Cornelius Ryan WWII papers, box 006, folder 23: Edward Marcellus Gearing

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GEARING, Edward Marcellus 29th DIV Md 1 D-Day Box 6, #23

HAVE RELEASE GEARING Bombers TIE in AIR Tie in with bombers "They'll give us foxholes in beaches"

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Edward M. Gearing 3505 Dundee Driveway Chevy Chase 15, Maryland

MD-1

For Cornelius Ryan Book about D-Day

THOUSANDS OF MEN, ON LAND AND SEA AND IN THE AIR, PARTICIPATED IN THE INVASION OF NORMANDY BETWEEN MIDNIGH JUNE 5, 1944 AND MIDNIGHT JUNE 6, 1944. IF YOU WERE ONE OF THEM, PLEASE ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS.

What is your full name? Edward Marcellus Gearing

What was your unit and division? Co. "A", 116th Inf., 29th Div.

Where did you arrive in Normandy, and at what time?

I arrived in Normandy on Omaha Beach. I was in charge the boat team on the extreme right flank of the first wave due to hit the beach at 6 A.M.. However our LCA hit a mine approx. 300 yards from shore and sank. I did not get to the beach until a few hours later.

What was your rank on June 6, 1944? 2nd Lt.

What was your age on June 6, 1944? Twenty

Were you married at that time? No What is your wife's name? Did you have any children at that time?

What do you do now? Assistant Division Controller, NEMS Clarke Company Division of Vitro Corporation of America

When did you know that you were going to be part of the invasion? Approx. ten Months before D-Day.

What was the trip like during the crossing of the Channel? Do you remember, for example, any conversations you had or how you passed the time?

It is extremely difficult to recall all that occured during the crossing. However, I do recall several thingswhich are difficult to put in this report. I would be very happy to discuss it further at Mr. Ryan's convenience.

What were the rumors on board the boat, ship or plane in which you made the crossing (Some people remember scuttlebut to the effect that the Germans had poured gasoline on the water and planned to set it afire when the troops came in).

Sam e as above.

Last edit 17 days ago by MBrunsdon
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Edward M. Gearing 3505 Dundee Driveway Chevy Chase 15, Maryland

- for Cornelius Ryan 2 - Your name Edward M. Gearing

Did you by any chance keep a diary of what happed to you that day? No.

Were any of your friends killed or wounded either during the landing or during the day? Being in the first wave you can well imagine that I lost quite a few friends that day, both enlisted men and officers.

Do you remember any conversations you had with them before they became casualties? yes

Were you wounded? I was wounded on three different occasions, However, they were all after D-Day. The first was June 9, 1944 near Maisy.

Do you remember what it was like — that is, do you remember whether you felt any pain or were you so surprised that you felt nothing?

Do you remember seeing or hearing anything that seems funny now, even though it may not have seemed amusing at the time? I remember quite a few instances that ocurred that day but would have to give more thought asto whether the amusing ones happened on D-Day. I have an ellaborate scrap book that was kept by Mother [crossed out]which[end crossed out] with all of my letters home and any material that I sent home. I would be very happy to make it available to Mr. Ryan if he so desires. It contains quite a bit of information pertaining to the happenings before, during and after D-Day.

Do you recall any incident, sad or heroic, or simply memorable, that struck you more than anything else? Yes. They would be too lengthy to include here.

Last edit 17 days ago by MBrunsdon
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Edward M. Gearing 3505 Dundee Driveway Chevy Chase 15, Maryland

- for Cornelius Ryan 3 - Your name Edward M. Gearing

In times of great crisis, people generally show either great ingenuity or self-reliance; others do incredibly stupid things. Do you remember any examples of either? Yes.

Where were you at midnight on June 5, 1944? On shipboard

Where were you at midnight on June 6, 1944? On patrol trying to make contact with Rangers that landed at Point De Hoe.

Do you know of anybody else who landed within the 24 hours (midnight 5 June to midnight 6 June) either as infantry, glider or airborne troops, or who took part in the air and sea operations, whom we should write to?

Mr. James McKearney 4711 River Ave. Pennsauken 8, N. J.

On D-Day Mr. McKearney was a 2nd Lt. that dropped with 101st Airborne

Mr. Watts T. Esterbrook 5522 Uppingham St. Cheyy Chase, Md.

On D-Day Mr. Easterbrook was flying a P-38 over the channel.

Mr. Ryan is no doubt aware that Company A was composed of quite a few men from Bedford, Va.. If he would contact Mr. Kenneth E. Crouch, The Bedford Democrat, Bedford, Va., a complete list of people available coule be obtained.

I'll write to them.

Please let us have this questionnaire as soon as possible, so that we can include your experiences in the book. We hope that you will continue your story on separate sheets if we have not left sufficient room. Full acknowledgement will be given in a chapter called "Where They Are Now; your name and vocation or occupation will be listed.

Thank you for your help.

Cornelius Ryan 5/7/58 Frances Ward Research, The Reader's Digest

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• y >n SEARCH REPORT RETURN TO: TO: ] The Adjutant General, Washington 25, D. C., ATTENTION: ] The Air Adjutant General, Washington 25, D. C., ATTENTION: 3 Commanding Officer, Army Records Center, DODMPRC, TAGO, St. Louis 14, Missouri AGPI INFORMA T ION DE S IRED OR TO B E V ERI F I ED I S INDICA T ED B Y AN " X " IN A P P L ICA B L E BOX ( E S) I I L A S T N A M E - F I R S T N A M E - M I D D L E I N I T I A L Gearing* Edward Marcellus _J G R A D E 3 S E R V I C E N O. Capt ] D A T E O F B I R T H Q li95 585 3 P R E S E N T O R G A N I Z A T I O N A N D S T A T I O N P E R R E P O R T O F C H A N G E D A T E D J H O M E A D D R E S S 10607 Dunkirk Drive* Silver Spring* Maryland ] P L A C E O F E N L I S T M E N T O R I N D U C T I O N ] D A T E O F E N L O R I N D 3 A C T I V E D U T Y D A T E 3 D A T E O F R A N K 3 L A S T D U T Y S T A T I O N 3 T Y P E O F S E P A R A T I O N 3 D A T E O F S E P A R A T I O N 3 B R A N C H E N L I S T E D F O R 3 M O S 3 N O R E C O R D J A B O V E I N D I V I D U A L C A N N O T B E I D E N T I F I E D D A T E C L E R K R O O M N U M B E R R E M A R K S V E R I F I E D O N L A S T R O S T E R C L E R K ( D a t e ) D A T E R O O M N U M B E R FORM 1 A P R 5 6 R E P L A C E S D D F O R M 14 , 1 F E B 5 5 - GPO : 1956 O - 384451

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