It is now August 15th, 1944. Dad's shipmate aboard the LCI 587 picks up the story once again...
The assembled fleet weighed anchor off Ajaccio during the midnight watch on August 15th in order to be in position for the invasion. Before reaching the assault area, we could hear the sounds of the preliminary bombardment. The nearer we got, the more infrequent the sounds became as the first exploratory forces went in to do their jobs. Also, the paratroopers were landing behind enemy lines. By the time we were in formation to make the final approach for our landing, it was daylight and the scene before us was one of a long, crescent-shaped sandy beach with no towering hills behind it. The initial landing forces had apparently overpowered the defending German forces and pushed them back out of sight. The 3rd Army forces aboard were about to land on what they had named "Alpha Beach" in their invasion plans. There were other forces landing down the coast in both directions. We noted a singular lack of any German defending air cover.
As we were on our final approach to the beach, almost to the point of lowering ramps so the troops could run ashore, both the LCI's on our immediate port and starboard, struck mines. They must have been spider mines or some other not too potent weapons as both vessels were able to disembark their troops. We got to where the water was only a foot or so deep, dropped our ramps and the 3rd Army troops ran ashore in well less than a minute. Their immediate concern was not German opposing forces, but the land mines planted in the beach.
Our stern anchor winched us off the beach and we, with the other LCI's, proceeded a mile off shore where we floated the rest of the day awaiting orders. During the afternoon a few German high-altitude bombers
flew over and dropped bombs harmlessly in the water. All we had to do was hold a finger up and sight the
bomb when it was released, if it went right or left there was nothing to worry about. If it did neither, you made haste as there was no way of knowing whether it would long of you, short of you or on you.
Sorry it wasn't a more exciting day (within limits, or course). Me, too.