Sunday, March 30, 2008

Pat's second response to Park's account

David-
This is Reply #2 to that I sent you yesterday. I'll try to remember the other questions you asked. Army medic James Joseph Parks. Did his name ring a bell with me? No. But his story certainly did. He was indeed correct as could be on our LST 312 being broached on our landing beach at Gela, Sicily. It was about as dangerous a situation as I could recall in any of the initial day landings we made in the 1943-1944 period (Sicily, Salerno, and Normandy). We were a huge "sitting duck" target for enemy 88 guns - just as the Army medic Parks related. At least one 88 gun seemed to have found our range, and was hop-scotching shells directly toward our ship, the explosions were getting louder and louder. Navy cruiser(s) to our rear obviously got the word to silence this great threat to all of us aboard the 312. I believe this jives with what medic Parks noted. I know that one of the radiomen in my communications gang radioed our dangerous situation to our amphibious flotilla commander, and those big guns from the&nb sp; cruisers did the rest.
Also, German fighter planes were having a big time scaring us while we were in such a helpless situation. One, in particular, slipped up on us and unloaded a bomb that thrust a huge wave of water upon our port deck, knocking down and drenching many of us.

David, I'll have to beg off and continue later. My wrist watch tells me so.

-Pat
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