Monday, June 06, 2011

D Day, Never Forget

My father, a career Air Force officer, was not terribly upset when I joined the Navy, although the fact that I enlisted rather than becoming an officer caused a little friction. He told me that at least I would eat well.

Turns out that in 1944, serving as a medical officer in England, he was getting really fed up with bad food and wet, cold weather, and so volunteered for some “unknown, interesting and possibly hazardous duty.” That turned out to be on a Navy LST hitting Omaha Beach, where his function was to tend wounded on the return trip.

The food, he said, was awesome, but they kept calling him “Major” despite the clear insignia on his uniform which showed that he was a Captain. They finally informed him that only the commanding officer of the ship, who was a Chief Petty Officer, could be addressed as “Captain,” so they solved the problem by verbally promoting him.

He made several crossings, but like most people who served in World War Two, he had very little to say about anything that happened after he joined that ship. I daresay it was interesting. It got more interesting when one trip turned out to be one-way and he got assigned to Patton's group.

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