Cornelius Ryan WWII papers, box 007, folder 05: Elmer G. Shindle

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Hdqts Co. 6 A.M Dog White

Fair Medic [?Storie?]

German PW's and hand grenade

SHINDLE, Elmer G. 29th DIV Pa 40

Box 7, #5

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[?Lancaster?], PA.

Medic O

For Cornelius Ryan Book about D- Day

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

What is your full name? Elmer G. Shindle

What was your unit and division? Hq. Co. 116th Inf. Regt., 29th Inf. Div.

Where did you arrive in Normandy, and at what time? Omaha Beach ( Dog White Beach ) H Hour - 6 A.M.

What was your rank on June 6, 1944? Technician Fourth Grade

What was your age on June 6, 1944? 27 years old.

Were you married at that time ? Yes

What is your wife's name? Dorothy E. Shindle

Did you have any children at that time? No

What do you do now? I work in a Plastics factory.

When did you know that you were going to be part of the invasion? When we were moved to a staging area near Weymouth Harbor, England, in May 1944.

What was the trip like during the crossing of the Channel? Do you remember, conversations you had or how you passed the time ? The crossing was very rough, and I was seasick most of the time. Tension was marked on the face of everyone. I recall one incident that happened; John Conwell related a dream to me that he had the night before. He said he saw me running back and forth across the beach tending to wounded soldiers, and later being decorated for this. That was one dream that came true.

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).

The big rumor on our ship was that we were only going to be in France for seventy two hours - then we were to come back to England for the invasion of Norway. .

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- for Cornelius Ryan 2 - Your name Elmer G. Shindle

Did you by any chanoe keep a diary of what happened to you that day? No.

Were any of your friends killed or wounded either during the landing or during the day?

MANY of my friends were killed or wounded during the day.

Do you remember any conversations you had with them before they became casualties? One told me he was going hack to England and marry his English girl when the war was over. Two others were about to fight when I stopped them and told them they would get plenty of fight when mthey landed. One was complaining to me that he shouldn't be pthere, because he had flat feet.

Were you wounded? No

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 thought it not, of course, seem amsuing at the time?

I remember being caught in a crossfire of machine guns while I was dressing someone's wounds, and putting my red cross arm band up on one of the obstacles on the beach where I was, thinking this would stop the firing. Now it seems amusing. Another amusing thing, the fellow who had the flat feet got wounded in an embarrasing place, and while I was dressing his wound, he kept telling me he should have got it in the feet, because they were no good anyhow.

Do you reoall any incident, sad or heroic, or simply memorable, which struck you more then anything else? \ I remember the only one who was any help to me on the beach, the medical man from the L.C.I. we came in on. a few near me, the sea wall. a hero and should have been decorated, his name. was There were quite but they were so frightened they were hugging They were from another outfit. This man was really I never did get to know

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- for Cornelius Ryan 3 - Your name Elmer G. Shindle

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?

I was pinned down by machine gun fire while trying to get to a wounded, man, when a First Sergeant came crawling up to me and found out where the firing was coming from. He went up the hill to the machine gun nest, and soon there was silence. I often wondered what happened since I never saw him again.

Another time I saw a soldier bringing in eight (8) German prisoners without a rifle; only a hand grenade in his hand.

Where were you at midnight on June 5, 1944? Aboard an L.C.I. in Weymouth Harbor, England.

Where were you at midnight on June 6, 1944? I was still on the beach helping to evacuate the wounded.

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

John B. Conwell, 440 E. 23rd St., New York, N.Y. George T. Mulligan, 108 Georgia Hall, Fort Myer So. Post, Arlington, 8 , Virginia Rex Gibson, c/o Bell Ranch, Pearce, Arizona Joseph A. Rice, 18 Randall Ave., Pikesville, Maryland Ward Haynie , Lively, Virginia Joseph Lipsman, 56-19 Bowne St., Flushing, L.I., New York James D. Sink, 2816 Woodlawn Ave., Roanoke, Viriginia

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

Frances Ward Research, The Reader's Digeat

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June 8, 1958

Dear Miss Ward,

I read your notice in the June issue of the V.F.W. Magazine about the history of D-Day being prepared for the 15th Anniversary in 1959,

Would be only too glad to help in this effort. I was a Technician Fourth Grade in the Hq. Co. 116th Infantry Regiment 29th Infantry Division and participated in the Assault Wave on Omaha Beach receiving the Distinguished Service Cross for this action.

Regardless if you need my cooperation or not I would certainly be interested in obtaining a copy of this book when it os released for publication.

Sincerely yours, Elmer G. Shindle 233 Juniata St. Lancaster, Penna

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