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Friday, January 13, 2012

THE "HIGGINS BOAT"


Going in, the first wave of assault troops usually liked to look over the side of the LCVP landing craft to see what was happening on the beach. By the time the fourth or fifth waves went in the troops were hunkered as low as they could get because they’d seen the first boat loads of wounded returning,” recalls former landing craft coxswain Earl W. Norwood, 83, about the Normandy invasion.

The day after the historic landings, Norwood and his two-man crew volunteered for the grim job of cruising along the beach to pull floating bodies out of the water. After three-days of this gruesome task, 18-yr-old Norwood and his crew grew so distressed by the horrors they had witnessed that they asked a senior non-com if they could stop. The petty officer reminded them that ever dead GI they recovered was one more family who would know the fate of a loved one.