Two Weeks in June, 1944

After my father, a Pearl Harbor survivor, died in 2011, we found a shoebox. It contained items that belonged to my Uncle Bill (my mother’s brother), who had also served in WWII. There was Bill’s birth certificate and baptism record, an address book, and some pages that looked like they were torn out of a diary. From the address book, we learned that Bill had served on the U.S.S. Carmick (DD-493) and saw action in the Atlantic and the Pacific. It’s unclear whether Bill wrote the pages. The following is what was written (G.Q. is General Quarters or “battle stations”):

June 1 – Well, we got off easy last night. No alarm. We found out the reason this a.m. Plymouth was bombed. They say we can expect it tonight. It’s a perfect night out for a raid, so that ought to raise our chances of getting it. The time is now 12:30 coming. We shall see.

June 2 – nother peaceful night last night – another drawn out day waiting. Everyone is starting to tire of this. Just hanging around. I know I’ve had my fill. From the looks of things I should say the invasion is in the near future.

June 3 – We left Weymouth and went on sub patrol in the channel – out all day. Coming in tomorrow night.

June 4 – Entered port this p.m. and fueled up. Leaving tomorrow – this is what we have been waiting for. I have seen some sites since I left the States, but the fleet of landing barges, L.S.T.s, etc. that have passed us and are still passing is something I’ve never witnessed before. You can’t count them all.

June 5 – This is the Day. We got underway at exactly 11:05 a.m. and started. We are with two other destroyers and quite a few minesweepers. We are going first and clear the way for the rest.

June 6 – Early this a.m. about one or two. We neared our destination. Bombers have been coming and going overhead all night. The horizon of France seems to be all lit up. I can even see the bomb burst and the Germans . fire. The sky is full of tracers. We went in about 5:45 a.m. and started to do our job. From what the captain said to us before we left, we have certain targets on the beach to knock out. They happen to be shore batteries. They fired at us first with 6 inch guns. We had a couple of close ones, but from all reports we done our job well. We fired all day long. from our main battery. That’s a lot of shooting. Through the gun site you can see everything. I saw prisoners coming down the hill with their hands in the air. I saw landing ships hit by shells and saw some of our tanks on fire on the beach. The beach was covered with bodies. It was a site I shall never forget. The sea was full of landing craft. bout 5 miles out battleships and cruisers pounded the beach all day and night. We had no opposition from enemy aircraft.

June 7 – We remained around at G.Q. all day and left in the evening. We finally secured from G.Q. after 36 hours straight. tired. Upon entering the port of Plymouth England, they started to load ammunition and take on fuel and food. s soon as we were loaded we left for France again.

June 8 – Wespentthebiggestpartofthenightatseacomingback. Flankspeedalltheway. Wehungaroundatanchorwithnothingexcitinghappening.