Cornelius Ryan WWII papers, box 007, folder 10: Carroll Brice Smith

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Smith, Carroll B. in D-Dady Book Release Va. 29th Div. [Indecipherable] Box 7, #10 [Indecipherable] misplaced

0700 Dog Green Saw Capt. Burroughs shot "He'll have no more migranes"

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-2Our higher command had pulled no punches and every man was resigned to the fact that this would be a nasty task and casualties would be heavy In fact just two or three days before we sailed Lt. General Leonard T Gerow our former Division commander and than Fifth Corps Commander had sat in our C.P. and said "We'll take that beachhead if it takes every man in the Corps" and for a while that morning we thought it might But somehow each of us was willing to pay the full price if necessary -- because we believed in what we were fighting for The general attitude of most of us was "lets get it over with" which tied in very closely to our division battle cry "29 Let's Go" We also had another incentive this would be our first baptism by enemy fire and we were determined to do as well as our battle tested partner on the left the 16th Infantry of the 1st Division We also had the reputation of our famous Virginia National Guard Regiment to uphold Our regimental motto was "ever Forward a very fitting slogan for that day in part that was the only way to go because most of us were seasick whem we landed and wanted no more of those little boats You might say most of us felt kind of cocky and proud to have a part in this biggest of all amphibious operations The words of General Omar Bradley still ring in my ears as he told us goodbye in England shaking each of us by the hand He said "You gentelmen don't know how fortunate you are to have a ringside seat at the biggest show in the world" We were so busy thinking about all these things we really didn't have much time to worry about getting kill We had breakfast at 0330 6 June in the Captains Cabin Commander Beismeyer Lt Col Lawrence E Mecks Roanoke , Va my Battalion Commander and I Commander Beismeyer said since this is your last meal you can have anything you want if I have it on board So I had eggs sunny side up with steak and finished it off with ice cream and Logan berries I was sorry a couple hours later as we went round and round in those little LCVPs (30 man boats)among waves that appeared to be ten feet high Boy was I sick! But

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- for Cornelius Ryan 2 - Your name Carroll B Smith Did you by any chance keep a diary of what happened to you that day? no It was not authoried in fact forbidden Were any of your friends killed or wounded either during the landing or during the day? Yes many! In fact my boat landed on a mine or a shell fell in the middle jsut as the ramp went down on the beach we never knew for sure which

Do you remember any Conversations you had with them before they became casualties? My operation Sgt John ---Mueller lost half of his "fannie" when the boat blew up Chaplain Burke Orange was administering the numerous wounded and dying on the beach when he got a million dollar wound in the heel One very close friend of mine Captain Burroughs operations officer of the second Battalion ^who had always suffered from migraine headache was shot squarely in the forehead and I couldn't help thinking as I ran by him that he'll have no more migraines One phrase that sticks with me was expressed by Lt. Col Mullins CO of the 111th FA Battalion After seeing every one of his artillery pieces sink in Were you wounded? No Duhn's He said "come on men, we'll have to fight like Infantry men now " and charged towards a German position to be mowed down by rifle fire

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? I was not wounded that day but was on the 9th grand camp and later on the 19th at Belle Fontaine for which I spent two months in the hospital in England Do you remember seeing* or hearing anything that seems funny now, even though it did not, of course, seem amusing at the time? Yes As I ran up the 300 yards of beach towards the foot of the cliff I kept noticing little puffs of sand jumping up all around me and I thought as I charged along that its funny that sand crabs should be out in all this noise and confusion Later when I reached the cliff and looked back I could see my puffs of sand were the strikes of machine gun bullets which gave me my first twinge of fear But a moment later he picked me up again and I managed to escape his this time by jumping in the bucket Do you recall any incident, sad or heroic, or simply memorable, which struck you more than anything else? of an old rusty steam shovel which was sitting in an unfinished anti tank ditch at the foot of the cliff but the noise of bullets again steel was so deafening I quickly hopped out and found cover in the ground * A German -Jewish sgt ^(I believe his name was Newsome) who was our intelligence Sgt and who^ hated Germans with a passion because some of his family back in Germany had been exterminated had an undying ambition to fight his way back to Germany for revenge This boy and I were crawling up the bluff trying to get close to a german anti-tank gun firing from a camouflaged pill box which was knocking out our boats in the water --------------------- Before I could stop him he rushed this pill box single

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for Hitler and Germans in general and he didn't get a chance to kill a one or to see his home country while I a quiet country boy from Virginia who didn't really hate Germans at all lived to carry on It took us several hours to knock out that pill box by the way and it still stands as a monument to Omaha overlooking Les Moulins Another incident I remember occurred on the outskirts of St. Laurent Sur Mer The Germans were in the town we were trying to get in and a stretch of dirt road led from our positions to the town a distance of about 200 yds In the excitement and confusion of all the shooting an old French woman kept running back and forth from a shac near us to the edge of town across this road Finally somebody decided she was spying and down she went in a burst of machine gun fire I didnt know who shot her but I couldnt help feeling sorry for her as she lay there in the dust Apparently she had been friendly with the Germans or she wouldn't have been there since the area had been largely evacuated of civilians In this same area I happened to witness one of our men a Sgt Robertson of Staunton Virginia come face to face with a german on this same dirt road They stepped out of the bushes on opposite sides at the same instant and both froze for a second and both fired their rifles point blank from the hop but our man pulled the trigger first I guess because the German fell I thought at the time this was like playing cowboys only this time it was for real A few feet further on I stumbled on a vine and rolled down the bank of a ravine all tangled in briars and honeysuckle vines and wound up right next to a soldier in German uniform I then this as my most terrible moment my carbine was tangle in vines and I was desperately pawing at my belt for my knife when I realized he was more terrified than I He surrendered and turned out to be a ^little Polish man about 60 years old who had been impressed intot he German Army and wasn;t too interested in fighting after all He was one of our first prisoners that day

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