Few recall today that it was mostly
Coast Guard helmsmen who
heroically jammed the bows of their
wooden landing craft into the
blazing hell of Normandy’s beaches.
Most of the crew of the LCI(L)-92 were veterans of invasions in North Africa Sicily, and Italy. Their commanding officer, Lt, Robert M. Salmon, USCGR, had brought the ship across the Atlantic from Norfolk 16-months before and fought her through the Mediterranean invasions. Bored with weeks of drill and the drudgery of getting the vessel in first-class condition, the men’s spirits were high when the 92 took its place in the great armada crossing the English Channel to breach the Nazi’s West Wall. A few hours later, the 92, second ship to hit its designated section of the beach, was a smoking part of the price paid for victory. It was two-weeks before all hands could be accounted for - six of them had been injured and 41 soldiers had died before they had a chance to leave the ship. Coast Guardsman Seth Shepard, Photographer’s Mate 2C, wrote this account a few days after leaving a survivor’s camp in southwest England. Lieutenant Salmon subsequently received the Silver Star for his intrepidity on D-Day.
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