- for Cornelius Ryan 2-
Your name [underline] J.E.H. LEBLANC [end underline] Major
Q.13 Did you by any chance keep a diary of what happened to
you that day?
A.13 No (diaries were forbidden).
Q.14 Were any of your friends killed or wounded either during
landing or during the day?
A.14 Yes - killed Major J.A. MacNaughton, OC "A" Coy; Sgt Ned Ridgley, Sgt Elliott,
Sgt H. McCormick, Cpls Walker - Clancy - Sgt Clouston, "D" Coy
Wounded: Sgt Young, Sgt Girvan, etc.
Q.15 Do you remember any conversations you had with them before
they became casualties:
A.15 I spoke to several Officers, NCOs and Men prior to them becoming casualties.
Having been a Platoon Commander in "A" Coy prior to be coming 2 IC of Charlie
Coy, I knew all the Officers, NCOs and Men of that company very well and spoke
words of encouragement to those who were wounded. On the beaches when I was
cutting wire to make a gap so that platoons could pass, Major MacNaughton came
to me and advised me to be careful, Later on during the day, I met him and he
congratulated me for having succeeded to bring so many people off the beaches
without casualties and when I told him of our difficulty in flushing out the
Germans from the buildings, trenches and dugouts in Tailleville, he smiled and
in his fatherly way he said he would give us assistance. This was the last word
spoken to me by this wonderful officer because he was killed shortly after.
[crossed out] Q.16 Were you wounded?
A.16 Not on D-Day but later wounded at Carpiquet on July 4, 1944.
Q.17 Do you remember what it was like--that is, do you remember
whether you felt any pain or were so surprised that you felt nothing?
A.17 It was like pins and needles all over the body due to blast and a severe pain
in the back. However, after a shot of morphine given by Lt. H.R. McQuarrie
I was ready to keep on going. The RSM,Padre and MO did not agree and I was
evacuated to England. I returned to NWE Theatre on 15 September 1944- and to my
Unit in November where I remained Carrier Platoon Commander till the end of hosti-
lities. [end of crossed out]
Q.18 Do you remember seeing or hearing anything that seemed funny
now, even though it may not have seemed funny at the time?
A.18 When we had been sailing aboard the Assault Landing Craft for about 15 minutes
the water being choppy, numerous stomachs began to react. Faces turning a
greenish yellow - proof that pills were not too effective - many chose to take
their chances with bullets and therefore stood up in the craft. As it turned
out nobody was wounded and the boys had an opportunity to smile and wave to
the other Assault Craft. For some it was their last farewell to their soldiers
Q.19 Do you recall any incident, sad or heroic or simply memorable,
which struck you more than anything else?
A.19 The initiative taken by C Coy to head for their objective of Tailleville turned
out to be favorable as to casualties on the beaches. When we were enjoying a
cigarette waiting for H hour to cross the start line just south of St. Aubin Sur
Mer, the Germans started shelling the beaches and the town of St. Aubin Sur Mer.
The entire company less three casualties which occurred on the beaches were free
of enemy shelling and our own shelling. Reasons being we were under the "umbrella
of fire" too close to the enemy and our own people knowing where we were. Enemy
mortar fire started on us once we had started towards our objective Tailleville.
Notes and Questions
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