Nicholas M. Winters
OMAHA BEACH: A SOLDIER’S NIGHTMARE
I have a veteran granddad who died in the year 1999. He had been in action in Normandy and had several scars as proof that he’s been wounded. He had never told me anything about his days in the European Theatre. Until the last three weeks of his death. It seemed as if he had knew his life would be over soon and decided to show me something I had never imagined. He took out a diary, dated from January 1944 to January 1945.
I asked him what was that about and he told me those were the freakiest days of a man’s life. I have been frowning about my life and that how my days went really bad and wrong. After reading the diary of his, I felt totally grateful of what I have till this day. I only read a page of his diary and had changed ever since.
That article was dated June 6th and here is the story he tells:
Right at this hour, I have finally seen what DEATH is all about. Around 0630, our landing craft was near the shoreline of Omaha. There was explosion all around, shells were aiming at our craft and a few were near misses. That sight will remain in my memory forever as I live.
Just then, our Lieutenant from the back of the craft shouted, ‘Clear the ramp!’ and the coxswain opened what they call the murder hole and all hell broke at us. Anthony Garcia, the first off the craft, was cut down by what I later learned was a MG42 machinegun.
The next thing I knew I was in the waters trying to get my head above the water, gasping for air. I couldn’t recall what had happen before I was in the water. Then at the beach there were deadly tracers shooting at us. Dead men were scattered all by the beach, I turned back to look at the sea, a LCVP suddenly explodes and was turned topside down. It might have hit a mine or a shell scored a direct hit at it.
A Captain then arrived just a few feet beside of me and started shouting, ‘get the hell off this beach goddamn it!’ and it appeared to be his last, another MG42 cut him down, sending blood splashing out at my face. When I got all my equipment off, some sniper fire caught me in the leg and the next thing I knew I was at the base of a bunker, receiving aid by a Medic.
Here I am now, on a LST, heading back to England, Omaha Beach is worse, much worse than hell.
Nicholas M. Winters: December 3, 2003