Voices of D-Day: Bob Slaughter
I was really keyed up and so were my buddies, and we went around. I know I took my General Eisenhower message that was issued to all of us, and I got autographs of all my buddies and everybody I could get to autograph it.
As our teams were called, we assembled on the landing craft and were lowered into the water, and it was tremendously rough and the spray from the sea was cold, and it came over the sides of the landing craft and nearly everybody got soaked. We were taking water from the rough sea over the bow, and we were bailing to try to keep afloat. Some of the landing craft sank before they got in because of the rough sea. In fact, we picked up some of our buddies who had floundered eight or nine miles from shore, and we had taken them on as extra cargo; and some that we should have picked up or would have liked to have picked, we left because we didn't have room. We hoped somebody else would.
It was a terrible ride to the beach. Over to our right, the battleship Texas was firing into the cliffs, and every time that big fourteen inch gun went off, a tremendous tsunami swamped our boat, and the water would come over the side and just soak us and make our seasickness worse.
As we got in to one thousand yards offshore, we started taking some mortar shells and some artillery. They were just over our bow and exploding off to our side, and we could also hear the small arms as we got in a little closer -- the small arms were firing at us.
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