proceeded forward and up the ladder with the intention of going to the radio room. At the companionway, someone came out and we were standing joking about blood coming from a cut along side my right eye. I wish I could remember who it was, but as we talked I looked up and saw Kauffman begin to step out onto the deck as a very large explosion went off under our feet. I flew up hitting the overhead and landing on deck where I observed both of my shoes sitting side by side with one sock hanging out of one. From then on, memory is very hazy but in putting things together, it seems that the crew from a PT boat came up over the side. A wire stretcher was on the bulkhead right where we had been standing, so they put me in it and took me aboard. The PT then proceeded to an LST, almost hitting another mine on the way, and from there I was transferred to a hospital in England. There they found that the humorus of my right arm was broken. They set it and after a couple of days I left for the USA on the hospital ship Refuge where they found that the arm had been improperly set. They re-set and screwed it together with two screws. Upon arriving at Portsmouth, VA, I was transferred to the hospital in Bethesda, MD. After a short stay, I was given a 45 day leave to my home in Oakland, CA, after which I reported in to Oak Knoll Hospital. When my cast was taken off, it was found that I couldn't straighten my right arm, and on investigation, it was found that the olecranon in my right elbow was broken. Back to the operating table and a bone graft. This did not work so back to the operating table again to have both removed. Result: Cannot straighten right arm fully, which led to a medical discharge July 7, 1945. No Purple Heart because, they claim no blood from the wounds. (They must have had bloodless operations in those days.)

    According to records I have read, of a crew of 215, approximately 91 of us did not make it.

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